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  • Updated 3 October 2019
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Northern Orcs

Goblins out of the Misty Mountains

During the Second Age, and especially the Third, the Orcs spread throughout the Misty Mountains even into the far north. Their capital was beneath the northern peak of Mount Gundabad, and they constructed underground lairs and even towns throughout the mountains from Angmar in the north (whose Witch-king they served) southward to the Mountains of Moria and beyond.

At their height, the Northern Orcs (or 'Goblins' as they were commonly known in this context) infested the Misty Mountains. Nonetheless they suffered many setbacks during their history, from the fall of Angmar to the War of the Dwarves and the Orcs, which saw most of the Goblins driven out of the northern mountains. Nonetheless they continued to multiply, until the time of the Quest of Erebor in III 2941. A sequence of events sparked by the brief capture of Thorin and Company by the Great Goblin ultimately resulted in the Battle of Five Armies beneath Erebor, a battle in which the armies of the Northern Orcs were soundly defeated.

After the Battle of Five Armies, the northern reaches of the Misty Mountains fell under the protection of Beorn and his descendants, and few Orcs survived to trouble travellers in that region. Beyond the power of the Beornings, however, the Northern Orcs multiplied again, especially in the dark depths of Moria. Some of these Orcs of Moria were sent by Sauron to recover Hobbits captured by Saruman's Uruks. The Uruks referred to their distant kin from the Misty Mountains as 'Northern Orcs' or simply 'Northerners' though they came from no further north than Moria in the central parts of the mountains, their far northern lands having been lost.


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About this entry:

  • Updated 3 October 2019
  • Updates planned: 1

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