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Ted Nasmith - Maedhros’s Rescue from Thangorodrim.jpg
"Maedhros's Rescue from Thangorodrim" by Ted Nasmith
General Information
LocationNorth of Beleriand
DescriptionThe highest peaks in Middle-earth
InhabitantsFollowers of Morgoth
GalleryImages of Thangorodrim

Thangorodrim (pron. [ˌθaŋɡoˈrodrim]) was a group of three volcanic mountains in the Iron Mountains in the north of Middle-earth during the First Age. The highest peaks in Middle-earth, they were raised by Morgoth, who delved his fortress of Angband beneath them, and far back into the Iron Mountains.[1]


[edit] History

Henning Janssen - Three Peaks Fortified

Thangorodrim was said to have been the piles of slag from Morgoth's furnaces and rubble from the delving of Angband, but at the same time they were solid enough to form sheer precipices; Maedhros was nailed to a cliff of Thangorodrim, and Húrin imprisoned on a high terrace. The tops of Thangorodrim perpetually smoked, and sometimes spewed forth lava. The three peaks of Thangorodrim functioned as furnaces for Morgoth's great smithies deep in Angband.

For a time the Eagles lived on Thangorodrim, but at some time during the First Age they removed to the Crissaegrim near Gondolin.

At the base of the south face of the middle peak was the Great Gates of Angband, a deep canyon leading into the mountain, lined with towers and forts. There were also a number of secret gates scattered around the sides of the mountain group, from which Morgoth's hosts could issue forth and surprise their foes.

Along with Beleriand and the entire west of Middle-earth, Thangorodrim was destroyed in the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age when the defeated dragon Ancalagon the Black fell on them.[1]

[edit] Position and size

The position and size of Thangorodrim are unclear. One drawing by Tolkien, if to scale, would have made Thangorodrim 35,000 ft high, and the statement that it lay 150 leagues (450 Númenórean miles) north of Menegroth puts it too far away for some of the action in The Silmarillion to make sense; a distance of 150-200 miles would have been more consistent. It is possible that with the higher figure Tolkien was not referring to 'as the eagle flies', but rather 'as the wolf runs': the plateau of Dorthonion forced a long detour which added the extra 200, 250 miles to the distance.[2]

[edit] Etymology

Thangorodrim is a Sindarin name meaning "Mountains of Tyranny"[3] or "mountain-chain of tyranny".[4] The name consists of thang ("compulsion, oppression") + orodrim ("mountain-chain").[3][5]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

1995-8: Middle-earth Collectible Card Game:

The "Remains of Thangorodrim" is an Under-deeps site (conceived as having been drowned in the ocean during the War of Wrath, but surviving as ruins). It cannot be reached from the surface, only through the adjacent site the Drowning-deeps.


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion
  2. Karen Wynn Fonstad (1991), The Atlas of Middle-earth
  3. 3.0 3.1 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. 116
  4. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 230 (citing from the Unfinished index)
  5. Compound Sindarin Names in Middle-earth at (accessed 14 July 2011)