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Old 02-24-2019, 10:05 AM   #1
Huinesoron
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Pipe The First Lord of the Rings Map - new discoveries in the East

In HoME 7, The Treason of Isengard, Christopher Tolkien redraws his father's original working map of The Lord of the Rings. He goes over the different parts of it in great detail, excluding only the empty stretches east of Mordor and the Sea of Rhun.

The recent book Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth features an actual scan of the First Map (item 179), and those eastern regions? They're not so empty after all.



Full-size version
Closeup of 'B' (taken from the inside front cover)

There are a range of notes written in the empty reaches of Rhun, along with some faint (at least in this version of the image) drawings. I've highlighted what I can make out.

(To be clear: this is a completely different map to the annotated Pauline Baynes map, despite the similar style of notes.)

Of immediate note is C, which is quite clearly an eastern mountain range with a region of higher peaks at the southern end. If you've been following the discussion of the Amazon TV series, you'll know that mountains in that location are quite controversial - well, apparently they're a Tolkien original! They come with what may be a label (D), but it's utterly illegible to me.

Speaking of labels... B is pretty clearly a name for the forest on the north-east corner of the Sea of Rhun, and unlike the rest of these, there's a closeup available (they used the map from the Shire to the Sea of Rhun as the inside cover for the book). It... kind of looks like it says 'Neldoreth'? That would fit with Tolkien's habit of pilfering names from the Silm, but I'm not over-confident in my reading. (Paired with Dorwinion, though, it says interesting things about the region.)

E marks a line that starts north of the mountains C, curves west towards Mordor, then swings back to hit the outer ring around G. Is it a crossing-out? A river, drawn very faintly? A dividing line? I don't know.

G is fascinating, because it looks for all the world like a tiny circular map. Those wiggles say 'coastline' to me, but it's definitely not Middle-earth or Beleriand. Any thoughts?

All the other items are notes of varying legibility, some of them crossed out. They may not even relate to the eastern regions - but even if not, they're Tolkien's own notes, and weren't covered in HoME. I can't read them - can anyone here?

hS
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:16 PM   #2
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It would be to sad if this threrad would go into oblivion without any answer!

So I will start with C, and hope that other may join. I have worked a bit with this Map and its eastern ‘extention’ in comparision to Map V of the [b]Ambrakanta[/i] in HoME 4. The issue with that comparision is that we have no scale on Map V and that we have only one common feature (the Great Gulf becoming the later Bay of Belfalas). And that feature is changed so much (proberbly over time) as not useable for scaling. So we have to get some additional ‘helper’. That ‘helper’ is the Second Silmarillion Map from HoME 5. This Map has a scale and can thus easily be fited to the First Lord of the Rings Map and provides all the features of Beleriand that are on Ambrakanta Map V.

Trying to compare these Maps we find different things:
- Beleriand is some how distorted on Ambrakanta Map V.
- Beleriand is depicted to large on Ambrakanta Map V, since if we scale to match Beleriand the Great Gulf will in no way fit the Later Bay of Belfalas and the Red Moutians from Ambrakanta Map V would rather fall to gether with the Iron Moutians of the First Lord of the Rings Map .
- However if we look for a compromise in scaling that would alow for parts of Beleriand and the Great Gulf / Bay of Belfalas to fit, the Mountian Range on the eastern part of the First Lord of the Rings Map will at least be near to the Red Mountains on Ambrakanta Map V.

So the evidence we take out of that comparision sayes yes, the range east on the First Lord of the Rings Map are identical with the Orocarni.

But of course that is no garantee that these Mountian Range on the eastern part of the First Lord of the Rings Map are the Thrid Age remains of the Orocarni! Ambrakanta Map V was drawn when there was no Lord of the Rings. How the invention of the Second and Third Age changed Tolkien’s Vision of Arda from that depicted in Ambrakanta Map V we can not know for sure.

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Old 03-19-2019, 09:14 AM   #3
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Findegil: neat! I had a play with Ambarkanta V and the finished LotR map at one point, but didn't think of carrying through to this one and the Silmarillion map. (I wound up with the Orocarni wandering anywhere from the Misty Mountains to the Sea of Rhun, so my results approximately agree with yours.)

