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Old 07-07-2009, 12:00 PM   #1
Hookbill the Goomba
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Silmaril The Changing of Middle Earth

Something that has always interested me is the relationship between Beleriand and the lands we know from The Lord of the Rings. I had, for a long time, been under the impression that Beleriand had been located somewhere north of the Northern Wastes, but have since revised this opinion.

In the introduction to The Children of Húrin there is an explanation given by Christopher Tolkien that helped me visualise it in a better way. Here it is;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Children of Hurin, Introduction, C. Tolkien
The memory of Treebeard, 'Ent the earthborn, old as mountains', was long indeed. He was remembering ancient forests in the great country of Beleriand which was destroyed in the tumults of the Great Battle at the end of the Elder Days. The Great Sea poured in and drowned the lands west of the blue mountains, called Ered Luin and Lered Lindon: so that the map accompanying The Silmarillion ends in the east with that mountain-chain, whereas the map accompanying The Lord of the Rings ends in the west with that same range; and the coastal lands beyond the mountains named on that map Forlindon and Harlindon (North Lindon and South Lindon) were all that remained in the Third Age of the country called both Ossiriand, Land of Seven Rivers, and also Lindon, in whose elm-woods Treebeard once walked.
Based on this explanation, I attempted to make a map joining the two lands together in a rough estimation. I left most of the names and towns for two reasons; firstly for a greater point of reference, and secondly removing them would have been tiresome. I am also aware of the fact that it is likely that the courses of many of the rivers would have changed during the catastrophe. As there is no way of knowing their previous routes, I have left them in tact (except to end them in lakes where they would otherwise have met the sea; not much else I could do with them).

MAP OF BELERIAND AND THE EASTERN LANDS

And here is a rough approximation of the sea's coverage of Beleriand...

THE FLOODED LANDS

As I was making these I started to wonder about why this happened and I came up with a few thoughts on the subject...

One of the primary reasons I suspect Tolkien made the lands flood was in order to make the connection between The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings times. Justifying both maps as being accurate. But I think there are other interesting things to not about the greater implications of the flooding.

In the times of the Silmarillion, the Valar are very much more active in the events. In the beginning they roam around Middle Earth, making mountains, forests and so on. Then they separate themselves from Middle Earth and make Valinor. They become slightly less active in the hither lands, but do pop in frequently. Oromë, hunting in the lands of Middle-earth, discovers the newly awakened Elves and brings them over to Valinor.
After the Noldor go into exile, the Valar close Valinor off from Middle Earth. But there is still some remnant of their power in Middle Earth throughout the battles and wars that follow. The Eagles seem much closer connected to Manwe, the rivers still carry much of Ulmo's power (which he, from time to time, uses to help his favourites). Ultimately, it is the interfearence of the Valar which leads to the downfall of Melkor and the world becomes changed.

Beleriand is drowned, leaving the shores of Middle Earth further away from the shores of Valinor. Here is my point; the further away and more cut off the hither lands are, the less the Valar interact with the story, it seems. I recall and interview in which Tolkien talks about Middle Earth being a place where everyone makes mistakes "even the divine beings under God".
In The Lord of the Rings there is a distinct lack of Valar intervention. The closest we get is them working through agents (the Istari). But they are forbidden from using their powers in certain ways and must only guide the peoples of Middle Earth. Here is the interesting thing; now there is this greater distance between Valinor and Middle Earth, there is more emphasis on it being the efforts of the people with little help from outside.

The Downfall of Numenor illustrates this nicely. Being so close to Valinor, their interaction with the powers could be seen as more potent. Because of their eventual downfall, not only is the closest region to Valinor destroyed, but Valinor itself is taken out of the world, leaving their influence very much limited.

Another point that has just sprung to mind is that the Elves leaving Middle Earth are heading back to a realm where the Valar are interacting more. Does this indicate a dependency on their part? That they feel the need to be with the powers more than the mortal races do? Or is it simply that they, being aware of the Valar in a much deeper and more personal sense, can identify with them; for example, the fact that they are both immortal. Do they prefer the security of the sheltered Valinor to the wild Middle Earth? Do they long to be closer to the divine beings in a way that men, Hobbits and so on do not?

