middle earth

Article

August 8, 2022

Middle-earth is the central continent of the fictional world in which the events of J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium: "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings", as well as, in part, "The Silmarillion" and "Unfinished Tales" take place ". Tolkien noted more than once that Middle-earth is located on Earth. He described it as a fictional era of the past, not only in The Lord of the Rings, but also in several letters. He dated the end of the Third Age to about 6,000 years before his time. The outskirts of the Shire are modern North-Western Europe (Hobiton, for example, was located at the same latitude as modern Oxford). However, in the answers to some letters, he also referred to the stories described in his works as another reality. In 1971, when he was asked in an interview whether the stories of Middle-earth took place in another age, he denied: "No... On another level of imagination, yes."

Geography

Tolkien prepared several maps of Middle-earth and its individual regions where the events of the works take place. Not all maps were published during the writer's lifetime. The main ones were those published in The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and Unfinished Tales. Most of the events of the First Age took place on the subcontinent of Beleriand, which went under water at the end of that period. The Blue Mountains on the right edge of the map of Beleriand are the same Blue Mountains that appear in the upper left corner of the Middle-earth map of the Second and Third Ages. The maps of Middle-earth cover only a small part of the world: large parts of Rune and Garad, as well as other continents, are not shown. Middle-earth is a large continent with an elongated coastline in the west that gradually stretches to the southeast. The shores of Middle-earth are washed by the Great Sea (ocean). In the north, the waters of the sea form the freezing Forohel Bay, which is also surrounded by the line of the Blue Mountains. To the south is Belphalas, on whose shores is the Gondor port of Pelargir, and further south is Umbar, the citadel of the corsairs. In the bay of the moon stands the elven port city of Gray Havens, the only place from which ships leave for Valinor. The rivers Isen (Angren), Brandyvinna (Baranduin) and Anduin flow into the Great Sea. The continent is divided into two parts by the Misty Mountains, to the north of which is Angmar. At the western foot of the mountains