In 2022 The Lord Of The Rings will return to our lives in a big way with a TV series set to debut in September. As Middle-earth fever hits the world again, we ask how would you survive if you found yourself in Lord Of The Rings? Could you survive life in Middle-earth? A world of many different races, creatures and landscapes; Middle-earth takes some navigating. Luckily, we have some tips!
Know The People!
If you’re dropped into Middle-earth you’ll need to know about the people you’re likely to come across.
Men – Perhaps the dominant race on Middle-earth, at least during the time the movies take place. If you head to the populated regions like Rohan or Gondor chances are you’ll run into men. Just like in real life, appearances can be deceiving. The fair can feel foul so choose wisely. And be wary of Kings/Stewards, moments after you’ve been introduced they’ll have you in uniform and off to war without any training. And if you’re really unlucky you’ll be forced to sing to them.
Elves – Wise and aloof, elves are known for their knowledge and presenting all options when giving advice without offering their own opinions. As they disappear from this world you may see them on the road, or at Rivendell or Lothlorien which would be two great places to hang out for a while, and more importantly, safe places.
Dwarves – Not much is seen of dwarf settlements but given they like mountains and like living in the dark and out of the way, heading for a dwarf kingdom is a good shout. Very handy in a fight too.
Hobbits – Lovers of food, smoking and comfort, you couldn’t stumble into a better place than The Shire where you’ll likely get great hospitality and are rarely bothered by the troubles of the wider world.
Wizards – Full of knowledge and power they have an eye on the bigger picture. This means that you need to be careful, they may well use you for their own purposes!
Orcs – Avoid at all costs! Orcs, in their various guises, make up the main soldiers of the dark forces of the world. They are cruel, twisted and hate everything so not the kind of being you want to stumble into.
Uruk-Hai – Taller and more humanoid, the Uruk-hai, which were bred by the evil wizard Saruman in the pits of Isengard, are a stronger breed of orc. They are more powerful and less fearful of the sun.
Black Riders – Hide! If you see shady looking characters in all black who won’t show their faces and are riding large black horses or unidentified flying creatures they are to be avoided!
Whatever race you run into the key is to form a lasting bond with someone, or a group. Like a fellowship, if you will. Frodo and Sam. Merry and Pippin. Legolas and Gimli. Aragorn and anybody. Lord Of The Rings is built on friendship so find a friend to have your back, who’s back you have. And you’ll survive. That’s good life advice too.
Middle-earth has its share of weird and fantastic beasts so you’ll need to stay alert. Trolls may look big and clumsy but they can do some damage. Top tip – trolls will be turned to stone by sunlight. Great flocks of birds swarm the sky and serve evil entities. Similar to elephants, oliphants are giant beasts of war used in the south to carry armies of warriors and described as having a natural blood-lust. Freaky creatures dwell in the water and will attack. Fiery creatures known as Balrogs lurk in the deep places of the world under the mountains.
On the slightly friendlier side of things, eagles have been known to help in times of need. They tend to stick to their own affairs though, and won’t just be used as a taxi service. Talking, living trees known as Ents also dwell in Middle-earth. Slow to react, slow to act but when they do, you’ll want to be on their side.
To survive in Middle-earth you’ve got to get to grips with the terrain. And it’s not the most hospitable. Cold, snowy mountains. Neverending grasslands. Wet marshlands. Forests with trees that will consume you. You’ll need to be prepared.
You’ll also need to get fit. Getting from A to B often involves covering long distances and relentless marches. And often on foot. You’ll probably need to get friendly with the people of Rohan to stand any chance of getting a horse. Or Gandalf to get you a ride from an eagle.
Some of the main places you might consider seeking refuge if you found yourself in Middle-earth include –
The region of Middle-earth known as The Shire is home to the hobbits. It’s a quiet part of the world and you are likely to receive a warm welcome. There is plenty of food and drink to be had and it’s the perfect place for those with no interest in adventure.
Rivendell / Lothlorien
The last remaining strongholds of elves on Middle-earth, they are the home of Elrond and Galadriel respectively, the two most powerful Elves. As such, there is a mystique to both places and they are unlikely to ever fall to the dark forces of Middle-earth. That makes them a safe place to hangout!
Ruled by Theoden, the people of Rohan have a close bond with their horses, so Rohan is the best place to go if you want a horse! As it is close to Isengard, it is under constant threat from the wizard-turned-bad Saruman so is a dangerous place to stay. The nearby stronghold of Helm’s Deep is a better bet if you like the company of the Rohan folk.
The 7-tiered city of Minas Tirith is at the heart of Gondor, ruled by the Steward Denethor. It lies close to Mordor which makes it vulnerable to attack from the dark lord Sauron and much like Rohan, is therefore not the safest place to stay.
Unfortunately during the time of Lord Of The Rings Middle-earth is at war, and so chances are they’ll be trouble at some point. You will need a weapon. The main strongholds of Middle-earth all seem to hold stores of armour and weapons for all shapes and sizes. They are also a generous lot in Middle-earth and seem willing to give out weapons as gifts (go see Galadriel!) or just to friends. The vast majority of people of Middle-earth are a specialist with a particular weapon and will be happy to spar with you. Whether you fancy yourself with a sword, axe or bow you’ll need to be good with it. Get yourself some mithril armour too, it will repel anything!
FinalBoss Final Thoughts
To survive Lord Of The Rings you need to
- Find a good travelling companion. Bree, located on the edge of The Shire, is a good place to pick up a guide.
- Get good with a weapon, axe, bow or sword being the most common.
- Find a safe place to hole up, recommend an Elvish stronghold, such as Lothlorien or Rivendell.
Above all else, don’t let yourself get dragged into anything that involves magic rings. Only jeopardy and peril await. Much better to stay out of the way if you want to survive!
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Shaun is FinalBoss’ most prolific cinephile. If he hasn’t seen it, it ain’t worth watching. You’ll find him writing about everything from blowout blockbusters to small-screen splendours as he waits impatiently for Lord of the Rings to be released by Amazon. Catch up with Shaun and see what he’s been watching on www.letterboxd.com/shaun_1982.