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In Honor Of The Kings Of Old

June 23, 2010

The Lord of the Rings Online never ceases to amaze me. Just when I thought the sights couldn’t get any better…

Wow...

Longtime players of LOTRO will probably look at this and go, “Oh, yeah, it’s just High King’s Crossing.” But for a newcomer like me, the first time seeing this landmark was truly an awe-inspiring experience, from the very first moment I caught a glimpse of the statue’s head looming over a hill in the distance.

Riding under the statue’s gigantic base, I felt a passing sense of shame knowing this is probably yet another one of those important landmarks I really should know a little more about. Ever since finding out that I climbed Weathertop for the first time with its significance completely lost on me through the whole thing, I’ve wondered how much more of this game has gone right over my head without me realizing it. Admittedly, my very limited knowledge of Lord of the Rings lore pretty much ends at the Peter Jackson movies, The Hobbit, and what I actually managed to get through of the literary trilogy, which sadly, is only Fellowship and half of The Two Towers before giving up and watching the animated film instead. In my defense, my philistine self was only 11 when I attempted the books, old enough for the vocabulary, but perhaps still too young to appreciate the nuances in the writing. I do plan on one day revisiting the entire trilogy again…after 15 years, perhaps it’s finally time to stop putting that off.

Anyway, to everyone who suggested that I should check out Evendim, I want to say thanks! There’s so much to explore in this game; I have a feeling this zone would have eluded me a while longer if I hadn’t been given advice to venture north of the Shire (having not picked up any breadcrumb quests to take me there, methinks I would have gone straight on to the Trollshaws.) After languishing for days on end in the Lone-lands and North Downs, Evendim proved to be a breath of fresh air.

Night-time shot.

21 comments

  1. There are the massive, endless mines of Moria, the Mirkwood, Dol Guldur… and hey, you have not even seen Eregion, Rivendell, the Misty Mountains, Angmar, Forochel… the Ettenmoors are also quite fun. http://lorebook.lotro.com/wiki/Special:Interactivemap

    Your journey has just begun. :)


    • I’m looking forward to all of that! :D


  2. I remember Evendim. Damn huge lake in the way of everything. It was a pretty zone, but that was also the place I stopped grinding deeds. The number just got too crazy for me.


    • Yeah, the lake is a real pain in the ass! I didn’t know how big it was so I jumped in and just kept swimming, trying to reveal the whole thing on my map.


  3. I read the books twice just for pleasure while growing up, then one more time to refresh myself just before The Fellowship of the Ring movie came out. I tried to read them again after seeing Return of the King and realized that, for the first time ever in my experience, the movies were actually better than the books. It’s perhaps heresy to say, but Peter Jackson and Co are better story-tellers than Tolkien was.

    A lot of the historical significance of places and events may not be in the text of the stories, but in the long, dry appendices that make up the last section of the book Return of the King. Watching the movies a few times and browsing fan sites to fill in gaps may be more informative and entertaining than reading the books plus analyzing the appendices. That said, reading books is rarely a bad idea.

    Y’all had persuaded me to try this game just before the F2P announcement was made. As a friend had warned me away from LOTRO early on (surely they’ve fixed his issues by now) and I wasn’t exceedingly thrilled with DDO, I decided to wait and only pay after I’m sure I like it. Here’s looking forward to autumn.


    • The movies were good, but I felt that they lacked feeling, like eating a huge meal without the nutrients. I agree that Peter Jackson and Co. are amazing story tellers though, and I think they did a good job with what they had and translated the books very well visually. Millions of angry Tolkienites aren’t raging at their doorsteps as unsatisfied fans are wont to do, so that’s gotta be saying something.

      And glad to hear you’re giving this a try come autumn….this is why I think LOTRO going F2P isn’t all that bad. I lot people can benefit from the new model, methinks, and see what the game has to offer :D


  4. personally I find it difficult to plunge into books when other people give them recommendations. Their high praise usually equals a middling result. However, lotr was the exception for me. theres a reason it virtually started it all.


