The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by English author and scholar J. R. R. Tolkien; the story began as a sequel to Tolkien's 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit, but developed into a much larger work. Written in stages between 1937 and 1949, The Lord of the Rings is one of the best-selling novels written, with over 150 million copies sold; the title of the novel refers to the story's main antagonist, the Dark Lord Sauron, who had in an earlier age created the One Ring to rule the other Rings of Power as the ultimate weapon in his campaign to conquer and rule all of Middle-earth. From quiet beginnings in the Shire, a hobbit land not unlike the English countryside, the story ranges across Middle-earth, following the course of the War of the Ring through the eyes of its characters, not only the hobbits Frodo Baggins, Samwise "Sam" Gamgee, Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck and Peregrin "Pippin" Took, but the hobbits' chief allies and travelling companions: the Men, Aragorn, a Ranger of the North, Boromir, a Captain of Gondor.
The work was intended by Tolkien to be one volume of a two-volume set, the other to be The Silmarillion, but this idea was dismissed by his publisher. For economic reasons, The Lord of the Rings was published in three volumes over the course of a year from 29 July 1954 to 20 October 1955; the three volumes were titled The Fellowship of The Two Towers and The Return of the King. Structurally, the novel is divided internally into six books, two per volume, with several appendices of background material included at the end; some editions combine the entire work into a single volume. The Lord of the Rings has since been translated into 38 languages. Tolkien's work has been the subject of extensive analysis of its origins. Although a major work in itself, the story was only the last movement of a larger epic Tolkien had worked on since 1917, in a process he described as mythopoeia. Influences on this earlier work, on the story of The Lord of the Rings, include philology, mythology and the author's distaste for the effects of industrialization, as well as earlier fantasy works and Tolkien's experiences in World War I.
The Lord of the Rings in its turn is considered to have had a great effect on modern fantasy. The enduring popularity of The Lord of the Rings has led to numerous references in popular culture, the founding of many societies by fans of Tolkien's works, the publication of many books about Tolkien and his works; the Lord of the Rings has inspired, continues to inspire, music and television, video games, board games, subsequent literature. Award-winning adaptations of The Lord of the Rings have been made for radio and film. In 2003, it was named Britain's best novel of all time in the BBC's The Big Read. Thousands of years before the events of the novel, the Dark Lord Sauron had forged the One Ring to rule the other Rings of Power and corrupt those who wore them: three for Elves, seven for Dwarves, nine for Men. Sauron was defeated by an alliance of Men led by Gil-galad and Elendil, respectively. In the final battle, son of Elendil, cut the One Ring from Sauron's finger, causing Sauron to lose his physical form.
Isildur claimed the Ring as an heirloom for his line, but when he was ambushed and killed by the Orcs, the Ring was lost in the River Anduin. Over two thousand years the Ring was found by one of the river-folk called Déagol, his friend Sméagol fell under strangled Déagol to acquire it. Sméagol was hid under the Misty Mountains; the Ring gave him long life and changed him over hundreds of years into a twisted, corrupted creature called Gollum. Gollum lost the Ring, his "precious", as told in The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins found it. Meanwhile, Sauron took back his old realm of Mordor; when Gollum set out in search of the Ring, he was tortured by Sauron. Sauron learned from Gollum. Gollum was set loose. Sauron, who needed the Ring to regain his full power, sent forth his powerful servants, the Nazgûl, to seize it; the story begins in the Shire, where the hobbit Frodo Baggins inherits the Ring from Bilbo Baggins, his cousin and guardian. Neither hobbit is aware of the Ring's nature, but Gandalf the Grey, a wizard and an old friend of Bilbo, suspects it to be Sauron's Ring.
