(redirection from Mount Fang)

Sind.: forked height

The tower of Isengard, from ThA 2759 inhabited by Saruman.

It was built in the early days of Gondor (by the Dúnedain, probably with the help of Gil-galad's people) from four pillars of unbreakable black rock by the Númenoreans in the center of Isengard. On top of Orthanc, which was 500 feet above the plain of Isengard, was a flat floor with astronomical figures.

Orthanc was abandoned by the Dúnedain (the tower was shut and the keys stored in MinasTirith and the Ring of Isengard remained guarded only by an Gondorian chieftain and a few people) sometime during the ThirdAge until Saruman was given the keys to Orthanc by Beren, the ruling Steward of Gondor.

Orthanc remained unharmed during the War of the Ring, while the rest of Isengard was destroyed by the Ents and it was controlled again by Gondor in the FourthAge.

also called the Pillar of Isengard or the Pinnacle of Orthanc and MountFang in Westron.

Comments and Annotations

The Istari were forbidden to "match force with force, or to" exploit their immortality to "rule realms". Saruman broke those promises when he took the second-strongest tower in Middle-earth.

It was made with unbreakable stone. It had a dual name: 'Mount Fang' and 'Cunning Mind'.

We can assume when it was built the Númenoreans had the intent of using the Elvish name since Saruman had yet to dwell there, the Faithful used the Sindarin tongue, and since the Rohirrim were still dwelling far in the north (the cunning mind is a Rohirric name). I am taking a guess that the Rohirrim had no need for renaming Orthanc unto their own language because they thought they name fit well.

With the name Tolkien certainly draws a connection to Old English orðanc 'intelligence', 'mind', 'cleverness', 'skill', 'skillful work', but also mechanical art'...

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