Comparing Ambarkanta IV and V to the later maps, it's pretty clear that Tolkien straight-up added the Misty Mountains to his worldview at some point. It would make sense for this to be when he decided The Hobbit was part of the Legendarium; he would then have added in the references to the Silm, and gotten the whole map pretty much how we know it.

The Misty Mountains are already closer to the Blue mountains than to these mystery eastern mountains. It doesn't seem implausible for the main continent of Middle-earth to actually end pretty close to the eastern edge of the map - with just another Beleriand-sized region to go. Intriguingly, this would make the Sea of Nurn the last vestiges of the Inland Sea of Helkar - and put Cuivienen somewhere in southern Mordor. I... have no idea whether Tolkien would have done that?

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Old 03-19-2019, 10:44 AM   #4
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You know, it's just possible to make a case that in the very earliest stages of writing The Hobbit, or at least making the original version of the Wilderland Map,Tolkien had Beleriand in mind. The Misty Mountains were the Ered Wethrin (lit. "Mountains of Mist"), the Great River was Sirion (lit. "THE River"), and Mirkwood was Taur-nu-Fuin (lit. "Forest of Dark Shadow"), complete with Sauron holing up there- and Tolkien even recycled the painting of Turin and Gwindor there and titled it Mirkwood! The Withered Heath would correspond with Anfauglith (which was literally "withered" from Ard-galen, thanks to dragonfire). The "Edge of the Wild" meant leaving the relative safety of Hithlum behind.

And there's I think just a hint of an intermediate stage where the Misty Mountains were the Blue Mountains, and crossing them meant leaving Beleriand for Terra Incognita.

Of course, that idea disappeared very, very early since already by the troll chapter Gandalf says Gondolin was sacked "many ages ago."

But the more likely explanation is simply that Tolkien was just recycling bits and pieces of Silmarillion ideas without any conscious intent that Mr Baggins existed in the same universe, any more than Farmer Giles or Mr. Bliss did: Thranduil's halls recall Menegroth, but in pictures were copied from Nargothrond; the Gwindor/Mirkwood painting was just economical repurposing, (it was recycled yet again as Fangorn); Smaug on his underground hoard reflects Glaurung in Nargothrond (itself echoing Beowulf and the Volsung legend); the Great Eagles and Elrond were straight-up lifts.
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:50 PM   #5
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There is of course also this reference in one of the original drafts:
Quote:
"Don't be absurd" said the wizard. "That is a job quite beyond the powers of all the dwarves, if they could be all gathered together again from the four corners of the world. And anyway his castle stands no more and he is flown to another darker place - Beren and Tinúviel broke his power, but that is quite another story."
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Old 03-19-2019, 01:02 PM   #6
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Posted by Huinesoron:
Quote:
I wound up with the Orocarni wandering anywhere from the Misty Mountains to the Sea of Rhun, so my results approximately agree with yours.
Yes, even with the 2nd Silmarillion Map included it is very tricky to get the relative scaling right between the Maps.

Posted by Huinesoron:
Quote:
Comparing Ambarkanta IV and V to the later maps, it's pretty clear that Tolkien straight-up added the Misty Mountains to his worldview at some point. It would make sense for this to be when he decided The Hobbit was part of the Legendarium; he would then have added in the references to the Silm, and gotten the whole map pretty much how we know it.
Not so sure what you mean here. At least Karen Wayn Fonstad interpreted the ‘adding’ of the Misty Mountians and all the stage of the LotR as a kind of pushing to the east away the elements on Ambrakanta Map V. But as a matter fact do not have to agree with her.

