Tolkien Gateway

Two Watchers

The Two Watchers
The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King - Two Watchers.jpg
The Two Watchers from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Biographical Information
LocationTower of Cirith Ungol
Physical Description
GalleryImages of the Two Watchers

The Two Watchers were two carved figures that guarded the gateway of the Tower of Cirith Ungol with a strange and malevolent will, inhabited by "some dreadful spirit of evil vigilance". Each was formed of three bodies - one guarding the way into the tower, one the way out, and the third staring across the gateway itself. Their faces were the faces of vultures, with eyes of black stone. They had the power to block entry to the tower, or escape from it, through the force of their will alone, and were able to send up a shrill alarm call if their guard was breached.[1]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

1980: The Return of the King (1980 film):

Samwise Gamgee encounters the Watchers while attempting to enter the tower to rescue Frodo Baggins. He sets off the alarm, but gets by them by using the Phial of Galadriel. When he and Frodo encounter them once again when trying to leave the tower, they put up more of a resistance to the Phial, but give in when Frodo helps Sam use it.

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

The Silent Watchers of Cirith Ungol are a type of Pûkel-creatures ("animated stone or metal monsters magically instilled with enchanted spirits").[2] The Watchers-in-Stone of Moria are enchanted statues, inhabited by magical Spirits said to resemble the "spell-sewn Power that inhabits the 'Two Watchers'".[3]

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:

The Watchers are seen in the film, but never come into play, nor are they ever even acknowledged.

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (video game):

The Watchers appear during the opening cutscene of the "Cirith Ungol" level, where their eyes glow red when Sam tries to enter the tower, and briefly obstruct him with an invisible wall.

2007-: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Watching Stones resemble common statues, but "hold the trapped spirit of malice within". These vigilant statues were created by Sauron and many guard the lands of Angmar.[4]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Tower of Cirith Ungol"
  2. Ruth Sochard Pitt, Jeff O'Hare, Peter C. Fenlon, Jr. (1994), Creatures of Middle-earth (2nd edition) (#2012), pp. 121-2
  3. Peter C. Fenlon, Jr. (1994), Moria (2nd edition) (#2011)
  4. Bestiary: Watching Stone at The Lord of the Rings Online Vault (accessed 5 March 2011)