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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Would Gondor have been multicultural and/or cosmopolitan?

HeWhoArisesinMight
Rivendell


Mar 28, 11:23pm


Views: 431
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Would Gondor have been multicultural and/or cosmopolitan? Can't Post

I recently started a thread on the Hobbit Movie forum about people of color being villagers in Laketown. That got me to thinking how Tolkien (and Peter Jackson) could have added multicultural aspects to LOTR (I am not necessarily broaching the "racism" aspect in Tolkien's writings, but looking at this more from a demographic and geographic perspective. Also, I am not saying the text necessarily have to or should be changed, they are great as they are; I am simply pointing out that human-based societies in Middle Earth likely would act like those in the "real world" and thusly, would probably have more interactions than just warfare.).

Laketown appears to be based on Medieval times or the Middle Ages of the continental Europe. So many people of color there would seem a bit of a stretch.

However, Gondor is more akin to the ancient Greco-Roman civilizations of the Mediterranean, which were very cosmopolitan and multicutural societies. Minas Tirith and Osgiliath (in its prime) as great cities should have been major cosmopolises, given their proximity to Harad and Khand. Umbar was probably akin to Alexandria in Egypt, so a city such as that would definitely be multicultural and probably cosmopolitan.

It is known that Numenoreans sailed to the Southern Lands and created settlements, so why wouldn't it be plausible for Southrons to migrate north (remember, Gondor is still relatively far to the South in Middle Earth; in fact it is closer to Harad than Rhovanian). I'm sure people in Near Harad probably heard of the wonders of Gondor and some may have come just to visit.

Of course, a "literal" reading of LOTR would mean there was little or no cosmopolitanism in Gondor given there is no textual evidence to really support the idea. However, simple geography and historical migration patters would suggest that there was some intermingling between Gondorians and people to the south in Middle Earth; for example Gondorians did intermarry with the Northern peoples who migrated South.

Yes it is hypothetical, but an educated guess. Gondor bordered Harad and borders and ancient hatreds don't always stop people from interacting with one another.

Subject User Time
Would Gondor have been multicultural and/or cosmopolitan? HeWhoArisesinMight Send a private message to HeWhoArisesinMight Mar 28, 11:23pm
    You've pretty much boxed the compass squire Send a private message to squire Mar 29, 1:34am
        Not so sure, SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Mar 29, 3:54am
            Gondor on the Ohio squire Send a private message to squire Mar 29, 4:34am
        Pippin our reporter also notices demnation Send a private message to demnation Mar 29, 7:10am
            Yes, good point!// squire Send a private message to squire Mar 29, 11:23am
            I was thinking the same thing IdrilLalaith Send a private message to IdrilLalaith Mar 31, 3:40am
        Lest we forget PhantomS Send a private message to PhantomS Apr 3, 6:40pm
            Fascism in Gondor HeWhoArisesinMight Send a private message to HeWhoArisesinMight Apr 3, 7:07pm
                Point of Record Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Apr 3, 9:58pm
                It's all debatable, of course! demnation Send a private message to demnation Apr 3, 11:29pm
    Really, I never think about it. Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Mar 29, 1:39am
    Racial purity CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Mar 31, 12:15pm
        Well, after Numenor... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Mar 31, 2:26pm
        Diversity among the Men of Lebennin Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Mar 31, 3:58pm
            Tolkien's original form of racism squire Send a private message to squire Mar 31, 9:31pm
                Unless your are a hobbit HeWhoArisesinMight Send a private message to HeWhoArisesinMight Mar 31, 9:48pm
                    I can agree about swarthy being archaic demnation Send a private message to demnation Apr 1, 2:22am
                The thorn in the side of the height argument demnation Send a private message to demnation Apr 1, 2:19am
                    Well, it's not really an argument squire Send a private message to squire Apr 1, 2:36am
                        Of course! demnation Send a private message to demnation Apr 1, 4:36am
                            Right, it's the unremarkable that is remarkable squire Send a private message to squire Apr 1, 11:33am
                        It's all up in the air demnation Send a private message to demnation Apr 1, 4:56am
                        Sam wasn't particularly tall. Hamfast Gamgee Send a private message to Hamfast Gamgee Apr 3, 8:29am
                            Sam is 'lower class' squire Send a private message to squire Apr 3, 12:08pm
                                Grasping at...... demnation Send a private message to demnation Apr 3, 3:28pm
                                    "I am not in fact tall..." Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Apr 4, 1:11pm
                Mocking? That seems harsh. Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Apr 1, 1:09pm
                To be fair Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Apr 3, 7:06pm
    Laketown vs Gondor Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Apr 3, 6:58pm
        Bree and Gondor Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Apr 3, 10:11pm
            I think that diversity may be more of a spectrum than a yes/no. Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Apr 3, 11:34pm
                Many different folk passed through Bree Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Apr 4, 1:42am
                Pelargir Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Apr 4, 3:37pm
                    Very clever squire Send a private message to squire Apr 4, 6:22pm
                        Osgiliath and Dol Amroth Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Apr 5, 12:05pm

 
 
 

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