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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
Spoken Languages Orkish dialects, languages of the slaves
Lifespan YT ? - FA 587

Angband, also known by its translation, Iron Prison, was an ancient fortress built by Melkor under 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]



Map of Northern Lands and the location of Angband.

Angband was a primarily subterranean stronghold under the three volcanic mountains of Thangorodrim, the largest mountains in Middle-earth. Before the Great Gate, there was a sombre court area flanked by frightening cliffs and walled by the 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, which spewed poisonous fumes. There were also many tunnels leading to the slave quarters or vaults. At its foundation was the entrance to Morgoth's throne room in the Nethermost Hall.[1]


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 assault of the Valar leveled Angband without much difficulty, and forced Melkor to flee to his primary stronghold of Utumno. However, Angband's underground vaults and caverns were left relatively intact after the Valar's onslaught, as they were in great haste to capture Melkor for the sake of keeping the newly-awakened Elves safe. After Melkor's defeat at Utumno, the Balrogs came to Angband and went into hibernation in its ruined foundations. Eventually, the Orcs began to multiply in great numbers in Angband, and soon made their way south into Beleriand, threatening the Dwarves and Thingol's kingdom. It is possible that Sauron remained in the ruins of Angband with the Balrogs, as he had presumably been commanding the fortress when it was attacked. However, it is not certain where Sauron dwelt during Melkor's imprisonment. After three ages of imprisonment, Melkor destroyed the Two Trees of Valinor and stole the Silmarils from Fëanor and escaped Aman.

After fleeing, Melkor, now called Morgoth by his enemies, returned to Middle-earth and re-delved the ruins of Angband, raising the volcanic peaks of Thangorodrim over it as protection. These peaks were created from the slag and rubble caused by the re-delving of the fortress, and as such, it is possible that the rebuilt Angband extended for a considerably greater distance underground than it's original incarnation did. From here on his dark throne in the Nethermost Hall, Morgoth directed the war against the Ñoldor who had returned from the West and all the Free Peoples that supported them in Beleriand. Ultimately, he achieved complete victory over them. At the end of the First Age, the Valar took pity on the Ñoldor and suffering of Morgoth's other enemies and instigated the War of Wrath, which not only utterly destroyed Angband but broke most of northern Middle-earth so throughly that it sank beneath the ocean.[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.


Angband is a Sindarin word that meant 'iron prison'.[3]

See alsoEdit

Translations around the WorldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Arabic أنجباند
Armenian Անգբանդ
Belarusian Ангбанд
Bengali আঙ্বান্দ
Bulgarian Ангбанд
Catalan Àngband
Chinese (Hong Kong) 安格班 a.k.a. 鐵之牢獄
Dari انگباند
French Angband a.k.a. Enfer d'Acier
Georgian ანგბანდ
German Angband a.k.a. Eisenkerker
Greek Άνγκμπαντ
Gujarati આઙ્બન્દ
Hebrew אנגבנד
Hindi आङ्बन्द
Japanese アングバンド
Kazakh Ангбанд
Kurdiah ئنگباند (Arabic script) Angband (Latinised)
Kyrgyz Ангбанд
Macedonian Ангбанд
Marathi एंगबैंड
Mongolian Ангбанд
Nepali यान्गब्यान्ड
Pashto آنګباند
Persian انگباند
Portuguese (Brazil) Angband a.k.a. Infernos de Ferro
Portuguese (Portugal) Angband a.k.a. Inferno de Ferro
Russian Ангбанд
Sanskrit आङ्बन्द्
Serbian Ангбанд (Cyrillic) Angband (Latinised)
Sinhala ආඞ්බඳ්
Spanish (Spain and Latin America) Angband a.k.a. Infierno de Hierro
Tajik Angband
Tamil ஆங்பந்த் ?
Telugu ఆఙ్బన్ద ?
Ukrainian Анґбанд
Urdu انگبند
Uzbek Ангбанд (Cyrillic) Angband (Latinised)
Yiddish אַנגבאַנד
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

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