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Ered Lithui

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Kevin Ward - Ash Mountains.jpg
Ered Lithui
Physical Description
TypeMountain Range
LocationBetween Mordor and Rhovanion
RealmsMordor
DescriptionBarren, rugged, grey mountains
General Information
EventsWainriders sudden assault upon King Ondoher

The Ered Lithui, or the Ash Mountains, was a mountain range on the northern border of Mordor which separated it from Rhovanion. It ran about 500 miles from east to west. One southwestern ridge divided the Plateau of Gorgoroth from Lithlad. A shorter southern spur within Gorgoroth ended at Barad-dûr. The west end of the Ash Mountains met the Mountains of Shadow. Between the Mountains of Shadow and the Ash Mountains was Udûn.[1]

The Ered Lithui was rugged and forbidding, described as being composed of "broken peaks and barren ridges". Its rocks were colored grey as ash.[2]

History

In T.A. 1944[3] King Ondoher of Gondor was leading an army to Dagorlad to challenge the Wainriders. It was expected that the enemy would assault them from the north or northeast, but the Wainriders came directly from the east, using the cover of the Ered Lithui to conceal their approach.[4] The Wainriders were greatly speeded by a long-neglected road that ran from the Morannon fifty miles to the east.[5]

On 5 March 3019,[6] Frodo, Sam, and Gollum looked upon the Ered Lithui before turning aside to journey to Ithilien.[2] From 19 March through 22 March[6] Frodo and Sam crawled slowly east on the road from Cirith Gorgor to Barad-dûr that hugged the slopes of the Ered Lithui.[7]

Name and etymology

Ered Lithui is Sindarin for "Mountains of Ash", consisting of the words ered and lithui. The name "Mountains of Ash", or "Ashy Mountains", were likely inspired by their ash-grey hue.[8]

Perhaps the range was downwind of Mount Doom and collected its ash fallout.

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Black Gate is Closed"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", (i) The Northmen and the Wainriders
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan",note 15
  6. 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Mount Doom"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 765