Barad-dûr

Barad-dûr was Sauron's primary fortress in Mordor, and was destroyed at the same time as The One Ring.

Home E Tolkien Encyclopedia E Barad-dûr

Get the Podcast!

“Mount Doom was burning, and a great reek rising. Then at last his gaze was held: wall upon wall, battlement upon battlement, black, immeasurably strong, mountain of iron, gate of steel, tower of adamant, he saw it: Barad-dûr, Fortress of Sauron. All hope left him.” ~The Fellowship of the Ring

Barad-Dur - Alan Lee

Barad-dur - Alan Lee

Barad-dûr, upheld by dark magic, stood as the preeminent fortress in Middle-earth during its time. Originally constructed in the Second Age, it was dismantled following Sauron’s defeat in the War of the Last Alliance. In the later years of the Third Age, Sauron had Barad-dûr restored as he regained power, but the tower faced irrevocable destruction with the demise of the One Ring.

History

Construction started on Barad-dûr, Sauron’s fortress,  in Mordor around S.A. 1000. The process spanned 600 years, utilizing the power of the One Ring forged in Mount Doom around S.A. 1600. Its completion marked the most significant fortress since Angband’s fall in the War of Wrath. It established Mordor as a strategic stronghold.

During the Second Age, the Last Alliance besieged Barad-dûr for seven years, resulting in its destruction after Sauron’s defeat by Isildur. Despite its leveling, the One Ring’s influence ensured its eventual reconstruction when Sauron returned to Mordor in 2942 (Third Age).

In the waning Third Age (3009 – 3017), Gollum’s capture at Barad-dûr triggered events leading to the discovery of the One Ring’s location. Tortured by Sauron, Gollum’s release in 3017 (Third Age) signaled satisfaction with the obtained information.

Barad-dûr found its final demise when Frodo Baggins, aided by Gollum, destroyed the One Ring within Mount Doom. Deprived of the Ring’s power sustaining it, the Dark Tower collapsed into ruin, ensuring it would never rise again.

Videos Discussing Barad-dûr

 

Etymology

  • Barad-dûr is a Sindarin name and means “Dark Tower”.
  • The name is comprised of two words:
    • Barad – tower/fort/city/castle
    • dûr – dark (having an evil aspect)
  • Lugbúrz is the name of the tower in the Black Speech
    • lûg – fortress/prison
    • búrz – dark