Long-Expected Locations: Mt. Ruapehu and Mordor

How much walking does it take to ‘simply walk into Mordor?’ Is it the action of setting your feet down there, or crossing the border on foot, or is it absolutely essential to hike from an Elven settlement? (or at least from the Anduin!) We’ve all dreamed of being able to say we simply walked into Mordor, and on the Long-Expected Journey we plan to do just that.  Day Three takes us to Mount Ruapehu and the Pinnacle Ridge, where scenes of Mordor and of the vast Gorgoroth plains within Mordor were hosted.

—“Do not speak that name so loudly!” said Strider.

—“But now Frodo often met strange dwarves of far countries, seeking refuge in the West. They were troubled, and some spoke in whispers of the Enemy and of the Land of Mordor. That name the hobbits only knew in legends of the dark past, like a shadow in the background of their memories, ominous and disquieting.”

Within Jackson’s version, Mordor is memorably a desolation, and even from afar can be seen as a smog-infested fortress of a landscape, protected by dark mountains and backlit with a maliciously glowing red sky. Jackson didn’t have to make anything up there – as the Third Age drew to a close and the War of the Ring was in motion, Mordor actually looked exactly like that. Tolkien describes to us Mordor as seen by the Ringbearer, his gardener, and his guide as they approach from the western edge. “In the East there was a dull red glare under the lowering cloud: it was not the red of dawn. Across the tumbled lands between, the mountains of the Ephel Dúath frowned at them, black and shapeless below where night lay thick and did not pass away, above with jagged tops and edges outlined hard and menacing against the fiery glow.” The red glare above Mordor is mentioned a few other times, and while it does on occasion fade away, it just as often returns.

Take the challenge. Dare you simply walk into Mordor?

…Actually it may be best if you prepare yourself first. Read the full article here.

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