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Discussing: The sky over Minas Tirith/Mindolluin

The sky over Minas Tirith/Mindolluin

I need some info, for a double-drabble I have in the works, on whether the influence of Mordor would have caused the sky over Mount Mindolluin (and possibly the White Mountains) to frequently, or always, be grey and/or red, during the early years of Denethor's Stewardship. I've scoured ROTK and haven't found anything definitive to suggest that Mordor/Mount Doom was spewing bad stuff into the air that long ago, or not. It's just a double-drabble, but I'm a perfectionist... Help or opinions would be most welcome! RAKSHA THE DEMON



Re: The sky over Minas Tirith/Mindolluin

Raksha-- Mount Doom burst into flame about 100 years before the War of the Ring; at which time, the remaining inhabitants of Ithilien left. This is mentioned in the Appendices (which I don't have with me at work). Whether the sky above Mt. Mindolluin would reflect the red glow from that far away, I do not know--possibly. Back to work... B.



Re: The sky over Minas Tirith/Mindolluin

Here are the references Branwyn was referring to. From Appendix A: Turgon followed Turin, but of his time it is chiefly remembered that two years ere his death, Sauron arose again, and declared himself openly; and he re-entered Mordor long prepared for him. Then the Barad-dûr was raised once more, and Mount Doom burst into flame, and the last of the folk of Ithilien fled far away. When Turgon died Saruman took Isengard for his own, and fortified it. From Appendix B (for the date): 2954 Mount Doom bursts into flame again. The last inhabitants of Ithilien flee over Anduin. In HoMe 12 Peoples of Middle-earth it says "2954. Orodruin (Mount Doom), long dormant, bursts into smoke and flame again, and fear falls on Minas Tirith. " which suggests the first eruption wsa pretty impressive. I can't quickly find anything else, so I guess you can make up your own mind about how active the volcano would be over the next 70 or so years, and how much ash (and of what kind) it might be throwing into the air? I think the US Geological Survey has some good sites if you need ideas and inspiration. HTH Cheers, Liz



Re: The sky over Minas Tirith/Mindolluin

Well, I know that when Mt. St. Helen's erupted in the '80s people here in Wisconsin who remembered it say they remember things getting kinda hazy on the western horizon for a few days. And Minas Tirith and Orodruin are supposed to be closer together than Washington and Wisconsin, so from that standpoint you could probably argue that Minas Tirith would definately see the ash. I would guess that it would be periodically darkened depending on how active Orodruin was and prevailing weather patterns of the various seasons. Whether or not the sky above Mindolluin would reflect the red glow of Orodruin as seen from Minas Tirith, I'd have to say no. Light would have to be bending pretty drastically for that to happen and red light bends least of the wavelengths of visible light. In order for light to travel from Mordor, to the sky above Mindolluin and go back to Minas Tirith, it would have to do nearly a 180 degree turn over the White Mountains. I just don't see that happening. The snow at the top of Mindolluin is another story, but it's an open question whether or not light from Orodruin would make it over the Ephel Duath at such an angle as to hit the peak. Wish I had my Atlas handy; I'm pretty sure it's got elevations... Anyhow, just some ramblings. Maybe they'll help, maybe not. ^_^ Berz.



Re: The sky over Minas Tirith/Mindolluin

So, would the sky above Mindolluin be grey, ashen from Orodruin's eruptions, or would the viewer in Minas Tirith only see grey sky over the Ephel Duath? Would a viewer in Minas Tirith see red and grey skies to the East, when looking from the Citadel? And would those red and grey skies take up a good part of the horizon, or just a fraction? Thanx, Berz, Tanaqui and Branwyn for all the helpful info! RAKSHA



Re: The sky over Minas Tirith/Mindolluin

Cheryl is going to laugh when she sees I've succumbed and put a link to page on this site, since she was the one who got me surfing to the Mount St Helens Volcanocam on a daily basis.... (Yep, I live in the UK and I am fascinated to watch a volcano in Washington state. But it's so beautiful, even in the mist and the rain... ) Anyway, a quick glance turned up the quote: "The June 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo was global. Slightly cooler than usual temperatures recorded worldwide and the brilliant sunsets and sunrises have been attributed to this eruption that sent fine ash and gases high into the stratosphere, forming a large volcanic cloud that drifted around the world. " So interesting sunsets and sunrises are certainly a possibility. There's probably more of that kind of stuff on the site if you look (it's huge), including reports of particular eruptions and their effect. HTH Cheers, Liz



Re: The sky over Minas Tirith/Mindolluin

There's this quote from Beregond (speaking to Pippin), which indicates to me that it's usually the sky above the Ephel Dúath that's most affected: [Said] Beregond quietly[,] 'Yes, there [Mordor] lies. We seldom name it; but we have dwelt ever in sight of that shadow: sometimes it seems fainter and more distant; sometimes nearer and darker. It is growing and darkening now; and therefore our fear and disquiet grow too. The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 1, Minas Tirith But then the darkness starts to flow out of Mordor on March 9 (the Siege of Minas Tirith begins on the 14th): Darkness Flows Out of Mordor for the Siege of Minas Tirith The Dawnless Day Arrives Hope this helps! - Barbara



Re: The sky over Minas Tirith/Mindolluin

Thanx, Elena, Liz, Barbara, Berz and Branwyn! I think I'll go with having the viewer refer to the sky being normal above the city and grey and red to the east. Simpler that way. But y'all have prevented me from making an error. Thanx much! RAKSHA THE DEMON



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