Tolkien Gateway

East Sea

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* [[Sea of Rhûn]]
 
* [[Sea of Rhûn]]
 
* [[Sea of Helcar]]
 
* [[Sea of Helcar]]
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* [[Sea of Ringil]]
 
* [[Dark Land]]
 
* [[Dark Land]]
  

Latest revision as of 00:23, 15 September 2018

East Sea
Ocean
Quentin Lowagie - Arda in the Second Age.png
"Arda in the Second Age" by Quentin Lowagie
General Information
Other namesEastern Sea
LocationEast of Middle-earth, west of the Land of the Sun
TypeOcean

The East Sea, also called the Eastern Sea, was the sea between Middle-earth and the Land of the Sun.[1][2]:293

Contents

[edit] History

Initially, the size and shape of the East Sea corresponded symmetrically with Belegaer, the Western Sea separating Middle-earth from Aman, but when Melkor cast down the Two Lamps, this symmetry was lost; Middle-earth was thrust eastward, causing Belegaer to expand and the East Sea to narrow.[3][2]:292-3[note 1] At this time, the East Sea was narrowest in the extreme north and south of the world, where only small straits filled with ice separated Middle-earth and the Land of the Sun. These straits connected the East Sea to Ekkaia, the Outer Sea.[1]

During the War for the Sake of the Elves between the Valar and Melkor, the East Sea became connected to Belegaer. The inland Sea of Ringil, originally set in the mid-south of Middle-earth, grew in size and "became a great sea flowing north-eastward and joining by straights both the Western and Eastern Seas."[note 2][2]:293-4

After Melkor defiled the Two Trees of Valinor, the Valar used the fruit of Laurelin to create the Sun and the flower of Telperion to create the Moon.[4] In the evenings, the Sun set in the Outer Sea to the west of Aman, where it was pulled down by Ulmo's servants and sent under the earth[4] to the East Sea, where it rose at dawn.[5] The Moon followed the Sun on this path.[4]

In the Second Age, the Númenóreans sailed about Middle-earth to the uttermost east[6] and could see the Gates of Morning from their ships,[7] suggesting that they sailed into the East Sea. It was also in this age that a final change was made to the earth that likely affected the East Sea: when Ilúvatar sunk Númenor and made the world round, he "cast back ... the Empty Lands east of [Middle-earth], and new lands and seas were made".[7] How this impacted the geography of the East Sea is unknown.

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

In The Book of Lost Tales Part One, the Uttermost East (Oronto) was connected to the Great Lands, directly east of Palisor, with no separating water. Oromë described the East to the Valar, saying that "there is a silent beach and dark empty seas". It is also told that Aulë and Ulmo "builded great havens [of the Sun and Moon] beside the soundless sea".[8][9]

In early texts, Hildórien - the site where the first Men awoke in the First Age - was placed in the central region of Middle-earth near the shore of the East Sea. Hildórien was surrounded by the Mountains of the Wind, a semi-circular mountain chain that derived its named from the strong winds that blew into them from over the East Sea due to the rising of the Sun.[1][2]:293 In later texts, Hildórien is said to be "in the midmost parts of Middle-earth" with no mention of the East Sea or the Mountains of the Wind.[10]

[edit] See also

Notes

  1. Belegaer was also said to grow "wide and deep" during the War for the Sake of the Elves, presumably causing the East Sea to further shrink. See J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman: Second section of the Annals of Aman", p. 75
  2. Confusingly, the former Sea of Ringil was also called the "East Sea" by Tolkien on one early map. See J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "V. The Ambarkanta: Map V".

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "V. The Ambarkanta: Map IV"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "V. The Ambarkanta: Of the Fashion of the World"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "V. The Ambarkanta: Commentary on the Ambarkanta", pp. 301-2
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix D, "The Calendars" ("Later [the Númenóreans] also made their week one of 7 days, and they reckoned the day from sunrise (out of the eastern sea) to sunrise.")
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 131, (undated, written late 1951)("[The Númenóreans] sail[ed] to the uttermost north, and south, and east.")
  7. 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "The Hiding of Valinor"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "V. The Ambarkanta: Commentary on the Ambarkanta"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Two. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: Of Men (Chapter 9)", p. 174