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ForgottenLore
26-04-2010, 06:40
So, I have been wondering lately, what was going on in Mordor between Sauron's defeat by Isildur and his return prior to the War of the Ring?

I know that for at least a few centuries prior to the Hobbit he had sent the Witch King to start rebuilding Barad Dur and begin gathering new armies, but this a a 3000 year time period. What was going on in the black land while Sauron was basically an impotent shadow?

Did Tolkien ever say anything on the subject?

What do you guys think?

canucklhead
26-04-2010, 14:29
Without doing some major research into the novels, this is just what I remember.

After the fall of Sauron, Mordor became a land of ill rumour. The encircling mountains were home to fell creatures and orcs, although they caused little trouble outside of that land, like those of the misty mountains. Farther to the east of the plain of Gorgoroth, men lived by the great inland lake, eeking out what small existence they could, until the shadow of Sauron fell once again on their lands, and they became slaves, working to feed his ever groing armies.

Khamul
30-04-2010, 21:06
Yeah. Isildur had Minas Tirith and Minas Ithil (later known as Minas Morgul) built to make sure Sauron wouldn't come back. Until the Ringwaiths took it back.

Chaos257
01-05-2010, 01:12
Why would men live on gorgoth ?

ForgottenLore
01-05-2010, 01:59
As I recall there are men living south of the plains of gorgoroth, around that big lake in southern Mordor, but Gorgoroth itself is, I think, largely unihabitable. I think that is what canucklhead was saying.

But that's 2000-3000 years of people living there. Are we supposed to believe that they just hung out for a few millennium, waiting until Sauron could return and make slaves of them again?

Simon Sez
02-05-2010, 12:38
I believe the Towers of the Teeth and Cirith Ungol were also erected by the Gondorians as fortifications against any incursions from Mordor durinng the period between the wars. After Gondor suffered several calamities the fortresses were abandoned and infested by Orcs.

The lake was called Nurnen I believe, while I don't remember if people lived there between wars I wouldn't be surprised, Middle-earth actually has several human populations who had very little mention in the books. As to why they would choose to live there, if you had volcanic soil (some of the most fertile of any sort) a massive freshwater lake, a ring of mountains offering protection on three sides and a friendly superpower on the other side, why wouldn't you want to live there?

Hrokka `Eadsplitter
02-05-2010, 18:26
The lake was called Nurnen I believe, while I don't remember if people lived there between wars I wouldn't be surprised, Middle-earth actually has several human populations who had very little mention in the books. As to why they would choose to live there, if you had volcanic soil (some of the most fertile of any sort) a massive freshwater lake, a ring of mountains offering protection on three sides and a friendly superpower on the other side, why wouldn't you want to live there?

I remember something about that the south-east soil at Nurnen was pretty fertile(Pretty odd...) and that it was an easterling people that settled there after the last alliance, becoming slaves as said above. I think I read it in the RotK, but i'm not sure..

canucklhead
02-05-2010, 19:02
IIRC, the setters in the east of Mordor were easterlings, possibly Haradrim. They lived in the fertile lands around Nurnen, which was large enough to almost be an inland sea. They lived free, but paid tribute to their Eastern ?Government? With the return of the shadow to mordor, the orcs multiplied in the mountains, and raided the eastern men. Eventually, Sauron set it up as a plantation style food producing region, with masters loyal to him in charge of a population of slave/serfs.

that's it basically, I don't have the energy to go diving into appendices and the like.

Buzz_Kill
02-05-2010, 19:48
I don't think the Tower of the Teeth was constructed by the Gondorians, but more to do with Saruons main bastion as he recovered his strenght!

Also, I thought the men around the Lake in Gorgoth became the Black Numoreans?

WD40
02-05-2010, 21:24
After sauron's fall, the witch king went north and created angmar. He waged war against the north and eventually destroyed all of arnor. He sent wights to the barrow-downs (hense barrow-wights and barrow-blades) to prevent arnor from coming back. Then, the dunedain, and elves from rivendell lead by Glorfindel defeated the witch king at fornost. After that, the witch-king fled south back to mordor.

When the witch-king went back to mordor, he and the 8 other ringwraiths started rebuilding mordor, while sauron disguised himself as the necromancer and hid in dol guldur. Once the ringwraiths had enough orcs, they started attacking gondor and ithilien, and they eventually took minas ithel (minas morgul). The witch-king tempted the king of gondor to pursue him, even after glorfindel said that the witch-king couldn't be slain by a man. Then witch-king took the gondor king prisoner, which is why minas tirith was ruled by the stewards.

After a plague/famine, the ringwraiths w/ haradrim, attacked osgiliath, destroying the bridge connecting the east and west banks of the river anduin (which is repaired by his/gothmogs forces later in the war of the ring).

Gandalf eventually expelled the necromancer from dol guldur, and sauron went back to mordor to begin rebuilding barad-dur. This is when he needed to get the ring back, and he sent ringwraiths to go capture gollum. Gollum told the ringwraiths to go to saruman, who didn't tell where the shire was, but grima wormtounge did. The ringwraiths went to the shire to retrive the ring, and then the war of the ring happened.

