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Former featured articleMiddle-earth is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
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July 11, 2004Featured article candidatePromoted
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Current status: Former featured article
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Note: Though it states in the Guide to writing better articles that generally fictional articles should be written in present tense, all Tolkien legendarium-related articles that cover in-universe material must be written in past tense. Please see Wikipedia:WikiProject Middle-earth/Standards for more information about this and other article standards.

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Middle-earth:

  • history and culture sections are entirely in-universe (see WP:WAF); "Adaptations" section seems to be more relevant to Lord of the Rings article than here. overall. article needs to be much more focused on out-of-universe aspects: ie process of authorship, what tolkien drew from to create it, its legacy on other authors, what commentators have had to say about middle-earth, critical analysis etc, without this it would appear to be non-comprehensive. and too many external links!
  • Insufficient citations and refs.
  • the in-universe problem has not gone away. I look at the geography and history sections and think "uh-uh." Very much too long and over-detailed, and the distinction between describing the creation a fictional universe and details of that fictional universe itself is totally blurred. Finally, there is some tortured syntax. Good sentence in terms of perspective, bad in terms of syntax: "The world, not including associated celestial bodies, was identified by Tolkien as "Ambar" in several texts, but also identified as "Imbar", the Habitation, in later post-Lord of the Rings texts." Always keeping Tolkien in focus, as is done here, needs to happen throughout, while at the same time the prose quality needs to improve.
Archive 1 Archive 2
Archive 3 Archive 4

Purpose of the section "The World"[edit]

I do not see why we must have the section The world in the article. I think the section should be deleted / merged into other sections. It has not been changed much since it was created in July 2004 and therefore it does not fit to the concept of the rest of the article anymore. It seems to deal with two different topics which do not really fit to the title:

The first paragraph of the section describes the relation of the geography of Middle-earth to that of today's world, which would rather belong into the section geography. Anyhow I think the relation is presented wrongly. The article says that "Gondor might lie in the Mediterranean Italy and Greece" whereas the article Arda states that Tolkien said Minas Tirith corresponded to Vienna (In the map used in this article the distance between the Shire and Minas Tirith is approximately 900 miles, which equals the distance between England and Vienna)

The other three paragraphs deal with the writings of Tolkien. I think this part should be put into the section Books which lacks of prose text anyway.

I would like to delete the first pargraph and merge the rest into the section Books --Galadh 07:33, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

More game adaptations[edit]

The Middle-Earth version of Risk is out, and there is also a card game version that could be added under adaptations section. PeregrineV 20:07, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

This article's featured status is being reviewed[edit]

This article's featured status is being reviewed. See link at top of page, reproduced here: Wikipedia:Featured_article_review/Middle-earth. Carcharoth 09:09, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Reviewed and removed, it would seem. I'm sorry to see that, but I'm sympathetic. (Some of the concerns about the current article might have applied just as much to the version that did gain featured status, but there's also been an awful lot of bloat since then.)--Steuard 22:35, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Adding references[edit]

I am now in the process of adding references to this article. Please bear with me for the next few hours as I tidy up after myself. Carcharoth 12:53, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I removed a link to the Ardalambion website from the external links of this article because such a link is more appropriate at Languages of Arda (to which Languages of Middle-earth redirects), which is linked from the languages section of this article. Carcharoth 18:01, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

I thought about that when I re-added it. I just saw how much work you're doing, and thought it was an accidental deletion : )
Great job, btw : ) - Jc37 18:11, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Images of maps[edit]

Concern was raised at Wikipedia:Featured article review/Middle-earth about the images used in this article. I've removed two speculative maps (probably based on descriptions in the texts, or on the early maps that were published in HoME): Image:Aman Valinor.jpg and Image:arda.png. I then put the three remaining 'main' maps in a gallery section of a "Maps" section. This section is intended to have discussion about the maps, and hopefully provide "fair use" justification for using these map images in the article, or even scans of the maps from the books. If a detailed enough discussion arose, the other two images above could be added back in.

