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Minas Tirith Forums » Library Council of Minas Tirith » Question about the escape from the wood elves. (Page 1)
Author Topic: Question about the escape from the wood elves.
Hecubus2000
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When Bilbo and the dwarves were escaping from the wood elves, why didn't the spell of the river have any effect on them?
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Rose Gamgee - home again
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If you are talking about the part I think you are, they were in a boat. Perhaps you have to touch the water for the spell to affect you.

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Roll of Honor Gandalf the White
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well the enchanted river that went through mirkwood was the one that made them go to sleep and they took a boat across that one. the river on which they escaped was not enchanted and even still, they rode in barrels down that river. (of course except for Bilbo who rode on top of a barrel.)
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Hecubus2000
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Thanks, I was just curious. I Didn't know that they were two different rivers. Thanks for the help.
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Tuor
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Actually, I think the enchanted river is a tributary to the river connecting to Long Lake. It bugs me that the rest of the water doesn't get affected.
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Earendilyon
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Mb the water of the (much) bigger Forest River dilute it so much, it isn't harmfull anymore. Or mb it's purified by the influence of the Elven kingdom.
And keep in mind: it's a kids story, with many faery-tale characteristics, so not everything is as logical as we wanted it to be.

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King of the Numenoreans
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It is to logical, the key word is enchanted. So that river and ONLY that river is enchanted, it is magic, so it would automatically stop when it flowed into the Long Lake. Do you get my drift - magic can do anything
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Tuor
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So is it the water itself that is enchanted, or is the bed through which the water flows? Perhaps the the river bed's enchantment requires the water as a host to affect its victim. I see........

This message has been edited by Tuor on 04-23-2001 at


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Roll of Honor Meneldil
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Or so he thinks...
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Bungo
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At the risk of elevating The Hobbit too much, if that's possible, I think the Enchanted River had the same properties found in The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson.

In those stories, the whole land was under a horrible spell which was geographically limited and had boundaries, but the land itself had nothing to do with it. It emanated from a specific source which had to be dealt with.

In the same way, I imagine the enchanted river to be under a certain influence, similar to a force field, which ends at the point where it joins the Forest River, but has nothing to do with the water itself. However, touching the water that is flowing through its field will put you to sleep.

If you'd like to see the thesis I wrote on this subject for my Master's Degree, just send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a hundred U.S. dollars.

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not by the wine drunk but by the wine poured forth
For love's strength standeth in love's sacrifice
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Dingalen
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Gandalf & Tuor - if you check the map in the Hobbit, you will easily see that the enchanted river is in fact a tributary of the forest river. And as you will also notice, the enchanted river's source is Dol Guldur! Which is most likely the source of the river's dangerous enchantment.
(Somehow Bungo's force field theory sounds too much of radiation radius to me - I think the enchantment was in the water.)
And it was getting weaker the further it got from Dol Guldur, because it was unnatural and was diluted, absorbed by the forest or broken up during its flow through mirkwood.

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Tuor
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That would also explain the dark nature of the forest. Perhapst the 'good' elven magic help purify the water!

I like that version much better than the enchanted river bed.


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Dolmed
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quote:
And as you will also notice, the enchanted river's source is Dol Guldur!
Er, no it isn't! Dol Guldur is located in the far south of Mirkwood and the Enchanted River is in the north of the forest originating in the Mountains of Mirkwood. These mountains are in the heart of the spiders territory so could it possibly be that the spiders are somehow responsible for the river being how it is?
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Thingol of Doriath
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Dolmed is correct... the Enchanted River originates in the Mountains of Mirkwood. The "enchantment" probably would dilute as the river joined the larger Forest River... hence no problem for the Dwarves and Bilbo. []
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Roll of Honor Eryndil
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Circumstantial evidence for the elves being responsible for the magical properties of the river:

Falling in the river caused sleep and dreams of feasts [] []
Entering the feasting elves' firelight caused sleep and dreams of feasts [] []

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Bilbo (Bilbo) Bilbo Baggins -
He's only three feet tall!
Bilbo (Bilbo) Bilbo Baggins -
The bravest little hobbit of them all!

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Dolmed
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Good call Eryndil []
But how was the river enchanted do you think?

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Elrond
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I can see the enchanted river being a tributary of the main river in Mirkwood, but if you look at the maps in The Lord of the Rings, you see that the only river that is in Mirkwood is the Anduin River, which runs down the center of Mirkwood and flows down until it gets to Ithillien. The same river also passes Lóthlorien, Amon Hen, and Osgiliath. It is ALSO the same river that Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli sent Boromir's body down.

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Thingol of Doriath
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Boromir- what maps are you looking at?

Anduin flows past the western eaves of Mirkwood, moving south. The Forest River flows south-east, through Mirkwood, to Long Lake... and the Enchanted River flows north-east from the Mountains of Mirkwood to meet the Forest River by Thranduil's halls.

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"I inhaled. That was the point." -Barack Obama

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Elrond
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I was proven wrong. I got my map from ........ The Lord of the RIngs Risk...... I have no copy on hand...... OK I AM EMBARRASED NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Roll of Honor Roccowen Eilonwyiel
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I'm rather tending to like King of the Numenoreans explanation. It makes sense that the magic could only cover a certain area. I think it would be the water that's enchanted, not the bed through which the water flows.

