Middle-earth and the modern era

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Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Kenelm on Sat May 03, 2014 4:52 pm

Mod note: this was split from Kenelm's introduction in the OT forum.

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Welcome, welcome Kenelm to Forumshire. I hope you enjoy your time here- just jump on into the fun and madness (its the best way) and I am sure you will find a warm welcome from all (even the Oz hobbits!  Very Happy  )

I've often wondered what Tolkien's part of England is now like (really like, as in from the pov of someone who actually lives there and knows not some stuffy academic who is passing through for a thesis  Mad ) - you would be the ideal person to tell us.  Nod 

Thank you. I have an interactive Google map on my website, which you can switch to satellite view and zoom right in to see Tolkien's house, Sarehole Mill, Moseley Bog, Spring Hill College, and the whole area.

http://3rings.webs.com/geography

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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Kenelm on Sat May 03, 2014 4:54 pm

Norc wrote:hello kenelm Wave welcome Very Happy hope we're not too crazy for you Wink

Hi and thanks.

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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat May 03, 2014 5:04 pm

Interesting info Kenelm, I didn't know about Spring Hill College, and I agree that such sites which were in his everyday life are likely to have had some inspiration.

Nice web page too. I like the map of ME on Europe, even though I always tend to place Gondor a little further south myself and more on the Mediterranean/Italian  area than Austria- though there is not much in it.

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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Kenelm on Sat May 03, 2014 5:07 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Interesting info Kenelm, I didn't know about Spring Hill College, and I agree that such sites which were in his everyday life are likely to have had some inspiration.

Nice web page too. I like the map of ME on Europe, even though I always tend to place Gondor a little further south myself and more on the Mediterranean/Italian  area than Austria- though there is not much in it.

Thanks. Gondor pretty much covers the whole of Italy plus Austria and the Adriatic.

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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by bungobaggins on Sat May 03, 2014 5:12 pm

Hi. Smile


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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Eldorion on Sat May 03, 2014 5:59 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Nice web page too. I like the map of ME on Europe, even though I always tend to place Gondor a little further south myself and more on the Mediterranean/Italian  area than Austria- though there is not much in it.

Most people wouldn't place the Shire south of Moria either. Razz
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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Kenelm on Sat May 03, 2014 6:12 pm

Eldorion wrote:
Pettytyrant101 wrote:Nice web page too. I like the map of ME on Europe, even though I always tend to place Gondor a little further south myself and more on the Mediterranean/Italian  area than Austria- though there is not much in it.

Most people wouldn't place the Shire south of Moria either. Razz

The continental landmass is twisted.

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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Eldorion on Sat May 03, 2014 6:26 pm

I've seen that map before, and I've always wondered how the "twisting" is supposed to have occurred when all of the locations are on the same tectonic plate.


Last edited by Eldorion on Sat May 03, 2014 6:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by azriel on Sat May 03, 2014 6:27 pm

Hello Kenelm  Wave

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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Kenelm on Sat May 03, 2014 7:18 pm

Eldorion wrote:I've seen that map before, and I've always wondered how the "twisting" is supposed to have occurred when all of the locations are on the same tectonic plate.

The whole plate is twisted. I must admit, however, that I do think Prof. Bird has placed Bree, Moria and Rivendell, to name just three, further north than they need to be.

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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Eldorion on Sat May 03, 2014 7:24 pm

Kenelm wrote:The whole plate is twisted.

Do you mean that the entire plate has rotated?  Because even that wouldn't explain how the southernmost point of Mirkwood could be further north than the Shire (and running at a different angle to it).  Nor does it explain why the line from Hobbiton to Bree to Weathertop runs south to north (along the modern island of Great Britain) rather than east to west.  That would require rotation in the opposite direction from the way the Misty Mountains and Mirkwood rotated.  Basically, the entire landmass would have had to be shattered into little pieces, scrambled around, and glued back together for the map to work.
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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by David H on Sat May 03, 2014 7:27 pm

Eldorion wrote: Basically, the entire landmass would have had to be shattered into little pieces, scrambled around, and glued back together for the map to work.

Why does this remind me of Petty's edits? scratch 

[Hi Kenelm, and welcome!  Wave  ]


Last edited by David H on Sat May 03, 2014 7:31 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat May 03, 2014 7:29 pm

Laughing 

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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Kenelm on Sat May 03, 2014 7:30 pm

Eldorion wrote:
Kenelm wrote:The whole plate is twisted.

Do you mean that the entire plate has rotated?  Because even that wouldn't explain how the southernmost point of the Misty Mountains could be further north than the Shire (and running at a different angle to it).  Nor does it explain why the line from Hobbiton to Bree to Weathertop runs south to north (along the modern island of Great Britain) rather than east to west.  That would require rotation in the opposite direction from the Misty Mountains.  Basically, the entire landmass would have had to be shattered into little pieces, scrambled around, and glued back together for the map to work.

If you rotate the plate clockwise by about 60 degrees you'll get a better approximation of Middle-earth, but not an exact match, since this isn't necessary.

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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Eldorion on Sat May 03, 2014 8:10 pm

Kenelm wrote:If you rotate the plate clockwise by about 60 degrees you'll get a better approximation of Middle-earth, but not an exact match, since this isn't necessary.

I went ahead and rotated it more than 60 degrees (enough so that the Shire to Bree line was oriented in the same direction as in typical maps) just to highlight the problems with this map that go way beyond which way it's pointing.  I drew lines (using a touchpad, so they're shitty) from the Shire to five other Middle-earth locations: the Grey Havens (green), Weathertop (blue), Moria (red), Erebor (pink/purple), and Minas Tirith (yellow).  The Misty Mountains are the most glaringly wrong part of the map but the orientation of the other stuff is off too.

Professor Bird's map (spliced onto Europe):


Karen Wynn Fonstad's map (following the books):


The orientation from the Shire to the Grey Havens was correct in the original version of Professor Bird's map, and at least the Shire to Weathertop line was straight.  But when you compare the two: in the books, the Grey Havens are basically 180 degrees opposite the road to Weathertop.  In Bird's map, they're less than 90.  In the books, getting to Erebor from the Shire means going east-northeast, in Bird's map (reoriented) it means going southeast.  Minas Tirith lies west-southwest (in the reoriented version) rather than southeast, as in the books.  To fix the Erebor and Minas Tirith problems, a semi-circle would have had to be cut around the borders of Eriador, which then would have remained still while the rest of the continent was rotated around it perhaps 20-30 degrees clockwise.  If my knowledge of plate tectonics is even slightly accurate, this is impossible.  And it doesn't even touch on the Grey Havens issue, or Moria, which seems to have remained still (relative to the Shire) even as the entire range of the Misty Mountains changed direction.
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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Eldorion on Sat May 03, 2014 8:29 pm

BTW, sorry if I'm coming off as overly aggressive here, but I've been doing a lot more Tolkien reading in the last few weeks/months than I have in years, so I've been jumping on every chance I get for a lore discussion. Laughing Embarassed
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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat May 03, 2014 8:44 pm

I dont see what the fuss is over the maps, this is how I see it, what the problem?  scratch 

Compare with the Karen Wynn Fonstad's map above in Eldo's post. Ive added where I'd place the major mountain ranges on route for clarity. And I changed the colour of the yellow line because it didnt show up well against the map colours.





