In Rivendell, why is it that the dark speech of Mordor is forbidden?

As soon as Elrond notices that the grey wizard is speaking in an unsuitable manner, he swiftly corrects him.

The ring of power is placed in the middle of the courtyard at the Council of Elrond, where elves, men, wizards, and hobbits gather to discuss its fate. There is no doubt that the ring has enormous powers of persuasion, and it immediately causes a fight between everyone in the room about how to dispose of it, with Boromir suggesting that they use the ring in Gondor as a weapon against the enemy, and Gimli striding right up and trying to destroy it with his anvil.


As it happens, none of these attempts are successful. Instead, Gandalf stands firm, his face contorted in a deep frown, and begins chanting in a deep and ominous tone that turns the sky grey above. Everyone in the room retreats from him as if in fear. Even though Elrond looks like he’s suffering from an excruciating headache, he tells Gandalf, “Never before has any voice uttered the words of that tongue here in Imladris.” Gandalf does not apologize or make excuses for his behavior, because he knows that it proves how serious the situation is and brings far more gravity to the object in front of them and that if Sauron wins, the terrible words he has just uttered may yet be heard in every corner of the West’.


In all these thousands of years since Elrond established Rivendell, why is the black speech of Mordor considered too dangerous to even be uttered? It’s for a variety of reasons. Some have to do with the language itself, while others are due to the fact that they are staring directly at the ring of power. For one thing, there’s a fear that saying the words out loud in front of mortals (who may be weak-willed, as many of the race of Men are) will corrupt, tempt, or even drive them insane due to magic and superstition.



Similar to the lust for gold that engulfs dwarves when they come across a hoard that a dragon has long guarded. Mordor’s language is likely to cause trouble if it is spoken in such a natural setting as a pure and unadulterated form of the One Ring. Voldemort is referred to only as “He Who Must Not Be Named” in the Harry Potter series because the wizards and witches are superstitious that mentioning him will bring a horde of Deatheaters down upon them.


The second reason is that it is even thought to cause elves to feel sick or in pain as a result. Elves are said to suffer when confronted with the black speech of the world’s most powerful dark lords because it brings back painful memories of being tricked by Sauron into taking the rings of power and the loss of the Valar’s gift for so many of their race. Tolkien’s works do not explicitly state this, but it appears that the elves present at the council are more affected than those who were not, which could explain why Legolas is the only one to volunteer to accompany the ring to Mordor despite the fact that he knows it will poison and injure him if it speaks.


This is the third and perhaps the most important reason. With the master ring right in front of them, speaking Mordor’s language in a beautiful place is even more dangerous than usual. It’s Gandalf’s ploy, as previously stated, to remind others not to underestimate the evil object or the master who wields it.


Even so, treading so close to the ring stirs and awakens something within it, making it a delicate line to walk. The extent to which Sauron can sense and hear the ring from such a great distance is unknown, but Elrond is wary lest the enemy is influenced by the foul language spoken in front of the ring in some way. Keeping language like that out of Rivendell and as far away from the ring as possible is the prudent thing to do.

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