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The Black Gate was set in an impregnable black stone and iron wall that stretched from the Mountains of Ash in the north to the Ephel Duath in the west. The wall has been estimated to be 60 feet high and 250 feet long, with each half of the great gate being 90 feet wide, and set on large stone wheels. Behind the gate were gigantic circular stone ramparts, and when the gate needed to be opened, two pairs of Mountain-trolls who were tethered to gigantic beams pushed their way around their rampart's track, gradually levering open the gate and allowing for the incoming or outgoing of Mordor's armies.
It was originally a gate built by Sauron the Dark Lord of Mordor in the Second Age, to protect and guard the northern entrance into Mordor and to prevent invasion at the gap between the Ash Mountains and the Ephel Dúath. It was probably built with the help of the power of the One Ring, like the Barad-dûr. After Sauron's fall after the Battle of Dagorlad, it became a garrison of the Men of Gondor. In Gondor's early days, when it was building towers and cities such as Minas Ithil and Cirith Ungol close to Mordor's border, it raised the two great Towers of the Teeth, Narchost and Carchost, which were built on either side of the wall and were tall enough to overlook it.
It was backed up on the other side by the Isenmouthe, and protected by the castle of Durthang to the west; it was redesigned to prevent anything evil from entering or leaving Mordor, shielding the outside from it - and it from the outside. The reconstruction of Minas Ithil, Tower of the Rising Moon, as well as the construction of Cirith Ungol was also done for the same purpose.
However, they eventually failed and they were taken over by the servants of Sauron. Once taken by the Enemy, they became a monument of dread, fear, evil, and awe by anyone who saw the gate. Thus the Ringwraiths and Orcs re-entered Mordor, eventually overrunning the garrisons and inhabiting and taking them for their own uses. It was at this time that the Nazgûl took the tower of Minas Ithil, having its name changed to Minas Morgul.
During the War of the Ring, Frodo and Sam had a chance to go through the Black Gate when they arrived at Mordor, but it was so heavily fortified and guarded by the forces of Mordor that they turned away and were led on a different route into Mordor by Sméagol. They also saw an army of Easterlings enter the gate.
The Black Gate was the site of the last valiant battle of the War of the Ring, in the East. In March 3019, the Army of the West commanded by Aragorn Elessar and numbering some 6,000 men (plus one Elf, one Dwarf, and a Wizard and one Hobbit) arrived at the Black Gate and challenged the many remaining armies of Mordor. Their intention was to draw the watchful Eye of Sauron away from Mount Doom, to allow Frodo the Ring-bearer to cast the One Ring into the Crack of Doom and destroy it. The delay worked and the Ring was destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom, following which the Black Gate and the Towers of the Teeth immediately collapsed.
Portrayal in adaptations
The Lord of the Rings film trilogy
In Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Sam, Frodo and Gollum head towards the Black Gate, only to find it closed. An army of Easterlings appears and Sam attempts to enter Mordor through the open gate. He stumbles on the rocky hill and two Easterlings nearly find him. The Black Gate closes and the three go towards Cirith Ungol.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
In Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, it is suggested that the Men of Gondor used prison labour to build the watch towers of Narchost and Carchost. For over 2,000 years, the Rangers of Gondor had guarded the Black Gate, however following the Great Plague, Gondor's defences were significantly weakened. This had meant that in the final years of the watch, Gondor's defence capability of the Black Gate was drastically reduced.
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Albanian||Porta e Zezë|
|Amharic||ጥቁር በር (Black Gate)
|Arabic||(Black Gate) البوابة السوداء
|Armenian||Բլածկ Գատե (Black Gate)
|Azerbaijani||قارا قاپاچیق (South) Qara darvaza (Latin)|
|Belarusian Cyrillic||Чорныя вароты (Black Gate)
|Bengali||কালো গেট (Black Gate)
|Bulgarian Cyrillic||Черната порта (Black Gate)
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||黑門|
|Georgian||შავი კარიბჭე (Black Gate)
|German||Schwarzes Tor (Black Gate)
Schwarzes Tor von Mordor (Black Gate of Mordor)
|Greek||Μαύρη πύλη (Black Gate)
|Gujarati||કાળો દરવાજો (Black Gate)
|Haitian Creole||Pòtay Nwa|
|Hebrew||(Black Gate) השער השחור
|Hindi||काला दरवाजा (Black Gate)
|Hmong||Rooj vag dub|
|Irish Gaelic||Geata Dubh|
|Japanese||黒い門 (Black Gate)
|Kannada||ಕಪ್ಪು ಗೇಟ್ (Black Gate)
|Kazakh||Кара қақпасы (Cyrillic) Kara qaqpası (Latin)|
|Korean||블랙 게이트 (Black Gate)
모 르 논 (Morannon)
|Kurdish||Dergeh Reş (Kurmanji)|
|Kyrgyz Cyrillic||Кара дарбаза (Black Gate)
|Macedonian Cyrillic||црна порта (Black Gate)
|Marathi||काळा दरवाजा (Black Gate)
|Mongolian Cyrillic||Хар хаалга (Black Gate)
|Nepalese||कालो ढोका (Black Gate)
|Persian||دروازه سیاه و سفید|
|Punjabi||کالا پھاٹک (Western) ਕਾਲਾ ਫਾਟਕ|
|Russian||Черные Врата (Black Gate)
|Scottish Gaelic||Dubh Gheata|
|Serbian||Црна Капија (Cyrillic) Crna Kapija (Latin)|
|Sinhalese||කළු ගේට්ටුව (Black Gate)
|Tajik Cyrillic||дарвоза сиёҳ (Black Gate)
|Telugu||బ్లాక్ గేట్ (Black Gate)
|Thai||ประตูสีดำ (Black Gate)
|Ukrainian Cyrillic||Чорні ворота (Black Gate)
|Urdu||سیاہ دروازہ (Black Gate)
|Uzbek||Қора Дарвоза (Cyrillic) Qora Darvoza (Latin)|
|Yiddish||שווארץ טויער (Black Gate)
|Yucatec Maya||Joolnajo' box|