Frodo and the Dead Marshes of WWI

There’s a fascinating article on my favorite World War I site about J.R.R. Tolkien’s experiences with the horrors of the Western Front. According to his daughter, he actually modelled Frodo, Sam and Gollum’s journey through the Dead Marshes in The Two Towers on the bombed out and devastated battlefields of Belgium and France.

the Journey through the Dead Marshes (in The Two Towers), looks very much like a description of the marshy and swampy battlefields in Northern France and in Flanders. In the course of the war these areas were transformed into deadly mud swamps with slithery clay and shell craters filled with water and corpses. Innumerable soldiers lost their footing and drowned in those treacherous pits.

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Comment by Clutch
2007-12-28 18:49:56

Fascinating indeed!

Comment by livius drusus
2007-12-28 19:05:24

The whole site is a marvel. I’ve lost entire weekends browsing the picture collections and commentary.

Comment by P-dub
2007-12-30 22:49:41

Wow, this was totally fascinating. I am enjoying your blog.

Comment by livius drusus
2007-12-30 22:55:01

P-dub! I’m thrilled you’re enjoying it. :)

Comment by Anonymous
2008-12-23 15:06:20

:skull: :skull: :skull:

Comment by Boris Grasic
2010-02-13 10:41:33

Nice one. Newer thought of it, but now that i have read this post, everything makes perfect sense.

Comment by livius drusus
2010-02-13 13:35:12

Be sure to read the full article because there’s a lot more in there about the parallels between Tolkien’s experience of the war and The Lord of the Rings.

Comment by Boris Grasic
2010-02-13 16:19:53

Read the whole post.
Interesting facts. How the war sometimes might even bring something good to this world – though very rarely.

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