Attack on Dol Guldur

From Tolkien Gateway
Attack on Dol Guldur
Date: T.A. 2941
Place: Dol Guldur
Outcome: Victory for the White Council

The White Council

Forces of Sauron


The White Council


The Attack on Dol Guldur was an expedition launched by the White Council in T.A. 2941 against the fortress of Dol Guldur in southern Mirkwood.



When Sauron re-emerged in the Third Age, he established Dol Guldur on Amon Lanc after T.A. 1000. His corrupting shadow, known only as the "Necromancer", came over Mirkwood, and as a result Thranduil led his people away. The Council of the Wise long feared the Necromancer might indeed be Sauron; Gandalf himself entered Dol Guldur a couple of times, finally confirming that Sauron was its master. At first Saruman opposed the idea of an attack, as he was secretly searching for the One Ring in the area by then, but later, fearing that Sauron was also looking of the Ring, he finally agreed to an attack in 2941.[1]

The Battle

Gandalf carefully planned the attack to occur at the same time as the Quest of Erebor, knowing that Sauron and Smaug could not assist each other.[source?] After leaving Thorin and Company at the outskirts of Mirkwood,[2] he joined the White Council and they marched against the great fortress.

Little is known of the actual battle. It is unclear if this was simply a duel between great powers, or if it involved the use of armies of any kind. Thanks to the devices of Saruman the Wise, Sauron was driven out from Dol Guldur.[3] However, having already made his plans, he fled to his ancient realm of Mordor.[1]


With victory theirs, Gandalf immediately left for Erebor, where he would take part in the Battle of Five Armies.[4] After these events, Gandalf and Elrond discussed their victories and agreed that it would be better if the Necromancer were banished from the world altogether.[5]

However, Dol Guldur was not destroyed; it remained standing, staffed by the lieutenant of Barad-dûr, and later Khamûl.[6] It was not until the War of the Ring that the fortress was finally destroyed.

Portrayal in adaptations

Attack on Dol Guldur in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

2014: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies:

The Attack on Dol Guldur appears in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies as one of the main plot lines. After Gandalf was defeated and captured by Sauron in the previous film, the White Council (Galadriel, Saruman, Elrond and Radagast) come to his aid and rescue Gandalf from Sauron and the Nazgûl.