  • A scan of the map from The Hobbit would be nice.
  • Should the map image still be used at the top to illustrate the article?
  • Can someone move the images on Commons (likely to be deleted soon) over to Wikipedia?

Do people think this will this alleviate the concerns about image use in this article? Carcharoth 02:16, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

  • moving images from commons to here will not change the copyright problems of the images. Gnangarra 13:45, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
No. But you can have fair use images on Wikipedia, but not on Commons. I think there is a fair use justification for these images. Carcharoth 10:06, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
As explained on the FARC you cant claim fair use on images that breach copyright themselves, which is the problem with these images. Gnangarra 10:20, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Ah. So a scan of the maps from the books could be argued for under fair use (if you were writing an article about the maps), but a redrawn derivative map breaches copyright? It is possible to have fair use of copyright material. Looking at WP:FU#Images, the closest example seems to be "Paintings and other works of visual art. For critical commentary..." - a scan of the maps would be suitable to illustrate critical commentary on the maps. It is difficult to talk about the history of the maps without having some sort of image to refer to. Carcharoth 10:47, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

The only thing I can contribute about the images, is that the huge SVG file absolutely brings my computer to a crawl. SVG and vector formats have obvious advantages, but the rendering power required for that image kills any scalability benefit. (I'm running a P4 with 1 GB RAM, for reference, no performance problems.)

Well, you must be having some kind of performance issue. I'm running an old 1GHz Athlon Thunderbird with 256 MB of RAM and have no problems at all with these SVG images. TCC (talk) (contribs) 22:18, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

There is still no map of Middle-earth in Commons. What can be done? Is it OK, if someone paint a map according to the map in Hobbit, Atlas of Middle-Earth and other books and put it in Commons under cc licence? (Wajstojfl (talk) 07:05, 15 May 2017 (UTC))

Article title - Middle-earth (Tolkien)?[edit]

following up on a comment by Tony, copied here from Wikipedia:Featured_article_review/Middle-earth

I've edited the opening thus, ahem ...

WAS: Middle-earth is a term used by the author J. R. R. Tolkien to refer to the geographical setting of many of the tales of his legendarium,....

IS: Middle-earth is the geographical setting of many of the tales of J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium,....

- Tony 02:53, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

I noticed that edit. If you read the history of the etymology of the word, you will see that your phrasing of the opening sentence is an over-simplification. Simply saying that Middle-earth is a geographical setting for Tolkien's tales ignores the other uses of the word. The word middle-earth existed before Tolkien, and appears in Shakespeare among other places. In fact, the better way to phrase this is probably to say that 'Middle-earth' (upper-case 'M') is the place, and that it is named for the concept of 'middle-earth' (lower-case 'm'), namely, a middle-place amid the encircling seas, and between the cold of the North and the fires of the South, and between Heaven above and Hell below - ie. the abiding place of men (as seen in mythological and classical worldviews - see both Norse mythology and the Greek concept of oikoumene) as opposed to the unseen or far-away worlds of spirits and Gods. Possibly there is a case for having the article at Middle-earth (Tolkien), with Middle-earth redirecting there (as it is the overwhelming thing most people will want when they type in "Middle-earth" on any searches). There would also need to be a hatnote pointing people to Middle-earth (disambiguation) for the other meanings of the term. Carcharoth 20:24, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
I think it's not quite correct to say that Tolkien named his setting "for the concept", but that he intended it to have exactly its historical meaning. Having said that, the phrase had pretty much fallen out of modern English and is preserved mainly in other Germanic languages as Midgard or something similar, which in consequence already has a distinctively named article. That is, someone wanting to know about the general idea of Middle-earth is likely to search for Midgard, while someone looking up the Tolkien use is going to search on Middle-earth. TCC (talk) (contribs) 21:44, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
Please feel free to edit the opening sentence. I just want to move away from the opening sentence implying that that Middle-earth was a name Tolkien invented. The exact phrasing is difficult to pin down. Carcharoth 00:32, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
I may be chiming in after the fact on this, but moving the article to Middle-earth (Tolkien) seems entirely unnecessary to me. As others have pointed out, Tolkien's world is essentially the only use of the term "middle-earth" in modern English. Making the historical context clear in the article itself I entirely support.--Steuard 22:31, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
I was kind of planning for a future spinning off of an article about the word Middle-earth... :-) But I guess I'd better write that first. Carcharoth 10:54, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
  • "According to this creed, the Æsir and Odin had their abode in Asgard, a lofty hill in the centre of the habitable earth, in the midst of Midgard, that middle earth which we hear of in early English poetry, the abode of gods and men. " Dasent, G. W., [orig. emph.] Popular tales from the Norse, 1912 ed. (Modern?)
This article is entirely about Middle-earth (Tolkien), the facts on middle earth are buried within it - it appears to make the case it was an obscure, untranslated, or peculiar concept before Tolkien. If there is no article on the term, this name should disambiguate to the various targets. That was why I came to the article, fandom's plethora of synopses of Tolkien's 'world' make finding information on its earlier use very difficult. Cygnis insignis (talk) 22:59, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
Have a scan through the disambiguation rules and see if you have a case, by all means make a move request if you think you can gather consensus. Carl Sixsmith (talk) 05:49, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Opening paragraph[edit]

