Questions tagged [middle-earth]

Use [middle-earth] when you want to ask a question about something general to Middle-earth, a region in Arda. Do not use it when you want to refer to other parts of Arda, like most of the events of The Silmarillion, use [arda] for it instead. For questions about Tolkien himself, his style, etc., but not specific to Middle-earth, use [j-r-r-tolkien] instead. Always use in conjunction with the [tolkiens-legendarium] tag

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2 answers
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How much did the livelihood of the Rohirrim rely on agriculture?

The Tolkien Gateway says they were "herdsmen and farmers". Tolkien described them as "still partly mobile and nomadic people of horse-breeders" (Letter #297), so I guess they at ...
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4 votes
1 answer
265 views

Was Tolkien implying (heat/locomotive) engines in The Lost Road?

Here's the quote: The teaching of Sauron has led to the invention of ships of metal that traverse the seas without sails, but which are hideous in the eyes of those who have not abandoned or ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
166 views

How big is the Gulf of Lune, actually?

When you look at this image from the end of Return of the King it seems the Gulf of Lune isn't as large as the Encyclopedia of Arda claims, namely that it would span more than two hundred miles. It's ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
291 views

Possible Dwarvish Orc?

I've read many posts and discussions on the origin of the Tolkien orc, yet in everything I've read, not once has this idea I've wondered about been answered with any wisdom, or references to add ...
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0 votes
1 answer
272 views

Which mountain is higher, Caradhras or the Halifirien?

I wonder which mountain's peak likely has the higher elevation above sea level, the Caradhras (highest mountain of the Misty Mountains, located above Khazad-Dûm) or the Eilenaer/Halifirien (at the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
181 views

Do the western boundaries of Rohan as given in "Unfinished Tales," Cirion and Eorl (iii), make sense?

On page 305 of Unfinished Tales, there is a passage regarding the boundaries of Rohan: The bounds of the realm of Eorl were to be: in the West the river Angren from its junction with the Adorn and ...
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8 votes
2 answers
445 views

What to read in History of Middle-earth?

I’m interested in reading some Lord of the Rings books but I’m wondering which ones to start with having to do with History of Middle-earth. Are they all important or can one just read The ...
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13 votes
1 answer
901 views

What exactly made Boromir "un-Numenorean" compared to Denethor/Faramir?

Gandalf says this to Pippin: He is not as other men of this time, Pippin, and whatever be his descent from father to son, by some chance the blood of Westernesse runs nearly true in him; as it does ...
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11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why is there darkness/evil in Middle-earth and why couldn't the Valar fix this?

As I've been re-reading The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and now The Hobbit, I've come to a conclusion: Basically only Hobbiton (not even all of the Shire) is a nice place. Well, also ...
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19 votes
4 answers
3k views

What's the tallest mountain in Middle-earth?

There are many mountains in Middle-earth, from the harsh Misty Mountains to the humble Lonely Mountain. This made me wonder, what's the tallest mountain in: Middle-earth, Arda (Tolkien's Universe)? ...
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1 vote
2 answers
898 views

Was Rhûn (the East) based primarily on the lands of Asia?

In Tolkien’s Middle-earth; was Rhun based primarily on Asia? I think there are Bilbo references to this in The Hobbit, but I do not know certainly. Does anybody know the answer of this topic?
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19 votes
3 answers
2k views

Who was the last elf in Middle-earth?

The elves left Middle-earth for the Undying Lands after Frodo destroyed the One Ring. Who was the last elf in Middle-earth? Was it Arwen, who remained behind for love of Aragorn, until she died of ...
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3 votes
2 answers
291 views

Source for canon Middle-earth materials, flora and fauna

I'm working in a videogame set at the end of the Third Age in Middle-earth, and I would like to properly use Middle-earth materials, flora and fauna. I've been looking at MERP (a tabletop RPG) ...
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12 votes
2 answers
706 views

When and how was wheeled transport introduced to Middle-Earth?

In The Lord of the Rings, wheeled transport is common. Gandalf has a cart, travelling dwarven merchants have them, Gondor had many, the siege engines of Mordor obviously use wheels to get around, and ...
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57 votes
3 answers
10k views

Was the Lonely Mountain, where Smaug lived, a volcano?

Was the Lonely Mountain in The Hobbit a volcano? If not, how did the dwarves get enough heat to run the huge forges? I am asking about the books, not the movies.
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13 votes
1 answer
812 views

What was the basis for Tolkien's Westron?

