The Pits of Utumno
|Place in Arda|
|Summary||Fortress of evil with pits extending deep into the earth|
Iron Mountains (Ered Engrin)
|Lifespan||Early Years of the Lamps ? - Years of the Trees ?|
In Middle-earth, Utumno (Quenyan for "Underworld"), also known as Udûn (Sindarin for Hell), was the first fortress of Morgoth in the far north of Middle-earth before he destroyed the Two Trees of Valinor.
Utumno was delved very deep into the flesh of the Earth. Here Melkor built his first of many dungeons and deep halls of obsidian, fire, and ice. Utumno had many hundreds of caves, tunnels, corners, and rooms, which allowed many things to remain hidden and secret for a very long time.
When the world was young and Arda was bathed in the light of the two lamps Illuin and Ormal, it was then Melkor first dug the great Pits of Utumno deep beneath the mountains of the North. The fortress was constructed in the North in the Iron Mountains (Ered Engrin) over one-thousand miles from Angband, where the light of the lamps was almost nonexistent.
Here were gathered all the evil powers of the World under the Lord of Darkness. Their numbers were vast, and Melkor twisted many beautiful things into horrifying and dreadful forms. All the great evils of the world were bred in this place, as were the first of the Werewolves, Vampires, Spiders, Fell beasts, and bloodsucking insects. He also bred Trolls, "made in mockery" of the Ents as stated by Treebeard. Cruel spirits, phantoms, wraiths and evil demons stalked the halls of Utumno and haunted the surrounding forests; all were under the command of Melkor and his fallen Maiar servants: Gothmog the Balrog and Sauron the Sorcerer.
From Utumno, Melkor poisoned and interfered with all the Valar's work done during the Spring of Arda. Soon afterwards, Melkor and his servants waged his war against the lamps of the Valar and struck them down, ruining the world, and forcing the Valar to move further west onto the continent of Aman.
Utumno endured for many more millennia well into the beginnings of the elves at Cuiviénen during the Years of the Trees when Middle-earth lay in the light of stars. Taking advantage of the new arrivals, Melkor captured some of them and thus, the hideous race of orcs was bred. Knowing that Melkor would continue to be a blight upon the world, the Valar decided to protect the elves by ending his power in the north. Amidst the sounding of the trumpets, the Valar came out of the west, and in the Battle of the Powers Utumno was destroyed and Melkor chained for many years.
Utumno should not be confused with Angband as the two are similar, but different, fortresses.
Places of Middle-earth and Arda
Forests & Mountains:
The rest of Arda: