Henneth Annun - when I read about it for the first time, I had a very strong feeling
of "deja vu" ("I have seen this already). And now I think I know why!
A very similar hiding place - a cave hidden beyond a waterfall - figures in the classical
book of J. F.Cooper "The last of Mohicans".
Do you know the movie "The last of Mohicans" with Daniel Day-Lewis? I adore it,
especially the music (perhaps the most beautiful movie music I ever heard). There are
very nice pictures of that cave in that film, in particular a scene when a troop of redskin
Indians arrives with torches seen dimly through a courtain of falling water...
Tolkien wrote in his essay "On fairy storiers" that he liked stories about Red Indians
when he was a boy... he must have read that book... well everybody did I think...
Yes, and the openness of the New England woods is how I saw Ithilien (as opposed to the impenetrable rain forest of the Pacific Northwest). I loved James Fenimore Cooper's books--but I skipped over all Natty Bumppo's inner musings, as they tended to slow down the action.