Morgul Pass

From Tolkien Gateway

The Morgul Pass was a pass in a great ravine at the head of the Morgul Vale through the Ephel Dúath.[1][2]

The Morgul-road ran from Osgiliath through the Morgul Vale past the gates of the city of Minas Morgul[3] through the great ravine at the head of the Morgul Vale over the Morgul Pass to the valley between the Ephel Dúath and the Morgai, over a bridge of stone[4] and through a jagged rift in the Morgai out into Gorgoroth and on to Barad-dûr.[5]

The Nameless Pass was probably another name for the Morgul Pass, because the wraith-road ran from the dead city in a great ravine at the head of the Morgul Valley to the Nameless Pass that was also referred to as the main pass, which Frodo could see from above on the winding stairs that led to the tunnel and the pass of Cirith Ungol that was guarded by the Tower of Cirith Ungol[2] and because a broad road ran from the Tower of Cirith Ungol down to join the road that came over the Morgul Pass.[5] As a consequence, the Nameless Pass was probably not another name for the pass of Cirith Ungol.[6] The pass of Cirith Ungol was located in a cleft on the slope of the mountain on the left side of the Morgul pass and could be reached by climbing the stairs of Cirith Ungol at the beginning of the Morgul Vale[2] and by passing trough a tunnel[7] and taking a long flight of broad shallow steps to the cleft[8] with the crown of the pass after which the road turned left and plunged steeply down.[5]

During the War of the Ring Frodo, Sam and Gollum took the stairs of Cirith Ungol that led to the pass of Cirith Ungol, because they wanted to avoid passing by close to Minas Morgul and as a consequence did not use the Morgul Pass.[2] After the Battle of the Pelennor Fields the army of the West left a strong guard at the Cross-roads to defend it in case enemies came over the Morgul Pass from Mordor or came up from the South.[9]


J.R.R. Tolkien made a drawing that shows the top of the stairs of Cirith Ungol, the entrance to the tunnel with the pass of Cirith Ungol after the exit from the tunnel and the topmost turret of the Tower of Cirith Ungol behind a mountain peak with another broader pass on the right side of the pass of Cirith Ungol and a mountain ridge between the pass of Cirith Ungol and the other broader pass.[10]