Guide to The Lord of the Rings/Places/Gondor

Gondor is a fictional kingdom in J. R. R. Tolkien's writings, described as the greatest realm of Men in the west of Middle-earth by the end of the Third Age.


Tolkien intended the name Gondor to represent a sample of Sindarin, an Elven language devised by him, and within the books used by the Dúnedain for nomenclature.[1] The word means "land of stone",[2] and is echoed in the text of The Lord of the Rings by the name for Gondor among the Rohirrim, Stoningland.[3] The implications of these names were not explained by the author, although his early writings suggest that this was a reference to the highly developed masonry of Gondorians in contrast to their rustic neighbours'.[4] This view is supported by the Drúedain terms for Gondorians and Minas Tirith—Stonehouse-folk and Stone-city.[5]

A reader once asked Tolkien whether the name Gondor had been inspired by the ancient Ethiopian citadel of Gondar. Tolkien replied that he was unaware of having heard the word before, and that the root Ond went back to an account he had read as a child mentioning ond ("stone") as one of only two words known of the pre-Celtic languages of Britain.[6]

Gondor is often referred to in the books as the South-kingdom or Southern Realm, and together with Arnor as the Númenórean Realms in Exile. Researchers Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull have also proposed a Quenya translation of Gondor, Ondonórë.[7]

General OverviewEdit


  1. Return of the King, Appendix F, "Of Men", p. 405
  2. Etymologies, entries GOND-, NDOR-
  3. Return of the King, "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields", p. 124–5
  4. Return of the Shadow, "New Uncertainties and New Projections", pp. 379–381
  5. Return of the King, "The Ride of the Rohirrim", p. 104–8
  6. Carpenter 1981, no. 324
  7. Hammond & Scull 2005, "The Great River", p. 347