The Lord of the Rings: this scene is inspired by the dream that haunted Tolkien all his life

The Lord of the Rings: this scene is inspired by the dream that haunted Tolkien all his life

In the long version of “Return of the King”, Eowyn tells Aragorn about the dream she just had: a terrible nightmare that has long haunted the sleep of JRR Tolkien himself.

“I dreamed that I saw a huge wave covering the green lands, and even the hills. I was standing at the very edge. It was pitch black in the abyss, in front of my feet. A light was shining behind me, but I could not. turn around. I could only stand there and wait. “

As Rohan and Gondor prepare to begin their final battle against Sauron’s forces and many doubts assail the hearts of the characters, at the start of The Return of the King, Eowyn wakes up from a terrible nightmare, which she immediately tells Aragorn before going back to sleep.

If no concrete explanation is really given to this scene in the film by Peter Jackson, fans of Tolkien probably know that this is not just any dream.

Indeed, reading the many letters of the author of Lord of the Rings, we can see that he himself was haunted by the same dream many times during his life, just like (as he assumes) his parents before him, and also (as he specifies) his son Michael after him.

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According to Tolkien, this terrible vision of an immense wave engulfing the world, in the manner of Atlantis, would have been transmitted from generation to generation in his family:

“This legend, this myth or this distant memory of some ancient history has always troubled me”, he wrote in one of his letters. “In my sleep, I had this horrible dream of this Inescapable Wave, which came from the still sea or which dominated the green inland lands. It always comes back occasionally, even though I have now exorcised it by writing on it. I always finish. by capitulating, and I wake up suffocating out of the deep waters. “

The Guide to Middle-earth

It is indeed between the pages of the Silmarillion than Tolkien ended up conjuring his dream by writing the Fall of Numenor, a major event of the Second Age of Middle-earth that we can also expect to see among the highlights of the future series announced on Amazon Prime.

This immense island that was Numenor, located in the middle of the Great Sea, sheltered the Kings of Men for many centuries, before they were finally corrupted by the malice of Sauron and did not indulge in evil practices. Faced with their decadence and their rebellion, the Valar decided to engulf the island of Numenor under the waves, sparing only a few Faithful who went to found the kingdom of Gondor in Middle-earth.

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Contrary to what we can see in the film of Peter Jackson, it is Faramir and not Eowyn who dreams again of the engulfment of this lost city in The Lord of the Rings. An intimate and personal vision of Tolkien, therefore, that the latter decided to bequeath to the character he felt closest to:

“When Faramir talks about his secret vision of the Great Wave, he speaks for me. This vision and this dream have always been with me.”, he explains.

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