Minas Morgul as depicted in Peter Jackson's trilogy
|Place in Arda|
|Aliases||Minas Ithil, "The Dead City", The "Tower of Witchcraft"|
|Summary||Fortess of Mordor|
|Lord|| Kings of Gondor
|Lifespan||Second Age - Fourth Age??|
- "Not the imprisoned moonlight welling through the marble walls of Minas Ithil long ago, Tower of the Moon, fair and radiant in the hollow of the hills. Paler indeed than the moon ailing in some slow eclipse was the light of it now, wavering and blowing like a noisome exhalation of decay, a corpse-light, a light that illuminated nothing."
- —The Two Towers: "The Stairs of Cirith Ungol"
Minas Morgul was a city-fortress of Mordor. Minas Morgul was once called Minas Ithil, the Tower of the Moon. It was the sister city of Minas Anor (later known as Minas Tirith) during the early part of the Third Age. Situated in an upland valley at the feet of the Mountains of Shadow, it commanded the only easily accessible pass through the mountains into Mordor and east of Osgiliath, near the pass of Cirith Ungol.
Minas IthilEditIt was founded in the Second Age by the Númenorean Isildur, son of Elendil as a fortress city to defend Gondor from Sauron in Mordor. Isildur made his home in Minas Ithil, while Isildur's brother Anarion dwelled across the Anduin in Minas Anor. In front of his house, Isildur planted a sapling of the White Tree, which he had rescued from the Downfall of Numenor, and in the tower was kept one of the Palantíri called the Ithil-stone.
In its heyday, Minas Ithil was described as a beautiful sight, as moonlight filled its inner courts with silver light and its walls gleamed silver and white with moonlight. It was a walled city of white marble built on a high shelf of rock. Within the walls, there were white houses and a tall tower. The walls and the tower had many windows, and the top of the tower revolved slowly back and forth. A road ran from Osgiliath on the Anduin through Ithilien to the city and crossed the Mountains of Shadow into Mordor via the pass.
After Sauron was defeated in the War of the Last Alliance in SA 3441, a watch was kept from Minas Ithil to prevent the return of evil to Mordor. However, the Great Plague of TA 1636 devastated the population of the city and in the following years the guard upon Mordor slackened.
The Nazgûl, led by the Witch-king of Angmar, the chief Nazgûl and most fearsome of Sauron's minions, returned to Mordor in 1980 to prepare for Sauron's return. Meanwhile, Gondor had been devastated by many attacks of the Wainriders, Variags and Haradrim, Mordor`s allies, who had gained 2 devastating victories, killed 2 kings and conquered almost all provinces east of the Anduin. Soon Mordor started to attack and conquer parts of Gondor. In TA 2000, the forces of the nine Nazgûl laid siege to Minas Ithil. In TA 2002 after a long siege, Minas Ithil had been captured and transformed into a foul, evil place. As a result, it came to be called Minas Morgul, which in Sindarin means "Tower of Dark Sorcery." Minas Morgul stood upon the Morgulduin, a polluted tributary of the Anduin.
The Palantir’s (Ithil-stone) fate was unknown, many people of Gondor believed that the guards of the city destroyed it, but by the nature of the Palantir, this was impossible. Others believed that it was taken to Barad-dûr, which became to be known as the real hypothesis in the War of the Ring. The city was then filled with dread spirits and the Tower of the Moon became a fortress of evil.
Terror and war were directed at Gondor from Minas Morgul until Ithilien was deserted. During the War of the Ring, the army that attacked Osgiliath and undertook the Siege of Gondor came from Minas Morgul.
In fashion Minas Morgul seems to have been much like Minas Tirith, only corrupted and hellish. The top most course of the tower revolved slowly, and the walls were illuminated by a constant eerie hue. This evil, sickly green glow extended out from the city into the surrounding fields, and under a bridge adorned with dead things flowed the foulest river in Middle-Earth, the Morgulduin.
The city had a strange watchfulness about it, and intruders to Morgul Vale were always noted. Most who approached the city could not stand to set eyes on it, and felt that they were being watched.
War of the RingEdit
Sack of OsgiliathEditThe east side of the city of Osgiliath was held by the armies of Sauron, but the orcs needed to take the west side before they could go through the Pelennor Fields and take Minas Tirith. To capture the west side the Witch King of Angmar sent a host of orcs under the lieutenant of Morgul, Gothmog. Faramir expected this and tried to defend Osgiliath but was overcome by the sheer amount of orcs. During this battle, Madril, a commander under Faramir, was slain by Gothmog after Faramir ordered the retreat back to Minas Tirith.
When the second orc-army was sent out; The Witch King in his fortress sent a blue, majestic, and horrible pinnacle of fire into the sky to both intimidate the all watching in Minas Tirith, and also to signal to Sauron at Barad-dur that the army was ready.
Minas Morgul was abandoned and fell into decay long after the Nazgûl were destroyed. After the War of the Ring, Faramir was made Prince of Ithilien by King Elessar, who advised him to make his abode in the Emyn Arnen southeast of Minas Tirith. Faramir dwelt there with his new bride Éowyn, for King Elessar counseled that even though Minas Morgul was completely abandoned, the land was such a terror in the minds of Men that it would not be fit for habitation or even human contact for many years. It is likely that the city was eventually rebuilt as Minas Ithil once the evil that once tainted the land had finally been extinguished.
Rulers of Minas Morgul Edit
- Witch-king of Morgul. Better known as the Witch-king of Angmar, is the leader of the Nazgûl and the principal ruler of Minas Morgul.
- Nazgûl. The Ringwraiths claimed Minas Ithil as their own, and now rule the corpse-city under the Witch-king's leadership.
- Gothmog. Lieutenant of Morgul and commander of its orc army.