The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


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  • Updated 7 December 2010
  • Updates planned: 2

Haunted Pass

The northern entrance into the land of Mordor

To the north of Mordor ran the range of Ered Lithui, the Ash Mountains, and to the west ran the Ephel Dúath, the Mountains of Shadow. In the northwest of the Dark Land, the two ranges met, and between them ran a narrow pass with sheer cliffs on either side. This pass was called Cirith Gorgor in Elvish, poetically translated as the 'Haunted Pass' (though the Elvish name literally meant 'pass of great dread').

Sauron defended this entrance to his land by building a stone rampart from one side of the pass to the other, in which was set the Morannon, the Black Gate of Mordor. After his first defeat at the end of the Second Age, the Dúnedain added defences of their own: a watchtower was built on a hill on each side of Cirith Gorgor. Ultimately these guard towers were taken by Sauron's own forces, and at the time of the War of the Ring they were known as the Towers of the Teeth, a part of the formidable defences of the Haunted Pass.

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