The Crack of Doom is an old term used for the Christian Day of Judgement, referring in particular to the blast of trumpets signalling the end of the world in Chapter 8 of the Book of the Apocalypse. A "crack" had the sense of any loud noise, preserved in the phrase "crack of thunder", and Doom was a term for the Last Judgement, as Doomsday still is.
The phrase is famously used in the Day of Judgement sense by William Shakespeare in Macbeth, where on the heath the Three Witches show Macbeth the line of kings that will issue from Banquo:
(Act 4, scene 1, 112–117)- meaning that Banquo's line will endure until the Judgement Day, flattery for King James I, who claimed descent from Banquo.
In J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy world of Middle-earth, the Professor of Old English plays upon the phrase to provide the literal Crack(s) of Doom, physical cracks — fissures within the great volcano of Orodruin, also known as Mount Doom.
In the Time Tunnel episode, "The Crack of Doom", Tony and Doug try to convince scientists studying the volcano Krakatoa, that it is about to erupt cataclysmically.
In the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, "Crack of Doom", a poker player finds himself digging deeper and deeper towards ruin.
"Crack of Doom" is the English title of a currently out of print novel by German author Willi Heinrich, which is set in the Second World War. It is about German troops fighting partisans and Soviet forces in Eastern Europe during the closing stages of the war.
"Crack of Doom" is also the title of Tiger Lillies hit from Bad Blood and Blasphemy album.
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