Tolkien Gateway

Plateau of Gorgoroth

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

The Plateau of Gorgoroth was a high desolate plain in north-western Mordor enclosed by the Ephel Dúath and the Morgai on the west and the Ered Lithui on the north. The only known passages into the plateau through these mountain walls were the Isenmouthe (from Udûn and the Morannon), the Pass of Cirith Ungol or the Morgul Pass and the following rift in the Morgai after the latter two passes.[1] To the south-east, between two arms of the mountain ranges, was a gap that opened upon the land of Nurn.[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 spur of the Ered Lithui, dominated the landscape of the plateau.[3]


[edit] History

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

In 3434 the host of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men entered Gorgoroth and began their siege of Sauron's fortress, during which (in 3440) Anárion was slain. After seven years the siege ended when Sauron was defeated and his Ring was taken.[4]

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.[5]

When Frodo and Sam first looked upon Gorgoroth (on 16 March 3019[6]) they spied 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, 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 on 24 March.[6]

[edit] Etymology

[edit] 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.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor"
  2. 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"
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  6. 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", gor
  8. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 233