Carn Dûm

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Carn Dûm
Fortress
"Carn Dûm" by Matěj Čadil
General Information
LocationNorthwestern end of the Mountains of Angmar, northwest of Mount Gundabad, south of Forodwaith,[1]
TypeFortress
InhabitantsMen of Darkness
GalleryImages of Carn Dûm

Carn Dûm was the chief fortress of the realm of Angmar[2][3] and the seat of its king.[4] It was located at the northwestern end of the Mountains of Angmar, the north-western extension of the Misty Mountains.[1]

History

Around T.A. 1300, Sauron's shadow became stronger and evil things multiplied, heralded by the reappearance of the Nazgûl.[5] The lord of the Nazgûl came north and established the evil realm of Angmar between the Ettenmoors and the Mountains of Angmar on both sides of the Misty Mountains, because he intended to destroy the Dúnedain of the North and to exploit the disunity of the splinter realms of Arthedain, Cardolan and Rhudaur. He gathered many evil men, Orcs and other fell creatures in Angmar and became known as the Witch-king of Angmar.[6] It is not known if Carn Dûm already existed when the Witch-king established the realm of Angmar or if it was built during his reign.

In T.A. 1409 a large army from Angmar invaded and devastated Cardolan, but a remnant of the Dúnedain of Cardolan defended the Barrow-downs or fled to the Old Forest.[7] The last prince of Cardolan was slain in that year and was said to have been buried in the barrow in the Barrow-downs in which Meriadoc Brandybuck and Frodo Baggins were trapped by a Barrow-wight almost 1700 years later.[8]

In T.A. 1975,[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 Lake Evendim and the North Downs. The Witch-king of Angmar fled northwards towards Angmar with a remnant of his forces, but but his forces were overtaken by the cavalry of Gondor led by prince Eärnur and by forces led by the Elf-lord Glorfindel who came north from Rivendell before they could reach the shelter of 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 T.A. 2480, when Orcs began making secret strongholds in the Misty Mountains,[11].

On September 28 of T.A. 3018[12] while Meriadoc Brandybuck was trapped with Frodo Baggins by a Barrow-wight in a barrow in the Barrow-downs, 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] It is possible that he dreamt of the experiences of the last prince of Cardolan during the last hours of his life.[14]

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.[15] Paul Strack favours these early terms as Noldorin precursors of Sindarin Carn Dûm.[16] David Salo also favours the Sindarin interpretation, giving it as "Red Valley", a compound of carn + tûm.[17]

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.[18]

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, Index, entry Carn Dûm
  3. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 144
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Fog on the Barrow-downs", p. 146
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year c. 1300, p. 1086
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur", entry for King Malvegil, p. 1040
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur", entries for King Arveleg and King Araphor, pp. 1040-41
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur", entry about King Argeleb II, p. 1041
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 1975, p. 1086
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", entry for King Eärnil II, p. 1051
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 2480, p. 1087
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years", entry for the year 3018, September 28, p. 1091
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Fog on the Barrow-downs", p. 143
  14. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 145
  15. 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
  16. Paul Strack, "S. Carn Dûm loc.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 30 March 2021)
  17. David Salo (2004), A Gateway to Sindarin, pp. 102, 371
  18. Carn Dûm at the Encyclopedia of Arda