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Black Gate

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Black gate
Black Gate
Background Information
Type Gate/Fortification
Location North Western Mordor between Ered Lithui and Ephel Duath[1]
Realms Mordor
Founded/Built Mid-Second Age
Ruler Sauron
Other Information
Summary Known for being the formidable Gate of Mordor which the great hosts of Mordor, its allies, and its foes passed over the ages.
Other names The Morannon, Black Gate of Mordor, Dark Gate of Mordor
Inhabitants Manned by Orcs, Trolls, Men
Spoken Languages
Lifespan Mid-Second Age – March 25, 3019

The Black Gate (or "Morannon") was the gate of Udûn in northwestern Mordor, and the most fortified and direct entrance to the land of Mordor.



A map showing Black Gate

The Black Gate was set in an impregnable black stone and iron wall that stretched from the Mountains of Ash in the north to the Ephel Duath in the west. The wall has been estimated to be 60 feet high and 250 feet long with each half of the great gate being 90 feet wide and set on large stone wheels. Behind the gate were gigantic circular stone ramparts, and when the gate needed to be opened, two pairs of Mountain-trolls who were tethered to gigantic beams pushed their way around their rampart's track, gradually levering open the gate and allowing for the incoming or outgoing of Mordor's armies.

Inset within the wall were myriads of archers, spearmen, bowmen, ballistae, and hundreds of thousands of Orc troops ready to defend Mordor. The Gates themselves may have been made of the same indomitable stone that constitutes Orthanc, so hard that even the Ents could not dent it.[1]


It was originally a gate built by Sauron the Dark Lord of Mordor in the Second Age, to protect and guard the northern entrance into Mordor and to prevent invasion at the gap between the Ash Mountains and the Ephel Dúath. It was probably built with the help of the power of the One Ring, like the Barad-dûr. After Sauron's fall after the Battle of Dagorlad, it became a garrison of the Men of Gondor. In Gondor's early days, when it was building towers and cities such as Minas Ithil and Cirith Ungol close to Mordor's border, it raised the two great Towers of the Teeth, Narchost and Carchost, which were built on either side of the wall and were tall enough to overlook it.

It was backed up on the other side by the Isenmouthe, and protected by the castle of Durthang to the west; it was redesigned to prevent anything evil from entering or leaving Mordor, shielding the outside from it - and it from the outside. The reconstruction of Minas Ithil, Tower of the Rising Moon, as well as the construction of Cirith Ungol was also done for the same purpose.

BLACK GATE location map in middle earth

Location of the Black Gate in Middle-earth marked in red

However, they eventually failed and they were taken over by the servants of Sauron. Once taken by the Enemy, they became a monument of dread, fear, evil, and awe by anyone who saw the gate. Thus the Ringwraiths and Orcs re-entered Mordor, eventually overrunning the garrisons and inhabiting and taking them for their own uses. It was at this time that the Nazgûl took Tower of Sorcery the tower of Minas Ithil having its name changed to Minas Morgul.

During the War of the Ring, Frodo and Sam had a chance to go through the Black Gate when they arrived at Mordor, but it was so heavily fortified and guarded by the forces of Mordor that they turned away and were led on a different route into Mordor by Sméagol. They also saw an army of Easterlings enter the gate.

The Black Gate was the site of the last valiant battle of the War of the Ring, in the East. In March 3019, the Army of the West commanded by Aragorn Elessar and numbering some 6,000 men (plus one Elf, one Dwarf, and a Wizard) and a Hobbit arrived at the Black Gate and challenged the many remaining armies of Mordor. Their intention was to draw the watchful Eye of Sauron away from Mount Doom, to allow Frodo the Ring-bearer to cast the One Ring into the Crack of Doom and destroy it. The delay worked and the Ring was destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom, following which the Black Gate and the Towers of the Teeth immediately collapsed.

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The Black Gate's literal Sindarin translation Morannon means "Black Gate" from môr ("dark, black") and annon ("gate, door").

Translations around the WorldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Chinese (Hong Kong) 黑門
Russian Черные Bорота
Spanish Puerta Negra
German Schwarzes Tor von Mordor
Portuguese Portão Negro
Polish Czarna Brama
French Porte Noire
Italian Nero Cancello
Hebrew השער השחור
Swedish Svarta Porten

See alsoEdit

Dark Lord Realms throughout the Ages
Years of the Lamps Utumno First Age Angband · Dor Daedeloth
Second Age Gundabad · Mordor Third Age Angmar · Mordor
Angband | Barad-dûr | Black Gate | Carchost | Dol Guldur | Durthang | Narchost | Minas Morgul | Tol-in-Gaurhoth | Tower of Cirith Ungol | Towers of the Teeth


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Atlas of Middle-earth, Regional Maps, "Mordor (and Adjacent Lands)"

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