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Barad-Dûr by John Howe.

Artist’s comment:  Mordor is more than just a blighted landscape, it is an extension of Sauron’s gangrened and avaricious soul. Every element of the land - the Dark Tower, Mount Doom, the Black Gates, Cirith Ungol, Minas Morgul, must manifest in some way the architecture of darkness and evil. The Gorgoroth itself is more than a parched plain, it is as if a storm-wracked sea suddenly solidified into stone, pitted and decayed but honed razor-sharp over time by the very negation of life the Dark Lord represents. Barad-dur’s very foundations are anchored in the folly of Sauron, his wrath embodied in battlement piled on battlement, his power the mortar that holds stone to stone to impossible heights. The air itself is poisoned by his breath, and the livid sky is torn by the cries of his servants, the ground shakes with the iron shod tread of his armies. The land itself is in his image.

Folly and gangrene?  Pah!

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