The Great Plague began in the east beyond Mordor, reaching Osgiliath in TA 1636 just two years after King Minardil of Gondor had been killed at Pelargir by the Corsairs of Umbar, and two centuries after the Kin-strife of Gondor. The new king, Telemnar was killed together with his kin, as well as many others of the Dúnedain. Together these events served to greatly weaken the people of Gondor.
Movement of the plague
The Plague had first hit Rhûn and Rhovanion, and after the plague had passed more than half the people had been killed. From Osgiliath the plague spread west and then north. Enedwaith and Dunland were scarcely affected, but Minhiriath and Cardolan were especially hard hit. The last of the Dúnedain of Cardolan died at the Barrowdowns, and evil spirits from Angmar and Rhudaur entered the tombs there.
The cities of Osgiliath and Minas Ithil were hit especially hit hard, suffering the highest casualties outside of Rhovanion. Many fled both cities and re-located to Ithilien and Anórien, and Minas Anor became the King's seat as Osgiliath began to fall into ruin.
The casualties were so high that the fortresses guarding Mordor were abandoned along with the garrisons in Enedwaith, as the surviving troops were recalled. For the next two centuries Gondor, as well as its enemies, did little but try to regain strength. Gondor had begun to recover by the 19th century of the Third Age, but was then hit by the Wainrider War.
Portrayal in adaptations
The Great Plague appears in The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king, in which the plague is planned by the Witch-king to weaken the Dunedain kingdoms even further. The plague is created by Angmar's sorcerers by corrupting the Barrow-downs of Cardolan, creating many Barrow-wights, including Karsh. Afterwards, the plague ravages Arnor, then spreads across the Misty Mountains, affecting Osgiliath, Rhovanion, and Rhun, presumably in the same way as in the books.
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Albanian||murtajë e Madhe|
|Belarusian Cyrillic||Вялікая Чума|
|Bulgarian Cyrillic||Голямата чума|
|Danish||Den Store Pest|
|Filipino||Mahusay na Peste|
|Irish Gaelic||An Phlá Mór|
|Kazakh||Үлкен оба (Cyrillic) Ülken oba (Latin)|
|Macedonian Cyrillic||Голема чума|
|Serbian||Велика куга (Cyrillic) Velika kuga (Latin)|
|Tajik Cyrillic||Бемории калон|
|Ukrainian Cyrillic||Велика чума|
|Uzbek||Катта чума (Cyrillic) Katta chuma (Latin)|
|Vietnamese||Đại dịch hạch|