30 November 2011

365 Days of Middle-earth ~ Day 153: the Dead Marshes

The Dead Marshes as seen in Peter Jackson's The Two Towers

West of Dagorlad and East of the Emyn Muil lay the Dead Marshes, which had expanded throughout the Third Age and engulfed the graves of the Men and Elves slain in the Battle of Dagorlad. These graves became the Mere of Dead Faces. Many of the Wainriders defeated in the Battle of the Camp (TA 1944) were driven into the Dead Marshes, where they perished. It was said that when the will-o’-the-wisp lights flickered over the meres at night, anyone who looked into the pools would see the phantom faces of dead warriors; subsequently, anyone who tried to touch the bodies were likely to drown and join them.

On their way to Mordor, Gollum led the Hobbits Sam and Frodo through the Dead Marshes, warning Sam about the hypnotising effects of the flickering lights. Before he could touch the waters, Frodo’s trance was broken by Sam. In Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers, Frodo fell into the water in an attempt to touch one of the bodies; it was Gollum who pulled him out of the water.  


  1. Since I'm getting so pumped for the Hobbit movie as it draws closer, I'm starting to slowly get back into Tolkien. It's nice to see sites like this again! Ah, now it's only going to be a matter of time before I regret canceling my Lotro subscription.

    Anyway, nice blog! I found it while looking for info on Ancalagon, who is easily one of the primary reasons I would love to see a live action Silmarillion someday. And these are very informative posts. Although it seems like it hasn't been updated in a few days. Hope you continue on with it.

  2. Hi xagzan! Thanks for checking out my blog and leaving a comment - I appreciate your feedback. I am currently a few entries behind, but am working on getting them up by the end of the weekend, so check back tomorrow! :)

  3. You're welcome, and that's good to know. LotR used to be my favorite thing, and I think the upcoming film might get me back into it all, hopefully. But there is a lot of information I've long since forgotten, so places like this, supplemental materials, all that could be very helpful :)

  4. I hope the Hobbit films draw you back in! In the meantime, I'm glad my blog can help refresh your memory. I love letting my readers have some say in what I post, so if there are any people, places, items, events, etc. that you'd like to know more about, by all means, feel free to let me know and I'll try to cover it!

  5. Thank you so much for the information. I am so glad that I came across this.