Home > Places > Gundabad


by Irmo-(Valar)
April 23, 2020

Gundabad is a mountain situated where the Misty Mountains and the Grey Mountains meet in the North, bordering on Forodwaith. South of Gundabad is the Pass of the North (Cirith Forn).

It is at Mount Gundabad that Durin, the archfather of the dwarves, awoke. Since he moved to Khazad-dûm soon thereafter, Mount Gundabad was mostly occupied by Orcs. The dwarves, considering Gundabad a sacred place, have undertaken several more or less successful endeavours to clear the place of evil. But always, the orcs came back to retake it.

It is at Gundabad that Bolg raised his armies for the Battle of the Five Armies in 2941 3rd Age. Since then Gundabad remained occupied by Orcs - albeit in lesser numbers.

The name Gundabad undoubtedly is dwarvish, and thereby its meaning is secret, but maybe relating to the stem GND (gundu is an underground place). Compare falak-gundu: hewer of caves

    The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
    The Lord of the Rings Appendices A and B
    Chr Tolkien (ed) The Peoples of Middle-earth


Ed (V)'s check notes, make same as background color:

RotK 1994 c tradeback Houghton Mifflin:
Gundabad RotK App A III "Durin's Folk" pg. 1048 Gundabad as one of the fighting areas. No diacritical marks.
App. B timeline Third Age: 2790 Thror slain by an orc in Moria.
Azog the orc's name is carved on Thror's head in App A p 1048. This also says this is when the War of the Dwarves and the Orcs started; immediate call for armies.
Armies are gathered taking 3 years to muster in App A p 1048.
App B timeline shows 2793 The War of the Dwarves and Orcs begins; this is the physical fighting between armies.
App B timeline 2941 The Battle of Five Armies in Dale. (Same year Bilbo finds the One Ring.)
App A ancestry chart notes: 2941 Battle of Five Armies.
Index: Forn no diacriticals. Cirith no diacritcals.

H 1982 rev 1st printing paperback Del Rey:
In my book, front map of Wilderland. Shows Gundabad is NW at right angle of MM and GM, yes.
 Peoples 1996 hardback Houghton Mifflin:
index finally helps. Gundabad, Mount 301, 305, 322-3.
301 Dwarves named the places where their Seven Ancestors had awakened, but in the 3rd Age the Elves and Men of the West knew only two of the names:
1. most westerly and the ancestral beginning of the Firebeards and the Broadbeams. In the North of the Ered Lindon which was Beleriand's eastern wall, of which only a part remained called the Blue Mts.
2. Mount Gundabad. ancestry of the Longbeards, the eldest ancestor both in making and waking. G used for the central meeting place of all Dwarves. Orcs taking G over infuriated the Dwarves.
301 says Gundabad is in origin a dwarvish name.
There were two other ancestral places eastward and this is gone into here with 2 groups each.
304 (nifty note: Durin was the "prime ancestor" of the Longbeards. His name, although used as his name by Elves and Men, was also taken into the language of the Men of the North to mean "king".)
305 Gundabad was re-taken by Orks under Sauron's servants.
322 Mt Gundabad is first found in the chapter "The Clouds Burst Over Hobbiton". 323: Gundabad of the North was at that time the capitol of the Goblins. The Hobbit has a map of the Wilderland at the N end of the Misty Mts where the Grey Mts drew towards them. In the LotR App A (III) should have the correction "that they could (find) from Gundabad to the Gladden." Find was erroneously dropped in the 2nd ed.

Gundabad also LotR I (FotR) 17 (map), Forodwaith (no diacritcal marks) is shown west of Gundabad, above the top range of that horseshoe with the Ettenmoors.
RotK map with Forodwaith at end of book.

Grey Mts (Ered Mithrin), Blue Mts (Ered Luin).
Forn means "north" and is also a name of Bombadil, used by the Dwarves.
Cirith means "pass".