Seventeen years after Gandalf confirms his guess, he tells Frodo the history of the Ring and counsels him to take it away from the Shire. Frodo sets out, accompanied by his gardener and friend, Samwise "Sam" Gamgee, two cousins, Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck and Peregrin "Pippin" Took, they are nearly caught by the Black Riders, but shake off their pursuers by cutting through the Old Forest. There they are aided by Tom Bombadil, a strange and merry fellow who lives with his wife Goldberry in the forest; the hobbits reach the town of Bree, where they encounter a Ranger named Strider, whom Gandalf had mentioned in a letter. Strider persuades the hobbits to take him on as their protector. Together, they leave Bree after another close escape from the Black Riders. On the hill of Weathertop, they are again attacked by the Black Riders, who wound Frodo with a cursed blade. Strider leads the hobbits towards the Elven refuge of Rivendell. Frodo falls deathly ill from the wound; the Black Riders nearly capture him at the Ford of Bruinen, but flood waters summoned by Elrond, master of Rivendell, rise up and overwhelm them.
Minor places in Middle-earth
The stories of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium contain references to numerous places; some of these fictional places are described below. Aldburg is a hill fort and settlement in Rohan, in the region known as the Folde, some miles to the southeast of Edoras. Aldburg was the capital of the realm, where Eorl the Young, the first King of Rohan, founded his hall in T. A. 2510. Though his son, King Brego, moved to Edoras early in Rohan's history, Aldburg remained the residence of the descendants of Éofor, Brego's third son. One of these descendants was Éomer, a nephew of King Théoden. At the time of the War of the Ring, Éomer was the Third Marshal of the Mark and became heir to the king; the All-welcome Inn was an inn located at the junction of the Northway and the East Road on the Hobbiton side of Frogmorton. It was much used by travellers Dwarves from the Ered Luin. Amon Hen is a hill located on the western bank of the river Anduin, at the southern end of Nen Hithoel, the lake above the Falls of Rauros.
It was one of the three peaks at the Falls of Rauros at the southern end of the Emyn Muil, the others being Amon Lhaw, the Hill of the Ear, Tol Brandir, an island located between the two hills. The Seat of Seeing was built at the summit of Amon Hen, serving as a watchtower for the northern borders of Gondor, it was constructed in the early days of Gondor. In The Fellowship of the Ring, the Fellowship travelled down the Anduin from Lothlórien to Parth Galen, the lake-side lawn at the feet of Amon Hen, but here the Fellowship was broken: Boromir attempted to take the One Ring by force from Frodo Baggins, who fled. After Frodo escaped from Boromir, he sat upon the Seat of Seeing while still wearing the Ring, was able to see events hundreds of miles distant. From Amon Hen and Samwise Gamgee crossed the Anduin on their way east to Mordor, while Merry and Pippin were carried by Saruman's Orcs in the direction of his hold at Isengard, the rest of the Fellowship set out in pursuit of the Orcs. Tolkien's aerial view of the Emyn Muil shows Tol Brandir to be much taller than Amon Hen and Amon Lhaw.
The sketch is published in J. R. R. Tolkien: Illustrator; the bulletin of The Tolkien Society has been named Amon Hen since December 1972. Amon Lhaw is one of the three peaks above the Falls of Rauros which drained the lake known as Nen Hithoel, it towered amongst the Emyn Muil on the eastern banks of the Anduin, its twin, Amon Hen, lay upon the western bank. Between them, at the centre of the stream above Rauros, was the island peak Tol Brandir upon which none had set foot. Although at one time Amon Lhaw had been on the northern boundary of Gondor and a high seat was built there, this was no longer the case at the time of the War of the Ring. Called the Hill of Hearing and Hill of the Ear in Westron. Tolkien's aerial view of the Emyn Muil shows Tol Brandir to be much taller than Amon Lhaw and Amon Hen; the sketch is published in J. R. R. Tolkien: Illustrator. See: Hill of Guard Andrath is a narrow pass through which the North-South Road passed between the Barrow-downs on the west and the South Downs on the east.
To the north of Andrath the road met the Great East Road, just west of the gates of Bree. When the Nazgûl came north from Mordor to seek the Ring in the Shire at the end of the Third Age, their leader, the Witch-king of Angmar, camped in Andrath, it is mentioned in the appendices of The Return of the King that it is that the Witch-king aroused the Barrow-wights in the nearby Barrow-downs while camped at Andrath. Two separate areas in Middle-earth were known as the Angle, each defined by the angle between two converging rivers; the Angle in Lothlórien lay between the Silverlode. It was more referred to as Egladil; the Angle in Eriador was a much larger area. It lay between the Mitheithel on the Bruinen on the east; this Angle was part of the province of Rhudaur in the kingdom of Arnor. Many Stoors, a tribe of Hobbits, settled in the Angle circa T. A. 1150, but left about T. A. 1356. Tom Shippey notes a number of similarities between the migration history of Hobbits and that of the Anglo-Saxons; the Argonath is a monument comprising two enormous pillars carved in the likenesses of Isildur and Anárion, standing upon either side of the River Anduin at the northern approach to Nen Hithoel.
