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{{quote|The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!|[[Aragorn]]<ref>{{TT|Riders}}</ref>}}
 
{{quote|The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!|[[Aragorn]]<ref>{{TT|Riders}}</ref>}}
'''Middle-earth''' ([[Quenya|Q.]] ''[[Endor]]'') was a large continent of [[Arda]], situated between [[Aman]] to the [[Uttermost West|West]] (across [[Belegaer]]), and the [[Uttermost East|Land of the Sun]] to the [[East]] (across the [[East Sea]]).  
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'''Middle-earth''' ([[Quenya|Q.]] ''[[Endor]]'') was a large continent of [[Arda]], situated between [[Aman]] to the [[Uttermost West|West]] (across [[Belegaer]]), and the [[Uttermost East|Land of the Sun]] to the [[East]] (across the [[East Sea]]).
  
 
It is here that most of the story of Arda  takes place, and it was where the [[Children of Ilúvatar]]; the [[Elves]] and [[Men]], along with the [[Dwarves]], came into being.
 
It is here that most of the story of Arda  takes place, and it was where the [[Children of Ilúvatar]]; the [[Elves]] and [[Men]], along with the [[Dwarves]], came into being.
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Eventually the Valar left the Great Lands for the [[Uttermost West]], leaving Morgoth and his creatures from his fortress at [[Utumno]] behind the [[Iron Mountains]]. He would also erect the [[Misty Mountains]] between the Blue Mountains and Red Mountains to hinder the Vala [[Orome]] who hunted his creatures.<ref>{{HM|Guide}}, entry "Misty Mountains"</ref> In later days during the [[War for the Sake of the Elves]], the Yellow Mountains and the Mountains of the Wind would be lost, and the Sea of Ringil would merge with the East Sea, separating Middle-earth from the new continent known as the [[Dark Lands]]. To the west the shores of the Great Sea advanced upon the land as well, forming the [[Great Gulf]] between the lands of [[Beleriand]] and the lands of the south. The [[Straits of the World]] linked the Great Gulf with the Inland Sea of Helcar, serving as a boundary of sorts for the northern and southern lands of Middle-earth.<ref>{{SM|Ambar}}</ref>
 
Eventually the Valar left the Great Lands for the [[Uttermost West]], leaving Morgoth and his creatures from his fortress at [[Utumno]] behind the [[Iron Mountains]]. He would also erect the [[Misty Mountains]] between the Blue Mountains and Red Mountains to hinder the Vala [[Orome]] who hunted his creatures.<ref>{{HM|Guide}}, entry "Misty Mountains"</ref> In later days during the [[War for the Sake of the Elves]], the Yellow Mountains and the Mountains of the Wind would be lost, and the Sea of Ringil would merge with the East Sea, separating Middle-earth from the new continent known as the [[Dark Lands]]. To the west the shores of the Great Sea advanced upon the land as well, forming the [[Great Gulf]] between the lands of [[Beleriand]] and the lands of the south. The [[Straits of the World]] linked the Great Gulf with the Inland Sea of Helcar, serving as a boundary of sorts for the northern and southern lands of Middle-earth.<ref>{{SM|Ambar}}</ref>
 
[[File:Sage - Beleriand and Eriador collage.png|thumb|Western Middle-earth with deluged Beleriand]]
 
[[File:Sage - Beleriand and Eriador collage.png|thumb|Western Middle-earth with deluged Beleriand]]
During the [[First Age]] and the ages preceding, the western side of Middle-earth was called Beleriand, stretching from the Ered Luin to the great ocean of Belegaer. On the northern edge of Beleriand were the fierce Ered Engrin, the Iron Mountains. Even further north was the freezing [[Dor Daedeloth]]. Just southwest of the Ered Engrin was [[Hithlum]], which was separated from the coast of [[Lammoth]] and Belegaer by the [[Ered Lómin]], and from the rest of Beleriand to the south by the [[Ered Wethrin]]. The woven wood of [[Doriath]] rested directly south of the [[Thangorodrim]] and [[Dorthonion]], southeast of Hithlum. To the West of Doriath were [[Taur-en-Faroth]] and the [[Falas]], while to the east were [[Nan Elmoth]] and [[Thargelion]] before reaching the [[Ered Luin]]. To the south of Doriath were first the [[Andram]], then [[Arvernien]] and the [[Bay of Balar]]. East of the Bay of Balar and extending ever further south into the unknown lands were the [[Taur-im-Duinath]] and [[Ossiriand]].
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During the [[First Age]] and the ages preceding, the western side of Middle-earth was called Beleriand, stretching from the Ered Luin to the great ocean of Belegaer. On the northern edge of Beleriand were the fierce Ered Engrin, the Iron Mountains. Even further north was the freezing [[Dor Daedeloth]]. Just southwest of the Ered Engrin was [[Hithlum]], which was separated from the coast of [[Lammoth]] and Belegaer by the [[Ered Lómin]], and from the rest of Beleriand to the south by the [[Ered Wethrin]]. The woven wood of [[Doriath]] rested directly south of the [[Thangorodrim]] and [[Dorthonion]], southeast of Hithlum. To the West of Doriath were [[Taur-en-Faroth]] and the [[Falas]], while to the east were [[Nan Elmoth]] and [[Thargelion]] before reaching the [[Ered Luin]]. To the south of Doriath were first the [[Andram]], then [[Arvernien]] and the [[Bay of Balar]]. East of the Bay of Balar and extending ever further south into the unknown lands were the [[Taur-im-Duinath]] and [[Ossiriand]].
  