And yes, Middle-earth (which by the way is the main continent of Arda) becomes pretty much small when taking Ambrakanta Map IV and Map V serious.
Posted by Huinesoron:
Quote:
Intriguingly, this would make the Sea of Nurn the last vestiges of the Inland Sea of Helkar - and put Cuivienen somewhere in southern Mordor.
Yes, the Sea of Nurn would be the last vestiges of the Inland Sea of Helkar. But no, Cuivienen would not be in eastern Mordor. Actually the Inland Sea of Helkar would cover much more space: The Inland Sea covers on my combined Map parts of the Bay of Belfalas with Tolfalas, Lebenin and the eastern quarter of the Ered Nimrais. Its norther coast runs through the Nindalf and over Dargorlad and covers fully the Ered Lithui. So it has 100 miles distance to the southern coast of the Sea of Rhûn. In the south the Inland Sea covers Mordor and the Ephel Duath fully and reachs in the east to a point less than 200 miles from the edge of eastern extension of the LotR-Map.
On Map IV Cuivienen was at the in Map V narrow strip of land between the Inland Sea and the Red Mountians, so it has to be east of the later place of Mordor. But on the LotR Map all hints of the souther part of the Red Mountains are gone. We have to assume that they were removed.
Some farther intriguing thoughs. If we would accept that this Eastern Range is identical to the Orocarni this would have some interesting effects:
- During the Second Age the Eastern Sea would not be fare behind the Orocarni (this could be changed drastically with Arda made round at the end of the Second Age). But the Dominion over the East that Sauron held in the Second Age looks a bit smaller in this context then I would have expected.
- Considering the places where the fathers of the dwarves awoke, the Orocarni are for sure the most eastern place (Blacklocks and Stonefoots). But that means, that we have the place were the Ironfists and the Stiffbeards awoke inbetween Gundabad and the Orocarni. Looking to the First Lord of the Rings Map, the only place that seems fiting are the Iron Moutians. And indeed we can find a vaint supporting evidence for this: LotR, Appendix A III: Dúrin’s Folk:
Quote:
When the dreadful fires were in ashes the allies went away to their own countries, and Dáin Ironfoot led his father's people back to the Iron Hills. Then standing by the great stake, Thráin said to Thorin Oakenshield: 'Some would think this head dearly bought! At least we have given our kingdom for it. Will you come with me back to the anvil? Or will you beg your bread at proud doors?' 'To the anvil,' answered Thorin. 'The hammer will at least keep the arms strong, until they can wield sharper tools again.'
Why didn’t they go with Dáin to the Iron Hills? Probabaly because Iron Mountains were the teritory of other Houses and so Náin and Dáin were accepted guests the Kings of Dúrins House would not go their asking for hospitality. In the end they did so in the Ered Lindon, but the connection to the western Houses (Firebeards and Broadbeams) had always been strong since we hear in LotR, Appendix A III: Dúrin’s Folk:
Quote:
… It was after the end of the First Age that the great power and wealth of Moria began, for it was enriched by many folk and much lore and craft, when the ancient cities of Nogrod and Belegost were ruined in the change of the western world and the breaking of Morgoth. …
So dwarves from Ered Lindon had for a long time being guest of the House of Dúrin probably including their Kings, which might it have made easier for Thráin to accept the hospitality of these western Houses.
And considering that Tolkien always used speaking names, doesn’t it fit to have the Ironfists in the Iron Hills and the Stiffbeards to be balmed by Thráin to dwell behind ‘proud doors’?
- And then we have this Note from HoME 12, Of Dwarves and Men:
Quote:
… They were brave and loyal folk, truehearted, haters of Morgoth and his servants; and at first had regarded the Dwarves askance, fearing that they were under the Shadow (as they said).[Footnote to the text: For they had met some far to the East who were of evil mind. [This was a later pencilled note. On the previous page of the typescript my father wrote at the same time, without indication of its reference to the text but perhaps arising from the mention (p. 301) of the awakening of the eastern kindreds of the Dwarves: 'Alas, it seems probable that (as Men did later) the Dwarves of the far eastern mansions (and some of the nearer ones?) came under the Shadow of Morgoth and turned to evil.']]
Thus there is a chance of Dwarvish house in alliance with the Enemy as fare west as the Iron Hills!

