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The Mirror of Galadriel 1 - The Fortress of Caras Galadhon

Altaira
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Mar 11 2008, 1:25am


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The Mirror of Galadriel 1 - The Fortress of Caras Galadhon Can't Post

Welcome to this week’s chapter discussion. I’m afraid it’s going to get off to a slow start as I’m still very ill with a coldy, coughy thing (thankfully the sore throat is gone). So, it’s likely to spill over to Saturday. FYI, I’ll be posting primarily in the evenings.

The next leg in the journey of the Fellowship: their stay in Caras Galadhon. But, they’re not there yet, so let’s get this chapter discussion started!

After the group left Cerin Amroth, they came to the outskirts of the city of Caras Galadhon. Tolkien describes it:


Quote

“There was a wide treeless space before them, running in a great circle and bending away on either hand. Beyond it was a deep fosse lost in soft shadow, but the grass upon its brink was green, as if it glowed still in memory of the sun that had gone…. They came at last to a white bridge, and crossing found the great gates of the city.”


Not being familiar with the term fosse, I looked it up:


Quote

“Fosse: a moat or defensive ditch in a fortification, usually filled with water”
-- Dicitonary.com


Now, I have a confession to make. A most wonderful confession, actually. After reading LOTR so many times I’ve lost count, I realized something new (for me) about the story from this very quote and the definition. Even having browsed “The Atlas of Middle-earth” by the late (and dear) Karen Wynn Fonstad many times, I never realized Caras Galadhon was surrounded by a moat. And, despite Tolkien describing “the great gates of the city,” my astute powers of observation never made the connection that Caras Galadhon is actually a fortress in its own right; a fortress as well thought out and designed as those of Isengard and Minas Tirith. I guess I always imagined it as more of a nice garden with lots of trees. But someone put some serious thought into defending that garden. So, let’s go off on that tangent if we may.

Below is my poor attempt at recreating the picture of Lorien from Karen’s book:







Notice the circular shape of the fortress. Also notice how the road winds half way around the fortress before coming to the gates, then winds through the inner structure before coming to the center (squigly line to the left of Celeborn's Chamber is the road, or path - the squigly line going down to the right is a stream leading to Galadriel's Mirror).

1. This is reminiscent of both Isengard and Minas Tirith. What makes this a good design for a fortress?

2. Karen describes the road as made of stone (as does Tolkien) and the walls made of earth (because they were green). Do you agree about the walls? How about the gates? Tolkien describes them a "tall and strong." Trees are plentiful, but Moria is also nearby. Do you think the gates were made of wood or metal?

3. Karen thought the fosse did not contain water because it was described as "lost in shadow." Do you agree? With water available nearby, why wouldn't it contain water?

4. According to Unfinished Tales, Galadriel and Celeborn settled in Lorien after Sauron made the One Ring, then attacked Eregion and laid waste to it in around 1697 of the Second Age. While some other notable Elf kingdoms were built in caves (Menegroth and Thranduil’s digs), they chose woods. Why do you think they chose woods? Were all the good caves taken?

5. Looking at the map of the area of Lorien, what about it was good defensively? Did it have any vulnerabilities?

6. In 1100 of the Third Age, The Wise discovered that an evil power had moved into Dol Guldur. Dol Guldur is uncomfortably close to Lorien (due east approximately 100 miles). Do you think the fortress of Caras Galadhon was built then? Or, do you think it was there when Celeborn and Galadriel arrived?

7. According to Karen, the walls of Caras Galadhon were approximately 2000 feet in diameter. That almost seems a little small to me according to how I've always imagined it. Does this jive with your own impressions? How do you think she arrived at that size?

