3 Colt Road, Agenham, Kingstead
Important notes: 1) Allow for some time for the decorations to actually load before you start moving around, 2) disable all floating names & hide the UI, 3) if instead of going right, you try to get past the guard, into the door marked by the Apple-Goblins, you’ll be trapped… maybe forever.
“A Yule Celebration (with Middle Earth flavour)”
Entrance: the door on the right – look for the Marshmallows Doormat
I don’t want to bore anyone with a history of Yule and how we can extrapolate its traditions to our modern Christmas, but please note I tried keeping this scene as accurate as LOTRO allows it to be. So I’ll just run a quick checklist of the similarities I managed to include in it:
✓ Yule Tree
✓ Yule Log
✓ Yule Ham
✓ Evergreen Wreaths
Now the center of the scene revolves around the figure of the Gift-bearer, that manifests today in the Santa Claus persona, heir to the Dutch Sinterklaas, inspired in turn by the catholic Saint Nicholas, but actually traced all the way back to the Norse God, Odin. While I am not the first one to establish a comparison between Odin and Tolkien’s Mithrandir, upon building this scene I chose him as our Middle Earth Santa. The scene & a short write up was included in this year’s Yule Hobbit Calendar (link)!
Odin had many names but the relevant ones in this time are “Jólnir” (Master of Yule) and “the Grey Wanderer” (based on his appearance when travelling). During the 12 days of Yule he was said to lead the Wild Hunt at night and also to be the one slipping down chimneys and hearths to leave gifts, like toys and sweets. And yes, he knew if you’ve been naughty. Sadly, neither Sleipnir nor the reindeers were available, so my Majestic White Stags had to fill in pulling the sleigh – and they don’t like it that much, so you may spot one falling out of line.
Welcome to Mithrandir’s Workshop!
Location: The Barn – look for the Licorice Twists Doormat
The Grey Wanderer opens up the doors of one of his little workshops, where his “elves” toil all year round, crafting toys and other goodies to delivered during Yule. Most of them will hide when you visit, only the Foreman may be around to make sure you keep your hands to yourself – tho sometimes he’s the naughty one and steps all over the toys.
Besides the workbenches, you’ll notice the furnaces in the back where the metallic parts are forged, the snow-globes production line and of course, the outhouse… because it’s cruel to keep workers without a proper facility of this kind.
Lastly, upstairs, you’ll find Mithrandir’s modest study where he reads Yule letters and “processes the orders”, the archive where the naughty or nice books are kept and his portal to visit the Dwarves who collaborate with him providing some extra Yule gifts.
Contact me in-game (Laurelinarien) or via Twitter (@MinstrelbyNight) if you’d like for me to be there in Gandalf’s guise for your own screenshots! I’ll be happy to oblige!