The figures were constructed about T. A. 1240 at the order of King Rómendacil II to mark the northern border of Gondor. However the effective border had receded southwards by the time of the War of the Ring. A. 3019. Each of the two figures was shown wearing a crown and a helm, with an axe in its right hand and its left hand raised in a gesture of defiance to the enemies of Gondor. It's that the figure on the east bank, which technically stood in the province of Ithilien, represented Isildur, while the western figure, standing in the province of Anórien, represented Anárion. Known as the Pillars of the Kings or the Gate of Kings. See Ered Lithui see Dimrill Dale Bamfurlong is the farmland of Farmer Maggot, located in the Marish of the eastern part of the Shire; the boggy nature of the land makes fo
J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth fantasy legendarium includes several noteworthy objects; the following list includes weapons, ships, musical instruments and other items. A wondrous large white gem, the royal jewel of the Dwarf-kingdom of Erebor, it was sought by the claimant to the kingdom, in The Hobbit. The Arkenstone had been discovered at the heart of the Mountain by Thorin's ancestor, King Thráin I the Old, shaped by the Dwarves. Thráin ruled from T. A. 1981 to 2190, the Arkenstone became the royal heirloom of his successors, Durin's line. However the great jewel was lost when the dragon Smaug captured the Lonely Mountain from the Dwarves in T. A. 2770. The Arkenstone shone of its own inner light, but having been cut and fashioned by the Dwarves, it reflected and multiplied any light glancing upon its surface with marvellous beauty, it was called the Heart of the Mountain, as Thorin describes to Bilbo Baggins: "It shone like silver in the firelight, like water in the sun, like snow under the stars, like rain upon the moon..."
Thorin, the heir of Thráin, arrived at the Lonely Mountain with Bilbo in T. A. 2941. When Bilbo found the Arkenstone on Smaug's golden bed deep inside the Lonely Mountain he pocketed it, having learned how much Thorin valued it. While his Dwarf companions sorted the treasure, Thorin sought only the Arkenstone, unaware that Bilbo was hiding it in his pillow; when the Dwarves refused to share any of the treasure with Bard and King Thranduil, Bilbo crept out of the Dwarves' fort inside the Mountain, gave them the Arkenstone. Bard and Gandalf tried to trade it for Bilbo's fourteenth share of Smaug's hoard; the dispute was interrupted by goblins and wargs from the Misty Mountains, the Battle of Five Armies ensued, Thorin was killed. When Thorin was buried deep under Erebor, Bard placed the Arkenstone on Thorin's breast. Tolkien took the name from Old English earcanstān or Old Norse jarknasteinn, meaning "precious stone"; the word appears in several Old English poems. The Arkenstone is compared with the Silmarils, the great jewels at the centre of The Silmarillion.
Though the Arkenstone is not a Silmaril, it is an import from Tolkien's writings of the "mythology" into his children's story which were, at the time of The Hobbit's composition, unrelated writings. In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the Arkenstone is portrayed as a round glowing gem, similar to a luminous white opal; the gem was inserted into Thrór's throne, the king viewed it as a symbol of his rule by divine grace. He attempted to take it with him when Smaug invaded Erebor, but dropped it into a pile of gold where it was lost. In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, it is revealed that the entire purpose of the dwarves' quest was to retrieve the Arkenstone, since possessing it would have given Thorin the authority required to unite all the dwarven clans and launch an assault to liberate Erebor; the chief token of royalty of Gondor. It is referred as the Winged Crown, the Silver or White Crown, the Crown of Elendil. Tolkien describes the crown in The Lord of the Rings thus: It was shaped like the helms of the Guards of the Citadel, save that it was loftier, it was all white, the wings at either side were wrought of pearl and silver in the likeness of the wings of a sea-bird, for it was the emblem of kings who came over the Sea.
