It is difficult to say what the most captivating water scene is in the Legendarium. Is it Kheled-zâram, Mirrormere? Despite any hurt or weariness, it draws you by its still blue water—only to transform before your very eyes whence you see the forms of the encircling mountains mirrored in a profound blue. The peaks are like plumes of white flame above them; and beyond there’s a space of sky. There shine glinting stars, like jewels that sink in the deep, though sunlight is in the sky above. But of your own form you see no shadow.
Or is it Window of the Sunset, Henneth Annûn? There one can see the sun sink and the fire in the water. Perhaps, one is simply astonished seeing Samwise the stouthearted plunge his head into the cold water and splash his neck and ears because he’s short of sleep. He needs to stay awake enough to eat, and the cold water on his neck feels to him like rain on a wilted lettuce. Is not laughter a way to heal the weary heart and soul?
Then again, it might be the delight of Lake-town. Seeing a village on water, that place one could dangle his or her feet into the water just outside their home. You might even see a hobbit trying to stay atop a barrel, lest he drown whilst thirteen very uncomfortable, very unhappy dwarves bounce about stuffed in barrels floating down a river. A comical scene indeed!
I do not think it would be the Sea. Should the gulls be there, Legolas’ heart would be uneasy until he left the wonder of Middle-earth, taking with him also Gimli the Dwarf. That would be a loss, to see them no more, Elf and Dwarf, the best of friends.
On the other hand, passing into the West, until at last on a night of rain you smell a sweet fragrance on the air and hear the sound of singing that came over the water. Then it might seem to you that, as in your dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turns to silver glass and rolls back, and behold! the white shores and beyond a far green country under a swift sunrise. Would this not be a wondrous thing to behold?
Yet how could I do this without first seeing the many other bodies of water in Middle-earth as well as its many other wonders? For example would it not be wonderful to hear the noise of bubbling waters come up from the foaming river-bed in Imladris whence the birds warble and peace lay on the land?
I do not think that I could so easily leave until at last, I had seen all. Only then would I want to see the white shores and the far green country under the swift sunrise.
Cody is an avid reader and a passionate Tolkienist. He has over 30 Tolkien books alone and writes about the Legendarium. He also has a love for programming and is a proud participant and winner of the International Obfuscated C Code Contest. He tries to see the good in the world and is a strong believer in Pity.