East of the Ered Luin was a land encircled by four mountain ranges: the Ered Luin to the West, the Ered Engrin to the North, the Misty Mountains to the East, and some of the [[White Mountains]] to the South. Passing even further East, over the Hithaeglir, you would come to the Great River [[Anduin]] and eventually [[Palisor]], the Inland Sea of Helcar, the Orocarni, and the East Sea.
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East of the Ered Luin was a land encircled by four mountain ranges: the Ered Luin to the West, the Ered Engrin to the North, the Misty Mountains to the East, and some of the [[White Mountains]] to the South. Passing even further East, over the Hithaeglir, you would come to the Great River [[Anduin]] and eventually [[Palisor]], the Inland Sea of Helcar, the Orocarni, and the East Sea.
  
After the end of the First Age and the drowning of Beleriand, the geography east of the Ered Luin shifted. The Sea of Helcar drained into the Great Gulf through the Straits of the World, and was lost forever. The Ered Luin themselves, now broken up and disfigured, marked the western border of [[Eriador]], and thence [[Lindon]] and Belegaer itself. Eriador, now the Westernmost part of Middle-earth, was bordered on the East by the Misty Mountains, which stretched down south to the White Mountains and the newly formed [[Bay of Belfalas]], the remnants of the Great Gulf. Across the Misty Mountains from Eriador was  Rhovanion, which extended east to the [[Sea of Rhûn]] and the vast lands of Rhûn beyond. Within Rhovanion were the great forest of [[Mirkwood]], the forest of [[Fangorn Forest|Fangorn]], and the many-rivered area that would become known as [[Gondor]]. To the east was the region of [[Mordor]], encircled on three sides by mountains. To the far north of Rhovanion was the icy [[Forodwaith (lands)|Forodwaith]], and where the Great Sea had advanced at its most there was the [[Icebay of Forochel]].
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After the end of the First Age and the drowning of Beleriand, the geography east of the Ered Luin shifted. The Sea of Helcar drained into the Great Gulf through the Straits of the World, and was lost forever. The Ered Luin themselves, now broken up and disfigured, marked the western border of [[Eriador]], and thence [[Lindon]] and Belegaer itself. Eriador, now the Westernmost part of Middle-earth, was bordered on the East by the Misty Mountains, which stretched down south to the White Mountains and the newly formed [[Bay of Belfalas]], the remnants of the Great Gulf. Across the Misty Mountains from Eriador was  Rhovanion, which extended east to the [[Sea of Rhûn]] and the vast lands of Rhûn beyond. Within Rhovanion were the great forest of [[Mirkwood]], the forest of [[Fangorn Forest|Fangorn]], and the many-rivered area that would become known as [[Gondor]]. To the east was the region of [[Mordor]], encircled on three sides by mountains. To the far north of Rhovanion was the icy [[Forodwaith (lands)|Forodwaith]], and where the Great Sea had advanced at its most there was the [[Icebay of Forochel]].
  
 
The coasts of Middle-earth were changed once more in the cataclysm of the [[Downfall of Númenor]]. In many places the Great Sea advanced upon the land, and in some places it shrank back. Lindon especially suffered great loss of land at this time, while to the south the eastern and southern shores of the Bay of Belfalas shrank back, putting the city of [[Pelargir]] much farther inland than it had once been. The Anduin river found new paths to the sea afterwards, forming the [[Ethir Anduin]].<ref>{{PM|Second}} p. 183</ref>
 
The coasts of Middle-earth were changed once more in the cataclysm of the [[Downfall of Númenor]]. In many places the Great Sea advanced upon the land, and in some places it shrank back. Lindon especially suffered great loss of land at this time, while to the south the eastern and southern shores of the Bay of Belfalas shrank back, putting the city of [[Pelargir]] much farther inland than it had once been. The Anduin river found new paths to the sea afterwards, forming the [[Ethir Anduin]].<ref>{{PM|Second}} p. 183</ref>
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==Appendix==
 
==Appendix==
 
===Terminology===
 
===Terminology===
The ''continent'' of Middle-earth is the main setting of most of the stories of the [[legendarium]]. There are a few stories that take place in [[Aman]] (like some chapters of ''[[The Silmarillion]]'') and [[Númenor]] (like the ''[[Akallabêth]]'' and ''[[Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife|Aldarion and Erendis]]'').
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The ''continent'' of Middle-earth is the main setting of most of the stories of the [[legendarium]]. There are a few stories that take place in [[Aman]] (like some chapters of ''[[The Silmarillion]]'') and [[Númenor]] (like the ''[[Akallabêth]]'' and ''[[Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife|Aldarion and Erendis]]''). ==
  
 
In [[fandom]], the term "Middle-earth" is used to refer to Tolkien's [[secondary world]] or [[Wikipedia:fictional universe|fictional universe]] in general, including its pantheon and cosmology. Tolkien himself used the term loosely at times to refer to his creation.<ref name=wiki/>
 
In [[fandom]], the term "Middle-earth" is used to refer to Tolkien's [[secondary world]] or [[Wikipedia:fictional universe|fictional universe]] in general, including its pantheon and cosmology. Tolkien himself used the term loosely at times to refer to his creation.<ref name=wiki/>

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