HASA Resources

Places in Middle-earth

Sammath Naur

Type: Valleys, Caves, Tunnels

Region: Mordor/Allies

Meaning: Chambers of Fire

Location: A large cavern on the eastern flank of Mount Doom in Mordor; contains the the Cracks of Doom, a massive fissure from which volcanic heat and lava issue, and the furnaces where Sauron forged the One Ring.

Description:

[There] was a fiery mountain in that land that the Elves named Orodruin. Indeed for that reason Sauron had set there his dwelling long before, for he used the fire that welled there from the heart of the earth in his sorceries and in his forging; and in the midst of the Land of Mordor he had fashioned the Ruling Ring.

The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age

[Sam] did not know it, but he was looking at Sauron's Road from Barad-dûr to the Sammath Naur, the Chambers of Fire.... [It] climbed... high in the upper cone, but still far from the reeking summit, to a dark entrance that gazed back east straight to the Window of the Eye in Sauron's shadow-mantled fortress....

The path... passed in a cutting along the face of the cone and came to the dark door in the Mountain's side, the door of the Sammath Naur....

Sam came to the gaping mouth and peered in. It was dark and hot, and a deep rumbling shook the air....

At first he could see nothing. In his great need he drew out once more the phial of Galadriel, but it was pale and cold in his trembling hand and threw no light into that stifling dark. He was come to the heart of the realm of Sauron and the forges of his ancient might, greatest in Middle-earth; all other powers were here subdued. Fearfully he took a few uncertain steps in the dark, and then all at once there came a flash of red that leaped upward, and smote the high black roof. Then Sam saw that he was in a long cave or tunnel that bored into the Mountain's smoking cone. But only a short way ahead its floor and the walls on either side were cloven by a great fissure, out of which the red glare came, now leaping up, now dying down into darkness; and all the while far below there was a rumour and a trouble as of great engines throbbing and labouring.

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

[They] rose and went slowly down the winding road; and even as they passed towards the Mountain's quaking feet, a great smoke and steam belched from the Sammath Naur, and the side of the cone was riven open, and a huge fiery vomit rolled in slow thunderous cascade down the eastern mountain-side.

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


Etymology
nár 'fire' in Narsil, Narya; present also in the original forms of Aegnor (Aikanáro 'Sharp Flame' or 'Fell Fire') and Fëanor (Feanáro 'Spirit of Fire'). The Sindarin form was naur, as in Sammath Naur, the Chambers of Fire in Orodruin. Derived from the same ancient root (a)nar was the name of the Sun, Quenya Anar (also in Anárion), Sindarin Anor (cf. Minas Anor, Anórien).

The Silmarillion, Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 6May05

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