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Midgewater Marshes

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"Midgewater! There are more midges than water!"
Peregrin Took

Midgewater Marshes, a fly-infested region of marshland in central Eriador, was a fen that lay between the Chetwood to the west and the Weather Hills to the east.[1] The Great East Road was to the south of the marshes.

On October 2, 3018 Strider led his hobbit companions into the marshes on their third day out from Bree. After spending two days and nights in the marshes it was evident why there were no inhabitants. The land was boggy and dangerous with no permanent path. Pools, reeds, and rushes filled the area which was home to birds, flies, tiny biting midges, and loud cricket-like insects which Samwise Gamgee referred to as Neekerbreekers.

Etymology

The Midgewater Marshes were named after the small, gnatlike insects called midges which lived in there.[2]

J.R.R. Tolkien stated that the name Midgewater Marshes was a translation of Icelandic Mývatn (which appears in Hrafnkels Saga).[3][4]

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Nancy Smith, "Index questions"
  2. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (HarperCollinsPublishers 2008), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 167
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Letter to Roger Shaw, 7 January 1966"