Mount Ruapehu, in New Zealand, which was used in the Lord of the Rings films. (Photo: Mirko Thiessen/CC BY-SA 3.0)

There’s “heightened unrest” at Mount Doom, er, Mount Ruapehu, the real-life backdrop for a volcano in Mordor, the Lord of the Rings home of the evil villain Sauron. 

The New Zealand volcano last erupted in 2007, but this year, according to Reuters, volcanic gas is increasing, and water temperatures at Crater Lake on the mountain are also rising. As one volcanologist said, “There are more signs of life.” 

The country has warned climbers and hikers to stay away from the volcano for now, as it has become a popular tourist destination, in part thanks to the trilogy of films. 

Good advice, because the heightened activity could presage an eruption, or, yes, maybe Sauron lives.