It is well-documented and often-cited that Tolkien began creating his major artificial languages, Quenya and Sindarin, in order to emulate his aurally favorite languages, Finnish and Welsh. Q and S ...
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6 votes
1 answer
986 views

Height of Mountain Ranges in Middle Earth

What are the relative heights of mountain ranges in Middle Earth? And how would they compare to our modern world? I tend to imagine that after the First Age, the highest ranges were the White ...
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81 votes
3 answers
16k views

What lies in Mordor besides Mount Doom and Barad-dur?

Mordor is so big on the Middle-earth map, but the only significant structures in there are the Eye of Sauron and Mount Doom. Since Mordor is so heavily guarded, I would think that there would be more ...
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4 votes
0 answers
141 views

Why isn’t Middle-earth filled with elves? [duplicate]

We know Elves do procreate and have children. We know they do have sex. Immortal beings with normal reproduction would fill Middle-earth if left unchecked (like rabbits). We see Elrond with 3 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
594 views

Was there ever an epidemic of infectious disease in Middle-earth?

Epidemics of infectious disease have been a problem for much of human history in which large portions of a population died. Given that Middle-earth has a level of sanitation similar to that of ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Are the Maiar more powerful than the Istari?

I know the Maiar are essentially the demi-gods of the Tolkien's world, but the Istari are also supernatural beings, right? From reading a different answer to a question I learned that they are ...
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44 votes
1 answer
7k views

Are there other dragons in Middle-earth by the time of The Hobbit?

The Hobbit deals with the Dwarves trying to reclaim their mountain homeland from the dragon Smaug. During this time, are there other dragons who are alive in Middle Earth?
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-5 votes
1 answer
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Is Alegaesia part of the same world as Lord of the Rings? [duplicate]

I started reading the Inheritance cycle by Christopher Paolini before I started reading J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and I have to say, they seem pretty similar in the books. Of how Eragon uses ...
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13 votes
3 answers
3k views

What material are weapons and armors in the Middle-earth forged from?

Re-watching the series again, this question came to my mind. Dwarves are known for their mining and smithing skills. We know they use a variety of material, such as Mithril to forge armor. Other than ...
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10 votes
2 answers
774 views

Does the 2017 edition of The Atlas of Middle-earth contain any new content?

About two months ago a new edition of The Atlas of Middle-earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad was released. This edition changes the title to The Atlas of Tolkien's Middle-earth. This is the second time that ...
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10 votes
3 answers
3k views

How old is Middle-earth?

I'm surprised that there isn't a duplicate for this. This question about plate tectonics in Middle-earth got me thinking, that it is probably not old enough to have the lands shaped by geological ...
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16 votes
2 answers
4k views

Plate Tectonics in Middle Earth; an in-universe explanation?

I just read this article about how "Middle Earth makes no geographic sense". The idea presented is that mountain creation is primarily caused by plate tectonics, and that plates generally aren't ...
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4 votes
0 answers
105 views

Was there any Religion in Middle Earth? [duplicate]

Did anyone in Middle Earth (besides the Istari and other Ainur) know of or acknowledge the existence of Eru Illuvatar? Are there any temples demonstrating worship for Eru or any text from the books ...
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5 votes
1 answer
367 views

How was the Atlas of Middle-earth measured and scaled?

The answer to this question - From what distance can Sting detect Orcs or Goblins? - uses measurements from Karen Wynn Fonstad's Atlas of Middle-earth. This reminded me of a question I've always had ...
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8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is the scale of Middle-earth in the Return of the King film different from the books?

I have been re-watching them recently and I have been bugged at how small the distances seem. Osgiliath is clearly visible from Minas Tirith. I realize that they are close compared to some of the ...
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6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is there evidence which supports the existence of gunpowder in Middle-earth?

Gunpowder is often referred to as the source of Gandalf's fireworks. But, it is never clearly stated what Gandalf's fireworks were made up of. The fireworks were by Gandalf: they were not only ...
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15 votes
2 answers
3k views

What types of dragons are there in Middle-Earth and how and why do they differ?

The question is pretty simple and explained by the title.
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55 votes
3 answers
9k views

What is the oldest object in Middle-earth?

After reading a question (or was it elsewhere?) discussing which Rings of Power were made first, it caused me to wonder which item (not just the rings) is the oldest. There are various ancient ...
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81 votes
2 answers
14k views

What was the tallest structure built in Middle-earth?

