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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The view of the Lonely Mountain from the Carrock
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Eruonen
Tol Eressea


Dec 30 2012, 6:52pm

Post #1 of 35 (1706 views)
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The view of the Lonely Mountain from the Carrock Can't Post

Using Karen Fonstad's map and mileage, The Lonely Mountain is about 250 miles away. The question is, could The Company have seen the peak at that distance?
There is a formula:

The formula for calculating maximum line of sight distance d is

d = SQRT (2Rh + h EXP 2) where R is radius of Earth and h is height above sea level
an approximation when h << R is d = SQRT (13h) using metric values
For a 14,000 foot peak that would give about 145-200 miles maximum line of sight distance.

So, if the Carrock is tall enough...higher than 14,000...it may be possible to just see the peak, with the help of oxygen tanks.

http://cosmoquest.org/...5403c5ea90dbededb629

One coimmeter said:
"From the snowline on Mt. Hood, I could see the Three Sisters about 100 miles away."

So, the scene was a literal stretch, but I understand why it was the ending of AUJ.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Dec 30 2012, 6:58pm)


YaznegSouth40
Rivendell

Dec 30 2012, 6:59pm

Post #2 of 35 (739 views)
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How tall are they depicting.... [In reply to] Can't Post

the Lonely Mountain to be in these films? In looking up the height online for the Lonely Mountain it is said to be around 3,500 ft ( Minas Tirith was 1,000 ft plus up to the white tower of Ecthelion). Probably could not be seen from that far at that height. But at 12,000-14,000 feet it could probably be seen from there above Mirkwood.


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Dec 30 2012, 7:00pm

Post #3 of 35 (687 views)
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Here we go, this is why we love geeks // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Eruonen
Tol Eressea


Dec 30 2012, 7:01pm

Post #4 of 35 (693 views)
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Probaly not, the graph below indicates at 1000' 27 miles. [In reply to] Can't Post

http://i35.photobucket.com/...ens/LineofSight2.jpg


Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Dec 30 2012, 7:04pm

Post #5 of 35 (671 views)
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A bit of a stretch indeed, [In reply to] Can't Post

I can see Mt. Rainier (14,409 foot elevation) from my home, but it is only 80 miles away, and I am about 210 feet above sea level.

The stretch is Bilbo and the others seeing it at all over Mirkwood from that distance, even from the Carrock. In the book, Bilbo's first sight of the Lonely Mountain is after he escaped with the Dwarves on the barrels, and is approaching Long Lake.

" Well well!", said a voice. "Just look! Bilbo the hobbit on a pony, my dear! Isn't it delicious!"
"Most astonishing wonderful!"

(This post was edited by Aragalen the Green on Dec 30 2012, 7:06pm)


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Dec 30 2012, 7:05pm

Post #6 of 35 (713 views)
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The Carrock doesn't have to be 14,000 ft. tall [In reply to] Can't Post

It just has to be 14,000 above sea level is how I'm reading the formula. I'm sitting over a mile high (5,280 feet) as I type this and I'm about 6 miles away from the closest mountain. Smile

Does it affects things if the mountian being viewed is at a lower elevation? From memory, driving over some of the highest passes in north-central Colorado, I can make out mountain ranges that are in the southern part of the state and they would be at least 200 to 250 miles away.

I'm not saying the movie didn't exaggerate, because I think it did (just like looking at the mountains of Mordor from Gondor in ROTK) but, from my own experience living in a state with lots of mountains, I don't think it exaggerated completely beyond belief.

Btw, I love stuff like this. Thanks for posting it!


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase





dormouse
Half-elven


Dec 30 2012, 7:10pm

Post #7 of 35 (664 views)
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Poetic licence? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Eruonen
Tol Eressea


Dec 30 2012, 7:12pm

Post #8 of 35 (660 views)
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Being a flatlander, I look to those of you who have elevated [In reply to] Can't Post

views provde the best real world estimates.

The closest view for me would be:
"You can see up to 50 miles on a clear day from the skydeck at the top of the Sears (Willis) Tower. (1,353 feet)"


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Dec 30 2012, 7:19pm)


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea

Dec 30 2012, 7:23pm

Post #9 of 35 (696 views)
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Well, in The Two Towers, [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf and Aragorn could see Mordor from Helm's Deep.

In these movies, you're dealing with Jackson geography, not Tolkien or Fonstadt geography. Jackson's Middle-earth can seem surprisingly small.


YaznegSouth40
Rivendell

Dec 30 2012, 7:29pm

Post #10 of 35 (649 views)
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No geek here....Quacking Troll [In reply to] Can't Post

just a big Tolkien fan...because this is probably the only fantasy (Tolkien's world) I even am a fan of!


(This post was edited by YaznegSouth40 on Dec 30 2012, 7:31pm)


DanielLB
Immortal


Dec 30 2012, 7:33pm

Post #11 of 35 (632 views)
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They could even talk to Saruman atop Orthanc without shouting! / [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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Eruonen
Tol Eressea


Dec 30 2012, 7:38pm

Post #12 of 35 (633 views)
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Granted, I allow the dramatic vistas for the movies as improbable [In reply to] Can't Post

as they are, because that is necessary for the film. This was just a curiosity question, not a criticism per se of the film.


