Sind.: barad + dûr ... tower + dark
Fortress of Sauron. Located in Mordor.
A rook - a defensible tower perched atop a rock or minor peak - is a cornerstone of any medieval military strategy. One must take the rook to take the land around it.
This theme anchors each of Tolkien's landscapes, from the original MinasTirith, to AmonRhud?, to the WhiteTowers west of the Shire, to BagEnd atop its little hill, to AmonSûl, to AmonHen, to DolGuldur, to the Towers of the Teeth, and to Sauron's citadel.
Sauron's tower occupies a ridge that extends southwards from the EredLithui and ends with MountDoom. Its foundations - the mountain it sits on - are probably volcanic, but the power of the Ring shaped and hardened them. When Gondor first overthrew Sauron they destroyed the tower but failed to destroy its foundations.
Sauron designed his tower to see his realm, and to be seen. It appears as a black pillar reared above the mountain citadel where his closest servants and enablers live. Unable to change form, and not inspired to move, Sauron's proprioception has merged with his own home - like a giant wheelchair. When he feels fear, the basements of his tower shake. When he feels wrath, its roof blazes in consuming flame.
The tower (probably) has three pointy turrets above a flat top - the "proud and bitter crown". In either the top of the main pillar, or in one of these turrets, is the "Window of the Eye"; the place where anyone in Mordor knows the Eye of Sauron is looking out.
Sauron uses his eye to watch his own troops, and its gaze brings them their destructive energy. Hence, if his troops are in battle, he must keep his Eye on them.
As a weak spot, this means he becomes almost blind to anything happening in a different direction.
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