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Topic: Ways of escape

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: Apr 25, 2006
Ways of escape

The 'Edoras defences' post made me think - why didn't Helms deep have a proper way of escape through the mountains behind instead of a small narrow mountain path?

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: Apr 25, 2006
simply because this was not possible.
the Hornburg had been built in the Deeping-coomb by the men of Gondor in the days of old, so that it would serve together with the tower of Orthanc and the ring of Angrenost against any possible invasion attempt from the west. Its initial purpose was not that of refuge in times of need, but that of garrison to the south of the fords of the Isen, where soldiers could prepair to attack any forces coming from the west.
Also, as we are told, the mountains there were very high, and their walls were steep, so a path through the mountains could not be made. The best idea could have been a tunnel in the Caves of Aglarond that came out on the other side of the mountains, but the Rohirrim never made such a thing, because they probably thought the Hornburg would never be conquered, and that there would be no need to make an escape path.
Also, as I said, the idea that only the Hornburg was like a trap during the siege is false.
Even Minas Tirith was a trap during a siege, as the only way to run was up on Mindolluin, or in the Hallows, so if we think that way, it didn't have a better route of escape.

The only known great city that had a specially made route of escape was of course Erebor.
There is however a chance that such an escape tunnel was created in the caves of Aglarond by the Dwarves in the beginning of the fourth age.
A quote from Appendix B, Lotr:
"After the fall of Sauron, Gimli brought south a part of the Dwarf-folk of Erebor, and he became Lord of the Glittering Caves. He and his people did great works in Gondor and Rohan. For Minas Tirith they forged gates of mithril and steel to replace those broken by the Witch-king."
considering the fact that Gimli was the lord of the Glittering Caves, and that the Dwarves made some works for Rohan as well, one could assume, though without great proof that such a tunnel was constructed.

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: May 8, 2006
Yes but Minas Tirith is shaped as a semi circle aganist the Mindollin so they would have over 180 degrees of angle to escape from (excluding the Battle of Pellenor which was an exceptionally large force). Helms deep however was right in a ravine so only had one means of escape and that was impossible becuase thats is where the enemy attacked from! I do not see however why they could have not made a tunnel through the White mountains as a precaution if the enemy was to overwhelm them.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: May 8, 2006
as I already said, they felt sure of their power, and they didn't feel such a work was necessary.
And also, I doubt they could have done it alone. Even if they were able to build walls and towers, a tunnel is a lot more complicated. That is why, also as I already said, they might have asked the dwarves to do that for them, considering that Gimli dwelt at Aglarond and that we know the dwarves did works for Rohan. Probably only after the battle of Helm's deep, when the Rohirrim really saw that the Hornburg was not undestructible, they decided to make a tunnel.
As I said, this is only speculation, but it would be one of the probable works done by the dwarves.
Indeed, Minas Tirith was much bigger, but, if during a siege, a line of enemies would form a half-circle around the city at a safe distance, it would also give the defenders no chance to escape.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: May 20, 2006
I am probably wrong in saying this, but I thought there was a route you could take up through the Mindolin (sp) from the top of Minas Tirith?

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: May 20, 2006
yes
there was a way from the sicth level of Minas Tirith up to Mindolluin
Aragorn and Gandalf took that way and found the last seed of the white tree

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: May 20, 2006

Am I also correct in saying that Mindolin was very steep behind Minas Tirith? I would have thought that Helms Deep could create a similar path behind them, perhaps in a spiral formation to level it off a bit?



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: May 20, 2006
no, it was not so steep
and plus, there was no place for any people up on Mindolluin (and not Mindolin)
it was only a mountain, not a cave or a plateau where you could hide people, also no way down on the other side
and don't compare Mindolluin with the walls of the Deeping Coomb

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Soldier of the East - Rank 4
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Date: Oct 12, 2006
TM is right on everything stated. Helmsdeep can not be compared with Minis-Tirith. They didn't think that they would need an escape from Helmsdeep. And, the mountains of the Deeping Coomb are way to steep.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: Oct 12, 2006
indeed...the pride of the Rohirrim almost brought them their downfall...fortuantely they managed to break the siege.
the only way to perhaps attempt an escape was the small hidden door on one side of the walls. Still, chance of success would be small.

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