‘Lord of the Rings’ | Why Was Mount Doom Left Unguarded?
It saddens me when ignorant people think they have discovered a ‘Lord of the Rings’ plot hole when in reality they would have been a lot more informed had they actually made the effort to pick up the book for once. One such ‘plot hole’ that gets commonly thrown around is: “Why did Sauron leave the entrance to Mount Doom unguarded?” — and quite frankly, I’m tired of hearing it.
Well, what if I told you that the reason Mount Doom remained unguarded is not actually as astounding as you may think. And I’m sure all fellow book-fans will back me up on this.
The key to this question really lies in Sauron’s often-flawed thought process, and, in my opinion, is one of the issues that the films simply failed to mention altogether.
You see, although Sauron may have been aware that his Ring lay in the hands of the West, the idea that anyone should seek to destroy the Ring was completely inconceivable to him. It was a possibility overlooked by him entirely. And can you blame him? Consider how long it took the Ring to corrupt a great man like Boromir. Not very long at all. In that case, Sauron had no reason to believe that even a great man would ever even make it half-way towards Mordor before being utterly consumed by its power. As you can see, the fact that anyone should WANT, not to mention succeed, to destroy the Ring of Power never crossed Sauron’s mind. If anything, Sauron’s greatest fear was that some great and powerful Lord of Men, such as Aragorn, should take the Ring for his own in an attempt to wield it and become so succumbed by its power that he himself should become the ‘new Dark Lord’ (because as we all know, the more powerful an individual is, the more damage they could do should the Ring fall into their hands) — in which case Sauron would have competition.
May I also add that the only known entrances into Mordor itself are: a) the impenetrable Black Gate, and b) the pass of Cirith Ungol, which is guarded by a huge and ever-hungry demon-spider. Beyond that, the land of Mordor itself is quite literally crawling with orcs, not to mention the fact that the airs are patrolled from above by winged Ring-wraiths day and night.
All in all, to call Mordor “unguarded” seems a bit of a far stretch (and I’m sure Frodo and Sam agree).
The Tolkien Enthusiast