topon. Pillars of the Kings, (lit.) Royal Stones

Two statues of Gondorian kings just north of Nen Hithoel, translated “Pillars of the Kings” (LotR/392), more literally “(Pair of) Royal Stones” (RC/347, RGEO/67, Let/427). It is combination of the prefix ar(a)- “noble”, the noun gond “stone”, and the class-plural suffix -ath (RC/347).
It is not clear why this noun uses the class-plural. However, in one place Tolkien describes a dual variant argonad using the archaic dual suffix †-d (Let/427). Perhaps this was the original form of the name, altered to Argonath after the Sindarin dual form was forgotten.
Conceptual Development: In Lord of the Rings drafts from the 1940s, this name first appeared as N. Sern Aran(ath) “King Stones” along with an alternate name N. Sern Ubed “[Stones of] Denial” (WR/98, 132). Later in these drafts it was revised to N. Argonath (TI/366).

[Let/427.2113, Let/427.2208, Let/427.4302, LotR/0392.2903, LotRI/Argonath.001, PMI/Argonath.001, RC/347.1703, RGEO/67.0504, SA/ar(a).014, SA/gond.007, SI/Argonath.001] Group: Eldamo. Published by

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