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Old 03-20-2019, 04:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
You know, it's just possible to make a case that in the very earliest stages of writing The Hobbit, or at least making the original version of the Wilderland Map,Tolkien had Beleriand in mind. The Misty Mountains were the Ered Wethrin (lit. "Mountains of Mist"), the Great River was Sirion (lit. "THE River"), and Mirkwood was Taur-nu-Fuin (lit. "Forest of Dark Shadow"), complete with Sauron holing up there- and Tolkien even recycled the painting of Turin and Gwindor there and titled it Mirkwood! The Withered Heath would correspond with Anfauglith (which was literally "withered" from Ard-galen, thanks to dragonfire). The "Edge of the Wild" meant leaving the relative safety of Hithlum behind.
And if you follow the map eastward from Hithlum, you wind up at the long Lake Helevorn (which Tolkien Gateway cites Parma Eldalamberon XVII as saying might have originally had a dwarvish name), at the foot of towering Mount Rerir... but, as you say, it doesn't all fit well enough to be sure he wasn't just borrowing random pieces. (The biggest knife in the theory's heart is that the Elvenking's hatred of dwarves must place us after the death of Thingol - but Sauron had been driven out long before then.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Findegil View Post
Yes, the Sea of Nurn would be the last vestiges of the Inland Sea of Helkar. But no, Cuivienen would not be in eastern Mordor. Actually the Inland Sea of Helkar would cover much more space: The Inland Sea covers on my combined Map parts of the Bay of Belfalas with Tolfalas, Lebenin and the eastern quarter of the Ered Nimrais. Its norther coast runs through the Nindalf and over Dargorlad and covers fully the Ered Lithui. So it has 100 miles distance to the southern coast of the Sea of Rhûn. In the south the Inland Sea covers Mordor and the Ephel Duath fully and reachs in the east to a point less than 200 miles from the edge of eastern extension of the LotR-Map.

On Map IV Cuivienen was at the in Map V narrow strip of land between the Inland Sea and the Red Mountians, so it has to be east of the later place of Mordor. But on the LotR Map all hints of the souther part of the Red Mountains are gone. We have to assume that they were removed.
Oops! You're quite right; thank you for the correction. To make up for my Cuivienen mistake, I'll note that this suggests Nurn was once connected to the Bay of Belfalas, but that the raising of the Ephel Duath (whenever that occurred) cut it off.

I don't think I agree that the southern Red Mountains have to be removed, though - the finished map doesn't extend that far east, and the image I posted here is so faint it's hard to say anything at all. If C is indeed a mountain range, Tolkien could simply have stopped because he ran into the top of his notes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Findegil View Post
Some farther intriguing thoughs. If we would accept that this Eastern Range is identical to the Orocarni this would have some interesting effects:
- During the Second Age the Eastern Sea would not be fare behind the Orocarni (this could be changed drastically with Arda made round at the end of the Second Age). But the Dominion over the East that Sauron held in the Second Age looks a bit smaller in this context then I would have expected.
It does - but not that much smaller. Beleriand was a sizeable realm - say the same size as the Holy Roman Empire, which had a population in the tens of millions. This article estimates the Gondorian population as 1-2 million, which means Sauron's realms beyond the mountains outmassed them by a factor of five. Add in Rhun (the Wainriders were Sauron's servants), and you end up pushing 7-10x the total population of the Free Peoples.

(And of course, they're almost all mortals. There's no evidence that the Avari ever headed east - their whole thing was not leaving - and the dwarves mostly stay in their mountains. When the mortals spread north from Hildorien, there would have been very few people there ahead of them.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Findegil View Post
- Considering the places where the fathers of the dwarves awoke, the Orocarni are for sure the most eastern place (Blacklocks and Stonefoots). But that means, that we have the place were the Ironfists and the Stiffbeards awoke inbetween Gundabad and the Orocarni. Looking to the First Lord of the Rings Map, the only place that seems fiting are the Iron Moutians. And indeed we can find a vaint supporting evidence for this: LotR, Appendix A III: Dúrin’s Folk:

Quote:
When the dreadful fires were in ashes the allies went away to their own countries, and Dáin Ironfoot led his father's people back to the Iron Hills. Then standing by the great stake, Thráin said to Thorin Oakenshield: 'Some would think this head dearly bought! At least we have given our kingdom for it. Will you come with me back to the anvil? Or will you beg your bread at proud doors?' 'To the anvil,' answered Thorin. 'The hammer will at least keep the arms strong, until they can wield sharper tools again.'
Why didn’t they go with Dáin to the Iron Hills? Probabaly because Iron Mountains were the teritory of other Houses and so Náin and Dáin were accepted guests the Kings of Dúrins House would not go their asking for hospitality. In the end they did so in the Ered Lindon, but the connection to the western Houses (Firebeards and Broadbeams) had always been strong...
That... is a really excellent point. I can't imagine any scenario where the king of Durin's line would have to 'beg [his] bread at proud doors' of his own people - so yes, I think it highly likely that the Iron Hills were populated by another House (or two). The spacing matches the source-text for the other houses, too:

Quote:
Originally Posted by HoME XII: Of Dwarves and Men
The other two places were eastward, at distances as great or greater than that between the Blue Mountains and Gundabad: the arising of the Ironfists and Stiff-beards, and that of the Blacklocks and Stonefoots.
The eastern limits of the Iron Hills (as shown on the LotR map) are about as far east of Gundabad as the Blue Mountains are west.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Findegil View Post
And considering that Tolkien always used speaking names, doesn’t it fit to have the Ironfists in the Iron Hills and the Stiffbeards to be balmed by Thráin to dwell behind ‘proud doors’?
I'm not sure about this one. It would fit, but there are no such name-references to the Firebeards and Broadbeams that I'm aware of in the Silm. (The Longbeards do get some such comments, though...) I think the Ironfist link is most likely to be a Tolkien invention (and does this mean Dain Ironfoot had 'one foot in Ironfist culture' or somesuch?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Findegil View Post
- And then we have this Note from HoME 12, Of Dwarves and Men:

Quote:
… They were brave and loyal folk, truehearted, haters of Morgoth and his servants; and at first had regarded the Dwarves askance, fearing that they were under the Shadow (as they said).[Footnote to the text: For they had met some far to the East who were of evil mind. [This was a later pencilled note. On the previous page of the typescript my father wrote at the same time, without indication of its reference to the text but perhaps arising from the mention (p. 301) of the awakening of the eastern kindreds of the Dwarves: 'Alas, it seems probable that (as Men did later) the Dwarves of the far eastern mansions (and some of the nearer ones?) came under the Shadow of Morgoth and turned to evil.']]
Thus there is a chance of Dwarvish house in alliance with the Enemy as fare west as the Iron Hills!
... which adds a new level to Gandalf's plan to reclaim the Lonely Mountain: it would bring the loyalist king (Thorin, or Dain if Thorin died) that much closer to his potentially treacherous kin!

I really want to suggest that the Lonely Mountain itself could have been the awakening place of the Ironfist and Stiffbeard founders; it would add so many layers to The Hobbit. But, alas, it's far too close to Gundabad for that.

hS
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Old 03-20-2019, 11:01 AM   #8
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Another problem with trying to push the Beleriand thing too hard: Smaug was a winged, flying dragon, something which already in the Quenta Noldorinwa (contemporary with the start of The Hobbit) Tolkien had declared were never seen before the War of Wrath.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:45 AM   #9
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Coming back to the lables on the Map:
B): I agree that this might read ‘Neldoreth’. Sindarin ‘neldor’ means ‘three-tree’ and was brodend in use from the special beech ‘Hirilorn’ as a name for all beech trees. So ‘Neldoreth’ means ‘beech-forest’. So we know what trees we might expact there. It shows as well that the name was given after the Elves had have seen the Hirilorn in Beleriand. So it might have been applied in a kind of backward refelction, since the Elves had come along that forest and after settling in Doriath might have remembered the forest in the east with the same kind of trees.

D) I think we can confirm that this is the name of the Mountains. The lable is clearly in 2 lines and the first charachter in the second line is nearly for sure a capital ‘M’. The second bow of the ‘M’ is smaller, but that is a feature of Tolkiens handscript found as well elsewhere on the same map (e.g. the ‘M’ in ‘NO MANS LAND’). In addition we have just at the beginning of the tape that seems to cover part of the word a line reaching above the tape. Supposedly that is the upper stroke of a ‘t’. Even so I can not make out much about the charachters between the ‘M’ and the souposed ‘t’, beside that they are lower case with out any upper stroke, the disntace fits for ‘oun’. So I think it is a good gues that the second line of the lable reads ‘Mountains’.
The first line is much harder since we have no idea what it might mean. It seems to be a long word. And my best guess for the first characters is ‘Th’. Near to the end of the long word we have a charchter with an upper stroke. That one says ‘d’ to me, so that is a pure guess.

