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Middle-earth Reflections

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The Lord of the Rings Essays

Glorfindel: the power of white light (II)

The rider’s cloak streamed behind him, and his hood was thrown back; his golden hair flowed shimmering in the wind of his speed. To Frodo it appeared that a white light was shining through the form and raiment of the rider, as if through a thin veil.

(Fellowship of the Ring, p. 275)  Continue reading “Glorfindel: the power of white light (II)”

Sea the majestic (Part III).

All roads are now bent

Over the course of Ages, the Sea in Arda was becoming an increasingly impenetrable obstacle on the way to the Blessed Realm. Having gone the whole way from being a passable border between two continents to the realm of confusing waters and magical islands, the Sea turned into the border between two worlds within different planes of the universe.

Continue reading “Sea the majestic (Part III).”

Elvish poetry in the The Lord of the Rings.

Elvish poetry occupies a special place in Tolkien’s Legendarium. It is always instantly recognisable and different from the verse of other peoples in Middle-earth. Varied in style and tone, focus and subject matter, Elvish songs and poems always give a lot of food for thought. Their poems in The Lord of the Rings present a story of their own.

Continue reading “Elvish poetry in the The Lord of the Rings.”

Great tales never end.

Don’t the great tales never end?

(Two Towers, p.400)

Readers of Tolkien are very well aware of how many songs and poems the Professor included into his books. Varying in length and tone, form and function, these verse pieces play a very important role in the general world-building.

Continue reading “Great tales never end.”

Under the cover of darkness.

Our Enemy’s devices oft serve us in his despite.

(Return of the King, p.120)

Dark Lords of Middle-earth had a full arsenal of means to wield wars against enemies. Their weapons were not limited to physical objects, like swords, spears or hammers, but also included other, less tangible, means of instilling dread and despair into the hearts of their opponents. One of such means was darkness. Continue reading “Under the cover of darkness.”

When nature strikes back.

In all my works I take the part of trees as against all their enemies.

(J. R. R. Tolkien, Letter № 339)

I love nature. For me nothing can beat a walk in a forest or a park as far from the noise of the big city as possible and preferably in the closet proximity of any body of water. Imagine my disappointment when on one of my visits to my country house I discovered that the forest surrounding our small settlement was being cut down. Looking at the huge mighty trees being felled I felt helpless, angry and wished for one thing only: I wanted the forest to strike back at its wrongdoers, just like it did in The Lord of the Rings. 

Continue reading “When nature strikes back.”

Faramir’s test of quality.

The story of the One Ring ensnaring the wills of even the mightiest and strongest warriors and filling them with lust for power is well-known. Few who encountered it could resist the treacherous nets of the Ring of Power created by Sauron. Still over the course of the narrative we see those characters who manage to escape its allure even finding themselves within the nearest proximity of the Ring. Faramir is one of such characters. Continue reading “Faramir’s test of quality.”

In friendship they trust.

Known as great lovers of nature and living in close connection with it, Elves stand out among other Middle-earth dwellers. Due to their immortality, Elves are bound to the world and are doomed to live as long as it does, thus forming a harmonious, eternal part of Arda, not a temporary, passing element of it.  Continue reading “In friendship they trust.”

Goldwood the Great.

It would be a poor life in a land where no mallorn grew.

(Fellowship of the Ring, p. 457)

While there are still Elvish realms like spots of light in Middle-earth of the Third Age, none of them is so Elvish as Lothlórien is. Legolas refers to the Golden Wood as to «the fairest of all the dwellings of my people» (Fellowship of the Ring., p. 438), which captures Lórien’s aura perfectly.

Continue reading “Goldwood the Great.”

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