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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Why are there no ‘towers of a distant city’ on the map of Middle-earth?
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squire
Valinor


Sep 11 2010, 10:31pm

Post #1 of 28 (1769 views)
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Why are there no ‘towers of a distant city’ on the map of Middle-earth? Can't Post

Inspired the recently posted interactive computer map of Middle-earth, I wrote a short essay for the Home Page on why Tolkien seems not to have used his famous Map to full effect in creating his fantasy world. Any comments or discussion would be welcome!



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 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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Finding Frodo
Tol Eressea


Sep 12 2010, 5:11am

Post #2 of 28 (814 views)
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He left that to us [In reply to] Can't Post

It's in one of the letters, I think, that Tolkien complains a bit about people that have been pressing him for more information. Botanists want to know more about the mallorn, musicians want melodies for the songs, etc. Someone with more energy can look up exactly what he says, but as a recall, he kind of gave his blessing to others to continue the sub-creation process.

To me, though, the 'towers of a distant city' are represented by those parts of Middle-Earth that were submerged or otherwise destroyed in The Sil.

Where's Frodo?


coop7172
Registered User

Sep 12 2010, 5:25am

Post #3 of 28 (790 views)
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seems better that way [In reply to] Can't Post

I definitely see your point on how vague the map is compared to how much detail is actually put into the text, but, maybe that’s what he used to limit how much could be added. There is so much in there, so much he gave you a glimpse of, but you don't actually get a very vivid description of the areas like towns or kingdoms, things of that nature. I honestly think that what he wanted to be written about in his world, he wrote it. I think that Tolkien did not want things to be added that he felt would potentially take away from what he made. Why give someone else a blue print of all these unexplored lands, and allow them to easily tie their tale into your world? Anyone who cared would be able see the difference from the original maps made for the Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion, and something new added by another author. Tolkien wanted there to be an end to the story that he made. If he wanted it to go farther, he would have wrote about it. That’s were he wanted it to stop. Look at Star Wars and all the tales that have been woven into the original story line; it’s pretty much never ending. I look at that like it weakens the overall story and makes it much too big. Tolkien wrote the Unfinished Tales that make up the foundation of the Silmarillion, the history of his world. He wrote the tales that lead you from the beginning to the end of his story and then lets it string off to where it could tie into present day. I would not want people to take away from what I spent most of my life molding together. I would safeguard it the best way I could; by not giving anyone to much of a foundation to build off of.


Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Sep 12 2010, 6:17am

Post #4 of 28 (843 views)
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Very interesting! [In reply to] Can't Post

And to tell the truth, it's something I never thought of. You're right, of course, but I never noticed that there were't places on the map that aren't mentioned in the story, except in the Shire. Hmmm...

I do know that the map has played such a huge role in my imagination of Middle Earth that when I dream about LotR (which I did a lot during the years the movies were being made, and also when I am actively reading the books, but not much otherwise) I see the landscape as looking strangely like the map, and not like a more real-looking landscape. That is, I see much farther than you would in a real landscape, maybe as though I were sitting at Amon Hen, and it looks a lot like the map.

I know Tolkien was averse to illustration of fantasy, and maybe for him embellishing the map would be like an illustration, rather than a useful guide for the reader. But I agree with you that it would have been cool to have those mysterious vistas hinted at. Great essay!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Ainu Laire
Tol Eressea


Sep 12 2010, 10:16am

Post #5 of 28 (818 views)
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We, the readers, get to decide what we want there [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think Tolkien so much resisted anyone using the map for sub-creation so much as he was more interested in developing his world in other ways. He was interested in languages and lineages and history, and developed the world in that sense; the inner workings of trade routes, or the economical details of the countries of Middle-earth, interested him much less, if we base it on what he developed. Does that mean he would utterly protest to his readers using maps to fill in the blank parts of Middle-earth? Absolutely not. Why would he have left so many unknowns and hints if he was opposed to it?

The casual readers looking simply for a good book, as Tolkien pointed out, will enjoy the story and neglect the Appendices. Those of us who want more? We can create more. And with the 21st century and the invention of the internet, this ability to create and share our thoughts, our opinions, and our creations in the large playground of Arda is more possible than ever before, and we can do it not only as individuals, but as large groups with large projects, both for profit and for love.

