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Misty Mountains

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The '''Misty Mountains''' (also known by its [[Sindarin]] name of '''''Hithaeglir''''' - misspelled as '''''Hithaiglin''''' on the original [[The Lord of the Rings|Lord of the Rings]] map - and as the '''''Mountains of Mist''''') are a mountain range, running for 1280 kilometers from north to south, between [[Eriador]] and the valley of the Great River, [[Anduin]], and from [[Mount Gundabad]] in the far north to [[Methedras]] in the south.
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{{cleanup|This has been over subdivided, I think}}{{footnotes}}
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{{location
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| image=[[Image:J.R.R._Tolkien_-_The_Misty_Mountains_looking_West_from_the_Eyrie_towards_Goblin_Gate.jpg|250px]]  
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| name=The Misty Mountains
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| othernames='''Hithaeglir''' ([[Sindarin|S]])</br>The Mountains of Mist</br>Towers of Mist
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| etymology=
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| type=Mountain Range
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| location=Between [[Eriador]] and [[Rhovanion|Wilderland]], and [[Rohan]]'s northern border
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| inhabitants=[[Dwarves]] of [[Durin's folk]], [[Orcs]], [[Trolls]], [[Giants]], [[Eagles]]
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| realms=[[Moria|Khazad-dûm]], numerous [[Orc-holds]]
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| description=The largest mountain range in [[Middle-earth]]
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| events=The [[Great Journey]] of the Elves, awakening of [[Durin|Durin I]], awakening of the [[Balrogs|Balrog]], dominion of the Orcs, [[War of the Dwarves and Orcs]]
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}}
  
