Siege of the Nazgul

I know this is either waaay late or waay too early, but I used to be a regular listener on Twitter from approximately episode 15-16 until the Council of Elrond when I had to break for law school, then the Army. I started up again regularly around episode 280.

So the week of New Year's I started re-watching the series thus far from the very beginning. I hit the end of Book 1 on May 17, and the most recent episode was the discussion on Frodo through the Looking Glass.

Anyway, a question I had at the time, but never thought to put in the forums, and haven't seen in the forums, is this:

We did a thorough examination of the Nazgul "siege" of both Crickhollow and Weathertop. I have always been fascinated by the Tale of Years in Appendix B, and it records that in the year 2000 of the Third Age, the Nazgul issue from Mordor and lay siege to Minas Ithil. That siege is said to last for two years. Can we see how that siege might have been prosecuted from the Ringwraith's actions in Buckland and the dell under Weathertop? Is it possible that the Nine stationed themselves around the city and over the course of two years gradually tightened their proximity to the city and each other until suddenly one day the inhabitants of Minas Ithil finally succumbed to the dread terror of the Nazgul?

We are not told of any battles fought, or any relief sent from the rest of Gondor. While Gondor was in decline, it was still able to fight a two front war 55 years earlier and had sent a relief force the size and splendor of which amazed the Elves of the Havens and the Men of Arnor a mere 25 years earlier. My main reason for thinking that the siege of the Nazgul was mostly spiritual is that last bit. If Gondor, while in a state of decline, could send an expeditionary force to Arnor, but no record is made of any attempts to rescue Minas Ithil, is it possible that the rest of Gondor did not know what was happening until after the City had fallen? While the king's seat had moved from Osgiliath to Minas Anor about 350 years earlier, both Osgiliath and Ithilien (which, to be fair, had since become Gondor's frontier) were still populated and there was still a king on the throne. But I would find it highly unlikely that King Eärnil II knew and did nothing when he had sent his son with what force they could spare to the fall of Fornost. I'd find it easier to believe that they didn't know and only found out from survivors after the fact, in a "how long had this feeling lingered over the city" kind of post-capture analysis.
 
First up, I just think it's hilarious that you took off time to go to law school, and then joined the army, and came back and in that whole time we've completed a grand total of two chapters.

I think you've got a good idea about the siege of Minas Ithil. It makes sense if just over a couple of years people just moved away in dribs and drabs because of a general sense of dread, then if a sudden military force sprang up the city would fall immediately. The Palantir of Minas Ithil was there at the time, right (since that's how Sauron got hold of it)? So Minas Ithil would have been in instant communications with Minas Anor. So it wouldn't make sense for them to be under active military attack for two years without any reinforcements coming from across the river.

Bruce
 
That's right, I had even forgotten about the Palantir. Yes, that would still be there. I wonder if that's the means by which the final assault was relayed across the Anduin.

I also didn't point out, but it came to me right after: there's no way Prince Earnur would stood idly by. Assuming people knew the WK was involved in this assault. Even if his dad didn't have the forces, Earnur would have surely done something.
 
I think you are right. It was a purely spiritual (or spiritual/terror) siege. I imagine it was done quite subtly. Fear and disquiet building up slowly but inexorably. Little by little, the inhabitants might have left under the influence of subtle Morgal spells. The end might have been violent and horrific, however, to prevent the rulers of the city from leaving and bearing the palantir away with them?
 
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