In a letter Tolkien describes the crown as "very tall, like that of Egypt, but with wings attached, not set straight back but at an angle". The Hedjet of Upper Egypt was, like Gondor's crown known as the White Crown. Tolkien made a sketch of the crown of Gondor, reproduced in J. R. R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator; the first Crown of Gondor was the helmet. His brother Anárion's helmet had been crushed by the stone that killed him during the Siege of Barad-dûr. During the reign of King Atanatar II Alcarin, a new crown was made of silver and jewels; this Crown was worn by all the subsequent Kings of Gondor. Traditionally, a father passed the Crown to his heir. If the heir was not present when the King died, the Crown was set in the King's tomb in the Hallows, where his heir would go alone to retrieve it. In 2050, the Lord of the Nazgûl challenged King Eärnur to single-combat. Eärnur left the Crown on the tomb of his father Eärnil II and he went to Minas Morgul and was never seen again. From that time on, the Stewards ruled Gondor in the absence of a King.
The Crown remained in the Hallows, the Stewards bore a white rod as the token of their office. To prepare for the coronation of Aragorn as King Elessar, the Steward Faramir went to the Hallows and retrieved the Crown from Eärnil's tomb; the Crown was placed in a casket of black lebethron wood bound with silver. On the day of the coronation, 1st'May' T. A. 3019, the casket was carried to the Great Gate of Minas Tirith by four Guards of the Citadel. Aragorn lifted the Crown and, quoting his ancestor Elendil as he arrived in Middle-earth, said: "Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta!" At Aragorn's request, Frodo Baggins brought the Crown forward and gave it to Gandalf, who set it upon Aragorn's head. As King, Aragorn bore both the Crown of Gondor and the Sceptre of Annúminas, the chief token of royalty of Arnor, an
J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium features dragons based on those of European legend. Besides dragon, Tolkien variously used worm. Dragons are present in The Book of Lost Tales, the earliest Middle-earth-related narratives written by Tolkien, starting in 1917; the Book of Lost Tales was posthumously published in two volumes as part of The History of Middle-earth series, edited and includes commentary by his son Christopher. In the earliest drafts of "The Fall of Gondolin", the Lost Tale, the basis for The Silmarillion, Morgoth sends mechanical war-machines in the form of dragons against the city; these machines do not appear in the published Silmarillion edited by Christopher Tolkien, in which real dragons attack the city. As in the conception of the dragons in the Legendarium, the winged dragons had not yet been devised by Morgoth at the time of the Fall of Gondolin; the first winged dragons were coeval with Ancalagon the Black. In the late Third Age, the dragons bred in the Northern Waste and Withered Heath north of the Grey Mountains.
The Dragons were inspired by Fafnir from Germanic mythology, The Dragon from Beowulf, the Dragon from the legend of Saint George and the Dragon. In Tolkien's works, dragons are quadrupedal, like Komodo dragons or other lizards, are either flightless or winged and capable of flight. Winged dragons are stated to have first appeared during the War of Wrath, the battle that ended the First Age; some dragons are capable of breathing fire, known as "Fire-drakes", or "Urulóki" in Quenya. It is not clear whether the term "Urulóki" referred only to the first dragons such as Glaurung that could breathe fire but were wingless, or to any dragon that could breathe fire, thus include Smaug. In Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien mentions that Dáin I of Durin's folk and his son Frór were killed by a "Cold-drake", prompting their people to leave the Grey Mountains, it is assumed, though not directly stated, that this term indicates a dragon which cannot breathe fire, rather than one who breathes ice or snow.
