- Type: Fortress.
- Inhabitants: 100% Gondorian.Later:70% Orcs, 25% Men 5% Trolls
- Population: 340 in TA 1650. about 700 in TA 3019
- Origin: Begun by Gondor in T.A.1.Later taken over by Mordor between TA 1640-2000.
- Purpose: Observation of traffic attempting to pass into or out of Mordor.
- Symbol: originally: The White Tree. later: the Red Eye with two towers.
The Black Gate - This was the Morannon, the mighty fortified gateway believed to be built by Sauron to guard the entrance to the Black Land of Mordor; it was a mighty gate that stretched across the Haunted Pass of Cirith Gorgor. The gates opened onto a narrow valley, Udun, and were highly defensible, only successfully assaulted once in their history by the Last Alliance. Two towers, Narchost and Carchost, built on either side of the Cirith Gorgor stood as guards on newcomers. The Plague had eliminated nearly half of the gondorian Garrison, and the King had no possibility to replace the losses since his attentions were diverted by more pressing problems elsewhere, so Orcs could overwhelm the remaining men and Sauron's return from the east could happen unhindered.
It is unclear when the Morannon was retaken by Mordor. Contradicting accounts state that following the Kin-strife and the Great Plague Mordor was left unguarded after TA 1640, a seemingly disagreeing statement seems to imply however that Mordor was not retaken before TA 2000, the same time in which the Nazgûl conquered Minas Ithil. The gondorian withdrawal and subsequent returning of Orcs and evil men to Mordor may have been much more of a creeping process than the Statement on TA 16494 might imply. In Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, the Fall of the Morannon is implied to have happened shortly before TA 2000, when Minas Ithil fell, though there may have been several stages of the "lowering of the guard", and maybe periods in which Gondor had returned to the Morannon, though probably only with very small numbers.