Walking to Mordor: A Guide for Hobbits
Note: This article was adapted from a paper I wrote in 2012, it’s probably riddled with syntax errors.
This guide is intended for hobbits, of all levels of experience and knowledge, who reside in Hobbiton who wish to destroy the One Ring. By following this guide, a hobbit will be able to optimally navigate himself from The Shire (Hobbiton) to Mt. Doom (Mordor) in order to destroy the One Ring of Power. Where relevant, this guide includes useful information on necessary waypoints. Pertinent data such as demographics and topography of specified regions can be found in the appendix.
The One Ring of Power was secretly forged by the Dark Lord Sauron in the forge of Mt. Doom during the Second Age. He created the ring and 19 others (given to 19 Kings) in an attempt to rule over all of Middle Earth. The One Ring can control all of the other rings which allowed Sauron to corrupt the rulers of Middle Earth. Sauron lost the One Ring during the War of the Last Alliance and for roughly 3000 years the ring corrupted all who wore it despite efforts to destroy it. In order to destroy Sauron, the One Ring must be destroyed. This guide assumes you currently possess this ring of power and that you intend to destroy it.
- The One Ring of Power
- At least 1 companion
- Gandalf (Grey or White)
- Food (i.e. Lembas bread)
- Toiletries (optional)
- Star of Earendil (acquire in Lórien)
- Boat w/ paddles
- Mule (optional)
- First Aid kit
- Clothing and/or armor
Notes contain helpful suggestions related to the hobbit’s journey. Additionally, notes designate what information can be found in the appendix.
This symbol means reader beware. In this situation, the hobbit might bring harm to himself or others around him.
This symbol indicates danger. In this situation, the hobbit is in imminent danger of death or worse.
This guide assumes that the hobbit intends to travel to Mordor by foot. Any use of teleportation or giant eagles shall not be considered. Additionally, this guide assumes that the hobbit in question cannot pass through the realm of Isengard.
Below is a map of Middle Earth displaying 3 different paths one can take to get to Mt. Doom from The Shire. The red line indicates a path filled with extremely dangerous obstacles and thus, should be avoided. The green path shows the most direct path; however, the hobbit would have to cross through Isengard in addition to traveling on main roads (a poor choice for a ring bearer). Main roads are unfavorable since the Nazgul will be pursuing the ring bearer. The yellow path is the optimal path given the circumstances and conditions described above.
Walking to Mordor
- Step 1: Begin at The Shire and travel east approximately 150 miles towards Bree. You will cross the Brandywine Bridge after about 50 miles.
- Step 2: Once in Bree, seek out the Prancing Pony in order to replenish food supplies and rest before the next stretch of the journey.
- Step 3: From Bree, continue east another 300 miles to the elven city of Rivendell. Here, seek out the advice of the king of the elves, Elrond. This is a great place to acquire some quality Lembas bread, a boat and perhaps a few companions.
- Step 4: Upon the next sunrise, travel approximately 100 miles east to the Misty Mountains. Cross through the mountains, weather permitting.
- Step 5: In the event that the weather is not permitting, begin traveling south along the Misty Mountains until you reach the Mines of Moria (about 400 miles from Rivendell). Following the map provided, this is the undesirable path.
- Step 6: At the west gates of Moria (Doors of Durin), speak the word “friend” and enter.
- Step 7: Once inside, follow the path to the eastern gate of Moria (Dimrill Gate)
- Step 8: Once you make it past the Misty Mountains, travel directly east until you hit the River of Anduin. Both paths maintain a distance of approximately 100 miles between the Misty Mountains and the River of Anduin.
- Step 9: Both paths lead the traveler through the forest realm of Lothlórien (Denoted on the map as “Lórien”). Stop here but be mindful of the elven culture for it is much different from hobbit culture.
- Step 10: Upon sunrise, travel further south along the River of Anduin (by boat).
- Step 11: Begin traveling by land once the Dead Marshes appear on your left hand side.
- Step 12: Travel east through the Dead Marshes approximately 150 miles until you reach the Black Gate.
- Step 13: Travel south along the Mountains of Shadow for approximately 150 miles until you reach Minas Morgul.
- Step 14: If you have skipped from step 10, abandon your boat after traveling roughly 500 miles on the River of Anduin and begin traveling west towards Minas Morgul.
- Step 15: Travel 50 miles west (around Minas Morgul) towards Mt. Doom.
