Weathertop as a lot of fans know it, but it’s true name was known as Amon Sul, which was a hill in the Eriador region of Middle-earth, the southernmost and highest summit of the Weather Hills, hence the name “Weathertop”. The watch tower at its top overlooked the Great East Road in central Eriador, east of Bree, about halfway between the Shire and Rivendell.
This great hill was a watchtower and according to the Atlas of Middle Earth, it was around a thousand feet tall and stood abroad against relatively flat lands around it. The lower Weather Hills stretched northwards and offered a very commanding view of every direction. There was a path that led from the north side of Weathertop to the other surrounding Weather Hills.
The strategic importance of Weathertop was recognised early, and during the reign of Elendil the Dunedain of Arnor built a watchtower on its summit, installing the most powerful of Arnor’s three Palantíri in the tower. This Palantír further enhanced Weathertop’s value, as it could be used for intelligence gathering and rapid communication with the King in Annuminas, or later in Fornost.
In the third age around year 861, Arnor was divided into the kingdoms of Arthedain, Cardolan and Rhudaur. Weathertop stood at the junction of their borders, and became the focus of a long-running territorial dispute between the three kingdoms, with frequent border skirmishes and minor wars. During this time, Weathertop may have changed hands on several occasions. By the latter part of the 14th century, Weathertop was controlled by Arthedain and Cardolan, which were at that time allied against Rhudaur and Angmar, and was the chief fortress in their fortified border with Rhudaur. The watchtower and fortifications were burned and destroyed in the year 1409 by forces of the Witchking.
King Arveleg I was slain while defending the watchtower, but the Dunedain of Arthedain saved the Palantír and took it to their capital at Fornost. By the time of the War of the Ring only a ring of broken stonework remained of the watchtower forever leaving it a broken ruin of Middle Earth’s great past.
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