This is a map of Bag End from The Atlas of Middle-earth (found here.)

enter image description here

There's a door at the end of the tunnel. Is it mentioned in the books? Or is the map not accurate?

  • 2
    Ostensibly, what the question is saying is: "This image from the Atlas of Middle-earth shows Bag End as having 2 doors; is this correct?" There seems to be an unstated implication that some other source (e.g. certain books or movies) suggests that Bag End only has one door, and thus that there is some kind of contradiction between this map and that source. If that claim were made more explicit, it might improve the question.
    – V2Blast
    Apr 19, 2022 at 17:37
  • @V2Blast Well, I never read about a second door in the books. And the books describe the tunnel in Bag End as "going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the Hill". So I never imagined there could be another door connected to the end of the tunnel.
    – Eugene
    Apr 20, 2022 at 10:18
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    – Rand al'Thor
    Apr 22, 2022 at 7:42

1 Answer 1


A second door is not mentioned in the books

In addition to the maps, The Atlas of Middle-earth also contains a description where Fonstad lays out all the textual sources for each map. If we look at the one for this map we'll see that there's no direct mention of the second door.

The residence of Bag End wound from the great green door west into the side of the hill. The door opened onto a hallway that may have been up to fifteen feet wide, judging from one of Tolkien's drawings. The door faced south, with the opening cut steeply into the bank where the path ran east before turning south to the gate. On the porch Bilbo talked with Gandalf, the Dwarves left their instruments, and Frodo set the hiking packs while preparing to depart.

The hall itself served as an entry closet, with hooks for coats and plenty of room to set out the parting gifts Bilbo had left." Past the entrance doors opened "first on one side and then the other. The best rooms were "on the left, going in," for they had windows cut into the bank, some of which overlooked the kitchen and flower gardens west of the open 'Party' field. Among those rooms were the parlour where the Dwarves met with Gandalf and Bilbo, the dining room, a small sitting room where Bilbo and Gandalf talked before The Party, and the study where Frodo spoke with the Sackville-Bagginses, and later with Gandalf. At least the study and the parlour had hearths. Additionally there was a drawing room where Bilbo was "revived," two or more bedrooms, wardrooms, a kitchen, and "cellars, pantries (lots of those). All in all it was a most comfortable residence.
The Atlas of Middle-earth - "Hobbiton and Bag End

But looking at the sources Fonstad cites in her footnotes, I have two possible ideas for why she may have added this second door.

  1. One of the early drafts presented in The History of Middle-earth mentions kitchen gardens on the west side of the field. Perhaps Fonstad thought a door on the west side would make sense for easier access to this garden?

    Finally the field to the south of his front door - it was bordered by his kitchen garden on one side and the Hill road on the other - began to be covered with tents and pavilions.
    The Return of the Shadow - A Long Expected Party - Second Version

  2. When Tolkien drew the hill, he made a road in front of Bag-End that continues onwards around the west side and out of sight. Fonstad's second door could be her answer to what this road was for.

    enter image description here
    Close up on The Hill: Hobbiton-across-the Water

  • Thanks. It doesn't look like the kitchen garden is bordering the party field in the map though.
    – Eugene
    Apr 19, 2022 at 7:29
  • 1
    @Eugene - I'd add that it the HoMe draft quote does specify this as being the "front door". Perhaps it should have been disregarded completely, but Fonstad liked to use HoMe details wherever she could fit them in
    – ibid
    Apr 19, 2022 at 17:32
  • "the field to the south of his front door - it was bordered by his kitchen garden on one side and the Hill road on the other" - sounds like it's the field that is bordered by the garden and road, rather than a door.
    – HorusKol
    Apr 20, 2022 at 1:33
  • @HorusKol - Indeed you're right, and I guess that cannot be the reason why she thought there was a second door. I'll change my answer.
    – ibid
    Apr 20, 2022 at 1:38
  • 1
    @IanBush I think "Bag End" means where a road ends. In the Shire map, you can see the road to Overhill deviates from the road to Bag End at the foot of the Hill, and goes around it.
    – Eugene
    Apr 20, 2022 at 10:02

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