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Barad-dûr

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{{expansion}}{{sources}}
 
 
{{location
 
{{location
| image=[[Image:John Howe - The Dark Tower.jpg|300px]]
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| image=[[File:John Howe - The Dark Tower 01.jpg|250px]]
 
| name=Barad-dûr
 
| name=Barad-dûr
 
| type=Tower
 
| type=Tower
| location=northwestern [[Mordor]]
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| location=Northwestern [[Mordor]]
| inhabitants=[[Sauron]], [[Nazgul]], [[Orcs]]
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| inhabitants=[[Sauron]], [[Nazgûl]], [[Orcs]]
 
| realms=[[Mordor]]
 
| realms=[[Mordor]]
| description= gargantuan tower that hosted the [[Eye of Sauron]]
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| description= Gargantuan tower that hosted the [[Eye of Sauron]]
| othernames=[[Lugburz]], The Dark Tower
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| othernames=Lugburz, The Dark Tower
| etymology="Dark Tower"
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| etymology=[[Sindarin|S.]] "Dark Tower"
| events=[[Siege of Barad-dur]]
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| events=[[Siege of Barad-dur]], [[Downfall of Barad-dûr]]
| references=[[Unfinished Tales]], [[The Lord of the Rings]]
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| references=
|}}
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}}
  
 
{{Pronounce|Barad-dur.mp3|Ardamir}}
 
{{Pronounce|Barad-dur.mp3|Ardamir}}
  
<center>{{quote|"...wall upon wall, battlement upon battlement, black, immeasurably strong, mountain of iron, gate of steel, tower of adamant... Barad-dûr, fortress of Sauron."|Vision of [[Frodo Baggins]]<ref>[[J.R.R. Tolkien]], ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'', ''[[The Fellowship of the Ring]]'', "[[The Breaking of the Fellowship]]"</ref>}}</center>
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<center>{{quote|...wall upon wall, battlement upon battlement, black, immeasurably strong, mountain of iron, gate of steel, tower of adamant... Barad-dûr, fortress of Sauron.|Vision of [[Frodo Baggins]]<ref name="Breaking">{{FR|Breaking}}</ref>}}</center>
  
'''Barad-dûr''', the '''Dark Tower''', was the chief fortress of [[Sauron]], on the Plateau of [[Gorgoroth]] in [[Mordor]]. Known in [[Black Speech]] as '''[[Lugburz]]''', the Eye of Sauron kept watch over [[Middle-earth]] from its highest tower.
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'''Barad-dûr''', the '''Dark Tower''', was the chief fortress of [[Sauron]], on the Plateau of [[Gorgoroth]] in [[Mordor]]. Known in [[Black Speech]] as '''[[Barad-dûr#Etymology|Lugbúrz]]''', the Eye of Sauron kept watch over [[Middle-earth]] from its highest tower.
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 +
==Description==
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Barad-Dûr was built upon the end of a long southern spur of the [[Ered Lithui]] in the northern part of the [[Plateau of Gorgoroth]]. It stood about 30 miles east of [[Mount Doom]] and about 100 miles southeast of the [[Black Gate]]. There was both a road leading north to the Black Gate and Sauron's road to the [[Sammath Naur]] leading west to Mount Doom.<ref name="Mount Doom">{{RK|Doom}}</ref> Latter ran from the Dark Tower's western gate over a deep abyss, the plain and around the mountain to the dark entrance of the Chambers of Fire.
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 +
Barad-Dûr was the greatest fortress ever built since the Fall of [[Angband]]. It was founded upon a mighty iron mountain throne above immeasurable pits and appeared even blacker and darker than the mantling clouds and shades in which it stood. It was immeasurably strong with its countless gargantuan towers, walls and battlements and was made of very hard and unbreakable substances.<ref name="Breaking"/> Usually it was described as made of steel, iron or adamant. It had gaping gates, great courts and dungeons with deep and terrible prisons.<ref name="Mount Doom"/>
 +
Its topmost tower had cruel pinnacles and an iron crown from which in immeasurable height the piercing and never sleeping eye of Sauron stared out.
  
