Tolkien Gateway

Tode

Tode was a marshy location mentioned in the Shire-poem The Mewlips.[1]

It is mentioned to be after a long road "beyond the Merlock Mountains", and "through the spider-shadows"; other than that it is unknown if Tode refers to an actual marsh in the Westlands, or if it was just an invention by the poet.

As the poem describes a location similar to Mirkwood,[2] it's possible that Tode refers to the Long Marshes at the end of the Old Forest Road.[3]

[edit] Etymology

tode is the Middle English spelling for a "toad"; it was also a word with evil connotations, as the toad/frog was considered a demonic creature, according to Wiktionary (cf. abovementioned link). Furthermore, Tode is also the German word for "death". Although the two words are unrelated, and J.R.R. Tolkien didn't specifically explain his choice for the name, both explanations are fitting for an ominous swamp.

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, "The Mewlips"
  2. Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, entry "Mewlips, the"
  3. Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, entry "Tode", p. 386
Legendary Locations in Arda
Mountains:  Astulat · Merlock Mountains
 Regions:  Belmarie · Fantasie · Sindanórie · Thellamie · Last Desert
Rivers:  Derrilyn
Other:  Aerie · Gorbelgod · Tode