The Tolkien Road

A podcast about Middle-earth and all things Tolkien.

0215 – Unfinished Tales – The Disaster of the Gladden Fields – Pt 2

The disaster of the Gladden Fields stands as a most notorious event in the history of Middle-earth: a conspiracy of bad fortune and lingering Sauronic malice. Yet what if, despite the doom of Isildur and his men, it can be rightly seen as the first great victory in the War of the Ring itself? Join us, as we explore The Disaster of the Gladden Fields.

This episode is executive produced by Kaitlyn of Tea With Tolkien!


Last time, we looked at the main account of the Disaster of the Gladden Fields. But as is typical of post-Silmarillion Tolkienian publications, Christopher Tolkien provided us with a bunch of interesting notes and other mathoms on a huge variety of related subjects, including Númenorean battle methods, how the Orcs came to be in this place at this time, and an answer to the question: just what was the Star of the Dunedain that Aragorn awarded to Sam in the Fourth Age?

  • The sources of the legends of Isildur’s Death
  • P1: Eyewitnesses? Ohtar, Isildur’s esquire, and Estelmo, Elendur’s esquire. He heard the words of Isildur and Elendur at their parting.
  • P2: Isildur’s demise was “surmise”, composed during the reign of King Elessar.
  • What was known?
    • 1. Isildur had the Ring, fled toward the River.
    • 2. That his artifacts were found near the Gladden River
    • 3. Orcs left watchers on the west bank. 
    • 4. Isildur must have been lost in the river…
  • P3: Council of Elrond » Ring found, but not Isildur’s body.
  • P4: Orthanc (read)
  • P5: Elessar takes up the Elendilmir
  • P6: Isildur’s remains? What did Saruman do?
  • N1: Elendilmir
  • N2: North-South Road Fords of Isen » Fornost
  • N3: Wife and youngest son in Imladris
  • N4: Pass over the Misty Mountains
  • N6: North-South Road vs Isildur’s Road = 300 leagues difference (900 miles)
  • N7: No battle-horses for Númenor
  • N10: Meneldil » sounds like an interesting character
  • N11: Concerning Isildur’s sons.
  • N12: Amon Lanc = Naked Hill
  • N13: Gladden Fields note (read)
  • N14: Concerning Oropher and the kingdom of Thranduil. Emyn Duir = Mountains of Mirkwood (read)
  • N15: Slightly different account of the Orcs’ attack from Of the Rings of Power…
  • N16: Númenorean battle formations
  • N17: Ohtar name
  • N18: 3 returned?
  • N20: Where these Orcs came from? (read)
  • N21-22: meh
  • N23: Description of the Ring’s heat (glede?)
  • N24: Isildur’s pride
  • N25: The light of the Elendilmir
  • N26: Description of Elendur (likeness to Elessar)
  • N27: Distance Isildur traveled.
  • N28: Isildur’s short sword
  • N29: Isildur with reference to the Gladden Fields
  • N30: Miruvor?
  • N31: Mithril discrepancy?
  • N32: Elendilmir + Aldarion and Erendis (read)
  • N33: Elendilmir is NOT the Star of the Dunedian, at least per CT (read)
  • The last bit is on linear measurements. That is getting REALLY Tolkien-demic, so maybe we’ll revisit that around episode 2,000…

So that’s all for The Disaster of the Gladden Fields! I hope you’ve enjoyed this 2-part series, and drop us a line with your own thoughts and insights.


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