The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Created after Sauron's occupation of Mordor c. II 1000; destroyed 25 March III 3019
Location
In the eastern side of Orodruin (Mount Doom)
Race
Sauron was one of the Ainur
Division
Important peaks
Pronunciation
sa'mmath now'rr (the vowel sound in naur is pronounced as in English 'now'; the 'rr' indicates that the final vowel should be pronounced)
Meaning
Other names

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 8 May 2019
  • This entry is complete

Sammath Naur

The Chambers of Fire in the heart of Mount Doom

Map of Sammath Naur
The chambers of Sammath Naur within Orodruin (somewhat conjectural)2
The chambers of Sammath Naur within Orodruin (somewhat conjectural)2

The chambered cavern or tunnel made by Sauron, also called the Chambers of Fire, that led into the cone of Orodruin, Mount Doom in the heart of Mordor. It was reached by a road that wound around the Fiery Mountain until it reached a door high up on the eastern side, looking towards Barad-dûr across the plain of Gorgoroth. Inside, the Chambers led into darkness, lit only by a narrow chasm from which leapt Orodruin's Fire, the chasm known as the Cracks of Doom.

It was in the chambers of the Sammath Naur that Sauron had forged the One Ring in the Second Age, and it was impervious to any power other than the Fire of its birth. So, at the end of the Third Age, Frodo Baggins and Sam Gamgee brought the Ring secretly back to the Sammath Naur, where it returned into the Fire of the Cracks of Doom where it had been forged. The Ring was destroyed, and Sauron's Chambers of Fire were also shattered as Orodruin tore itself apart.


Notes

1

The Elvish word sammath means 'halls' or 'chambers', but the use of the plural ending -ath is interesting here. This ending normally implies a host or very great number of things, as in Remmirath, the 'host of netted stars'. We aren't given a detailed description of the interior of Sammath Naur, but this detail of its etymology implies that it consisted of numerous chambers within Mount Doom.

2

We have a detailed description of the road that ran from Barad-dûr to the Sammath Naur, so we know that it curved round the mountain's southern side and spiralled around its slopes to reach the chambers on its eastern cone. On the other hand, the detailed map of Mordor from The Lord of the Rings seems to show a different arrangement, with the causeway from Barad-dûr meeting the road from Minas Morgul southwestward of Mount Doom, and from there running straight towards the mountain from the southwest. The map shown here attempts to reconcile these two approaches, imagining a continuation of the road shown on the Lord of the Rings map so that it matches the description given in the text.

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 8 May 2019
  • This entry is complete

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