Desolation of the Morannon

From Tolkien Gateway

The Desolation of the Morannon was the dead land that lay just before the gates of Mordor south of the Dagorlad. The terrible barrenness of the landscape was due to the labours of Sauron's slaves, who had so defiled the land that it was diseased beyond repair. It was a foul place of horror for absolutely nothing grew in the polluted soil. Pools of water were choked with ash and muds, slag-mounds of crushed and powered rock abounded, and cones of earth fire-blasted and stained with poison rose as if they were part of a graveyard.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

In T.A. 1944 the Wainriders and men of Khand defeated the northern army of Gondor and killed King Ondoher of Gondor on a hill in the Desolation of the Morannon[2], on which King Elessar would later fight the forces of Sauron in T.A. 3019.[3]

Frodo and Sam, led by Gollum, reached the Desolation of the Morannon on 4 March, T.A. 3019. The hobbits spent the next day hiding in sight of the Gate, and at dusk they resumed their route.[4]

The Host of the West camped in the Desolation of the Morannon on 24 March, T.A. 3019 and fought against the forces of Sauron on the slag-hills in the Desolation of the Morannon on 25 March, T.A. 3019.[5]

Inspiration[edit | edit source]

J.R.R. Tolkien participated in the Battle of the Somme in 1916[6][7] and remembered miles of seething tortured earth as described in the chapter about the approach to Mordor.[8][9]