In societies that do not have trucks or trains, rivers and the sea were often used as a means to transport goods from one place to another far distant destination. This required the use of harbors, places where a ship could anchor in safety to load or unload itís goods and passengers. As October and November are times of harvest, a time when the transportation of goods would be at itís height in Middle Earth, our next theme with be Harbor.
There are many examples of harbors in the stories of Middle Earth. Thorongil won great acclaim by defeating the Corsairs at the harbor of Umbar, only to then disappear rather than returning to Gondor. Years later, Aragorn again defeated the Corsairs, and rode their infamous black ships to the harbor at Minas Tirith to turn the tide at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Cirdan met Gandalf at the harbor called the Grey Havens, and there gave him Narya, the ring of power to control fire. Of course, the Princedom of Dol Amroth, located on the Bay of Belfalas, was a major harbor for Gondor, and the city likely depended on the sea for their trade and industry.
A harbor need not be a physical place. Galadriel offered the Fellowship a safe harbor in Lothlorien when they were fleeing from Moria, providing them not only protection from the orcs that pursued them, but also a chance to rest, grieve, and replenish their supplies.
Of course, harbor can also be used as a verb. A man might harbor a grudge against another, and grow bitter from it. A wizard can harbor jealousy towards a fellow maiar who seemingly has more power, and become twisted into serving a dark master.
What other scenes can you imagine might happen at a harbor? We know that Legolas traveled to Elvenhome, taking Gimli with him. What harbor do you think they might have sailed from? What sort of greeting might they have received on their arrival? What kinds of mischief might Prince Imrahilís children have gotten into while playing on the docks of Dol Amroth?
Whatever sort of harbor you choose to write about, please be sure to ship your story early enough that it will arrive before the deadline of November 30!.
Send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. The contest is anonymous and the entry can't be posted publicaly until the results of the challenge are announced. Please mind our rules when submitting your entries for the contest.
Happy writing and drawing!
Mirach, Carawyn, Sian22 and Lotrfan