20 November 2011

365 Days of Middle-earth ~ Day 143: Dol Guldur

Dol Guldur as depicted in LOTRO: Siege of Mirkwood

Dol Guldur (S. ‘Hill of Sorcery’) was for nearly two thousand years the most feared place in Middle-earth after Mordor. This fortress had been built early in the Third Age (perhaps around TA 1050) atop the stony hilltop of Amon Lanc, and soon acquired a reputation of evilness. Dark clouds loomed over it, and before long, beasts began to terrorize the forest of Mirkwood. Unbeknownst to the Council of the Wise, who presumed the fortress had been taken over by one of the Nazgûl, Sauron was slowly beginning to take form once again, and it was he who had settled into Dol Guldur. In order to protect his true identity and prevent an early attack from his enemies, he was known only as the ‘Necromancer.’ 

When Gandalf secretly entered the Tower in 2063, Sauron managed to slip away without being discovered. Gandalf returned nearly eight hundred years later; this time, he found the Dwarf Thráin dying in the dungeons, and then he learned that the Necromancer was indeed Sauron. Immediately, he summoned the Council of the Wise, urging them to attack the fortress; but Saruman, eager to further his own desires, persuaded them to do nothing. When the White Council finally agreed to attack Dol Guldur in 2941, Sauron retreated and openly declared himself in Mordor. The Nazgûl occupied the Tower until being driven out by the Elves of Lórien at the end of the Age.

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