Ered Lithui

From Tolkien Gateway
Ered Lithui
Mountain range
Kevin Ward - Ash Mountains.jpg
"Ash Mountains" by Kevin Ward
General Information
Pronunciationeh-red lith-oo-ee
Other namesAsh Mountains
LocationBoundary between Mordor and Rhovanion
TypeMountain range
DescriptionBarren, rugged, grey mountains
EventsWainriders sudden assault upon King Ondoher

The Ered Lithui, or the Ash Mountains, were a mountain range on the northern border of Mordor which separated it from Rhovanion. They ran about 500 miles from east to west. One south-western ridge divided the Plateau of Gorgoroth from Lithlad. A shorter southern spur within Gorgoroth ended at Barad-dûr. The west end of the Ash Mountains met the Mountains of Shadow. Between the Mountains of Shadow and the Ash Mountains was Udûn.[1]

The Ered Lithui were rugged and forbidding, described as being composed of "broken peaks and barren ridges". Its rocks were coloured grey as ash.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

In T.A. 1944,[3] King Ondoher of Gondor was leading an army to Dagorlad to challenge the Wainriders. It was expected that the enemy would assault them from the north or northeast, but the Wainriders came directly from the east, using the cover of the Ered Lithui to conceal their approach.[4] The Wainriders were greatly speeded by a long-neglected road that ran from the Morannon fifty miles to the east.[5]

On 5 March 3019,[6] Frodo, Sam, and Gollum looked upon the Ered Lithui before turning aside to journey to Ithilien.[2] From 19 March through 22 March,[6] Frodo and Sam crawled slowly east on the road from Cirith Gorgor to Barad-dûr that hugged the slopes of the Ered Lithui.[7]

Name and etymology[edit | edit source]

Ered Lithui is a Sindarin name. It means "ashen mountains". It is a compound of ered, the plural of orod ("mountain") and lith with the adjectival suffix ui.[8] The name was likely taken from their ash-grey hue.[9]