View Full Version : Lord of the Ring landscapes

09-04-2000, 06:57 AM
Tolkien describes landscapes so incredibly well in his books that I often start dreaming about them while reading.

Are there any special landscapes or places in the book that you like ?

I love the shire over all and the description of the forest before the Ford and when they escape from the Black riders through the undergrowth towards the mushrooms.

Share your views with me and all.

Charming Humble Hobbit

The Barrow-Wight
09-04-2000, 07:07 AM
Tolkien definitely had a knack for description.

The Marish was a great place full of sturdy hobbits. I, too, enjoyed that area's description. But there are many others of which Ithilien, Gorogoth and Lothlorien come to mind.

I don't think that I have a favorite... or when I do voice a favorite it is what I fancy at the moment. When you have so many good options it's just so hard to choose.

09-04-2000, 09:50 AM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lord of the Ring landscapes

My favorites are the forests. First of all, I would love to visit the Old Forest (especially if I knew Tom Bombadilo would be there to pull me out if I fell under Old Man Willow's spell.) Then, Fangorn, the forest where the Ents lived. And it would be wonderful to see the Ents themselves. And, of course, Lorien. The green and gold trees must have been splendid!


09-04-2000, 10:48 AM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lord of the Ring landscapes

The valley of the Withywindle inspires greatly, though I cannot say why it does so even more than other regions.
It probably is the air of age, a real ancient forest, mysterious, unfriendly to intruders. Still it is neither a place of &quot;light&quot; or &quot;evil&quot; but one of its own.


Wizard of the Secret Fire
09-04-2000, 11:28 AM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lord of the Ring landscapes

I agree about the Old Forest <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)"> . My first thought when I started my site was to name it the Old Forest because I liked that region so much.

It was not called the Old Forest without reason, for it was indeed ancient, a survivor of vast forgotten woods; and in it there lived yet, ageing no quicker than the hills, the fathers of the fathers of trees, remembering times when they where lords.

Other favourites are The Barrow-downs, Moria and Lothlorien.

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09-04-2000, 11:31 AM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lord of the Ring landscapes

I again like Doriath, Rivendell... And actually, the Barrow Downs.

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09-04-2000, 02:46 PM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lord of the Ring landscapes

For the very accute sense of getting a wholly different place, I love the passage from Rohan, through the Paths of the Dead, and to the River. Only the bits in Rohan are described with very much detail. The relics of the woses serve brilliantly to change the tenor, a shift already begun by night battle at the Deep, and by forest on the move, etc. So even though the following landscapes are barely even sketched, the imagination is stoked and it engages and it embellishes so effectively the few economic descriptions through there.


09-04-2000, 08:24 PM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/bluepal.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lord of the Ring landscapes

I agree with you guys, the Old Forest had a quite marvellous description. It would have been very difficult indeed to portray it in the film.

How about the Moria, it is not much of a landscape but for location you cannot beat the descent from the Caradhras, the gate keeper and the trek through the Moria itself.
I have very vivid pictures of all these places in my mind, especially the snowy ridge the hobbits had to be carried through on the mountain.

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09-10-2000, 11:06 AM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lord of the Ring landscapes

I read the LOTR's for the first time when I was 17 years old. I was fascinated with the elves. My favorite place in Middle Earth was Lothlorien. It was described so well in the books that I could actually imagine walking through it.


09-20-2000, 12:27 PM
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Re: Lord of the Ring landscapes

I liked the description of the Old Forest the best. It brought to me visions most vivid.
<img src=roll.gif ALT=":rollin">
Also, the Lorien imagery was great. Tolkien does a great job with the his descritive language. I think that is one of the things that draws people farther into the books. That is, they get a sense that they are there themselves and are a part of the company.

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The Barrow-Wight
09-21-2000, 06:57 AM
I just read the beginning of book III again and was impressed with the visualization created by the telling of the land as the Three Hunters left the River and began pursuit of the orcs of Isengard. The hills and valleys rising away from the vale of the Anduin, ending in the Wall of Rohan and the sea of grass there are described quite nicely.