- Step 16: Climb to Sammath Naur (“Cracks of Doom”) and throw the Ring into the fires of the volcano.
- Step 17: Exit Mount Doom as soon as possible since it will, most likely, collapse around you. Congratulations, you have destroyed the One Ring of Power, vanquished Sauron, and you have brought peace to Middle Earth!
- Step 18: Travel home and write a book about your adventures…..or three.
Balrog — A Balrog is large demon which shrouds itself in fire and darkness. Once angelic beings, the Balrogs were corrupted by the evil Vala Melkor. The Balrog in the Mines of Moria wields a sword and a whip. Defeating a Balrog requires great power (i.e. a dragon).
Black Gate — The Black Gate is the only entrance to the realm of Mordor. Any other entrance would be through a series of mountain ranges. The armies of Sauron use the Black Gate to exit and enter Mordor. The Gate is kept by the Mouth of Sauron.
Bree — Bree is an ancient settlement of men. It is a city east of The Shire. Predominantly, men and hobbits populate Bree. The Prancing Pony is an Inn in the town.
Dead Marshes — The Dead Marshes are an area to the northwest of Mordor. Many battles were fought in these marshes and, slowly, the marshes enveloped the dead bodies from these battles. Anyone who attempts to touch the bodies in the marshes will likely drown in them themselves.
Dimrill Gate — Dimrill Gate is the eastern gate of Moria.
Doors of Durin — The Doors of Durin are the western gates of Moria. The gate contains an inscription saying “Doors of Durin, Lord of Moria. Speak, friend, and enter” in Elvish.
Elrond — Elrond is the “half-elf” Lord of Rivendell. He is the son of Earendil and Elwing. He is over 6000 years old.
Elven Culture — Elves, unlike hobbits, are immortal. Hobbits eat significantly more than elves. Elven females tend to become healers while males become warriors and fight. Hobbits, on the other hand, are pacifists and do not fight. For the most part, hobbits drink and eat.
Elvish Language — There are several forms of Elvish, the most popular being Sindarin or Grey-Elvish. Most of the Elves in the western region of Middle-Earth speak Sindarin. The language derives from Common Telerin.
Galadriel — Galadriel is considered to be the greatest elven woman. She is known as the Lady of Light and has been described as the most beautiful elf in Middle Earth. She is the mother-in-law of Elrond and the grandmother of Arwen.
Lembas Bread — Lembas is a special kind of elven bread which stays fresh for as long as it is kept within the leaves it is wrapped in. It is intended for long journeys.
Lothlórien — Lothlórien is considered the fairest elven realm during the Third Age. It is located between the River of Anduin and the Misty Mountains. Galadriel, the greatest female elf, resides in Lothlórien.
Middle Earth — Middle Earth is the world in which this journey takes place.
Minas Morgul — Minas Morgul (once Minas Ithil) is home to the Nazgul and their lord, the Witch King. Minas Morgul is Sindarin for “The Tower of Dark Sorcery.”
Mines of Moria — An enormous underground mine in the Misty Mountains. Moria was home to the dwarves known as the Longbeards.
Misty Mountains — The Misty Mountains is an enormous mountain range (795 miles long) stretching from Mount Gundabad to Methedras.
Mordor — Mordor is a realm in the southeastern region of Middle Earth. Sauron and his armies reside in Mordor. The realm is surrounded on all sides by mountains.
Mount Doom — Mount Doom (Amon Amarth) is a volcano located in the realm of Mordor. The One Ring was forged, and can only be destroyed, in the Cracks of Doom (a chasm in Mt. Doom).
Mountains of Shadow — The Mountains of Shadow is the western mountain range of the realm of Mordor. It is home to many Orcs. The north-most point of the mountains is the Black Gate.
Mouth of Sauron — The Mouth of Sauron is a man who has served Sauron for most of his life (about 70 years) and has learned much sorcery. During this time, he forgot his own name. He is pure evil and commands the armies of Sauron.
Nazgul — The Nazgul (Ringwraiths) are the former kings of men who succumbed to Sauron’s power when they were given rings of power. They achieved immortality by becoming wraiths and are servants bound to the power of the One Ring.
One Ring — The One Ring is a ring of power forged in the Cracks of Doom by Sauron. The ring contains a mind of its own and much of Sauron’s power. The ring corrupts all who bear it. However, certain races are less susceptible to the corruption of the ring.
