LOTROfication: Summer Nights in Middle-earth


♫ Tell me more, tell me more – like does he have a mount? ♫

Hello, and welcome to another installment of LOTROfication, where we capture footage of what the Free (and not so free) Peoples of Middle-earth are doing when they’re not busy being an NPC.

Early this summer, I attached several GoPro cameras to trained carrier pigeons, hoping they’d capture the summer activities that unfold during this season and soon return with the footage. Unfortunately, the guy who sold me the pigeons was some crazed wizardly fellow who seems to have an affinity for crebain, so needless to say I got a defective dozen dodos I’m now trying to sell on the auction house.

So away I went, travelling the world myself and taking several shots of the summer festivities. This may have taken the same length of time it took Radagast to try and install his own satellite TV hookup (jury’s still out on that – porcupines do not make for good reception), but this seemed to be the proper course of action after that pigeon debacle.

And so, I now present you with a small collection of complete true, non-edited shots of what I captured along my journey. When applicable, I shared some of my notes to accompany this summer snapshot spectacular. As always, feel free to click on any shot for a full-size version.

I rode my way down to Rivendell to check in on what grand acts Elrond was performing to pass the summer months. When approaching the noble Last Homely House, I knew I was in trouble when I saw several elf-maidens sitting on the bench outside, simply face-palming. I could also hear a faint utterance that almost sounded like elvish singing. Like, bad elvish singing. Like, they somehow trained a bear to sing, but never realized that bear was actually a tone-deaf turtle.

Summer_ElrondDrinkMaking my way in and up the stairs toward the library was only making the sound worse, and a foul whiff of spirits sunk into my nostrils. Creaking open the doors to the empty library spawned the culprit – Elrond was standing there, waving about a large pitcher of some acerbic ale whilst belting some kind of elvish drunken chant. The elves by the Lothlorien docks were harmonious harbingers of holiness by these standards. Mugs, empty and full, were also strewn about the library in entropy. Somehow, Elrond was still standing in exactly the same spot I see him every time.

Apparently, he got in this situation after politely asking one passing hero if they could fetch him an ale, for some measly amount of gold (which wouldn’t have even covered the ale, let alone the travel). To his amazement, they returned with the ale – this was, after all, the legendary Elrond requesting such an endeavor. Realizing this to his potential, he was able to fool hero after hero to perform the same task. Needless to say, elf and hops don’t always equal a pleasant sight, and so we now have the Lord of Rivendell, drunk as a dwarf, pretty much asking to make it into the Middle-earth tabloids. At least this shot will make for good blackmail the next time he wants me to make 15 repetitious journeys to grovel at his feet!

Moving on, here are several interesting shots I managed to take while passing through lands usually known for its dangerous foes and terrain – Angmar and Mirkwood. What I found was a little unexpected, and children under the age of 111 may be shocked at how a Ringwraith actually spends those sweltering summer days.


Security was really tight around this pool – I think it must be part of a gated community, as merrevail began swooping on me when I went for a closer shot.



Dwarves and the corrupted fallen kings of old put aside their differences for a day at the lovely Pool Guldur.

Moving on, I heard that there was apparently a heat wave that struck Forochel this summer, leaving the local Lossoth to sweat it out in blistering temperatures of -30º C. This prompted not only the removal of their ice skates (especially those prone to constantly slipping on the ice when outsiders kept bothering them) and the immediate evacuation of all mammoths (Gandalf had to plead the eagles to help out and they finally caved in, because that’s the downside of being a deus ex machina in winged disguise), but many Lossoth also decided to try out this wicked fun fad they’ve read on the Winternet about a “summer barbecue.”


They may look at everybody else as “outsiders”, but I think they really got the inside track on throwing a killer picnic!

With summer wrapping up, I wanted to finally relax on a beach and catch a couple rays myself. I traveled on down to the exquisite Evendim, tossed a blanket I nicked from the Lossoth on the sand (facing the Brandywine River), and applied a rather heavy dose of bug spray to thwart the local oversized pests. As I chilled back, I spotted an empty volleyball net several yards down in my peripheral. Suddenly, the whole ground began to shake. Assuming a neekerbreeker barrage, I charged to my pack and felt for my First Age™ Mace Repellent. Suddenly, four bears bounded over my head and rushed toward the net. However, these beasts were in the midst of some conversation on who was cuter – Paddington or Winnie. Ah yes, these were not just valley bears – they were Valley Beorning.

They soon began a rather fierce volleyball match, so I quickly scooped up my camera and caught a shot in the midst of a voracious volley.


Several Beornings playing on the famous Bearandalf Beach course.

It was time to get home, so I could have enough time to get the proper exposure on these shots and send my piece down to Middle-earth Today for review and publication. I hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse of some various summer musings that occur in Middle-earth. Remember – should you happen to be in the unfortunately situation to face down a Nazgul, try and imagine it wearing swimming trunks or a two-piece. At least you’ll be slain with a smile on your face and get the last laugh out of that dreadful situation.


LOTROfication is an on-going sporadic series in which I throw some LOTRO burgers on the GIMP grill, and try my best not to burn them completely (unless it’s about Lalia – she’s gunna get fed to the dogs anyways). All work is in good fun and baseball cheers. No NPCs were harmed in the making of this article, though several pools had to be professionally treated after their filters were clogged by thick dwarven hairs.

What kind of fun stuff were you able to do this summer? More importantly, what did you accomplish in the wide world of Middle-earth? Share below!

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