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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
"...and so for a whole mile or more."


Jan 21 2013, 1:50am

Views: 1265
"...and so for a whole mile or more." [In reply to] Can't Post

Gee, in the book that Tolkien wrote, Gandalf tells Bilbo he has just ten minutes to get to the Green Dragon, and Bilbo runs the entire distance, "a mile or more", in just that time. I should think that any map drawn to match the text would either show the distance as about a mile, or be judged a bad map - whether it was drawn by Karen Fonstad or Tolkien himself.

Fonstad's map of the Shire in her Atlas simply copies and extends Tolkien's that appeared in Fellowship of the Ring, and her added scale (which Tolkien omitted) does seem to show the distance as five miles, relative to the distances the hobbits later cover to get to Buckland. But that does not mean the text in The Hobbit is wrong and that Gandalf magically sped Bilbo on his way! It's far more likely that Tolkien stretched the scale of his map at the center, to show both Hobbiton and Bywater more clearly; Fonstad herself cites the Hobbit text given above when she states that Bywater was just a mile from Hobbiton (or why would Hobbiton not have an Inn of its own?), without a word about the discrepancy this makes with her own map and Tolkien's.

And there's always the added problem that there are other discrepancies in the geography of the two books (most notably the distance from the Last Bridge to the Trolls' lair) - leading us to the best practice of not using any "facts" from one book to explain or justify questions in the other.

squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

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Subject User Time
Referring to the incident with the dragon Al Carondas Send a private message to Al Carondas Jan 19 2013, 5:39pm
    I never thought of that squire Send a private message to squire Jan 19 2013, 7:39pm
        Squire said it perfectly--agree with all points.// CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jan 19 2013, 9:42pm
        Good points, Squire Al Carondas Send a private message to Al Carondas Jan 23 2013, 12:28am
        Beautifully said, and afterall - One Ringer Send a private message to One Ringer Jan 23 2013, 7:30pm
    Incident with the dragon Eowyn3 Send a private message to Eowyn3 Jan 20 2013, 10:38pm
        "...and so for a whole mile or more." squire Send a private message to squire Jan 21 2013, 1:50am
            Magic mile Eowyn3 Send a private message to Eowyn3 Jan 21 2013, 3:37am
    inspiration Daughter of Nienna Send a private message to Daughter of Nienna Feb 7 2013, 7:27pm
        Cool Al Carondas Send a private message to Al Carondas Feb 11 2013, 1:49am


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