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Nordor
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Post East Side, West Side, all around the Anduin
on: March 04, 2020 01:50
I'm confused geographically. As Isildur is traveling from Gondor to Arnor what side of the Anduin is his party on? I've always been under the impression that they were on the east side. If that was the case why is the massacre called The Disaster of the Gladden Fields? The Gladden Fields are on the west side. Does that mean Isildur swam across the river before he was shot and that there were orcs on both sides? Anymore I'm having trouble with the compass directions concerning the loss of The Ring.
tarcolan
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on: March 06, 2020 11:28
Isildur set out from Gondor to Arnor travelling on the right (West) bank of Anduin. (Silmarillion)

It is always best to refer to the sides of a river as left or right as they usually meander about so west in one place might be the other side in another. The banks are named from the point of view of the river flow. Imagine floating downstream. Tolkien's Anduin is unusually straight and he mainly refers to west and east banks, perhaps he was unaware of this convention.
Lord_Sauron
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on: March 09, 2020 09:50
These two links may also be helpful

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Gladden_Fields
http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Disaster_of_the_Gladden_Fields
Nordor
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on: March 11, 2020 08:03
This only reinforces my confusion. Both these "tolkiengateway" entries indicate that Isildur's party was proceeding north along the left (east) bank of the Anduin. Isildur was swept by the current to the right (west) bank and was shot. This would seem to confirm that there was a north/south road or path on the Mirkwood side of the Anduin.
tarcolan
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on: March 13, 2020 01:32
Hmm. I'm always willing to admit that I was wrong. The confusion comes from the position of the Gladden Fields, always on the right of Anduin in all the maps. However a more careful reading of the Sil has this;
"From Imladris they [Gil-Galad, Elendil, Isildur] crossed the Misty Mountains by many passes and marched down the River Anduin, and so came at last upon the host of Sauron on Dagorlad, the Battle Plain"
- Of The Rings Of Power And The Third Age, The Silmarillion

Here is their route from Fonstad's book 'The Atlas of Middle-Earth'
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Isildur took this route north;
"and marched north from Gondor by the way that Elendil had come;
- Of The Rings Of Power And The Third Age, The Silmarillion"

This route avoids the Nindalf (marshes) and the Emyn Muil (razor-sharp rocks). It's hard to see how the Orcs managed to cross the Anduin to attack the party though;
"But Isildur was overwhelmed by a host of Orcs that lay in wait in the Misty Mountains; and they descended upon him at unawares in his camp between the Greenwood and the Great River, nigh to Loeg Ningloron, the Gladden Fields"
- Of The Rings Of Power And The Third Age, The Silmarillion

They weren't fond of swimming as I remember, and the fact they 'lay in wait' in the Misty Mountains is another reason to assume the attack happened on the right bank. That's my excuse anyway.

Tolkien was not a great geographer, and probably wasn't that bothered, but it is unusual for such a large river to have no tributaries flowing into it on the left side for most of its length.
Gandolorin
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on: March 13, 2020 07:24
I think in “Unfinished Tales“, “Part Three: The Third Age”, “I. The Disaster of the Gladden Field”, the statements are numerous and clear enough to convince me that Isildur was marching north on the east bank of the Anduin, meaning, if one abides by the convention that the left and right side are determined by when you are facing downstream on a river, on the left side. The Side of Greenwood, not the side of the Misty Mountains.

“… Isildur set forth from Osgiliath … At the Eastgate of the bridge on a bright morning Meneldil bade him farewell.”

“Of their journey nothing is told until they had passed over the Dagorlad [definitely east of the Anduin], and on northward into the wide and empty lands south of Greenwood the Great [definitely east of the Anduin]”.

“… Isildur turned away from the Anduin, swollen with swift water [from four days of rain] and went up the steep slopes on the eastern side to gain the ancient paths of the Silvan Elves that ran near the eaves of the Forest.
So it came to pass that late in the afternoon of the thirtieth day of their journey they were passing the north borders of the Gladden Fields, marching along a path that led to Thranduil’s realm

“To their right [east] the Forest loomed above them at the top of steep slopes running down to their path, below which the descent into the valley-bottom [west] was gentler.”

“Then Othar [Isildur’s esquire, bearing the shards of Narsil] knelt and kissed [Isildur’s] hand, and the two young men fled down [west] into the dark valley.”

”Isildur turned west … and plunged into the water … but he had little hope to gain the other [western] shore. Before he had gone far he was forced to turn almost north against the current; and strive as he might he was ever swept down towards the tangles of the Gladden Fields [on the western shore].”

[Edited on 03/13/2020 by Gandolorin]
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Evil~Shieldmaiden
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on: March 23, 2020 10:21
Great discussion. lads! My Middle-earth geography is hazy at best (unless I'm playing Who or What Am I ) and I learned something new and interesting.
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