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WikiProject Middle-earth (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
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This article is within the scope of WikiProject Middle-earth, which aims to build an encyclopedic guide to J. R. R. Tolkien, his legendarium, and related topics. Please visit the project talk page for suggestions and ideas on how you can improve this and other articles.

Note: Though it states in the Guide to writing better articles that generally fictional articles should be written in present tense, all Tolkien legendarium-related articles that cover in-universe material must be written in past tense. Please see Wikipedia:WikiProject Middle-earth/Standards for more information about this and other article standards.

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I may well have the roles of Orthanc and Isengard mixed up, as far as which one is just the tower and which one is the surrounding area goes; it's been a while, and I'm going from memory here. -- John Owens 05:52 Apr 10, 2003 (UTC)

For some reason, the "r" in "Gondor" in the last sentence of the 5th paragraph isn't showing up. Might be because of the picture. --Quadalpha 21:42, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Battle of Isengard[edit]

Battle of Isengard redirects here. Thats a problem because theres no battle box or anything. I think battle of isengard could potentially deserve an article of its own. It was an important part of the war of the ring. savidan(talk) (e@) 21:02, 4 March 2006 (UTC)


What are the two first spoken syllables of "Isengard"? "Ease-en", "Ice-en" or "Eyes-en"? -- 09:22, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

"Eyes-en". i.e.: "They're taking the hobbits to Isengard, to Isengard, to Isengard..." --I'm Kinda Awesome... 19:27, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

And what of the proper pronunciation according to Tolkien? What language is this name in? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:44, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Tolkien pronounced it as eyes-en, there is a recording of his speaking the enting marching chant on youtube. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:29, 5 February 2012 (UTC)


this subject is notable. it's a very important place of a notable book, notable film, has a significance on tolkien's legendarium (orthanc was built by men from númenor, then isengard was built by gondor, then saruman took it.. it's very difficult to go from north of middle earth to south without being close to orthanc, etc), etc.

it's just doesn't have a very good article. i think it doesn't explain why the subject is notable because the author found it obvious. (okay, this isn't obvious for someone not familiar with tolkien). -- 15:53, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Isengard song[edit]

Is the "They've taken the hobbits to Isengard" worthy of mentioning in the article? --Fez2005 (talk) 07:18, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

No Carl Sixsmith (talk) 07:10, 24 September 2010 (UTC)


what is smithying? is it a word created by that old man tolkien? (lower case cause he was a n00b) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:07, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Smithying = forging. De728631 (talk) 20:26, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Citations still needed??[edit]

This article now seems cited up the yin yang, does it STILL need the needs citations tag?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nrodovsky (talkcontribs) 22:33, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Page corrected on three issues;

1: Technically, 'The Lord of the Rings' is not a trilogy. It is a single book which was originally published in three volumes due to publisher concerns.

2: Gandalf did not force Saruman and Grima out of Orthanc. In fact, he imprisoned them within it. They left of their own free will after convincing Treebeard to release them.

3: The 'Two Towers' referred to in the book title changed quite a bit as Tolkien considered different possibilities, but eventually a blurb was published at the end of FotR stating that they were Orthanc and Minas Morgul (not Barad-dur and Minas Morgul). -CBD

Death of Saruman?[edit]

I didn't read the books, but I saw the movie..


In the film, Grima stabs Saruman, and he falls from Orthanc, impaling himself. Was this bit changed in the screenplay for some reason?

Yes, it is an invention by Jackson. In the books, Saruman *and Gríma) are allowed to leave Orthanc by Treebeard, and they head to the Shire, where Saruman starts a sort of civil war. Merry and Pippin must actually muster a Hobbit army to kick Saruman's goons out. Saruman then almost repents to Frodo, but is killed by Gríma. See the Scouring of the Shire article. Peter Jackson probably left this part out because it would have confused some movie viewers. Jordi· 07:40, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Too many links[edit]

I've removed all the wiki links (except one) in the quoted description of Orthanc in LOTR as they are totally unnecessary and hamper readability. Why link nouns at random? Why link iron but not chain? Dark but not hard? The articles linked to (tunnels, roads and pillars) aren't Tolkien-specific, didn't make the description any more effective, and I think it's safe to assume that people know what these things are, and the minority that don't know could look them up by themselves. The one link I've left in is a link to Men as a race in Middle-earth, so is somewhat useful. --Urbane legend 09:27, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

Merge With Isengard[edit]

I know that Orthanc is technically the tower within the fortress of Isengard, but there is not really suddicient info. in each to warrant seperate articles. Much of the History section can be removed since they are largely identical, leaving only 1-2 paragraphs on Orthanc within the Isengard article.Phil alias Harry 05:33, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Sounds reasonable to me. --CBDunkerson 13:18, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree, it should be merged. --PhoenixVTam 20:41, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Sindarin meaning as "poetic coincidence"[edit]

I left it alone just now, because I think it could be somewhat contentious, but I think that the Sindarin meaning would be the primary one, not the Old English. Here's why:

  • Rohirric didn't exist as such at the time of Isengard's construction. The people who would later become the Rohirrim did not live in Rohan, and their language is (it seems to my untutored ear) translated into Gothic. I must admit that I don't have the Unfinished Tales in front of me, so I am going by memory.
  • Why would the Numenorian exiles name one of their primary strongholds in that language, especially when both Minas Ithil and Minas Tirith have names in Sindarin? (All of that was an unsigned comment by Golwengaud. Sorry.)
Tolkien left the matter ambiguous, saying that there was a double-meaning 'whether by design or chance'... so perhaps it didn't receive the name 'Orthanc' until after the Rohirrim had arrived in the region or Saruman had taken up residence there (before which 'Cunning Mind' wouldn't have made much sense). Sindarin 'Angrenost' got translated to Anglo-Saxon (representing the language of Rohan) 'Isengard', but maybe since 'Orthanc' had a meaning in both languages it remained unchanged. In any case, I'd say the current text of the article overstates the case in assuming one meaning the 'right' one. Tolkien didn't specify so any such conclusion is speculative / POV. --CBD 23:10, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and removed it. I also changed my "its name is 'Cunning Mind'..." to "its name means 'Cunning Mind...'. Golwengaud 14:20, 28 September 2006 (UTC)


For comparison:

- Total height of monument:
555 ft 5⅛ in (169.294 m)
- Width at base of monument:
55 ft 1½ in (16.80 m)
- Width at top of shaft:
34 ft 5 in (10.5 m)

Yokohama Marine Tower (world's tallest lighthouse)
106 meters tall (324 feet) (steel construction)

Sapporo TV Tower
147.2 meters tall

Eiffel Tower
324 m tall (1063 ft), including the antenna
(From [1]) --
- 1st floor: 57.63m
- 2nd floor: 115.75m
- 3rd floor: 276.13m
- Total height: 324m

The ancient Pharos/Lighthouse of Alexandria
"height variously estimated at between 115 and 135 metres (383 - 440 ft)"

The Great Pyramid of Giza
"it is thought that, at construction, the Great Pyramid was 280 Egyptian royal cubits tall (146.6 meters or 480.9 feet), but with erosion and the theft of its topmost stone (the pyramidion) its current height is 455.2 feet (approximately 138.8 m)."

-- 19:28, 2 February 2007 (UTC)