Dragon-fire is described as not being hot enough to melt the One Ring. Tolkien does not explicitly explain the term. All of Tolkien's dragons share a love of treasure, subtle intelligence, immense cunning, great physical strength, a hypnotic power called "dragon-spell", they are powerful and dangerous but mature slowly. Because of this, Melkor's first attempts to use them against his enemies fail, as they are not yet powerful enough to be useful in battle. Tolkien named only four dragons in his Middle-earth writings. Another, Chrysophylax Dives, appears in Farmer Giles of Ham, a story separate from the Middle-earth corpus. Chrysophylax is a fire-breathing dragon, described as a "hot" one. Glaurung, first introduced in The Silmarillion, is described as the Father of Dragons in Tolkien's legendarium, the first of the Urulóki, the Fire-drakes of Angband, he is a main antagonist in The Children of Húrin, in which he sets in motion events that bring about the protagonist Túrin's eventual suicide before being slain by him.
Glaurung is shown to use his ability to control and enslave Men using his mind to wipe the memory of Túrin's sister Nienor, though it was restored after Glaurung had perished. He is described as having the ability to breathe fire, but no wings. Ancalagon the Black was a dragon bred by Morgoth during the First Age of Middle-earth, as told in The Silmarillion, he was one of Morgoth's most powerful servants, bred to be the greatest and mightiest of all dragons, the first of the winged "fire-drakes". He arose like a storm of wind and fire from the infernal pits of Angband beneath the Iron Mountains, as a last defense of the realm of Dor Daedeloth. Near the end of the War of Wrath that pitted Morgoth's hosts against the Host of the Valar, Morgoth sent Ancalagon to lead a fleet of winged dragons from the fortress of Angband to destroy the Dark Lord's enemies. So powerful was the assault of the dragon flight that the Host of the Valar was driven back from the gates of Angband onto the ashy plain of Anfauglith.
Eärendil'The Blessed' in his powerfully hallowed Elven airborne ship Vingilot, aided by Thorondor and the great Eagles, battled Ancalagon and his dragons for an entire day. At length Eärendil prevailed, casting Ancalagon upon the triple-peaked towers of Thangorodrim, destroying both Ancalagon and the towers. With his last and mightiest defender slain, Morgoth was soon utterly defeated and made captive, thus ending the War of Wrath. Ancalagon the Black was the greatest dragon of Middle-earth, undoubtedly the largest, is referred to as the "father of the winged-drakes". Like all other Urulóki, Ancalagon breathed fire, said to be hotter than any other known flame. Two extinct genera have been named inspired by Tolkien's dragon. In 1977, an extinct genus of worms from the Cambrian Burgess Shale was named Ancalagon and in 1980, an extinct genus of mammal was named Ankalagon. Scatha was a mighty "long-worm" of the Grey Mountains. Little is known of Scatha except. After slaying Scatha, Fram's ownership of his recovered hoard was disputed by the Dwarves of that region.
Fram rebuked this claim
Thorin II Oakenshield, son of Thráin, son of Thrór, King under the Mountain is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's 1937 novel The Hobbit. Thorin is the leader of the Company of Dwarves who aim to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug the dragon, he is the son of Thráin II, grandson of Thrór, becomes King of Durin's Folk during their exile from Erebor. Thorin's background is further elaborated in Appendix A of Tolkien's 1955 novel The Return of the King. Thorin is described as haughty and officious, he sings and plays the harp, wears a gold chain, has a long beard. He wears a distinctive sky blue hood with a long silver tassel, he refers to his home in the Blue Mountains as "poor lodgings in exile". He is a capable and a cunning warrior, if not a inspiring or clever leader. While shorter than Elves or Men, Thorin is said to be quite tall for a Dwarf. Thorin was smart, proud and vengeful, he was infamous for a high sense of his rank. He shared the greed of his family. In the year T. A. 2746, Thorin II was born to Thráin II in the Lonely Mountain.
The dwarves of the Lonely Mountain were forced to flee by the dragon Smaug in T. A. 2770 while Thorin was quite young. In exile, he became a capable warrior, while still young participated in the Battle of Azanulbizar in T. A. 2799. During the fighting, his shield broke, he took up an oak branch to serve as a shield. Thorin became King-in-Exile of Durin's Folk after his father died in the dungeons of Dol Guldur, he led the expedition recounted in The Hobbit to win the Lonely Mountain back from Smaug, but was killed in the Battle of Five Armies described at the end of that book. In The Hobbit and twelve other Dwarves visited Bilbo Baggins on Gandalf's advice to hire Bilbo as a burglar to steal their treasure back from the dragon Smaug. Smaug had attacked Erebor about 150 years before and had taken both the dwarves' mountain and their treasure. Thorin was determined to get the treasure back and wanted the Arkenstone, the Heart of the Mountain, an heirloom of his house. On the journey, the company encountered a band of trolls, Thorin alone of the Dwarves was not taken unawares.
