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The Attack on Dol Guldur was a battle launched by the White Council in TA 2941 of the Third Age against the fortress of Dol Guldur in Mirkwood, which was commanded by The Necromancer and The Nine.



The stronghold of Dol Guldur was established in the year TA 1000, which was originally known as Amon Lanc (meaning "Bald Hill"), and it was the capital of Oropher's Silvan Elves. After that, a darkness took possession of the fortress, actually the Dark Lord Sauron, who disguised himself as the Necromancer of Dol Guldur to avoid suspicion. After Sauron took over control of Amon Lanc, Thranduil, son of Oropher, retreated northwards, first to the Mountains of Mirkwood and then the Elvenking's Halls.

The Council of the Wise long feared the Necromancer might indeed be Sauron, and in the year TA 2063, Gandalf, the Grey Wizard among the Five Wizards, went to Dol Guldur to investigate, but Sauron, who was not yet powerful, fled east before the Wizard could find out the truth. After four centuries of the Watchful Peace, Sauron returned to Dol Guldur in the year TA 2460, the same year as the One Ring was found by Sméagol. However, the Ring disappeared with Sméagol under the Misty Mountains.

In TA 2845, Thráin II, son of Thrór, father of Thorin Oakenshield, King of Durin's Folk, and holder of the last of the Seven Rings of the Dwarves, was imprisoned in Dol Guldur's dungeons. Five years later, Gandalf returned to Dol Guldur, finding the dying Thráin, and Gandalf was entrusted with the map and key to give to Thorin, although Thráin could not tell him his own or his son's name before he died. After Thráin's death, Gandalf confirmed that Sauron was the Necromancer of Dol Guldur.

Gandalf returned to the White Council and urged an attack on Dol Guldur. Saruman spoke against this, having fallen into corruption and was actively searching for the One Ring in the Gladden Fields by then. But later to his dismay, Saruman learned that Sauron was searching there too. Again Gandalf urged the Council to attack while Sauron was still regaining his power. Saruman now assented to this, feeling that Sauron should no longer be allowed to search the Gladden Fields for the Ring. In TA 2941, Saruman finally agreed to attack Dol Guldur, which occurred at the same time as The Quest of Erebor. This was carefully planned by Gandalf, so that Sauron and Smaug could not assist each other during this attack. [1][2]

The attack

Not much is known of the actual battle, whether it was simply a duel between great powers, or if it involved the use of conventional weapons. Some facts are mentioned, in that Sauron retreated before the Council due to the devices of Saruman, as stated by Gandalf. While Sauron was forced to retreat to the east, his plan to return to Mordor had long been prepared, as he had anticipated that the White Council would eventually drive him out and he returned there in secret only a year later.


After the attack's success, Gandalf immediately left the White Council for the Lonely Mountain, to again aid Thorin's company, where he would take part in the Battle of the Five Armies.

Portrayal in adaptations

The Hobbit film trilogy

Galadriel and Gandalf in Dol Guldur, surrounded by The Nine in the film

The Attack on Dol Guldur appears in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies as one of the main plots, besides Smaug's attack to Lake-town and the gathering for battle at the Lonely Mountain. After Gandalf was defeated and captured after facing Sauron in The Desolation of Smaug, the White Council (Galadriel, Saruman, Elrond and Radagast the Brown) determined to come to his aid and face Sauron/The Necromancer and The Nine (Nazgûl).

Quest of Erebor

Skirmish in the TrollshawsChase to Rivendell – Battle of the Stone Giants – Battle of Goblin-townAttack of the WargsAttack of the SpidersAmbush of MirkwoodAttack on Lake-townBattle in EreborDestruction of Lake-townAttack on Dol GuldurBattle of Five Armies (Siege of DaleSkirmish in Ravenhill)

In The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Gandalf is seen suffering in his prison cage and attempting to mutter a spell with Radagast also chanting spells in Rhosgobel to support his fellow wizard. But Gandalf is interrupted by an Orc chieftain, who scorns the wizard for using spells in his master's domain. He roughly tosses Gandalf out of his cage and demands to know the whereabouts of the Ring of Fire, which Sauron is somehow aware of. Gandalf lashes the Orc in the mouth with a chain. Unfazed, the Orc examines Gandalf's hand and discovers Narya. The Orc prepares to cut it off, but some other power stops him in his tracks. Galadriel emerges and commands the Orc to stand down or else be destroyed. When he roars in defiance, Galadriel raises her arm and unleashes a deadly light that dissolves the Orc and rents the sky for miles. She bears Gandalf away in her arms, and Sauron calls out to her in Black Speech. He specifically chants the verse referring to the rings of power, which Galadriel finishes in the Westron "Nine for mortal men doomed to die". She and the unconscious Gandalf are surrounded by the spectral forms of the Ringwraiths/Nazgûl

