The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
At least partly destroyed at the end of the First Age1
A range of mountains in the North of the world, forming an arc from west to east
Built to protect Melkor's ancient fortress of Utumno
Angband was built behind the mountain-wall in the northwest
Important peaks
Other names


About this entry:

  • Updated 25 June 2017
  • Updates planned: 1

Iron Mountains

The mountain-fence of Utumno

Map of the Iron Mountains
The far northern range of the Iron Mountains2
The far northern range of the Iron Mountains2

The Ered Engrin, the range of mountains in the far north of the world that were raised by Melkor as a defence against any attack on Utumno. His lesser fortress of Angband lay in this range.



The western extent of the Iron Mountains, where Angband stood beneath Thangorodrim, were destroyed by the assault of the Valar and the inrushing Sea at the end of the First Age. It is known that the range ran farther into the east, and it is conceivable that some of its eastern parts, which would lie to the north of the known regions of Middle-earth, survived the cataclysm. If so, they are never mentioned in any account after the end of the First Age.

It's tempting to imagine that the Iron Hills to the east might have been a remnant of the great range of the Iron Mountains, but this does not seem to be the case. Following the track of the original Mountains from Beleriand in the First Age, they would have run far to the north of the Iron Hills and so, apart from their similar names, these two ranges do not seem to have been historically connected.


This rather vague map follows a rough sketch map from volume IV of The History of Middle-earth. Though lacking in specific detail, this is the clearest picture we have of the entire range of the Iron Mountains as they ran across the northern continent of Middle-earth. For a closer view of the detail at the important western end of the Mountains, see the entry for Ered Engrin.


About this entry:

  • Updated 25 June 2017
  • Updates planned: 1

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1998, 2001, 2015, 2017. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

Website services kindly sponsored by Discus from Axiom Software Ltd.
Training for DISC profiling when and where you need it, at your pace and with full certification.
The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda
Homepage Search Latest Entries and Updates Random Entry