LOTRO - Anduin The Great


"And it came to pass after many years of journeying in this manner that the Eldar took their course through a forest, and they came to a great river, wider than any they had yet seen; and beyond it were mountains whose sharp horns seemed to pierce the realm of the stars."  (J.R.R. Tolkien - The Silmarillion)

This week I revisited The Great River in LOTRO and spend sometime exploring in awe the incredible wild beauty of this place. The Great River, also called Anduin is the longest river in Middle-earth. The Anduin flows from north to south for over 1,000 miles, passing  through Wilderland east of the Misty Mountains for much of its journey, and then passing the realms of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor before emptying into the Bay of Belfalas. The lands on either side of the Great River are called the Vales of the Anduin. Hobbits are believed to have once lived in the upper Vales of the Anduin in Wilderland, when the growing shadow in Mirkwood caused them to migrate across the Misty Mountains to Eriador. A group of Hobbits of the Stoor branch later returned to the Vales of the Anduin , some say they dwindled away, but did they ?

Hobbit spotted on the banks of the Anduin
 
The Anduin then runs  swiftly until it reaches the marshland called the Gladden Fields which was located where the River Gladden joined the Anduin. It was there, in the year 2 of the Third Age, that Isildur perished and the One Ring was lost. The Ring lay at the bottom of the Anduin for over 2,000 years. In 2463, the Ring was found by Deagol, who was fishing with his friend Smeagol. They were of Hobbit, descended from the Stoors who had settled in the Vales of the Anduin.

"Behold the Argonath, the Pillars of the Kings!"

Look upon Isildur and AnĂ¡rion on the Anduin River. The two Argonath standing on pedestals in the water on either side of the Great River. Behind the statues, behold the high cliffs that form a narrow passage where the river pass and bend through before it widen to form the lake called Nen Hithoel. The Argonath are carved out in grey stone in the likenesses of Isildur and Anarion, sons of Elendil. They face north with their left arms raised, palm outward, so look at them in awe, oh traveler. Built to mark the northern borders of Gondor in the year 1248.

"Frodo turned and saw Strider, and yet not Strider; for the weathrworn Ranger was no longer there. In the stern sat Aragorn son of Arathorn, proud and erect, guiding the boat with skillful strokes; his hood was cast back, and his dark hair was blowing in the wind, a light in his eyes: a king returning from exile to his own land." (J.R.R.Tolkien -The Fellowship of the Ring)

By passing the two giants, Aragorn is no longer a simple ranger of the North. Strider is no more , his destiny is now in front of him. The Great River in LOTRO is one of those places that will take your breath away  for its wild beauty is unmatched. It feels real, and it is very big, or maybe it is me that is just a small hobbit. This is definitely one of my favorite places in game, and I don't mind getting  lost for hours among the flowers or the reeds, wandering under the most amazing sky.

So I met this strange fellow on the banks of the Anduin...

Hug!

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