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« Curiosity | Main | Beasts adjacent and an interesting ride »

December 28, 2010

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Ariella

That looks like it was a great excursion. It's so interesting to see the contours of the Oxfordshire countryside from the air. It helps me understand where Tolkien found the inspiration for Weathertop.

White Horse Pilgrim

Yes and Tolkien would have seen this landscape in a much less developed form with fewer roads, houses, factories, etc. The snow seems to make the landscape regress to an older, simpler form.

As for Weathertop I would like to show you the winding hedged road along the foot of the chalk downs below White Horse Hill and ask you to imagine a night-time journey twelve years ago when a thunderstorm started up and lightning seemed to fall on the very hilltop. In that moment it was easy to imagine the Hobbits watching from afar Gandalf's battle with the dark riders.

That said I am sure that Tolkien's imagined world is a considerable amalgam of real places more or less subtly modified. Certain hilltops, stone circles, inns and so on come to mind however there is a richness in the whole too.

Olivia

Hello!
I am an art student in college and I was wondering if I could use the second-to-last photograph as the basis for one of my art project paintings. It is a great picture of the English countryside.

Olivia

Thank you for your consideration, by the way.

White Horse Pilgrim

Olivia - please do. Thank you for asking. I do hope that your painting turns out well. It's a pleasure to share the rare opportunity to fly in a helicopter on a day with such remarkable weather.

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