Tolkien Gateway

Carn Dûm

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| events= Assaults against [[Arnor]].
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Revision as of 22:37, 30 March 2011

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Carn Dûm
Stephen Walsh - Carn Dum.JPG
General Information
LocationLocated at the western end of the Mountains of Angmar, south of Forodwaith, northwest of Mount Gundabad
Descriptionvarious versions, see below
People and History
InhabitantsOrcs, Men of Darkness, Wolves, Trolls, and other evil creatures.
EventsAssaults against Arnor.
GalleryImages of Carn Dûm

Carn Dûm was the capital of Angmar.



Established on the very western end of the Mountains of Angmar, it was inhabited by the Witch-king of Angmar and his many servants: Men of Darkness, Orcs, and other fell creatures. From here he based his attacks on the three petty realms of Arnor, quickly managing to destroy Rhudaur and weaken Cardolan.

Arthedain fell in the Fall of Fornost in Third Age 1974, but the Witch-king was Battle of Fornost|routed]] by Glorfindel in 1975 and abandoned Carn Dûm. However it is likely that Orcs continued to live there Aragorn II, High King of the Reunited Kingdom liberated all of his lands.[source?]


The etymology of Carn Dûm is uncertain. Concerning the real world languages, it could be Gaelic, in which it roughly translates as "mountain fortress";[1] although Tolkien uses Celtic elements for some translated Mannish names, this would have been the only instance where he uses Gaelic. It is unknown whether this is just coincidence or not.

Though Sindarin in form and sound, neither words carn and dûm have been attested in Sindarin. Carn could be a form of caran, "red" possibly also seen in Carcharoth, "red maw".

Dûm is a Khuzdul word meaning "halls, mansions". The name could be Khuzdul (like Gundabad nearby) but Tolkien used K for this language instead of C.[2]

Other than that, it could be some unrecorded Avarin or Mannish language.

In The Return of the Shadow, "Carndoom" appears as an early name of Dimrill Dale which, according to Tolkien, means "Red Valley". This corresponds with Sindarin carn "red" and tûm "valley".[3]

See also

Portrayal in Adaptations

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

Carn Dum is the capital of Angmar. The campaign begins with its construction, and it is besieged once by Glorfindel. Carn dum is also playabe in the skirmish section of the game.

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Carn Dum is a region in the game. It is ruled by Angmar's shadow that has returned to this city in the form of the False King, Mordirith, Steward of Angmar.


  1. Carn Dûm at the Encyclopedia of Arda
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix E, "Pronunciation of Words and Names"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Return of the Shadow, "The Story Continued: XXIV. The Ring Goes South, Notes" (note 13, p. 433)