So, my main point is, do you think that the flooding of Beleriand and the further sundering of Middle Earth from Valinor had a greater affect on how involved the Valar became in the story?
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Hookbill the Goomba View Post
So, my main point is, do you think that the flooding of Beleriand and the further sundering of Middle Earth from Valinor had a greater affect on how involved the Valar became in the story?
The Valar were an odd lot. It took much to get them worked up, and most of the time they seemed quite diffident, reserved and inattentive. It seems rather like they were never quite sure how to handle difficult situations, as giving up their authority to Eru during the Numenorean crisis proves, or earlier, when they moved the Eldar to a new home in Valinor (but failed to assure the entire race came along), and then placed a ban on the Noldor when they chose to leave (which, according to the Valar, was ostensibly for the elves' own protection).

Perhaps Eru erred when he showed the Ainur only part of the puzzle during creation, for the Valar never seemed able to conclusively resolve a problem -- it took several attempts to finally contain Morgoth, and by that time so much damage was done that the elves never really recovered. Still, there are allusions to the Valar working in Middle-earth after the shape of the world changed (the omnipresent eagles always arriving at the precise time, or the shifts in the wind at crucial points in LotR), and maybe Eru's intervention in the flood of Numenor was a direct slap at the Valar's bungling -- nearly eliminating the influence the Valar once could wield in Middle-earth, but failed to properly handle or use. Hence, Gandalf and the Istari (and Glorfindel) were sent as emissaries for the Valar, because they were effectually prevented from offering further aid as, historically, they always messed things up.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:28 PM   #3
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Good job with the maps: they look nice.

I think the seemingly reduced intervention of the Valar after the First Age was not necessarily due to the Sundering, but rather with the realisation that their earlier acts may have done more harm to the Children than good. If they had let the Quendi be and not summoned them to Valinor, many of the more tragic events of the First Age would likely not have occurred. The reaction of Mandos to the decison to make the Summons is like a death knell:

Quote:
So it is doomed.
Perhaps he was thinking along similar lines.

In the Second Age the Valar had much less to do with the Edain in Númenor directly, seeming to be content with keeping a watch over them. The mistake there was giving mortals a place where they could physically see a land with no sickness or death.

That the Valar would take the trouble to clothe Maia in physical bodies and send them to ME in the Third Age, taking pains that their representatives be as discreet and humble as possible tells me simply that they had learned from what they perceived as past mistakes.

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Old 07-07-2009, 12:46 PM   #4
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Pipe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron
It seems rather like they were never quite sure how to handle difficult situations
Yes, they didn't seem to be very confident at decision making. They don't seem to like getting involved very much, with the exception of Ulmo who, at times, can't seem to stop himself.
So, is the physical separation of Valinor from Middle Earth a sort of sign of how disconnected the Valar, in a way, always were with it? I mean, they weren't great, as you say, at handling things and needed a lot of pepping to get up off their backsides.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron
Perhaps Eru erred when he showed the Ainur only part of the puzzle during creation, as the Valar never seemed able to conclusively resolve a problem, as it took several attempts to finally contain Morgoth, and by that time so much damage was done that the elves never really recovered.
That's a good point, about Morgoth. The Silmarillion makes a statement about how Manwe couldn't comprehend Morgoth's evil and so didn't really know how to deal with it, or even if Melkor could have been reconciled with. Who knows? But maybe this is a picture of the larger issues of how little the divine beings seem to understand the mortal ones.
This probably comes back to other mythologies, many of whom have the gods making humanity as sort of help or slaves to do the work for / with them. The Summerian story of the flood comes to mind with the gods getting angry when the humans don't do enough work. It shows the lack of understanding about the children / created beings in each story. And I think something similar is going on with the Valar and the elves and men. And, probably to a higher degree, the Hobbits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun
Good job with the maps: they look nice.
Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun
I think the seemingly reduced intervention of the Valar after the First Age was not necessarily due to the Sundering, but rather with the realisation that their earlier acts may have done more harm to the Children than good.
That seems to be the main thing. But what I suppose I'm getting at is the question of whether the physical sundering is some sort of representation of the, um, psychological (?) sundering? I mean, in the fact that the Valar never seemed to 'get' Middle Earth and so move further and further away from it...
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:51 PM   #5
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Another idea I remember hearing (haven't read the actual theory on it from Tolkien myself) was the later notion of "Morgoth's Ring," that because Morgoth had put so much of himself into the land of Beleriand, when he was destroyed that too had to be purged so that his taint wouldn't be felt in the Hither Lands.

