I've lived here in New Zealand for 2 years, and only seen bits and pieces of Lord of the Rings scenery. For one thing they did a great job spreading it out across the whole country. Even when you manage to get to a site (most are not easy to get to by car) you find it doesn't look much like it did in the movie. Much like how a painting of a place isn't the same as the place itself, all the colour tweaking and digital landscape manipulation makes the onscreen Middle Earth quite different than many places in New Zealand, even though they were filmed RIGHT there.
Yesterday I embarked on a road trip to one place that is pretty much exactly the same in person as in the movie. Very cool I might add.
Tale the First: Rohan
Who better to take us on a tour of modern Middle Earth than a descendant of the Nazgûl. Ed the Ringwraith, who lives in the third Minas to the left on Mirkwood Lane.
Ed was very excited as today he was heading to the realm his ancestors used to get their rides from back in the day. Ed was going to have to make the trip in a more modern way himself. What with the inhabitants of this land no longer around to breed him a special horse tolerable enough to bear his unworldly presence.
That was to this place, Rohan! Land of the horse masters. Known to some as the Riddlemark or just The Mark.
Ed was very excited to visit the source of his ancestors land transport back in the day. He ever brought his still life rendering machine to record his visit.
All of Ed's pictures are high resolution so click on them to hopefully enlarge them. If not links to their larger version on my flickr account are given. This one's is here.
Ed was ecstatic. He could just imagine legions of Rohirrim horsemen riding across these plains, or hordes of those whacky Uruk-hai.
Alt version of pic here.
Ed noticed some of the nifty rocks that gave the area its distinctive look, and he had a funny idea.
Oh what a silly Ringwraith Ed is!
After much searching Ed found a landmark easily recognized from Peter Jackson's documentary on Middle Earth.
This was the lake where a village was ransacked and burned down by those rapscallions the Wild Men of the east.
Today it has once again been resettled by people if you look at a blown up version of the picture (alt version)
Look at Ed. Isn't he the kidder. He's pretending to be one of the many Rohirrin refuges. Oh that Ed...
Sadly for our favourite Black Rider the weather was turning foul. The sun was coming out, and Ed didn't want to ruin a perfect day with sunshine.
So we'll have to say good bye to Ed the Ringwraith today. He's back off to his hometown of Mordor, and its lovely perpetual darkness.
So enjoy one last look here to Rohan.
(flickr backup here)