There are no right or wrong answers here, so go with your own impressions and imaginations. Smile


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase



TORn Calendar

(This post was edited by Altaira on Mar 11 2008, 1:38am)

Subject User Time
The Mirror of Galadriel 1 - The Fortress of Caras Galadhon Altaira Send a private message to Altaira Mar 11 2008, 1:25am
    Huh. Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Mar 11 2008, 4:57am
    Hope you feel better soon! FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 11 2008, 9:22am
        Two miles would make for a very brisk half-hour walk. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 12 2008, 2:45am
            I suppose it depends. FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 12 2008, 7:19pm
                Well Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Mar 12 2008, 8:01pm
                    Thanks for the numbers. FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 12 2008, 8:23pm
                    Yeah, but these are hobbits Beren IV Send a private message to Beren IV Mar 12 2008, 8:28pm
                        Yep Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Mar 12 2008, 8:35pm
                            Dogs are quadrupeds Beren IV Send a private message to Beren IV Mar 12 2008, 9:14pm
                                So would two hobbits in a patomime horse suit be faster than one hobbit? Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Mar 12 2008, 9:48pm
                                    Outrunning cheetahs. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 12 2008, 10:10pm
                                        Deer-Running Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 13 2008, 2:18am
                                        "I'm wasted on cross-country... FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 13 2008, 10:24am
                                        Cheetahs can run flat out for only Elberbeth Send a private message to Elberbeth Mar 14 2008, 8:32pm
                                    And the other races would not have endurance? Beren IV Send a private message to Beren IV Mar 12 2008, 10:44pm
                                        Well!!!! Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Mar 12 2008, 11:37pm
        Ah! (Ah!) N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 22 2009, 7:55am
    Many Answers In Unfinished tales Tolkien Forever Send a private message to Tolkien Forever Mar 11 2008, 3:29pm
        "Mere speculation"? N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 12 2008, 2:50am
            Yes, mere speculation Tolkien Forever Send a private message to Tolkien Forever Mar 14 2008, 8:03pm
    Elvish Defemses Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 11 2008, 5:00pm
        Good point about Nenya! // N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 12 2008, 2:53am
    Of course it is a fortress - what else would it be? Beren IV Send a private message to Beren IV Mar 11 2008, 6:51pm
    I have to admit Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Mar 11 2008, 7:03pm
        ack!! The Mushroom Cloud of Lorien!! a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Mar 11 2008, 9:02pm
            Not to mention Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Mar 11 2008, 11:13pm
                Although Sherwood Forest N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 22 2009, 7:55am
            Loves my Hildebrandts! drogo Send a private message to drogo Mar 12 2008, 10:49am
        Now that's Cerin Amroth. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 12 2008, 3:00am
            I realized that a few years ago, Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Mar 12 2008, 3:06pm
    Caras Galadhon ArathornJax Send a private message to ArathornJax Mar 11 2008, 9:15pm
        No walls in that tolkien.cz picture, though. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 22 2009, 7:56am
    Caras Normandy Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Mar 11 2008, 11:16pm
    Geography. Great. Menelwyn Send a private message to Menelwyn Mar 11 2008, 11:33pm
    Have never really though about it Bladorthin Send a private message to Bladorthin Mar 11 2008, 11:41pm
        Why didn't Tolkien say? N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 12 2008, 3:17am
            What More Is There To Discuss... Bladorthin Send a private message to Bladorthin Mar 12 2008, 9:03pm
                Thanks for clarifying. // N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 12 2008, 10:07pm
    Why does the Fellowship walk a half circle counter-clockwise? N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 12 2008, 3:30am
        Indeed! Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Mar 12 2008, 3:38am
            Neat FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 12 2008, 7:05pm
        Perhaps because this is Faerie FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 13 2008, 10:19am
    Some thoughts Kethry Send a private message to Kethry Mar 12 2008, 11:38pm
    Thoughts. Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 13 2008, 10:07pm
        Elvish elevators Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 14 2008, 5:30pm
        What are these "couches"? FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 15 2008, 8:02pm
            How tall are these trees? N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 15 2008, 8:15pm
    Is the grass really glowing? // N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 22 2009, 7:54am

 
 
 

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