The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
The isle was captured by Sauron in I 457; it was destroyed at the end of the First Age
In the Pass of Sirion, between Ered Wethrin and the Echoriath
Commanded by Sauron, a Maia; peopled by his Werewolves
Guarded the Pass of Sirion
Sauron is pronounced 'sow'ron' ('ow' as in 'now')
Sauron means 'the Abhorred'
Other names
Isle of Werewolves, Tol-in-Gaurhoth; originally known, before its capture by Sauron, as Tol Sirion


About this entry:

  • Updated 4 July 2016
  • This entry is complete

Sauron’s Isle

The island of Tol-in-Gaurhoth

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Map of Sauron's Isle

Tol Sirion was an island that stood in the upper reaches of the River Sirion, in the narrow place where the river ran between the Ered Wethrin and the Encircling Mountains. Early in his time in Beleriand, Finrod had seen the strategic imporance of this location, and he built a tower on Tol Sirion to guard the pass, the first tower to bear the name Minas Tirith.

Minas Tirith was long commanded by Finrod's brother Orodreth, but in the Dagor Bragollach Morgoth sent overwhelming forces against the Elves. Even so, the guard of the Pass of Sirion held fast for two years after the main attack, until Sauron himself led an assault on the island. He placed an uncanny fear over its inhabitants, and even Orodreth ran from the tower, abandoning it to the enemy. Sauron then installed himself as lord of Minas Tirith, and the island on which it stood became known as Tol-in-Gaurhoth (the Isle of Werewolves), or simply as Sauron's Isle.

Sauron did not hold the isle for long. Just eight years later, he captured Finrod and Beren as they attempted to make their way through the Pass of Sirion. When Lúthien came to attempt a rescue, she brought with her Huan the Hound of Valinor. Sauron and Huan fought a mighty battle, in which Sauron was wounded and forced to flee from the isle. With Sauron defeated, the tower of Minas Tirith was torn down, and the isle was left uninhabited until it was destroyed in the War of Wrath.

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