    • Yeah, movies and games that receive high praise usually mean that I’ll like them, but books are never so simple. They’re just weird that way.


  5. As enjoyable as the movies are as a visual spectacle I do have to disagree that the movies tell the story as well as the books let alone better.

    They do however tell it differently, there is a lot in the books that was left out of the movies and there is a fair bit in the movies that has no basis at all in the books.

    What the movies do have to their advantage is pace; I fully accept that some people may not want to read “long dry appendices” and in that case sure the movies would be more entertaining.

    However if you wanted to truly get a handle on the full and rich world which Tolkien created then the movies simply don’t cut the mustard.

    Not only are there the appendices (which are actually very interesting to my mind) there is the oft over looked Silmarillion.

    I think a point which is very often overlooked is that when Tolkien wrote The Lord of the rings and indeed all of his works there wasn’t even the remotest possibility of them being turned into movies and as such everything he wished to portray to the reader had to be rendered in the only media he had available to him, his words.

    In order for the reader to imagine and view his world the way he envisaged it he had to go to extraordinary lengths in his descriptions and his detailing.

    The trade off to this is some element of pacing, however if I were to compare the world that Tolkien was able to conjure quite clearly in my mind with that which Peter Jackson so deftly portrayed on screen, then give me a slower paced, detail rich exposition any day.

    (apologies in advance for any lack of legibility, I am under the influence of copious amounts of flu meds!)


    • I know you mean regarding the movie’s pace. Granted, it’s more entertaining to people who just want to know what happens, but I would say 3 hours per movie give or take is still not ideal for a story like LOTR. I think Peter Jackson and Co. did the best they could, and they did a very good job…but in the end those characters and their journey were just too big for any director to handle. I remember watching those movies and being blown away with the visuals…but I was less than impressed with the character development, especially when I compared it to what I recalled reading in the books. But this is an area literature will always do better than movies, imo.

      And I’ve heard about the Silmarillion, mostly through what my husband has told me. I wouldn’t say he’s a huge LOTR fan, but he’s big enough on the books that when the movies came out, he didn’t want to watch them fearing that they wouldn’t be done well and take away from his experience or mar his memories of the story. He described Silmarillion as “fairly dry”, which to me probably means I’ll never be able to get through it :P

      I hope you feel better! :D


      • lol yeah the Silmarillion is roughly as dry as a bucket of sand…


      • LOL! :D


  6. Glad you’re enjoying Evendim, and as Longasc pointed out above there’s a lot more to explore in Middle-earth. There can be quite a bit of swimming in Evendim, assuming they haven’t redone the quests there, but there is a boat available now, you just need to find the unlock on the far side.

    Happy exploring.


    • Thank you! I’ve left Evendim for the time being, to do more of that exploring…I’ve just ventured into the Trollshaws actually!


  7. I’ll never get to see that stuff :(


    • Never say never! Especially now that LOTRO is going F2P! :P


  8. If you think Evendim rocks wait till you get to Forochel bay. Seriously, I’m willing to be right here and now it’s going to blast you off your chair. Just need something to bet on now…

    And the lore behind Evendim and most of North Downs / Angmar comes from the Silmarillon. Not the easiest read but a must for any Tolkien fan. What you are seeing are the tombs of the old kings of Arnor, the kingdom of Men that was destroyed by the Witch in ages past.


    • Forochel Bay…I’ll remember that. Sounds like seascapes are in my future, I can’t wait! :D

      And thanks for that, I was hoping someone was going to tell me some of the history behind Evendim.


  9. Wow, that is indeed a beautiful screenshot! Really makes me want to play LOTRO now!! :) I’m going to try and hold out for the F2P version though.


    • Yeah, some LOTRO screenies almost look like paintings to me!


  10. [...] Amidst the chaos and confusion, staying indoors and avoiding the G20 mayhem was for the best. It did make for quite a productive gaming weekend; I got many new levels for my Tauren warrior in World of Warcraft, I’m almost finished with Red Dead Redemption, and best of all, I finally made it to Rivendell in Lord of the Rings Online! And geez, I thought High King’s Crossing was impressive. [...]



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