OK. How does this sound for the opening paragraph?

"Middle-earth is a historical term for the known, real world that the author J. R. R. Tolkien used in the tales of his legendarium, using it in the same sense to refer to the lands where the stories of The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion take place. Within the overall context of the legendarium, Tolkien's Middle-earth is part of his created world of Arda, which itself is part of the wider creation called ."

I think that gets across the idea that the term Middle-earth existed before Tolkien, and that Tolkien was using it in a very specific sense, that of the mythological and classical worldview of the known world. Carcharoth 00:48, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

That's excellent. TCC (talk) (contribs) 01:27, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
It's better, but I still think there should be two articles. In the english-speaking world, if you say "Middle Earth" you probably mean Tolkiens Middle-Earth, but for scandinavians like me it's still confusing. I would prefer something like "This article is about a fictonal lands where the stories of author J. R. R. Tolkien take place. If you are looking for the historical use of the term Middle earth, see Midgard". --Regebro 12:26, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
This is the English Wikipedia, and should reflect the expectations of English speakers, not Scandanavians. And there are two articles. Midgard is linked in the very first sentence. TCC (talk) (contribs) 22:39, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Reference for Middle English word[edit]

Is there a reference for Tolkien's derivation of the term from the Middle English middel-erde, rather than his merely using a direct translation of the Old English middangeard?

It seems particularly strange to insist on the Norse-derived "erde", when English has always had "earth" (ending in a dental fricative): "eorð" in Old English, and the modern form at least since Chaucer. --Saforrest 04:12, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

He did use middangeard but apparently "Middle-earth" strictly derives from a different word. From the Midgard article:

The name middangeard occurs half a dozen times in the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf, and is the same word as Midgard in Old Norse. The term is equivalent in meaning to the Greek term Oikoumene, as referring to the known and inhabited world.

The concept of Midgard occurs many times in Middle English, The association with earth (OE eorðe) in Middle English middellærd, middelerde is by popular etymology; the continuation of geard "enclosure" is yard. An early example of this transformation is from the Ormulum:

þatt ure Drihhtin wollde / ben borenn i þiss middellærd
that our Lord wanted / be born in this middle-earth.

The usage of "Middle-earth" as a name for a setting was popularized by Old English scholar J. R. R. Tolkien in his The Lord of the Rings and other fantasy works; he was originally inspired by the references to middangeard and Éarendel in the Old English poem Crist.

