Cracks of Doom

From Tolkien Gateway
Cracks of Doom
The Cracks of Doom by Tim Kirk
General Information
Other namesCrack of Doom
LocationMount Doom
History
EventsCreation of the One Ring, Destruction of the One Ring
GalleryImages of the Cracks of Doom

There is only one way: to find the Cracks of Doom in the depths of Orodruin, the Fire-mountain, and cast the Ring in there, if you really wish to destroy it, to put it beyond the grasp of the Enemy forever.

The Cracks of Doom or Crack of Doom were a great fissure, a deep chasm filled with fire,[1] in which the One Ring was forged by Sauron and was destroyed when Gollum fell with the One Ring into it.

Geography

The Cracks of Doom were located in the Sammath Naur, the Chambers of Fire, a long cave with a high roof high up on the cone of Mount Doom[1] on the plain of Gorgoroth in the land of Mordor[2].

From a dark door in the eastern side of Mount Doom, the door of the Sammath Naur, a long cave led inside until the great fissure of the Cracks of Doom cut across the floor and walls of the cave a short way from the door.[1] A road led from the west gate of Barad-dûr, the Dark Tower of Sauron to the door of the Sammath Naur.[3]

History

Sauron forged the One Ring in the Cracks of Doom in c. S.A. 1600,[4] and put so much of his own force into the Ring that the only way it could be destroyed would be to throw it back into the Cracks of Doom.[5] Such an opportunity came in S.A. 3441[6] after the Battle of Dagorlad but Isildur kept the Ring for himself, against the council of Elrond and Cirdan.[7]

It was decided in the Council of Elrond that the One Ring must be brought to the Cracks of Doom to be destroyed.[8] Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee reached the Cracks of Doom on 25 May, T.A. 3019.[9] It was there that Frodo decided to keep the Ring and put it on his finger and where Gollum bit off the finger with the Ring and fell with it into the fiery chasm destroying the Ring.[10]

Other names

Inspiration

The name Cracks of Doom also sometimes just Crack of Doom is a wordplay on "cracke of Doome" (Macbeth; IV i 117) meaning the crack/peal of thunder or the sudden sound of the last trumpet that announces the Last Day. Here, Tolkien uses "crack" to mean "fissure".[14]

Portrayal in adaptations

2001-3: The Lord of the Rings (film series)

Elrond is seen leading Isildur to the Cracks of Doom and urging him to throw it into the fire. In the films it appears as a doorway with a long bridge that ends with a narrow cliff, with lava below. Gollum and Frodo fight at the Cracks of Doom before both falling (Frodo was rescued by Sam) while in the book Gollum falls by himself.
Sammath Naur in The Lord of the Rings Online

2017: The Lord of the Rings Online:

A flashback depicting the creation of The One Ring shows a great ring-forge of Sauron inside Sammath Naur. The location is not accessible to the player and is visited only once again, during a Session Play depicting the destructions of the Ring, in which the player controls Gollum.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Mount Doom", pp. 945-7
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Mount Doom", p. 942
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age", entry for the year c. 1600, p. 1083
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Shadow of the Past", p. 61
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age", entry for the year 3441, p. 1084
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond", p. 243
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond", p. 267-71
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years", entry for the year 3019, March 25, p. 1095
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Mount Doom", pp. 945-7
  11. Hisweloke Sindarin dictionary
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies", entry STAB
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), entry S naur, p. 38 and entry S Sammath Naur, p. 101
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, entry Crack of Doom, pp. 767-8