Wyrmwood
05-05-2010, 11:59
It was not just Gandalf, but all of the White Council I believe; though Gandalf had to convince an already tainted Saruman to act; as he had already planned to take the One Ring for himself, or was planning.
The journey planned by Gandalf in The Hobbit was purely so that he could investigate Dol Guldur for signs of Sauron a.k.a The Necromancer and engineer the death of Smaug, to deny Sauron a powerful ally in the coming wars.

But yes; Sauron lurked within Dol Guldur and allowed the Witch King to effectively act for him, as WD40 has said - the war in the north, the taking of Minas Ithil, the ruination of Osgiliath etc.

WD40
05-05-2010, 23:49
That makes sense, the white council part, since theyre were founded in dol guldur. Does the name "white council" have anything to do with saruman the WHITE being the leader? I know galadriel wanted gandalf to be the leader, but saruman ended up being the leader (im also curious as to how this happened. Did he force everyone to accept it, or did the other members nominate him?)

Also, the taking the ring for himself makes sense too, since he wouldn't tell the nazgul where the shire was, probably so he could go get it himself.

canucklhead
06-05-2010, 00:06
The white council was named that after Saruman took the reins. They were also known as the Wise Council, or the council of the wise.

Saruman was more political than Gandalf, and more forward. It was natural for him to take a position of strength and leadership, and Gandalf had no problem with it. He preferred to wander freely, learning what he could of all peoples and lands, piecing together lore and ideas that he would need to acheive the downfall of the shadow. He also began with the real belief that Saruman was greater than him, as he had little in hte way of ego.

starlight
06-05-2010, 00:25
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mordor
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Arda
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Age

Scroll down to the relevant bits... :)

ForgottenLore
06-05-2010, 00:28
Well, Saruman was the most powerful of the Istari, which I have always taken to be why he was assigned, allowed to wear the white robes and why he was given the lead of the council.

It is only after Gandalf is sent back to middle earth that he becomes greater than Saruman and thus, becomes "the White"

Wyrmwood
09-05-2010, 18:20
It is only after Gandalf is sent back to middle earth that he becomes greater than Saruman and thus, becomes "the White"

Aragorn: We thought you were Saruman.
Mithrandir: I am Saruman... Or Saruman as he should have been.

This quote, from the film at least, sums it up perfectly.

It was not so much that Saruman was the most powerful, but that he had the greatest skill in speech-craft and could sway others to his course, belief and chain them to his will. He actually began to envy Gandalf and hate him out of jealousy; one example of this is even going so far as to imitate Gandalf by smoking pipe-weed.

Whitwort Stormbringer
10-05-2010, 17:44
I get the general impression that Saruman was more powerful than Gandalf was, in terms of skill with magic (and his persuasive powers), but Gandalf was considered to be the wisest of the Istari, which Cirdan percieved upon their landing in Middle-Earth. This is why Cirdan gave Gandalf his ring.


I know galadriel wanted gandalf to be the leader, but saruman ended up being the leader (im also curious as to how this happened. Did he force everyone to accept it, or did the other members nominate him?)

I think he was nominated by Galadriel after Gandalf declined the position, since at that time his more sinister motivations were unknown to her.


Also, I thought the men around the Lake in Gorgoth became the Black Numoreans?

The black Numenoreans started out as regular Numenoreans (before the destruction of the Island of Numenor), and consisted of a group who had become increasingly disenchanted with their own mortality, especially when set side-by-side with elves. This made them easy for Sauron to corrupt, and that led to the downfall of Numenor. The few survivors who were Black Numenoreans fled to Middle-Earth and held the southern fortifications in Umbar. It seems like from then on there was on-again, off-again war and peace between them and Gondor (Queen Beruthiel being a prime example of attempts at diplomacy between them).

Encyclopedia of Arda (http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.asp) is an excellent quick-reference for a lot of the background material that's not in the main trilogy, by the way.

canucklhead
10-05-2010, 20:11
It is generally accepted that Gandalf was the wisest of the Istari, and possibly of the Maiar, which Cirdan perceived on his arrival. The question is more one of what is meant by wise.

Gandalf (olorin), had a healthy fear for the power of Sauron and morgoth, and wisely hid his movements and intentions from all the servants of the shadow. He had little ego, and no personal motivation, other than to fulfill his duty and return to valinor. This made him extremely powerful against the temptations and deceipts of the enemy, which Cirdan saw in him. This was why he chose him to carry the ring of fire, knowing that he was the least likely in middle earth to misuse it, while being powerful enough to gain an advantage from it. Gandalf from the beginning made use of his time searching for those like him, people of contentment, who desired only to be allowed to continue to live their lives.

Radagast ignored the peoples of middle earth amost entirely, and Saruman followed the trend of men, which was to find and ally himself with more powerful groups, coming to lead them and to make himself a power, although at first this was so he could face Sauron and defeat him for the right reasons.