The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
The central regions of the Misty Mountains, above the mines of Khazad-dûm
ka'rathras1 ('th' as in 'rather')
Literally 'red horn'
Other names


About this entry:

  • Updated 4 April 2004
  • Updates planned: 3


The Redhorn

Map of Caradhras
Caradhras and the Mountains of Moria (partially conjectural)
Caradhras and the Mountains of Moria (partially conjectural)
"...Caradhras rose before them, a mighty peak, tipped with snow like silver, but with sheer naked sides, dull red as if stained with blood."
The Fellowship of the Ring II 3
The Ring Goes South

Prominent peaks of the Misty Mountains

The Mountains of Moria

Called the Redhorn, one of the mightiest peaks in the Misty Mountains, beneath which lay the Redhorn Gate, the pass attempted by the Nine Walkers on the Quest of Mount Doom.



If you thought this mountain's name was pronounced 'Caradras', you're in good company - even the BBC got this pronunciation wrong in their classic radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings.

The confusion arises because modern English uses the combination 'th' to refer to two different sounds: the 'voiceless' sound in 'both', and the 'voiced' sound in 'bother'. In Elvish, these two sounds were represented by different characters - typically thúle () and anto () respectively. Tolkien adopts a consistent transliteration scheme for these Elvish characters: he uses 'th' to refer exclusively to the voiceless sound, and 'dh' to the voiced.

'Caradhras' is probably the most prominent use of this 'dh' sound, but it does occur fairly frequently in other names: Aredhel, Maedhros and Caras Galadhon are three important examples.


About this entry:

  • Updated 4 April 2004
  • Updates planned: 3

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