Brrokk's Tour of some of Middle Earth's Oddities
This tour takes in some of the strange and unexpected features in
LOTRO's Middle Earth. Members of Room for Improvement followed the tour
on 19th September 2013, and screenshots are from that occasion. Many of
the screenshots were supplied by Celulf.
The best place to start is at Thorin's Hall, which has a swift-travel link from Bree.
1. The Ered Luin Snowman
From Thorin's Hall, ride South and turn off the road to the left, to
location 17.7S, 102W. These days there are many snowmen in Middle Earth
but this one was one of the first. As far as I know it has been here
from the very first Shadows of Angmar days, and I don't know why it
was placed here. Clearly it was built by elves, because dwarves
wouldn't have been able to position its head!
2. The Bird and Baby
Ride to Michel Delving to visit the Bird and Baby inn. This is a nice
ride, so Celulf shows some pictures on the route. While in Oxford
Tolkien belonged to a literary group called the Inklings. They met in
the Eagle and Child pub in Oxford, which they referred to as the Bird
and Baby. That's why it's here in his Middle Earth.
3. The Inklings
Go inside the inn and round to the room at the back on the left. Here
are three hobbits with unusual names. In the Inklings group, Tolkien's
friends included C.S. "Jack" Lewis, Owen Barfield and Charles Williams;
also notable authors. Here they are. The room they had in the Oxford
pub was called the "Rabbit Room". It's not named here, but there is an
actual rabbit sitting in the corner.
At the bar, Carlo Blagrove offers many interesting drinks including Old Winyards; a favourite of both Bilbo and Frodo.
Why isn't Tolkien himself represented here? You can find Ronald Dwale
at Dwaling, who gives related quests. One thing he will ask you to do
is tell his friends here that he's going to be late for their meeting.
When you have that quest, you find them here discussing his absence and saying that they hope he
"hasn't got caught up in one of his stories".
4. Michel Devling Statue
Outside the Bird and Baby, see the statue at the centre of Michel
Delving. The bounders have been restoring it recently. It shows the
Fallohide brothers Marcho and Blancho, who came from Bree and colonised
the Shire by permission of king Arthedain at Fornost, in the year
1601TA (Third Age). This became year 1SR (Shire Reckoning).
5. Bag End
Ride to Hobbiton and up the hill to find Bag End. It has just been sold
to the Sackville-Bagginses, and they are now moving in. You can go
inside but only partway in because of all their packing cases. It's fun
to compare the layout with the description at the start of The Hobbit.
Lobelia and Lotho Sackville-Baggins are gossiping (or arguing?) on the
front doorstep. It's Lotho who is destined to cause much of the trouble
in the Shire by secretly sending pipeweed south, attracting the
attention of Saruman.
Ride to Brockenborings. Here we find a statue commemorating the Battle
of Green Fields when goblins invaded the Shire in 2747TA. Bandobras
Bullroarer led the defence, and completed the victory by beheading the
goblin chief Golfimbul. The Hobbit describes how he knocked off
Golfimbul's head which landed in a rabbit hole; he thereby won the
battle and invented the game of golf at the same time.
Ride north to Evendim. (Possibly visiting Ronald Dwale at the
glassblowers' camp near Dwaling on the way). From Tinnudir, swim to the
small island south and west of Tyl Ruinen. Here it's possible to meet
Floid and Dewitt (for the deed), and also find this sandcastle. No-one
knows who made it, but this is a nice place to relax.
8. The Cat House
Finally we visit Bree and head up the Scholars' Stair to find a house
with a cat sitting outside. Inside we see the rather worrying Cat
House. It's not clear who keeps all these cats, but it there must
be a story behind it. (This is one of the destinations for a
I hope everyone enjoyed that tour. There are sure to be many other
oddities in Middle Earth; these are just some of my favourites.
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