There’s been a lot of talk this year about The Lord of the Rings‘ status as a Christmas movie. I don’t know that the trilogy is particularly festive content-wise, but it is something families tend to watch this time of year. Probably because the films—and their subsequent extended edition DVDs—originally released around Christmastime. They’re also great, big, comfy fantasy movies. The perfect escapism for this cozy time of year.
I won’t enter the “is it a Christmas movie” debate (because anything can be a Christmas movie, really) but I will admit I enjoy a trilogy binge this time of year. And once you’ve entered that world, it’s hard to shake. I want to live in Middle-earth, with all of its beautiful elvish cities, and warm hobbit holes, and feasts and pipes and smoking chimneys. And I’m certainly not alone. One of my favorite discoveries this year has been ambience videos on YouTube that capture the look and special feel of the world of The Lord of the Rings. Here are some of my favorites.
Probably the coziest place in all of Middle-earth is the Shire, home of the hobbits. The houses are dug into the green, rolling hills and have adorable little round doors. Hobbits love living off the earth, and celebrations, and food—general holiday-esque merriment. Luckily, there are plenty of Shire ambience videos on YouTube. I’m particularly fond of this peaceful nighttime video from Ambient Worlds, who make some of the best Lord of the Rings ambient videos out there.
Ambient Worlds also made this two-hour-long Shire video that blends music from the films with chirping bird noises, soft winds, and other effects.
Or maybe you’d like to spend some time in a hobbit hole during a storm. If so, here’s a great, relaxing video from Escape Artist.
And if you really want to get into the spirit of Hobbiton, you simply must travel to the Green Dragon Inn. There, you can celebrate a harvest feast.
And for those looking for a perfect way to Christmastime, here’s an excellent hobbit Christmas fireplace video from ASMR Weekly.
Seriously, who needs a Yule log when you’ve got ambient Lord of the Rings videos to pull up on the big screen?
Now we head to Rivendell, home of the elves. This is another deeply soothing place in Middle-earth, with its lush waterfalls and twinkling energy. And lucky for us, Ambient Worlds has a few different videos set in this magical realm. There’s this magical sunrise video.
And also this general music and ambience video, set at nighttime.
The best ambient videos (in my opinion) incorporate some kind of rainfall, so this one is a particular favorite.
ASMR Rooms on YouTube also has this lovely, transfixing Rivendell waterfall video. This one is heavier on sound effects than music.
Rivendell is such a magical, wistful place, and getting lost there thanks to these videos is really special.
Elsewhere in Middle-earth
I won’t link to every single Lord of the Rings ambient video out there. Suffice it to say, there are a lot! You can head to Lothlorien, Gondor, the Misty Mountains, or pretty much wherever else your heart desires. We’re grateful to these excellent YouTube channels for creating this escapist art. It’s the perfect way to flee into a fantasy world this holiday season.
I’ll leave you with one last video—another gift from Ambient Worlds. It features my favorite of all the Middle-earth places: Rohan. Enjoy!