Really, when you look at pre- and post- Siege of Angband Beleriand, you have a beautiful dark forest that turns into a hideous, creepy forest with horrifying ravines and spidery things, necessitating the forging of blades like Sting; a breadbasket-type plain that becomes a desert, kingdoms despoiled, curses, battle mounds... the land itself is a wreck by the time he's through with it!

Of course, these are all story-internal reasons, and it's really interesting that the "Morgoth's Ring" theory didn't pop up until later in Tolkien's life, after LotR. So the justification I laid out in the first paragraph can't be the original conscious reason for Tolkien's choices.

It would make sense to remove the Valar from Middle-earth even more on a stylistic level because that's what they do. The chief flaws of the Valar in the First and Second Ages is that they meddle and muddle too much (and rather inconsistently at that) rather than not enough. It isn't till the Third Age that they get things right, to the point that next to nobody knows that they're even helping unless called for. The most obvious forms of help (i.e., the Istari), only have a 20% success rate, and even subtler ones (i.e., the wind from the Sea around March 15 and Sam seeing Earendil in Mordor) can't be attributed to them at all.

ETA: Oh, and careful with the maps. That's one of the few things that fansites have gotten C&D'd on.
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:33 PM   #6
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Nice work with the maps indeed, Hookbill! If I'm allowed to nitpick just an tiny bit - are the Silmarillion and LotR maps actually to the same scale? My Sil map is not yet unpacked after moving, so I can't check, but I've got a feeling Beleriand should be smaller in comparison; the Ered Luin form a double curve (roughly like a mirrored 3) in both maps, which probably should have about the same north-south extension.
(Btw, is it just me, or does the big lake in the middle of Enedwaith look suspiciously like the Sea of Nurnen rotated 90 degrees?)

Otherwise, good point about the increasing distance between the Valar and M-E. It just came to my mind that maybe Eru actually planned this - and therefore didn't show the Ainur all of the story, because he never intended them to play an active role in the later ages of history. After all, the Valar, as I see them, were essentially demiurgic beings - which is to say, their chief work was during the creation and the early ages of the work, shaping and preparing the habitation for the Children; and of course, while one of their order was messing with the project, the rest were needed to counteract him.
But I think Eru always planned for Men to eventually inherit the Earth, and there is evidence that he considered Men, much more than Elves, under his personal jurisdiction (according to Adanel's Tale in the Athrabeth, he spoke to the Fathers & Mothers of Men directly, which he never did with his Firstborn Children!). So the more the Elves faded and Men took over, the less the Valar would need, or indeed be permitted, to intervene. Their extremely cautious and indirect action in the Third Age (sending the Istari incarnated in human form) seems to indicate that by this time they, too, had finally got the message. The final stage - after Sauron had been dealt with, from the Fourth Age onward - was probably always intended to be Mankind Directly Under God, without any intermediary divine or angelic powers playing an active part in the physical world any more.
(In extra-textual terms, we might call this a transition from a mythological to a theological world-view. When Tolkien first created his mythology, he felt the need for something like the Greek or Norse Gods in his secondary world, but the more the history of the secondary world approached the (pre-)history of the primary world, the more the mythological elements (Gods and Elves) were eliminated in order to make the secondary world conform to his primary world faith.)

