The Tower of Dark Sorcery

“Now, feeling the way become steep before his feet, he looked wearily up; and then he saw it,
even as Gollum had said he would; the city of the Ringwraiths.”

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TolkienCanon3Minas Morgul was a city of the dead. Once called Minas Ithil or the Tower of the Rising Moon, this fallen city was captured by the forces of Mordor in the year 2002 of the Second Age. After the fall  Minas Ithil to the Nazgûl, it was ever after called Minas Morgul. It was from this strategic fortress that the Forces of Mordor attacked and destroyed Osgiliath in order to stage a final assault on Minas Tirith and destroy Gondor forever. Minas Morgul become the lair of the Nazgûl and ruled by their black Captain, the Witch-king of Angmar.

Morgul3Gollum led the hobbit’s Frodo and Sam to the very feet of Minas Morgul in order to reach the Secret Stair to the Morgul Pass into Mordor.

“A long-tilted valley, a deep gulf of shadow, ran back far into the mountains. Upon the further side, some way within the valley’s arms, high on a rocky seat upon the black knees of the Ephel Dúath, stood the walls of and tower of Minas Morgul.
All was dark about it, earth and sky, but it was lit with light. Not the imprisoned moonlight welling up 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. In the walls and tower windows showed, like countless black holes looking inward into emptiness; but the topmost course of the tower revolved slowly, first one way and then another, a huge ghostly head leering into the night!”

From The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in the chapter ‘The Stairs of Cirith Ungol’


Morgul2In order to reach the Secret Stair, Gollum and the hobbits had to cross over the road the led into Minas Morgul and pass the Bridge that spanned the steaming meads the fill the air with a rotten carnal stench.

“Here the road, gleaming faintly, passed over the stream in the midst of the valley, and went on, winding deviously up towards the city’s gate: a black mouth opening in the outer circle of the northward walls. Wide flats lay on either bank, shadowy meads filled with pale white flowers. Luminous these were too, beautiful and yet horrible of shape, like the demented forms in an uneasy dream; and they gave forth a faint sickening charnel-smell; an odor of rottenness filled the air. From Mead to mead the bridge sprang.
Figures stood there at it’s head, carven with cunning in the forms human and bestial, but all corrupt and loathsome. The water flowing beneath was silent, and it steamed, but the vapor that rose from it, curling and twisting about the bridge, was deadly cold.”

From The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in the chapter ‘The Stairs of Cirith Ungol’


Morgul4As the hobbits made their way to the Stair, the ground began to tremble behind them and turning in fear, they witnessed a dark communication between the inner plane of Mordor and the Mordor vale.

“At that moment the rock quivered and trembled beneath them. The great rumbling noise, louder then ever before, rolled in the ground and echoed in the mountains. Then with searing suddenness there came a great red flash! Far beyond the eastern mountains it left into the sky and splashed the lowering clouds with crimson. In that valley of shadow and cold deathly light it seemed unbearably violent and fierce. Peaks of stone and ridges like notched knives sprang out in staring black against the uprushing flame of Gorgoroth. Then came a great crack of thunder.
And Minas Morgul answered. There was a flare of livid lightnings; forks of blue flame springing up from the tower and from the encircling hills into the sullen clouds.”

From The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in the chapter ‘The Stairs of Cirith Ungol’


Believing they had been spied from within the city, Frodo and Sam cast themselves down behind a ledge of rock and covered their ears.

“The earth groaned; and out of the city there came a cry. Mingled with harsh high voices as of birds of prey, and the shrill neighing of horse wild with rage and fear, there came a rending screech, shivering, rising swiftly to a piercing pitch beyond the range of hearing.
As the terrible cry ended, falling back through a long sickening wail to silence. Across the narrow valley, the walls of the evil city stood, and its cavernous gate, shaped like an open mouth with gleaming teeth, was gaping wide. And out of the gate an army came.
All that host was clad in sable, dark as night. Against the wan walls and the luminous pavement small black figures in rank upon rank, marching swiftly and silently, passing outwards in an endless stream. Before them went a great cavalry of horsemen moving like ordered shadows, and at their head was one greater then all the rest: a Rider, all in black, save that on his hooded head he had a helm like a crown that flickered with a perilous light.
Lord of the Nine Riders returned to earth to lead his ghastly host to battle.”

From The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in the chapter ‘The Stairs of Cirith Ungol’

Mordor coming about the Dark History of Minas Morgul



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 Posted by at 11:55 am