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Old 02-22-2005, 04:27 PM   #1
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alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I see Middle-earth

Have you ever 'seen' a place from Middle Earth as you're walking/driving around? Now that the movies are out, we all have new images of ME available to replace those created in our heads when we first read the books (Note that PJ was pretty spot-on when it came to the scenery).

However, for me the old images still persist, and there are places around where I live that to me are Middle Earth. For example:

There's a coke plant (the material used to make steel, not the beverage) nearby that I always see as Mordor. At night the place has an eerie, menacing look with orange fires and red lights playing atop towers of black. Ever present smoke smudges the view, and the bridges/ramps jutting out of buildings at odd angles make it look more like a growth of black crabgrass than something made by men.

The place is surrounded by coal fields where (obviously) coal is stored. Machines pile it into small mountains, then remove it again as it is needed for processing. This makes the ground appear black, sharp and lifeless. Puddles of rain collected in depressions appear as sickly mirrors, as there's always some oil to add color. I always see this as Gorgoroth, especially as the air has a sharp sulfur smell, and on a good day can really get you coughing.

The hills across the river, downwind and so receiving most of the pollution, are barren of color for most of the year. These 'Brown Hills' are mostly dirt and rock with some patches of scratchy weeds that never seem to turn green.

As kids we used to play in the remains of an old deserted terra-cotta pipe mill near where we lived, and the concrete roads and structures served as Moria. Fire-blackened brick furnaces still remain, and we could see where the Dwarves made their livelihood and also marks of the Balrog's passage. The underground sewer that runs from the mill to the river (about 100 yards) gave an understanding to the meaning of "long dark road" as we made our way sans lights from one end to the other.

A private owner now lives in Lothlorien, and not wanting to trespass I can only see what is visible from the street. It's rumored that the owner (or former owner) of this estate is a botanist, and she brought and planted trees from all over on the grounds, and now the exotic trees of many colors, textures, etc give the place a wooded, elvish feel. The trees are large and so block some of the sun, adding to the mystery. In winter snow adds to the effect, as the 'whiteness' makes me think more of Galadriel.

A man-made hill of slag juts up above the treeline near a road I travel, and one day I would like to get a closer look at the top of Weathertop to see if there are any rocks there that are scored with a 'G' rune - you never know.

Anyway, anyone else so afflicted?
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Old 02-22-2005, 04:44 PM   #2
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Nothing so interesting as that, I am afraid. Those are some interesting examples you post, especially Gorgoroth.

I am reminded of the Shire a lot; British countryside will do that to you.
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Old 02-22-2005, 07:09 PM   #3
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It is a very interesting thought, but there isn't really anything around here (Canada) that reminds me of ME, except maybe the mountains here. They kind of remind me of Caradhras.
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Old 02-22-2005, 09:46 PM   #4
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I really hope that it's not just me being a little too geeked out about ME. Note that I've left out places that as a teenager I'd named as ME locations just because they have one attribute in common.
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Old 02-22-2005, 11:40 PM   #5
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I am somewhat afflicted

For exampl when I see an extremely dark red sunrise It reminds me of Mordor and I call it a Mordorian sunrise. This view is however affected by the movies.

But i also have the old forest nearby. Althought it is a very small old forest since Alberta doesn't have many deciferous trees.
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Old 02-23-2005, 07:58 AM   #6
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There are beech groves nearby that sing to me of Lothlorien.

Pine ridges that remind me of Frodo's desire to check out the Pine Ridge in Rivendell.

Drumlins (that's what New Englanders call rocky outcroppings on the tops of old hills) remind me of trolls caves in the Ettenmoors.

Any beach reminds me of the Grey havens or of the older elf-havens to the south (Edhellond.)

Streams remind me of the stream near Bag End that both Bilbo and Frodo crossed as they departed (with the little wooden bridge, there are a few of those around.)

...I could go on and on...
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Old 02-23-2005, 09:19 AM   #7
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...I could go on and on...
Do these places always make you think about ME, or is it when ME is on your mind (or when you're reading the books) you look at the location and think (for example) Lothlorien?

In the examples that I provided, I always think that the locations are ME. I've had the idea that I should take pictures of the same, label them, format them as a calendar and distribute them as 'Middle Earth is Here!' (I'm sure that some lawyers would have a long talk with me if I did so).