(P.S. - Mnemosyne, what is it with those Estimated Time of Arrivals of yours? Or am I misunderstanding something?)
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:33 PM   #7
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"Edited to add," Pitchwife.
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:51 PM   #8
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Hi Hookbill,

really nice thread, I like the maps a lot!

a while back there was some discussion on Himling (the island that appears on some maps) ie Himring, which may or may not be a third age survival of Beleriand.

See here-
(unsurprisingly the canonicity is disputed )
BD thread on remains of Beleriand

Typically the old link to the map discussed on that thread is dead and I could only find a diagram online - scroll down to the bottom--
Diagram

After a little more searching, here's the Encyclopaedia of Arda's take on it,
Where in Middle Earth was Beleriand?

Looks pretty close to yours, but if you believe the canonicity this should be the key.

After a bit more of a stare, maybe your Beleriand needs to shrink a bit?
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mnemosyne
The most obvious forms of help (i.e., the Istari), only have a 20% success rate, and even subtler ones (i.e., the wind from the Sea around March 15 and Sam seeing Earendil in Mordor) can't be attributed to them at all.
And there's perhaps the most crucial intervention, Bilbo's finding the ring
(although it's unclear who's the agent, the valar or Eru).

Was the eagles saving Thorin and Co. another example?

Perhaps an interesting example of the lessening influence of the valar in
Middle-earth is the decreasing influence of fate/predetermined history.
In Beleriand very strongly with the Children of Hurin, but also
Osse explaining to Tuor how he (Osse) can intervene to help but only to
a limited extent:
Quote:
So it shall be while I endure, a secret voice that gainsayeth,
and a light where darkness was decreed. Therefore, though in the days
of this darkness I seem to oppose the will of my brethren, the Lords of the
West, that is my part among them, to which I was appointed ere the
making of the World.
Good maps above, but, other then Karen Forstad's atlas, haven't seen much
on the bulk of Middle-earth to the east and south. While barely glimpsed
vistas are integral to the historicity of Middle-earth, it would be nice to
know more of that region (and the Blue Wizards and the other dwarf
houses).

Btw, shouldn't the wizard success rate be 30% ? Radagast didn't
go to the dark side, and presumably did some good keeping some
kelvar and olvar"good" (at least around Eriador and Rhovannion).
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:15 AM   #10
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Beleriand & Lindon

I'm away from my books but I remember reading that Mount Dolmed in Beleriand survived as an island off the coast of Ered Lindon near the Gulf of Lune and the Dwarf holds in Northern and Southern Ered Luin were remnants of Belegost and Nogrod. That would put the Third Age Middle Earth roughtly East by South East of Beleriand as a whole.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:20 AM   #11
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitchwife View Post
Nice work with the maps indeed, Hookbill! If I'm allowed to nitpick just an tiny bit - are the Silmarillion and LotR maps actually to the same scale?
The best I felt I could do was resize the M-E Map so that the mountains of Ered Luin were roughly the same size. The scale wasn't that important to me as I just wanted some form of visual representation for what I thought was supposed to have happened based on C-T's explanation.
But I love maps and map drawing anyway...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitchwife View Post
(Btw, is it just me, or does the big lake in the middle of Enedwaith look suspiciously like the Sea of Nurnen rotated 90 degrees?)
*shifty eyes* ... Maybe... *runs away*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitchwife View Post
After all, the Valar, as I see them, were essentially demiurgic beings - which is to say, their chief work was during the creation and the early ages of the work, shaping and preparing the habitation for the Children; and of course, while one of their order was messing with the project, the rest were needed to counteract him.
That's a nice summery.
I have noticed that several mythologies seem to work in this way; in the early stages the gods are at the forefront of the story, and as it goes on, human characters become more and more important.
Take the Bible, for example. You have the creation song at the beginning and lots of divine intervention. After that the focus shifts to the human characters with YHVH's interventions becoming less frequent or emphasised. Human agents are installed to speak for the divine at best towards the end of the OT.
The same can be said of Sumerian and even Egyptian mythologies. The tales of human heroes become more popular as time goes on, so perhaps it's a common convention Tolkien wished to mirror. Another interesting thing to note is that after creating, many gods take up destruction as an alternate pass time, sometimes leading to floods, epic battles, Numenor and Ragnorok.

