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Mordor - The Tower of Cirith Ungol



All was ominously quiet.
The light was no more than that of dusk at a dark day's end.
The vast vapours that arose in Mordor and went streaming westward
passed low overhead, a great welter of cloud and smoke now lit again beneath
with a sullen glow of red.
(from: The Return of the King, page 206)

"I don't like the look of that!" said Sam.



In that dreadful light Sam stood aghast, for now, looking to his left,
he could see the Tower of Cirith Ungol in all its strength.
The horn that he had seen from the other side was only its topmost turret.
Its eastern face stood up in three great tiers from a shelf in the mountain-wall
far below; its back was to a great cliff behind, from which it jutted out
in pointed bastions, one above the other, diminishing as they rose,
with sheer sides of cunning masonry that looked north-east and south-east.
(from: The Return of the King, page 209)

Cirith Ungol 3

About the lowest tier, two hundred feet below where Sam now stood,
there was a battlement wall enclosing a narrow court.
Its gate, upon the near south-eastern side, opened on a broad road,
the outer parapet of which ran upon the brink of a precipice,
until it turned southward and went winding down into the darkness
to join the road that came over the Morgul Pass.
(from: The Return of the King, page 209)

SamwiseGamgee(1)

Shagrat: "I don't take orders from stinking Morgul-rats!
The scum tried to knife me. Kill him!"


Cirith Ungol 4

The narrow upper way on which Sam stood leapt swiftly down by stair and steep path
to meet the main road under the frowning walls close to the Tower-gate.
Only too clearly Sam saw how hopeless it would be for him to creep down
under those many-eyed walls and pass the watchful gate.

SeanAstin(2)

Sam advanced down the passage, but slowly now, each step more reluctant.
Terror was beginning to grip him again.
There was no sound save the rap of his feet, which seemed to grow
to an echoing noise, like the slapping of great hands upon the stones.

SamwiseGamgee(2)

He came cautiously to the turret-door and stepped inside.
It opened into darkness.
But soon his staring eyes were aware of a dim light at his right hand.
It came from an opening that led to another stairway, dark and narrow:
it appeared to go winding up the turret along the inside of its round outer wall.
A torch was glimmering from somewhere up above.
(from: The Return of the King, page 219)

SamwiseGamgee(3)

For what it saw was not a small frightened hobbit
trying to hold a steady sword:
it saw a great silent shape, cloaked in a grey shadow,
looming against the wavering light behind...

"Yes! The Elf-warrior is loose!" Sam cried.
"I'm coming.
Just show me the way up, or I'll skin you!"


SamwiseGamgee(4)

Sam: "That's for Frodo!
And for the Shire!"

SamwiseGamgee(5)

Sam: "And that's for my old Gaffer!"

Cirith Ungol 5

Up, up he went.

images_small/SeanAstin(3)

Sam peered about. He had climbed right to the flat roof
of the third and highest tier of the Tower:
an open space, about twenty yards across, with a low parapet.
Eastward Sam could see the plain of Mordor vast and dark below,
and the burning mountain far away.
Westward the view was blocked by the base of the great turret
that stood at the back of this upper court and reared its horn
high above the crest of the encircling hills.
(from: The Return of the King, page 215-216)

Cirith Ungol 6

A short way beyond the way-meeting, after another steep incline,
a flying bridge of stone leapt over the chasm and bore the road
into the tumbled slopes and glens of the Morgai.
Away behind them, now high above on the mountain-side,
loomed the Tower of Cirith Ungol, its stones glowing dully.
(from: The Return of the King, page 230-31)

Sam: "We did it, Mr. Frodo. We made it to Mordor!"