Mordor in the 4th era

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Loin Stealtharm 30/Nov/2006 at 01:40 AM
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Firstly, I still don’t own the HoME books, so my knowledge stops with Silm/UT/Letters. If you find quotes in HoME books, feel free to post them.

Recently someone asked me what happened to Mordor after the war of the ring. I was not sure, but I replied that it came back into the hands of gondor (which seemed logic).
I know that there isn’t much info about the 4th era, but is there any text that tells us if gondorians actually lived there or that it stayed abandonned (except for the orcs and trolls who fled after the ring was destroyed).
If Mt Doom had erupted it would have been valuable fertilized ground around it. Or around the sea of Nurnen? it would make sense to live there (after a big cleanup action of course), but on the other side, maybe the place still gave anyone the creeps...

Any ideas, any references to the books, or maybe just your opinion? If someone can help me out here, that would be very appreciated!

Blitz Tiger 30/Nov/2006 at 02:10 AM
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Sorry if I am wrong, because this is only my opinion. I think Mordor fell into the hands of Gondor, or Rohan, or any of the people who helped in the conquest of Mordor. The reason why I say this is because when the last battle was fought, Gondor and Rohan won, because the Ring was dropped into the Cracks of Doom by Frodo, Sam and Gollum.(partly) When it was going to fall in, all the hosts of Mordor retreated back inside, because the Ring was practically their life, so if it was destroyed they were probably killed, too. I guess Mordor was taken over, in that case.
geordie 30/Nov/2006 at 10:02 AM
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We are told what happens, in The Lord of the Rings.      In RK; The Steward and the King, Aragorn Elessar received embassies from Harad and other countries and made peace. He also gave the ’great slave-worked fields around the sad Sea of Nurnen’ to those slaves; and set them free.
Loin Stealtharm 30/Nov/2006 at 11:33 AM
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Blitz, it was in hands of gondor before Sauron moved in, if I remember correctly, so that’s why I thought it would be in hands of gondor again

Geordie. Aah, very nice! Somehow I can’t remember that part. Haven’t read the books over a year now, and even if you read them 5+ times, it’s still impossible to remember every detail. (especially in RotK). Thank you very much, it explains a lot and is exactly what I wanted to know!

Endril 01/Dec/2006 at 02:53 PM
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From what I remember I know that Mordor wasn’t inhabited after it’s falling because people feared those evil places. Also it wasn’t the best place to live, beeing made out of rock mostly. How would theland be fertile if the volcano errupted? It will probably be covered in a mass of stone.
Ecthel 01/Dec/2006 at 03:28 PM
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Volcanic rock is surprisingly very fertile soil.

However, I would say throw science to the wind and say that the evil essence of Sauron was linked to Mt Doom and it would be a long, long time before anything grew there, if ever

Vugar 02/Dec/2006 at 01:01 AM
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Yes, highly weathered rock of that nature will result in a soil that is quite fertile.  And that’s why the "great slave-worked fields" existed where they did in the Lithlad - the ash plain.  As I have recently learned, ash is quite an effective mulch, which results in a reduction of evaporation.  After Sauron’s defeat, I do not think Mt. Doom would have been a great problem to the inhabitants of Mordor.  A link seemed to have existed between the two, so that the activity of the former decreased or increased as Sauron’s power grew.
Arvellas 03/Dec/2006 at 11:14 AM
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Legolas-Even if Mount Doom were to cover the surrounding area in rock, the rock would eventually crumble and break down into soil, not to mention that there would be lots of volcanic ash settling everywhere, and as Ecthel and Achaius have said, that stuff is surprisingly fertile.  It also specifically states in ROTK that there were fertile fields in Mordor tended by slaves.  After all, Sauron had to feed his massive armies somehow.