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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Eldorion on Sat May 03, 2014 8:56 pm

That's pretty much the only way to do it, but it's very different from the Bird map above.  He puts Weathertop in Scotland, you put Weathertop somewhere in the Netherlands.  His Moria is on the latitude of southern Norway; yours would be near Frankfurt.  His Erebor is on the Kola peninsula, yours is near Malmo.  And so on and so forth. Wink
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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat May 03, 2014 9:02 pm

Yes, but thats because mine is right!  Mad 

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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Eldorion on Sat May 03, 2014 9:03 pm

Exactly! Very Happy
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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat May 03, 2014 10:18 pm

erm can someone put the ME map directly over Europe like Petty did, but with all the place names on? I think I live far too close to Mordor for comfort. But looking at Pettys map i think I live nearest to Dol Amroth but I always thought it was Ithilien. confused now.  scratch 

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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Kenelm on Sun May 04, 2014 12:03 am

Eldorion wrote:
Kenelm wrote:If you rotate the plate clockwise by about 60 degrees you'll get a better approximation of Middle-earth, but not an exact match, since this isn't necessary.

I went ahead and rotated it more than 60 degrees (enough so that the Shire to Bree line was oriented in the same direction as in typical maps) just to highlight the problems with this map that go way beyond which way it's pointing.  I drew lines (using a touchpad, so they're shitty) from the Shire to five other Middle-earth locations: the Grey Havens (green), Weathertop (blue), Moria (red), Erebor (pink/purple), and Minas Tirith (yellow).  The Misty Mountains are the most glaringly wrong part of the map but the orientation of the other stuff is off too.

Professor Bird's map (spliced onto Europe):


Karen Wynn Fonstad's map (following the books):


The orientation from the Shire to the Grey Havens was correct in the original version of Professor Bird's map, and at least the Shire to Weathertop line was straight.  But when you compare the two: in the books, the Grey Havens are basically 180 degrees opposite the road to Weathertop.  In Bird's map, they're less than 90.  In the books, getting to Erebor from the Shire means going east-northeast, in Bird's map (reoriented) it means going southeast.  Minas Tirith lies west-southwest (in the reoriented version) rather than southeast, as in the books.  To fix the Erebor and Minas Tirith problems, a semi-circle would have had to be cut around the borders of Eriador, which then would have remained still while the rest of the continent was rotated around it perhaps 20-30 degrees clockwise.  If my knowledge of plate tectonics is even slightly accurate, this is impossible.  And it doesn't even touch on the Grey Havens issue, or Moria, which seems to have remained still (relative to the Shire) even as the entire range of the Misty Mountains changed direction.

I think what has to be remembered, and as I caution readers of my website to bear in mind, is that the maps as published in LotR and so on need not be regarded as absolute. That being said, I intend, at some point, to produce my own version.

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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Kenelm on Sun May 04, 2014 12:03 am

Eldorion wrote:BTW, sorry if I'm coming off as overly aggressive here, but I've been doing a lot more Tolkien reading in the last few weeks/months than I have in years, so I've been jumping on every chance I get for a lore discussion. LaughingEmbarassed

That's fine, I enjoy a good discussion too.

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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Kenelm on Sun May 04, 2014 12:05 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I dont see what the fuss is over the maps, this is how I see it, what the problem?  scratch 

Compare with the Karen Wynn Fonstad's map above in Eldo's post. Ive added where I'd place the major mountain ranges on route for clarity. And I changed the colour of the yellow line because it didnt show up well against the map colours.





Had I the technical skills to produce a really nice map, that's pretty much the configuration I would go for.

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Re: Middle-earth and the modern era

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun May 04, 2014 12:31 am

Ok I did some measuring of distances and then laid the places out according to their relative distances from the Shire.
And the results were somewhat surprising.

Sorry for the tricky to read map, the mountains are the main chains, added the Great River and Mirkwood over the top.



Here, as close as I can get it, is where everywhere is located-

Shire= Birmingham, England

Bree= Norwich, East coast of England

Rivendell= Heide, N Germany

Moria= Kronach, E Germany

Lorien= Domazlice, W Czech Republic

Fangorn= W Austria

Mirkwood= Central Poland,N SLovakia, W Lithunia, Baltic Sea as far north as S Estonia.

Lonely Mountain= Dobele, Latvia

Dol Guldur= Valassko Mezirici, E Czech Republic

Rauros= Belgrade, Slayonski Brod, Crotia

Minas Tirith = Pogradec, E Albania

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