Tolkien Gateway


The Fellowship of the Ring at the Redhorn Gate as depicted by Ted Nasmith.
Physical Description
Locationabove Khazad-dûm, between Celebdil and Fanuidhol, on the border between Eriador and Rhovanion
Belongs tothe Misty Mountains
General Information
Other namesRedhorn (W), Baraz(inbar) (K)
EventsCapture of Celebrían
Attempt of Fellowship of the Ring to cross Misty Mountains
GalleryImages of Caradhras
"Caradhras was called the Cruel, and had an ill name long years ago, when rumour of Sauron had not been heard in these lands."
Gimli in The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Ring Goes South"

Caradhras was one of the mightiest peaks in the Misty Mountains.


[edit] Geography

[edit] Mountain

Caradhras by Tom Cross

Caradhras was the tallest and northernmost of the Mountains of Moria, the three mountains which the great Dwarf city of Khazad-dûm was built under. The other two were Celebdil ("Silvertine") and Fanuidhol ("Cloudyhead"). Caradhras was described as "mighty peak, tipped with snow like silver, but with sheer naked sides". In the light of the rising or setting sun it appeared "dull red as if stained with blood".

Caradhras was called the Cruel by the Dwarves and had long had a bad reputation.[1] It was the site in Middle-earth where mithril was found and where Dwarves woke Durin's Bane, the Balrog of Moria.[2]

[edit] Redhorn Gate

The Redhorn Gate (also called the Redhorn Pass) was a narrow and dangerous pass through the Misty Mountains that led from the wilds of Eriador through to Rhovanion beyond. Sheer and steep, it climbed across the southern slopes of Caradhras and led down into the Dimrill Dale and hence the Vale of Anduin beyond the Mountains.[1]

The Pass was traversed by the Stoors migrating from the Vales of Anduin into Eriador, from where they headed to the Angle and Dunland (c. T.A. 1150).[3]

The Redhorn Gate was known to be treacherous. It was on this pass in T.A. 2509 that Celebrían, the wife of Elrond, was captured by Orcs of the Misty Mountains.[4]

After the fall of Khazad-dûm, this pass was predominantly used by elves travelling between Lothlórien and Eriador. On 11 January - 12, T.A. 3019, the Fellowship of the Ring attempted to cross the Misty Mountains by the Redhorn Gate.[5] They came into a fierce blizzard and could not go any further because of the deep snow. Thus were they defeated by the ill will of the mountain and were forced to cross under the Misty Mountains through the Mines of Moria.[1]

[edit] Etymology

The name is Sindarin and means "Redhorn". It is composed of caran ("red") and ras ("horn"). As a compound, the contact of n next to r presents a phenomenon similar to prestanneth: Caran-ras is assimilated to Caradhras.[6]:36

Barazinbar (or simply Baraz[1]) is the literal Khuzdul translation of "Redhorn", from baraz + inbar.[6]:35

Carnirassë is the literal Quenya translation of "Redhorn", from carnë + rassë.[7][6]:36

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

The Fellowship decides to take the Pass upon realising that passage South was being watched after they were spotted by a large flock of crebain. Upon taking the Passage, a blizzard appears, accompanied by what Legolas calls "...a fell voice on the air.", to which Gandalf says that "It is Saruman." It is shown that Saruman had summoned a great storm to harass the Fellowship on the Pass, until a lightning strike upon the mountain causes an avalanche that buries the Company in snow. At this, Boromir says to turn back and take the Gap of Rohan, to which Aragorn says that it would take the Company too close to Isengard, while Gimli suggests to "...go under the mountain." Gandalf has Frodo decide, as the Ringbearer, and Frodo elects Moria as the way of passage. Additionally, in his spell, Saruman mentions the neo-Quenya name of Caradhras as Carnirassë.[8]

2009: The Lord of the Rings Online:

The Pass of Caradhras, as well as the Redhorn Gate are featured in the region of Eregion. The snowstorms are very strong in this area, and an avalanche prevents further travel to the lands of the east.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Ring Goes South"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings: Eldarin Roots and Stems", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson)
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies", entry KARÁN-
  8. "Dialogs in FotR", The Elvish Linguistic Fellowship (accessed 30 December 2018)