HASA Resources

Places in Middle-earth

Morgul-road, The

Type: Roads, Lanes, Ways

Region: Mordor/Allies

Other Names
The Morgul-way
the wraith-road

Location: The ancient eastward road running from Osgiliath to Minas Morgul, then continuing up through the Morgul Vale and over Cirith Ungol into Mordor; crosses the North Road of Ithilien at the Cross-roads.

Description: 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, down into chill grey mists that no gleam of sunset touched. ...

[Frodo] turned to Gollum. 'Do you know where we are?' he said.

'Yes, Master. Dangerous places. This is the road from the Tower of the Moon, Master, down to the ruined city by the shores of the River. ... Must go east now, away up there.' He waved his skinny arm towards the darkling mountains. 'And we can't use this road. Oh no! Cruel peoples come this way, down from the Tower.'

Frodo looked down on to the road. ... It appeared lonely and forsaken, running down to empty ruins in the mist. But there was an evil feeling in the air, as if things might indeed be passing up and down that eyes could not see. Frodo shuddered....

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

They left the ring of trees and crept along the road towards the mountains. This road, too, ran straight for a while, but soon it began to bend away southwards, until it came right under the great shoulder of rock that they had seen from the distance. Black and forbidding it loomed above them, darker than the dark sky behind. Crawling under its shadow the road went on, and rounding it sprang east again and began to climb steeply.

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

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....

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

[Asked Sam,] 'The tower isn't empty, is it?'

'O no, not empty!' whispered Gollum. '... Very dreadful things live there. Orcs, yes always Orcs; but worse things, worse things live there too. The road climbs right under the shadow of the walls and passes the gate. Nothing moves on the road that they don't know about. The things inside know: the Silent Watchers.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 4, Ch 3, The Black Gate Is Closed

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

[9 March 3019 III]
... At dusk Frodo reaches the Morgul-road. ... Darkness begins to flow out of Mordor.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix B, The Tale of Years: The Third Age

[10 March 3019]
... Frodo passes the Cross-roads, and sees the Morgul-host set forth.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix B, The Tale of Years: The Third Age

[11 March 3019, Sauron's Forces from Minas Morgul Assault Osgiliath]
Soon [the Wraith-king] had passed, like a shadow into shadow, down the winding road, and behind him still the black ranks crossed the bridge. So great an army had never issued from that vale since the days of Isildur's might; no host so fell and strong in arms had yet assailed the fords of Anduin; and yet it was but one and not the greatest of the hosts that Mordor now sent forth.

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

[18 March 3019, the Host of the West marches from Minas Tirith]
Two days later the army of the West was all assembled on the Pelennor. ... Scouts reported that no enemies remained upon the roads east as far as the Cross-roads of the Fallen King. ...

The vanguard passed on through the ruins of Old Gondor, and over the wide River, and on up the long straight road that in the high days had been made to run from the fair Tower of the Sun to the tall Tower of the Moon, which now was Minas Morgul in its accursed vale. Five miles beyond Osgiliath they halted, ending their first day's march.

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

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

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