Orcs — Orcs are relatively dim-witted beings who serve as soldiers for Sauron. They serve out of fear of their masters.
Paper Cuts — Paper cuts are cuts received while handling paper. The cuts are normally slice wounds that can cut surprisingly deep. These cuts are extremely annoying.
Prancing Pony — The Prancing Pony is an inn located in the center of the town of Bree. The servers are hobbits and the Inn permits logging.
Rivendell — Rivendell is an elven realm to the east of the Misty Mountains. It was founded by Elrond in the Second Age. Rivendell serves largely as an outpost for the elves.
River of Anduin — The River of Anduin is the largest river in Middle Earth. The river stretches from the Grey to the Mouths of Anduin.
Sammath Naur — Also known as the Cracks of Doom, Sammath Naur is a chasm in Mt. Doom in which the One Ring was forged. The Cracks of Doom is the only place where the One Ring can be destroyed.
Sauron — Sauron was originally an angelic spirit. However, he fell victim to Melkor’s corruption. In an attempt to gain full control of Middle Earth, Sauron forged 9 rings of power for the rulers of men, 3 for the elves, 7 for the dwarves, and 1 for himself. Sauron’s ring (The One Ring) could control all of the other rings. As a sacrifice, Sauron put part of his power into the ring. This way, when Sauron wore the ring, he was more powerful but when he did not have the ring, he was very weak. By destroying the One Ring, Sauron can be destroyed.
Shire — Also known as Hobbiton, the Shire is the home to the hobbits. This realm is series of hills in which the hobbits built their homes. The Shire is located in the northeastern region of Middle Earth.
Star of Earendil — The Star of Earendil is an artifact which is owned by Galadriel. In its holder’s darkest hour, it is fabled to provide light.
Trolls — Trolls are large and stupid creatures who are considered to be completely evil. They turn to stone upon exposure to sunlight. For this reason, they tend to dwell in caves.
Witch King — The Witch King of Angmar is the leader of the Nazgul. He was once a great king of men but he fell victim to the corrupting powers of his ring of power. He serves as a chief servant of Sauron and resides in Minas Morgul. His original name and background are unknown. It is prophesized that the Witch King will not die at the hand of a man.
- Why can’t you just fly from the Shire to Mordor?
The Nazgul can also fly. For this reason, it is unwise to use any means of flight in order to reach Mount Doom since you would most likely be intercepted.
- Why have hobbits take the ring if it is so powerful and dangerous?
Hobbits, though distant relatives of men, are less pragmatic than men. Men are greedy by nature and focus much of their attention on the future. Elves are also very pragmatic by nature. Neither of these qualities allows one to withstand the corrupting powers of the ring. For this reason, a hobbit is the optimal choice for a long-term ring-bearer.
- Why must the One Ring be destroyed right now?
Up until recently, Sauron was relatively inactive. He now has massive armies that are invading nearby realms. Both Rohan and Helm’s Deep have suffered the wrath of Sauron’s power. If Sauron were to acquire the One Ring, nothing would be able to stop him from conquering Middle Earth. For this reason, the One Ring must be destroyed as soon as possible.
- Has this journey ever been attempted? If so, why did they fail?
The destruction of the ring has been attempted before. However, the ring bearer was a human who carried the One Ring from the Battle of Dagorlad to Mt. Doom and chose not to destroy it. Even in this short time, the ring easily corrupted this man.
- What’s Tatters?
Potatoes, boil them, mash them, and stick them in a stew.
- What accommodations will a hobbit receive on this journey?
For most of your journey, you will sleep in ditches and you will eat Lembas bread primarily. Though it is unlikely that you will maintain the standard hobbit regiment of 7 meals a day (breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper), you will visit many new places which will provide you with a myriad of unique culinary experiences.
Tolkien, J.R.R. The Fellowship of the Ring. New York: Ballantine, 1974. Print. Vol. 1 of The Lord of the Rings. 3 vols.
Tolkien, J.R.R. The Two Towers. New York: Ballantine, 1974. Print. Vol. 2 of The Lord of the Rings. 3 vols.
Tolkien, J.R.R. The Return of the King. New York: Ballantine, 1974. Print. Vol. 2 of The Lord of the Rings. 3 vols.
Kamb, Steve, ed. Nerd Fitness. Mike Bridgman, 23 July 2012. Web. 15 Nov. 2012.