==Further geographical description==
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The '''Misty Mountains''', '''Mountains of Mist''' or '''Towers of Mist'''<ref name=s3/> ('''''Hithaeglir''''' in [[Sindarin]]<ref group="note">The Hithaeglir were misspelled as "Hithaiglin" on the original ''[[The Lord of the Rings|Lord of the Rings]]'' map. </ref> as a plural) was a great mountain range that lay between [[Eriador]] in the west and the Great River [[Anduin]] in the east.  
Their most important peaks are [[Caradhras]], Carn Dûm, [[Celebdil]], [[Fanuidhol]], Mount Gundabad and Methedras.
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===Location===
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== Geographic Features ==
The northernmost peak of the Misty Mountains was Mount Gundabad, where according to legend [[Durin]] (eldest of the Seven Fathers of the [[Dwarves]]) awoke, though it was now an abode of Orcs.
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In the far north, the Misty Mountains formed a '''T''' with the [[Grey Mountains]] and the [[Mountains of Angmar]].<ref name=map/> They ran 795 miles (1,280 kilometres){{fact}} to the [[Gap of Rohan]] in the south, where they approached vertically the [[White Mountains]]. The Gap was a passable valley between the southernmost peak of the Misty Mountains and the northernmost of the White.<ref group="note">[[Karen Wynn Fonstad]] estimates in the ''[[The Atlas of Middle-earth]]'' that some of the peaks may have been as high as 12,000 feet (3,660 meters), comparable to the Alps in Europe. Tolkien had visited the Alps in his youth and was greatly impressed by them.</ref>
The greatest Dwarven realm in Middle-Earth, Khazad-dûm, was located at the midpoint of the Misty Mountains. The three peaks that were part of Khazad-dûm were Caradhras (Redhorn), Celebdil (Silvertine) and Fanuidhol (Cloudyhead). Inside Celebdil, the Dwarves built the [[Endless Stair]], from the foundations of the mountain to the top of it. The southernmost peak of the Misty Mountains was Methedras (Last Peak).
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===Routes through the Misty Mountains===
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The most important passes are the [[High Pass]] and the [[Redhorn Pass]]. There was also a pass at the source of the [[Gladden]].  
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===Routes around the Misty Mountains===
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The [[Gap of Rohan]] was the valley (probably of the River Isen) between the southernmost peaks of the Misty Mountains and the northernmost of the [[White Mountains]]. There may have been a gap between Mount Gundabad in the Misty Mountains and the westernmost extremity of the [[Grey Mountains]], though published maps differ on this point.
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===Inhabitants===
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The lands around the Misty Mountains included several forests, rivers and other populated areas. Such realms under the Mountains had been [[Angmar]], [[Eregion]], [[Dunland]], [[Lothlórien]], [[Fangorn]] and others.<ref name=map/> While Elves guarded both sides of the Misty Mountains, few ever crossed them.
Under the Misty Mountains are the former [[dwarves (Middle-earth)|Dwarf]] realm of [[Moria (Middle-earth)|Moria]] and the [[Orc (Middle-earth)|Orc]] mines in which [[Bilbo Baggins]] stumbles across the [[One Ring]]. [[Rivendell]] was hidden in the foothills of the Misty Mountains at the western end of the High Pass. [[Carn Dûm]], where the [[Witch-King of Angmar]] resided for several centuries in the Third Age, lay between a western spur of the northern extreme of the mountains, known as the Mountains of Angmar. [[Isengard]] lay centred around the tower of [[Orthanc]] in Nan Cúrunir between the arms of Methedras.
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==History==
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=== Important Peaks ===
The great Dwarven realm of [[Khazad-dûm]] was once established beneath the Misty Mountains, but the unearthing of a [[Balrog]] in Third Age 1981 led to the desertion of this realm by Dwarves, though Orcs and other creatures came to dwell under the Misty Mountains.
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The northernmost peak of the Misty Mountains can be considered Mount [[Gundabad]],<ref name=map/> where according to legend, [[Durin]], eldest of the seven [[Fathers of the Dwarves]], awoke. Later it became a [[Orc-holds|haven for Orcs]].
===Origins===
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The Misty Mountains were created by [[Melkor]] who wanted to make it difficult for [[Orom&euml;]], who often rode across Middle-Earth hunting, to pass.
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===Third Age===
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{{spoiler}}
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The thirteen Dwarves, [[Gandalf]] and Bilbo Baggins used the High Pass to cross the Misty Mountains, and were captured by Orcs whilst crossing (see [[The Hobbit]]).
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The Fellowship of the Ring tried to cross the Redhorn Pass (after rejecting the High Pass leading to [[Rhovanion]] as being watched by the Enemy, and the Gap of Rohan as taking the Fellowship too close to [[Isengard]]), but a blizzard forced it to go under the mountain instead of over it. The Nine Walkers faced a [[Balrog]], that dwelt in the deserted realm of Khazad-dûm. Gandalf slew the Balrog by throwing it from the Celebdil, but sacrificied his own life by doing this.
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The greatest [[Dwarves|Dwarven]] realm in Middle-Earth, [[Moria|Khazad-dûm]], was located at the midpoint of the Misty Mountains. The city was built under three peaks, the [[Mountains of Moria]]: Redhorn (''[[Caradhras]]'' in Sindarin), Silvertine (''[[Celebdil]]'') and Cloudyhead (''[[Fanuidhol]]'').<ref name=south>{{FR|South}}</ref> Inside Silvertine the Dwarves built the [[Endless Stair]], a stairway from the foundations of the mountain to its peak.  
  
