weekly screenshot: herne?

This screenshot was taken in the Court of the Wild Huntsman in Enedwaith.  After speaking to a very stroppy Derudh and carrying out some tasks, I was summoned to meet the Huntsman.  I was sent on a personal quest to prove that the peoples of Middle Earth still have some mettle in them and if I proved it to be so, the Huntsman will allow the Dúnedain to travel through their lands.  I loved this questline and all the mythology it hints at.

All throughout Enedwaith, the lore has seemed very familiar to me and I had read it was based upon Welsh mythology.  The huntsman and the wild ride appear in many different guises across Europe (from the fairy king and his wild ride, to Herne the Huntsman, Cernunnos, Odin ~ see Wild Hunt wikipedia for lots more information).  Here in lotro, it has been confirmed by devs that the Huntsman and his followers are Maia who serve Oromë, one of the Valar.  Given Tolkien’s love of faerie and mythology, this is a beautiful way of adding detail and flavour to the zone.

I’m not going to detail all the Welsh references here, especially as Iranon of Arda has already compiled an excellent list, but derudh is adapted from the welsh for druid (derwydd), the Cun Annun appear in welsh mythology as Cŵn Annwn, spectral dogs associated with the wild hunt of Gwynn ap Nudd and Elhudan are drawn from the Welsh will o’the wisp Ellylldan.

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