Might have trouble coming up with 12 good ones...

Anyway, wanted to add one more. At the bottom of this steep hill is a square doorway - aged, dark, of stone construction. Try as I might I cannot see where it leads, and again it is on private property so... I assume that the actual purpose of the 'room' is for some kind of storage, like a root cellar frm years past. However, to me it just inspires visions of the Paths of the Dead.
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Old 02-23-2005, 10:10 AM   #8
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The places drive the thoughts, not the other way around. Any beech grove reminds me of Tolkien. And there's this one magnificent beech tree at the top of a hill... the roots spread all around the hilltop, and the branches are plentiful and close, and the trunk is thick. I call it the Crown Beech. I am sure Tolkien would have been pleased with it.

I often look out into our oaks in my backyard and try to decide where to put my talan.

Very cool, your stone doorway...
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Old 02-23-2005, 11:12 AM   #9
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Well, I would say that I have beheld the Misty Mountain (ie. the Canadian Rockies) from my front yard. I know what the wide flatlands of Rohan look like (the natural flat grasslands of the prairie). I have beheld the mostly barren, but with scattered trees and shrubs and hills, and altogether unpopulated Eriador (Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, where the prairie and forest meet in a rather bumpy terrain). I feel like I have walked in the Woody End (anywhere up in the Parkland band of forest. Elk Island Nat. Park springs to mind). I have walked in the pine-forest of Dorthonion, tracking the footsteps of Barahir and his men (lodgepole pine forest, either in Cypress Hills or Waterton Nat. Park). I have gone down the River Running in a canoe (Red Deer River).

Yes, I have seen Middle-earth.
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Old 02-23-2005, 11:29 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replies.

Around here we have these huge sycamore trees that I picture as examples of the 'Party Tree' - especially when they stand along. However, the areas around the same do not lend themselves feelings of the Shire.
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Old 02-23-2005, 11:37 AM   #11
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My aunt has a cabin up near Imperial, PA that struck me as a good vision of Woodhall. Nice old trees with some good paths between them. Clearings that my family maintained. Racoon Creek is literally down a hill from the cabin.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lathriel
For exampl when I see an extremely dark red sunrise It reminds me of Mordor and I call it a Mordorian sunrise.
Is it just me or would that make a great drink name?
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Old 02-26-2005, 07:40 PM   #12
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That would be a very interesting drink name Snorri. There's this really big forest in the back that reminds me of Mirkwood. It's dark and creepy so, you understand why hopefully.

Glirdy
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Old 02-28-2005, 08:16 AM   #13
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I don't know is this related to the topic, but I'll write it anyways.
My father visited France a few years ago and found a place called Lorien. He even visited a village named Rohan. There was an inn in the middle of the village called Le Cheval Blanc , which means The White Horse. Tolkien ever visited Northern France?
(The Lorien-thing was probably a coincidence, since it's Elvish, but what about Rohan? Was (the village or) the inn named after Tolkien's inventions or did Tolkien get the idea from a little village in France? The place was coincidentally named Rohan and a Tolkien-fan named his inn the White Horse?)
Well, anyways I think it's funny.
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Old 02-28-2005, 08:53 AM   #14
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Well, anyways I think it's funny.
That's cool. Might be random chance, but surely there are a few Tolkienists out there who've influenced names, etc - kinda like (Pittsburgh) Steeler fans who live in LA.
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Old 02-28-2005, 04:01 PM   #15
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I agree with alatar. Maybe all of this is just coincadential, well, for the inn anyway. But the town Rohan? I think Tolkien was inspired by that town. But that's just my opinion.

Glirdy

P.S. Notice how its just you, AragornII and myself in the thread of "If they still had Gandalf."? Wish other people would join that.
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Old 02-28-2005, 07:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glirdan
I agree with alatar. Maybe all of this is just coincadential, well, for the inn anyway. But the town Rohan? I think Tolkien was inspired by that town. But that's just my opinion.
Actually, "Rohan", like "Lorien", is a word with meaning in Tolkien's Sindarin. "Rohan" is a slightly softened (or whatever the technical term is) form of "Rochan", which means knight-land, basically. A knight is a "Rohir", as can be seen in the name "Elrohir". Tolkien MIGHT have had the town Rohan in the back of his mind somewhere when devising a name for the horsefolk, but I think that the name "Rohan" was chosen quite plainly for its meaning.

