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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Was Mirkwood still dark between 2941 and 2951?

Cirashala
Tol Eressea


Jul 24, 2:05am

Post #1 of 5 (689 views)
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Was Mirkwood still dark between 2941 and 2951? Can't Post

I read that Sauron left in 2941 after the White Council drove him out of Dol Guldur, and that it was not until ten years later that he sent Khamul and another ringwraith to re-establish Dol Guldur.


Was Mirkwood still dark and spider-infested during those ten years? Or did it clear up a bit and become light again (albeit temporarily)?

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Roverandom
Bree


Jul 24, 2:19pm

Post #2 of 5 (645 views)
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Well, if you can take anything a wizard says at face value... [In reply to] Can't Post

From the final chapter of The Hobbit:

"Ere long now," Gandalf was saying, "the Forest will grow somewhat more wholesome. The North will be freed from that horror for many long years, I hope. Yet I wish he were banished from the world!"

Of course, Elrond immediately implies that the glass is actually half-empty, and that was even before we all knew that Bilbo's ring was The Ring.

For just as there has always been a Richard Webster, so too has there been a Black Scout of the North to greet him at the door on the threshold of the evening and to guard him through his darkest dreams.


noWizardme
Half-elven


Aug 5, 4:02pm

Post #3 of 5 (375 views)
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But a wizard is always right! ;) [In reply to] Can't Post

 


In Reply To
"Ere long now," Gandalf was saying, "the Forest will grow somewhat more wholesome. The North will be freed from that horror for many long years, I hope."

But a wizard is always right! (I'm not sure what that does for the reliability of a no-wizard.) Smile Aside from that though, I agree that Gandalf's prediction is probably our best guess as to what would change.

I wonder what 'somewhat more wholesome' would look and feel like to a traveler? I'm supposing Mirkwood would remain 'dark' in the everyday ecological sense - I imagine it as being like a dense pine wood or beech wood. So low light levels, little food to find, easy to get lost - not a place for an expedition that is inexperienced, under-prepared or just a bit unlucky (all things that seem to affect Thorin & Co aside from anything 'dark' as in Dark Lord related). On a practical level too, someone would need to repair the pathways and river crossings to give travelers an easier time than Bilbo had .

Woods and forests in Middle-earth can of course also be what you might call psychologically dark: seeming to have a strangeness, oppressiveness or malice beyond just being difficult and strange terrain and physically cut off from sunshine. Of course sometimes that is little or nothing to do with Sauron - in the Old Forest for example, Old Man Willow is the local troublemaker. But my guess is that Mirkwood growing more 'wholesomeness' would be something to do with the removal of those psychologically dark feelings.

Whether a survey of spider monsters and other problematic things would find fewer after Sauron's withdrawal, I don't know. At the Council of Elrond, Gandalf later tells us that Sauron only feigned to flee. My guess is that the deception there was in Sauron actually did withdraw influence and/or control, but did so as part of a grander plan (that is, he chose to appear to be weak enough to be forced out). But I do see that Gandalf could mean that Sauron's influence or forces didn't really withdraw (it just was made to look like that and they were hiding or something).




~~~~~~
"You were exceedingly clever once, but unfortunately none of your friends noticed as they were too busy being attacked by an octopus."
-from How To Tell If You Are In A J.R.R. Tolkien Book, by Austin Gilkeson, in 'The Toast', 2016 https://the-toast.net/...-a-jrr-tolkien-book/


(This post was edited by noWizardme on Aug 5, 4:04pm)


Cirashala
Tol Eressea


Aug 11, 3:38am

Post #4 of 5 (269 views)
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But not so dark you couldn't see [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sure. And with Sauron's influence gone, perhaps the fauna would be a little less unfitting to eat? Maybe the sun could peek through the trees just a little bit easier than before?

My writing and novels:

My Hobbit Fanfiction

My historical novel print and kindle version

My historical novels ebook version compatible with all ereaders

You can also find my novel at most major book retailers online (and for those outside the US who prefer a print book, you can find the print version at Book Depository). Search "Amazing Grace Amanda Longpre'" to find it.

Happy reading everyone!


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Aug 22, 7:50am

Post #5 of 5 (198 views)
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Might have taken a while to cleanse the whole forest, however. [In reply to] Can't Post

Many of the creatures like the Spiders, and there where others, where not directly linked to the Necroamcer, they just took advantage and benefited from his presence. At least, that's how I read it. I don't think they would have all instantly disappeared with the Necromancer. One thing I wonder is what happened to Mirkwood in the fourth age. Did it become greener and recover some of it's greatness. or did the magic of the place gradually fade and it just became another wood.

 
 

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