Dol Guldur, also known as the 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 south of Mirkwood for over two-thousand years in the Third Age.



Dol Guldur was established by Sauron after his return to Middle-earth sometime after TA 1000. Sauron became known as the Necromancer, and his true identity was long kept secret. Dol Guldur was built on the hill known as Amon Lanc (meaning "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.

The Fortress of the NecromancerEdit

Sauron necromancer dol guldur

The Necromancer as seen in the first Hobbit film

The White Council long feared the power in Dol Guldur might be Sauron, but Saruman opposed assaulting it. However, 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 Guldur, and Sauron, not yet powerful enough to challenge them, fled to Mordor.

Sauron continued to increase his power over the next 100 years in his search for the One Ring.

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 that Sauron was the master of Dol Guldur at that time.

Gandalf returned to the White Council and urged an attack on Dol Guldur, but was overruled by Saruman. In TA 2941, Saruman finally agreed to an attack, which occurred at the same time as The Quest of 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 nearly ready. In TA 2951, Sauron declared himself openly and sent three Nazgûl led by Khamûl to reoccupy Dol Guldur.


Galadriel Dol Guldur

Galadriel's destruction of Dol Guldur, as seen in BFME2.

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 Lórien, 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 Amon Lanc, as it had first been known, it became the capital of Celeborn's realm of East Lórien in the Fourth Age, while he remained in Middle-earth.[2][3][4]


Dol Guldur was Sindarin, meaning "Hill of Dark Sorcery," from dol ("hill") and guldur ("dark sorcery"). It was previously known as Amon Lanc, the "Bald Hill," from amon ("hill") and lanc ("bald").[5]

Portrayal in adaptationsEdit

The Hobbit film trilogyEdit

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Dol Guldur in the films

Dol Guldur is briefly seen in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, depicted as a huge, decaying castle set on top of a hill. In a scene unique to the film, Radagast the Brown enters the fortress to investigate the evil force within. He briefly battles the Witch-king of Angmar who is shown unclothed and in full spirit form, before glimpsing the Necromancer. He flees to tell Gandalf of what he saw.

In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, after leaving Bilbo and the party of Dwarves to make their own way through Mirkwood, Gandalf seeks the tombs of nine servants of Sauron in the High Fells of Rhudaur who were the bearers of the nine rings of power given to men. The tombs of the Nine Ringwraiths were open, showing that they had been summoned from the dead. After this discovery Gandalf convenes with Radagast in the High Fells, and he and Radagast then travel to Dol Guldur to investigate further and confront the evil which dwelt there. Gandalf performs revealing spells that remove the illusion displaying the castle as abandoned and ruined. In the extended edition, Gandalf finds Thrain there and helps him to escape. Gandalf and Thrain are then attacked by Azog who reveals his hordes of Orcs and Wargs inside the castle preparing for war. Gandalf uses his magic to escape Azog, but the Necromancer manifests at Dol Guldur's exit. The Necromancer sucks Thrain in and kills him. The two then start a battle of light and shadow until The Necromancer defeats Gandalf, destroys his staff, and then reveals himself as the Dark Lord Sauron. Gandalf is later seen trapped in one of the cages of the castle watching the vast hordes of Sauron's armies leaving Dol Guldur.


Galadriel and Gandalf in Dol Guldur, surrounded by The Nine

In the The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Galadriel, Elrond and Saruman are seen gathering at Dol Guldur to face Sauron and all of the nine Ringwraiths.  

Galadriel keeps her promise made to Gandalf in the first Hobbit film, and goes to his aid in Dol Guldur. She interrupts an orc who is just about to kill Gandalf, using her magic to blast him away. She then carries the unconscious Gandalf to safety, but as she does Sauron summons the Nazgûl. Galadriel is horrified by the sight of them, and Sauron taunts her for being alone, but Galadriel replies that she is not alone. 

Elrond arrives on the scene and draws his sword. Saruman, appearing shortly after Elrond, witnesses the Nazgûl with his own eyes, realizing he was wrong to doubt Gandalf's claims. Elrond strikes first and defeats a few of them, and Saruman enters the fray. While the two of them are locked in a fierce battle with the Nazgûl, Galadriel heals Gandalf with a kiss. When he comes to, he and Galadriel acknowledge that Sauron has returned. Radagast then arrives in Dol Guldur to take Gandalf to safety, but he is hesitant to leave Galadriel's side. Galadriel suddenly enters a trance and forcefully commands Radagast to take Gandalf away. 

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Sauron reveals himself to Galadriel, Elrond, and Saruman

When Sauron manifests before them, Saruman cowers as Galadriel takes on a terrifying and corrupted image and challenges Sauron and banishes the Ringwraiths. Sauron attempts to sway her to his side, but she denies him. While the two battle each other in minds and words, Galadriel's power overrules Sauron. Eventually, by her efforts, Sauron is banished from Dol Guldur, with his spirit fleeing from the wrath of the Elf Queen back into Mordor. Elrond escorts Galadriel to safety after her struggle with Sauron on orders from Saruman while he deals with Sauron.  

Video gamesEdit

In EA's Battle for Middle-earth II, the forces of Dol Guldur were 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 the Lonely Mountain, the 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 dwelt 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 summoned dragon occasionally appears. The Balrog itself is also summoned as a final obstacle.

Dol Guldur also appears as a playable level in LEGO The Hobbit: The Video Game; to enable two players to participate Radagast joins Gandalf in exploring it. The game only covered the events of the first two The Hobbit films and thus did not incorporate the attack of the White Council; an expansion pack that would presumably have included these scenes was planned but ultimately cancelled.


LEGO created three Dol Guldur kits, named "Dol Guldur Ambush," "Dol Guldur Battle", and "Witch-king Battle."

"Dol Guldur Ambush" is a small kit that comes with two Gundabad Orc mini-figures and a Beorn mini-figure. A hide-away axe can be pulled up to chop up the mini-figure standing there. It also includes a catapult.

"Dol Guldur Battle" is a larger kit that includes two Gundabad Orc mini-figures, and Azog, The Necromancer, Radagast and Gandalf mini-figures. The Radagast mini-figure is exclusive to this kit. At the front gate a vine can be pulled, which makes a LEGO skull drop down on the mini-figure below. In the middle The Necromancer has a secret spin-wall which can turn to reveal the Necromancer if a torch is turned. The top of a tower can do multiple things. One, a catapult can be attached to the top, so it can shoot the brick farther. Second, the catapult can be taken off and a large rock with a stick poking out can be attached. Hanging on the stick is a chain which holds a dangling prison cage, like the one Gandalf was captured in. A small pin can be pulled out, making the cage fall down and hit against the tower wall.

"Witch-king Battle" features a small fortress with a catapult and a spinning wheel. The spinning wheel allows players to spin the minifigure. Galadriel, a variation of the Elrond mini-figure and Witch-king, in a total of three mini-figures, are given in this set. All three mini-figures are exclusive to this set.


Dol Guldur - An Unexpected Journey
The fortress of Dol Guldur
Gandalf in Dol Guldur
Dol Guldur
Radagast at Dol Guldur

Translations around the WorldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ዶል ጉልዱር
Arabic دول غولدور
Armenian Դոլ Գուլդուր
Belarusian Cyrillic Дол Гулдур
Bengali দোল গুলদুর
Bulgarian Cyrillic дол Гулдур
Burmese ဍောလ္ ငုလ္ဒုရ္
Chinese (Hong Kong) 多爾哥多
Georgian დოლ გულდურ
Greek Ντολ Γκουλντουρ
Gujarati ડોલ ગુલાડર
Hebrew דול גולדור
Hindi डोल गुलदुर
Japanese ドル・グルダー
Kannada ಡಾಲ್ ಗುಲ್ಡೂರ್
Kazakh Дол Гұлдұр (Cyrillic) Дол Гұлдұр (Latin)
Korean 돌 굴 더르
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Дол Гулдур
Malayalam പൂര്ണചന്ദ്രനെപ്പോലുള്ള ഗുല്ദുര്
Marathi डोल गुल्दुर
Mongolian Cyrillic Дол Гулдур
Pashto ضول عولدور
Persian دول گولدور
Punjabi ਡੋਲ ਗੁਲ੍ਦੁਰ
Russian Дол Гулдур
Serbian Дол Гулдур (Cyrillic) Dol Guldur (Latin)
Sinhalese ඩොල් ගුල්දුර්
Tajik Cyrillic Дол Гулдур
Tamil டோல் குலத்துர்
Telugu డోల్ గుల్దార్
Thai โดล กูลดูลร์
Ukrainian Cyrillic Дол-Гулдур
Urdu داول گولڈور
Uzbek Дол Гулдур (Cyrillic) Dol Guldur (Latin)
Yiddish דאָל גולדור
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 | Orthanc | 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:

Númenor | Dark Land | Aman (Valinor) | Tol Eressëa


  1. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B: The Tale of Years (Chronology of the Westlands), "The Great Years"
  2. The Atlas of Middle-earth, Regional Maps, "Eriador"
  3. The Atlas of Middle-earth, Regional Maps, "The Misty Mountains"
  4. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The Lord of the Rings, "Battles in the North"
  5. Parma Eldalamberon, Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien