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Places in Middle-earth

Bonfire Glade

Type: Forests, Fields, Plains

Region: Bree/The Shire

Location: An open space near the gate and tunnel between Buckland and the Old Forest; created when Hobbits burned the trees near the High Hay.


'There!' said Merry. 'You have left the Shire, and are now... on the edge of the Old Forest.'

'Are the stories about it true?' asked Pippin....

'If you mean the old bogey-stories... I should say no.... But the Forest is queer. Everything in it is very much more alive, more aware of what is going on... than things are in the Shire. And the trees do not like strangers.... They do say the trees do actually move, and can surround strangers and hem them in. In fact long ago they attacked the Hedge: they came and planted themselves right by it, and leaned over it. But the hobbits came and cut down hundreds of trees, and made a great bonfire in the Forest, and burned all the ground in a long strip east of the Hedge. After that the trees gave up the attack, but they became very unfriendly. There is still a wide bare space not far inside where the bonfire was made.'

'Is it only the trees that are dangerous?' asked Pippin.

'There are various queer things living deep in the Forest...,' said Merry.... 'But something makes paths. Whenever one comes inside one finds open tracks; but they seem to shift and change from time to time in a queer fashion. Not far from this tunnel there is, or was for a long time, the beginning of quite a broad path leading to the Bonfire Glade, and then on more or less in our direction, east and a little north. That is the path I am going to try and find.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 6, The Old Forest

'Well, well!' [Merry] said. 'These trees do shift. There is the Bonfire Glade in front of us..., but the path to it seems to have moved away!'

The light grew clearer as they went forward. Suddenly they came out of the trees and found themselves in a wide circular space. There was sky above them, blue and clear to their surprise, for down under the Forest-roof they had not been able to see the rising morning and the lifting of the mist. The sun was not, however, high enough yet to shine down into the clearing, though its light was on the tree-tops. The leaves were all thicker and greener about the edges of the glade, enclosing it with an almost solid wall. No tree grew there, only rough grass and many tall plants: stalky and faded hemlocks and wood-parsley, fire-weed seeding into fluffy ashes, and rampant nettles and thistles. A dreary place: but it seemed a charming and cheerful garden after the close Forest....

At the far side of the glade there was a break in the wall of trees, and a clear path beyond it. They could see it running on into the wood, wide in places and open above, though every now and again the trees drew in and overshadowed it with their dark boughs.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 6, The Old Forest

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 6Jan06

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