 
==History==
 
==History==
Barad-dûr was built by Sauron with the power of the [[One Ring]] during the [[Second Age]]. The building took six hundred years to complete; it was the greatest fortress ever built since the Fall of [[Angband]], and much of Sauron's personal power went into it.  
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===First Building===
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Sauron began to build Barad-dûr in around {{SA|1000}}, choosing Mordor as a land to make into a stronghold.<ref name="Tale">{{App|SA}}</ref> Around {{SA|1600}} he secretly forged the [[The One Ring|One Ring]] in the fires of [[Mount Doom]] and completed his fortress after 600 years of the construction with the power of the Ring.  
  
Barad-dûr was besieged for seven years by the [[Last Alliance of Elves and Men]], and was leveled after Sauron's defeat at the end of the [[Second Age]], but because it was created using the power of the One Ring its foundations could not be destroyed completely unless the Ring itself should be destroyed. [[Isildur]] failed to destroy the Ring, and so its foundations remained.  The tower was re-built when Sauron returned to Mordor thousands of years later.
+
During the following years Sauron was able to consolidate his power and extend it into the east.<ref name="Rings">{{S|Rings}}</ref> However, in {{SA|3262}}, [[Ar-Pharazôn]], king of [[Númenor]], landed at the [[Haven of Umbar]] with a great host and marched north to Mordor. Their splendor and might was so great that Sauron humbled himself before the king and came to Númenor as a hostage.
  
Only when the One Ring was destroyed did the Tower finally fall; without Sauron's power to sustain it, it could not stand. Barad-dûr collapsed to ruin and Sauron was finally defeated.
+
The year after the Downfall of Númenor in {{SA|3319}} Sauron's spirit secretly returned to Barad-dûr.<ref name="Tale"/> There he worked a terrible shape for himself, took up again the One Ring and prepared for war against the Eldar and the Exiles of Númenor who had established their realms in [[Arnor]] and [[Gondor]].<ref name="Rings"/> He succeeded in taking [[Minas Ithil]] but in {{SA|3430}}<ref name="Tale"/> [[Elendil]] and [[Gil-galad]] forged the [[Last Alliance of Elves and Men]] and defeated Sauron four years later in the [[Battle of Dagorlad]].<ref name="Rings"/> Then they passed into Mordor and besieged Barad-dûr. The siege lasted for seven years, Gil-galad and Elendil were slain and in {{SA|3441}}<ref name="Tale"/> Sauron was finally defeated.<ref name="Rings"/> Isildur son of Elendil cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand and took it for his own instead of destroying it. The Dark Tower was finally leveled but its foundations remained since Barad-dûr was created using the power of the One Ring and couldn't be destroyed as long as that existed.
  
==Appearance==
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===Reconstruction===
The Dark Tower was described as existing on a massive scale so large it was almost surreal, although Tolkien does not provide much detail beyond its size and immense strength. Since it had a "topmost tower" (the location of the Window of the Eye, from which the Eye of Sauron gazed out over Middle-earth), it presumably had multiple towers<ref>[[J.R.R. Tolkien]], ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'', ''[[The Return of the King]]'', "[[Mount Doom (chapter)|Mount Doom]]"</ref>. It is otherwise described as dark and surrounded in shadow, so that it could not be clearly seen.
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Around {{TA|1050}} Sauron returned and secretly made a stronghold at [[Dol Guldur]].<ref name="Tale"/> [[Gandalf]] did not discover that Sauron was the master of Dol Guldur until {{TA|2850}}, and in {{TA|2941}} the [[White Council]] attacked the fortress. Sauron retreated to Barad-dûr which the [[Nazgûl]] had prepared for him and began to rebuild it in {{TA|2951}}. From then on Sauron stayed in Barad-dûr and conducted his war on the free people of Middle-Earth from there.
  