Seemingly startled, Galadriel retreats to a dais where she protects Gandalf. Sauron warns her that she cannot fight the darkness, especially if she is alone. Galadriel answers that she is not alone. Elrond and Saruman arrive on the scene and fight all of the Nine. Elrond seems to use his Ring of Power along with his Elven-sword in dueling the Nazgûl. Saruman uses ninja-like skills involving his staff and magical bursts to beat the Ringwraiths. The two of them attempt to dismember the Nazgûl and knock them off the fortress walls, although the wraiths keep regenerating. Amidst the fighting, Galadriel heals Gandalf by kissing him on the forehead, although doing so seems to take its toll on her. Radagast arrives on his rabbit sled and hastily escorts Gandalf out of the fortress. Gandalf begs her to join him, but after hesitating she willfully commands Radagast to take Gandalf away. Elrond and Saruman inflict enough damage against the wraiths that they are forced to retreat. Galadriel lies prone on the floor.

Sauron himself emerges as his silhouette erupts in the form of a flaming eye. He bears down on the Council and the Nine are summoned again. Saruman is alarmed at the sight of Sauron, while Elrond raises his sword. The Dark Lord declares their time is up and sends the Nazgul forth to finish them off. Using her last ounce of strength, Galadriel rises and enters her spiritual/ethereal form, like she did in The Fellowship of the Ring when Frodo presented her with the Ring. She holds aloft the Phial of Eärendil, which instantly blazes with light and the Nazgul dissipate immediately.

Galadriel and Sauron engage in a short but heated battle, trying to dominate each others mind. Sauron tries to sway her, but she defies him with scornful words. Sauron's silhouette begins to fluctuate, constantly revolving and reshaping as Galadriel assaults his spirit. The outcome is that Galadriel is able to penetrate Sauron's mind and issues a single command "Go back to the void from whence you came!" Unable to resist her any longer, Sauron screams and flees. But Galadriel is rendered weak after their strife and falls back; Elrond rushes in to support her. Once he is cast away, Elrond states that he must be permanently destroyed and Gondor should be warned. Saruman instructs him to take the severely weakened Galadriel to safety and to leave Sauron to him, hinting at his downfall in The Lord of the Rings.

Extended version

In the extended cut, the Orc brute attempts to interrogate Gandalf about the whereabouts of the three Elven Rings, which Sauron is looking for. Gandalf however whips the Orc across the face with a chain, and the Orc grabs Gandalf's hand and examines it. Sure enough, Narya the ring of fire reveals itself on Gandalf's finger. The Orc prepares to cut it off, but he is forcibly stopped by Galadriel. As the orc rounds on her, she gives him a verbal warning to stand down. The Orc snarls and Galadriel unleashes her magic, which brutally rips apart the Orc's body.

There is some further footage of Elrond and Saruman fighting the wraiths.

Behind the Scenes

According to the Official Movie Guide to The Battle of the Five Armies, in coming to Gandalf's aid, Galadriel has to grapple with the seductive power of the Necromancer to draw other beings into a void of darkness, despair and decay. She has to summon every particle of her strength to resist and, in doing so, we see Galadriel’s incredible power and realize that — but for the finesse and strength of her spirit — how quickly power for goodness could be turned to evil.” Blanchett also says Galadriel "uses the language of the enemy".

Galadriel's spectral form is revealed by designer Daniel Falconer to be a reference to "an Elf revealed in wrath". This is taken from a passage in The Fellowship of the Ring, Many meetings, where Gandalf tells Frodo about the power of the Eldar. Those Elves who have dwelt in the blessed realm have great power against the seen and unseen (the physical and spiritual realms). The ethereal form Galadriel takes is the film's representation of her wrath-form. Galadriel's duel with Sauron also alludes to another passage in The Fellowship of the Ring, The Mirror of Galadriel, where Galadriel states that she can perceive Sauron's mind, while he is unable to do the same because Galadriel states the door is still closed. This is given a visual representation in the film. Rather than cast magic at Sauron, Galadriel opts to challenge him on the spiritual plane; she resorts to her Wrath form to penetrate Sauron's mind and break his will. She obviously succeeds, as Sauron audibly cries aloud as he flees.

The commentary on the DVD suggests that both Elrond and Saruman must have spiritual power of their own in order to fight the wraiths. Since ghosts cannot by be harmed by conventional weapons, Elrond is clearly using some other power to supplement his sword.

It is expected that The Three Guardians of the Elven Rings run into some kind of fight with the Nazgûl. Galadriel and Saruman, until now, are expected to have an intense confrontation with Sauron. All three of the Elven rings can be spotted in the sequence, but only Nenya is given prominence.


Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Aanval op Dol Guldur
Albanian Sulmi ndaj Dol Guldur
Amharic ዾል ጙልዱር ላይ ጥቃት ?
Arabic هجوم على دول غولدور
Armenian հարձակվել է Դոլ Գուլդուր
Azerbaijani Dol Guldur hücum
Basque Dol Guldur aurkako eraso
Belarusian Cyrillic Атака на Дол Гулдур
Bengali দোল গুলদুর হামলা
Bosnian Napad na Dol Guldur
Bulgarian Cyrillic Атака на Дол Гулдур
Burmese ဍောလ္ ငုလ္ဒုရ္ အပေါ်တိုက်ခိုက်
Catalan Atac a Dol Guldur
Cebuano Pag-atake sa Dol Guldur
Chichewa Kuukira pa Dol Guldur
Chinese 多爾哥多攻击
Cornish Omsettyans en Dol Guldur
Corsican Attaccu di u Dol Guldur
Croatian Napad na Dol Guldur
Czech Útok na Dol Guldur
Danish Angrebet på Dol Guldur
Dutch Aanval op Dol Guldur
Esperanto Atako sur Dol Gulduro
Estonian Ründa Dol Guldur
Faroese Leypa á Dol Guldur
Filipino Atake sa Dol Guldur
Finnish Dol Guldurin Hyökkäys
French Attaque contre Dol Guldur
Frisian Oanfal op Dol Guldur
Galician Ataque en Dol Guldur
Georgian შეტევა დოლ გულდურზე
German Angriff auf Dol Guldur
Greek Επίθεση στο Ντολ Γκουλντούρ
Gujarati ડોલ ગુલડુર પર હુમલો
Haitian Creole Atak sou Dol Guldur
Hawaiian Hoouka ma Dol Guldur
Hebrew התקפה על דול גולדור
Hindi डोल गुलदूर पर हमला
Hmong Nres ntawm Dol Guldur
Hungarian Dol Guldur Támadása
Icelandic Árás á Dol Guldur
Igbo Agha na Dol Guldur
Indonesian Serangan Dol Guldur
Irish Gaelic Ionsaí ar Dol Guldur
Italian Attacco a Dol Guldur
Japanese ドル・グルダールに対する攻撃
Javanese Nyerang ing Dol Guldur
Kannada ಡೊಲ ಗುಲ್ಡೋರ್ ಮೇಲೆ ದಾಳಿ
Kazakh Дол Гұлдұр шабуыл (Cyrillic) Dol Guldur şabwıl (Latin)
Korean 돌 굴 더르 에 공격
Kurdish Êrîşek li ser Dol Guldur (Latin)
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Дол Гулдур кол менен ?
Laotian ການໂຈມຕີກ່ຽວກັບ Dol Guldur ?
Latvian Uzbrukums Dol Guldur
Lithuanian Atakos Dol Guldur
Luxembourgish Ugrëff op Dol Guldur
Macedonian Cyrillic Напад на Дол Гулдур
Maori Whawhai i runga i Dol Guldur
Marathi डोल गुलडुरवर हल्ला
Mongolian Cyrillic Дол Гулдур дээр халдлага
Norwegian Angrep på Dol Guldur
Malagasy Fanafihana Dol Guldur
Malay Serang ke atas Dol Guldur
Maltese Attakk fuq Dol Guldur
Nepalese डोल गुलदुर मा आक्रमण
Persian حمله دول گولدور
Polish Atak na Dol Guldur
Portuguese Ataque a Dol Guldur
Punjabi ਡੋਲ ਗੁਲ੍ਦੁਰ ਉੱਤੇ ਹਮਲਾ
Romanian Atac pe Dol Guldur
Russian Атака на Дол Гулдур
Samoan Osofaiga o Dol Guldur
Scottish Gaelic Ionnsaigh air a Dol Guldur
Serbian Напад на Дол Гулдур (Cyrillic) Napad na Dol Guldur (Latin)
Sesotho Tlhaselo ka Dol Guldur
Sinhalese ඩොල් ගුල්දුර් මත පහර ?
Slovak Útok na Dol Guldur
Slovenian Napad na Dol Guldurju
Somalian Weerarkii dul saaran Dol Guldur
Spanish Ataque a Dol Guldur
Sudanese Nyerang kana Dol Guldur
Swahili Mashambulizi ya Dol Guldur
Swedish Angrepp på Dol Guldur
Tajik Cyrillic Ҳамла ба Дол Гулдур
Tamil டோல் குலத்துர் தாக்குதல்
Telugu డోల్ గుల్దార్ మీద దాడి
Thai โจมตีโดลกุลดัวร์
Turkish Dol Guldur'a saldırı
Ukrainian Cyrillic Атака на Дол-Гулдур
Urdu داول گولڈور پر حملہ
Uzbek Дол Гулдур ҳужум (Cyrillic) Dol Guldur hujum (Latin)
Vietnamese Tấn công vào Dol Guldur
Welsh Ymosodiad ar Dol Guldur
Yoruba Kolu lori Dol Guldur
Yucatec Maya Ataque ti' Dol Guldur


  1. The Lord of the Rings: Appendix B
  2. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The Lord of the Rings, "Battles in the North"