Mount Doom

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"Orodruin" redirects here. For the band, see Orodruin (band).
This article is about the fictional place. For the Swedish melodic death metal band, see Amon Amarth.
Mount Doom
J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium location
Other name(s) Orodruin, Amon Amarth
Type Volcano
Location Mordor

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.[1] When Sauron is defeated at the end of the Third Age, the volcano erupts violently.[2]

Cracks of Doom[edit]

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).[3] This appealed to Tolkien, who was a Professor of Old English. Another possible source of the name is a long story by Algernon Blackwood.[4]

Concept and creation[edit]

Mount Doom corresponds to the volcano of Stromboli in Sicily.[5] 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).


Orodruin as depicted in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
Mount Ngauruhoe was Peter Jackson's inspiration for Mt. Doom

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.[6]


The International Astronomical Union names all mountains on Saturn's moon Titan after mountains in Tolkien's work.[7] In 2012, they named a Titanian mountain "Doom Mons" after Mount Doom.[8]

Swedish melodic death metal band Amon Amarth, whose lyrics deal primarily with Viking culture and Norse mythology, are named after the mountain.


  1. ^ "Orodruin". The Encyclopedia of Arda. 28 December 2003. 
  2. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1955), The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 1987), "The Field of Cormallen", ISBN 0-395-08256-0 
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Nelson, Dale (2004). "Possible Echoes of Blackwood and Dunsany in Tolkien's Fantasy". Tolkien Studies 1: 177–181. doi:10.1353/tks.2004.0013. 
  5. ^ Kilby, Clyde S; Plotz, Dick (1968). "Many Meetings with Tolkien: An Edited Transcript of Remarks at the December 1966 TSA Meeting". Niekas (Niekas Publications, New Hampshire, USA) (19): 39–40.  Referred to at and by another publication of the Niekas editor.
  6. ^ Sibley, Brian. The Making of the Movie Trilogy The Lord of the Rings, Houghton Mifflin (2002).
  7. ^ International Astronomical Union. "Categories for Naming Features on Planets and Satellites". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. Accessed Nov 14, 2012.
  8. ^ International Astronomical Union. "Doom Mons". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. Accessed Nov 14, 2012.

Further reading[edit]