While there are a few things that I would like to have as "canon" and know for sure, for the most part I love what we have and what we have to our disposal for our imaginations. While fan fiction tends to be derided among some fans, some of the most brilliant pieces of literature I have ever read were pieces of fan fiction in the Tolkien fandom.

And with technology, this "fan fiction" is extending into so much more than written words. This virtual map is an excellent example of it. Another excellent example is Turbine's MMO, LOTR Online.

Just this last Tuesday they released a new region, Enedwaith. How many here even remember where it is on the map of Middle-earth? If you do, what do you remember about the region? Likely nothing beyond its location. That is because Tolkien said basically nothing about it, especially in the Third Age. Basically nothing is known about Enedwaith around the War of the Ring. Despite this, Turbine managed to create a fully fleshed "fan fiction" region, complete with over 100 quests with full back stories, NPCs (non-player characters) that, while the majority of them were created by Turbine for the game, completely fit the spirit of the lore and seem to basically belong in Middle-earth. It was this spirit that led several players that I know to picking up Tolkien's books for the first time ever, and allow those readers to start building their own stories about all of the hidden gems that Tolkien left for us to find. But man, I had absolutely no thoughts on Enedwaith before; now? Images like this or this come to mind, thanks to fans (and, really, quite a few of the developers of the game are fans; they have been known to participate in lore discussions upon the forums). Enedwaith is not just some blank spot on the map; now thoughts about how Saruman would look for allies not only in Dunland, but with men of Enedwaith are fresh in my mind. I know the name of every single Ranger in the Grey Company, or at least one possibility of all their names, and several of their back stories. It's awesome.

I love what this map creator is doing, what fan fiction writers, fan artists, fan film creators, and what Turbine is doing, and think it should be encouraged, and I do not think Tolkien would be outright opposed to it, even if he would not be completely happy with everything that has been created, considering his background and the time period he lived in.


PS. Questing in Enedwaith? So much fun! We're going to Rohan! :D

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Curious
Half-elven


Sep 12 2010, 12:47pm

Post #6 of 28 (899 views)
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LotR didn't take place in Beleriand. [In reply to] Can't Post

If it had, Tolkien could have filled in the map with plenty of mysterious ruins.

LotR has a sense of depth in large part because of the immense amount of work Tolkien did in The Silmarillion, and his determination to reference that work in LotR. Neither The Hobbit nor The Silmarillion itself has that same sense of depth, because The Hobbit rarely refers to The Silmarillion, and The Silmarillion has no prior history to incorporate.

I would also note that you are holding Tolkien to very high standards. What fantasy map is more detailed than Tolkien's? Most fantasies incorporate no map at all. Even the maps in histories often leave out unessential data.

Nice article, though! How do you go about submitting an article for the front page?


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 12 2010, 5:43pm

Post #7 of 28 (779 views)
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Well certainly the potential is legitimately there [In reply to] Can't Post

LotR didn't take place in Beleriand. If it had, Tolkien could have filled in the map with plenty of mysterious ruins.

Middle Earth has more time above water than Beleriand because it co-existed with Beleriand. Elven history indicates that the Elven "migration" west had plenty of stragglers to populate it, not to mention all that was built by men the Númenóreans encountered and then after what the Elves and Númenóreans built. That's what... 5 or 6 thousand years of history not including the time when Beleriand was above water.

Smile


King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

Tim: No I don't talk about my love life for a very good reason, and that reason is I don't have one. Which is very good news for the ladies-I am still available. I'm a heck of a catch, cos, er well look at it. I live in Slough, in a lovely house, with my parents. I have my own room, which I've had since yep, since I was born. That's seen a lot of action I tell you. Mainly dusting. I went to university for a year as well, before I dropped out, so I'm a quitter. So, er, form an orderly queue ladies.


sador
Half-elven


Sep 12 2010, 7:13pm

Post #8 of 28 (731 views)
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*raises hand* I do! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Just this last Tuesday they released a new region, Enedwaith. How many here even remember where it is on the map of Middle-earth? If you do, what do you remember about the region? Likely nothing beyond its location.


Check Unfinished Tales, regarding the port of Lond Daer. And I kind of suspect that the unfinished story of Tar-Elmar was to be located in that region.

But you are right of course; that information concerns mostly the Second Age; and we no very little regarding the Third Age - there are sone suggesting hints which we might connect to the King of the Dead, the Pukel-Men, the Dunlendings, and even the early migrations of the Hobbits. But nothing is fleshed out anywhere but in fan-fic (which I once enjoyed reading, before I found I had no time).

