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Middle-earth

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(Geography)
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In the [[Elder Days]], the East was occupied by the two large inland seas of [[Sea of Helcar|Helcar]] and [[Sea of Ringil|Ringil]] created by the demise of the [[Two Lamps]]. The eastern land-mass was encircled by ranges of mountains, the [[Red Mountains|Red]] and the [[Yellow Mountains]] which mirrored the [[Ered Luin|Blue]] and the [[Grey Mountains (ancient)|Grey]] of the West respectively.  
 
In the [[Elder Days]], the East was occupied by the two large inland seas of [[Sea of Helcar|Helcar]] and [[Sea of Ringil|Ringil]] created by the demise of the [[Two Lamps]]. The eastern land-mass was encircled by ranges of mountains, the [[Red Mountains|Red]] and the [[Yellow Mountains]] which mirrored the [[Ered Luin|Blue]] and the [[Grey Mountains (ancient)|Grey]] of the West respectively.  
  
Other known lands of the East were the mythical [[Last Desert]] and of course '''[[Cuiviénen]] and [[Hildórien]]''', the cradle of [[Elfinesse]] and [[Men|Humanity]]; but their status or existence in the later years was unknown.
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Other known lands of the East were the mythical [[Last Desert]] and of course '''[[Cuiviénen]] and [[Hildórien]]''', the cradle of [[Elves]] and [[Men]]; but their status or existence in the later years was unknown.
  
 
==History==
 
==History==

Revision as of 07:54, 27 January 2011

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John Howe - The Map of Middle-earth.jpg
Middle-earth
Physical Description
TypeContinent
LocationArda, east of Belegaer
RealmsRohan, Gondor, Mordor, Arnor, Rivendell, Lothlórien, others
InhabitantsMen, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, others
General Information
Other namesEnnorath, Endor
EtymologyOld English middanġeard

Middle-earth (Q. Endor) was a large continent of Arda, situated east of Aman, across Belegaer. It is here that many of the epic tales of Arda were played out, for it was in the north of this realm that Morgoth dwelt, and here where he bitterly fought with Elves, Men, Maiar and Valar.

Contents

Geography

Middle-earth is a large continent, a mass of land that occupies the central regions of Arda. It lays between two continents; Aman, the uttermost West from which is separated by the ocean Belegaer, and the Land of the Sun, at the uttermost East which the East Sea separates.

The Westlands are the most well-known regions of the continent, and the only which have been mapped. Of the Westlands, the western portion called Beleriand was drowned at the end of the First Age and survivors relocated to Lindon and Eriador from which it was separated by the Blue Mountains. Another region of the Westlands was Rhovanion separated by the Misty Mountains.

The southern part of the Westlands was around the Bay of Belfalas, including Anfalas, the area of Gondor, and Near Harad (Near South).

Arnor and Gondor before their decline, dominated the Westlands during the Third Age. Huge mountain ranges like the Grey Mountains and White Mountains separated these regions.

Of the East and South of Middle-earth not much is known, other that the names of Rhûn and Khand, east of Mordor, and the Far Harad (Far South); but how far they extended it's unknown.

In the Elder Days, the East was occupied by the two large inland seas of Helcar and Ringil created by the demise of the Two Lamps. The eastern land-mass was encircled by ranges of mountains, the Red and the Yellow Mountains which mirrored the Blue and the Grey of the West respectively.

Other known lands of the East were the mythical Last Desert and of course Cuiviénen and Hildórien, the cradle of Elves and Men; but their status or existence in the later years was unknown.

History

This is the geographical history. For events happening in Middle-earth, see Timeline.

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 Daidelos. 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 Easter 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 Hithaeglir (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 Anduin (the Great River) 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 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 Hithaeglir, the Misty Mountains, which stretched down south to the White Mountains and the Bay of Belfalas. Across the Misty Mountains from Eriador was Rhovanion, which extended east to the Sea of Rhûn and the vast lands beyond. Within Rhovanion were the great forest of Mirkwood, the forest of 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.

Inspiration

Tolkien created Arda, including and especially Middle-earth, for his languages Quenya and Sindarin, especially the latter as it turned out. To Tolkien, a scholar of the Anglo-Saxon language, Middle-earth was the English translation of the Old English word middanġeard. This word was transformed in the Middle English midden-erd or middel-erd, and the Old Norse Midgard. This is English for what the Greeks called the οικουμένη (oikoumenē) or "the abiding place of men", the physical world as opposed to the unseen worlds.[1]

The ancient peoples called the world "middle-earth" since it was imagined to be between the realm of the Giants below and the realm of the gods above. However in Tolkien's cosmology the name Middle-earth refers only to a continent, which (in the First and Second Ages) is set between two seas, Belegaer and the East Sea.

Portrayal in adaptations

File:Merp map.jpg
The whole continent of Middle-earth as envisioned in Middle-earth Role Playing
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See Also

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 151, (dated 18 September 1954)