Thanks for those links, Rumil!

I'd seen the EoA one before but didn't think it looked too good and when I used it to try and explain the process to someone, they got more confused. So, that's partly why I made my own version for personal satisfaction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumil
After a bit more of a stare, maybe your Beleriand needs to shrink a bit?
As I said, I was using the mountains as a scale. But now that you mention it, it does look a tad too small. Blast. But, as I said, it's for illustrative purposes mainly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuor in Gondolin
And there's perhaps the most crucial intervention, Bilbo's finding the ring
(although it's unclear who's the agent, the valar or Eru).

Was the eagles saving Thorin and Co. another example?
This is something I wanted to touch on. Events such as the finding of the Ring, the Eagles arriving at the right time and the wind changing in a battle appear to be, at best, nudges in the right direction. Far from the blazing hosts of the Valar, Ulmo rising from the depths in might and so on, the Valar seem to take something of a back seat, prodding and poking at history from time to time.
The main point being, as they get physically further away, their influences become less physical. And when they do interact physically, it causes destruction rather than creation, you could argue. The War of Wroth, The Akalabeth and, perhaps, the battle of the end of the world.
Maybe it is partly because Sauron maintains his connection to M-E that he is able to affect it so palpably?

JeffF, what you say sounds familiar, but I had a look through HoME and couldn't find it. Hmm. I'll have a closer look later on. Tired now.
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Old 07-08-2009, 03:48 PM   #12
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Some excellent posts here. This could have been several separate threads considering the fine discussion on the various posts raised.

Hookbill, nice map. Pitchwife is correct, however. The scale is wrong, although the gerneral location is correct. Beleriand did not extend very far south of the end of the Blue Mountains as shown in the LoTR map, although there may be undescribed lands south of the main body of Beleriand that do not appear in the Silmarillion map (beyond Taur-im Duinath). We also do not know how much of the coastlands were destroyed at the time Numenor was drowned; we have no Second Age maps from Tolkien other than a sketch of Numenor.

Mnemosyne, great point and one I never really considered. Morgoth's Ring is so named based upon the idea that all of the world, not just Beleriand, was to Morgoth as the Ring was to Sauron. Morgoth invested so much of his power into corruptiing the world that what remained to him was insufficient to retain control of it or oppose the Valar. Indeed, he was barely able to withstand the Noldor. Compare him at the time of the War of the Jewels with Morgoth of Utumno and even earlier when he was able to overturn mountains and toppled the two Lamps. But even so, Beleriand may have become so infused with his evil that the Valar felt compelled to destroy it, as opposed to it sinking as a result of the War of Wrath. Interesting idea, I don't think it is consonant with what Tolkien wrote("so great was the fury of those adversaries that the northern regions of the western world were rent asunder...").

Hookbill, the Valar do, effectively, abandon Middle Earth after the First Age, at least so far as direct intervention. But this is, I think, simply part of the nature of the myth and is not directly related to the distance between Valinor and Middle Earth. It was fated that the Elves would wane and Man would become ascendant. Similarly, by the end of the Third Age we see a complete fading of the mythological, the Valar, the Elves etc. They are not merely inactive, but rather they physically leave the world to Man and Middle Earth becomes in fact an ancient version of our primary world. This was, in part dictated by the Music of the Valar and not necessarily the Vision. If I recall, the Vision ended at or just after the awakening of the Elves. But the Music contained much more, such as the awakening of Man, and seems to have dictated the fading of the Eldar (and perhaps even the Valar). In addition, Men are more fragile than Elves and when they die they do not return. I think the Valar feared that continued direct intervention in Middle Earth would harm Men.
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Old 07-08-2009, 05:37 PM   #13
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Great topic. And the extended maps look great.

