The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Constructed in the beginning of Arda, ruined c.4,000 years before the beginning of the First Age
The far north of Arda
The Sindarin form of Quenya Utumno, probably meaning 'Underworld'
Other names


About this entry:

  • Updated 14 December 2002
  • This entry is complete


Melkor’s ancient fortress in the far north of the World

"The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow!"
Words of Gandalf
from The Fellowship of the Ring II 5 The Bridge of Khazad-dûm

The Sindarin name of Utumno, the fortress of Melkor in the far north of the World. It was the first and greatest of Melkor's citadels, delved in the earliest days, the home to hosts of demons and monsters. From Udûn, Melkor troubled the world for millennia. From there, he destroyed the Lamps of the Valar, so that the Powers left Almaren, their dwelling-place in Middle-earth, and removed into the West. At the time of the awakening of the Elves, though, the Valar attacked Udûn in full force, and destroyed it utterly, carrying its master back to Valinor as their prisoner.

The name Udûn is much less common as a name for Melkor's fortress than the equivalent Utumno. In The Lord of the Rings it appears just once, in Gandalf's quote given above. It survived, though, as a name for the northern valley of Mordor that lay behind the Morannon. No doubt Sauron chose this name in memory of his ancient master's greatest stronghold.

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

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1998, 2001-2002. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.