In case anyone asks, the reason that the Riders' country has a Sindarin name is that Rohan is the name given to the country in Gondor. In their own land, they call it the Riddermark (Rider-land, sorta....) and they call themselves the Eorlingas (Eorl-lings, people of Eorl).
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Old 03-01-2005, 03:07 PM   #17
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You know, I never knew that before now, very interesting indeed.
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Old 03-02-2005, 06:44 AM   #18
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That's true about the name of Rohan - I didn't remember. It still - though it is elvish - might have been influenced by the little village...
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Old 03-03-2005, 12:40 PM   #19
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One note that I'm in (almost) total agreement with Peter Jackson is where he states something like "we strove to get the scenery right."

Some of the places that he filmed were straight out of my head (the Shire, some general scenery like farms, woods, etc). The valley of Rivendell must have come from a someone's artwork as it was in my head too. Never pictured the 'last homely house' like PJ created it, though.

Anyway, I've not found many examples of elvish country (with the exception of Lothlorien) as it's hard to 'see' a place that otherworldy while sitting in this world.

Picturing Rohan as Tennessee and Gondor as some city by a river is much easier than seeing what Lothlorien looks like in Spring.
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Old 03-08-2005, 07:51 AM   #20
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I used to walk to school through this cemetary every day. It had a big long road down the middle and there were trees on either side. The tops of the trees would cover the space above the road in the summer and It could get quite creepy. It always reminded me of The Road where Frodo is assailed by the Black Rider, especially when it's windy as all the dead leaves kinda blow up in the air. It looked exactly like it did in the film!

Once, when I was with my friend we saw a man standing right up on the top of this tree that had collapsed during a storm. He was moving with such ease and grace and he was 'clad all in green and brown'. We both stopped and looked at each other, certain that we'd just seen Legolas!!!
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Old 03-08-2005, 06:07 PM   #21
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Yesterday was a very sunny day in Calgary,Alberta. Suddenly dark clouds formed, they were dark blue,purple and almost black. Some even had a orange tinge. These clouds were slowly covering the blue sky untill you could see just a tiny strip of blue sky. Needless to say this reminded me of the shadow of Mordor approaching Gondor . It was actually quite scary.
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Old 04-13-2005, 02:26 AM   #22
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Yesterday I was on the bus on the way to college, whilst listening to the TT soud track at full blast on my Walkman, I looked out of the window. To my astonishment, I saw a white tree, but not just any white tree, it appeared to be dying. Although it was half dead it still looked so beautiful, as sunlight just started to touch the top of its low branches.

I of course exclaimed loudly that Elessar would soon replace the dead tree and that I was going to get off the bus and wait. My friend grabbed by the arm and told me that Viggo Mortenson wasn't going to walk down the street and Aragorn certainly wasn't because he didn't exist. My friend knows that I like to think of LotR as a part of history so she just burst out laughing at the sad look on my face.

When I got on the bus on the way home and looked at the tree it had lost all it's appeal and no longer looked like The White Tree, but just a withered and sorry sight.
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Old 04-13-2005, 07:27 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil
Well, I would say that I have beheld the Misty Mountain (ie. the Canadian Rockies) from my front yard. I know what the wide flatlands of Rohan look like (the natural flat grasslands of the prairie). I have beheld the mostly barren, but with scattered trees and shrubs and hills, and altogether unpopulated Eriador (Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, where the prairie and forest meet in a rather bumpy terrain). I feel like I have walked in the Woody End (anywhere up in the Parkland band of forest. Elk Island Nat. Park springs to mind). I have walked in the pine-forest of Dorthonion, tracking the footsteps of Barahir and his men (lodgepole pine forest, either in Cypress Hills or Waterton Nat. Park). I have gone down the River Running in a canoe (Red Deer River).

Yes, I have seen Middle-earth.
Interesting how often Alberta, Canada seems connoted with Rohan! I can't say that when I have seen these places, I believe I see Middle-earth, but rather when I read about Rohan, I think of the foothills, where mountain and grassland come together. Places like Nordig and Rocky Mountain House, or even farther south, like Frank, near Crowsnest Pass.

