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Topic: Realm of Morgoth

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Posts: 2372
Date: May 17, 2006
RE: Realm of Morgoth

"The  chief  of his  fortresses was  at Utumno  in the  North of Middle-earth;  but  he  made  also  a  fortress  and   armoury  not far  from  the  northwestern  shores  of  the  Sea,  to  resist  any assault   from   Aman.   This   was    called   Angband    and   was commanded by Sauron, lieutenant of Melkor."                          


Maybe most do not but this one does. It says that Utumno was the Chief fortresss of Morgoth. Provide me a quote stating that the Hornberg was Rohans chief city then?



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: May 17, 2006
firstly, just wanting to help a little
I noticed you made this mistake before
it is called Hornburg not Hornberg.

and, no, there is no direct quote stating that, because we know that Edoras was a capital. But the truth is Edoras is also never presented as chief of the fortress of Rohan.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: May 17, 2006

Yes that was a typo.


The Might-  can you honestly say that 'Chief fortress of Morgoth' does not hint that it was his capital? If so then there is no hope. I am waiting to hear Narguzirs rebut on this.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: May 17, 2006
it does
but you know my position on any kind of speculation
I never said it isn't possible
I just said it is not clear.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Posts: 2372
Date: May 17, 2006

It sounds as though your hedging you bets a little The might. You wrote this a while back:


"And actually, you don't need a quote saying that Udun wasn't a capital. As long as you have no quote saying it was it is enough proof."


So now i have proof that Tolkien quotes it as 'Chief' which is goof enough for most. Lets wait until Narg comes.



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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: May 18, 2006
Just giving the thread a 'Bump up' the que. I am dying to hear Narguzirs rebut!

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Orc captain of Thangorodrim - Rank 3
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Date: May 19, 2006

Chief fortress and capital are two different things. They are not the same.


A fortress is a military-focussed structure, based around fortifications and military might. A capital is a politically-oriented location.


See the difference? Again, the example of the Hornburg and Edoras is relevant here.


Of course, there are instances where the "chief fortress" and the capital are one and the same (Minas Tirith, anyone?), but that does not mean that that rule is applied to all. It is likely that Utumno could be the capital of Melkor's realm, but just because it is the chief fortress does not make it true.



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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: May 19, 2006
Well at least we got somewhere.

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Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
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Date: Jun 6, 2011
That is quite an interesting discussion. Indeed I went through it all and found it a bit redundant in some parts... actually I see no point arguing as you did (but not all those are now active any more) without actually considering a third option to this dilemma.

While MoS and Glorfindel argued for Utumno being a capital, on the grounds that this is implied in the texts, TM and Narguzir made some right points as well in the opposite direction. Franky if I were to take sides, I would side with Narguzir as his logic seems reasonable.

However my proposed solution to this issue, and actually the way I read the book myself, is that there was no capital and that there had to be none.

We are making a mistake to think Morgoth a 'politician', who needed to coordinate activities from one place. That would make the place itself more important, drawing attention from what really matters. Christopher Tolkien explained how he chose the name for HoMe X ('Morgoth's Ring'). I don't have the quote ready, but it was on the lines that 'Arda was Morgoth's ring' in the sense that he put forth his power to corrupt it and turn it to his own will. This and many other instances in the texts written by JRRT prove that Melkor's power was of far greater nature than that of Elvish or Mannish kings, who necessarily needed a capital from which to direct their kingdom/ realm.

As such, I am of the opinion that Utumno and Angband were nothing more than simple fortresses with little administrative purpose, other than that of offering protection and room for the servants of Melkor to breed and live. The entire land north of the Iron Mountains, being desolate, could be used by Melkor's servants as an abode; but Melkor's power extended far beyond that, and not due to physical presence alone, but through lies, spies and other machinations which were afoot much further south.

That Utumno was the chief fortress implies little in itself. Of course because it was built first, and then constantly expanded, it was larger and initially more important than Angband. Think of its positioning itself: Utumno was closer both to the initial Island of Almaren, and then to Cuivienen. However should Utumno have been left intact by the Valar, I still think Melkor would have relocated to Angband because during his imprisonment there was a relocation of Middle-earht's population from east to west, and it was always in his point to be close to those he wanted to be his servants.

If some still choose to think in classical terms, i.e. 'that Utumno must have been a capital', then of course this interpretation of a ruling power (Melkor) not needing a capital as any other king (or government) would cannot make sense to them.

But supposing that each is free to his/ her own interpretation of the text, then I stand by my opinion that Utumno was not a capital, not because it did not fulfil conditions (as explained by Narguzir), but because such a notion is not of any import to one as great as Melkor.

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