The Great Plague began in the east beyond Mordor, reaching Osgiliath in TA 1636 just a year after King Minardil of Gondor had been killed at Pelargir by the Corsairs of Umbar, and only 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 further destroy 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 folk of the Kingdom of Rhovanion had been killed. From Osgiliath the plague spread west and then north. Enedwaith and Dunland were scarcely affected, but the Plague regained strength as it went north, and Minhiriath (the southern part of Cardolan) was especially hit hard. The last of the Dúnedain of Cardolan died on the Barrowdowns, and evil spirits from Angmar and Rhudaur entered the realm.
The city of Osgiliath was especially hit hard, suffering the highest casualties outside of Rhovanion. Many fled the city and re-located to Ithilien and Anórien, and Minas Anor became the King's seat there.
The casualties were so high that the fortresses guarding Mordor were abandoned as the troops were recalled. For the next two centuries Gondor, as well as its enemies, did little but try to regain strength. Eventually Gondor did recover and garrisoned the fortresses for a short time.
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|