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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
This map is a little bit odd.

Beutlin
Rivendell

Nov 3 2012, 5:45pm


Views: 284
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This map is a little bit odd. [In reply to] Can't Post

Amon Sűl and Bree are to the east of the Shire, not to the north. It is my impression that the creator of this map tried a little bit too hard to show the similarities between Europe and Middle-Earth, thereby altering the geographic outlook of these subcontinents.

Let us quote Tolkien on this matter:

"The action of the story takes place in the North-west of 'Middle-earth', equivalent in latitude to the coastlands of Europe and the north shores of the Mediterranean. ... If Hobbiton and Rivendell are taken (as intended) to be at about the latitude of Oxford, then Minas Tirith, 600 miles south, is at about the latitude of Florence. The Mouths of Anduin and the ancient city of Pelargir are at about the latitude of ancient Troy."

Mind you, Tolkien only compared Middle-Earth and Europe from a geographical point of view in this letter. Tolkien does not say that Minas Tirith looks similar to Florence and/or that the Gondorians resemble Southern Europeans. The only race/culture in Middle-Earth that specifically resembles a real culture from our history are the hobbits. Tolkien referred to them as an ideal representation of 19th century English country folk. Although the Rohirrim bear a great resemblance to the Anglo-Saxons, Tolkien specifically stated in the appendix of the "lord of the Rings":

"This linguistic procedure does not imply that the Rohirrim closely resembled the ancient English otherwise, in culture or art, in weapons or modes of warfare, except in a general way due to their circumstances: a simpler and more primitive people living in contact with a higher and more venerable culture, and occupying lands that had once been part of its domain."

In other words, Tolkien would have probably dismissed our comparison between Constantinople and Minas Tirith, if we had claimed that there were similarities between them in architecture, culture, language, warfare. Likewise, he would have probably admitted that they bear a resemblance in a general way: Both successors of greater empires/cities, faced with powerful enemies to the east, and most importantly a sence of (anachronistic) pride in the belief that one was the respective heir of a superpower.

There are many other cities in the old world which bear a resemblance to Minas Tirith: Rome or Vienna comes to mind. But Minas Tirith was not the first capital of Gondor, it only became so when the empire started to crumble - Rome seized to be the capital of its empire more than a century before the Goths sacked it. In the 5th century the capital of the Western Roman Empire was at times Milan, at other times Ravenna - the city on the seven hills only remained as the symbolic heart of the Imperium, similar to Osgiliath.

Ceterum censeo montem artis magicae atrae esse delendum.

Subject User Time
Why did PJ remove the Easterlings from the ROTK? DeadRabbits Send a private message to DeadRabbits Nov 2 2012, 12:39pm
    I would watch that movie!!! ValarNienna Send a private message to ValarNienna Nov 2 2012, 12:52pm
        Haha, yeah they kind of look like MJ! // DeadRabbits Send a private message to DeadRabbits Nov 2 2012, 1:36pm
            I always think they have an '80's music video look Starling Send a private message to Starling Nov 3 2012, 1:11am
        I agree that they looked ridiculous, though Shelob'sAppetite Send a private message to Shelob'sAppetite Nov 2 2012, 3:32pm
            To be honest... Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Nov 2 2012, 7:28pm
                Basically how I pictured them Shelob'sAppetite Send a private message to Shelob'sAppetite Nov 2 2012, 7:41pm
                    I certainly can understand your viewpoint that the peoples of Middle-Earth... Beutlin Send a private message to Beutlin Nov 2 2012, 8:37pm
                        I agree that Hun, Magyar and Avar-inspired designs would be most appropriate Shelob'sAppetite Send a private message to Shelob'sAppetite Nov 2 2012, 9:08pm
                            I concur with the Gondorian-Byzantine connection. Beutlin Send a private message to Beutlin Nov 2 2012, 11:39pm
                                Yup, understood Shelob'sAppetite Send a private message to Shelob'sAppetite Nov 2 2012, 11:58pm
                                    If you just concentrate on the capital of Minas Tirith, I would agree with you. Beutlin Send a private message to Beutlin Nov 3 2012, 12:19am
                            Minas Tirith as Constantinople? Kendalf Send a private message to Kendalf Nov 3 2012, 2:28pm
                                This map is a little bit odd. Beutlin Send a private message to Beutlin Nov 3 2012, 5:45pm
                                    Another great post, Beutlin Kendalf Send a private message to Kendalf Nov 5 2012, 10:37am
                        Somehow... Ereinion Nénharma Send a private message to Ereinion Nénharma Nov 2 2012, 11:43pm
                            I would have loved to see an African dwarf in the hobbit. Thorins_apprentice Send a private message to Thorins_apprentice Nov 2 2012, 11:46pm
                            In Tolkien's legendarium at least, there were none. Beutlin Send a private message to Beutlin Nov 3 2012, 12:00am
                            IMO Shelob'sAppetite Send a private message to Shelob'sAppetite Nov 3 2012, 12:04am
                                :) Ereinion Nénharma Send a private message to Ereinion Nénharma Nov 3 2012, 8:42am
                                    I think there were some dwarf colonies/tribes out in the East imin Send a private message to imin Nov 3 2012, 9:02am
                                        Ah, yes... Ereinion Nénharma Send a private message to Ereinion Nénharma Nov 3 2012, 9:28am
    I can think of 2 reasons: DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Nov 2 2012, 12:52pm
        yup Elenorflower Send a private message to Elenorflower Nov 2 2012, 1:23pm
        They serve the purpose of giving some depth to Sauron's evil Shelob'sAppetite Send a private message to Shelob'sAppetite Nov 2 2012, 3:30pm
            Only in 1 film for minutes. DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Nov 2 2012, 9:35pm

 
 
 

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