The earliest map

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The earliest map redrawn by Christopher Tolkien

"The earliest map" refers to a map of the world as conceived in The Book of Lost Tales, the earliest version of the legendarium. The map as reproduced in The Book of Lost Tales Part One (page 81) was redrawn by Christopher Tolkien from a sketch by J.R.R. Tolkien[1], being "no more than a quick scribble, in soft pencil ... in many features difficult or impossible to interpret".[2] Features redrawn by Christopher include (listed roughly from north to south):


  1. A reproduction of the original sketch was published in The Great Tales Never End: Essays in Memory of Christopher Tolkien, ed. R. Ovenden & C. McIlwaine, Bodleian Library, 2022, p.103 (Fig. 6.4), with a discussion of Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, ibid., p.106-107.
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "III. The Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor": "Notes and Commentary", p. 82
  3. 3.0 3.1 Stentor Danielson, "[Untitled blog post]" dated 21 February 2015, (accessed 19 March 2017)
Maps of Arda made by or for J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit:  Thrór's Map · Map of Wilderland
 TLOTR:  A Part of the Shire · General Map of Middle-earth · Map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor · The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age
Other:  Map of Beleriand and the Lands to the North · Númenórë‎
Baynes:  A Map of Middle-earth · There and Back Again
Early maps:  The earliest map‎ · I Vene Kemen · The First 'Silmarillion' Map · Ambarkanta maps · The Second 'Silmarillion' Map · The First Map of 'The Lord of the Rings' · The 1943 Map of 'The Lord of the Rings' · The Second Map of 'The Lord of the Rings' · The Third Map of 'The Lord of the Rings'