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The Seat of Seeing on the Hill was probably constructed in the early days of Gondor, possibly before the end of the Second Age
The western shores of Nen Hithoel, above the Falls of Rauros
The high seat was built on the Hill by the ancient Gondorians
Other names


About this entry:

  • Updated 21 July 2023
  • This entry is complete

Hill of the Eye

Amon Hen, the Hill of Sight

Map of the Hill of the Eye

A high hill that rose at the southern extent of the range known as Emyn Muil, on the western side of the Great River Anduin. It overlooked the wide lake of Nen Hithoel, where Anduin gathered its waters before plunging over the Falls of Rauros and continuing its southward course. The hill had bare and gentle slopes rising out of the woods that ran along the shores of the lake at its feet.

After the founding of Gondor, probably early in the history of that land,1 the Gondorians chose the hill to be the site of the Seat of Seeing, a place that granted a wide view over the northern ranges of their land. It was from this Seat of Seeing that the hill gained the name of the Hill of the Eye or the Hill of Sight, Amon Hen in Elvish. It had a counterpart across the Great River, rising in the eastern Emyn Muil, which was known as Amon Lhaw, the Hill of Hearing.

As history progressed, the power and extent of Gondor lessened, and the Seat of Seeing on the Hill of the Eye was left untended. At the end of the Third Age, the Fellowship of the Ring came to the foot of the hill as they journeyed southward down Anduin. Frodo Baggins found his way to the high Seat on the hill, and from there looked out across Middle-earth, seeing war kindling across all the lands. He was wearing the Ring at this time, and he came close to discovery by the Dark Lord, but escaped. Considering the danger and the lure of the Ring, he resolved to depart from the Fellowship and complete the Quest of Mount Doom alone.

Aragorn, too, sought out the Seat to see what he could discover. It was as he made his way up the Hill of the Eye, accompanied by Samwise Gamgee, that Sam realised what Frodo's plan must be. Sam was able to catch his master Frodo before he set out across the Great River, and thus the two companions left the Hill of the Eye behind as they began their final desperate journey into the Black Land of Mordor. Elsewhere on the slopes of the hill, Boromir was slain by Orcs, who then carried away Merry and Pippin. The survivors of the broken Fellowship set Boromir's body in a funeral boat before departing the Hill of the Eye themselves to pursue the Orcs far across the fields of Rohan.



We are not told precisely when the Seat of Seeing was raised on the Hill of the Eye, except for a comment that it was made during the 'days of the great kings' (The Fellowship of the Ring II 9, The Great River). This is ambiguous, but seems to point to the time of Isildur and Anárion, early in the history of Gondor (and the strange arts apparently used in the making of the Seat also seem to point to this early date, when the Gondorians were at the height of their powers and skills).

The great statues of the Argonath that stood nearby dated from much later in Gondor's history, more than a thousand years after its founding. This was still a time when great kings could be said to rule the realm, so in principle the Seat of Seeing might have been raised on the Hill of the Eye by Regent Minalcar at this later date, in approximately the year III 1250.

See also...

Seat of Seeing


About this entry:

  • Updated 21 July 2023
  • This entry is complete

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