Arguably one of the strangest places on Middle Earth is the Dead Marshes, where Gollum leads Frodo and Sam through on their way to Mordor. It was a quiet and desolate land, with no birds or living creatures, so they tried to give Gollum some Lembas bread, take his breath away. As they looked down into the murky water, they saw faces staring back at them, and Gollum explained that a deadly battle had been fought there long ago that left many dead. So what is this battle, and who are the people who fought in it?
The war, known as the ‘Battle of Dagorlad’ took place during the Second Era of Middle-earth, when Demon Lord Sauron came to power for the first time. A series of elves and men known as the Alliance eventually marched from their realm around the Misty Mountains to meet him in battle and prevent him from taking Middle-earth. Two armies of goblins, led by Malgalad and Gil-galad, joined by His warriors led by Anarion and Elendil, two kings of Gondor where one of the Argonaths rests. But the goblin armies did not unite, and half of them attacked the enemy before the order was given, resulting in them being slaughtered on the spot. The battle is said to have been going on for months, during which the alliance pushed the enemy hard through the black gate and into the final fields known as the death swamps, due to which thousands of bodies had arrived. find final resting place. over there.
Many of Sauron’s forces were displaced, forcing him to retreat and regroup his Orcs ready for another onslaught. Another seven years passed with the Confederacy trying to maintain the advantage they had gained, and Sauron re-armed his army ready for the next phase of the war. After seven years, the Alliance had repelled the enemy to the point where Sauron himself entered the battle, arriving in the war zone in his physical form.
This is the scene from the beginning of Fellowship of the Ring, in which Elrond of Rivendell is fighting, and Isildur cuts the One Ring from Sauron’s finger, breaking the blade Narsil that later modified to become the Sword of Aragorn. In the book version, Thranduil, whom many viewers will recognize as Legolas’ father from the Hobbit, also joins the battle, and after losing his father Oropher, is forced to return to the Mirkwood woods, just north of Fangorn Forest.
The set of Corpses was set up and filmed in a New Zealand studio car park. The hills and mounds in the swamp were built using sandbags, then painted and covered with grass and moss. The set is then submerged in a mixture of water and painted to give the water a light green color.
The underwater corpses are dummies created by Weta Workshop’s amazing costume and sculpting team, which are then completely submerged to create a drowning effect. The background of the scene was shot on a green screen and then digitally added by Weta Digital afterwards, as was the spillover scenes of battles and clashing swords that gives the scene an ominous feel. The small flames that can be seen are a combination of realistic and digitally augmented fire. As for the strange lights across the deadly swamp, there are many theories as to what exactly they are.
Though the books aren’t clear, they describe them as ‘bright smoke’ or ‘slowly misty flames flickering above unseen candles.’ Much Lord of the Rings Fans believe that the light is the shimmering spirit of the restless dead living under the water, while others believe the light is some kind of Will O’the Wisp. The legend of these strange creatures originates from ancient English folk tales and tales, intended to warn and prevent getting lost in the dark of night, where one can easily get lost. .
The stories have changed over time, but the original concept for these books was that they would lead stupid travelers into swamps where they would drown, which fits the concept. Lord of the Rings as Gollum, who was once Smeagol say ‘Don’t follow the light.’ However, the legends have changed at some point to suggest that Wisps became a guide spirit trying to help lost travelers and bring them back to safety. It can therefore be suggested that the lights of the Dead Swamps are the Willows that have gathered around the dead, trying to lead the souls there out of their dark trapped state, and to the place where they live. proper rest of their people, ie For the elves, it’s the Land of the Immortals, and for the men of Gondor, it may have been the burial mound of their ancestors.
There is a theme throughout The Lord of the Rings, this idea of people and their souls trapped until they find peace or achieve their purpose. The same can be seen about Gandalf who was trapped on the tower of Orthanc, The Soldiers of Death are trapped until they fulfill their oath to Aragorn, and the Ringwraiths, who are trapped in a realm between life and death. Many other creatures may find peace after the War of the Rings is won, but it is never said whether the souls of the Dead Mars will ever find their way out of their watery graves. them or not.
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