I hope this question survives and is not a dupe so I am happy to improve if required.

I know that Jackson and the film crew picked suitable existing locations but which real life places most closely resemble the style and architecture from the worlds of Tolkien especially those in which filming would have been barred, inaccessible or otherwise unworkable due to political, economic and infrastructure considerations.

Does a mountain citadel exist which can accurately be considered a real life Helms Deep? Is there a Lonely Mountain,a Lake Town, Mirkwood or Angmar on earth?

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    New Zealand... :) – razethestray Dec 21 '14 at 18:51
  • scifi.stackexchange.com/q/22726/38350 is a more fitting answer to this question. Mods please mark as a dupe although amazing that this is considered "opinion based" but the original is not despite asking the same question. SE can be weird like that I guess. – Venture2099 Dec 21 '14 at 21:28
  • @Venture2099 - there's a difference between "based on" and "most closely resemble". Tolkien said that Gondor was based on Byzantium, but can you say there's a resemblance? – user8719 Dec 21 '14 at 21:32
  • It's approximately the same question and you are highlighting minor semantic differences which, ultimately, do not make a massively different question. – Venture2099 Dec 21 '14 at 21:36
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    The older question asks whether, based on his letters and other writings, Tolkien is known to have modeled any of his fictional locations on real locations. That's an answerable question. You're asking whether there exists a real-life location which can "accurately" be considered to be Helm's Deep. That's purely a matter of opinion. – Martha Dec 21 '14 at 21:51

While each individual town is fictional, Tolkien is said to have based Middle Earth around Europe. http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Europe


The rocky mountains are a close replica of the steep mountains where they travel over in search of smaug. where they pass over and are ambushed and trapped by goblins.

as for bilbo's home, i would say new Zealand or Ireland. these are both quite similar due to

there dense, misty landscape and abundant wildlife and plants,

i hope this was helpful for what you were looking for. for more answers looking at most deep forests and other remote places would be helpful.

  • The mountain pass scene is known to have been based on an event that took place in Switzerland during Tolkien's youth; see Letter 232. – user8719 Dec 21 '14 at 22:43

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