09-21-2000, 08:18 AM
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Re: Lord of the Ring landscapes

I've never been one for description...I much prefer action in my readings. Therefore I frequently skim over the landscapes and only get a vague idea of what the surroundings look like and my own mind fills in the rest. It is great that Tolkien can appeal to both those who hunger for description and those who don't! However, after reading this thread, I think, perhaps, that I will go back and read more thoroughly some of the places I've visited in Middle Earth before...you all have inspired me. <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)">



07-21-2003, 12:04 PM
I love Lothlorien and Rivendell. Also, the Dwarven city of Dwallendwarf sounded really nice. Shire was awesome too. What can I say? GO TOLKIEN!!! smilies/biggrin.gif

Lord of Angmar
07-21-2003, 12:19 PM
My goodness, talk about revived topics! This thread is almost three years old! There is a similar thread on page 2 of The Books' archive, entitled Landscapes of Middle Earth (http://http://forum.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=003413). I am sure there are plenty more on similar topics. You may want to check out similar threads on the Novices and Newcomers section. smilies/wink.gif

07-21-2003, 04:17 PM
Minas Tirith has a genuine feel of nobility. Every description gives off the aura of pride and ancient glory. It moves my heart.

07-24-2003, 11:00 AM
I think I once already wrote this but I can repeat - all my images have been "spoiled" by P.J.'s films except for the image of Gondor and halfly of Rohan but ofcoursley I allways imagine the Shire in my way because the films showed only the Hobbiton and some other places but not all of it and the Gray Heavens and all . But the best I can imagine the Shire ofcourse and , I could not belive it my self but Gondor with all the fields of Pellenor and Ithilien and everything . smilies/rolleyes.gif

07-28-2003, 01:37 PM
The Shire, Rivendell, Edoras, The Grey havens, Lothlorien.

Lord of Angmar
07-28-2003, 04:37 PM
Welcome to the Downs, Aure. smilies/biggrin.gif

Since this is the advanced forum, you should explain the reasoning behind your choices. Making lists of one's favorites is what many of the threads in the 'Novices and Newcomers' section are dedicated to.

As for me, my favorite locations in Middle Earth ar the Old Forest and the Downs and the Mines of Moria, the former because of its strangeness and Tolkien's drear and mysterious description, and the latter because of its overwhelming darkness and the hints that Tolkien leaves in FotR about its glorious history. As for the landscapes mentioned in the Silmarillion, Tirion upon Tuna always gives me an impression of enchantment and beauty.

08-01-2003, 08:16 PM
My favourite landscape would be Ithilien, but Rohan is not bad as well

08-02-2003, 07:41 PM
ahh the blessed lands how could you not step foot upon the blessed shores without loving it and Numenor how i would love to roam the island and climb the mountain temple to Eru.

08-03-2003, 07:03 AM
My favorite is the Shire, followed by Rivendell. In fact, I must admit getting a bit misty (harumph!) when seeing Hobbiton for the first time on the big screen, since that visualization was so very close to Tolkien's descriptions.

I pictured (and picture) Rivendell, or the Last Homely House, that is, as being a bit tidier than the movie depicted! Leaves on the floors... Books and scrolls less than neatly arranged on shelves... Even so, the landscapes surrounding the House (and the exterior of the House itself) serve very well.

The landscapes of the Long Lake up to the Lonely Mountain from THE HOBBIT were very well described and also stand out wonderfully in my memory.

dancing spawn of ungoliant
08-03-2003, 07:16 AM
Ithilien rocks!It seems to be so innocent place though there lies the 'rumour of that shadow' which is rising.

08-03-2003, 11:29 AM
Although it is not breathtakingly beautiful like other favorite landscapes, I always enjoy the description of the Plain of Gorgoroth, simply because it brings to mind the pitted and devastated terrain that I've read about in accounts of WWI. It strikes a resonance, especially with Sam trudging through it, dragging Frodo, who seems like many a soldier who has lost hope in the midst of No Man's Land, scrambling from trench to trench to avoid ever-present shells (or the Eye of Sauron and his orcs!)...very evocative!

