Battle of Dagorlad

From Tolkien Gateway
The name Battle of Dagorlad refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Battle of Dagorlad (disambiguation).
Battle of Dagorlad
Conflict: War of the Last Alliance
Date: S.A. 3434
Place: The plains of Dagorlad outside Mordor
Outcome: Decisive victory for the Last Alliance

Last Alliance of Elves and Men

Hosts of Mordor




Great host of Dúnedain; Elves of Lindon, Rivendell, Mirkwood, and Lothlórien; Dwarves of Khazad-dûm; beasts and birds

Great host of Orcs, Evil Men, some Dwarves of other Houses, and other evil creatures


Heavy: half of the Galadhrim army lost[1]

Vast numbers, more than the allies

It was a great battle. Tall Men with long swords, and terrible Elves, and Orcses shrieking. They fought on the plain for days and months at the Black Gates.

The Battle of Dagorlad occurred in the year 3434 of the Second Age. It was fought between the army of the Last Alliance under Gil-galad and Elendil and an army of Orcs and other creatures loyal to Sauron. The battle took place on the great, treeless, open plain of Dagorlad, between the Dead Marshes and Cirith Gorgor.



Main article: War of the Last Alliance

The united host of Elves and Men crossed the Misty Mountains and marched south through the vale of Anduin, where they were joined by the Silvan Elves led by Malgalad[note 1] and Oropher,[1] with a host from Khazad-dûm.[2]

The Alliance entered the vast plain near the Black Gate, where they were joined by Anárion's forces from the south, and confronted at last the black legions of Mordor.

The Silvan Elves had little sympathy for the Sindar and Noldor that were led by Gil-galad. As a result, they were indisposed to place themselves under the supreme command of the High King of the Noldor.


The Battle of Dagorlad by John Howe

During preliminary skirmishing, the Silvan Elves defying Gil-galad's command, rashly charged against the numerous host of Mordor, before the King had given the order. The Silvans were valiant and doughty, but ill-equipped compared to their nobler kin. Oropher perished in the first onslaught while Malgalad and his troops were cut off and driven into the marshes where half of his host perished.[1] This area became known afterwards as the Dead Marshes, because of the thousands of bodies buried there. This battle raged for months.[3]

Elendil and Gil-galad eventually gained the upper hand. Thus Elves and Númenóreans finally pushed the enemy hordes back towards the Black Gate and broke through Cirith Gorgor.[2]


A great part of Sauron's soldiers were slain in this battle. The Alliance was able to enter Mordor, establish a camp upon the Plateau of Gorgoroth and lay the Siege of Barad-dûr itself. Nevertheless Sauron still had enough supplies to defend the fortress for seven more years, until the siege was so pressing that he himself came forth, which led to the battle on the slopes of Orodruin in which Sauron was defeated and the One Ring taken from him.[2]

Oropher's son Thranduil survived the war and established his reign over the Silvan Elves in the Woodland Realm.

The slain were buried and their graves eventually were engulfed by the Dead Marshes.[3]

In the Third Age, the Dagorlad was the site of several battles between Gondor and various Easterling armies, and the climactic Battle of the Morannon.


  1. In other texts published in Unfinished Tales this individual is named Amdír.