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Dark Land

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'''Dark Land''', also referred to as [[Dark Country]] is a mysterious continent south of [[Middle-earth]]. No [[Elves]] or [[Dwarves]] live here, but there could be wild [[Men]] here. The [[Númenórean]]s probably visited it on their long journeys, although it is not known if they established dwellings there.
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{{disambig-two|the mysterious dark continent|other "Dark Land" in [[Middle-earth]]|[[Mordor]]}}
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[[File:Quentin Lowagie - Arda in the Third Age.png|thumb|The Dark Land portrayed as the southeast continent]]
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'''Dark Land''', also referred to as '''South Land''', was a mysterious continent far south-east of the landmass of which [[Middle-earth]] was part. It laid east of the [[East Sea]].<ref name=AmbarV>{{HM|SM}}, "The Ambarkanta: Map V", pp. 250-1</ref>
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==History==
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No inhabitants or history of the Dark Land were ever officially recorded.
  
As seen in the [[The Shaping of Middle-earth |Ambarkanta]], it occupies a position on [[Arda]] much like Antarctica and Australia do compared to Eurasia, if Antarctica and Australia were one land-mass.
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==Canonicity and Inspiration==
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The Dark Land has no role in the [[legendarium]] and appears only in an early map by [[J.R.R. Tolkien|Tolkien]],<ref name=AmbarV/> likely dating from the mid-1930s.<ref>{{HM|LR}}, pp. 9, 108</ref><ref>{{CG|RG}}, p. 42</ref>
  
Before [[Africa]] was visited by people from Europe, it was known as the "Dark Land". It is possible that Tolkien could have been inspired by this.
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[[Tolkien fandom|Fans]] have suggested and discussed different theories of inspiration behind this notion:
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*the Dark Land as reminiscent of [[Wikipedia:Lemuria (continent)|Lemuria]].<ref>[http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfling/message/35418 Message 35418] (dated 8 May 2009) at [[Elfling]] (accessed 20 October 2011)</ref>
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*the Dark Land as perhaps representing a combination of both Australia and Antarctica (because of its geographic position).<ref>"[http://www.lotrplaza.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=212156 Dark Land...a continent south of Middle Earth?]" at [http://www.lotrplaza.com/forum/default.asp The Lord of the Rings Fanatics Plaza Forum] (accessed 20 October 2011)</ref>
  
In the game ''[[Middle Earth Role Play]]'' by [[Iron Crown Enterprises]], a [[Sindarin]] name for the Dark Land &mdash; '''Morenor''' (probably intended to mean "Dark Middle-earth") &mdash; was given, although it does not appear in any of Tolkien's writings. If the name existed in Sindarin at all the form would more likely be '''Morennor'''.
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==Portrayal in adaptations==
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'''1982-97: ''[[Middle-earth Role Playing]]'':'''
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:Although never fleshed out in much detail, a "dark continent" called Mórenorë is said to be situated south of Middle-earth, separated by the sea of Haragaer.<ref>{{ICE|2003}}, pp. 7, 9</ref> A few glimpses of this remote continent, however, were provided:
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*A black cold-drake, Naikamil, fled from mountains in the south of Endor to Mórenorë after killing her mate.<ref>{{ICE|2012}}, p. 102</ref>
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*[[Ungoliant]], a monster of the Elder Days, is said to have "settled in the shadowy reaches of Morenórë, the Dark Continent",<ref group=note>Inspired by a passage in ''[[The Silmarillion]]'', which says that Ungoliant went "into the forgotten south of the world", after having dwelt at [[Nan Dungortheb]] (cf. "[[Of the Flight of the Noldor]]").</ref> according to tales of the Avari Elves.<ref>{{ICE|2006}}, p. 117</ref>
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*Ninko Goldmaster, a mysterious merchant appearing as a character in an adventure setting, is rumoured to have visited distant lands, including Mórenorë.<ref>{{ICE|3112}}, p. 117</ref>
  
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==See also==
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*[[Uttermost East]]
  
It is also a name of [[Mordor]], the dwelling place of [[Sauron]] in the southeast of Middle-earth. Mordor literally means "Dark Land".
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{{references|note}}
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__NOTOC__
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[[Category:Non-canon locations]]
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[[de:Dunkelland]]
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[[fi:Musta Maa]]

Revision as of 23:25, 1 November 2012

This article is about the mysterious dark continent. For the other "Dark Land" in Middle-earth, see Mordor.
The Dark Land portrayed as the southeast continent

Dark Land, also referred to as South Land, was a mysterious continent far south-east of the landmass of which Middle-earth was part. It laid east of the East Sea.[1]

History

No inhabitants or history of the Dark Land were ever officially recorded.

Canonicity and Inspiration

The Dark Land has no role in the legendarium and appears only in an early map by Tolkien,[1] likely dating from the mid-1930s.[2][3]

Fans have suggested and discussed different theories of inspiration behind this notion:

  • the Dark Land as reminiscent of Lemuria.[4]
  • the Dark Land as perhaps representing a combination of both Australia and Antarctica (because of its geographic position).[5]

Portrayal in adaptations

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

Although never fleshed out in much detail, a "dark continent" called Mórenorë is said to be situated south of Middle-earth, separated by the sea of Haragaer.[6] A few glimpses of this remote continent, however, were provided:
  • A black cold-drake, Naikamil, fled from mountains in the south of Endor to Mórenorë after killing her mate.[7]
  • Ungoliant, a monster of the Elder Days, is said to have "settled in the shadowy reaches of Morenórë, the Dark Continent",[note 1] according to tales of the Avari Elves.[8]
  • Ninko Goldmaster, a mysterious merchant appearing as a character in an adventure setting, is rumoured to have visited distant lands, including Mórenorë.[9]

See also

Notes

  1. Inspired by a passage in The Silmarillion, which says that Ungoliant went "into the forgotten south of the world", after having dwelt at Nan Dungortheb (cf. "Of the Flight of the Noldor").

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "The Ambarkanta: Map V", pp. 250-1
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, pp. 9, 108
  3. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: II. Reader's Guide, p. 42
  4. Message 35418 (dated 8 May 2009) at Elfling (accessed 20 October 2011)
  5. "Dark Land...a continent south of Middle Earth?" at The Lord of the Rings Fanatics Plaza Forum (accessed 20 October 2011)
  6. Peter C. Fenlon, Jr., Jessica M. Ney-Grimm, Terry K. Amthor (1993), Middle-earth Campaign Guide (#2003), pp. 7, 9
  7. Ruth Sochard Pitt, Jeff O'Hare, Peter C. Fenlon, Jr. (1994), Creatures of Middle-earth (2nd edition) (#2012), p. 102
  8. Peter C. Fenlon, Jr. (1993), Valar and Maiar (#2006), p. 117
  9. Peter C. Fenlon, Coleman Charlton, Jessica Ney, John Croudis, Keith Robley, Anders Blixt (1990), Gorgoroth (#3112), p. 117