MTT Gandalf
Bree


Dec 30 2012, 7:47pm

Post #13 of 35 (716 views)
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Book-version [In reply to] Can't Post

  
In the book the Lonely Mountain can be seen from the Misty Mountains:

"At last they came up the long road, and reached the very pass where the goblins had captured them before. But they came to that high point at morning, and looking backward they saw a white sun shining over the out-stretched lands. There behind lay Mirkwood, blue in the distance, and darkly green at the nearer edge even in the spring. There far away was the Lonely Mountain on the edge of eyesight. On its highest peak snow yet unmelted was gleaming pale. "So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their ending!" said Bilbo, and he turned his back on his adventure."


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Dec 30 2012, 7:51pm

Post #14 of 35 (615 views)
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Here's a good example [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a picture of the view from the top of Mount Evans here in Colorado. One of the things noted in the sign are the Sangre de Cristo mountains which are almost 200 miles away. Of course, you can't see them very well, which is why I said they definitely did exaggerate in the movie. Besides, the Carrock would probably have to be above the tree-line for them to see so far and it didn't look like it was in the movie.

Still, it's fun to speculate about geeky things like this, so thanks once again! Smile


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase





The Mitch King
Rohan


Dec 30 2012, 7:56pm

Post #15 of 35 (604 views)
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I'm pretty sure... [In reply to] Can't Post

they just did that so they could do the final scene of following the thrush all the way to Erebor so we could have a nice closing view of Smaug.


Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Dec 30 2012, 7:57pm

Post #16 of 35 (640 views)
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I had forgotten this! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for remembering :)

" Well well!", said a voice. "Just look! Bilbo the hobbit on a pony, my dear! Isn't it delicious!"
"Most astonishing wonderful!"


Rostron2
Gondor


Dec 30 2012, 8:29pm

Post #17 of 35 (581 views)
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Simple reason [In reply to] Can't Post

The Earth was younger, larger and flatter in the Third Age. Simple. Since then the world has been said to have shrunk, right?


(This post was edited by Rostron2 on Dec 30 2012, 8:30pm)


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Dec 30 2012, 8:42pm

Post #18 of 35 (535 views)
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Ditto. Nice catch. // [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase





imin
Valinor


Dec 30 2012, 8:45pm

Post #19 of 35 (545 views)
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That's a great find [In reply to] Can't Post

Makes me think though, how tall was The Lonely Mountain and also the Misty Mountains?

I like to imagine they are at a height of around the Alps or maybe bigger?


burrahobbit
Rohan


Dec 30 2012, 8:49pm

Post #20 of 35 (557 views)
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Great find [In reply to] Can't Post

I do think it's important that this view by Bilbo is on the journey home, when Bilbo departs from Wilderland. Tolkien saves the first view of the Lonely Mountain for after the Barrel Escape to add drama and impact when the company first arrive at the ominous location of their quest.


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea

Dec 30 2012, 9:12pm

Post #21 of 35 (535 views)
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Which, when it was just two movies [In reply to] Can't Post

would have been the end. Makes sense. They just moved seeing the Lonely Mountain from after the barrel sequence to the Carrock.


Plurmo
Rohan

Dec 30 2012, 10:34pm

Post #22 of 35 (459 views)
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The looming Lonely Mountain [In reply to] Can't Post

Literally looming, that is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/...refraction_phenomena


Arannir
Valinor

Dec 30 2012, 11:27pm

Post #23 of 35 (416 views)
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Thanks for that,... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In the book the Lonely Mountain can be seen from the Misty Mountains:

"At last they came up the long road, and reached the very pass where the goblins had captured them before. But they came to that high point at morning, and looking backward they saw a white sun shining over the out-stretched lands. There behind lay Mirkwood, blue in the distance, and darkly green at the nearer edge even in the spring. There far away was the Lonely Mountain on the edge of eyesight. On its highest peak snow yet unmelted was gleaming pale. "So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their ending!" said Bilbo, and he turned his back on his adventure."





And yes, Tolkien did that stretching or shrinking of geography all the time as well. In LotR there are several occasions that do not make sense.


painjoiker
Grey Havens


Dec 31 2012, 12:31am

Post #24 of 35 (396 views)
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And it would have been if the film ended at that point as well! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
In the book, Bilbo's first sight of the Lonely Mountain is after he escaped with the Dwarves on the barrels, and is approaching Long Lake.


Vocalist in the semi-progressive metal band Arctic Eclipse


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 31 2012, 1:07am

Post #25 of 35 (448 views)
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I "found" a thorough (but not exhaustive) recent discussion of this question. [In reply to] Can't Post

Here, on the Mythopoeic Society mail list. See also the responses, particularly those by Troels Forchhammer.

Short version: The distances at which Tolkien describes the most-distant mountains being visible are at the extreme edge of possibility, and that only if the atmospheric phenomenon called "looming" is present (as Plurmo has noted). Tolkien's presentation of such images is believable: they are barely visible smudges on the horizon. Jackson, if the distances in his films are the same as in the books, does not. His Lonely Mountain looks like a peak less than half as far from the Carrock as Tolkien would have it. (Even granted that it's taller than Tolkien's mountain.) So it appears that in The Hobbit movie, as in The Lord of the Rings movies before, the world is smaller than it is in Tolkien.

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