Why would it have made a difference to have only a certain range for the enchanted water? I wonder why it made a difference to whever enchanted it in the first place. Was there some group they wanted to keep out, while still having trade access to another group?

Hmmmmmm...

E: I wouldn't worry too much Boromir of Gondor. We've all made stupid mistakes and that was completely understandable.

[ 02-04-2004, 09:04 AM: Message edited by: Roccowen Eilonwyiel ]

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Roll of Honor Herendil
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JRRT seems to have borrowed the enchanted stream from Esgalduin, the enchanted river in Doriath.

The published Silmarillion:
quote:
Thus it came to pass that her [Melian's] power was withdrawn in that time from the forests of Neldoreth and Region, and Esgalduin the enchanted river spoke with a different voice, and Doriath lay open to its enemies.
I don't know more about the characteristics of Esgalduin at this time though.
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Thingol of Doriath
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I have a question regarding Esgalduin/the Enchanted River... was the magical properties of Esgalduin due to Melian or Thingol? From Herendil's quote, one would assume that it was Melian. Though Thingol had just died, so it could also be attributed to him... and considering Thranduil was able to replicate this later in Mirkwood.

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Roll of Honor Herendil
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It seems that CT invented the line I quoted above though, but JRRT mentions Esgalduin as an enchanted river in LR, 'A Knife in the Dark':
quote:
There he [Beren] beheld Lúthien singing and dancing in a glade beside the enchanted river Esgalduin
The river was already existent in 'The Tale of Tinúviel' (written 1917) which can be found in The Book of Lost Tales Part II, and there it is even regarded as a stream, unnamed:
quote:
Now his [Tinwelint's] halls were builded in a deep cavern of great size, and they were nonetheless a kingly and a fair abode. This cavern was in the heart of the mighty forest of Artanor that is the mightiest of forests, and a stream ran before its doors, but none could enter that portal save across the stream, and a bridge spanned it narrow and well-guarded.
A river also ran before Thranduil's doors:

TH, 'Flies and Spiders':
quote:
In a great cave some miles within the edge of Mirkwood on its eastern side there lived at this time their [the Wood-elves'] greatest king. Before his huge doors of stone a river ran out of the heights of the forest and flowed on and out into the marshes at the feet of the high wooded lands.
And there was also a bridge across this river like the one across Esgalduin:

TH, 'Barrels Out of Bond':
quote:
Suddenly the torches stopped, and the hobbit [Bilbo] had just time to catch them [the Wood-elves] up before they began to cross the bridge. This was the bridge that led across the river to the king's doors.
But it appears that the river isn't the enchanted stream; it's the Forest River joint with the enchanted stream, as can be seen in this map of Wilderland:

 -


In Doriath there were not really two rivers that approached Menegroth, only Esgalduin, as can be seen in this map of Doriath:

 -


But it is quite evident that JRRT either borrowed elements from Doriath for The Hobbit, or he already knew by then that Thranduil 'copied' Menegroth/Doriath when he established his realm in Northern Mirkwood, as is made clear in UT, 'The History of Galadriel and Celeborn':
quote:
Oropher was of Sindarin origin, and no doubt Thranduil his son was following the example of King Thingol long before, in Doriath; though his halls were not to be compared with Menegroth. He had not the arts nor wealth nor the aid of the Dwarves; and compared with the Elves of Doriath his Silvan folk were rude and rustic.
Actually if we combine Thranduil's realm and Lórien we get some sort of a Doriath, because Galadriel also copied off Doriath when she became ruler of Lórinand, but she was the pupil of Melian and therefore was inspired by her and her powers. Thranduil was more like Thingol, though Celeborn was like him too. Perhaps Thranduil's wife was very powerful as well?

[ 02-21-2004, 02:58 AM: Message edited by: Herendil ]

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Roll of Honor pi
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I think this stream is a defensive, elven enchantment cast by or for Thranduil, for although it was a temporary burden to the Dwarves and Bilbo, Bombur's dreams were not of an evil sort and it did not otherwise harm the sleeper. It gave rather benign dreams, of which a feast and an elven king-like entity were the subjects.
quote:
"I was having such beautiful dreams. I dreamed I was walking in a forest rather like this one, only lit with torches on the trees and lamps swinging from the branches and fires burning on the ground; and there was a great feast going on, going on for ever. A woodland king was there with a crown of leaves, and there was a merry singing, and I could not count or describe the things there were to eat and drink."
edit: and these...
quote:
The feasting people were Wood-elves, of course. These are not wicked folk. If they have a fault it is distrust of strangers. Though their magic was strong, even in those days they were wary.
...
quote:
The next time it had been Thorin who stepped forward, and as the lights went out he fell like a stone enchanted.
...
quote:
Consequently Thorin was angry at their treatment of him, when they took their spell off him and he came to his senses;

emphasis mine, of course.

[ 12-09-2009, 06:37 PM: Message edited by: pi ]

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hasquaati
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I'm wondering what did Bombur eat while under the enchantment spell. How did he gain nourishment, even though he wasn't doing anything. []
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