So if there was a confusion of words, Tolkien may have not realized it. Also see Talk:Midgard. (I only learned about this myself through here). Uthanc 00:53, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Why no mention at all that Mediterreanean means Middle Earth? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:58, 21 January 2018 (UTC)

Innacurate link[edit]

Ive deleted one of the links because it did not lead to what it was supposed to. le Dan 01:15, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Merge from Morwen Steelsheen[edit]

The Morwen Steelsheen article lacks any references and seems useless to stand on its own. As far as I know the character only exists in relation to the subject of this article and therefore should only be piece of it. I propose a merge. 12:46, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Oppose. This article is about the setting, not the characters. It would be better to merge it into Thengel. In general, Tolkien wrote so little about most of the earlier kings of Rohan other than Eorl the Young and Helm Hammerhand that it might be a good idea to merge most of them together as well. TCC (talk) (contribs) 21:43, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose per TCC. She's also Théoden's mother... Merging stuff (properly) is something the Middle-earth Wikiproject is/will be working on... Uthanc 11:11, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose per TCC. The two articles don't really have anything in common. It would make much more sense to merge with Thengel. Splamo 14:51, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose Merge per the several comments above, particlularly that this page is not a list of characters. - jc37 12:12, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

A real world map[edit]

See (the map) and homepage plus/or map plus external comment

What the person has done here is drop the water level by some meters (a bit like during an ice age) exposing dogger bank etc as walkable land masses - he then compares with features from several ages of middle earth - as the article suggests - tolkien did use a european like topology for his work, but nowhere is is suggested that he made exact parallels. from the article:"the geographies do not match, and he did not consciously make them match when he was writing".
In some places (misty mountains,gondor,mordor)- the matches are very good - in others (iberia) there doesn't seem to be a good correspondence, also the urals become the iron hills, and Rhun becomes central asia.
However I thought the map was interesting to be considered for inclusions (perhaps as a foot note or see also)
Anyway take a look and decide amongst yourself if it would make an interesting footnote.
Otherwise I hope you found it interesting. 10:19, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
There are certain mistakes on the maps. You're right: the Iron Hills correspond the Ural. But the rest is otherwise: Anduin-river is the Danube, the Run Lake is the Caspian Sea, the Mordor is flooded nowdays by the waters of the Black Sea (Mor-dor - "Black Land", besides the geological history confirms the presence of a lake in the place of the Black Sea initially, that is the Sea of Núrnen), the Celduin-river may be the Dniepr (nowdays it flows into the Black Sea, at other times might flow into the Caspian), the Emyn Muil is obviously the Carpathian Mountains, the Misty Mountains is the Alpes. Examine thoroughly, maybe more correspondances will found. --В.Галушко (talk) 20:21, 22 October 2017 (UTC)

Middle Earth, MD[edit]

There is a populated place in Maryland, USA called Middle Earth. I'm wondering how that came about. --Dtkinzer (talk) 02:44, 21 June 2010 (UTC)


I'm not sure if it's relevant, but I know Joseph Jacobs uses "Middle Earth" in Childe Rowland in his 1890 English Fairy Tales.--Pharos 18:04, 21 October 2007 (UTC)


From reading the section "animals also appear, such as the Eagles, Huan the Great Hound from Valinor, the Balrog and the wolf-like Wargs. The Eagles were created by Ilúvatar along with the Ents, and the Balrogs were bred by Morgoth, but in general these animals' origins and nature are unclear. Some of them might have been Maiar in animal form, or perhaps even the offspring of Maiar and normal animals. The giant spiders such as Shelob were descended from normal spiders and Ungoliant, who is possibly an Ainu."

Balrogs were not bred by Morgoth, they were just corrupted by him early on.

It it mentioned in canon that the 'giant spiders' were only descended from Ungoliant and not from 'normal spiders'.

le Dan (talk) 15:49, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

There are a HUGE number of inaccuracies in the article. The opening sentence, claiming that most of Tolkien's stories are set in Middle-earth, is completely wrong. Unfortunately, the entire Middle-earth section has been reworked extensively under the influence of one of the great manglers of Tolkien's legendarium, Conrad Dunkerson (now a Wikipedia admin), and I gave up trying to fix the problems he introduced years ago. When he attributed David Day's "ages of the sun" expression to me and people believed his claim that it was my own "original research", I knew there was no point in continuing the debate. This whole series of articles violates Wikipedia's "original research" principle in numerous ways.

