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Plateau of Gorgoroth

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The name Gorgoroth refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Gorgoroth (disambiguation).
Ted Nasmith - Across Gorgoroth.jpg
Plateau of Gorgoroth
Physical Description
TypePlateau
LocationNorthwestern Mordor
RealmsMordor
InhabitantsSauron
Orcs
Men allied to Sauron
DescriptionBarren region scarred with countless pits dug by Orcs
General Information
EventsSiege of Barad-dûr (Second Age)
Downfall of Barad-dûr (Third Age)

The Plateau of Gorgoroth was a high desolate plain in northwestern Mordor enclosed by the Ephel Duath on the west and the Ered Lithui on the north. The only known passages into the plateau through these mountain walls were the Isenmouthe (from Udûn and the Morannon), Cirith Ungol, and the Morgul Vale.[1] To the southeast, between two arms of the mountain ranges, was a gap that opened upon the land of Nurn.[2]

In this dreary wasteland fumes issued from fissures in the ground and smoke curled and settled in hollows. Centered in the desolation some forty miles east of the Ephel Duath rose Mount Doom. It and Barad-dûr, situated on a spur of the Ered Lithui, dominated the landscape of the plateau.[3]

History

c. S.A. 1000 Sauron selected Mordor as his stronghold and began building Barad-dûr above the plateau.[4]

In 3434 the host of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men entered Gorgoroth and began their siege of Sauron's fortress, during which (in 3440) Anárion was slain. After seven years the siege ended when Sauron was defeated and his Ring was taken.[4]

Sauron returned to Mordor in T.A. 2951 and began rebuilding Barad-dûr, which had been torn down after his defeat in the Second Age.[5]

When Frodo and Sam first looked upon Gorgoroth (on 16 March 3019[6]) they spied innumerable camps of Men made of huts and drab buildings, connected by a network of roads. In this region were Sauron's mines and forges for equipping his vast armies.[3]

On 19 March, after escaping the Orcs at the Isenmouthe, the hobbits traveled on the road to Barad-dûr along the northern edge of Gorgoroth. Three days later they left the road and headed south across the plateau to Mount Doom, reaching it on 24 March.[6]

Etymology

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Land of Shadow"
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  6. 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", gor
  8. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 233