Ruins of Dol Guldur
|Place in Arda|
|Aliases||Amon Lanc (Bald Hill)|
|Summary||The Dark stronghold of Sauron in Mirkwood|
|Lord||Sauron, later Khamûl|
|Lifespan||TA 1000 - TA 3019|
Dol Guldur, "Hill of Dark Sorcery", was Sauron's stronghold and base of operations when he worked his sorcery in the wood under the name of The Necromancer. It was located in the south of Mirkwood for over twelve-hundred years in the Third Age. Some believe that before Sauron returned to the fortress a rare species of creature called the Mewlips took up residense in its cellars and underground passages.
ConstructionEditDol Guldur was established by Sauron after his return to Middle-earth sometime after TA 1000. Sauron became known as the Necromancer, and his identity was long kept secret. Dol Guldur was built on the hill known as Amon Lanc (bald hill), and had been the capital of Oropher's Silvan realm. The Silvan Elves had fled north to the Black Mountains (later the Mountains of Mirkwood) after Sauron's return from the Downfall of Númenor. Later, after Sauron captured Amon Lanc, Thranduil, son of Oropher, led his people over the Forest River, where they remained. Sauron later remained there for hundreds of years.
As the Fortress of The NecromancerEditThe White Council long feared the power in Dol Guldur might be Sauron, but Saruman opposed assaulting it, because he knew that the Necromancer was Sauron, and he wanted to wait for him to grow in power until the One Ring revealed itself to him, so Saruman could then take it for himself. But Gandalf later went to Dol Guldur himself and discovered that the Necromancer was indeed Sauron. He then informed the White Council, and Saruman was unable to protest. The White Council attacked Dol Goldur, and Sauron, not yet powerful enough to challenge them, fled to Mordor.
Sauron continued to increase his power over the next 380 years, and searched for the Ring the whole time.
In TA 2845 Thráin II, holder of the last of the Seven Rings of the Dwarves, was imprisoned in Dol Guldur's dungeons. In TA 2850 Gandalf again entered Dol Guldur, and found the dying Thráin. Gandalf was entrusted with the map and key to give to Thorin Oakenshield, Thráin's son, although Thráin could not tell Gandalf his own name or the name of his son before he died. Gandalf confirmed Sauron was the master of Dol Guldur at that time.
Sauron Flees to MordorEditGandalf returned to the White Council and urged an attack on Dol Guldur, but was overruled by Saruman, who had by then begun searching for the One Ring in that area. In TA 2941 Saruman finally agreed to an attack, which occurred at the same time as the Quest for Erebor. This was carefully planned by Gandalf, so that Sauron and Smaug could not assist each other, as otherwise they surely would have done. The White Council attacked Dol Guldur, and drove out Sauron. Sauron fled to Mordor, his plans now ready.
Dol Guldur DestroyedEdit
During the War of the Ring, the forces of Dol Guldur were led by Khamûl, the Ringwraith second in command to the Witch-King of Angmar. He and his armies made three assaults upon Lórien and Thranduil's realm in Mirkwood, causing grievous damage to the outlying woodlands, but they were driven back each time by the power of Nenya, Galadriel's Ring of Power, which only Sauron himself could have overcome. The elves, led by Thranduil of Mirkwood and Galadriel of Lorien led an assault on Dol Guldur and Galadriel herself threw down its walls, and laid its pits bare. Absolutely nothing of the fortress that had stood for 2,019 years was left. Renamed back to Amon Lanc, it became the capital of Celeborn's realm of East Lórien in the Fourth Age, while he remained in Middle-earth.
Portrayal in AdaptationsEdit
Role in The Battle for Middle-earth IIEdit
In Battle for Middle-earth II, Dol Guldur was commanded by the Mouth of Sauron, not Khamûl the Ringwraith. Dol Guldur (or Mordor itself) sent a huge army of orcs, Haradrim, and Trolls to assault Erebor, the Lonely Mountain and greatest Kingdom of the Dwarves. The attack fails, and the Mouth of Sauron is killed along with all the attacking force. Dol Guldur is then itself attacked by a combined army of Elves and Dwarves led by Elrond, Arwen, Glorfindel, Gloin, Thranduil and Dain Ironfoot. After a long and hard struggle, the Elves and Dwarves finally overrun Dol Guldur and lay waste to the evil that dwelled there, ending Sauron's war campaign in the North once and for all (unless Sauron had seized the Ring, which never happened).
In this game, Dol Guldur has numerous turrets and can summon dark creatures to their aid, creatures that were probably unlikely to appear in the battle according to Tolkien's mythology. The Watcher in the Water appears numerous times, and the Goblin/Isengard dragon occasionally appears. Even a Balrog is summoned. It is assumed that they were added to intensify the level.
It is presumed that, following the destruction of Dol Guldur, it would have been returned to its former state as Amon Lanc and taken as East Lorien, just like it had happened in the storyline.
Depiction in Film AdaptationsEdit
Dol Guldur is briefly seen in Peter Jackson's first Hobbit film, depicted as a huge, decaying castle set on top of a hill. Holding true to the book, Radagast the Brown enters the fortress to investigate the evil force within. He briefly battles the the witch-king of Angmar (or his summoned shade) before seeing the Necromancer, and flees to tell Gandalf what he saw.
Dol Guldur was a Sindarin word that meant "Hill of Dark Sorcery" and Amon Lanc was Sindarin for "Bald Hill".
Places of Middle-earth and Arda
Forests & Mountains:
The rest of Arda:
- The Atlas of Middle-earth pgs. 76, 81 & 150