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Other fortresses in Mordor


Staff member
Media Team
Hey everyone, hope you're well and all alright.

This thread will be about the upcoming Mordor project, and some things to do with minor details.

Basically. I'm asking, what, if it can be answered yet, is going to happen in regards to the fortification of not only the Ephel Duath (Mountains of shadow, West and South) But also the Ered Lithui (Ash Mountains, North).

Let's start off with what we know.

From a somewhat knowledgeable side of view, we know that there are 4 "fortresses" on the mountains. Only 2 however are really in the mountains. These are The Black Gate (which kind of links the 2 ranges), Durthang, Minas Morgul (Once again, kind of not in the mountains as such, but on the edge of them) and Cirith Ungol.

Now, you may think, "Raf wth, The 2 mountain ranges are massive and there isn't any need for any other fortresses, stupid, pathetic Guide". And really, this is true. The mountains did protect most of Mordor from invasion from other parts of Middle Earth. But surely, Sauron wouldn't be that stupid to leave his borders totally unprotected.

There is some ambiguity about what the situation was soutn of Cirith Ungol and especially along the Ash Mountains. A quote from the wiki is "Mordor was protected too well to be captured by any military might that was available in Middle-earth at the end of the Third Age. In the north of Mordor were the great garrisons and forges of war". This leads to suggest that there must be something up there, that keeps Mordor protected from the North.

Also referenced is the fortresses of Sergegost and Nargroth. These are 2 fortresses after the Black Gate in the Mithrand Spur. The spur wasn't created by Tolkien so perhaps it isn't as necessary but it could still be important.
I'm not saying every location has to be precise. There are plenty of non lore places in Belfalas :p

I think a few fortresses, maybe one below Cirith Ungol and anothet 2 maybe on the Ash mountains wouldn't do badly, as after all, Sauron did know that despite his connections to Angmar, Attacks could potentially come from anywhere, in particular the North.

What do you guys think? :)

(I found this website quite useful)


Hm the point is that Tolkien never mentioned this in the books or somewhere else though i think that we could place a few camps or smaller watch towers can't we? you know something like an alarm system.


Media Team
But surely, Sauron wouldn't be that stupid to leave his borders totally unprotected.
All the fortresses mentioned in the books were not made by Sauron to keep enemies out, they were built long ago by Númenoreans to keep evil inside Mordor. It's not necessary to be defensive at this time, they're now just places to hold troops. There is no danger from outside, for Mordor. That might be something to keep in mind when planning the actual fortresses, that it's not necessary to have them by defendable.

Any additional fortresses which were not built by the Númenoreans, are thus not necessarily located in the border mountains. Instead those would be where placed economically, so next to roads to Rhûn or Umbar, or near the farms of Nurn. They might just as well be located in the mountains, but not to protect the borders. There were a lot of mines in the mountains of Mordor, as we read in a conversation between two Orcs (can't be bothered to look it up, but it's in the books). So I'm not saying that only Númenorean fortresses were located in the borders, but only that Sauron's fortresses were located on economically great locations, which can be in the mountains and not in the mountains.