In The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies just before Galadriel confronts Sauron in Dol Guldor, Sauron says:

It has begun. The East will fall. So shall the Kingdom of Angmar rise. The time of Elves is over. The age of Orc has come.

What I don't understand is what on earth (or Middle-earth?) does Sauron mean by 'The East will fall'. This statement contradicts his entire speech. The East refers to Sauron's own domains - Mordor and its allies (Rhun & Harad).

What does Sauron refer to as 'The East'? Is he predicting his own destruction? Is this a flaw of the movies? Or is the compass of Middle-earth upside down?

  • Related: scifi.stackexchange.com/q/79214
    – Edlothiad
    Jul 28, 2020 at 10:21
  • In the said question they lightly discuss the matter in comments but the iissue isn't fully resolved there Jul 28, 2020 at 10:25
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    I know, that's why I said related and didn't say duplicate.
    – Edlothiad
    Jul 28, 2020 at 10:26

2 Answers 2


While I think Mike Scott makes an interesting point I'm not sure he's hit the nail quite on the head. While the North East is indeed where the story of The Hobbit takes place I think for the Necromancer, and in terms of the Kingdom of Angmar, "The East" is more likely to refer to the Eastern kingdom of Men, Gondor.

As I've explored in another answer about the Witch-king's motivations the motivations of the stronghold Angmar was to destroy the Kingdom(s) of Men in the North West, which they had managed successfully. Naturally the progression from there would be to destroy the other (Eastern) kingdom too. Sauron (the Necromancer) had a personal hatred for the Men of Gondor (and previously Arnor) as they were the 'faithful' of Númenor, who opposed his control of Ar-Pharazon and his attempts to make war on the Valar. It is possible the Necromancer referred to all the free people's living East of the Misty Mountains in Rhovanion in addition to Gondor.

As I have just come to realise in my comment, the East could mean Endor in it's entirety, where the West means Aman, the Blessed Realm and the East meant Endor, Middle-earth. This seems possible as Sauron's idea was to dominate all of Middle-earth.

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    Is nobody going to talk about how this might simply be a flaw of the movies ? Jul 28, 2020 at 12:05
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    For what reason are you not entirely convinced? I don't see why it should be considered a possibility. A mistake on one of the biggest blockbusters of that year go entirely unmentioned in all of the media, fan-sites, commentaries etc? Seems very unlikely.
    – Edlothiad
    Jul 28, 2020 at 12:46
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    It certainly feels like a mistake just because every other character, plus Tolkien, consistently refer to everything east of Mordor as the West. Arnor and Gondor are the north and south kingdoms in the West (of Middle Earth.) And Sauron used Mordor as 'home', so it'd be strange to refer to Gondor as "the East."
    – Shamshiel
    Jul 28, 2020 at 19:55
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    I think focussing on the last paragraph is most important, @Shamshiel. And unless you can provide evidence for the mistake (like I said, hugely unlikely it would be missed) I'm not really believing it. It feels like calling out Endor as "The East". As Sauron's aim is to dominate Middle-earth. (Note it is Middle-earth, Tolkien uses that consistently, never Middle Earth. That is a mistake ;)
    – Edlothiad
    Jul 28, 2020 at 20:02
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    @Edlothiad: That is fine and all and technically geographically true, I'm just saying that the reason it feels like a mistake is that nobody ever refers to it that way outside of this movie, to the best of my recollection. I also don't buy that it wouldn't have been 'caught'; the movies have people say a lot of 'wrong' things and nobody cares. Media outlets are not full of anal Tolkien fans, and my impression most of the fandom didn't care - I never even watched anything after the first Hobbit movie.
    – Shamshiel
    Jul 28, 2020 at 20:10

The East in this context presumably means the north-east of the civilised portion of Middle-earth, where the Hobbit movies largely take place — Thranduil’s kingdom in Mirkwood, Laketown, Dale and Erebor, and perhaps Dain’s dwarven kingdom in the Iron Hills. Angmar is well to the west of all of those.

Another option is that “the East” simply means all of Middle Earth, in contrast to the western lands of Valinor (unreachable if you’re not an elf, with only one or two very special exceptions) and the drowned lands of Numenor and Beleriand (which have thus already fallen).

  • Rhun is colonised as well Jul 28, 2020 at 10:21
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    Rhun just means "The East"
    – Edlothiad
    Jul 28, 2020 at 10:27
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    FWIW it is Middle-earth not Middle Earth.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Jul 28, 2020 at 13:36
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    I took it as the east part of the map from Lord of the Rings, which is roughly what you are saying, though I hesitate to call the area covered by the map "the civilised portion". Much of that area is not inhabited, is considered 'wilderland' etc. And there are presumably other civilsations out east. Jul 29, 2020 at 22:31

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