The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Made after the return of Morgoth to Middle-earth, about fifty years before the first rising of the Sun; destroyed at the end of the First Age
The southern Iron Mountains, leading to Angband on the north side of those Mountains
Made by Morgoth after the raising of Thangorodrim
The gateway to Angband
Important peaks
Stood beneath Thangorodrim
Angband is pronounced 'a'ngband'
Other names


About this entry:

  • Updated 17 August 2015
  • Updates planned: 1

Gate of Angband

The doorway to Morgoth's fortress

A wide and unbreakable doorway set into the foot of a thousand-foot cliff in the southern Iron Mountains, guarding the entrance into Morgoth's domain: Angband, the Hells of Iron. Also called the Doors of Angband, the Gate stood at the end of a long dark vale edged by chasms, and until the coming of Beren and Lúthien it was guarded by the vast Wolf Carcharoth. What lay behind the doors is a matter of conjecture. Some accounts speak of a maze of stairways leading downwards, while others describe a long tunnel running beneath the Iron Mountains to reach the fortress of Angband.

The Gate was breached several times; first by Beren and Lúthien, who stole a Silmaril from Morgoth's Iron Crown (on their escape, Carcharoth consumed the Jewel and fled in madness from the Gate). In the Nirnaeth Arnoediad some years later, the Elves of Nargothrond passed through the Gate1 and fought the servants of Angband on the stairs within, though ultimately they were trapped and defeated. The Gate was finally destroyed in the utter ruin of Angband in the War of Wrath that brought the First Age to an end.



The Gate is explicitly described as 'impregnable' (in Quenta Silmarillion 19) but we're also told that the Elves of Nargothrond 'burst through the Gate' (ibid 20). This implies that the Gate was at least partly open at the time (since it should be impossible by definition to burst through an impregnable barrier).

The same passage confuses things a little when, having passed the Gate, the Elves 'beat upon [Morgoth's] doors' (ibid 20), which seems to imply that the Gate and Doors of Angband were not synonymous. Elsewhere the capitalised 'Doors of Angband' are explicitly at the outer entrance, so the 'doors' described here must be some inner doors within Angband, perhaps marking the northern extent of its long entrance tunnel.

See also...

Doors of Angband


About this entry:

  • Updated 17 August 2015
  • Updates planned: 1

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

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 2015. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

Website services kindly sponsored by Discus from Axiom Software Ltd.
Explore the history of the DISC profile, from ancient ideas about personality to modern theories, concepts and ideas.
The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda
Homepage Search Latest Entries and Updates Random Entry