Carry on up the Baranduin! A video of a swim up the Brandywine!
score and seven years years and three months ago
Four years ago, I did one of me crazier video projects: A “boat journey” down the Water, the river through the Shire. Inspired by slow tv concepts, like 7-hour train rides, 134-hour long real-time journey with the Norwegian Coastal Express, broadcasts of someone knitting a sweater etc., this was an attempt to recreate a journey by boat through the Shire in Lord of the Rings Online.
Back then, I had ideas for more, similar journeys. However, I didn’t really get around to them until now, when I found myself with a rare few hours to spare. What better way to spend them than to run up and down and up and down a river again? What fun…
Off to the Brandywine river then.
Compared to the Water, the Brandywine is a much more boring stretch of water. It is just a broad, brown, flat expanse of water, lazily flowing south from Lake Evendim in the north. No dramatic turns or waterfalls. Not many cozy villages on the banks, at least not until you reach the Shire. Lots of barren sand beaches and rock cliffs. I really had to try make it a little more interesting.
We’re goin’ up around the bend
So I chose to do it in reverse. Basically, following the Brandywine from where it flows into the Withywindle near Buckland, and all the way north to Lake Evendim. If nothing else, this makes the cruise end on a high note, with the colossus at High King’s Crossing and the huge Lake Evendim. Additionally, I added a lot more lore information, tracking the Dúnedain and their history as we travel north. Finally, I started late in the in-game afternoon, so we reach Lake Evendim at sunset. All in all, I think it works pretty well.
The video is sped up to between 2-3 times real-time, not least to match the piece of music I chose. I wanted something water-related, and thus I settled on the Prelude to Wagner’s Das Rheingold. This is a relatively short piece, but thankfully I found a special royalty-free version recorded by the U.S. Marine Band, which adds the Entry of the Gods Into Valhalla as well. Which is somewhat fitting when you consider the background of the Dúnedain and the last sights in the video.
I spent less time making this video than the previous river cruise. The Brandywine is a pretty easy swim, with no real need for “splicing” videos due to obstacles on the way. Basically, this is one long take, plus some separate recordings of side-views and sights on the banks. Swimming the entire way still takes a bit of time, though, ca 30 minutes (ending in a ca 15 GB video clip). Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait long for a sunny day in-game to do the recording.
So, once again, come take a walk on the wet side! Turn up the volume, enable high-quality full-screen video and enjoy!The Brandywine river cruise