My only constructive comment is that the East Bight of Mirkwood didn't exist in the First Age !
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:00 AM   #14
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Correction to my earlier

According to Unfinished Tales It was the hill of Himring that survived as the island Himling off the coast of Northern Ered Luin and not the Gulf of Luhn. It is interesting that this hill, not a mountain, but the highest hill in an area of hills survived as an island but the mountains near it were sunk implying that this hill was raised while the mountains were lowered.

The island of Himling is shown in the map of Unfinished Tales but not in the LotR.
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:52 AM   #15
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According to Unfinished Tales It was the hill of Himring that survived as the island Himling off the coast of Northern Ered Luin and not the Gulf of Luhn. It is interesting that this hill, not a mountain, but the highest hill in an area of hills survived as an island but the mountains near it were sunk implying that this hill was raised while the mountains were lowered.
Perhaps Morgoth's orc had fled into the mountains, so the Valar decided to just drown them all. It would be the easiest way to deal with the problem.

I'm bad with maps, so I can't comment on them.
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:12 AM   #16
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Rending the Very Earth

after thinking more about it the powers and force that could rend the very earth in such a horrific manner would probably not be an even effect of lowering or raising the whole rather a mix of both in various places.
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:28 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Mithadan View Post
Hookbill, nice map. Pitchwife is correct, however. The scale is wrong, although the gerneral location is correct. Beleriand did not extend very far south of the end of the Blue Mountains as shown in the LoTR map, although there may be undescribed lands south of the main body of Beleriand that do not appear in the Silmarillion map (beyond Taur-im Duinath)
Perhaps I should explain how I went about making the map;
I got the two source maps together and cut the sea out of the M-E one. Then, I made the M-E map semitransparent and tried to line it up as best I could with the Beleriand map. It took me ages to get to what looked about right, but I came to the conclusion that they weren't made strictly with one another in mind. The lines of the Ered Luin are almost entirely different in M-E to what they are in Beleriand.
But, the point is not important, I think, as it was only for personal investigation purposes... originally.

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Originally Posted by Mithadan View Post
But this is, I think, simply part of the nature of the myth and is not directly related to the distance between Valinor and Middle Earth. It was fated that the Elves would wane and Man would become ascendant. Similarly, by the end of the Third Age we see a complete fading of the mythological, the Valar, the Elves etc
I would argue that there is a relationship between the sundering of Valinor and the Valars increased inactivity. Not that the sundering caused them to stop interacting physically, but that it is representative and almost a consequence of their disconnection. They withdraw from a world they don't understand.

This brings up an interesting thought to me. Something about the different attitudes of the Ainur towards Middle Earth. It seems that none of them really 'get' it; the vision of Eru was taken away from them before its fulfilment and they seem distinctly disconnected from the children. The land itself they are fine with, moulding it to their individual whims.
But then come the children of Illuvatar. Most of the Valar react with curiosity and yet misunderstand what is going on. As Tolkien himself said in an interview 'instead of letting the elves and men find their own way under god, they decided to take them away and protect them...' Melkor, on the other hand, rather than seeking to protect them, seeks to destroy and / or control them. Neither seem satisfied with what Eru had in mind.
So, the Valar, in what you might call a sense of discomfort, remove themselves and any who are like-minded, away from that whole path. Either by physically taking them elsewhere, or destroying them / controlling them. Freedom doesn't seem to be high on their priorities.
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Old 07-10-2009, 06:43 AM   #18
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Considering that the Valar were bound by the music, freedom might have been a completly unkown concept for them. Melkor was the only one experimenting with it while they played the music. He used it for himself and saw emidiatly that it is a good concept for his dealings with Eru and bad one for his own followers.
This explains as well why Manwe had so much trouble understanding Melkor.

