grey havens




Adventures in speedpainting: The Grey Havens

@feanope, this is for you! thank you for the prompt, i had a lot fun painting these. I’ll do Eregion too, soon-ish! 

- the Grey havens are one of the oldest elvish settlements in Eriador, with many little towns and hamlets tucked away in the many bays around the Gulf of Lune. The central port is the most easily accessed, as it is built on the mouth of the river Lune, and all westward roads run to it. 

- there are always more elves living here than anyone realises.

- white sails are only used for ships that are sailing West to Valinor. The sails of the ships and boats used in daily life are brightly coloured or patterned, each one unique. 

- there is a LOT of pohutakawa growing around the Havens. The red flowers at the height of summer turn the coastline red. 

- the Grey Havens get their name from the weather, it is nearly always overcast or raining. Fine days are a rarity, and always welcomed. 

Fantasy Painting Original Art.c.1978.
In the fall of 1975, Greg and Tim Hildebrandt burst into the world of fantasy art with a calendar of their renderings of characters and scenes from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Their work was remarkable for its time in the way that they used colour to portray incredible light and shadow contrasts, and for their vigorous depictions of the denizens of Middle Earth. Their incredible imaginations created an amazing array of brilliant and unique paintings.
This sombre and mysterious image may have been a preliminary illustration for the Hildebrandt’s “At the Grey Havens”.
Source : Heritage Capital Corporation

Art by The Brothers Hildebrandt

Either in his dreams or out of them, he could not tell which, Frodo heard a sweet singing running in his mind: a song that seemed to come like a pale light behind a grey rain-curtain, and growing stronger to turn the veil all to silver and glass, until at last it was rolled back, and a far green country opened before him under a swift sunrise.
—  J. R. R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring
middle earth gothic

there are rolling hills of grass in the shire and doors where lives once stood. you hear murmuring on the wind. they say it is the water of the brandywine but you know better. a girl sings a song and the bones of flowers rattle beneath her feet as she hangs wash to a clothesline.

when you find rivendell, it is quiet. the bruinen has cracked its way through the rocks, and moss covers the stacks of books. a bookcase rattles and screams when you come close to it. you put the parchment back. you put the syllabus back. a daughter makes her choice, and chooses rushing tides over the stillness of time. you hunt for a mother’s bone. there are none, there are none, there are none.

moria is a hollow cave and a hollow darkness and a hollow tunnel. there are dead ones wherever you look. a tomb screams of old friends and lost relatives. we cannot get out scrawled in spit tears and blood. when the ancient flame comes, you know your hands will let go and you will not be able to stop the screaming of wind through your bones.

when you enter lothlorien, the trees crackle and whisper and sigh. a witch lives here you hear them say. you do not find a way out, and the trees blindfold you to find the way: you are lost, but you catch glimpses of dead dreams in a pool of hissing water.

fangorn is a forest made of sinew and muscle and bone. the trees throb with poetry that lasts centuries. there is the body of an orc trapped in vines, and it smiles at you with sharp teeth rotting. you understand, for a moment, that death is nothing but the beginning, and then the darkness falls again. you smell water and wood and life. when the trees stare back at you, you do not think you feel safe. 

rohan gallops through time like bristling horses. a white lady looms, pale, behind shut windows as snakes creep over her uncle’s body like worms feasting upon dead flesh. her hands are marked with red, her eyes are empty pools. in all her dreams she drowns.

the white city looms like a stack of old bones. there are charred robes at the bottom of the valley where a grieving father once jumped to his death. at night the dead come walking, their eyes hollow, their hands clutching the heads of those they lost. there is the carcass of a fell beast on the planes before the city of kings and the children play with her bones.

the grey havens smell of saltwater and burning ships. the goodbyes here are final, and bitter, and made by the dead. the ghosts are quiet, for once. to the west, the sun sinks and kisses the sea. you think you hear laughter: you know it is only the wind.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me talk about all the parts that make me cry in the lord of the rings. Buckle up, it’s gonna be a long ride!

- The shire with its comforting music that feels like coming home

- “I wish the ring had never come to me”

- Gandalf’s death and the fellowship mourning

- Frodo mourning


- In Dreams

- May it be

- Rohan music

- Aragorn’s ‘death’ and Legolas and Gimli thinking they lost his friend forever

- “Today life is good”

- Haldir’s death

- Frodo and Sam talking about being part of stories and tales

- “Frodo wouldn’t have gone far without Sam”

- “So am I”

- Frodo smiling

- Gollum’s song


- Faramir and Denethor (and Boromir)

- Edge of Night

- Frodo getting weaker and weaker

- Pippin and Merry separating

- “He is not coming back.”

- Arwen seeing her future

- “There is still hope.”

- Theoden’s speech on the pellenor fields

- “Don’t go where I can’t follow”

- Merry’s and Pippin’s reunion

- Theoden’s death

- Eomer screaming in pain and sorrow when he finds Eowyn on the battle field

- Frodo being to weak to walk

- “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you!”

- Aragorn’s speech at the black gate

- “What about side by side with a friend?”

- “It’s over now”

- Frodo smiling in relieve

- “I’m glad you are with me Samwise Gamgee. Here at the end of all things.”

- Fellowship reunion

- Aragorn’s s coronation song


- Frodo narrating

- Back in the shire

- The Hobbits at the Green Dragon

- Frodo’s fading smile at Sam’s wedding

- “How do you pick up the threads of an old life…?”

- The grey havens soundtrack

- Bilbo and Frodo together in the carriage

- “I think I’m quite ready for another adventure…”

- “You don’t mean that. You can’t leave.”

- The shire has been saved but not for Frodo

- Frodo’s real, sweet and beautiful smile on the ship

- “My dear Sam…”

- “Well, I’m back.”

- INTO THE WEST and the end credits