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We ought to look carefully at how Tolkien used the word tower in The Lord of the Rings. The oldest and primary sense of the word is (per the Oxford English Dictionary), A building lofty in proportion to the size of its base, either isolated, or forming part of a castle, church, or other edifice, or of the walls of a town, with this meaning ...


As you say, towers are designed to guard and to spy. That doesn't mean that they are only useful as part of a fortified wall (like the Towers of the Teeth that guard the Black Gate), or to spy on a land from the border (like the tower of Cirith Ungol that was built to spy on Mordor). Towers are strong defensive structures that can protect those inside. ...

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