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The Black Gate or Morannon was a gate built across Cirith Gorgor, and the most fortified, direct entrance into Sauron's realm of Mordor.



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.


The Black Gate's literal Sindarin translation, Morannon, means "black gate" from môr ("dark, black") and annon ("gate, door").[2]

Portrayal in adaptations

The Black Gate as depicted in the 1980 film

Rankin/Bass' Return of the King

In The Return of the King film created by Rankin/Bass, the design The Black Gate is some what based on Tolkien's description. However in the film it is only made of grey stone and not that of black stone and iron from the book. Also there is no Battle of the Morannon in the film.

The Lord of the Rings film trilogy

The Black Gate as depicted in Peter Jackson's films

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.

In the film, the gate shares a name with an type of Orcs known as Morannon Orcs.

The Lord of the Rings Online

The Black Gate seen at night in 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.

See also


Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Swart Hek
Albanian Porta e Zezë
Amharic ጥቁር በር (Black Gate) ሞራኖን (Morannon)
Arabic (Morannon) موراننون (Black Gate) البوابة السوداء
Aramaic ܐܘܟܡܐ ܒܒܐ
Armenian Բլածկ Գատե (Black Gate) Մորաննոն (Morannon)
Azerbaijani قارا قاپاچیق (South) Qara darvaza (Latin)
Basque Beltza Atea
Belarusian Cyrillic Чорныя вароты (Black Gate) Моранноне (Morannon)
Bengali কালো গেট (Black Gate) মোরাননন (Morannon)
Breton Dor Du
Bosnian Crna Vrata
Bulgarian Cyrillic Черната порта (Black Gate) Моранон (Morannon)
Cambodian ច្រកទ្វារខ្មៅ
Catalan Porta Negra
Cebuano Itom Ganghaan
Chinese (Hong Kong) 黑門
Cornish Yet Du
Croatian Crna Vrata
Czech Černá brána
Danish Mordors Sorte Port (Morannon)
Dutch Zwarte Poort
Esperanto Nigra Pordego
Estonian Must Värav
Filipino Itim Pultahan
Finnish Musta Portti
French Porte Noire
Frisian Swarte Poarte
Galician Porta Negro
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
Hungarian Fekete Kapu
Icelandic Svarta Hliðið
Indonesian Gerbang Hitam
Italian Nero Cancello
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 검은 문(Black Gate) 모란논 (Morannon)
Kurdish Dergeh Reş (Kurmanji)
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Кара дарбаза (Black Gate) Мораннон (Morannon)
Laotian ປະຕູຮົ້ວສີດໍາ
Latin Niger Portam
Latvian Melnie vārti
Lithuanian Juodieji Vartai
Macedonian Cyrillic црна порта (Black Gate) Моранон (Morannon)
Malayalam ബ്ലാക്ക് ഗേറ്റ്
Malaysian Pagar Hitam
Maltese Gejt Sewda
Manx Giat Doo
Marathi काळा दरवाजा (Black Gate) मॉरनॉन (Morannon)
Mongolian Cyrillic Хар хаалга (Black Gate) Мораннон (Morannon)
Navajo Dáádílkał łizhin
Nepalese कालो ढोका (Black Gate) मोरन्नोन (Morannon)
Newari हाकु ध्वखा
Norwegian Sorte Porten
Occitan Pòrta Negre
Pashto تور ور
Persian دروازه سیاه و سفید
Portuguese Portão Negro
Polish Czarna Brama
Punjabi کالا پھاٹک (Western) ਕਾਲਾ ਫਾਟਕ
Romanian Poarta Neagra
Romansh Porta Naira
Russian Черные Врата (Black Gate) Мораннон (Morannon)
Sanskrit ब्लच्क् ङते
Samoan Uliuli Faitotoa
Scottish Gaelic Dubh Gheata
Serbian Црна Капија (Cyrillic) Crna Kapija (Latin)
Sesotho Batsho Heke
Shona Gedhi Dema
Sinhalese කළු ගේට්ටුව (Black Gate) මොරනොන් (Morannon)
Sindhi ڪارو گيٽ
Slovenian Črna Vrata
Slovak Čierna brána
Somalian Iridda Madow
Spanish Puerta Negra
Sundanese Gerbang Hideung
Swahili Nyeusi Lango
Swedish Svarta Porten
Tajik Cyrillic дарвоза сиёҳ (Black Gate) Мораннон (Morannon)
Telugu బ్లాక్ గేట్ (Black Gate) మొరన్నోన్ (Morannon)
Thai ประตูสีดำ (Black Gate) โมรันนอน (Morannon)
Turkish Kara Kapı
Turkmen Gara Derweze
Ukrainian Cyrillic Чорних Воріт (Black Gate) Морнан (Morannon)
Urdu مورانناون (Morannon) سیاہ دروازہ (Black Gate)
Uyghur بلاچك غاتە
Uzbek Қора Дарвоза (Cyrillic) Qora Darvoza (Latin)
Vietnamese Cổng đen
Welsh Giât Ddu
Xhosa Abamnyama Ngesango
Yiddish מאָראַננאָן (Morannon) שווארץ טויער (Black Gate)
Yoruba Dudu ẹnu-bode


  1. The Atlas of Middle-earth, Regional Maps, "Mordor (and Adjacent Lands)"
  2. The Silmarillion, Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin names