Map in the Infobox
The map in the infobox is not canoncial. The map incorrectly does not show Anórien to be a part of the Reunited Kingdom of Arnor and Gondor. Anórien was still a part of Gondor during the War of the Ring and was never a part of Rohan. Although The Lord of the Rings does never mention the borders of the reunited kingdom it is unlikely that it did not include Anórien, which was still a part of Gondor during the War of the Ring. The Mering stream is mentioned as the eastern border of Rohan in Unfinished Tales Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan (iii) Cirion and Eorl in the paragraph with the footnotes 45 and 46 and on the dotted red line with the label "Border of Rohan" on the Map of Rohan, Gondor and Mordor that is included in some editions of The Return of the King. --Akhorahil 16:43, 16 November 2020 (UTC)
- I created that map many years ago, based on one by Fonstad. Note that "many years ago" means that I also had different understanding about canon and accuracy of information and I wasn't much concerned about how accurate to canon was. I am not sure if Fonstad's text accompanying the map give some textual evidence or rationale about her layout. If the map contradicts canonical information, I don't have anything to say in favor of the map. Sage 08:55, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
- I'm looking at my copy of the Atlas right now and I suspect that what happened is that at the time you created the page map, you may have confused the placement of the label "Druadan" for the indicated location of the enclave on the map itself, which is very small, partially overlapping the mountains, and quite easy to miss. (I never noticed it before until now, when I was specifically looking for it.) I'll see if I can gin up a new map sometime in the next week or so that conforms more closely to the known facts. --184.108.40.206 16:25, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
- Oh to be exact the base map is a fan-made map I found on Wikipedia. What I did was defining the "Kingdom" according to Fonstad, as I didn't want to use the canonical one for copyright reasons. So the labels and other features of the map aren't mine. Sage 17:50, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
The information about the borders of the Reunited Kingdom during the reign of Elessar is partly wrong and partly speculative. It is wrong that they correspond to Gondor's borders at its largest extension and it is wrong that the field of Celebrant or the river Limlight is the northern border of the Reunited Kingdom, because that is the northern border of Rohan and Aragorn renewed the grant of Rohan to Éomer. In the Lord of the Rings the borders of the reunited kingdom of Arnor and Gondor during the reign of Elessar are not mentioned (especially not in Appendix A II The Kings of the Mark Third Line). The exact status of the Shire, of the Treegarth of Isengard and of Drúadan Forest are not known from the wording of the grants. --Akhorahil 16:43, 16 November 2020 (UTC)
- I took a stab at remaking the map, but I could use some feedback on the northern border of Arnor and the northeastern border of Gondor. WIP viewable here: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/286081897925312512/779616303756869682/fourth-age.png
- Note: not final quality; I plan to apply an airbrush effect to the border fills to smooth them out a bit and also add the kingdoms in the northeast (East Lórien, Beornings & Woodmen, Woodland Realm, Dale, Erebor & Iron Hills) just for completeness' sake. My current intention is to depict hard borders at rivers and other clear landmarks, while having somewhat airbrushed borders at mountain ranges, and very soft airbrushed borders at stretches of empty land (such as at the aforementioned northern edge of Arnor and the northeastern edge of Gondor).
- I don't feel at all troubled at the idea of simply showing the enclaves of the Shire & Westmarch, Drúadan Forest, and Nan Curunír/Watchwood in different colors and leaving it to the reader to determine exactly to what extent the authority of the King applied in each.
- The difficulty I'm having is that I genuinely don't know how far Aragorn pushed Gondor's claims. Nothing in the references cited in the Atlas of ME suggests to me that the borders shown on the Fonstad map of the Fourth Age that informed the previous version of the map is supported by text. RK/Steward merely states that Aragorn "pardoned" the Easterlings and "made peace" with the Haradrim, and AppA/Gondor states that Elessar "subdued" Umbar. We know from AppA/Mark that Aragorn and Éomer rode to war far in the south and east of the Sea of Rhȗn, but we don't know if these wars had anything to do with enforcing border claims. When Tolkien meant "conquered" in other contexts he was usually very clear in his diction, but the wording relating to Gondor's relations with the former allies of Sauron seems to deliberately fall short of that.
- I don't think it likely that Tolkien intended Elessar to claim the absolute maximum extent of the lands ever claimed in the imperial dominion of Gondor. This is both based on his choice of words and on the fact that the lands of the east never appear to have been meaningfully settled or governed by Gondor even in the short time in which they were nominally within the borders of the Kingdom, which was in any case many centuries before the Fourth Age. Moreover, there's already a lot of repopulation to be done in Ithilien, Annúminas, Fornost, and Arnor more generally, so I don't know where Aragorn would find the numbers of people necessary to also settle the East.
- That said, I can't justify with explicit references my choice to assign Harondor or Enedwaith to the Reunited Kingdom either, so this may ultimately be a matter of opinion. Perhaps it would be for the best if I marked debatable or questionable claim areas with a cross-hatch or lighter shade as compared to the core regions of the RK? I would consider the core regions of the RK that we know were reclaimed to consist of Gondor, Ithilien, and the known settlement zone of Arnor centered around the cities of former Arthedain. All other areas - Cardolan, Rhudaur, parts of Arthedain, Enedwaith, Harondor, southern Rhovanion - would be depicted as "questionable claims." --220.127.116.11 07:53, 23 November 2020 (UTC)
- I think that Tolkien deliberately left the question of the extent of the borders of the Reunited Kingdom during the reign of Elessar and Eldarion open like he left many things in the appendices vague and open. Personally, since Aragorn based his claim on his descent from Isildur and decided to also have a seat in an area that was depopulated (Annuminas) and referred to the Corsairs of Umbar to Ecthelion as "rebels" that he would at least de iure claim the territory that Gondor held a claim to at its largest extension with the exception of Rohan (independent but allied).
- I would go with Fonstad's map of the Fourth Age as far as it can be backed up by statements about the historic borders of Gondor and Arnor (or Arthedain, Cardolan and Rhudaur) at its largest extent and the ones of Rohan (from Cirion and Eorl). Fangorn Forest should not be part of the Reunited Kingdom and not be part of Rohan. Based on the description of the borders of Rohan in Cirion and Eorl, it seems that Fangorn Forest was not a part of Rohan and it probably was not a part of Gondor before and the former northern border of Gondor only mentioned the river Limlight (as the border of the field of Celebrant) on the west side of the Anduin and did not mention where the western border of Gondor was on the east side of the Misty Mountains. In the case of the Shire, the Treegarth of Orthanc and Drúadan forest, we do not know the exact status. The text says nothing that the dwarves in the glittering caves were not part of Rohan or had self-governance, so I would not give it a different colour than Rohan.
- I think from a strategic and opportunistic point of view claiming the territory at Gondor's largest extent makes sense, because his enemies have suffered a strong defeat and those who have fled or wwere captured and released made terrifying experiences that they probably told their countrymen when they returned home (major earthquakes, probable destruction of Sauron, an attack by an army of the dead). Enemies that were living within or near this territory were probably decimated and demotivated from attacking again (with teffifying stories told and no Sauron to motivate them to attack). It does not hurt to claim a territory even if you know that it will take a long time to atually settle it and to effectively control it with military garrisons. Why give anything away if you are not forced to do so and if you think that you can live in peace with any local population that is left there.
- The territories that he gave self governance or where he re-newed a grant of the land were territories whose inhabitants or parts of its inhabitants had helped the Dúnedain of the North and Gondor to win the war (some Hobbits from the Shire, the Woses of Drúadan forest had helped the army of Rohan to circumvent the enemy, the Ents had helped to destroy the remains of Saruman's troops in Isengard). I would use a colour that is a lighter shade of the colour of the Reunited Kingdom for the Shire (no distinction between the former Shire and the Westmarch), for the Treegarth of Orthanc (with the exception of the tower of Orthanc itself) and for Drúadan Forest.
- In my opinion going with Gondorian troops and troops from Rohan to the south and to the east was to show the remaining local population there how powerful and numerous they were from a military point of view and to declare their claim that this was still the territory of Gondor and to accept oaths of fealty by local leaders and to depose and defeat anybody who did not want to swear an oath of fealty. Umbar was simply to much of a historic risk of being attacked by its fleet if Umbar was not brought under the permanent control of Gondor aagain and it was also a question of Tradition and pride because of the white pillar and the surrender of Sauron to the might of Númenor. It is a pity that Umbar is not on the map. If you want to show the full extent of the Reunited Kingdom which includes Umbar and its surroundings, you will have to use the General Map of Middle-earth as a basis. --Akhorahil 14:37, 23 November 2020 (UTC)
- Regarding the RK's borders, the crux of the issue is how one chooses to interpret this quote: "In Gondor the King Elessar now ruled, and in Arnor also. In all the lands of those realms of old he was king, save in Rohan only; for he renewed to Éomer the gift of Cirion, and Éomer took again the Oath of Eorl. Often he fulfilled it. For though Sauron had passed, the hatreds and evils that he bred had not died, and the King of the West had many enemies to subdue before the White Tree could grow in peace. And wherever King Elessar went with war King Éomer went with him; and beyond the Sea of Rhûn and on the far fields of the South the thunder of the cavalry of the Mark was heard, and the White Horse upon Green flew in many winds until Éomer grew old."
