Tolkien Gateway

Carn Dûm

Carn Dûm
Fortress
Matěj Čadil - Carn dum.jpg
"Carn Dûm" by Matěj Čadil
General Information
LocationWestern end of the Mountains of Angmar, north-west of Mount Gundabad, south of Forodwaith,[1] 700 miles south of the most northerly point of the northern coast of Middle-earth[2]
TypeFortress
InhabitantsMen of Darkness
GalleryImages of Carn Dûm

Carn Dûm was the chief fortress of the realm of Angmar[3][4] and the seat of its king.[5] It was located at the western end of the Mountains of Angmar, the north-western extension of the Misty Mountains.[1][6]

Contents

[edit] History

In T.A. 1409 a great host from Angmar invaded and ravaged Cardolan and killed its last prince.[7] [8] Carn Dûm remained capital of Angmar since around T.A. 1300 to T.A. 1973, being briefly replaced by Fornost the last two years.[4] [7]

In 1974,[9] the combined armies of Gondor, Lindon and Arnor crossed the river Lune and defeated the forces of Angmar in a great battle on the plain between Nenuial and the North Downs. The Witch-king and his surviving forces fled northwards toward Angmar, but they were overtaken by the cavalry of Gondor with prince Eärnur at their head and cut off by a force led by Glorfindel that came from the south out of Rivendell before before they were able to reach shelter in Carn Dûm. The Witch-king was able to flee, but the remaining forces of Angmar were utterly defeated and no man or orc of the realm of Angmar remained west of the Mountains.[10] As a consequence, it is possible that Carn Dûm was destroyed. It is also possible that Carn Dûm was repopulated after 2480, when Orcs began making secret strongholds in the Misty Mountains,[11] but the fate of Carn Dûm is not mentioned in the Annals of the Kings and Rulers or in the Tale of Years.

On September 28 of 3018[12] While Merry was trapped with Frodo in a Barrow, he had a dream that he and others were attacked and defeated by the men of Carn Dûm at night and that his heart had been pierced with a spear.[13] Some say that this barrow was the grave of the last prince of Cardolan.[7] It is possible that he dreamt of what happened to the last prince of Cardolan and his men.[14][15]

[edit] Etymology

The etymology of Carn Dûm is uncertain, but it is often interpreted as a Sindarin name.

In early manuscripts of The Lord of the Rings, Carndoom and later Caron-dûn (both meaning "Red Valley") appear as early names of Dimrill Dale.[16] Paul Strack favours these early terms as Noldorin precursors of Sindarin Carn Dûm.[17] David Salo also favours the Sindarin interpretation, giving it as "Red Valley", a compound of carn + tûm.[18]

Another suggestion, is that the name roughly translates as "mountain fortress" in Gaelic; although Tolkien uses Celtic elements for some translated Mannish names, this would have been the only instance where he uses Gaelic. It is unknown whether this is just coincidence or not.[19]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

Carn Dum in The Lord of the Rings Online

2006: The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king:

Carn Dûm is the capital of Angmar. The campaign begins with its construction, and it is besieged once by Glorfindel. Carn Dûm is also playable in the skirmish section of the game.

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Carn Dum is located in the game's region of Angmar and was both the main focus of storyline and the final end-game dungeon for the game's original release. It is ruled by Angmar's shadow that has returned to this city in the form of the False King Mordirith, Steward of Angmar.

2011: The Lord of the Rings: War in the North

Carn Dum is the final level in the game. It is ruled by Agandaûr, a descendant of the Black Númenóreans and a servant of Sauron.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Introduction", The Map of Middle-earth, footnote relating to the Cape of Forochel in the first paragraph
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, Index, Carn Dûm
  4. 4.0 4.1 Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, "Fog on the Barrow-downs", p. 144 and 146; Index, Carn Dûm
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Fog on the Barrow-downs", statement of Tom Bombdadil about the blades of the Men of Westernesse
  6. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, "Prefaction" and p. 145
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur", The North-kingdom and the Dúnedain, entries about the war with Angmar in 1409
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VII. The Heirs of Elendil"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 1974
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", paragraphs about king Eärnil II
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 2480
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years", entry for September 28 3018 of the Third Age
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Fog on the Barrow-downs", statements of Merry after waking up from his sleep in the barrow
  14. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Eriador
  15. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, "Fog on the Barrow-downs", pp. 144-5; Index, 'Cardolan, last prince of'
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Return of the Shadow, "The Story Continued: XXIV. The Ring Goes South, Notes", note 13, p. 433
  17. Paul Strack, "S. Carn Dûm loc.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 30 March 2021)
  18. David Salo (2004), A Gateway to Sindarin, pp. 102, 371
  19. Carn Dûm at the Encyclopedia of Arda