A fair warning: I am a nitpicker by taste, talents and profession.

"Does it matter whether the things Tom has to do are "useful" things? ... Perhaps nothing would seem much different if he wasn't there with 'my singing, my talking and my walking, and my watching of the country.' But something would be missing - something intangible, hardly noticeable maybe. A little of the spirit would have gone out of the land. "
- FarFromHome.



TPJL
The Shire

Sep 12 2010, 7:28pm

Post #9 of 28 (761 views)
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Who mapped? [In reply to] Can't Post

In his intro to Unfinished Tales, Christopher Tolkien stated: "My first intention was to include the [LotR's] map with the addition of further names, but it seemed better to copy my original and remedy some of its minor defects" (edited, page 14 of my edition, The Map of Middle Earth). On the following page, he wrote: "I have long regretted that my father never replaced it [the map] by one of his own. My father always used it as a basis afterwards (while frequently noticing its inadequacies). The various sketch maps that he made, and from which mine are derived, are now part of the history of [LotR]."

I believe we can deduce from this that JRR Tolkien probably did not have the time to work on the maps (remember it took him six months to write the incomplete Appendices, before he gave up on them - he considered them a distraction from his narrative creation). We could probably also deduce that he, himself, would rather have had a richer map, with known and unknown landmarks, villages etc, especially if we were to extend the model he gave to Hobbiton across the whole continent.

I'm convinced that had he been as obsessed with the maps as the narrative or "history", he would never have got as far as he had with either LotR or the extensive back story posthumously published by his son. The sketches were, it seems, similar to his multi-layered plot notes, an aide or guide to keep the chronology and geography as accurate as he could.


Zizix
Rivendell

Sep 13 2010, 9:15am

Post #10 of 28 (763 views)
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My 3 cents [In reply to] Can't Post

First off, to me Middle-earth is full of "towers of a distant city", namely all the places Bilbo or the Fellowship never travelled to, and that you barely hear anything about in LotR and The Hobbit.

Secondly, why aren't there any more mysterious places and landmarks on the map? I think that is because with Tolkien, everything has a story behind it. Names are not simply plucked out of the air, they all have a meaning and backstory. Same with the places. So he didn't just draw places and landmarks on the maps that had no meaning to him or the story. Had he had the time, I think he might have covered the entire area of Middle-earth with many more places, all with their own backstory, but he didn't and chose to focus on other things.

Also, I think the map mostly showing locations mentioned in LotR and The Hobbit fits in with the idea of the hobbits having written the Red Book of Westmarch, which makes it likely they drew the maps as well. This would explain why the magnified map of the Shire shows places not mentioned in LotR: the Hobbits knew of these places because they lived in the Shire. The map of Middle-earth however only consists of the places Frodo and company were aware of.


(This post was edited by Zizix on Sep 13 2010, 9:16am)


Legalize_Athelas
Lorien


Sep 13 2010, 6:35pm

Post #11 of 28 (701 views)
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Re: Red Book of Westmarch [In reply to] Can't Post

This was my interpretation as well. I imagined the maps to be inserts to the actual Red Book, written in Bilbo's "spidery hand" to accompany There And Back Again and following additions.

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CuriousG
Valinor


Sep 13 2010, 8:26pm

Post #12 of 28 (686 views)
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Another 3 cents [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with Zizix.


Quote
First off, to me Middle-earth is full of "towers of a distant city", namely all the places Bilbo or the Fellowship never travelled to, and that you barely hear anything about in LotR and The Hobbit.

I look at the map and always wonder about stories that are implied but left out. A name is not enough for me. For example, we know that the Kin-Strife in Gondor came about because Gondor needed more troops, and they got them through an alliance with the men living in Rhovanion. So, that means there were a lot of men living there, or Gondor wouldn't send a prince to befriend them. What happened to them later? We never know. Is that empty space, or are there still well-populated principalities there in Frodo's time?

Also, what has always befuddled me is the lack of cities in Gondor, this wondrous kingdom/empire that lasts for centuries. Do they only have 5 cities: Minas Anor, Minas Ithil, Osgiliath, Pelargir, and Dol Amroth? The rest of it was farms and Bree-size villages? The Roman Empire and large medieval kingdoms had more large cities than that, so I assume they exist, but they're not on the map, and we know nothing about them.

