|"Ash Mountains" by Kevin Ward|
|Other names||Ash Mountains|
|Location||Boundary between Mordor and Rhovanion|
|Description||Barren, rugged, grey mountains|
|Events||Wainriders sudden assault upon King Ondoher|
The Ered Lithui, or the Ash Mountains, were a mountain range on the northern border of Mordor which separated it from Rhovanion. They ran about 500 miles from east to west. One south-western 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.
The Ered Lithui were rugged and forbidding, described as being composed of "broken peaks and barren ridges". Its rocks were coloured grey as ash.
In T.A. 1944, 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. The Wainriders were greatly speeded by a long-neglected road that ran from the Morannon fifty miles to the east.
On 5 March 3019, Frodo, Sam, and Gollum looked upon the Ered Lithui before turning aside to journey to Ithilien. From 19 March through 22 March, Frodo and Sam crawled slowly east on the road from Cirith Gorgor to Barad-dûr that hugged the slopes of the Ered Lithui.
Name and etymology
Ered Lithui is a Sindarin name. It means "ashen mountains". It is a compound of ered, the plural of orod ("mountain") and lith with the adjectival suffix ui. The name was likely taken from their ash-grey hue.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Black Gate is Closed"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
- 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
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", note 15
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Mount Doom"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, "Unfinished index for The Lord of the Rings", in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 457
- 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