I started thinking to myself one day (scary, I know) as to which was taller of the two towers, Orthanc or Barad-dûr. And then I wondered if Minas Tirith might be even taller, which then led me to this ...
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7 votes
2 answers
806 views

Are any Middle Earth Mountains not hollowed out?

Most mountains in the Lord of the Rings appear to be hollowed out with tunnels or caverns. You have the dwarf mines under the Lonely Mountain and the Iron Hills. The Goblin Caves under the Misty ...
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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Where are the Grey Havens?

I was looking at a map of Middle-Earth earlier, when I stumbled across a location labeled 'Grey Havens'. However, as I understand it, the Grey Havens are supposed to be quite far away, on a separate ...
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25 votes
1 answer
4k views

What exactly is Middle-earth in Tolkien's Legendarium?

I have recently become interested in Tolkien's work and have started reading The Silmarillion, so I am quite a beginner regarding the whole Tolkien universe. The thing that confuses me is the eastern ...
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76 votes
3 answers
12k views

Are the mountains surrounding Mordor natural?

Seeing a map of Middle-earth (see below), it strikes me that the mountains surrounding Mordor are "perfect" to create a fortress or stronghold. As a mountain range they also look somewhat unnatural, ...
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8 votes
1 answer
542 views

Do the stars move in Middle Earth

In Middle Earth, the sun and the moon have designated maiar that move them across the sky. The morning star is a Silmaril flown around by Eärendil. But I cannot recall any mention of how the stars ...
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41 votes
5 answers
14k views

What was Mordor's history before Sauron settled there?

As the title says, I am interested in the old history of the lands of Mordor. I know a fair amount of its history ever since Sauron took up residence there, but very little from before that point. Am ...
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6 votes
1 answer
550 views

Does Tolkien ever speak of himself still living in Middle-Earth? [duplicate]

It has been noted in other questions and answers on this site that Tolkien's conception of Middle-Earth has an imaginative relation to Earth history. Some salient sections of Tolkien quotes from ...
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1 vote
1 answer
411 views

Eastern Elven realms in the 2nd age (and beyond?)

Currently re-reading Appendix B of ROTK and my question arises from the following quote (The Second Age) "but before the building of the Barad-dur many of the Sindar passed eastward, and some ...
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  • 183
2 votes
4 answers
11k views

Was Beleriand Bigger than Second/Third Age Middle-earth?

Before it sank, Beleriand was the land of Elven-kind, then later on home to Men as well. Beleriand was the Northwestern part of Middle-earth in which the Silmarillion takes place for the First Age. ...
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21 votes
2 answers
6k views

Did maps in Middle-Earth have west on the top?

If the people of Middle-Earth made a map of their world or an area of it, did they put west on the top of the map? Or did they have north on the top like the map in the Lord of the Rings looks like? ...
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7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Have Dinosaurs Ever Existed in Arda?

If the LotR universe is supposed to be an alternative history of Earth, then are dinosaurs known to exist in this version of history? How do they fit in?
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3 votes
2 answers
34k views

Is this map of Middle-Earth reliable? [duplicate]

I want to ask if this map of Beleriand (in the northwest of Middle-earth) is correct. I think it isn't because Beleriand should've been sank, and you can clearly see that there is Beleriand above ...
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2 votes
2 answers
9k views

Is Rohan the same (country) as Arnor?

At the end of the War of the Ring when Aragorn becomes the King of The Reunited Kingdoms (Two Kingdoms). By doing so he reunited the 2 realms (Arnor & Gondor) of Elendil. As the new High King, ...
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16 votes
1 answer
1k views

Newly discovered map of Middle Earth: does it change anything?

I read this article with interest - in short, a working copy of the Middle Earth map was recently discovered and acquired by Oxford's Bodleian Library: This map looks fascinating but does this ...
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2 votes
1 answer
586 views

Were the Eldar watching Middle-earth closely?

Were they watching the saga of the Ring and its outcome with keen interest or were they disinterested and washed their hands of the whole affair? After the way West was bent and effectively closed ...
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3 votes
3 answers
432 views

What is the first use of the term "Middle-earth" in Tolkien's works?

Tolkien was writing stories set in his legendarium before a lot of his concepts and nomenclature was finalized. What was the first of Tolkien's writings to use the term "Middle-earth"?
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