Barad-Dûr was constructed mainly of metal. 'Adamant' usually refers to diamond, but it probably has the more general meaning of 'hard, unbreakable substance'.
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On [[25 March|March 25]], {{TA|3019}} the ring-bearer [[Frodo Baggins]] succeeded in destroying the One Ring, although it was the creature [[Gollum]] who actually held the ring as it fell into the [[Cracks of Doom]]. With the Ring destroyed Barad-dûr ultimately collapsed to ruin and Sauron was finally defeated.
From the main gate of the Tower, that was made of steel, a causeway ran out into the plain of Gorgoroth, across a mighty bridge. We also know that lava from Mount Doom was channeled back across that plain to Barad-dûr.
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Tolkien probably leaves details of the Tower's construction vague intentionally, as it was hidden by a cloud of shadow and darkness at all times. Frodo and Sam saw Barad-dûr as they journeyed to Mount Doom: '...rising black, blacker and darker than the vast shades amid which it stood, the cruel pinnacles and iron crown of the topmost tower of Barad-dûr...'<ref>[[J.R.R. Tolkien]], ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'', ''[[The Return of the King]]'', "[[Mount Doom (chapter)|Mount Doom]]"</ref>
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{{quote|A brief vision he had of swirling cloud, and in the midst of it towers and battlements, tall as hills, founded upon a mighty mountain-throne above immeasurable pits; great courts and dungeons, eyeless prisons sheer as cliffs, and gaping gates of steel and adamant: and then all passed. Towers fell and mountains slid; walls crumbled and melted, crashing down; vast spires of smoke and spouting steams went billowing up, up, until they toppled like an overwhelming wave, and its wild crest curled and came foaming down upon the land. And then at last over the miles between there came a rumble, rising to a deafening crash and roar; the earth shook, the plain heaved and cracked, and Orodruin reeled.|Vision of [[Samwise Gamgee]] from the downfall of Barad-Dûr<ref name="Mount Doom"/>}}
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 +
==Etymology==
 +
Barad-Dûr translates from [[Sindarin]] as "Dark Tower". ''[[barad]]'' means "tower" and ''[[dûr]]'' means "dark".<ref name="App">{{S|Appendix}}</ref>
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'''''Lugbúrz''''' was the name of Barad-dûr in the [[Black Speech]], composed of of the Black Speech words ''lûg'' ("fortress, lock-up, prison") and ''[[búrz]]'' ("dark").<ref>{{TT|III3}}</ref><ref>{{PE|17}}, p. 79</ref>
  
 
==Portrayal in adaptations==
 
==Portrayal in adaptations==
'''2001-3: ''[[Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings]]'':'''
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<center><gallery>
In the [[Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings|''Lord of the Rings'' movies]] by [[Peter Jackson]], [[Richard Taylor]] and his design team built a 9 foot high miniature ("[[Bigatures|big-ature]]") of Barad-dûr for use in the film.  Using the size scale for the model implemented for the films, the Dark Tower is  depicted as being over 1500 meters (5,000 feet) tall.
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File:The Return of the King (1980 film) - Barad-dûr.jpg|<center>[[The Return of the King (1980 film)|''The Return of the King'' (1980 film)]]</center>
[[Image:Barad-dur collapsing.jpg|thumb|right|Barad-dûr collapsing from [[Peter Jackson's The Return of the King]].]]
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Image:Barad-dur collapsing.jpg|<center>''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King]]''</center>
''[[Peter Jackson's The Return of the King|The Return of the King]]'' film also shows Barad-dûr as clearly visible from the [[Black Gate]] of Mordor. Even granting its enormous size, it was located one hundred miles away and to the east of the Gate, and behind the inner mountain ridges of [[Udûn]] so [[Aragorn]]'s army would probably not have been able to see it. In the film version, the geography of Mordor seems generally to have been compressed somewhat, perhaps for artistic reasons related to rendering such complex stories in a visual medium. In the case of the Black Gate scene, having Barad-dûr visible from the Gate means that the army can see the Eye of Sauron staring at them.
+
Image:Barad-dur_FOTR_game.png|<center>[[The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game)|''The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring'' (video game)]]</center>
 +
Image:Barad-dur_BFMEI.jpg|<center>''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth]]''</center>
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Image:Barad-dur_BFMEII.jpg|<center>''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II]]''</center>
 +
</gallery>
 +
</center>
 +
 
