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Background Information
Type Fortress/Prison
Location Iron Mountains north of Beleriand[1]
Founded/Built YT ?
Ruler Sauron, later Melkor/Morgoth
Other Information
Summary Infamous fortress and prison of the Dark Lord Morgoth.
Other names
Inhabitants Balrogs, Trolls, Orcs, Dragons, and slaves of all races
Spoken Languages Orkish dialects, languages of the slaves
Lifespan YT ? - FA 587

Angband, also know as the Hells of Iron, was an ancient fortress, built by Melkor in the Iron Mountains before the First Age, and from which he tried to subjugate Arda. It was destroyed at the conclusion of the War of Wrath.[1]


Outwardly, Angband was a large terrible place built into Thangorodrim. Before the Great Gate, there was a sombre court area flanked by frightening cliffs and walled by great towers of a great battlement. Through the gate, there was a long great tunnel leading to a 'labyrinthine pyramid' of stairs to corridors, tunnels, smithy chambers which a tall chimney went up through the mountain to the smokey towers of Thangorodrim that spewed poisonous fumes for hundreds of years. There were also many tunnels leading to the slave quarters or vaults. All tunnels of course led to Morgoth's throne in the Nethermost Hall.[1]


Map of Northern Lands and the location of Angband.


Melkor originally built Angband to guard against a possible attack from Aman by the Valar, and put Sauron in command of it. However, at the initiation of the War of Powers, the Valar's attack destroyed Angband without much difficulty, and forced Melkor to flee to his primary stronghold of Utumno. However, Angband was left relatively intact after the Valar's onslaught, as they were in such haste to capture Melkor that they did not destroy many of its underground chambers. During this time, the Balrogs survived and the Orcs continued to multiply in great numbers in Angband and soon made their way south into the Beleriand, threatening the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains and Thingol's kingdom. After three ages of imprisonment, Melkor, now named Morgoth, destroyed the Two Trees of Valinor and stole the Silmarils from Fëanor and escaped Aman.

Melkor then returned to Middle-earth and re-delved the ruins of Angband, raising the volcanic peaks of Thangorodrim over it as protection. From here on his dark throne in the Nethermost Hall, he directed the war against the Ñoldor who returned from the West and all the Free Peoples that supported them in the Beleriand, ultimately achieving complete victory over them. At the end of the First Age, the Valar took pity on the Ñoldor and suffering of other peoples and instigated the War of Wrath, which not only destroyed Angband but shattered most of northern Middle-earth.[2]

Earlier versions of the legendariumEdit

In earlier versions of Tolkien's mythology (see: The History of Middle-earth) it was called Angamando, the Quenya form of the name.

Portrayal in AdaptationsEdit

Translations around the WorldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Portuguese (Brazil) Angband a.k.a. Infernos de Ferro
Portuguese (Portugal) Angband a.k.a. Inferno de Ferro
Spanish (Spain and Latin America) Angband a.k.a. Infierno de Hierro
French Angband a.k.a. Enfer d'Acier
German Angband a.k.a. Eisenkerker


Angband is a Sindarin word that meant 'Hells of Iron', although the literal meaning is 'iron prison'.[3]

See alsoEdit

Places of Middle-earth and Arda

Middle-earth Locations:


Dunland | Ithilien | Rohan | Arnor | Ettenmoors | Gondor | Lindon | Minhiriath | Rhûn | The Shire | Mordor | Harad | Forochel

Forests & Mountains:

Amon Dîn | Amon Hen | Amon Lhaw | Emyn Muil | Erebor | Fangorn Forest | High Pass | Iron Hills | Lórien | Mirkwood | Mount Doom | Old Forest | Redhorn Pass | Tower Hills | Weather Hills


Angband | Barad-dûr | Bree | Caras Galadhon | Dol Guldur | Fornost | Helm's Deep | Isengard | Minas Morgul | Minas Tirith | Osgiliath | Rivendell | Umbar | Utumno


Cair Andros | Gap of Rohan | Grey Havens | Buckland | Enedwaith | Dagorlad | Dead Marshes | Fords of Isen | Weathertop | Argonath

The rest of Arda:

Valinor | Númenor | Dark Land | Aman | Tol Eressëa


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Atlas of Middle-earth, The First Age, The Elder Days, "Thangorodrim"
  2. The Silmarillion
  3. The Complete Guide to Middle-earth

External linkEdit

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