And what was up with western Gondor? Pinnath Gelin sends in an orderly, respectable group of men to defend Minas Tirith. But just to the south, Langstrand sends in some stray fishermen with no leader, and they sound rather primitive in contrast to the Pinnath Gelin troupe. Why such a disparity between two adjacent regions? And if they're so different, what made the Green Hills so special? Was there a tower of a distant city there that preserved the memory of Gondor's glorious past?

What about Lindon: Ossiriand, which was split in two? It's never clear to me if elves live there in abundance, or none, and the rest are concentrated at Mithlond. For the only surviving part of Beleriand, did anyone live there out of nostalgia?

Clearly I could go on and on. (Dorwinion, the East Bight of Mirkwood, Old Pukel Land, the people along the Adorn/Isen River who fought against Helm of Rohan...) But I guess I've outlined that I have a different perspective from this:


Quote
But nowhere else in the entirety of Middle-earth do we see any hints of other settlements, trade routes, or physical features, which would imply that this fabulous world is even more mysterious and story-filled than the parts we read about in the text...His maps were always just organizers: they only echoed the text, they never extended it.

Remember, I'm the one who wants to know if there were more places like Bree that we don't know about. I suspect that Bree-land was a hint of other small outposts, but of course I don't know. I think there's plenty of mystery still implied.

But in one way I can agree with Squire. The maps tell us nothing about non-Durin dwarves. There were six other houses, but not a hint of where they lived after Beleriand was destroyed. That's a pretty big map gap for an important race that assembled to avenge Thror's death. They weren't likely "off the map," so to speak. You would think there would be teasers such as "Khazad Varoom" labeled on a mountain range, but no, nada.


Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Sep 14 2010, 3:40am

Post #13 of 28 (679 views)
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*Mods up* [In reply to] Can't Post

(That means "Great post! everybody come and look.")


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Sep 14 2010, 5:08am

Post #14 of 28 (1692 views)
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C.S. Lewis on unexplained map names. [In reply to] Can't Post

By way of comparison: I just finished reading Lewis's first novel, The Pilgrim's Regress: An Allegorical Apology for Christianity Reason and Romanticism (1933). This dense and very allegorical work includes a map:


(Click here for larger version.)

For the 1943 version, Lewis helpfully adds headwords to each page to clarify the allegory, plus a long explanatory preface, where he writes:


Quote
The map on the end leaves has puzzled some readers because, as they say, 'it marks all sorts of places not mentioned in the text'. But so do all maps in travel books. John's route is marked with a dotted line: those who are not interested in the places off that route need not bother about them. They are a half whimsical attempt to fill in the 'Northern' and 'Southern' halves of the world with the spiritual phenomena appropriate to them. Most of the names explain themselves. Wanhope is Middle English for Despair; Woodey and Lyssanesos mean 'Isle of Insanity'; Behmenheim is named, unfairly, after Jakob Boehme or Behmen; Golnesshire (Anglo-Saxon Gál) is the country of Lechery; in Trine-land one feels 'in tune with the infinite'; and Zeitgeistheim, of course, is the habitat of the Zeitgeist or Spirit of the Age. Naughtstow is 'a place that is no good at all'. The two military railways were meant to symbolise the double attack from Hell on the two sides of our nature. It was hoped that the roads spreading out from each of the enemy railheads would look rather like claws or tentacles reaching out into the counry of Man's Soul. If you like to put little black arrows pointing South on the seven Northern roads (in the fashion of the newspaper war maps) and others pointing North on the six Southern roads, you would get a clear picture of the Holy War as I see it. You might amuse yourself by deciding where to put them--a question that admits different answers. On the Northern front, for example, I should represent the enemy in occupation of Cruelsland and Superbia, and thus threatening the Pale Men with a pincer movement. But I don't claim to know, and doubtless the position shifts every day.


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sador
Half-elven


Sep 14 2010, 7:22am

Post #15 of 28 (657 views)
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In the appendix about Durin's Folk [In reply to] Can't Post

It is mentioned that Bifur, Bofur and Bombur came from a different house. So I think we can safely assume that some (many?) of the dwarves of the other houses intermingled with Thror's folk towards the end of the Third Age.
The cities of Nogrod and Belegost (the two westrenmost dwarf-clans) are obvious candidates, although this implies that the Seven Rings were not given by Sauron to the heirs of the seven houses (quite reasonable, though - as when the messenger offered Dain rings in the plural); in the same appendix Tolkien mentions that many dwarves from other houses fought in the battle of Azanulbizar; and even having Dain establish a colony in the Iron Hills, which ought to be populated by a different house, is interesting and suggestive.