 +
'''1980: [[The Return of the King (1980 film)|''The Return of the King'' (1980 film)]]:'''
 +
:Barad-dûr is portrayed as a simple fortress. During a [[The One Ring|ring]]-induced dream, [[Samwise Gamgee|Sam]] dreams of taking the Ring and storming the Tower, but his common sense gains the upper hand in time.<ref>[[The Return of the King (1980 film)|''The Return of the King'' (1980 film)]], "[[Samwise the Strong]]"</ref>
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 +
'''1981: [[The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series)|''The Lord of the Rings'' (1981 radio series)]]:'''
 +
:Barad-dûr is one of the first sites visited. After the [[Witch-king]] captures [[Gollum]] snooping on the edge of Mordor, the [[Mouth of Sauron]] questions the creature in the Dark Tower.<ref>[[The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series)|''The Lord of the Rings'' (1981 radio series)]], "[[The Shadow of the Past (1982 episode)|The Shadow of the Past]]"</ref>
 +
 
 +
'''2001-03: [[The Lord of the Rings (film series)|''The Lord of the Rings'' (film series)]]:'''
 +
:In the [[The Lord of the Rings (film series)|''Lord of the Rings'' movies]] by [[Peter Jackson]], [[Richard Taylor]] and his design team built a 9 foot high miniature ("[[Bigatures|big-ature]]") of Barad-dûr for use in the film.  Using the size scale for the model implemented for the films, the Dark Tower is  depicted as being over 1500 meters (5,000 feet) tall.
 +
:''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King|The Return of the King]]'' also shows Barad-dûr as clearly visible from the [[Black Gate]] of Mordor. Even granting its enormous size, it was located one hundred miles away and to the east of the Gate, and behind the inner mountain ridges of [[Udûn (valley)|Udûn]] so [[Aragorn]]'s army would probably not have been able to see it. In the film version, the geography of Mordor seems generally to have been compressed somewhat, perhaps for artistic reasons related to rendering such complex stories in a visual medium. In the case of the Black Gate scene, having Barad-dûr visible from the Gate means that the army can see the Eye of Sauron staring at them.
 +
 
 +
'''2002: [[The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game)|''The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring'' (video game)]]:'''
 +
:The Tower is briefly visible in the opening scene. [[Galadriel]] narrates a vision from her [[Mirror of Galadriel|Mirror]]. It is only referred to a "The Dark Tower of Mordor", and it is the base of the [[Nazgûl|Ringwraiths]] (as opposed to [[Minas Morgul]]). The Eye of Sauron is portrayed as a fiery eye at the top, but only visible for a split second.
 +
 
 +
'''2004: ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth]]'':'''
 +
:Barad-dûr is shown in the introduction scene, looking similar to its movie design. It does not play a role in any of the campaigns, and does not appear on any of the maps.
 +
 
 +
'''2006: ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II]]'':'''
 +
:Like in its predecessor, the tower of Barad-dûr plays no active role in this game. In the "War of the Ring" mode, it can be seen in the territory of Mordor, but it is absent on the map itself.
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
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{{references}}
 
{{references}}
* [[Unfinished Tales]]
 
* [[The Lord of the Rings]]
 
  
[[Category:Towers]]
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{{DEFAULTSORT:Barad-dur}}
[[Category:Pronounced articles]]
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[[Category:Fortresses]]
[[Category:Sindarin words]]
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[[Category:Mordor]]
 