==Others mentioning "Misty Mountains"==
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The southernmost mountain was [[Methedras]] (Sindarin for "Last Peak").<ref name=map>{{FR|Map}}</ref>
* [[Led Zeppelin]] recorded a song, "[[Misty Mountain Hop]]", which seems to have borrowed the name but little else from Tolkien. Several other Led Zeppelin songs contain Tolkien references.
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* [[Robert Jordan]]'s fantasy series ''The Wheel of Time'' also features a mountain range called the ''Mountains of Mist''.
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[[Category:Mountains]]
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=== Passes===
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[[Image:Alan Lee - The Pass of Caradhras.jpg|thumb|250px|"The Pass of Caradhras" by [[Alan Lee]]]]
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The most important passes were the [[High Pass]] and the [[Redhorn Pass]]. There was also a pass at the source of the [[Gladden River]].<ref name=south/>
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== History ==
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The Misty Mountains were created by the [[Valar|Vala]] [[Morgoth|Melkor]] during the [[Years of the Trees]] as a hindrance for [[Oromë]], who would hunt his fell creatures. They would later serve as a deterrent for the Elves during the [[Great Journey]], causing some to turn south. The Elves that would not cross the Misty Mountains would become the [[Nandor]].<ref name=s3>{{S|Captivity}}</ref>
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It is said that ancient [[bears]] lived in the Mountains until [[Giants]] arrived and the bears left to the lowlands.<ref name=queer>{{H|Queer}}</ref>
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The great Dwarven city of [[Moria|Khazad-dûm]] (later called the "Black Pit" of [[Moria]]) was located near the middle of the mountain chain.  There [[Durin's folk]] lived for thousands of years with a kingdom which spread as far as Gundabad and as far east as the [[Iron Hills]].
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At the southern tip of the Misty Mountains, beneath Methedras, was [[Isengard]], which was originally a [[Gondor|Gondorian]] fortress but was later given to [[Saruman]].
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Around {{TA|1050|n}}, the [[Harfoots]] migrated west across the Misty Mountains, fleeing the ever more numerous Men and the Shadow growing in [[Mirkwood]], thus the [[Hobbits]] entered history. Later the other two groups of Hobbits, the [[Stoors]] and [[Fallohides]], migrated west as well, until by 2500 no Hobbits could be found east of the mountains.
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When the Dwarves were strong, the mountains were generally free of Orcs, but when the [[Shadow]] was strong, Orcs bred in Mount Gundabad, in [[Goblin-town]], later in Moria itself, and everywhere in between. In {{TA|1300}} the [[Orcs of the Misty Mountains]] started increasing and harassing the [[Dwarves]].<ref name=b2>{{App|B2}}</ref>
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The awakening of [[Durin's Bane]], drove the Dwarves from their city.  It also seems that some Dwarves, either before or after the [[War of the Dwarves and Orcs]], dwelt on the eastern side of the mountains near Goblin-town.
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In {{TA|2480}} the Orcs begun establishing secret strongholds in the Mountains barring all the passes to [[Eriador]] from [[Rhovanion]], while Sauron populated Moria with his creatures.<ref name=b2/>
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Near the east exit of Goblin-town the Eagles kept an [[Eagle's Eyrie|eyrie]] to keep watch on the Orcs.<ref name=council>{{FR|Council}}</ref><ref>{{FR|South}}</ref>
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[[Gandalf]] believed that it was the [[Orcs of the Misty Mountains]] that had driven the people of [[Beorn]] away, and he promised to return there.<ref name=queer/>
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[[Thorin and Company]] used the High Pass to cross the Misty Mountains, and witnessed the mysterious [[Giants]]. Later they were captured by the Orcs of Goblin-town.<ref>{{H|Hill}}</ref>
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It seems that Beorn's people returned to the Mountains. Once the Orcs were decimated, the [[Beornings]] kept open the passages of the [[Ford of Carrock]] and the [[High Pass]] in return for tolls.<ref name=council/>
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The [[Fellowship of the Ring]] faced the challenge to pass the Mountains. They decided to avoid the High Pass or the Gap of Rohan because of the threat of Orc patrols and Saruman's forces. They attempted to cross Redhorn Pass, but a powerful blizzard blocked it, forcing them to journey through Moria. There [[Gandalf]] was lost trying to stop Durin's Bane, and after falling into the abyss, he chased him up to the Dwarven [[Endless Stair]] and [[Battle of the Peak|fought on the peak]] of Silvertine.<ref>{{TT|White}}</ref>
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It is said that in the [[Fourth Age]] [[Durin VII]] led the Dwarves back to Moria.<ref>{{App|Durin}}</ref>
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==Portrayal in adaptations==
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'''2001: ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring]]'':'''
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:The Misty Mountain range as the Fellowship tries to cross the pass of [[Caradhras]].
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'''2007: ''[[The Lord of the Rings Online]]'':'''
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:Misty Mountains appear as both a major game region and within other game areas. The region of "Misty Mountains" consists of the part of the mountain range adjacent to Rivendell Valley, including both [[High Pass]] and [[Goblin-town]]. The mountain range in a broader sense can also be accessed from other in-game regions, including the pass Caradhras in [[Eregion]], former settlement of Dwarves under [[Thrór]] in eastern [[Enedwaith]], a village on the slopes of mount [[Methedras]] in [[Dunland]], the cliffs of [[Zirakzigil]] in Moria and the eastern slopes of the Mountains in [[Lothlórien]].
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{{references|notes}}
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* ''[[The Hobbit]]'', [[Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire]]
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* ''[[The Hobbit]]'', [[Riddles in the Dark]]
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* ''[[The Fellowship of the Ring]]'', [[Many Meetings]]
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* ''[[The Fellowship of the Ring]]'', [[A Journey in the Dark]]
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* ''[[The Fellowship of the Ring]]'', [[Lothlórien (chapter)|Lothlórien]]
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* ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'', [[Appendix B]]
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* ''[[Unfinished Tales]]'', [[Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan]]
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* ''[[The Silmarillion]]'', [[Of Aulë and Yavanna]]
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* ''[[The Silmarillion]]'', [[Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor]]
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* [[Karen Wynn Fonstad]], ''[[The Atlas of Middle-earth]]''
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[[Category:Misty Mountains| ]]
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[[Category:Mountain ranges]]
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[[de:Nebelgebirge]]
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[[fi:Sumuvuoret]]
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[[fr:encyclo/geographie/reliefs/monts_brumeux]]

