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

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  • Updated 12 April 2017
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Winding Stair

The longer of the Stairs of Cirith Ungol

From the western side of the Ephel Dúath, there was no road to the high pass of Cirith Ungol. That pass could only be reached by two sets of Stairs, the Straight Stair and the Winding Stair. The lower stretch, the worn and dangerous Straight Stair was the shorter of the two Stairs, leading up to a dark passage in the mountains. Passing along that narrow route, a traveller would find themselves at the base of the Winding Stair.

The Winding Stair was by far the longer of the two flights, but was said to be less difficult than the lower Straight Stair. It climbed up a high sloping cliff face beneath Cirith Ungol, winding back and forth across the rockface as it made its steep ascent. At its highest point it turned into a last straight flight of steps that led on into Cirith Ungol itself. That deep and jagged ravine led through the Mountains into Mordor, and was watched over by the dark Tower of Cirith Ungol, from whose upper levels the head of the Winding Stair could be watched.


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About this entry:

  • Updated 12 April 2017
  • Updates planned: 2

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