In Reply To
But in one way I can agree with Squire. The maps tell us nothing about non-Durin dwarves. There were six other houses, but not a hint of where they lived after Beleriand was destroyed. That's a pretty big map gap for an important race that assembled to avenge Thror's death. They weren't likely "off the map," so to speak. You would think there would be teasers such as "Khazad Varoom" labeled on a mountain range, but no, nada.



A fair warning: I am a nitpicker by taste, talents and profession.

"Does it matter whether the things Tom has to do are "useful" things? ... Perhaps nothing would seem much different if he wasn't there with 'my singing, my talking and my walking, and my watching of the country.' But something would be missing - something intangible, hardly noticeable maybe. A little of the spirit would have gone out of the land. "
- FarFromHome.



visualweasel
Rohan


Sep 14 2010, 6:39pm

Post #16 of 28 (688 views)
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"Maps are worrying me." [In reply to] Can't Post

I enjoyed reading your essay, squire. I think one explanation for what you've observed is that Tolkien had difficulty with the maps. He repeatedly wrote to his publisher about this, as the pressure to wrap things up mounted in the early 50's. "Maps are worrying me." Tolkien wrote to Rayner Unwin in April 1953. "They exist, of course; though not in any form fit for reproduction — for of course in such a story one cannot make a map for the narrative, but must first make a map and make the narrative agree." Then, four months later: "I am sorry I have delayed the re-drawing of the essential maps".

Then, in October: "The Maps. I am stumped. Indeed in a panic. They are essential; and urgent; but I just cannot get them done. I have spent an enormous amount of time on them without profitable result. Lack of skill combined with being harried. Also the shape and proportions of 'The Shire' as described in the tale cannot (by me) be made to fit into shape of a page; nor at that size be contrived to be informative."

And in April 1954, to Naomi Mitchison, who was reading galley proofs: "[The maps for publication] have been drawn from my less elegant maps by my son Christopher, who is learned in this lore. [...] I wisely started with a map, and made the story fit (generally with meticulous care for distances). The other way about lands one in confusions and impossibilities, and in any case it is weary work to compose a map from a story — as I fear you have found. I cannot send you my own working maps; but perhaps these very rough and not entirely accurate drafts, made hurriedly at various times for readers, would be of some assistance [...]"

Considering these practical difficulties and the pressure of time, it's no wonder there aren't many details on the maps that are not part of the immediate story.

Jason Fisher
Lingwë - Musings of a Fish


The Lord of the Rings discussion 2007-2008 – The Two Towers – III.4 “Treebeard” – Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
“On Fairy-stories” discussion 2008 – “Origins” – Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 14 2010, 7:13pm

Post #17 of 28 (660 views)
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Sounds to me like he didn't like to make maps [In reply to] Can't Post

Which is perfectly understandable. I don't like to make maps either. If it's not his cup of tea he's not going to invest much in it I suppose.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

Tim: No I don't talk about my love life for a very good reason, and that reason is I don't have one. Which is very good news for the ladies-I am still available. I'm a heck of a catch, cos, er well look at it. I live in Slough, in a lovely house, with my parents. I have my own room, which I've had since yep, since I was born. That's seen a lot of action I tell you. Mainly dusting. I went to university for a year as well, before I dropped out, so I'm a quitter. So, er, form an orderly queue ladies.


Zizix
Rivendell

Sep 14 2010, 7:26pm

Post #18 of 28 (654 views)
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Cities in Gondor [In reply to] Can't Post

I too did always wonder why Gondor (and to an extend other parts of Middle-earth) seemed so devoid of larger cities. If there had been any more though I would think they'd be mentioned in the story... so I guess Tolkien saw Gondor as a pretty empty place.

Quote
Wanhope is Middle English for Despair

Hey that's interesting. Wanhoop is still the Dutch word for despair.


