Sauron's forces trap the Host of the West in the Battle of the Morannon
Event Type: Military/Strategic
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: March 25, 3019
The initial event in the Battle of the Morannon; see that entry for an overview:
'We must make ourselves the bait, though his jaws should close on us. He will take that bait, in hope and in greed, for he will think that in such rashness he sees the pride of the new Ringlord: and he will say: "So! he pushes out his neck too soon and too far. Let him come on, and behold I will have him in a trap from which he cannot escape. There I will crush him, and what he has taken in his insolence shall be mine again for ever."'
The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 9, The Last Debate
Sauron had already laid his plans, and he had a mind first to play these mice cruelly before he struck to kill.... [There] came an embassy from the Dark Tower....
[The Mouth of Sauron] gave a great cry, and turned, leaped upon his steed, and with his company galloped madly back to Cirith Gorgor. But as they went his soldiers blew their horns in signal long arranged; and even before they came to the gate Sauron sprang his trap.
Drums rolled and fires leaped up. The great doors of the Black Gate swung back wide. Out of it streamed a great host as swiftly as swirling waters when a sluice is lifted.
The Captains mounted again and rode back, and from the host of Mordor there went up a jeering yell. Dust rose smothering the air, as from nearby there marched up an army of Easterlings that had waited for the signal in the shadows of Ered Lithui beyond the further Tower. Down from the hills on either side of the Morannon poured Orcs innumerable. The men of the West were trapped, and soon, all about the grey mounds where they stood, forces ten times and more than ten times their match would ring them in a sea of enemies. Sauron had taken the proffered bait in jaws of steel.
Little time was left to Aragorn for the ordering of his battle. Upon the one hill he stood with Gandalf.... Upon the other hill hard by stood the banners of Rohan and Dol Amroth.... And about each hill a ring was made facing all ways, bristling with spear and sword.
The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 10, The Black Gate Opens
Elena Tiriel 23Jul06