He found the Elven blade Orcrist in the trolls' cache and used the sword thereafter until it was taken when he was captured by the wood-elves. He and Gandalf fought valiantly in the goblin tunnels in the Misty Mountains; when the dwarves were captured by the wood-elves of Mirkwood, Thorin insisted that the others not disclose their quest to their captors. He was the first to emerge from the barrels at Lake-town and marched right up to the leaders of the town, declaring himself as King Under the Mountain. With provisions from Lake-town, Thorin led the company to Erebor. After Smaug was destroyed, the dwarves reclaimed the treasure, Thorin pleased with Bilbo, gave the Hobbit a chain-mail coat made of mithril as the first installment of his payment. Faced with demands from Thranduil the Elvenking and Bard the Bowman for a fair share of the treasure to be distributed to the wood-elves and the men of Lake-town, Thorin let greed get the better of him and refused to acknowledge their right to any of the hoard.
He fortified the Mountain against his new rivals and sent to his cousin Dáin Ironfoot for reinforcements. Thorin was furious when Bilbo stole the Arkenstone to use as a bargaining counter and drove him from the Mountain; the growing conflict was averted only by an invasion of goblins and wargs, whereupon the dwarves joined forces with the wood-elves, the men of Lake-town, the great eagles in what became known as the Battle of Five Armies. During the battle, Thorin was mortally wounded; when Thorin died, he was buried with the Arkenstone, Orcrist was returned and laid upon his tomb. The blade would glow blue should Orcs approach, they could thus not take the Mountain by surprise. Thorin was succeeded as leader of Durin's Folk by his cousin Dáin. Part III of Appendix A in The Return of the King gives an overview of the history of Durin's Folk and gives more of Thorin's background, he was born in T. A. 2746, when Smaug attacked Erebor in 2770, Thorin was driven into exile with the other surviving dwarves.
In 2799 when he was 53, he marched with a mighty dwarf-army against the orcs of Moria. In the Battle of Azanulbizar in Nanduhirion beneath the East-gate of Moria, Thorin's shield was broken, he used his axe to chop a branch from an oak tree to defend himself, thus earning the epithet "Oakenshield". After the battle Thorin led his people to establish a foothold in the Ered Luin - the Blue Mountains west of the Shire. Unfinished Tales, a book of Tolkien's essays and stories about Middle-earth published posthumously in 1980, elaborates on Thorin's reasons for accepting Bilbo into his company; as depicted in the story "The Quest of Erebor", Thorin met with Gandalf in Bree shortly before the quest began. Gandalf persuaded him. Gandalf feared that Sauron could use Smaug as a weapon, was concerned that Thorin's pride and quick temper would ruin the mission to destroy the dragon, he thought that Bilbo would be a calming influence on Thorin, as well as a genuinely valuable addition to the company. Thorin, who did not think much of Hobbits, reluctantly agreed, realizing that Bilbo's presence would be a small price to pay for Gandalf's help.
Tolkien adopted Thorin's name from part of the Poetic Edda. The name "Thorin" appears in stanza 12, where it is used for a dwarf, the name "Oakenshield" in stanza 13
Mirkwood is a name used for two distinct fictional forests on the continent of Middle-earth in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. One of these occurred in the First Age of Middle-earth, when the highlands of Dorthonion north of Beleriand became known as Mirkwood after falling under Morgoth's control; the other Mirkwood, the more famous of the two, was the large forest in Wilderland, east of the Anduin. It had acquired the name Mirkwood during the Third Age, after it fell under the influence of the Necromancer; this Mirkwood features in The Hobbit and in the film The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The term Mirkwood is taken from William Morris, influenced by the forest Myrkviðr of Norse mythology. Projected into Old English, it appears as Myrcwudu in Tolkien's The Lost Road, as a poem sung by Ælfwine. Tolkien used the term Mirkwood in another unfinished work, The Fall of Arthur. Forests play an enormous role throughout the invented history of Tolkien's Middle-earth and are an important episode on the heroic quests of his characters.
