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In J. R. R. Tolkien's high fantasy universe of Middle-earth, the White Tree of Gondor stood as a symbol of Gondor in the Court of the Fountain in Minas Tirith. The White Tree also appears as a motif upon Gondor's flag and throughout its heraldry combined with the seven stars of the House of Elendil and the crown of the King.
First White Tree
The first White Tree of Gondor came from a fruit that Isildur, at great personal risk, managed to steal from Nimloth the Fair, the White Tree of Númenor, before it was destroyed at Sauron's insistence. He suffered many wounds at this mission, and he came near death, but when the first leaf of the planted fruit opened in the spring, Isildur was healed of his wounds.
This sapling was brought to Middle-earth on Isildur's ship, and it was eventually planted in Minas Ithil before the house of Isildur. But when Sauron returned to Middle-earth, he launched a sudden attack that captured Minas Ithil, and he destroyed the White Tree.
Second White Tree
Isildur escaped the capture of Minas Ithil, taking with him a sapling of the White Tree to Minas Anor where it was planted in the citadel courtyard in memory of his slain brother Anárion. This tree died in 1636 during the Great Plague.
Third White Tree
At this time no seedling of the tree could be found as the tree had rarely flowered after the line of the Kings had failed and therefore no fruit was produced. It was left standing after its death "until the King returns".
Fourth White Tree
When Aragorn became king he discovered (with Gandalf's help) a sapling of the White Tree upon the slopes of Mindolluin, high above the city, which he reverently planted in the Court of the Fountain. The dead tree was removed from the court but was placed in the Tombs of the Kings with all the honour that would normally be accorded a fallen monarch. In June of the year 3019 of the Third Age the sapling was already laden with blossom.
|Galathilion of Tirion upon Túna.|
Made by Yavanna in the image of
Telperion, the Silver Tree of Valinor
|Celeborn of Tol Eressëa|
|Nimloth the Fair of Númenor|
|First White Tree of Minas Ithil|
Planted by Isildur, Second Age
|Second White Tree of Minas Anor|
Planted by Isildur
T.A. 2 to T.A. 1636
|Third White Tree of Minas Tirith|
T.A. 1640 to T.A. 2852
|Fourth White Tree of Minas Tirith|
Planted by Aragorn in T.A. 3019
The finding of the sapling is not seen in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). However, in the film we momentarily see a single blossom of "hope" on the previously dead tree during the Siege of Gondor and the imminent arrival of Aragorn on the Black Ships. At the time of the crowning of Aragorn the previously dead tree has returned to life and is in full blossom.
- "White Tree of Gondor". Tolkien Gateway.