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Morgul Pass

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The Morgul Pass was a pass in a great ravine at the head of the Morgul Vale through the Ephel Dúath.[1][2]

The Morgul-road ran from Osgiliath through the Morgul Vale past the gates of the city of Minas Morgul[3] through the great ravine at the head of the Morgul Vale over the Morgul Pass to the valley between the Ephel Dúath and the Morgai, over a bridge of stone[4] and through a jagged rift in the Morgai out into Gorgoroth and on to Barad-dûr.[5]

The Nameless Pass was probably another name for the Morgul Pass, because the wraith-road ran from the dead city in a great revine at the head of the Morgul Valley to the Nameless Pass that was also referred to as the main pass, which Frodo could see from above on the winding stairs that led to the tunnel and the pass of Cirith Ungol that was guarded by the Tower of Cirith Ungol[2] and because a broad road ran from the Tower of Cirith Ungol down to join the road that came over the Morgul Pass.[5] As a consequence, the Nameless Pass was probably not another name for the pass of Cirith Ungol.[6] The pass of Cirith Ungol was located in a cleft on the slope of the mountain on the left side of the Morgul pass and could be reached by climbing the stairs of Cirith Ungol at the beginning of the Morgul Vale[2] and by passing trough a tunnel[7] and taking a long flight of broad shallow steps to the cleft[8] with the crown of the pass after which the road turned left and plunged steeply down.[5]

During the War of the Ring Frodo, Sam and Gollum took the stairs of Cirith Ungol that led to the pass of Cirith Ungol, because they wanted to avoid passing by close to Minas Morgul and as a consequence did not use the Morgul Pass.[2] After the Battle of the Pelennor Fields the army of the West left a strong guard at the Cross-roads to defend it in case enemies came over the Morgul Pass from Mordor or came up from the South.[9]

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Stairs of Cirith Ungol"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Journey to the Cross-Roads"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Land of Shadow"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Tower of Cirith Ungol"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Index", contrary to the entries "Cirith Ungol [Pass of the Spider] (High Pass, Nameless Pass)" and "Nameless Pass see Cirith Ungol"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Shelob's Lair"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Choices of Master Samwise"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Black Gate Opens"