Welcome back to LotRO and Lore, an article series where we take a look at a few of the stellar ways that Turbine ties Tolkien’s wonderful writings into the realm of the MMORPG. This week’s article will be fairly short, but I thought it was a rather interesting bit of trivia.
When travelling in Nan Curunir, the Wizard’s Vale, an adventurer in Middle-earth might come across a statue of a hand, painted white, pointing northwards towards the gates of Isengard.
This is mentioned in the books, as well. In the Two Towers, Gandalf brings Theoden, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli to Isengard after the battle of Helm’s Deep and they gaze upon this statue. What I find so interesting about it is how the team at Turbine fleshed out the story of this particular sculpture.
Along the banks of the Great River Anduin, two large figures stand watch. They are great carvings of men, one of Gondor and one of Rohan, surveying the lands before them. Something interesting can be observed about one of the men’s statue; it is missing his hand!
In LotRO lore, the hand of this statue was taken from its place near the Great River and brought to Isengard, where it was painted white and re-purposed by Saruman’s lackeys as a symbol of his power. What is even more intriguing is that a parallel can be drawn between this statue and its original location and Isengard and its original owner.
Isengard was once Angrenost, a fortress built by the Gondorians to watch over the Fords of Isen and the Gap of Rohan. It was gifted to Saruman, who used the tower for his studies and as a home. But the White Wizard corrupted the once tree-laden lands and became an ally of Sauron, turning his attention towards war and aggressively attacking his neighbors in Rohan. Saruman corrupted the Gondorian tower and re-purposed it for his own evil will.
Likewise, the hand was once a part of a statue depicting the friendship between Cirion, Steward of Gondor, and Eorl the Young, ancient leader of the Rohirrim. The hand of the statue was corrupted and re-purposed for evil as well.
While it isn’t really a big deal in the scope of all things Middle-earth, I have to hand it to Turbine for putting so much passion into even the smallest details of the world and truly fleshing out even the tiniest of facets of the world.
What other miniscule details do you think Turbine has done an exception job with in LotRO? Leave any comments or questions about this week’s article below!
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