What happened to Morgoth's original fortress after he was imprisoned? Was it completely demolished by the Valar? Did Morgoth just abandon it for Angband? What happened to it when Morgoth returned to Beleriand in the First Age?


It was destroyed

But not completely; the fortress itself was destroyed, so it was no longer a viable base of operations, but the tunnels and catacombs beneath were too extensive for the Valar to fully destroy or explore, and some of Melkor's minions hid there:

Long and grievous was the siege of Utumno, and many battles were fought before its gates of which naught but the rumour is known to the Elves. [...] The lands of the far north were all made desolate in those days; for there Utumno was delved exceeding deep, and its pits were filled with fires and with great hosts of the servants of Melkor.

But at the last the gates of Utumno were broken and the halls unroofed, and Melkor took refuge in the uttermost pit. Then Tulkas stood forth as champion of the Valar and wrestled with him, and cast him upon his face; and he was bound with the chain Angainor that Aulë had wrought, and led captive; and the world had peace for a long age.

Nonetheless the Valar did not discover all the mighty vaults and caverns hidden with deceit far under the fortresses of Angband and Utumno. Many evil things still lingered there, and others were dispersed and fled into the dark and roamed in the waste places of the world, awaiting a more evil hour; and Sauron they did not find.

The Silmarillion III Quenta Silmarillion Chapter 3: "Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"

  • Hmm, I'm wondering now, could the cavern Gandalf and the Balrog fell into have been one of these undiscovered caverns of Utumno? That'd explain why the Balrog was there in the first place. – DaaaahWhoosh Aug 5 '16 at 22:30
  • 2
    @DaaaahWhoosh Interesting theory, but it's very unlikely. Consider the maps in this answer. Utumno was rather far north, and is either the black castle at the very top of the last map there, or is farther north still. Zirakzigil was in the Misty Mountains, in about the middle of the second map. Those two maps share an edge at the Ered Luin – Jason Baker Aug 5 '16 at 22:46
  • 2
    That "castle" is the three peaks of Thangorodrim, above Angband. I picture Utumno to be further north, too; the second map of this answer to the same question shows Utumno further to the east, though, at the northern edge of what would become Eriador. – chepner Aug 6 '16 at 23:06
  • @chepner Yeah, Utumno moved around quite a bit in Tolkien's conception, which is why I didn't want to categorically refute the suggestion (in some versions it actually occupies the same location as Angband) – Jason Baker Aug 6 '16 at 23:55
  • @DaaaahWhoosh scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/50199/… – Mithoron Nov 7 '16 at 1:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.