Tolkien Gateway

Dark Land

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{{disambig-two|the mysterious dark continent|other "Dark Land" in [[Middle-earth]]|[[Mordor]]}}
{{youmay|mysterious dark continent|[[Mordor]], which means "Dark Land"}}
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{{location
{{noncanon}}
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| image=[[File:Quentin Lowagie - Arda in the Third Age.png|250px]]
'''Dark Land''', also referred to as '''Southland''', was a mysterious continent far south-east of the landmass of [[Middle-earth]] was part.  It laid east of the [[East Sea]].<ref>{{HM|SM}}, "The Ambarkanta"</ref>
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| name=Dark Land
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| type=Continent
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| location=[[Arda]], east of [[Belegaer]] and [[Middle-earth]]
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| inhabitants=Unknown
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| realms= None known
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| description=A continent in the far east
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| othernames= South Land
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| etymology=
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| events=
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| references=
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|}}
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The '''Dark Land''', also referred to as the '''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>
 
==History==
 
==History==
 
No inhabitants or history of the Dark Land were ever officially recorded.
 
No inhabitants or history of the Dark Land were ever officially recorded.
  
==Geography==
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==Canonicity and Inspiration==
The Dark Land's geography is relatively vague, although certain maps indicate the presence of dense forests along its shores.
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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>
  
==Inspiration==
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[[Tolkien fandom|Fans]] have suggested and discussed different theories of inspiration behind this notion:
The position of the Dark Land is reminiscent of the idea of [[Wikipedia:Lemuria (continent)|Lemuria]]. The Dark Land has no role in the [[legendarium]] and appears only in few early maps by [[J.R.R. Tolkien|Tolkien]]. As [[Middle-earth]] may correspond to the real-life continents of Europe, Asia (Rhun), and Africa ([[Harad]]), Dark Land might represent a combination of both Australia and Antarctica, due to the similar positions of the continents on the maps of Arda. But this could be a mere coincidence.
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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>
  
 
==Portrayal in adaptations==
 
==Portrayal in adaptations==
 
 
'''1982-97: ''[[Middle-earth Role Playing]]'':'''
 
'''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.<ref>{{ICE|2003}}, pp. 7, 9</ref> A few glimpses of this remote continent, however, were provided:  
 
: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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*[[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>
 
*[[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>
 
*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>
 
*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]]
  
 
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{{references|note}}
[[Category:Non-Canon Locations]]
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[[Category:Non-canon locations]]
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[[de:Dunkelland]]
 
[[de:Dunkelland]]
 
[[fi:Musta Maa]]
 
[[fi:Musta Maa]]

Latest revision as of 19:50, 14 June 2013

This article is about the mysterious dark continent. For the other "Dark Land" in Middle-earth, see Mordor.
Quentin Lowagie - Arda in the Third Age.png
Dark Land
Physical Description
TypeContinent
LocationArda, east of Belegaer and Middle-earth
RealmsNone known
InhabitantsUnknown
DescriptionA continent in the far east
General Information
Other namesSouth Land

The Dark Land, also referred to as the 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]

[edit] History

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

[edit] 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]

[edit] 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]

[edit] 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").

[edit] 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