[[Category:Mordor]]
[[Category:Fortresses of Evil]]
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[[Category:Towers]]
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[[Category:Sindarin locations]]
  
 
[[de:Barad-dûr]]
 
[[de:Barad-dûr]]
[[fr:encyclo:geographie:villes_tours_et_forteresses:mordor:barad-dur]]
 
 
[[fi:Barad-dûr]]
 
[[fi:Barad-dûr]]
 
[[fi:Musta Torni]]
 
[[fi:Musta Torni]]
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[[fr:encyclo:geographie:villes_tours_et_forteresses:mordor:barad-dur]]

Revision as of 18:50, 29 December 2012

John Howe - The Dark Tower 01.jpg
Barad-dûr
Physical Description
TypeTower
LocationNorthwestern Mordor
RealmsMordor
InhabitantsSauron, Nazgûl, Orcs
DescriptionGargantuan tower that hosted the Eye of Sauron
General Information
Other namesLugburz, The Dark Tower
EtymologyS. "Dark Tower"
EventsSiege of Barad-dur, Downfall of Barad-dûr
"...wall upon wall, battlement upon battlement, black, immeasurably strong, mountain of iron, gate of steel, tower of adamant... Barad-dûr, fortress of Sauron."
― Vision of Frodo Baggins[1]

Barad-dûr, the Dark Tower, was the chief fortress of Sauron, on the Plateau of Gorgoroth in Mordor. Known in Black Speech as Lugbúrz, the Eye of Sauron kept watch over Middle-earth from its highest tower.

Contents

Description

Barad-Dûr was built upon the end of a long southern spur of the Ered Lithui in the northern part of the Plateau of Gorgoroth. It stood about 30 miles east of Mount Doom and about 100 miles southeast of the Black Gate. There was both a road leading north to the Black Gate and Sauron's road to the Sammath Naur leading west to Mount Doom.[2] Latter ran from the Dark Tower's western gate over a deep abyss, the plain and around the mountain to the dark entrance of the Chambers of Fire.

Barad-Dûr was the greatest fortress ever built since the Fall of Angband. It was founded upon a mighty iron mountain throne above immeasurable pits and appeared even blacker and darker than the mantling clouds and shades in which it stood. It was immeasurably strong with its countless gargantuan towers, walls and battlements and was made of very hard and unbreakable substances.[1] Usually it was described as made of steel, iron or adamant. It had gaping gates, great courts and dungeons with deep and terrible prisons.[2] Its topmost tower had cruel pinnacles and an iron crown from which in immeasurable height the piercing and never sleeping eye of Sauron stared out.

History

First Building

Sauron began to build Barad-dûr in around S.A. 1000, choosing Mordor as a land to make into a stronghold.[3] Around S.A. 1600 he secretly forged the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom and completed his fortress after 600 years of the construction with the power of the Ring.

During the following years Sauron was able to consolidate his power and extend it into the east.[4] However, in S.A. 3262, Ar-Pharazôn, king of Númenor, landed at the Haven of Umbar with a great host and marched north to Mordor. Their splendor and might was so great that Sauron humbled himself before the king and came to Númenor as a hostage.

The year after the Downfall of Númenor in S.A. 3319 Sauron's spirit secretly returned to Barad-dûr.[3] There he worked a terrible shape for himself, took up again the One Ring and prepared for war against the Eldar and the Exiles of Númenor who had established their realms in Arnor and Gondor.[4] He succeeded in taking Minas Ithil but in S.A. 3430[3] Elendil and Gil-galad forged the Last Alliance of Elves and Men and defeated Sauron four years later in the Battle of Dagorlad.[4] Then they passed into Mordor and besieged Barad-dûr. The siege lasted for seven years, Gil-galad and Elendil were slain and in S.A. 3441[3] Sauron was finally defeated.[4] Isildur son of Elendil cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand and took it for his own instead of destroying it. The Dark Tower was finally leveled but its foundations remained since Barad-dûr was created using the power of the One Ring and couldn't be destroyed as long as that existed.

