New lands

From Tolkien Gateway

New lands and new seas were created by Ilúvatar when the world was remade after the Downfall of Númenor and Aman was removed. They were formed after Eru cast back the Great Seas west, and the Empty Lands east of Middle-earth.

Long after that cataclysm, Men from Middle-earth sailed west to the Great Sea, seeking the summit of the Meneltarma, which they believed had risen above the waves and from which a person could still descry the Undying Lands. However, the Isle of Meneltarma was never found. Instead mariners only discovered new lands which were like the old lands in that they were subject to death. These new lands did not form a barrier to travel; sailors found that they could circumnavigate the world and thus could report: îdô kâtha batîna lôkhî ("All roads are now bent").[1]


Considering that Middle-earth "corresponds" to Europe[2] and Belegaer to Atlantic[3] it can be suggested that the "new lands" correspond to the Americas.[4]

David Day in Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopedia displays some chronological evolution of Arda, and a continent resembling the Americas forming east of Middle-earth after the Fourth Age.

Later in his life, Tolkien wrote about the possibility that the Valar and the Calaquendi left the world spiritually, while the landmass of Aman remained, and became the Americas.[5]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor"
  2. Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, entry "Middle-earth"
  3. Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth, p. 194
  4. "New Lands", One Wiki to rule them all (accessed 13 September 2020)
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part Three. The World, its Lands, and its Inhabitants: XV. The Númenórean Catastrophe & End of "Physical" Aman"