minas (“tower, fort”), tirith (“watch, guard, vigilance”)
noun. tower watch
place name. 'Tower of Watch'
topon. 'Tower of Watch', the great 'home' of Finrod, a fort built on an island in Sirion and intended to command access into Beleriand from the North. >> Minas Morgul
place name. Tower of Guard, Tower of Watch
The name of Minas Anor after the resurgence of Mordor, translated “Tower of Guard” (LotR/245) or “Tower of Watch” (PE17/31). The name was also used for a stronghold of the Noldor on Tol Sirion in Beleriand (S/120). This name is a combination of minas “tower” and tirith “watching, guarding” (SA/minas, tir; PE17/31).
Conceptual Development: As a tower of the Noldor, Tolkien first used the name N. Inglormindon, but revised it to N. Minnastirith (LR/146), translated “Watchtower” (LR/264). The form Minnas-tirith also appeared in The Etymologies (Ety/TIR). In Lord of the Rings drafts from the 1940s, Tolkien considered a variety of names for the capital of Gondor before settling on N. Minas Tirith (TI/115-6), which he initially translated as “Tower of Guard” (TI/127).
- Roh. Mundburg “Guardian Fortress” ✧ LotRI/Minas Tirith; PMI/Minas Tirith; PMI/Mundburg
- S. a Pherhael ar am Meril suilad uin aran o Minas Tirith nelchaenen ned Echuir “to Samwise and Rose the King’s greeting from Minas Tirith, the thirty-first day of Stirring” ✧ SD/129; SD/129
Word Gloss minas “tower, fort, city (with a citadel and central watch tower)” tirith “watching, guarding, watch, ward, guard”
watchtower, fortress with a
(pl. ostiryn). The name of the city Minas Tirith may be interpreted as ”watchtower” or ”tower of guard”.