There are so many wonderful locations in LOTRO, and each one offers something different – some are great for casual players, while others are perfect for those who play at a faster pace; some are great for role-playing; and some offer a genuine Middle-earth experience. There’s something for everyone in Middle-earth.
Depending on which race you choose, one of the first places you’ll visit as a new player is Ered Luin, the Blue Mountains. Among the major locations in the region are two Dwarven-cities (Thorin’s Hall and Gondamon) and two Elven realms (Celondim and Duillond), as well as the housing neighbourhoods for both races.
I wish every character could start the intro quest in Ered Luin, because I really enjoy this region (despite the Bree-lands). My very first character was an Elf, but I was anxious to explore the Shire and I basically understood nothing about the game, so I totally neglected the Blue Mountains, and I’m sorry about that. So my goal now is to quest more in Thorin’s Hall with my new characters, also because I want the Thorin’s Hall Goat so badly!
Duillond is my favourite Elven spot, because the scenery is stunning, but I also like Celondim because is a lovely place to emprove fishing skills. Now that my main character is around level 40, I can appreciate the Vale of Thrain and the roads around Thorin’s Hall, but I was afraid of those places when I was a beginner and my poor Elf didn’t own a horse: it wasn’t nice running on her own in these desert places sorrounded by evil creatures and dwarves.
I have three characters on Landroval who have started out in Ered Luin, and I rolled several Elves on Laurelin last month; as tired as I am of intro quests, I doubt I will ever get sick of the Blue Mountains. The quests flow so smoothly, the scenery is beautiful, and the music is wonderful. I try to spend as much time between Thorin’s Hall and Gondamon as I can, as Moria is the next chance to visit the homes of the Dwarves.
I spent some time in Sarnúr yesterday (my first time!), farming reputation items to help my Dwarf, Bodivar, reach Kindred standing with Thorin’s Hall. While I had fun exploring the area, I wished I’d been on-level (and not 40+ levels over) so I could’ve enjoyed the experience more. Of course, more characters mean more reasons to come back!
I am not as keen on the Elven spots, like Celondim or Duillond; typically, I only visit these regions during festivals. I am, however, in love with the Falathlorn Homesteads (I have owned several homes in the neighbourhood, but recently moved back to Thorin’s Hall).
I have to admit, compared to the other two main regions, Shire and Bree-land, I tend to neglect Ered Luin. For whatever reason, my characters are driven eastwards and to the west. Currently, my Elf hunter is exploring this region. However, I love the diverse landscape of Ered Luin. I was rather surprised to find what seems like never ending spring so close to never ending winter.
One of my favorite places in Ered Luin is Celondim and Falathorn. Although I’m not owning a house in Falathorn (yet), I cannot stop visiting the place and dreaming of someday owning a Deluxe house there. As most readers know by now, I haven’t explored most parts of Middle-earth yet, but no matter where I go, the Elven realms in Ered Luin are among my favorite.
Another aspect of Ered Luin I simply love is the music. Especially the Dwarf themes. There are two in particular I would love to buy as an MP3 and put on my ipod so I can listen to them even when being offline. The first is the theme of Gondamon. And the other one is a theme that often starts playing during battles or during the Skimrish in Gondamon. I don’t know the name of that theme, but it is also constantly playing in Orodost. I just can’t get enough of it, and occasionally, I visit Orodost just to listen to it for a short while!
We’d love to hear your thoughts! Tell us what you like/dislike about Ered Luin, or what your favourite quest or spot is!