I have, one dank, grey November day, looked out upon a beech tree, its orange leaves dead but drooping on its limbs, and its white bark shimmering, and seen Lothlorien, a land of memory and commemoration like a moment out of time.
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Old 11-01-2005, 04:09 PM   #24
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Well, I wasn't atop a mountain, nor did I see a burning bush, although some of the euonymous shrubs here are a brilliant burst of screaming scarlet. I did however come face to face with Eru today.

An Emergency Rescue Unit (yes, it really is labled in large- lettered acronym, ERU) pulled around the corner without siren or lights flashing and raced into my lane. You cannot guess what imaginings I felt as I faced this music. Luckily I was able to stop in time and so the sight did not foretell my doom.
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Old 11-02-2005, 08:59 AM   #25
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Some years ago I visited Romania and it struck me that the dictator Ceausescu had done his best to turn it into Mordor. Wherever there was a particularly beautiful valley or castle, he had stuck a hideous sprawling steel factory belching out filthy yellow smoke. I kept muttering Mordor, Mordor to myself, to the concern of my travelling companion who misheard me and thought I had turned homicidal...
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Old 11-14-2005, 02:48 AM   #26
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Silmaril

This is posted at the door of a room in my univ's Bio building (of sorts):

NUMENOR is a COMPUTER ROOM.



It is NOT a tambayan*!

*a place for hanging out in Filipino

To think that will be my home in the univ...that's so cool!
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Old 12-17-2005, 01:11 AM   #27
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Well, I just read the thread about "walking to Rivendel" and I had an epiphany. There is this this great forest which I once went biking to with a friend. It was not the best idea as it had just rained and the trails were very muddy.... but while biking around I got this feeling of re-tracing Frodo's journey... specially as the mosquitoes drove my friend and I away. I think next summer I will go walking rather than biking... and who knows? I might just find Rivendel lost in there!
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Old 04-25-2006, 08:53 AM   #28
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alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
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A man-made hill of slag juts up above the treeline near a road I travel, and one day I would like to get a closer look at the top of Weathertop to see if there are any rocks there that are scored with a 'G' rune - you never know.

Quote:
Anyway, wanted to add one more. At the bottom of this steep hill is a square doorway - aged, dark, of stone construction. Try as I might I cannot see where it leads, and again it is on private property so... I assume that the actual purpose of the 'room' is for some kind of storage, like a root cellar frm years past. However, to me it just inspires visions of the Paths of the Dead.
Both pictures were taken from my car, and so they might not be the best. Plus I didn't want to be seen, as the 'truth' if asked why I was taking the pictures might have landed me in the loony bin.

"Well, there's this online forum where all we talk about is Tolkien..."
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Old 04-25-2006, 09:08 AM   #29
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Weathertop is sweet, Alatar, but I must quibble with your Paths of the Dead. Tolkienish they look indeed, but they conjure up an image more of the Barrow Downs... (Not these ones, the ones by Tom Bombadil's house. )

Thanks for sharing. Clearly, you live in a mystical neighbourhood.
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Old 04-25-2006, 09:23 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Formendacil
Weathertop is sweet, Alatar, but I must quibble with your Paths of the Dead. Tolkienish they look indeed, but they conjure up an image more of the Barrow Downs... (Not these ones, the ones by Tom Bombadil's house. )
Actually, I would agree, as in the PotD, what I see is in this case not 'what I see.' Completely illogical, but there it is.


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Clearly, you live in a mystical neighbourhood.
Maybe, but it may be all in my head, as I think that the neighbors wish I lived in some other mystical neighborhood.

Neighbor #1 to neighbor #2: "If he says, 'You shall not pass!' one more time to me..."

Edit: Note that the "Weathertop" hill is situated just above a major road, as it should be.
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Old 05-04-2006, 12:31 PM   #31
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There's a sort of park in central Edinburgh alongside London Road, with trees and a path. It's hilly, with shrubs and I can't help feel like an Istari wandering through some woods in Middle-earth everytime I walk through it.
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Old 05-04-2006, 08:50 PM   #32
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Leaf But I don't live there!

