The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Barad-dûr was built between c. II 1000 and c. II 1600; destroyed in II 3441; rebuilding began in III 2951; finally destroyed in III 30191
Beneath the Dark Tower of Barad-dûr in the northwest of Mordor


About this entry:

  • Updated 8 June 2017
  • This entry is complete

Black Pits

The dungeons of the Dark Tower

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond

The dungeons and torture chambers of Sauron beneath his Dark Tower of Barad-dûr. In the text of the The Lord of the Rings the term is used once without explanation (by the Orc Shagrat: 'The Black Pits take that filthy rebel Gorbag!'2), but in his unpublished index to the book Tolkien explains that Shagrat was referring to the real torture pits of Sauron.



References to the Black Pits are all related to the second Dark Tower, raised at the end of the Third Age. Presumably the earlier version of the Tower also had its torture chambers, but whether these were also known as the Black Pits is unknown.


The Return of the King VI 1, The Tower of Cirith Ungol

See also...

Black Pit

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 2013, 2017. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.