Revision as of 04:35, 10 September 2017

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The Misty Mountains
Mountain Range
J.R.R. Tolkien - The Misty Mountains looking West from the Eyrie towards Goblin Gate.jpg
General Information
Other namesHithaeglir (S)
The Mountains of Mist
Towers of Mist
LocationBetween Eriador and Wilderland, and Rohan's northern border
TypeMountain Range
DescriptionThe largest mountain range in Middle-earth
RegionsKhazad-dûm, numerous Orc-holds
People and History
InhabitantsDwarves of Durin's folk, Orcs, Trolls, Giants, Eagles
EventsThe Great Journey of the Elves, awakening of Durin I, awakening of the Balrog, dominion of the Orcs, War of the Dwarves and Orcs

The Misty Mountains, Mountains of Mist or Towers of Mist[1] (Hithaeglir in Sindarin[note 1] as a plural) was a great mountain range that lay between Eriador in the west and the Great River Anduin in the east.

Contents

Geographic Features

In the far north, the Misty Mountains formed a T with the Grey Mountains and the Mountains of Angmar.[2] They ran 795 miles (1,280 kilometres)[source?] to the Gap of Rohan in the south, where they approached vertically the White Mountains. The Gap was a passable valley between the southernmost peak of the Misty Mountains and the northernmost of the White.[note 2]

The lands around the Misty Mountains included several forests, rivers and other populated areas. Such realms under the Mountains had been Angmar, Eregion, Dunland, Lothlórien, Fangorn and others.[2] While Elves guarded both sides of the Misty Mountains, few ever crossed them.

Important Peaks

The northernmost peak of the Misty Mountains can be considered Mount Gundabad,[2] where according to legend, Durin, eldest of the seven Fathers of the Dwarves, awoke. Later it became a haven for Orcs.

The greatest Dwarven realm in Middle-Earth, Khazad-dûm, was located at the midpoint of the Misty Mountains. The city was built under three peaks, the Mountains of Moria: Redhorn (Caradhras in Sindarin), Silvertine (Celebdil) and Cloudyhead (Fanuidhol).[3] Inside Silvertine the Dwarves built the Endless Stair, a stairway from the foundations of the mountain to its peak.