The forest device is used as a mysterious transition from one part of the story to another. In The Silmarillion, the forested highlands of Dorthonion north of Beleriand fell under Morgoth's control and was subjugated by creatures of Sauron Lord of Werewolves. Accordingly, the forest was renamed Taur-nu-Fuin in Sindarin. Beren, a foundational character of Tolkien's legendarium, becomes the sole survivor of the men who once lived there as subjects of the Noldor King Finrod of Nargothrond. Beren escapes the terrible forest that the Orcs fear to spend time in. Beleg pursues the captors of Túrin through this forest in the several accounts of Túrin's tale. Along with the rest of the region west of Ered Luin, this forest disappeared after the cataclysm of the War of Wrath, although a few of its peaks may have survived as an island far off the coast of Lindon. Mirkwood was a temperate broadleaf and mixed forest located in the Middle-earth inland region of Wilderland, east of the great river Anduin, it had a humid-continental climate.
This was a vast forest. After the publication of the maps in The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien noted, "Mirkwood is too small on map it must be 300 miles across" from east to west, but the maps were never altered to reflect this. On the published maps Mirkwood was up to 200 miles across, it was comparable in size to West Germany or the island of Great Britain, which would be a surface of around 200,000-250,000 km², four to five times the size of the Shire. The actual shape of Mirkwood evokes the profile of a person's head and shoulders, with a beard or pronounced chin facing eastwards. The'neck' of the forest was known as the Narrows, about 75 miles wide from the western eaves to the East Bight; the trees of the forest were large and densely packed. In the north they were oak, although beeches tended to predominate in the areas favoured by Elves. Higher elevations in Southern Mirkwood were "clad in a forest of dark fir". Smaller plants and undergrowth in Mirkwood included lichen, fungus and "herbs with pale leaves and unpleasant smell".
In autumn, various plants bore edible nuts. A variety of animals inhabited the forest. There were mammals such as deer and bats, there were numerous insects including moths and unidentified nocturnal species. Pockets of the forest were dominated by Great Spiders; some of the animals were endemic black varieties to match the mirk of the forest: for example squirrels and purple emperor butterflies. Some of those animals proved to be inedible, when the Dwarves attempted to hunt them in order to obtain extra food. Mirkwood could only be crossed by two routes; the main one was the Old Forest Road, to the north of the centre of the forest. Further north there was the little-known Elf-path; the Mountains of Mirkwood rose in the midst of the forest, between the Old Forest Road and the Elf-path. The Enchanted River flowed from these mountains to join the Forest River, which ran through the forest's north; when the primeval Elves made their Great Journey westwards across Middle-earth to Beleriand and the Undying Lands, they encountered a large forest which they named Greenwood the Great.
Some of the Elves of the Teleri tribe decided to settle in this forest. When Dwarves migrated into the region, they made a road which ran through the forest from east to west; this road was known as the Old Forest Road or Old Dwarf Road. In the early part of the Second Age, the Woodland Realm was established in Greenwood the Great by a lord of the Sindarin Elves who had migrated eastward from Lindon; the Woodland Realm was a mingling of two types of elves, Sindar coming from the ruin of Doriath, the Silvan or Wood elves, settled there. Oropher, who had chosen not to depart Middle-earth after the destruction of Beleriand, chose to settle in Greenwood the Great and was taken by the Silvan Elves as their Lord. In the latter part of the Third Age – the period in which The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are set – the expansive forest of Greenwood the Great was called Mirkwood; this name is a translation of an unknow
Secret passages commonly referred to as hidden passages or secret tunnels, are hidden routes used for stealthy travel, escape, or movement of people and goods. Such passageways are sometimes inside buildings leading to secret rooms. Others allow occupants to exit buildings without being seen. Hidden passages and secret rooms have been built in castles and houses owned by heads of state, the wealthy and abolitionists associated with the American Underground Railroad; these passages have helped besieged rulers to escape from their attackers, including Pope Alexander VI in 1494, Pope Clement VII in 1527 and Marie Antoinette in 1789. Passages and tunnels have been used by criminals and political organizations to smuggle goods and people or conceal their activities. Secret passages have hidden or secret back doors that are camouflaged so that they appear to be part of the fire wall, or so that they appear to be an architectural feature such as a fireplace, a built-in sliding bookcase or another feature.