I also love Henneth Annun, for its hidden quality and I can almost hear the water falling from the cool rocks. There are a lot of rocks where I live and many have small springs that trickle out from them, so that resonates too. It is amazing how Tolkien can grab personal images from deep inside so many diverse imaginations and give them a greater resonance with his own realm of Middle Earth! smilies/smile.gif


P.S. Can't believe I forgot to mention Fangorn! Ah, but I've run out time...it is indescribably alive! smilies/smile.gif And before I run out of typing breath, Gilthalion's post reminded me of a favorite image from The Hobbit: the gathering of Elves feasting inside Mirkwood that Bilbo espies and who seem to disappear so quickly! (Real forest faerie feel to them! I was always amused at how Thranduil's folk were always so drunk, too! Makes me wonder if Legolas had a few snootfuls before he set out for Rivendell! Heh hehe! But that's not so on-topic! smilies/wink.gif )

[ August 03, 2003: Message edited by: Lyta_Underhill ]

07-17-2004, 09:34 AM
There are times while reading Tolkien that I am swept away. In The Silmarillion, within Of The Voyage Of Earendil , one of my favorite landscapes is described. I think it is one of the most magical and beautiful portraits the gentle professor ever penned. :)

But some there were who saw him from afar, and the great light that he bore; and they went in haste to Valimar. But Earendil climbed the green hill of Tuna and found it bare; and he entered into the streets of Tirion, and they were empty; and his heart was heavy, for he feared that some evil had come even to the Blessed Realm. He walked in the deserted ways of Tirion, and the dust upon his rainment and his shoes was a dust of diamonds, and he shone and glistened as he climbed the long white stairs.

Thanks to Tolkien's considerable talents of description, I too have climbed that fair green hill. :D

07-17-2004, 01:51 PM
A very beautiful and touching description of a landscape is given by Voronwë in U.T: the willow-meads of Nan-tathren, "lovely to heart's enchantment" where he nearly forgot his errand to the sea.

I love Tolkien's descriptions, they make me feel "inside" the scenery and the story, they are so real!
And not just the landscapes themselves, but the special mood in a certain moment is superbly caught.
e.g. in "The Riders of Rohan" :Turning back they saw across the River the far hills kindled. Day leaped into the sky. The red rim of the sun rose over the shoulders of the dark land. Before them in the West the world lay still, formless and grey; but even as they looked, the shadows of night melted, the colours of the waking earth returned: green flowed over the wide meads of Rohan; the white mists shimmered in the water-vales; and far off to the left, thirty leages or more, blue and purple stood the White Mountains, rising into peaks of jet, tipped with glimmering snows flushed with the rose of morning.

07-18-2004, 04:43 PM
I think Lothlorien would be incredible to see. It was breath taking on screen. I cannot imagine how it would look in real life. I am not one to stay in the dark for long but the darkness seemed to be a safe place when I was reading. It was comforting I guess.

07-18-2004, 06:39 PM
I'm surprised noone's mentioned Gondolin yet. If you've ever read Of Tuor and his coming to Gondolin you know how breath taking it is. The seven gates he passes through, and the heavy descripition on their beauitiful architecture- the ravines he passes through, and eventually his coming to the beautiful white city, which a greater description of the city itself would be better found in The Silmarillion.

07-19-2004, 09:16 AM
I agree with what someone said earlier-- many of my mental images have been overridden by movie images. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as I think they did a great job, but I wish I had gotten into LotR earlier, just so I could have compared!

Oh well, it leaves me plenty of time to dream about everything not in the movies! My favorite location (that's put in the movie) is Lothlórien. But I am also enchanted by Númenor, definitely Gondolin (as Bombadil said), and recently having read Book I again, the Barrow-downs.

