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Places in Middle-earth

Morgul Vale

Type: Valleys, Caves, Tunnels

Region: Mordor/Allies

Other Names
Morgul Valley
Imlad Morgul
Valley of the Wraiths
Valley of the Living Death

Location: The valley on the westward slopes of the Ephel Dúath below Cirith Ungol; contains the city of Minas Morgul and the Morgulduin River.

Description: A long-tilted valley, a deep gulf of shadow, ran back far into the mountains. Upon the further side, some way within the valley's arms high on a rocky seat upon the black knees of the Ephel Dúath, stood the walls and tower of Minas Morgul.

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 4, Ch 8, The Stairs of Cirith Ungol

To the left lay darkness: the towering walls of Mordor; and out of that darkness the long valley came, falling steeply in an ever-widening trough towards the Anduin. At its bottom ran a hurrying stream ... and beside it on the hither side a road went winding down like a pale ribbon....

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 4, Ch 7, Journey to the Cross-roads

'You will have no lack of water as you walk in Ithilien, but do not drink of any stream that flows from Imlad Morgul, the Valley of Living Death.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 4, Ch 7, Journey to the Cross-roads

But against [the proposal to assail Minas Morgul] Gandalf had spoken urgently, because of the evil that dwelt in the valley, where the minds of living men would turn to madness and horror....

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 10, The Black Gate Opens

So they came slowly to the white bridge. Here the road, gleaming faintly, passed over the stream in the midst of the valley, and went on, winding deviously up towards the city's gate.... Wide flats lay on either bank, shadowy meads filled with pale white flowers. Luminous these were too, beautiful and yet horrible of shape, like the demented forms in an uneasy dream; and they gave forth a faint sickening charnel-smell; an odour of rottenness filled the air.

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 4, Ch 8, The Stairs of Cirith Ungol

At one point [the Winding Stair] crawled sideways right to the edge of the dark chasm, and Frodo glancing down saw below him as a vast deep pit the great ravine at the head of the Morgul Valley. Down in its depths glimmered like a glow-worm thread the wraith-road from the dead city to the Nameless Pass. He turned hastily away.

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 4, Ch 8, The Stairs of Cirith Ungol


History

[2002 III, the Fall of Minas Ithil:]
...[the Nazgûl] took Minas Ithil and dwelt there, and they filled it, and all the valley about, with decay ...

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 4, Ch 6, The Forbidden Pool

[19 March 3019, the Host of the West comes to Morgul Vale:]
All the land now brooded as at the coming of a great storm: for the Captains of the West had passed the Cross-roads and set flames in the deadly fields of Imlad Morgul.

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 3, Mount Doom

[after 1 May 3019, the crowning of King Elessar:]
And Aragorn gave to Faramir Ithilien to be his princedom, and bade him dwell in the hills of Emyn Arnen within sight of the City.

'For,' said he, 'Minas Ithil in Morgul Vale shall be utterly destroyed, and though it may in time to come be made clean, no man may dwell there for many long years.'

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 5, The Steward and the King

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 7Oct04, 16May05, 28Nov04, 25Aug05

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