THE BOOK OF LOST TALES is not set in Middle-earth, for example, but is rather based in a fictional prehistoric England. There was no conception of "Middle-earth" or anything like it when Tolkien wrote THE BOOK OF LOST TALES. These articles, however, misrepresent Tolkien's work as if it were a continuous stream of evolutionary developments rather than successive starts and restarts that he later wove together retroactively in concept.

Other examples of inaccuracies include: equating Arda with the Earth (Tolkien equated Arda with the Solar System); Endor is the Elvish for "Middle-earth" (actually, it means only "middle land"); Nargothrond was only a fortress (in fact, it was the capitol city of Finrod's kingdom); Halflings were only half the size of Men (Tolkien associated the meaning more specifically with the height of Numenorean or Dunedain men). I'

The article is also incomplete in its adaptations section. Although I would not recommend any attempt to exhaustively list stage play productions, there have been many -- some for commercial projects and most for school projects. The "Other Works" section fails to mention the implied references to Middle-earth (or elements that were incorporated into Middle-earth) in Tolkien's other books (such as Roverandom and Smith of Wootton Major).Michael Martinez (talk) 18:55, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Tolkien said at one point that "Arda" was the Solar System, but he also said it was the Earth. He changed his mind about many things in the development of the legendarium. The "Solar System" thing also was associated with Tolkien's later revisions and the Round World version of the Silmarillion, which did not make it into the published Silmarillion. So, we should mention both possibilities. Vultur (talk) 03:46, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Political entities[edit]

Rohan and Gondor are recognisably states; but how would the other "geographically defined entities" be defined? The Shire and Breeland are a communities - defined be their various inhabitants and would be recognised as such by outsiders: but what would be appropriate terms for them, Rivendell and other communities? Jackiespeel (talk) 17:52, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

"Lands", perhaps? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vultur (talkcontribs) 03:47, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure that one can classify either as a true nation-state... it would be nice if someone had additional information about the political geography of Middle-earth, be it from Tolkien or otherwise.Blackhawk003 (talk) 05:17, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Middle-earth MUD roots[edit]

The very first Middle-earth MU* game was in fact Middle-Earth MUD (not the reincarnation from 2003, but the MUD that was server-based) from approximately 1990-1992. I played it while I was in college until it shut down, and I added a newsgroup reference that mentions it- back then, newsgroups and usergroups were really all we had, and it is the best available documentation to be found for the period of pre-internet 'online' gaming. Monsieurdl mon talk-mon contribs 16:39, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Middle Earth in Music, Popular Culture[edit]

Shouldn't this page have more information on notable references (Middle Earth in Other Works) and a section on notable illustrators, concept albums (notable music), and the like? (talk) 23:46, 25 September 2009 (UTC) BER

Capitalisation Question: Middle Earth ... Middle earth?[edit]

I always believed that the world was called Middle-Earth. Here though there seems to be the following possibilites,

(i). Middle-Earth
(ii). Middle-earth
(iii). Middle Earth
(iv). Middle earth

Which is it? ArmchairVexillologistDonLives! (talk) 06:18, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

