The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age

From Tolkien Gateway
Colorful print of the Map.

The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age is the title of a map drawn by Christopher Tolkien in 1980, it is the new version of an older map made back in 1953.

It depicts the Westlands and all northwestern Middle-earth during the War of the Ring.

Conception and creation[edit | edit source]

The map is a re-drawing by Christopher of his own original map made in late 1953 for the first edition of The Lord of the Rings.[1][2][3] It was redrawn in order to include new locations mentioned in the Unfinished Tales (such as "Edhellond" and "Undeeps"), but also to correct some of the minor defects of the earlier map drawn "twenty-five years ago".[3]

The size of the new drawing was "half as large again as the old map in its published dimensions" and its smaller scope allowed for better clarity. Christopher Tolkien preserved the "style and detail" of the original not because of its accuracy, but because of its acceptable faithfulness to his father's conceptions.[3]

Since 2005, it has been included in the HarperCollins editions of The Lord of the Rings.[1]

Description[edit | edit source]

Smaller in scope than the original, this map excludes locations such as the Cape of Forochel in the north, or Umbar and Far Harad in the south. However the island of Himling is now included.[3]

The Sea is now filled with contour lines radiating from the coasts, as has been the case with the inland bodies of water.

The Icebay of Forochel is now labelled with an arrow pointing to the larger northeast part of the bay, and not the small gulf. Christopher Tolkien stated that his original map was marked incorrectly.[3]

The areas of Gondor and Rohan are more detailed with streets and roads, as seen in the Map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor: Westfold and Eastfold, separated by the Snowbourn are marked, as well as the Mering Stream. The Old South Road is renamed North-South Road and extends along the White Mountains, although part of its course was conjectured by Christopher Tolkien.[3]

Other names not shown in the original map include:

Errors[edit | edit source]

On the original print of the Unfinished Tales carried over a mistake from the general map: the river Sirith was marked as the western tributary of Celos, whereas the reverse is true.[4][5] The mistake was corrected in later (but not all) printings of the map.[6]


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'