Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Exploring Middle-earth: The Ford of Bruinen @ The Lord Of The Ring

As travelers head east toward the Misty Mountains, leaving behind the barren Lone-lands and the treacherous hills of the Trollshaws, the roar of the River Bruinen, or "Loadwater," fills the air. At the Ford of Bruinen, where the Great East Road crosses the mighty river as it approaches the Valley of Rivendell, the swift waters can be easily crossed at these shallows just below the picturesque falls. Many adventurers, however, tell tales of sensing the presence of great and natural power emanating from the river, protecting the hidden valley of the Elves, which lies just beyond the ford.

The approach to Rivendell is at once awe-inspiring, tranquil, serene, and also potentially dangerous for travelers through this land. The Ford of Bruinen is well-known to readers of The Lord of the Rings as the location where Frodo made his last flight to cross the waters of the Bruinen in the hopes of making the safety of Elrond's home in Rivendell. It is also well-known that the Elves of Middle-earth, and especially those that dwell in the valley of Rivendell, are fiercely protective of their home against the darkness encroaching on the lands. Travelers would do well to declare their friendly intentions as soon as the roar of the Bruinen is heard, for the guards of Rivendell seldom make their presence known and can strike swiftly and silently at any they do not welcome as friends.

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