J) One feature of interest here is that this note starts with an asterix (*). Normaly I would hope to find a nother asterix somewhere on the map, but so far I could not find it. Has anybody else an idea where the reference for that note might be?

I hope this might provoke some thoughts.

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Old 08-14-2019, 06:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Findegil View Post
Coming back to the lables on the Map:
B): I agree that this might read ‘Neldoreth’. Sindarin ‘neldor’ means ‘three-tree’ and was brodend in use from the special beech ‘Hirilorn’ as a name for all beech trees. So ‘Neldoreth’ means ‘beech-forest’. So we know what trees we might expact there. It shows as well that the name was given after the Elves had have seen the Hirilorn in Beleriand. So it might have been applied in a kind of backward refelction, since the Elves had come along that forest and after settling in Doriath might have remembered the forest in the east with the same kind of trees.
This is beautiful. Given the ephemeral nature of these notes, it can't be considered canon-canon - but as Tolkien's only known thoughts on the forest, it should probably be held as 'true' under most systems anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Findegil View Post
D) I think we can confirm that this is the name of the Mountains. The lable is clearly in 2 lines and the first charachter in the second line is nearly for sure a capital ‘M’. The second bow of the ‘M’ is smaller, but that is a feature of Tolkiens handscript found as well elsewhere on the same map (e.g. the ‘M’ in ‘NO MANS LAND’). In addition we have just at the beginning of the tape that seems to cover part of the word a line reaching above the tape. Supposedly that is the upper stroke of a ‘t’. Even so I can not make out much about the charachters between the ‘M’ and the souposed ‘t’, beside that they are lower case with out any upper stroke, the disntace fits for ‘oun’. So I think it is a good gues that the second line of the lable reads ‘Mountains’.
The first line is much harder since we have no idea what it might mean. It seems to be a long word. And my best guess for the first characters is ‘Th’. Near to the end of the long word we have a charchter with an upper stroke. That one says ‘d’ to me, so that is a pure guess.
This is my best read of the visible lines:



Now that you say it, I definitely agree on 'Mountain[s]'. As for the first word...

Could it be 'Thangorodrim'? It would fit the theme of reusing Silm words, and the final letter does look like an m. The letter after Th also looks close to an a, and the semi-closed loop a little after it could be the top of a g (it has some pretty firm lines in it). The lines above would have to be artefacts or pencil blots, but that's entirely plausible.

And the name would make sense, from a Silm-pilfering perspective: it means 'Mountains of Tyranny', which fits for the borders of Sauron's greater empire. And, well, I can't think of any other 'Th[long word]' mountain ranges.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Findegil View Post
J) One feature of interest here is that this note starts with an asterix (*). Normaly I would hope to find a nother asterix somewhere on the map, but so far I could not find it. Has anybody else an idea where the reference for that note might be?
I don't remember seeing one on the map as scanned... I'll have a look tonight. But much of the region to the west has been pasted over, so any corresponding asterisk has likely been obliterated. [Edit: I couldn't find one.]

A thought: there's one inked word between I and J - does it say 'sand', with the stick of the d hidden under the gridline? Again, I'm not sure that's information we've had about Rhun before.

hS

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Old 08-20-2019, 01:57 PM   #11
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D) I don’t belief in ‘Thangorodrim’. As far as I remember it is never used together with ‘Mountians’ by Tolkien. If we belief in ‘Mountain[s]’, I think we have to look for an English word. As in ‘Red Mts.’, ‘Blue Mts.’, ‘Yellow Mts.’, ‘Gray Mts’, ‘White Mts.’ or ‘Misty Moutians’. As we have on Ambrakanta Map IV the ‘Mts of the Wind’ in a slightly more southern position, could these mean ‘Thunderous Mountains’?

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Old 08-20-2019, 04:44 PM   #12
William Cloud Hicklin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,817
William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
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