Ufthak ~ Jailor of Dol Guldur

“Spells will not save you, old man.
You have something my Master wants. Where is it? One of the three Elven Rings”

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies

 

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It has been told that there was once a great orc, an Uruk of massive size and girth, who was thought to have come from Mount Gundabad, where the orcs were said to have pale skin and to have been larger than other orcs found in Middle-earth. It is believed that both Saruman and Sauron used the blood-line of these orcs in their breeding programs to create the Uruk-hai of the White Hand and the great Black Uruks of the red Eye.

This orc was named Ufthak by some, though others believe he had no name. He does not appear anywhere in the Red Book of Westmarch, but other tales tell that this Gundabad Orc came south through the Misty Mountains, until he reached the dark pathways of Moria. He was drawn to the call of the Necromancer and traveled east under the gloomy eaves of Mirkwood, until he came to the ruins of Dol Guldur.

His large size and strength helped launch his rise through the ranks under the command of the Necromancer. He rose to a position of power in the lock-holds far beneath the ruins and was named the dungeon master.  He was known by many as the Jailor of Dol Guldur, the torturer under the Hill of Sorcery. He was a cruel orc, who took pleasure in the pain of others. All feared him, because he had a gift for inflicting suffering beyond the measure of the average orc. No one who entered the dungeons of Dol Guldur, ever came out alive and all they knew or held dear was taken from them.

In fireside tales, gleeful adults would tell their children if they didn’t behave the Jailor of Dol Guldur would get them. They would describe his iron cage-like cap, bolted to his skull to repair injury sustained in one of the many battles within the ruthless ruins of Dol Guldur.

Ufthak was said to have used the bones of the dead to create his armor and that he wore the fur and claws of a great bear as a cape to shield him from the cold winters of the north. He carried a great mace made from the vertebrae of some large brazen beast and a scimitar given to him by Sauron, that some believe was made of Mithril.

The Necromancer had taken notice of Ufthak and would have sent this talented Uruk to the Houses of Lamentation, beneath the Dark Tower. Unfortunately, Ufthak did not survive the attack on Dol Guldur by the White Council.

In the year 2942 of the Third Age, in the same year that the Battle of Fives Armies took place under the shadow of the Lonely Mountain, the Wise launched an attack on Dol Guldur and drove the Necromancer out of the ruins in southern Mirkwood. They now realized that this dark sorcerer was indeed Sauron, their ancient enemy returned. Sauron of course had long prepared his seat of power in Mordor and returned there in secret to his great fortress of Barad-dûr.

Though not written in any account found in the libraries of Minas Tirith, there are those who tell the tale that the Jailor of Dol Guldur was responsible for breaking the mind of King Thráin. The fallen King of Durin’s folk had been captured by Sauron’s agents and was taken to the fortress of Dol Guldur in southern Mirkwood. There Sauron tortured Thráin and took back the last of the seven Dwarf-rings and left him in the dungeon to die.

In 2850 of the Second Age Gandalf entered Dol Guldur in order to confirm his fears that the Necromance was indeed Sauron of old. Gandalf found Thráin in one of the deepest cells, who was so diminished that he could not even remember his own name. Somehow, Thráin had been able to hide his map and key to the secret door in the Lonely Mountain. He gave Gandalf his last two possessions and died, having stayed alive only long enough to pass on the map and key. Gandalf would later give this map to Thorin, which led  him on his own journey back to Erebor, the death of the dragon and by chance the discovery of the One Ring of Power by the most unlikely person, Bilbo Baggins of the Shire.

There are other accounts of this story, which say that Gandalf returned to Dol Guldur, or that he came there at a later time and was captured himself by Sauron and his staff broken. That he was imprisoned in the dungeon of Dol Guldur and tortured by the Ufthak in the ruins of the Hill of Sorcery. Sauron believed he held one of the Elven Rings of power, Narya, the Ring of Fire. It was tasked to the Jailor of Dol Guldur to extract the hidden ring from the wizard and deliver it to Sauron, but even as Ufthak discovered which hand held the Ring, someone came to the rescue of Mirthander.

Galadriel was told by Radagast, that Gandalf was held captive by Sauron and so the White council moved against him in his stronghold in Mirkwood. Even as Ufthak was about to cut off the hand that held the Ring, he discovered a foe of great power had come upon him unawares. A foe well beyond his measure, that destroyed him and threw what remained to the winds of the east.

Of course these accounts are mere rumors that can never be known for certain, because none now live who remember it.

 

“The Ring of Fire! Where are the others? This is my Master’s domain wizard. Die Now!”

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 Posted by at 8:42 am