Fine Writing by Tolkien

I have been listening (again) to the audiobook of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, read by Rob Inglis. Tolkien wrote many beautiful and moving descriptions of landscapes in The Lord of the Rings. These are two of my favorite passages:

Already the eastward sky was turning pale; the stars were fading, and a grey light was slowly growing…. Across the River the far hills kindled. Day leaped into the sky. The red rim of the sun rose over the shoulders of the dark land. Before them in the West the world lay still, formless and grey; but even as they looked, the shadows of night melted, the colours of the waking earth returned; green flowed over the wide meads of Rohan; the white mists shimmered in the water-vales; and far off to the left, thirty leagues or more, blue and purple stood the White Mountains, rising into peaks of jet, tipped with glimmering snows flushed with the rose of morning.

J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Book Three, Chapter 2 “The Riders of Rohan”

Merry looked out in wonder upon the strange country, of which he had heard many tales upon their long road. It was a skyless world, in which his eye, through dim gulfs of shadowy air, saw only ever-mounting slopes, great walls of stone behind great walls, and frowning precipices wreathed with mist. He sat for a moment half dreaming, listening to the noise of water, the whisper of dark trees, the crack of stone, and the vast waiting silence that brooded behind all sound. He loved mountains, or he had loved the thought of them marching on the edge of stories brought from far away; but now he was borne down by the insupportable weight of Middle-earth.

J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Book Five, Chapter 3 “The Muster of Rohan”