Plateau of Gorgoroth

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The name Gorgoroth refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Gorgoroth (disambiguation).
Plateau of Gorgoroth
Plateau
"Across Gorgoroth" by Ted Nasmith
General Information
LocationNorth-western Mordor
TypePlateau
DescriptionBarren region scarred with countless pits dug by Orcs
People and History
InhabitantsSauron
Orcs
Men allied to Sauron
EventsSiege of Barad-dûr (Second Age)
Downfall of Barad-dûr (Third Age)
GalleryImages of Gorgoroth

Gorgoroth was a high desolate plain[1] in north-western Mordor enclosed by the Morgai and the Ephel Dúath in the west, the Ephel Dúath and the Ered Lithui in the north, by a mountain arm that branched off from the Ephel Dúath in the south and by a mountain arm that branched off from the Ered Lithui in the south-east.[2]

The only known passages into the plateau through these mountain walls were the Isenmouthe (from the valley of Udûn in the south of the Morannon), the rift in the Morgai in the east of the Pass of Cirith Ungol and the east of the Morgul Pass and the gap between the mountain arm that branched off from the Ephel Dúath to the east and the mountain spur that branched off from the Ered Litui to the south-west.[2]

In this dreary wasteland fumes issued from fissures in the ground and smoke curled and settled in hollows. Centred in the desolation some forty miles east of the Ephel Duath rose Mount Doom. It and Barad-dûr, situated on a mountain spur of the Ered Lithui, dominated the landscape of the plateau.[3]

History

c. S.A. 1000 Sauron selected Mordor as his stronghold and began building Barad-dûr above the plateau of Gorgoroth.[4]

In S.A. 3434 the host of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men entered Gorgoroth and began their siege of Sauron's fortress,[5] during which Anárion was slain in S.A. 3440).[6] After seven years the siege ended when Sauron was defeated and his Ring was taken.[7]

Sauron returned to Mordor in T.A. 2951 and began rebuilding Barad-dûr, which had been torn down after his defeat in the Second Age.[8]

When Frodo and Sam first looked upon Gorgoroth on 16 March T.A. 3019,[9] they saw innumerable camps of Men made of huts and drab buildings, connected by a network of roads. In this region were Sauron's mines and forges for equipping his vast armies.[3]

On 19 March T.A. 3019,[10] after escaping the Orcs at the Isenmouthe, the hobbits travelled on the road to Barad-dûr along the northern edge of Gorgoroth. Three days later they left the road and headed south across the plateau to Mount Doom, reaching it[11] on 24 March.[12]

Etymology

Gorgoroth is a Sindarin name,[13][14] which is translated as "valley of terror"[15] or more literally "(land of) deadly fear"[14]. It is a combination of gor ("horror", "dread", "fear"[16]) and goroth ("horror", "dread", "fear").[17][13]

Portrayal in adaptations

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:

Frodo and Sam traverses across the plateau on their way to Mount Doom. In one scene the 'literal eye of Sauron' spots the two hobbits, until he is distracted by Aragorn and his host at the Black Gate.

2017: Middle-earth: Shadow of War:

Gorgoroth is a region the player character can visit.

2022: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power:

1 September: A Shadow of the Past:
During the late Second Age, the Plateau of Gorgoroth in the Southlands was inhabited by Men who called themselves Southlanders. These Men had built countless settlements. Some of which were villages such as Tirharad, Hordern, and Iorbad, while others were outposts such as the Watchtower of Ostirith.
7 October: The Eye:
After the eruption of Orodruin, the Southlanders flee Plateau of Gorgoroth.

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Black Gate is Closed", p. 636
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Land of Shadow", p. 923
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age", entry for the year c. 1000, p. 1083
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age", entry for the year 3434, p. 1084
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age", entry for the year 3440, p. 1084
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age", entry for the year 3441, p. 1084
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 2951, p. 1089
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years", entry for the year 3019, March 16, p. 1094
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years", entry for the year 3019, March 19, p. 1094
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Mount Doom", pp. 933-41
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years", entry for the year 3019, March 24, p. 1094
  13. 13.0 13.1 Paul Strack, "S. Gorgoroth loc.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 8 March 2023)
  14. 14.0 14.1 David Salo (2004), A Gateway to Sindarin, p. 380
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Breaking of the Fellowship", p. 401
  16. 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 Other prefixes. fear, p. 172
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", entry gor
Route of the Fellowship of the Ring
Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas
Rivendell · Eregion · Caradhras · Moria · Lothlórien · Caras Galadhon · Anduin · Parth Galen · Amon Hen · Eastemnet · Fangorn Forest · Rohan · Edoras · Hornburg · Isengard · Dunharrow · Paths of the Dead · Gondor · Hill of Erech · Lamedon · Linhir · Lebennin · Pelargir · Minas Tirith · Osgiliath · Cross-roads · Ithilien · Dagorlad · Black Gate · Field of Cormallen · Cair Andros · Gondor · Minas Tirith · Anórien · Rohan · Edoras · Isengard
Boromir
Rivendell · Eregion · Caradhras · Moria · Lothlórien · Caras Galadhon · Anduin · Parth Galen · Amon Hen
Frodo and Sam
Rivendell · Eregion · Caradhras · Moria · Lothlórien · Caras Galadhon · Anduin · Parth Galen · Amon Hen · Emyn Muil · Dead Marshes · Black Gate · Ithilien · Henneth Annûn · Cross-roads · Morgul Vale · Stairs of Cirith Ungol · Cirith Ungol · Shelob's Lair · Tower of Cirith Ungol · Mordor · Morgai · Plateau of Gorgoroth · Mount Doom · Field of Cormallen · Cair Andros · Gondor · Minas Tirith · Anórien · Rohan · Edoras · Isengard
Gandalf
Rivendell · Eregion · Caradhras · Moria · Celebdil† · Lothlórien · Fangorn Forest · Edoras · Hornburg · Isengard · Rohan · Anórien · Gondor · Minas Tirith · Osgiliath · Cross-roads · Ithilien · Dagorlad · Black Gate · Field of Cormallen · Cair Andros · Gondor · Minas Tirith · Anórien · Rohan · Edoras · Isengard
Merry
Rivendell · Eregion · Caradhras · Moria · Lothlórien · Caras Galadhon · Anduin · Parth Galen · Amon Hen · Emyn Muil · Eastemnet · Fangorn Forest · Wellinghall · Derndingle · Isengard · Hornburg · Dunharrow · Drúadan Forest · Gondor · Minas Tirith · Anórien · Rohan · Edoras · Isengard
Pippin
Rivendell · Eregion · Caradhras · Moria · Lothlórien · Caras Galadhon · Anduin · Amon Hen · Parth Galen · Emyn Muil · Eastemnet · Fangorn Forest · Wellinghall · Derndingle · Isengard · Rohan · Anórien · Gondor · Minas Tirith · Osgiliath · Cross-roads · Ithilien · Dagorlad · Black Gate · Field of Cormallen · Gondor · Cair Andros · Minas Tirith · Anórien · Rohan · Edoras · Isengard