Some entrances are more elaborately concealed and can be opened only by engaging a hidden mechanism or locking device. Other hidden doors are much simpler; some buildings have secret areas built into the original plans, such as secret passages in medieval castles. Some medieval castles' secret passages were designed to enable the inhabitants to escape from an enemy siege. Other castles' secret passages led down to an underground water source, which provided access to water during a prolonged siege. Traditional Arabic houses sometimes have a "Bab irr": a secret door used as an emergency exit built into the walls and hidden with a window sill or a bookcase; the name comes from one of the six gates cut through an ancient wall in Aden, opened only in the event of a state security emergency. In modern-day Spain, the Arab fortress of Benquerencia has a Bab al-Sirr known as the "Door of Treason."Other secret passages have sometimes been constructed after the initial building secret tunnels. These tunnels have been created as escape routes from prisons or prisoner-of-war camps, where they are known as escape tunnels.
These secret tunnels require a hidden opening or door, may involve other deceptive construction techniques, such as the construction of a false wall. Other tunnels have been made for different reasons, such as smuggling tunnels used for smuggling firearms, illegal drugs, or other contraband. There have been many instances throughout history of secret passages and rooms having been used: Builders of ancient Egyptian pyramids used secret passages and booby traps to protect the burial chambers from tomb robbers. In some cases, a secret door to a burial chamber was hidden behind a statue. Early Christians, who were persecuted by Roman authorities in the 2nd century AD, used hidden rooms to conceal their gatherings for worship. In 1330, Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, imprisoned King Edward II of England in a coup d'état. A small group of armed supporters of Edward II used a secret passage to attack Mortimer, in Nottingham Castle, defended by several hundred soldiers; the attackers entered through a long, winding secret passage which led directly into the building in which the queen was lodged.
An accomplice inside the castle slid back the bolts to the door, which allowed the attackers to arrest Mortimer. The Passetto is a passage. Pope Alexander VI crossed it in 1494, when Charles VIII invaded the city, Pope Clement VII escaped to safety through it during the Sack of Rome, in 1527. Catholic priests, in Britain, used hidden rooms called priest holes to escape Protestant persecution, starting from the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. In 1789, at the outset of what would become the French Revolution, angry demonstrators in Paris marched in the streets and stormed the Bastille; the revolution spread to smaller towns, where tax offices were attacked, to the French countryside, where peasants attacked rich nobles living in manor houses and castles. Many French royalty and nobles fled to Russia or Britain. In October, a mob of 7,000 demonstrators marched to the Royal Palace at Versailles. Although the mob managed to overcome the palace's defences and kill Marie Antoinette's bodyguards, Marie Antoinette escaped from the palace through a secret passageway.
The Mikhailovsky Castle is a castle, built to protect the Russian Tsar Paul I from assassins. Completed in 1800, the castle's protective features included massive walls and water on all four sides, with drawbridges that were raised at night and gun emplacements overlooking the drawbridges; the Tsar had a secret passageway built into the hallway outside his bedroom to enable him to escape if assailants managed to get past the castle's defences. However, he was never able to use the secret passageway. Forty days after he took up residence in the castle, a group of co-conspirators killed him in his bedroom. During Japan's Boshin War, the Emperor's Imperial forces attacked the loyal retainers of the shōgun at Aizu Basin. A band of 15- and 16-year-olds loyal to the Shogun, who called themselves the White Tiger Brigade, escaped from Imperial troops using a secret passageway; when the young warriors emerged from the passageway, they saw a burning samurai residence, which they mistook for the castle.
Believing that the castle had fallen to the Imperial troops, the young warriors committed mass-suicide by seppuku, rather than face the dishonor of defeat. William the 5th Duke of Portland created a network of tunnels on his estate at Welbeck Abbey, during the 19th century, so that he could enter and leave t