Tenharien Calmcacil 03/Dec/2006 at 11:48 AM
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I havnt actually heard much about the 4th age at all. Its interesting to hear about. The Gondorians living near mordor doesnt seem far off. It seems to me they would want to regain anything they had lost. Taking what once belonged to the enemy sounds good to me.
Durin of Moria 07/Dec/2006 at 08:36 PM
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Mordor will just be a part of Gondor and Aragorn would have placed defenses around it. It would be abandoned by all .(maybe used by some to travel from the east to Gondor, or from Gondor to the east.) No one live there because of Mount Doom.
Schuka 08/Dec/2006 at 05:10 AM
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The volcano erupted at the end of Sauron, and most of what was there was probably destroyed by the lava. But the area was inhabited although most of the Orcs, Trolls and so were killed. I think the East part of Mordor was where those who had survived the downfall of Sauron dwelled. But Mordor was not under rule of Gondor or anything similar.
Vugar 08/Dec/2006 at 12:43 PM
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Schuka, The slaves freed after the downfall of Sauron dwelt in the southeastern region of Mordor in the Lithlad - the Ash Plain.  To be specific, all of the lands about Lake Nrnen were given to the ex-slaves of Mordor as their own by Aragorn.  They would have at least been familiar with the area, and it would have been fertile for crops to sustain them.
Kaulargorn 19/Dec/2006 at 12:36 AM
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In the 4thagem after the defeat of Sauron, Mordor was left mostly empty as the orcs fled or were killed. Then the land was given by the king to the defeated foes of Gondor and to the farmers-slaves from Nurn as it is said above. The meaning of the word ’Mordor’ means black stone
Vugar 19/Dec/2006 at 05:46 AM
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Kaulargorn, I believe you erred slightly in your translation of Mordor.  It actually means "Black Land", coming from the elements mor "dark, black" and dor "land."  I am no great linguist when it comes to the subject matter of constructing words, but it seems to me that a rough translation of "Black Stone" would be Morgon(d).
Skauril 19/Dec/2006 at 05:55 AM
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Hmm... I always assumed the plain of Lithlad was somewhere in the northeastern regions of Mordor, more or less directly to the east of Barad Dur. I may be mistaken, but that’s how it appears in certain maps.  Or did the Lithlad extend to the south as well?

Qtpie 19/Dec/2006 at 06:03 PM
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Skauril here is a quote that may help answer your questions concerning the Plains of Lithlad.

’Upon the west of Mordor marched the gloomy range of Ephel Duath, the Mountains of Shadow, and upon the north the broken peaks and barren ridges of Ered Lithui, grey as ash. But as these ranges appraoched one another, being indeed but parts of one great wall about the mournful plains of Lithlad and of Gorgoroth,...’ The Two Towers: The Black Gate is Closed

As you can see from the quote Lithlad was located northeast of Mordor and lay east of Barad-dur and at the foot of the Ered Lithui.
Vugar 20/Dec/2006 at 08:26 AM
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Actually, Gorgoroth was the plain upon which lay such important features as Orodruin and Sauron’s tower Barad-dr.  The plain of Lithlad lay within the boundaries of Mordor and surrounded the inland Sea of Nrnen.  It was to the southeast of Gorgoroth and Barad-dr.  As the quote describes, the two mountain ranges approach one another and seperate the two plains at that point.

Skauril 20/Dec/2006 at 08:54 AM
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I don’t mean to sound like I’m nitpicking (as this is a rather insignificant detail, after all), but I still have a number of sources that claim it was in northeastern Mordor. Here’s one:

"Plain in Mordor. Lithlad was located in northeastern Mordor. The great, ashy plain lay east of Barad-dur, at the foot of the Ash Mountains that formed the northern border of Mordor".

And another one:

"The ashen plain that lay beneath Mordor’s northern mountain-wall, the Ered Lithui. It lay in the east of that land, beyond Gorgoroth and the Barad-dr".    (the well reputed Encyclopedia of Arda)

"Beneath Mordor’s northern mountain-wall" seems to indicate it was in the northeast.

One more source:

"To southwest of Barad-dr lay the arid plateau of Gorgoroth and Mount Doom; to the east lay the plain of Lithlad."

It is my understanding that Gorgoroth was the main plateu that comprised the northern half of Mordor. Its southern end seems to be the point where the two spurs of the Epel Duath and the Ered Lithui respectively close in on each other (yet never connect, leaving a big gap in between). Lithlad was a feature of Gorgoroth in the eastern parts of said area. That’s how I interpret it, at any rate. I could be wrong, though.


Vugar 20/Dec/2006 at 06:11 PM
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I believe I realize my mistake now.  The Lithlad ash-plain does lay beyond the spur that juts from the Ered Lithui.  But it also extends a great distance to the south towards the Ephel Dath and thus surrounds the inland Sea of Nrnen.  My mistake was that I had my attention focused only upon the area labelled Lithlad, which on my particular map is about the Sea of Nrnen.
Skauril 21/Dec/2006 at 02:18 AM
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Roger that.  

BTW, is there any information on the more eastern regions of Mordor that close in on Rhun? I’ve never heard that part of the realm being described in any detail, but perhaps I have missed something?