- It depends on how literally you want to take the statement "all the lands of those realms of old." It also depends on whether, given the entire context of the quote, you believe that Elessar required territorial expansion in order to "subdue" his "many enemies" and resolve those "hatreds and evils that [Sauron] bred" that were an obstacle to "peace." I'm going to have to give the matter further thought and come up with a few alternatives. In any case, I will note the maximum historical borders of Gondor + Arnor in some manner. I'm also currently working on grafting Umbar onto the south of this map by tracing from the General Map; we'll see how that goes.
- As for the rest:
- * Excluding Fangorn from both the RK and Rohan seems justified to me given that no Men ever lived there (or likely could live there, on account of the Huorns).
- * As you suggest, I plan to use a lighter shade of whatever color I use to show the RK proper to depict the Shire, Drúadan Forest, and Watchwood. Probably deep blue for the RK, lighter blue for the enclaves.
- * I think that depicting the Shire and the Westmarch separately in some way is appropriate because the Westmarch was only gifted in F.O. 31. I don't know if a third shade or a pattern of some kind would look better; we'll see how it shakes out.
- * It's plausible to me that Gimli and the Dwarves of the Glittering Caves owed some kind of responsibility to the King of Rohan. Whatever the specifics of their relationship, I think it's still worth differentiating Aglarond from the rest of Rohan because the Dwarves aren't ordinary Rohirrim and their migration was a new thing in the Fourth Age.
- --18.104.22.168 09:00, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
It is only mentioned that the Shire was made a "King Elessar issues an edict that Men are not to enter the Shire, and he makes it a Free Land under the protection of the Northern Scepre" in Appendix B Later Events concerning the Members of the Fellowship of the Ring S.R. 1427, but not whether this means autonomy and self-rule as part of Arnor or it not being a part of Arnor. However it is mentioned that the Hobbits say "Our King, we call him" about Elessar in Appendix A I (iii) The North-kingdom and the Dúnedain. It appears odd to calle somebody "our" King if one's Country is not part of the Kingdom. It is also mentioned that King Elessar made the Thain of the Shire, the Master (of Buckland) and the Mayor (of the Shire) "Counsellors of the North-kingdom" that Appendix B Later Events concerning the Members of the Fellowship of the Ring S.R. 1434. It would seem odd to make leaders of a realm councillors of a kingdom if the leaders of that realm are not part of the Kingdom. In addition, the Shire used to be part of the Kingdom of Arnor and of the Kingdom of Arthedain before. --Akhorahil 16:43, 16 November 2020 (UTC)
It is only stated that Aragorn has his heralds announce "The Forest of Drúadan he gives to Ghân-buri-Ghân and his folk, to be their own forwever; and hereafter let no man enter it without their leave" in The Return of the King, Many Partings. "to be their own forever" and "let no man enter it without their leave" sounds very much like Drúadan forest is not part of the Reunited Kingdom, because otherwise he could have said that he as the King issues an edict that Men are not to enter the Forest of Drúadan like the edict that he issued for the Shire.
Valley of Orthanc
"But I will give to Ents all this valley to do with it as they will, so long as they keep a watch upon Orthanc and see that none enter it without my leave". This sounds like the valley of Orthanc is not part of the Reunited Kingdom, but that the tower of Orthanc was still part of the Reunited Kingdom, because the King wanted no one to enter without his leave.
I deleted Fangorn Forest from the list of areas that were excluded from the Reunited Kingdom with the implication in the article that they had self-governance. I believe that Fangorn Forest was not part of Gondor before the grant of Rohan to the Éotheod. From the description of the borders of Rohan in Cirion and Eorl it seems clear that Fangorn Forest was not part of Rohan and that the northern border of Rohan is the same as the former northern border of Gondor on the western side of the Anduin. If Fangorn Forest ever was a part of Gondor then I can not think of a reason why Gondor would retain Fangorn Forest when the rest was granted to the Éotheod. --Akhorahil 14:37, 23 November 2020 (UTC)
Where is the term "Reunited Kingdom" found in Tolkien's works? I haven't found it in HoME vol. 12, the Lord of the Rings, or the Appendices.--Tolkienator 03:27, 6 April 2021 (UTC)
- LOTR Prologue, Note on Shire Records --Mord 16:22, 6 April 2021 (UTC)
- Perfect, thank you!--Tolkienator 17:48, 6 April 2021 (UTC)