The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > The Books
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-07-2013, 01:10 AM   #1
PaigeStormblood
Newly Deceased
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 8
PaigeStormblood has just left Hobbiton.
Did Tolkien even plan to fill in the other sections of Middle-earth?

Hey guys. I've been thinking lately on the sections of Middle-earth that remain quite unknown i.e The Southern, Eastern and Northern areas. The West of course is well known but what of the other 3? Did Tolkien ever have plans to detail them for I am quite curious and would have loved to learn more about the outer areas of middle-earth?

And if Tolkien did plan to eventually detail them what cultures, locations, histories, creatures etc would you expect to see?
PaigeStormblood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2013, 02:20 AM   #2
Zigūr
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Zigūr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 750
Zigūr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Zigūr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
I would argue that Professor Tolkien never intended to flesh out the details of the geography of Rhūn and Harad or the history and societies of the Easterlings and Haradrim for two reasons:

1) These locations were almost permanently under the Shadow, and information about them was not common knowledge in the West, so it would be inconsistent to have the fictional "authors" of the stories to know about them. We can hazard a guess at how they might have appeared judging by the sketched world-maps in The Shaping of Middle-earth but it's hardly definitive. Saruman had been in the East and Aragorn to both the East and South, and I would hazard a guess that some information might have existed among the scholars of the Dśnedain, but nothing well-known or indeed especially relevant to the major tales of Middle-earth. In Letter 131 Professor Tolkien writes that "the North-West is the only part clearly envisaged in these tales."

2) Leaving the details vague contributed to a sense of mystery which Professor Tolkien found appealing; see Letter 247 where he worries about publishing The Silmarillion because exploring the backstory of The Lord of the Rings might "destroy the magic, unless new unattainable vistas are again revealed." I think confining the details to the North-west is important for the same reason.

I don't think there really was anything important further North in Middle-earth, incidentally. I've often wondered if things like the use of chariots by the Easterlings (a feature of ancient Middle-eastern warfare) and elephant cavalry by the Haradrim (used by a variety of ancient cultures) was meant to reflect significantly on their relationship with the more early-medieval flavour of Gondor, Rohan and the like.
__________________
"Since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir."
"On foot?" cried Éomer.
Zigūr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2013, 07:02 AM   #3
Alfirin
Shade of Carn Dūm
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 435
Alfirin has been trapped in the Barrow!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zigūr View Post
I don't think there really was anything important further North in Middle-earth, incidentally.

Well, he could have said more about the Men of Forochel and how they lived

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zigūr View Post
I've often wondered if things like the use of chariots by the Easterlings (a feature of ancient Middle-eastern warfare) and elephant cavalry by the Haradrim (used by a variety of ancient cultures) was meant to reflect significantly on their relationship with the more early-medieval flavour of Gondor, Rohan and the like.
Quite possibly.

This is actually a fairly interesting question. On one hand I agree that Tolkien probably never intended to flesh out the rest of ME since he wanted to keep things mysterious. On the other hand I am fairly sure that the people of the West DID know more of the East and South than we are told of, More importantly the would have wanted to FIND OUT more about those regions as time progressed especially post LOTR. The reason is what you alluded to that those regions HAD been so long under the shadow. It is written that the Men of Harad (presumably both Near and Far) sued for peace post ring war, and that Aragorn granted it. This peace was most likely sued in situ (that is the ones who were suing were the leaders of the forces that were already there with the armies as opposed to additional diplomats being sent from home) But it seems likely to me that part of that post war peace would have been renewal and strengthening of diplomatic ties between the West and East/South. The reason would be the same as the one I mentioned for why I think Gondor would have maintained a presence in Nurn, after the widespread destruction of the War of the Ring and the departing of the Elves (which at least some of the wise of the west would realize would decrease the potential forces firmly on the side of "The Light") ANYTHING that decreased the likelihood of another similar conflict being started soon would be at least considered. Leaving the East and South isolated would be risking letting any remnants of the Shadow have free reign to muster up another force rapidly (since, as far as we know, the lands of the South and East had little to no actual fighting on them they are presumably in much of the same condition as they were pre ring war. Mordor may be an infertile barren wasteland, but Harad and a lot of the lands east of Mordor probably aren't. Nurn was Mordor's breadbasket, but it probably wasn't the sole breadbasket for the whole of the shadow's realm. ) The War of the ring seems to have illustrated to the West the folly of isolation between the kingdoms of the West, that close alliances between them was a key to the regions security. The best way to keep the shadow from being able to win the men of the South and East back to its side would be to win them to the West's side.
Alfirin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 03:28 AM   #4
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,855
Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
While Tolkien may not have intended to write about them who knows what he might have done had he lived longer or had been able to devote himself to his writing and had secretarial support. The Hobbit attached itself to the Silmarillion stories by accident and Faramir wandered into the woods of Ithilien unplanned...and as self appointed leader of the Faramir fan club, I am glad he did. What l really love about Tolkien is that the stories do seem to proceed from the world rather than the world being a superficial backdrop to the story- like a photographer's prop opposed to a genuine landscape. With landscape no matter how far you go there are always new vistas.
__________________
I see dead people.
Mithalwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2013, 08:03 PM   #5
Juicy-Sweet
Animated Skeleton
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 49
Juicy-Sweet has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zigūr View Post
2) Leaving the details vague contributed to a sense of mystery which Professor Tolkien found appealing; see Letter 247 where he worries about publishing The Silmarillion because exploring the backstory of The Lord of the Rings might "destroy the magic, unless new unattainable vistas are again revealed." I think confining the details to the North-west is important for the same reason..
Indeed. The Sea of Rhun always fascinated me, ever since I first reat it 30 years ago. Its marked on the map as a huge lake with a name, but there's absolutely no information about it,

That and the two blue Wizards are among the things that fascinate me the most. It's strange really
Juicy-Sweet is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:18 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.