The splendour of Rivendell

Nestled in the shade of the western side of the Misty Mountains lies the High Elf refuge of Rivendell. It’s not real, but of all the places in the literal fantasy land of Middle Earth, it certainly has the most charm. It was heavily featured in the Peter Jackson trilogy and made an appearance in the Hobbit films as well.

It is a sanctuary for the High Elves, a race of people that came to Middle Earth in its very beginnings. They are related to the Wood Elves who live in the Forests of Mirkwood or Greenwood the Great in the East and Lothlorien to the South. In all cases, they love to live in some kind of Timber Frame House. In fact, most people in Middle Earth, apart from the Hobbits that like to live in posh holes like Bag End, go for a Timber Frame House.

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Like most of his work, J R R Tolkein uses ancient mythology to influence the geography of Middle Earth. Rivendell is a land of peace and tranquility. It is a haven from the violence and death of the rest of the land. It’s been likened to the Irish tales of Tir Na Nog, Shangri La and even Valhalla.

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Jackson cleverly creates an autumnal landscape of sepia, reds and dark orange. In the Lord of the Rings, the Elves’ power is fading. It is not completely gone, it still has reach and beauty, but the signs of autumn, as they do in our world, herald the coming of the winter months and the ending of things.