Science Fiction and Fantasy Community Forums
Might the cellars that the Mewlips inhabit be the ruins of the old forest roads city? - Printable Version

+- Science Fiction and Fantasy Community Forums (https://forums.sf-fandom.com)
+-- Forum: Science Fiction and Fantasy Franchises (https://forums.sf-fandom.com/forum-5.html)
+--- Forum: J.R.R. Tolkien and Middle-earth (https://forums.sf-fandom.com/forum-18.html)
+--- Thread: Might the cellars that the Mewlips inhabit be the ruins of the old forest roads city? (/thread-35417.html)



Might the cellars that the Mewlips inhabit be the ruins of the old forest roads city? - Darnokthemage - November 19th, 2019

The poem about the Mewlips is perhaps one of Tolkiens most interesting poems, as it gives us details from the red book that appear no-where else. The descriptions of the Mountains of Merlock, the marshes of Tode and the Merlocks cellars are both unique, and fit perfectly with the marshes and perhaps ruins at the end of the old forest road.

It is very likely that there was a city, or burg, or port there in the days of old Rhovanion. Or perhaps even later, into the rule of Smaug under the Mountain? Maybe t was a tradig partner with the older, Greater Esgaroth on the shore?

The Mewlips are cited in the poem to live in dark cellars, decorated with gargoyles in where they count their gold. This would fit very well with the idea that it was an old port-town, because where else is there to store your treasure then deep dark cellars? The mewlips themselves might even be Goblins? Beorn states that the road is rarely used by many other then them. Perhaps we have found an old citt in the Marshes of Tode?

What do you think? What would be a fitting name? I like Todeoth (Tode-burg) as it might share the same naming pattern as Esgaroth (Shore-burg)


RE: Might the cellars that the Mewlips inhabit be the ruins of the old forest roads city? - Agaricus - November 20th, 2019

This is the first time I've heard of the Mewlips, but from the description above I was immediately reminded of Lord Dunsany's tale "The Hoard of the Gibbelins". Like the Mewlips, Gibbellins stored their hoard of gold, and emeralds, in deep, dark cellars.
I have often wondered if Dunsany and Tolkien, contemporaries and both veterans of the Great War, were acquainted, at least through their writings. if not personally. Certainly not socially...an Irish Baron whose title and lands were granted by William the Conqueror in 1066 and a Middle Class Scholar from the Colonies...unlikely.
BTW, the ending of "The Hoard of the Gibbellins" is (spoiler alert) not a happy one.


RE: Might the cellars that the Mewlips inhabit be the ruins of the old forest roads city? - Michael - December 3rd, 2019

Here is the text of the poem (I grabbed it from another Website - no time to check it for accurate transcription).

Quote:The Mewlips

The Shadows where the Mewlips dwell
Are dark and wet as ink,
And slow and softly rings their bell,
As in the slime you sink.

You sink into the slime, who dare
To knock upon their door,
While down the grinning gargoyles stare
And noisome waters pour.

Beside the rotting river-strand
The drooping willows weep,
And gloomily the gorcrows stand
Croaking in their sleep.

Over the Merlock Mountains a long and weary way,
In a mouldy valley where the trees are grey,
By a dark pool’s borders without wind or tide,
Moonless and sunless, the Mewlips hide.

The cellars where the Mewlips sit
Are deep and dank and cold
With single sickly candle lit;
And there they count their gold.

Their walls are wet, their ceilings drip;
Their feet upon the floor
Go softly with a squish-flap-flip,
As they sidle to the door.

They peep out slyly; through a crack
Their feeling fingers creep,
And when they’ve finished, in a sack
Your bones they take to keep.

Beyond the Merlock Mountains, a long and lonely road,
Through the spider-shadows and the marsh of Tode,
And through the wood of hanging trees and gallows-weed,
You go to find the Mewlips – and the Mewlips feed.

People like to speculate about how to identify it with places in Middle-earth. I think it must be treated as a fanciful hobbity poem that incorporates random ideas.