The symbolisem of the greater physical distance between the Valar and Middle-Earth becomes even more obvious when we look over a greater time period.
- During the time of the lamps the Valar lived in Middle-Earth.
- After the destruction of the lamps Belegaer became widened by the flods and the Valar removed to Aman.
- In the war of Powers the Valar pushed Middle-Earth further away.
- In the war of Wrath they destroied Beleriand which was the coast land nearest to Aman.
- in the catalysem of the Númenorean fall Aman and the Valar were physically complettly removed from Middle-Earth.

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Old 07-12-2009, 04:50 PM   #19
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Tolkien

I dont know if this adds anything but here is a link to a map of Arda in the First Age

http://users.abo.fi/jolin/tolkien/at...ge_of_arda.gif
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:37 PM   #20
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Difference in scale in the two maps

I recently got out the maps in the Silmarillion and the map in Unfinished Tales (UT)(which is an updated version of the one in LotR). I realized that the distance from the hill Himring to the Ered Luin mountains in the Silmarillion map is twice that as the island of Himling is from the mountains of Ered Luin in the UT map. To me that indicates that there is a difference in scale between the two maps (since the hill Himring and the island Himling are the same geological feature and that the area were are looking at in the UT map is about twice the size of the area of the Silmarillion map, or more precisely the scale of the Silmarillion map is half that of the UT map.

It does not appear that this difference in scale has been taken into account in the mergin of the two maps in the earlier post.
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:15 AM   #21
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Scaled ME maps

I agree that the Beleriand part of the map should shrink, off the top of my head perhaps by half or more.

I did a quick search on the net for scaled ME maps but found very little of any quality, which isn't to say that they don't exist. Frankly I would be surprised if they don't, as enough information to make scaled maps should be out there. There are plenty of implicit and explicit mentions of distances scattered throughout his works and Tolkien seems to have spent a lot of time trying to get these things right too (which isn't to say that he did on every instance mind you). Therefore it should be fairly easy to make maps with distances, not that I intend to.

Here are a few mentions of distances that I dug up should anyone feel the urge. There are other too no doubt.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Silm
East Beleriand [is] at its widest a hundred leagues from Sirion to Gelion and the borders of Ossirand
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Silm
The great highlands of Dorthonion stretched sixty leagues from west to east
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Silm
The gates of Morgoth were but one hundred and fifty leagues distant from the bridge of Menegroth
Quote:
Originally Posted by LotR
Forty leagues ... [the Shire] stretched from the Far Downs to the Brandywine Bridge, and fifty from the northern moors to the marches in the south
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eomers words to Aragorn in Rohan (LotR)
Forty leagues and five have you measured ere the the forth day is ended [from Rauros to the Entwash]
Gollum also states that from the crossroads near Minas Morgul the road goes a hundred leagues south before you can see "the Great Water that is never still" but I don't know how much use that is.

I think a ME league is meant to be about 3 English Miles, or roughly 5 km.
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:17 AM   #22
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I couldn't resist investigating a bit further as I got back and according to my calculations the distance between the Grey Havens and Rivendell ought to be roughly 200 leagues as the crow flies.

On Hookbill's map the width of East Beleriand (100 leagues) appears to be a little bit longer than the distance between the Blue Mountains and the Misty Mountains (aprox. 200 leagues) which suggests that the Beleriand part of the map should be scaled down to at least half the size than as shown. I suppose it would be more difficult to assess the latitude position of the various places in Beleriand however. You do get the feeling that the locations are placed too far to the north generally though (and, of course, that they should be closer together). Fex. I feel that Doriath and Menegroth should be located to the south of the Shire and Rivendell, not north of it as on Hookbill's map.

Hope you take this as constructive criticism Hookbill, although it is a bit nit-picky, I know.
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Last edited by skip spence; 07-23-2009 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:49 AM   #23
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Perhaps also check out KWF's introductory comments under How Long is a League, and (within that commentary) her remarks concerning the Blue Mountains (Atlas of Middle-Earth).

Not that her book is perfect (nor does she claim so), and it could not be approved by JRRT of course, but I think this would be an important concern for her book overall. She not only provides a scale of miles for her FA map, but also mapped the Far North, where Christopher Tolkien himself would not go (for his Silmarillion maps).
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