A year or so ago, I would have said, yes, I have seen Middle-Earth, and would have proceeded to give a lengthy list of places near my house that somehow reminded me of ME. Now, however, I have to say, no, I have not seen Middle-Earth. I have seen Earth. Perhaps my imaginings of ME have sharpened my interest and awareness of Earth, but, then again, the beauty of our world has shaped my imagination of that world. I cannot go out to the natural lands on campus and say I see the plains of Rohan, nor can I explore the forest behind my dorm and say I have seen the Old Forest or Lothlorien or Fangorn (although sometimes I feel like a hobbit out there ). All I can say is, I have seen Minnesota, I have seen Wisconsin, I have seen the various other states I have lived in, and I have loved them. I don't want to see Middle-Earth, however much I love it. I want to see Earth.

Besides, Middle-Earth doesn't really have any lakes. On the map, and in the stories, there is one lake (Lake Evendim), two marshes (Midgewater and Dead), and two seas (Rhun and Nurnen). I would miss lakes and ponds--and ducks!
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Old 05-10-2006, 02:51 PM   #33
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I live in a small town/rural area myself. On the way to my university, I pass through another small town which reminds me of a present day Shire. There are still fields within the city limits; the houses are nothing extravagant. There are plenty of goats about. Most of the yards have at least a small garden. There are no business buildings, grocery stores, or gas stations to speak of - only a church and a post office. I've been meaning to photograph it.
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Old 05-11-2006, 12:48 PM   #34
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
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Anyway, wanted to add one more. At the bottom of this steep hill is a square doorway - aged, dark, of stone construction. Try as I might I cannot see where it leads, and again it is on private property so... I assume that the actual purpose of the 'room' is for some kind of storage, like a root cellar frm years past. However, to me it just inspires visions of the Paths of the Dead.

I think that, though I am not an expert on troll-lore ( I would redirect you to Pio) that your picture looks like a troll refuge/store room.

And Lommy, Tolkien did visit Northern France both as a tutor and a soldier.
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Old 05-14-2006, 11:58 AM   #35
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White Tree

On my way to school in the morning (at 6 am ) sometimes I see the Barrow-downs. I have to drive along a golf course, and if it's foggy, the course looks like the Downs. There are some trees scattered around and you can't see through the fog so you can't tell what's on the other side. Also, some of the holes have hill, which look like barrows. I have a hard time not seeing an LOTr figure come walking out of the mist.
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Old 05-29-2006, 11:30 AM   #36
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Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I swear that this place, Padley Gorge, is Rivendell. We had a walk down there this morning, when I decided to pull up and see why there were cars parked at the side of the road and found this stream with waterfalls and oak groves, and huge half-carved millstones lying around in the woods. It's at one end of Longshaws (near Hathersage in Derbyshire) which I thought I knew well, but I didn't know this part existed. The pictures cannot quite capture how lovely it is.
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Old 05-29-2006, 01:06 PM   #37
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Old 06-01-2006, 01:54 PM   #38
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All though I'm surrounded by countryside and coastal views I'm prone to think about Middle Earth quite a lot. When I go to walk TJ, our pet pooch, I tend to think like Bilbo and want to go on adventures, see mountains and all mystical creatures that go with. I would so love to find ME, but I'm already there when I pick up my books or watch my movie versions and this makes my mind visually satisfied
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Old 06-02-2006, 10:28 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by winterbaby
All though I'm surrounded by countryside and coastal views I'm prone to think about Middle Earth quite a lot. When I go to walk TJ, our pet pooch, I tend to think like Bilbo and want to go on adventures, see mountains and all mystical creatures that go with. I would so love to find ME, but I'm already there when I pick up my books or watch my movie versions and this makes my mind visually satisfied

Plus it's a whole lot less trouble.
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Old 06-04-2006, 02:30 AM   #40
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Thanks Texadon I also wanted to add that there is this wide long road with tall trees on both sides that I take the dog for walks along, this place makes me think, especially during the Autumn time, of the road in the movie, though not so wide, when they stumble on some mushrooms and also it reminds me a little of Fangorn. I love walking down the road with the dog, it's so calming even more so when the wind takes the tree branches to create a hush sort of rusteling sound and it's much the same at night time too, though it does become a scarey place when I'm not alone.
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