Door of Morning


Staff member
We received a lot of feedback about this portal for leaving the circles of the world!

  1. The doorway should be permanently open, without a mechanism opening or closing a door or gate to prevent passing through
  2. The door of morning should be distinct from (and not easily confused with) the door of night
  3. There should be light emanating from the doorway, showing that there is 'something' on the other side; it is not an entrance to the Void
  4. The gateway itself should be roughly an arch shape, but not appear to be constructed in any way; no architectural style reminiscent of any culture
  5. The gateway itself should be thin, having little substance to it - it separates the anomoly from Arda, and that's all
  6. The doorway should have no depth to it; you can easily go 'past' it on either side, withough crossing through
  7. The door of morning should not be on the horizon or 'edge' of the world - there is space past it
  8. There should be opportunities for characters to view it head-on (humans) and from an angle/off to the side (Lúthien)
  9. The setting should be a sandy shoreline, by pools of still water
  10. The archway of the door is located very close to the shoreline, with the water stretching out into the distance beyond it
  11. The horizon ought to be indistinct, occluded by mists
  12. The stars in the sky above should be reflected in the still water below to reiterate the message of hope and release from bondage being conveyed in scenes where characters look up at the stars throughout our story.
This is a detail from the painting "Moonlit Landscape with Bridge" by Aert van der Neer (1648-50), found in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC (and is, in fact, my favorite painting in that museum)

I think this image is very evocative, and shows an excellent use of soft light in a darkened landscape setting. Not precisely what we're doing, of course, but I wanted to share it nonetheless.

So, let me go see how well I can mimic the Dutch Masters in ... Paint :p

Also, it looks like we're using the approach to Davy Jones' Locker from Pirates of the Caribbean as a reference now, with the mirrored stars in still water making an appearance here:

"It's not getting to the land of the dead that's the problem. It's getting back!" ~ Barbossa

I think it impresses me how many different depictions of liminal spaces and lands of the dead there are in media! I knew they existed, but every time I turn around, there's another being brought into this. This is hardly uncharted territory, but it will be very disappointing if we treat it as anything other than a completely novel space. At this point, we've referenced: The Neverending Story, the Matrix, Narnia: Prince Caspian, the MCU (both Eternity and the Soul Stone apply), American Gods, Fullmetal Alchemist, the Good Place, Pirates of the Caribbean, [honorable mentions to Stargate and Star Trek for door-opening ideas], ??? It's a lot!

Edit: A Dutch Master I am not, to no one's surprise. But here, have some concept art:


- reflected stars in still water
- hazy horizon
- mists rising off the water in the distance
- portal near shore in shallow water
- archway-shaped portal
- light spilling out?

still needs a bit more of this effect to show the light against the darkness:

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