07-20-2004, 06:29 AM
The Forests of Brethil will always hold a special place in my heart, as does Doriath. I can smell the crispness of the streams, see the light as it flickers through the soft green foliage, and hear the russle of life. In fact, all of Tolkiens forests are special to me... :D

07-22-2004, 07:34 AM
Doriath, Gondolin, Lorien. :)
I imagine a landscape that contains one of the Lamps would be spectacular. For me anywhere in ME during the Years of the Trees :)

07-29-2004, 12:21 AM
Although the movies have overidden many images those of the Bree area and Ithilien are still very much my own as well as parts of the Shire.

This actually feels great because it makes the book even more special to me.

I like Tolkein's descriptions of the landscapes because it is always at the right time. Sometimes with other books the author decides ot describe something but it just doesn't fit. I never have that feeling with Tolkein.

Tolkein's descriptions always make me want to see ME and be there so that I can see it for myself.

Morsul the Dark
07-29-2004, 12:34 AM
Fangorn and Isengard but truly bag end is my final home

07-29-2004, 02:12 PM
I really love the descriptions given in The Lay of the Children of Hurin; there's something in the meter and alliteration which makes everything just appear before my eyes.

Tuor of Gondolin
07-29-2004, 04:44 PM
Especially interesting/poignant are descriptive areas that have, or will again, change.
1---I see Ard-Galen as a region similar generally to Rohan. And then it is changed into its virtual opposite Anfauglith, an area of pits, industrial refuse, etc.
"Then suddenly Morgoth sent forth great rivers of flame that ran down swifter than Balrogs from Thangorodrim, and poured over all the plain; and the Mountains of Iron belched forth fires of many poisonous hues, and the fume of them stank upon the air, and was deadly. Thus Ard-Galen perished, and fire devoured its grasses; and it became a burned and desolate waste, full of a choking dust, barren and lifeless."

2---Ithilien. Once a fair land, still partially allright during the War of the Ring and then restored by Faramir, Eowyn, and Legolas.

08-02-2004, 08:58 PM
So, is this about landscapes to admire or where we would like to live? ;)

Rivendell for me - beautiful and comfortable and it has a library. When reading Tolkien's description of it in THE HOBBIT, I wanted to move there! A perfect place for a writer like me, or an artist ,and spending your evenings in the Hall of Fire and gazing out at those lovely waterfalls or hiking through the woods by day... Ithilien would be nice for a hike, though, especially Henneth Annun with its gorgeous curtain of water,and perhaps a yearly beach holiday in Dol Amroth (admittedly not described, but it's on the coast) or the Grey Havens.

08-02-2004, 09:29 PM
I'd love to visit Lothlórien, especially if I could take a few plants of niphredil back with me (I've been trying for nigh on two years to find a plant that fits my mental image of niphredil, and I'm failing miserably :( ). Ithilien, of course; I'd probably have my home there (maybe in the same area where the Elves from Eryn Lasgalen lived?), with a summer cottage in Rohan. From the gushing description Gimli gave Legolas, I'd definitely want to visit the Glittering Caves. And the Derndingle where the Entmoot was held sounds like a nice place for a picnic.

To be honest, I'd like to visit every place in Middle-earth, even Mordor to an extent (well, maybe not the Midgewater Marshes... ;) ). It all sounds more interesting than where I live. :rolleyes:

Morsul the Dark
08-02-2004, 09:30 PM
If I were an ent Fangorn anything else man or hobbit Bree...an elf...The grey havens and a dwarf, the glittering Caves

The Perky Ent
08-09-2004, 10:25 PM
Good thread. Ah, the havens are calling to me :rolleyes: I'd really like to visit The Grey Havens. The archetecture and design of it all is very compelling. It also seems like a great place to play hide and go seek :D

08-10-2004, 01:26 PM
:rolleyes: But there is hardly any description of the Grey Havens in the book! Just the seashore and the white ship lying there..(not further described either) . and there is a mention of gates when they arrive there, thats really all. It's left to the reader's imagination.
So I suppose you mean the Grey havens of the movie... ;)