||This Middle-earth-related article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (October 2014)|
|Place from J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium|
|Other names||Orodruin, Amon Amarth|
Mount Doom is a fictional volcano in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. It is located in the north-west of the Black Land of Mordor and close to Barad-dûr. Alternative names, in Tolkien's invented language of Sindarin, include Orodruin ("fiery mountain") and Amon Amarth ("mountain of fate"). The Sammath Naur ("Chambers of Fire"), made by Sauron in the Second Age, is a tunnel, leading to an interior platform with molten lava below it, located high up on the mountain's cone. It was here Sauron forged the One Ring during the Second Age.
The mountain represents the endpoint of Frodo Baggins' quest to destroy the Ring which is recounted in The Lord of the Rings. The chasm is the site where the One Ring was originally forged by the Dark Lord Sauron and the only place it can be destroyed.
When Sauron began searching Middle-earth during the Second Age for a permanent dwelling place, his attention was immediately drawn to Mordor, and especially to Orodruin, whose power he believed he could use to his advantage. He subsequently established his kingdom based around Orodruin and "used the fire that welled there from the heart of the earth in his sorceries and his forging". The most famous of Sauron's creations forged at Mount Doom is the One Ring. In The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf explains that the materials of which the Ring is made are so durable and the enchantments with which it is imbued so powerful that it can only be destroyed in the Cracks of Doom where it was made.
Orodruin is more than just an ordinary volcano; it responds to Sauron's commands and his presence, lapsing into dormancy when he is away from Mordor and becoming active again when he returns. When Sauron is defeated at the end of the Third Age, the volcano erupts violently.
Cracks of Doom
The phrase "crack of doom" is the modern English for the Old English term for Ragnarök, the great catastrophe of Norse mythology. The term became used for the Christian Day of Judgement, as by William Shakespeare in Macbeth (Act 4, scene 1, line 117). This appealed to Tolkien, who was a Professor of Old English. Another possible source of the name is a long story by Algernon Blackwood.
Concept and creation
Mount Doom corresponds to the volcano of Stromboli in Sicily. Others argue that it is of Mount Etna and identify Mordor (surrounded by three mountain ranges) with Sicily. Emyn Aran represent Stromboli and would separate Mordor (Sicily) from Ithilien (southern Italy).
In Peter Jackson's film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, Orodruin was represented by two active volcanoes in New Zealand: Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Ruapehu. In long shots the mountain is either a large model or a CGI effect, or a combination. It was not permitted to film the summit of Ngauruhoe because the Māori hold it to be sacred. However, some scenes on the slopes of Mount Doom were filmed on the slopes of Ruapehu.
Perhaps the most notable use of the name is as the name of Amon Amarth, a Swedish melodic death metal band that is known for its lyrics dealing with Viking culture.
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- Shakespeare, William. The Tragedie of Macbeth, in Charlton Hinman, ed., The Norton Facsimile: The First Folio of Shakespeare (New York: W. W. Norton: 1996), 752.
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- International Astronomical Union. "Doom Mons". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. Accessed Nov 14, 2012.
- Ian Brodie (2003). The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook. Harper Collins. ISBN 1-86950-491-7.
- Larsen, Kristine (2007). "Sauron, Mount Doom, and Elvish Moths: The Influence of Tolkien on Modern Science". Tolkien Studies 4: 223–234. doi:10.1353/tks.2007.0024.