Middle-earth is full of famous mountains, from the peaks of the Misty Mountains to Erebor, but perhaps most significant to the story is Mount Doom, the volcano at the center of Sauron’s diabolical domain, Mordor. In the latest episode of Amazon The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Powerwe have a surprising and explosive origin story for the series’ most famous volcano.
[Ed. note: The story contains spoilers for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power episode 6.]
To answer the more obvious question first, yes, it was actually Mount Doom that erupted at the end of the episode. In case, like Galadriel, you are unable to remember what Middle-earth looks like on a map, the Southern Lands of power ringswhere the beleaguered village of Ostirith is, also happens to be the land that would later become Mordor.
It seems that the evolution of the land from lush fields and beautiful mountains was part of a grand design by either Morgoth or Sauron and was triggered by the key of the sword, unleashing a massive flood. This flood destroyed the land, thanks to the tunnels the orcs had already dug, and triggered an eruption of the Mount Doom volcano (although at the time of the series it did not yet have that name) until what it bursts. This eruption spewed molten rock and magma in a miles-wide radius that it seems will stay scorched forever, or at least until Frodo, Sam and Gollum get there with the ‘One Ring.
While Mount Doom’s story isn’t very explicit in Tolkien’s lore, the show’s story seems to mostly line up. We know the land wasn’t always called Mordor, and the name likely came after the eruption of Mount Doom, but there’s no mention of the eruption itself being caused by intentional flooding.
As for what happens to the area next and how long it will be before Sauron takes up residence there, we’ll just have to wait and see where. power rings takes his story next.