Tag: rivendell

Frodo on a balcony in Rivendell with Rivendell and waterfall behind him

Top 5 Best Locations in ‘Lord of the Rings’

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is one of the most well respected pieces of fantasy literature for a reason. Not only do its characters, themes, and wonderful prose continue to resonate with readers decades after its first publication but the world Tolkien created, Middle-earth, feels so real that many readers have desperately wanted to be there since being drawn in through the first lines of The Fellowship of the Ring. Here are some of the best locations throughout Middle-earth, each breathtaking in its imagined beauty.

 

1. The Shire

 

The great hills of the Shire, a unspoiled paradise of trees and green
IMAGE VIA TOKIENGATEWAY

A loosely organized set of territories nestled in northwest Middle-earth, the Shire is home to the hobbits and the place where Frodo Baggins, Bilbo Baggins, and Samwise Gamgee call home. Defined by lush wilderness and agriculture, the Shire is isolated from the rest of Middle-earth but it is that determination to keep it safe which motivates Frodo and Sam to keep it safe throughout their long quest to destroy the One Ring. The Shire begins our introduction to the world of Middle-earth and its a place that we, much like Frodo and Bilbo, always wish to return to.

 

2. Rivendell

 

The great elf city of Rivendell, sitting atop a waterfall as cascades of water spill around it

Image Via Lord of the Rings wiki

A haven for the elves in the midst of the Misty Mountains, this place is where the Fellowship of the Ring is formed during the Council of Elrond. Rivendell is a valley, surrounded by pine-trees and maintained as a hidden place. Rivendell features a cool, temperate climate. Uniquely, Rivendell is not affected by time, allowing Elrond and his people to live free of the vestiges of time, in peace but at the same time, somewhat stagnant. Playing an important role throughout the books, Rivendell’s time comes to an end when the One Ring is destroyed, the elves leaving Rivendell and heading to the Grey Havens across the seas.

3. Isengard

 

The great fortress of Isengard, burning with the fires of trees hurled into the forges

Image Via Lord of the Rings wiki

The great fortress of Isengard plays a pivotal role in the books, being the residence of Saruman and his orc army. Saruman defiles the valley around Isengard, cutting down trees and burning the land. Within Isengard, the fortress burns with the smolders of war, as countless Orcs are bred, given armor and weapons to conquer the land of Rohan. The Ents, angered at Saruman’s contempt for nature, storm the fortress in the famous March of the Ents, routing Saruman’s army and stopping his dreams of conquest in their tracks. Isengard remains a pivotal symbol of evil, being one of the titular Two Towers. 

 

4. Moria

 

Gandalf, the wizard, sits before the door into Moria, trying to figure out the password as the hobbits linger nearby

Image Via Ted Nasmith 

Home to the dwarves, Moria, otherwise known as Khazad-dûm, lies deep in the Misty Mountains. There, the dwarves mined the rare material minthril but they dug too deep and free an ancient, powerful monster known as a Balrog. The dwarves are forced to abandon their home and consider the tunnels cursed. The Fellowship is forced to pass through Moria during their travels and here, they meet the Balrog. Gandalf duels the monster on the bridge of Khazad-dûm but the Balrog drags him down into the abyss when he destroys the bridge, forcing the quest to continue without the wise wizard.

 

5. Barad-dûr

 

The sky is blotted out by mounds of fire and ash from the volcanic Mount Doom, as the great black tower of Barad-dur sits in the foreground, blazing with the hellish Eye of Sauron

Image Via Lord of the Rings wiki

Barad-dûr, otherwise known as the Dark Tower, is the second of the titular Two Towers. It is the fortress of the Dark Lord Sauron, acting as his stronghold in the barren wasteland of Mordor. Sauron keeps watch over his land via his great eye, the Eye of Sauron, acting as a symbol of his evil. The fortress itself is described as huge and utterly impenetrable. Held together via Sauron’s magic, it falls to ruin when the One Ring is destroyed, again symbolizing Sauron’s own fall.

What are some of your favorite Lord of the Rings locations? Tell us in the comments!

 

Featured Image Via Tolkien Gateway 

Picture of Dragonstone, highlighting the beach in the front and a few of the dragons flying to the keep.

5 Fictional Places We Wish Were Real

It’s only the middle of the week and you are waiting to go to the beach or counting down the days until vacation. For some, maybe you’re just waiting for the weather to not be so humid.

 

But some of our favorite books provide even better summer escape destinations. If only these were real…

 

1. The Capitol from “The Hunger Games”

Image of The Capitol, which shows a sleek city in daylight, highlighting a modern bridge.

Image courtesy of Pinterest

 

Yes, absolutely, it’s a symbol of oppression and tyranny, but it also seems like a technological paradise. The Capitol lifestyle is needlessly excessive, but some of the excesses are pleasant. For instance, imagine finishing an entrée at a restaurant only to realize your date’s meal tastes better. The Capitol’s got you covered: just drink their special concoction, and you have room for a second dinner. Second dinner! Imagine that.

 

2. Rivendell from “The Lord of the Rings”

Image of Rivendell, which is a nice city perched in a valley, surrounded by waterfalls.

Image courtesy of Vanderstelt Studio

 

Whether in the movies or the books, Rivendell is the perfect postcard destination. Relax in a small city perched in a deep valley, listen to water rushing down from dizzying heights or walk along the gorgeous bridges connecting the various buildings. Some serious business may be being discussed by the Council of Elrond, but numerous great writers have also found this location to be a killer spot to write. Bilbo Baggins is just one!

 

3. Octavia from “Invisible Cities”

Illustration of Octavia, which is a bunch of buildings suspended over a mountain.

Image courtesy of Pinterest

 

Italo Calvino’s “Invisible Cities” contains dozens of descriptions of fascinating locales. Per Marco Polo’s description, Octavia sounds especially mind-bending. It’s a city suspended over an abyss, described to be like a spider-web. Sure, it’ll fall at any moment, but a short weekend getaway might be exciting. Imagine coming out of work and looking down at nothingness. Breathtaking!

 

4. The Ministry of Magic from “Harry Potter”

Picture of the Ministry of Magic, which features a big statue of a gryffin in the center of a complex.

Image courtesy of Pottermore

 

Getting caught in rush hour is frankly soul crushing. Whether it’s a messed up train schedule or bumper-to-bumper traffic, the commute can often be the most harrowing part of the work day.

 

Nevertheless, magic may prove to be the answer to all these problems. Just hop into a fireplace (unlit preferably), use some Floo Powder, and, poof, you’re home from work. Imagine having offices in The Ministry of Magic! The idea of avoiding the evening rush is the most magical gift J.K. Rowling has bestowed.

 

5. Dragonstone from “Game of Thrones”

Picture of Dragonstone from Game of Thrones, which is a stark looking fortress overlooking an ocean.

Image courtesy of Game of Thrones Wiki

 

The massive walkway can be tiresome, but stumbling upon a vacant fortress would be a nice change of pace. Between the gorgeous dragon engravings and beachfront view, Dragonstone makes a splendid gothic getaway. It’s an especially welcome change if you’ve just come from Meereen and are staging a coup for the Seven Kingdoms. We can all relate to that.

 

Featured image courtesy of Daily Dot