Dead Marshes


Dead Marshes
Dead Marshes
Place from J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium
Description Bogs to the northwest of Mordor
Location Gondor

The Dead Marshes is a fictional place from J. R. R. Tolkien's universe, Middle-earth.

Contents

Literature

Once a part of the ancient battlefield of Dagorlad, the Dead Marshes lie north-west of the Morannon, the principal entrance to Mordor. Several battles were fought here, most notably the Battle of Dagorlad at the end of the Second Age when the Last Alliance met the forces of Mordor with many casualties on both sides amongst Elves, Men, and Orcs. Through the years, the marshland began to encroach upon parts of the battlefield, and engulfed the dead that lay there. The Marshes are also known as 'The Mere of Dead Faces'; they are described in The Passage of the Marshes in The Two Towers as "dreary and wearisome. Cold, clammy winter still held sway in this forsaken country. The only green was the scum of livid weed on the dark greasy surfaces of the sullen waters. Dead grasses and rotting reeds loomed up in the mists like ragged shadows of long forgotten summers." [1]

On their way to Mordor to destroy the One Ring in T.A. 3020, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee are led through the marshes by Gollum. The bodies seen resting in the pools of the Marshes are perhaps incorporeal, merely the images of those who have fallen - as Gollum says, "Only shapes to see, perhaps, not to touch."[1] Frodo is mesmerized by the candle-like lights that appear to float over the Marshes (called by Gollum "candles of corpses"[1]); those who are hypnotised by these lights, and who therefore try to touch the bodies, are likely to drown in the waters and join the dead. In the book, Gollum reveals the dangers to Sam, who calls to the stiff and lifeless Frodo and breaks his trance before he can touch the waters.

In a 1960 letter Tolkien said that "the Dead Marshes and the approaches to the Morannon owe something to Northern France after the Battle of the Somme. They owe more to William Morris and his Huns and Romans, as in The House of the Wolfings or The Roots of the Mountains."[2]

Adaptations

In Peter Jackson's film version, Frodo attempts to reach out and touch the face of one of the corpses; he falls into the water and the spirit of a dead Elf-king tries to drag him down. In this case, it is Gollum who pulls him out of the water.

Barbara Strachey, in her fictionalised atlas Journeys of Frodo, depicts the Dead Marshes as an eastward extension of the swamps of Nindalf (Wetwang), although on the Lord of the Rings map they appear separate.

Peter Jackson's flying Nazgûl background shots were filmed above the Kepler Mire, a massive string bog between the towns of Manapouri and Te Anau in the Southland Region of New Zealand. It can be viewed on the Mt York Road some 2 km east of the Highway 95 turn off.

The close-up shots were filmed on the Weta Digital Wet-Set at Lower Hutt NZ

References

  1. ^ a b c All quotes are taken from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Two Towers.
  2. ^ Carpenter, Humphrey, ed. (1981), The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Letter 226, ISBN 0-395-31555-7 

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dead Marshes —    Wide stagnant marshes south east of Emyn Muil, in which the slain of the Battle of Dagorlad were seen.        The fetid swamplands that lay between the Emyn Muil and the northern marches of Mordor, the site at the end of the Second Age of many …   J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary

  • Dead zone (ecology) — This article is about the oceanic phenomenon. For other uses, see Dead Zone (disambiguation). Red circles show the location and size of many dead zones. Black dots show dead zones of unknown size. The size and number of marine dead zones areas… …   Wikipedia

  • Will-o'-the-wisp — For other uses, see Will o the wisp (disambiguation). Will o the wisp Phenomenon An 1882 oil painting of a will o the wisp by Arnold Böcklin See also …   Wikipedia

  • The Two Towers — is the second volume of J. R. R. Tolkien s high fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings . It is preceded by The Fellowship of the Ring and followed by The Return of the King .Title The Lord of the Rings is composed of 6 books , aside from an… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Middle-earth wars and battles — J. R. R. Tolkien s Middle earth fantasy writings include many wars and battles set in the lands of Aman, Beleriand, Númenor, and Middle earth. These are related in his various books such as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and The… …   Wikipedia

  • Minor places in Middle-earth — Middle earth portal The stories of J. R. R. Tolkien s Middle earth legendarium contain references to numerous places. Some of these places are described below. See also: Minor places in Arda, Minor places in Beleriand, List o …   Wikipedia

  • Timeline of Arda — The History of Arda Music of the Ainur …   Wikipedia

  • Will-o'-the-wisps in popular culture — The will o the wisp has made appearances in many guises across many genres and forms of artistic expression.LiteratureSamuel Taylor Coleridge s poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner describes the Will o the wisp. The poem was first published in… …   Wikipedia

  • Frodo Baggins — Frodo redirects here. For other uses, see Frodo (disambiguation). Frodo Baggins Tolkien s legendarium character Aliases Frodo of the Nine Fingers, Mr. Underhill, Ring bearer, Elf friend, Maura Labingi, Nine Fingered Frodo Race Hobbits …   Wikipedia

  • Music of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy — This article is about the music of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. For the concert band composition by Johan de Meij, see Symphony No. 1 The Lord of the Rings . The music of the The Lord of the Rings film trilogy was composed, orchestrated,… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.