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Carach Angren

Carach Angren
Darrell Midgette - Carach Angren.jpg
"Carach Angren" by Darrell Midgette
General Information
Other namesIsenmouthe
LocationMordor, at meeting of Udûn and Gorgoroth, joining of spurs of Ered Lithui and Ephel Dúath
GalleryImages of Carach Angren

Carach Angren or Isenmouthe was a pass in the northwest of Mordor. The pass was formed where spurs reaching out from the ranges of the Ephel Dúath and the Ered Lithui met, leaving only a narrow passage between the Plateau of Gorgoroth and the smaller valley of Udûn to the north.[1]


[edit] Appearance

As the passage from Gorgoroth to Udûn, Carach Angren was heavily fortified, and both the rocky spurs that overlooked it carried forts and towers. Across the passage itself, a wall of earth had been built, and a great ditch had been dug across the opening spanned by a single bridge.[2] A great fence of pointed iron posts closed the gap leading into Udûn.[3]

[edit] Etymology

Both Carach Angren and Isenmouthe mean "Iron-mouth": "It was so called because of the great fence of pointed iron posts that closed the gap leading into Udûn, like teeth in jaws."[3] The Sindarin name Carach Angren comes from carach "jaws" and angren "iron".

Isen is an old English variant form of iron; and mouthe represents Old English mūða < mūð "opening, mouth" especially used of the mouths of rivers, but also applied to other openings.[3]

Despite the Old English, the name is not to be understood as Rohirric, but rather as archaic Westron, translation of Sindarin Carach Angren.[3]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

1987-96: Middle-earth Role Playing:

In the Teeth of Mordor module in the Fortresses of Middle-earth series it is described that Isildur began a grand plan to seal off Mordor and that the construction of Carach Angren began before the end of T.A. 3019 and was completed during the reign of Rómendacil I (T.A. 492 - T.A. 541). It is mentioned that by T.A. 1640 the last citadel guarding Mordor was abandoned. It is said that in the same year of the closing of the Dúnadan fortresses guarding Mordor Sauron sent all Ringwraiths except the Witch-king and Khamûl to lake Núrnen with the mission to ready Mordor for his return. It is described that they sent scouts north who found that the Gondorian fortresses were abandoned.
In the Gorgoroth campain module it is described that the garrison of Carach Angren succumbed to the Great Plague and only a skeleton crew was left in T.A. 1635. All contact was lost with these soldiers and their fate was unknown. It is described that the Ringwraith Indûr Dawndeath met the other Ringwraiths except the Witch-king in T.A. 1640 in the castle of Ostigurth to prepare the Black Land for Sauron's return. It is mentioned that Orcs entered Carach Angren in T.A. 1642 and found that the Gondorian soldiers had blocked the Great Gate by sabotaging its lifting mechanism. It is mentioned that Indûr took control of Carach Angren in T.A. 1652 and remained there and that he joined his companions in the siege of Minas Ithil in T.A. 2000. Carach Angren is described to consist of a wall with the Great Gate, three middle towers, the tower of Tarmorost (High Black Fort) and the tower of Fuinost (Gloom-Fort). The wall rests on the top of a stone dike (47 feet high, extending 100 feet from the base of the wall). The wall itself is over forty feet high and consists of stone with toothed parapets on its top. The Great Gate consists of double portals made of one foot thick hollow steel on the north and south side of the gatehouse. Inside the gate is a set of porticulli. When the door is closed great masonry fangs are lowered on the outside to further seal the gate. A 1,224 ton stone rests in the western side of the gate in an alcove. It sits on massive rollers and can be slid to seal Carach Angren in a last ditch effort. The three middle towers consist of three levels. Tarmorost is the easternmost end tower of the wall. It stands on a shelf of rock with the peak of the tower nearly 220 feet above the floor of the plateau. Tarmorost consists of five levels. Fuinost is the westernmost end tower of the wall. Fuinost is eighty feet high, but stands on a ridge of stone with the peak of the tower 170 feet above the floor of the plateau. Fuinost also consists of five levels. It is mentioned that the basic garrison of Carach Angren consists of 162 Men, 54 Olog-hai, 81 Uruk-hai and 243 Orcs.


  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 Return of the King, "The Land of Shadow"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 772