The History of Dol Guldur- Lord of the Rings Lore

Dol Guldur, the dungeons of the Necromancer and Sauron's fortress in the North.

A dark corrupted place.

Though many know of its existance, its history and purpose are somewhat vague and so in today's

episode we'll be exploring the dungeons of Dol Guldur.

So Dol Guldur was built around the year 1050 of the third age, when the Necromancer first

arrived in Mirkwood.

This was noneother than Sauron, and he erected the fortress of Dol Guldur upon the hill known

as Amon Lanc.

This hill had once been the capital of the Silvan Elves in Mirkwood led by Oropher Thranduil's

father, though he later led his people north and abandoned their dwelling as he was disturbed

by the rumours concerning Sauron's rise in power.

After claiming the hill and building his stronghold, Sauron's power grew, and we're told that Easterlings

started to live in and near Southern Mirkwood,possibly being summoned by Sauron or drawn to his presence.

Sauron also started to fill Mirkwood with giant spiders and Orcs, as his corruption

spread throughout the forest, twisting it.

It seems that his presence there was felt by the Hobbits, who back then lived close

to Mirkwood, and that this feeling of unease caused them to leave their homes and travel


Sauron's new fortress of Dol Guldur and the spreading corruption in Mirkwood would not

go unnoticed, for around the year 1100, the wise whose numbers included the wizards and

Elven leaders discovered the stronghold's existance, though they thought that the Necromancer

was a Nazgul.

Despite their suspicions the wise chose to do nothing, and it would take almost a 1000

before it was investigated again.

For in the year 2063, they started to suspect that the Necromancer was possibly Sauron taking

shape again, and so Gandalf set off to infiltrate Dol Guldur, hoping to discover and confirm

the identity of the Necromancer and his purpose.

However, Sauron learnt of Gandalf's entry, and he chose to flee before his identity could

be discovered.

This was the start of the watchful peace, which would last until the year 2460.

For in that year, Sauron returned to Dol Guldur, his strength increased.

He directed his servants to attack Gondor, and sent out orcs to the Misty Mountain to

repopulate them and bring them under his influence.

For the next 400 years his strength kept growing, and his spies and servants spread throughout

the lands surrounding Mirkwood.

In the year 2841 Thrain, Thorin's father decided to return to Erebor, and he set out with a

company of dwarves that included Balin and Dwalin.

Sauron's forces started to pursue them, and their journey grew more difficult as they

travelled North.

Four years later, a black rain was said to have driven them towards Mirkwood, where they

took shelter under the eaves and darkness of the forest; and that very night tragedy

befell the company, for Thrain was kidnapped and taken to Dol Guldur.

I think it's quite likely that the rain was conjured by Sauron, to bring Thrain closer

to his land and stronghold.

Here Thrain was tortured, and his Dwarven Ring of Power, the last of the seven, was

taken from him.

The torture he endured drove him mad, and he was thrown into the dungeons and pits of

Dol Guldur to rave alone for five years.

In the year 2850, Gandalf entered Dol Guldur in disguise and he came across a dwarf that

was close to death in its dungeons.

This was Thrain, though Gandalf would not learn his identity until many years later.

For all Thrain could focus on was the loss of his Dwarven Ring of Power, and before he

died he gave Gandalf a map and a key, those of Erebor, and asked for them to be given

to his son.

Gandalf's mission into Dol Guldur would prove to be invaluable, for this time he was successful,

and he learnt that the Necromancer was indeed Sauron, and that he had started to gather

all the Rings of Power as he sought for news regarding One Ring.

One year later, during a meeting of the White Council, Gandalf urged them to attack Dol

Guldur, however Saruman overruled him, and convinced the council to merely stand watch

and remain inactive.

In the year 2941, after Thorin and company set out on their quest to reclaim Erebor,

the White Council met once again, and Saruman finally conceded, and agreed to launch an

attack on Dol Guldur.

It's possible that they were aided by the Elves of Lorien and their plan was successful,

as Sauron was driven out of his stronghold in the North, and fled towards Mordor.

According to Gandalf, Saruman played a key role in driving out Sauron for he says "it

was by the devices of Saruman that we drove him from Dol Guldur."

I wonder what sort of 'devices' were used, whether it was some strategy or machines of


Their victory allowed the forest of Mirkwood to grow more wholesome and it helped o protect

the Northern lands of Middle-Earth , yet it was not complete, for the stronghold of Dol

Guldur was not destroyed and Sauron had survived.

10 years later, in the year 2951, Sauron sent out three of the Nazgul to reoccupy Dol Guldur.

Their leader was Khamul of the East who was second in command to the Witch-King.

During the events of the War of the Ring, three attacks were launched from Dol Guldur

as its forces attacked Lothlorien , though each time they were repelled.

Some orcs had also been sent out to attack Thranduil's realm though these too were defeated.

After the final assault, Galadriel and Celeborn led a counter attack, and they managed to

conquer Dol Guldur once again.

Galadriel then brought down its walls and the fortress was completely destroyed.

Celeborn then claimed part of Southern Mirkwood as his new Kingdom called East Lorien, and

this included the hill of Amon Lanc.

Now I'd like to discuss Dol Guldur's structure and other characteristics.

So the hill it was built upon, was said to be highest point in southern Mirkwood, and

that no trees grew on its summit.

This is why it was called Amon Lanc, which means Naked Hill.

The stronghold of Dol Guldur was described as being smaller and less protected than the

fortress of Barad-Dur.

When Frodo looked at the lands of Lorien he described them as full of light, and yet across

the river he could see a dark land, flat and empty, formless and vague, and that dark fortifications

rose there.

We're told "The sun that lay on Lothlorien had no power to enlighten the shadow of that

distant height.

During the events of the War of the Ring, Haldir says that a black cloud was present

over Dol Guldur, which could have been part of Sauron's preperation, as he readied his

forces and machines of War for his assaults on Lothlorien.

It is also said that Dol Guldur was filled with dungeons and pits, I imagine it to be

similar to Barad-Dur but on a much smaller scale.

It would also stand to reason that it was filled with Sauron's forces such as orcs and

easterlings, and these forces would allow him to exert his influence in the Northern

regions of MIddle-Earth, and perhaps even stop the northern factions such as the Elves

of Lothlorien from coming to Gondor's or Rohan's aid.

Anyway friends this wraps up today's video and I hope you enjoyed it.

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I hope to see you all in my next video, wheere together we can once again explore the magical

world and lore of Middle-Earth.