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Dead Marshes

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[[Image:Ted Nasmith - Through the Marshes.jpg|thumb|250px|''Through the Marshes'' by [[Ted Nasmith]].]]
 
[[Image:Ted Nasmith - Through the Marshes.jpg|thumb|250px|''Through the Marshes'' by [[Ted Nasmith]].]]
The '''Dead Marshes''' are an ancient battlefield ([[Battle of Dagorlad]]), outside of [[Mordor]].  The [[Last Alliance of Elves and Men|last alliance]] fought the forces of Mordor and it was here that many of the fallen had laid to restThrough the years, the battlefield became marshes and swallowed up the dead.  [[Frodo Baggins|Frodo]], [[Sam Gamgee|Sam]], and [[Gollum]] took a passage through "The Dead Marshes".  Candles and lights danced about and Frodo was mesmerized by the lights and tried to reach out and touch the faces of the dead, at the bottom of the marshes. Gollum told them that the dead could not be touched, suggesting that he had once tried to eat them.
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The '''Dead Marshes''' were reeking wetlands that lay northwest of the [[Dagorlad]] and southeast of the [[Emyn Muil]].  They may have been an extension of the [[Nindalf]] although the two swampy areas are separately named and seem to be disconnected on maps of the region.<ref>{{RK|Map}}</ref> The marshes were an endless network of pools and soft mires filled with water-courses, and in the dark waters could be seen [[Dead faces|the dead]] from battles of long ago.<ref name="Passage">{{TT|IV2}}</ref>
  
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 ''[[The Lord of the Rings|Lord of the Rings]]'' map they appear separate.
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==History==
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In the year {{SA|3434}} the host of the [[Last Alliance of Elves and Men]] fought the forces of [[Mordor]] in the [[Battle of Dagorlad]].<ref>{{App|SA}}</ref>  During the battle on the plains more than half of the Elves of [[Lórien]] under the command of King [[Amdír]] were driven into the Dead Marshes.<ref>{{UT|6b}}</ref>  After the battle many of the slain were buried outside of the marshy area but over time (in the [[Third Age]]) the Marshes had grown and swallowed the graves.<ref name="Passage"/>
  
In ''[[The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien]]'', Tolkien speculated that the description of the Dead Marshes may have been based on his personal experience in [[World War I]], specifically, the [[Battle of the Somme]].
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In {{TA|1944}} King [[Ondoher]] of [[Gondor]] was caught by a surprise attack by the [[Wainriders]] upon the Dagorlad.  When the King and his guard were destroyed many of the confused soldiers of Gondor were driven by the attackers into the Dead Marshes.<ref>{{UT|Cirion}}, (i) ''The Northmen and the Wainriders''</ref>  However, after [[Eärnil II]] won the [[Battle of the Camp]], those of the [[Wainriders]] who were not slain in the fight were themselves driven into the Dead Marshes and there perished.<ref>{{App|TA}}</ref>
  
[[Category:Locations]]
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At the [[Council of Elrond]] (on 25 October {{TA|3018|n}}<ref name="Great">{{App|Great}}</ref>) [[Aragorn]] revealed that he had found and captured [[Gollum]] the year before along the skirts of the Dead Marshes.<ref>{{FR|II2}}</ref>
[[category:Swamps]]
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After [[Frodo Baggins|Frodo]] and [[Samwise Gamgee|Sam]] had captured Gollum in the [[Emyn Muil]] (on 29 March {{TA|3019|n}}<ref name="Great"/>), he revealed that he had found a hidden way across the Marshes.<ref>{{TT|IV1}}</ref>  The three took Gollum’s passage, where they saw candles and lights dancing about.  Frodo was mesmerized by the lights and tried to reach out and touch the faces of the dead, at the bottom of the marshes.  Gollum told them that the dead could not be touched, suggesting that he had once tried to eat them.<ref name="Passage"/>
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==Inspiration==
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In ''[[The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien]]'', Tolkien speculated that the description of the Dead Marshes may have been based on his personal experience in [[World War I]], specifically, the [[Battle of the Somme]].<ref>{{L|226}}</ref> When it rained, blast craters in no-man's land would become a series of pools or lakes with bodies of dead soldiers, from both sides, floating in them.
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==See also==
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*[[Dead faces]]
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{{References}}
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[[Category:Swamps]]
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[[Category:Regions]]
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[[Category:Rhovanion]]
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[[de:Totensümpfe]]
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[[fi:Kalmansuot]]
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[[fr:encyclo/geographie/regions/rhovanion/marais_des_morts]]

Revision as of 01:30, 3 August 2012

Through the Marshes by Ted Nasmith.

The Dead Marshes were reeking wetlands that lay northwest of the Dagorlad and southeast of the Emyn Muil. They may have been an extension of the Nindalf although the two swampy areas are separately named and seem to be disconnected on maps of the region.[1] The marshes were an endless network of pools and soft mires filled with water-courses, and in the dark waters could be seen the dead from battles of long ago.[2]

Contents

History

In the year S.A. 3434 the host of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men fought the forces of Mordor in the Battle of Dagorlad.[3] During the battle on the plains more than half of the Elves of Lórien under the command of King Amdír were driven into the Dead Marshes.[4] After the battle many of the slain were buried outside of the marshy area but over time (in the Third Age) the Marshes had grown and swallowed the graves.[2]

In T.A. 1944 King Ondoher of Gondor was caught by a surprise attack by the Wainriders upon the Dagorlad. When the King and his guard were destroyed many of the confused soldiers of Gondor were driven by the attackers into the Dead Marshes.[5] However, after Eärnil II won the Battle of the Camp, those of the Wainriders who were not slain in the fight were themselves driven into the Dead Marshes and there perished.[6]

At the Council of Elrond (on 25 October 3018[7]) Aragorn revealed that he had found and captured Gollum the year before along the skirts of the Dead Marshes.[8]

After Frodo and Sam had captured Gollum in the Emyn Muil (on 29 March 3019[7]), he revealed that he had found a hidden way across the Marshes.[9] The three took Gollum’s passage, where they saw candles and lights dancing about. Frodo was mesmerized by the lights and tried to reach out and touch the faces of the dead, at the bottom of the marshes. Gollum told them that the dead could not be touched, suggesting that he had once tried to eat them.[2]

Inspiration

In The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Tolkien speculated that the description of the Dead Marshes may have been based on his personal experience in World War I, specifically, the Battle of the Somme.[10] When it rained, blast craters in no-man's land would become a series of pools or lakes with bodies of dead soldiers, from both sides, floating in them.

See also

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Passage of the Marshes"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix B: The Sindarin Princes of the Silvan Elves"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", (i) The Northmen and the Wainriders
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  7. 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Taming of Sméagol"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 226, (dated 31 December 1960)