|"Can you see anything?" "Nothing. There's nothing." |
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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 Dúath in the west. The wall had but a single gate set into its length and was patrolled unceasingly, with hundreds of Orc holes on either side in which lurked thousands of Orcs ready to attack. On either side were the two Towers of the Teeth, Narchost and Carchost.
The Black Gate was a mighty rampart 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 built with the power of the One Ring, like the Barad-dûr. After Sauron's fall in the War of the Last Alliance, it was garrisoned by the Men of Gondor, who 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 south-eastern side by the Isenmouthe, and protected by the castle of Durthang to the west; closing the passage into Mordor to evil creatures. The reconstruction of Minas Ithil, Tower of the Rising Moon, as well as the construction of the Tower of Cirith Ungol was for the same purpose.
However, Gondor's guard on Mordor eventually failed and the fortifications fell into ruin following the Great Plague and were later taken over by the servants of Sauron and were rebuilt. Once controlled by the Enemy, they became a monument of dread, evil, and awe to anyone who saw the gate. Thus the Ringwraiths and Orcs re-entered Mordor, inhabiting the abandoned fortresses and claiming them for their own uses.
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 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 great battle of the War of the Ring. In March 3019, the Army of the West commanded by Aragorn Elessar and numbering some 6,000 men (plus one Elf, one Dwarf, a Wizard and one Hobbit) arrived at the Black Gate and challenged the forces 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. But a troop of Easterlings appears marching towards the Gate, which opens, encouraging Sam to try to enter Mordor through the opening. He stumbles on a rocky ledge of a hillside and falls down a slope, and two Easterlings nearly find him. The Black Gate closes minutes later, and the three go southward instead, to the pass of Cirith Ungol.
The Morannon's portrayal in the films differs from Tolkien's description of it: an entire section of the wall opens, as two vast doors, without an archway.
The Lord of the Rings Online
In The Lord of the Rings Online the Black Gate serves as an impassable barrier that instantly kills any player attempting to apprpach them during the reign of Sauron. After his defeat, the Black Gate lie in ruins and allow passage into Mordor.
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) ሞራኖን (Morannon)|
|Arabic||(Morannon) موراننون (Black Gate) البوابة السوداء|
|Armenian||Բլածկ Գատե (Black Gate) Մորաննոն (Morannon)|
|Azerbaijani||قارا قاپاچیق (South) Qara darvaza (Latin)|
|Belarusian Cyrillic||Чорныя вароты (Black Gate) Моранноне (Morannon)|
|Bengali||কালো গেট (Black Gate) মোরাননন (Morannon)|
|Bulgarian Cyrillic||Черната порта (Black Gate) Моранон (Morannon)|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||黑門|
|Danish||Mordors Sorte Port (Morannon)|
|Georgian||შავი კარიბჭე (Black Gate) მორანიონი (Morannon)|
|German||Schwarzes Tor (Black Gate) Schwarzes Tor von Mordor (Black Gate of Mordor)|
|Greek||Μαύρη πύλη (Black Gate) Μόραννον (Morannon)|
|Gujarati||કાળો દરવાજો (Black Gate) મોરન્નોન (Morannon)|
|Haitian Creole||Pòtay Nwa|
|Hebrew||(Morannon) מוראנון (Black Gate) השער השחור|
|Hindi||काला दरवाजा (Black Gate) मोरन्नोन (Morannon)|
|Hmong||Rooj vag dub|
|Irish Gaelic||Geata Dubh|
|Japanese||黒い門 (Black Gate) モラノン (Morannon)|
|Kannada||ಕಪ್ಪು ಗೇಟ್ (Black Gate) ಮೊರಾನ್ನನ್ (Morannon)|
|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) Мораннон (Morannon)|
|Macedonian Cyrillic||црна порта (Black Gate) Моранон (Morannon)|
|Marathi||काळा दरवाजा (Black Gate) मॉरनॉन (Morannon)|
|Mongolian Cyrillic||Хар хаалга (Black Gate) Мораннон (Morannon)|
|Nepalese||कालो ढोका (Black Gate) मोरन्नोन (Morannon)|
|Persian||دروازه سیاه و سفید|
|Punjabi||کالا پھاٹک (Western) ਕਾਲਾ ਫਾਟਕ|
|Russian||Черные Врата (Black Gate) Мораннон (Morannon)|
|Scottish Gaelic||Dubh Gheata|
|Serbian||Црна Капија (Cyrillic) Crna Kapija (Latin)|
|Sinhalese||කළු ගේට්ටුව (Black Gate) මොරනොන් (Morannon)|
|Tajik Cyrillic||дарвоза сиёҳ (Black Gate) Мораннон (Morannon)|
|Telugu||బ్లాక్ గేట్ (Black Gate) మొరన్నోన్ (Morannon)|
|Thai||ประตูสีดำ (Black Gate) โมรันนอน (Morannon)|
|Ukrainian Cyrillic||Чорні ворота (Black Gate) Морнан (Morannon)|
|Urdu||مورانناون (Morannon) سیاہ دروازہ (Black Gate)|
|Uzbek||Қора Дарвоза (Cyrillic) Qora Darvoza (Latin)|
|Yiddish||מאָראַננאָן (Morannon) שווארץ טויער (Black Gate)|