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“..rising black, blacker and darker than the vast shades amid which it stood, the cruel pinnacles and iron crown was the topmost tower of Barad-dur”

Barad-dur was built by Sauron, the Dark Lord of Mordor, with the power of the One Ring, during the Second Age. The building took six hundred years to complete; it was the greatest fortress ever built since the Fall of Angband, and much of Sauron’s personal power went into it.

Barad-dur was besieged for seven years by the Last Alliance of Elves and Men and was levelled after Sauron’s defeat at the end of the Second Age, but because it was created using the power of the One Ring, its foundations could not be destroyed completely unless the Ring itself was destroyed. Isildur cut the Ring from Sauron’s hand but refused to destroy it, so the Tower was quickly rebuilt when Sauron returned to Mordor thousands of years later, in T.A. 2951.

The Dark Tower was described as existing on a massive scale so large it was almost surreal, although Tolkien does not provide much detail beyond its size and immense strength. Since it had a “topmost tower” it presumably had multiple towers. It is otherwise described as dark and surrounded in shadow, so that it could not be clearly seen.


  • JustinCubed
    JustinCubedover 3 years ago

    Fantastic work, great job. I love the deep red classic tone to this.

  • Thanks Justin! Changed the red to this tone at the 11th hour.

    – Curtiss Shaffer

    YURYBASHKINover 3 years ago


  • Thanks Yurybashkin! I apprectiate it!

    – Curtiss Shaffer

  • Lukas Brezak
    Lukas Brezakover 3 years ago

    Awesome!!!!! Really! :)

  • Thanks Lukas! much gratitude!

    – Curtiss Shaffer

  • Catherine Berger
    Catherine Bergerover 3 years ago

    Lovely detailed work – One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them – interesting.

  • Thanks Catherine! I’ve had people who’ve seen the movies tell me, it looks good but it’s not quite like the barad dur of the film. I have to tell them that I completed this before the movies came out, which made them wonder. Way back in art school 20 years ago, my favorite artist was Alan Lee (his faeries book was a mainstay to artists back then), his influence on me was so great that alot of my work looked at least somewhat like his. So when the films were being made, Alan Lee became one of the lead conceptual designers, wherein he (and John Howe) created a Barad Dur that was eerily similar to my rendering, that I made copying his style in the first place. I have no idea what it means, but that’s the story.

    – Curtiss Shaffer

  • patjila
    patjilaover 3 years ago

    Congrats on being featured on RB Homepage! Great Tolkien related art!

  • Thank you Patjila! I’ve never been featured before, so this has been a very positive experience for me. Thanks again!

    – Curtiss Shaffer

  • Denise Abé
    Denise Abéalmost 3 years ago

    fabulous :) xxx

  • Thanks Denise!

    – Curtiss Shaffer

  • ellamental
    ellamentalover 2 years ago


  • LOL!!! Thank you verydammuch!!!

    – Curtiss Shaffer

  • CarlaSophia
    CarlaSophiaover 2 years ago

    Amazing work

  • Thanks Carla!!! Nice portfolio…Your from Spain? I have 350,000 words finished on a novel that starts in Porta. I’d like to bring my family and actually see the places I’ve been writing about.

    – Curtiss Shaffer

  • tabikkat22
    tabikkat22over 2 years ago

    Love it!

  • Thanks much Tabitha!

    – Curtiss Shaffer

  • David Edwards
    David Edwardsabout 2 years ago

    Wow — I LOVE this!!

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