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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Where can I find the best maps of Middle-earth through the three ages?


May 31 2018, 10:45pm

Post #1 of 9 (2403 views)
Where can I find the best maps of Middle-earth through the three ages? Can't Post

As I read through stories of the first and second ages, I find myself wanting to compare the geography of the three main ages. I've found some decent maps, but they're not consistent in their quality/style. I wish someone would make a high quality map/geography comparison between the three ages!


May 31 2018, 10:53pm

Post #2 of 9 (2388 views)
C. Tolkien and K. Fonstad [In reply to] Can't Post

The maps that Christopher Tolkien produced for the hardcover Lord of the Rings and Silmarillion are useful for comparison, though not drawn to the same scale.

The Atlas of Middle-earth by the late Karen Wynn Fonstad might be even more useful for comparing the different Ages of Middle-earth, though I have some quibbles with some of Ms. Fonstad's decisions (for example: her placement of the Dwarf-city of Belegost).

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock


Jun 1 2018, 8:55am

Post #3 of 9 (2353 views)
I'll second Karen Fonstead and also suggest [In reply to] Can't Post

...The interactive map of Middle-earth run by lotrproject, here http://lotrproject.com/...n=1500&layers=BTTTTT

The interactive map is marked up with the location of various events, and these can be chosen from menus. It can be a useful tool.

I think 'quibbles' are inevitable with any map: Map makers have to interpret Tolkien's texts and will sometimes have to mark explicitly on their maps something that is either vague in the text, or is inconsistent between different texts. JRRT is no longer around to consult. So there is probably quite a lot of decision making and interpretation, I expect. Most likely that means it's impossible to come up with a map that is completely uncontentious.

Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


Jun 1 2018, 9:55am

Post #4 of 9 (2349 views)
Comparing Maps [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I have also found the Interactive Map of Middle-earth useful at times. It is adapted from one of Christopher Tolkien's maps. Here is a link to the Interactive Map of Beleriand.

It was by comparing C. Tolkien's maps for LotR and The Sil that I discovered that Mount Dolmed can still be seen in Forlindon south of the source of the river that empties into the Gulf of Lune. And the site of Mount Rerir, north of what remains of Thargelion, would be about a hundred miles to the north, roughly parallel to the isle of Himling.

The Silmarillion places the Dwarf-city of Belegost approximately 21 miles north of Nogrod. However, in Fonstad's revised Atlas of Middle-earth she cited Tolkien's earlier maps of Beleriand and the Blue Mountains to place Belegost much further south to where it would have been drowned under the Gulf of Lune after the Great Battle. Then, in her maps of the Second Age, Fonstad shifted the city even farther south to the middle of the southern Blue Mountains. It's one of the points where I disagree with her decisions and go with The Sil.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 1 2018, 10:07am)


Jun 3 2018, 7:36pm

Post #5 of 9 (2232 views)



Registered User

Jun 10 2018, 10:00pm

Post #6 of 9 (2168 views)
This video is informative: [In reply to] Can't Post




Jun 11 2018, 2:55pm

Post #7 of 9 (2144 views)
Another vote for "The Atlas of Middle-earth" by Karen Wynn Fonstad [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll also recommend "The Atlas of Middle-earth" by Karen Wynn Fonstad.

In Reply To

I've heard that David Day is to be avoided, since he'll often intersperse his own speculations and fanfiction with info directly from Tolkien, but he doesn't distinguish what's from Tolkien and what he made up:

Although his illustrations do look nice.

See also this Reddit post, which describes David Day's "lungs map" as "THE LEAST ACCURATE MAP OF ARDA EVER" Laugh:
On the Subject of Maps (Good and Bad)


Jun 11 2018, 3:19pm

Post #8 of 9 (2139 views)
Thanks, I was not aware of his inventions - [In reply to] Can't Post

I have not sat and cross referenced everything in his book. The problem is some is accurate and other stuff then is added.


Jun 11 2018, 4:15pm

Post #9 of 9 (2129 views)
Arda [In reply to] Can't Post

Here is a drawing by Tolkien of Arda in the First Age:

Larger image here.

And here is Fonstad's illustration with a direct comparison of the flat-earth Arda of the First Age with Arda after the Change of he World:

Again, larger image here.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 11 2018, 4:17pm)


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