Reconstruction

Around T.A. 1050 Sauron returned and secretly made a stronghold at Dol Guldur.[3] Gandalf did not discover that Sauron was the master of Dol Guldur until T.A. 2850, and in T.A. 2941 the White Council attacked the fortress. Sauron retreated to Barad-dûr which the Nazgûl had prepared for him and began to rebuild it in T.A. 2951. From then on Sauron stayed in Barad-dûr and conducted his war on the free people of Middle-Earth from there.

On March 25, T.A. 3019 the ring-bearer Frodo Baggins succeeded in destroying the One Ring, although it was the creature Gollum who actually held the ring as it fell into the Cracks of Doom. With the Ring destroyed Barad-dûr ultimately collapsed to ruin and Sauron was finally defeated.

"A brief vision he had of swirling cloud, and in the midst of it towers and battlements, tall as hills, founded upon a mighty mountain-throne above immeasurable pits; great courts and dungeons, eyeless prisons sheer as cliffs, and gaping gates of steel and adamant: and then all passed. Towers fell and mountains slid; walls crumbled and melted, crashing down; vast spires of smoke and spouting steams went billowing up, up, until they toppled like an overwhelming wave, and its wild crest curled and came foaming down upon the land. And then at last over the miles between there came a rumble, rising to a deafening crash and roar; the earth shook, the plain heaved and cracked, and Orodruin reeled."
― Vision of Samwise Gamgee from the downfall of Barad-Dûr[2]

Etymology

Barad-Dûr translates from Sindarin as "Dark Tower". barad means "tower" and dûr means "dark".[5]

Lugbúrz was the name of Barad-dûr in the Black Speech, composed of of the Black Speech words lûg ("fortress, lock-up, prison") and búrz ("dark").[6][7]

Portrayal in adaptations

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

Barad-dûr is portrayed as a simple fortress. During a ring-induced dream, Sam dreams of taking the Ring and storming the Tower, but his common sense gains the upper hand in time.[8]

1981: The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series):

Barad-dûr is one of the first sites visited. After the Witch-king captures Gollum snooping on the edge of Mordor, the Mouth of Sauron questions the creature in the Dark Tower.[9]

2001-03: The Lord of the Rings (film series):

In the Lord of the Rings movies by Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor and his design team built a 9 foot high miniature ("big-ature") of Barad-dûr for use in the film. Using the size scale for the model implemented for the films, the Dark Tower is depicted as being over 1500 meters (5,000 feet) tall.
The Return of the King also shows Barad-dûr as clearly visible from the Black Gate of Mordor. Even granting its enormous size, it was located one hundred miles away and to the east of the Gate, and behind the inner mountain ridges of Udûn so Aragorn's army would probably not have been able to see it. In the film version, the geography of Mordor seems generally to have been compressed somewhat, perhaps for artistic reasons related to rendering such complex stories in a visual medium. In the case of the Black Gate scene, having Barad-dûr visible from the Gate means that the army can see the Eye of Sauron staring at them.

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game):

The Tower is briefly visible in the opening scene. Galadriel narrates a vision from her Mirror. It is only referred to a "The Dark Tower of Mordor", and it is the base of the Ringwraiths (as opposed to Minas Morgul). The Eye of Sauron is portrayed as a fiery eye at the top, but only visible for a split second.

2004: The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth:

Barad-dûr is shown in the introduction scene, looking similar to its movie design. It does not play a role in any of the campaigns, and does not appear on any of the maps.

2006: The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II:

Like in its predecessor, the tower of Barad-dûr plays no active role in this game. In the "War of the Ring" mode, it can be seen in the territory of Mordor, but it is absent on the map itself.

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Breaking of the Fellowship"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Mount Doom"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Uruk-hai"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 79
  8. The Return of the King (1980 film), "Samwise the Strong"
  9. The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series), "The Shadow of the Past"