Ered Gorgoroth

From Tolkien Gateway
The name Gorgoroth refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Gorgoroth (disambiguation).
Ered Gorgoroth
Mountain range
Peter Xavier Price - Beren crosses Ered Gorgoroth.jpg
"Beren crosses Ered Gorgoroth" by Peter Xavier Price
General Information
Pronunciationeh-red gor-gor-oth
Other namesMountains of Terror
LocationBeleriand, separating Dorthonion from Nan Dungortheb
TypeMountain range
DescriptionTall, spider-haunted peaks
People and History
EventsF.A. 464: Beren's crossing from Dorthonion[1]
GalleryImages of Ered Gorgoroth

The Ered Gorgoroth or Mountains of Terror[2] were a mountain chain in the north of Beleriand.

The Ered Gorgoroth was the southern edge of the highlands of Dorthonion, and separated Dorthonion from Beleriand proper. South of the Gorgoroth lay the unpopulated land of Nan Dungortheb (the Valley of Dreadful Death).[3] The southern wall of the Ered Gorgoroth fell in sheer precipices.[4]

They were named such by the Sindar of Doriath after the spider-creature Ungoliant made it her temporary home, and spawned many evil spiders there, which wove webs that took away all light, and all the springs were poisoned.[5]

The Gorgoroth had no known passes, and even the Orcs of Morgoth passed it by. In all of the First Age Beren son of Barahir is said to have passed the mountain range, and he never spoke of this terrible journey,[6] though it is said that he fought giant spiders there,[7] and Beleg was said to cross through the pass of Anach at the western end of Ered Gorgoroth in his search for Turin Turambar.[8] It is implied that Shelob may have fled from Ered Gorgoroth as Tolkien states, "There agelong she had dwelt, an evil thing in spider-form, even such as once of old had lived in the Land of the Elves in the West that is now under the Sea, such as Beren fought in the Mountains of Terror in Doriath, and so came to Lúthien upon the green sward amid the hemlocks in the moonlight long ago. How Shelob came there, flying from ruin, no tale tells, for out of the Dark Years few tales have come."[9]

Like the rest of Beleriand, the Gorgoroth were drowned during the War of Wrath, although the highland of Dorthonion survived as the isle of Tol Fuin.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

The Ered Gorgoroth are in one place in Beren and Lúthien referred to as "Gorgorath" apparently in order to rhyme with "path".[10] The variation is also included in the Beren and Lúthien glossary,[11] but the reason for the different spelling is not made clear.