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Forum:Middle Earth/Europe geography

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After looking for a map of Middle Earth on Google, I found this, which I think is really interesting: [1] I would post the actual image, but I don't know if it's copyrighted or anything, so it's better to be safe. Anyways, I would like to know if this is really how Tolkien intended it to be, or just some fan making something up. Unsigned comment by Aragorn47 (talk • contribs).

This is made by a fan. It's a well known map, but sadly, not very accurate. Here's another attempt, by Andreas Moehnke: [2], and one by Ronald Kyrmse: [3]. Both are considerably better argued than this copy paste job. -- Ederchil (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 22:31, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't think it's a copy paste job. I do like it. The maps of Moehn and Kyrmse are simply overlays. That mystery map is a mixture, and it seems well researched to me. It's Middle-earth of say, Fifth Age. Sage 14:06, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
The problem with this map is not that it's a copy/paste job, it's that it changes the geography of Middle-earth. The Northwest of Middle-earth was a single continent, so there is no reason why, for instance, Bree would be north of the Shire. In fact, not much was farther north than the Shire - just look at one of the *true* maps of Middle-earth in the books. This is just a piece of fanon, and not a particularly good one at that. Eldorion 9 October, 2009
Tolkien did not intend his works to be based on Earth at all! Only when he first created his works did he even consider the notion, but he later denied it. Earth may have influenced the works, but this is a falsity.--Galdor of the Trees 18:17, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
What I read in Letters says rather the opposite. So I'd be interested in what sources you have for your statement. -- Mithrennaith 02:50, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Exactly what I wanted to say. Letters seems to make it quite obvious that he based the geography and even the chronology on Earth (at least, he actually stated that we would now be in the Seventh Age in the RW). ElfMaven 23:21, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

This from Wikipedia Article-Middle Earth, Correspondence with the geography of Earth

"As for the shape of the world of the Third Age, I am afraid that was devised 'dramatically' rather than geologically, or paleontologically."[13]

"...if it were 'history', it would be difficult to fit the lands and events (or 'cultures') into such evidence as we possess, archaeological or geological, concerning the nearer or remoter part of what is now called Europe; though the Shire, for instance, is expressly stated to have been in this region."[14]

And this from another Source (

Tolkien said that his Middle-earth is located on our Earth, but in a fictional period in the past, estimating the end of the Third Age to about 6,000 years before his own time.(Letters, no. 211, footnote) He was later to reject this notion, and state that Middle-earth was not at a physically distant time, but rather "at a different stage of imagination".Gerrolt, Dennis Now Read On... interviewBBC, 1971 [4]

I stated my points--Galdor of the Havens 21:09, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Interesting. The first quote you take from Wikipedia (from Letter #169) actually continues:
I do sometimes wish that I had made some sort of agreement between the imaginations or theories of the geologists and my map a little more possible. But that would only have made more trouble with human history.
Also, I get the impression you take a reductionistic approach, taking "shape ..... devised 'dramatically'", "an imaginary historical moment on 'Middle-earth' – which is our habitation" (Letter #183) and "at a different stage of imagination" as contradicting descriptions, evidencing a change in Tolkien's conception of Middle-earth. I do not. I see Tolkien trying to express to his (varying!) audience in different ways the same concept: that of an (imagined) past that is not described in historical terms and geographical accuracy, but in mythological imagery. "[H]istory desolving into myth", as he has one of his characters describe it in The Notion Club Papers. The fact that Tolkien's mythological past does not look like what history and geology now scientifically tell us does not mean it is not conceived as an alternative past of our earth, nor that Tolkien ever abandoned that idea. That is what he is trying to tell us in different words all the time.
I think perusal of the Notion Club Papers, The Lost Road and perhaps Verlyn Flieger's A Question of Time may be more effective than any rambling explanations I could write in the middle of the night. But I don't accept that Tolkien put into his words what you are trying to get out of them.
Prof. Bird's map (the one that Aragorn47 linked from Strangemaps) is an interesting attempt to imagine how Tolkien's mythological 'earth of otherwhen' could morph into our historical geological past. It is not an accurate representation of either, that is not its point. And I don't think one can really show Tolkien's myth desolving into history or the other way round in this way. But it does help to illustrate that Middle-earth is not entirely separable from our own world.
(Btw, your link to the Gerrolt interview is dead - Geocities was scrapped some time ago.) -- Mithrennaith 05:28, 11 December 2009 (UTC)