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Dark places of Middle-earth

— Mina Lukić

Paper given 3 September 2021 at 2nd day of Oxonmoot 2021

The terrain, landscapes, architecture, and atmosphere of Middle-earth locations mostly correspond to the events that take place there and tell us more about their inhabitants, including the antagonists. This paper investigates grim, austere, and dangerous places of Middle-earth, built or transformed by the forces of evil and governed by the lust for power. Relying on Tolkien’s descriptions and illustrations, the paper discusses the tunnels of Goblin-town and Moria, Orthanc and Isengard, Dol Guldur and Mirkwood, Cirith Ungol and Minas Morgul, Barad-dûr and Mordor. In addition to Tolkien’s vision, their artistic portrayal is considered, especially the art of Alan Lee and John Howe. Although they may possess a certain aesthetic appeal in visual media, dark places of Middle-earth are menacing and gloomy, usually depicted with sharp edges, Gothic, spiky forms, uncomfortable angles, grand but creepy and aggressive structures endowed with an aura of malice, cruelty, terror, and oppression.

Authoritative information may be found here.

permalink 🔗︁ https://tolkienists.org/00hw/
source URL 🌐Oxonmoot 2021
date recorded 📅2021-09-01
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