TPJL
The Shire

Sep 14 2010, 7:26pm

Post #19 of 28 (721 views)
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Internal Perspective [In reply to] Can't Post

As other posts have now commented, perhaps the reason (or justification) used for the scant maps is because they are supposedly drawn up by the hobbits. This doesn't fully explain many of the missing landmarks they encountered on their epic journey, however. And what of Eomer and Eowyn, who with the help of Legolas and Gimli established a settlement somewhere between Edoras and Minas Tirith (if memory serves me well). Are we to suppose that the maps were drawn up after the War of the Ring, but before Eomer and Eowyn began working on the new settlement? I would doubt this, as the two events would seem to be contiguous, but even if true, Merry & Pippin spent many years in the service of Aragorn and would surely have been able to update the map before their deaths? I think we could also assume that the books were kept at Minas Tirith and the maps would therefore have been updated by the scholars there at some point.

Christopher Tolkien did not want to add further detail to the maps, possibly with this internal logic of them being drawn up by the hobbits in mind. Leaving aside the missing landmarks that should almost certainly have been included had they drawn the maps (let us assume that these versions of the maps were early copies, with later ones lost to time), I think CT would be honored by fans for composing much more detailed maps that could be published in future editions of the History volumes, alongside the original maps, with this distinction in mind (ie, the original maps were drawn at the time of the War of the Ring, the new ones revisions drawn later by Aragorn, say, or simply by Christopher for elucidation of the stories).

Personally, I would love to see the maps drawn on transparencies, with different types of places on each layer, so that one could view as much or as little information as one required (I'm assuming that some details would be so close together as to make publication on one layer too crowded).


visualweasel
Rohan


Sep 14 2010, 8:13pm

Post #20 of 28 (641 views)
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Somebody should get right on this ... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Personally, I would love to see the maps drawn on transparencies, with different types of places on each layer, so that one could view as much or as little information as one required (I'm assuming that some details would be so close together as to make publication on one layer too crowded).



I love this idea. Wink

Jason Fisher
Lingwë - Musings of a Fish


The Lord of the Rings discussion 2007-2008 – The Two Towers – III.4 “Treebeard” – Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
“On Fairy-stories” discussion 2008 – “Origins” – Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


TPJL
The Shire

Sep 14 2010, 8:23pm

Post #21 of 28 (670 views)
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Internal Perspective continued [In reply to] Can't Post

I realised I should have made it clear that I am aware that the map is of Middle Earth at the end of the Third Age, but Eomer & Eowyn's settlement would probably have begun in the last two years of the Third Age as part of the rebuilding process. Let's say the map is correct up to the point where Mount Doom is about to explode. The internal logic of the stories would almost certainly have led to a current map (beginning of the 4th Age) being drawn up before the creation of the Third Age map, as the majority of the peoples of the time would have found an accurate up-to-date map much more practical and valuable than an historical one. If we were to surmise that any map would have survived the centuries, a practical map, copied and distributed hundreds of times, would more likely survive than an historical one. This could be used as justification for Christopher to draw a map of the beginning of the 4th Age with as much missing detail as he could fit on, with no feeling that he had betrayed the internal logic of the story.

On the other hand, if memory serves, no internal explanation is given of the maps in the Silmarillion, of the 1st and 2nd Ages, so perhaps no justification is needed.


Raldo_Widefurrow
Registered User

Sep 14 2010, 9:42pm

Post #22 of 28 (687 views)
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Google Middle Earth [In reply to] Can't Post

This is a bit of a side topic, but the interactive map you linked to got me wondering, wouldn't it be cool if Weta designed a similar map, but using their own bigatures and computer graphics for improved realism? Would anyone else like to zoom in on Gondor, for instance?


Zizix
Rivendell

Sep 15 2010, 12:14am

Post #23 of 28 (647 views)
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A Weta map [In reply to] Can't Post

would be absolutely awesome though there would be lots of areas they never covered in the movies...

As for whether the map should be of Middle-earth at the end of the War of the Ring or the early 4th era... to have the map include landmarks that do not yet exist at the time of (most of) the story would have been highly confusing.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Sep 15 2010, 1:43am

Post #24 of 28 (637 views)
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Would the movie's screwy geography be scrapped? [In reply to] Can't Post

Proper distances between Minas Tirith and Minas Morgul, for instance, and no mountains visible from the Shire?

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Elizabeth
Valinor


Sep 15 2010, 7:20am

Post #25 of 28 (650 views)
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"They've turned Northwest! They're heading for Isengard!"// [In reply to] Can't Post

 






Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'

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