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|"Melkor chained" by Roger Garland|
|Other names||Udûn (S)|
|Location||Iron Mountains; far north of Arda|
|Description||Vast and very cold, with pits extending deep into the earth|
|People and History|
|Inhabitants||Melkor and his servants|
|Created||c. V.Y. 3400|
|Events||Battle of the Powers|
|Gallery||Images of Utumno|
- "The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow!"
- ― Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Bridge of Khazad-dûm"
Utumno, or Udûn, was a fortress of Melkor in the far north of Middle-earth. It was the first and greatest of Melkor's citadels, delved in the earliest days. It was the home to hosts of demons, the fallen Ainur who allied with Melkor, and numerous monsters of corruption that were made in mockery of Middle-earth's naturally intended creatures and beings.
Utumno was built by Melkor after his first arrival in Arda. The Valar had by this time created the Two Lamps. Utumno was built under the Iron Mountains, where the light of Illuin and Ormal was dim and cold. Though the Valar did not yet know it, from this place, "the blight of his [Melkor's] hatred flowed out thence, and the Spring of Arda was marred." Utumno was delved exceeding deep, with pits filled with fires and great hosts of servants, caverns and vaults "hidden with deceit". As a result the lands of the far north were made desolate, and remained so in the following ages.
Melkor used Utumno as his base of operations from the Valian Year 3400 until Y.T. 1090, when the Valar assailed Melkor's fortress.:53:74-5 From there he had destroyed the Two Lamps, so that the Powers left Almaren, their dwelling-place in Middle-earth, and removed into the West. He then began his corruption of Arda. Utumno was also where the first captured Elves were taken and the creation of Orcs began as a mockery of the Firstborn.
Utumno was laid waste in Y.T. 1099, in the war that the Valar began against Melkor for the sake of the Elves. The Valar attacked in full force, and until they broke the gates and unroofed it; Melkor hid in the uttermost pit, but they carried him to Valinor as their captive . Melkor was chained held as a prisoner.
Melkor had established a second and lesser fortress at the western end of the Ered Engrin to act as the first line of defence for Utumno from Aman. This became Angband, which was at first held by Sauron. After the destruction of Utumno, Melkor chose to rebuild and fortify Angband as his lair.
In the Annals of Aman, Tolkien wrote: "'Utupnŭ √TUP cover over; hide'" and "'that stronghold was ever after called Utumno the Deep-hidden'"; while in The Etymologies, the root is TUB and the original form of the name is given as Utubnu.
Other versions of the legendarium
Tolkien was not entirely consistent with the location of Utumno, but it was always located within the northern Middle-earth, in or behind the Iron Mountains.
As noted from one of Tolkien's earlier sketch maps about Utumno from the Ambarkanta, Utumno was previously spelled as Utumna and was north of the Iron Mountains, towards the western end of the mountain chain.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Beginning of Days"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman: First section of the Annals of Aman"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman: Second section of the Annals of Aman"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part I, pp. 269, 271
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies", p. 394, entry "TUB"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, "Unfinished index for The Lord of the Rings", in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 297
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "Index"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Bridge of Khazad-dûm"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "IV. The First 'Silmarillion' Map"