The southernmost mountain was Methedras (Sindarin for "Last Peak").[2]

Passes

"The Pass of Caradhras" by Alan Lee

The most important passes were the High Pass and the Redhorn Pass. There was also a pass at the source of the Gladden River.[3]

History

The Misty Mountains were created by the Vala Melkor during the Years of the Trees as a hindrance for Oromë, who would hunt his fell creatures. They would later serve as a deterrent for the Elves during the Great Journey, causing some to turn south. The Elves that would not cross the Misty Mountains would become the Nandor.[1]

It is said that ancient bears lived in the Mountains until Giants arrived and the bears left to the lowlands.[4]

The great Dwarven city of Khazad-dûm (later called the "Black Pit" of Moria) was located near the middle of the mountain chain. There Durin's folk lived for thousands of years with a kingdom which spread as far as Gundabad and as far east as the Iron Hills.

At the southern tip of the Misty Mountains, beneath Methedras, was Isengard, which was originally a Gondorian fortress but was later given to Saruman.

Around 1050, the Harfoots migrated west across the Misty Mountains, fleeing the ever more numerous Men and the Shadow growing in Mirkwood, thus the Hobbits entered history. Later the other two groups of Hobbits, the Stoors and Fallohides, migrated west as well, until by 2500 no Hobbits could be found east of the mountains.

When the Dwarves were strong, the mountains were generally free of Orcs, but when the Shadow was strong, Orcs bred in Mount Gundabad, in Goblin-town, later in Moria itself, and everywhere in between. In T.A. 1300 the Orcs of the Misty Mountains started increasing and harassing the Dwarves.[5]

The awakening of Durin's Bane, drove the Dwarves from their city. It also seems that some Dwarves, either before or after the War of the Dwarves and Orcs, dwelt on the eastern side of the mountains near Goblin-town.

In T.A. 2480 the Orcs begun establishing secret strongholds in the Mountains barring all the passes to Eriador from Rhovanion, while Sauron populated Moria with his creatures.[5]

Near the east exit of Goblin-town the Eagles kept an eyrie to keep watch on the Orcs.[6][7]

Gandalf believed that it was the Orcs of the Misty Mountains that had driven the people of Beorn away, and he promised to return there.[4]

Thorin and Company used the High Pass to cross the Misty Mountains, and witnessed the mysterious Giants. Later they were captured by the Orcs of Goblin-town.[8]

It seems that Beorn's people returned to the Mountains. Once the Orcs were decimated, the Beornings kept open the passages of the Ford of Carrock and the High Pass in return for tolls.[6]

The Fellowship of the Ring faced the challenge to pass the Mountains. They decided to avoid the High Pass or the Gap of Rohan because of the threat of Orc patrols and Saruman's forces. They attempted to cross Redhorn Pass, but a powerful blizzard blocked it, forcing them to journey through Moria. There Gandalf was lost trying to stop Durin's Bane, and after falling into the abyss, he chased him up to the Dwarven Endless Stair and fought on the peak of Silvertine.[9]

It is said that in the Fourth Age Durin VII led the Dwarves back to Moria.[10]

Portrayal in adaptations

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

The Misty Mountain range as the Fellowship tries to cross the pass of Caradhras.

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Misty Mountains appear as both a major game region and within other game areas. The region of "Misty Mountains" consists of the part of the mountain range adjacent to Rivendell Valley, including both High Pass and Goblin-town. The mountain range in a broader sense can also be accessed from other in-game regions, including the pass Caradhras in Eregion, former settlement of Dwarves under Thrór in eastern Enedwaith, a village on the slopes of mount Methedras in Dunland, the cliffs of Zirakzigil in Moria and the eastern slopes of the Mountains in Lothlórien.

Notes

  1. The Hithaeglir were misspelled as "Hithaiglin" on the original Lord of the Rings map.
  2. Karen Wynn Fonstad estimates in the The Atlas of Middle-earth that some of the peaks may have been as high as 12,000 feet (3,660 meters), comparable to the Alps in Europe. Tolkien had visited the Alps in his youth and was greatly impressed by them.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Ring Goes South"
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Queer Lodgings"
  5. 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  6. 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Ring Goes South"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Over Hill and Under Hill"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The White Rider"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"