Tolkien consistently used Middle-earth. He almost never capitalized the second element of a hyphenation compound. The only counter-example I can think of off the top of my head is Three-Farthing Stone. -- Elphion (talk) 21:01, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
Hello Elphion.
Oh, ... I see. I always believed that Middle-Earth refered to the Earth (i.e., our planet). So if its just lowercase earth then it is not refering to the World. What was Tolkien refering to then?
ArmchairVexillologistDonLives! (talk) 01:53, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
It's not entirely clear. Before the Undying Lands were removed from the circles of the earth near the end of the Second Age, Middle-earth was the area? continent? continents? where mortals lived, as distinct from the Undying Lands. Now it presumably includes the whole planet. But Tolkien spends little time worrying about its precise definition. -- Elphion (talk) 16:13, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, the planet was and is called Arda, Earth; I think the Arda article sums it up pretty well: Middle-earth is a continent with the Great Sea, Belegaer, west of it. There was also a separate continent south and east of Middle-earth called the Dark Land. Another separate continent to the east of Middle-earth was the relatively small Land of the Sun, so called because when the world was flat the Gates of the Sun were near there, and it would be scorched. As Elphion said though, Tolkien didn't use two capitalisations in a combined word, so it's still possible that he was referring to the middle of Earth. De728631 (talk) 16:50, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Hello folkes.
Thank you very much for explaining these matters to me. I have been a fan of Lord of the Rings for decades. Take care, and best wishes ArmchairVexillologistDonLives! (talk) 02:42, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Germanic mythology[edit]

This paragraph about Germanic mythology does not have any sources connecting it to Tolkien's use of the term "Middle-earth". Without those sources, it's a synthesis and can't be used in this article. I moved it here for comment rather than just deleting it, because it's interesting and well-written.

In ancient Germanic mythology, the world of Men is known by several names, such as Midgard, Middenheim, Manaheim, and Middengeard, and is located in the centre of the universe; while Bifröst, the rainbow bridge, extended from Middle-earth to Asgard, the land of the gods. Beneath Middle-earth lay Hel, the land of the Dead. The universe as a whole was believed to consist of nine physical "worlds" joined together. The precise arrangement of these worlds is uncertain. According to one view, seven worlds lay across an encircling sea: The lands of Elves (Alfheim), Dwarves (Niðavellir), Gods (Asgard and Vanaheim), and Giants (Jotunheim and Muspelheim). Other Norse scholars place these seven worlds in the sky, in the branches of Yggdrasil the "World Ash Tree" (possibly the inspiration for the Two Trees of Valinor).

If anyone has sources for relating this to Tolkien's Middle-earth, please provide them. Thanks. --Jack-A-Roe (talk) 09:03, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Maybe you should have read on in the article. It says that "The term 'Middle-earth,' also commonly referred to as 'middle-world,' was therefore not invented by Tolkien..." (because it was in fact an old mythological concept). Because this reasoning is now lacking in the article I have returned the first sentence of what you cut out, but I don't think we need the entire "geography" of Midgard in this article's etymology section. The Germanic names are mentioned in the main article Midgard and don't need referencing over here. De728631 (talk) 20:49, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
That's all interesting information, and there is no doubt that Tolkien did not invent the term. But he did invent his particular use of the term, and that use is not the same as they way it was used in mythology. For example, there is no "rainbow bridge" in Tolkien's work, and there is no indication in any of Tolkien's writings that MIddle-earth is in the center of the universe (to the contrary, it is simply one part of Arda, the world, and even Arda is not descibed as at the center of the universe). So far, we don't have sources in the article explaining any of this. The next paragraph in that same section has several footnotes, but they are general mythology sources, none of them are about Tolkien's use of the term. I'm not saying that those connections don't exist, just that without reliable sources, we don't really know how Tolkien's use relates to the other uses. Listing the info in the article without sources is not in accord with the no original research and verifiability policies. --Jack-A-Roe (talk) 22:20, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
The question of Where and when was Middle-earth? has been dealt with by the Encyclopedia of Arda, and from various Tolkien sources they conclude that Middle-earth is actually our own Earth, just in another time. I think we can easily use this as a reference. That aside, the mythology part we're debating here (quoted section above) is, as I said, not even necessary for this article, but the linguistical link to Midgard/Middangerde etc. should remain and is actually sourced. De728631 (talk) 01:28, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't see any problem with retaining the linguistic link for the word, there are sources for that. But the text should not imply that Tolkien intended the use of that word to encompass any of the details of Germanic mythology beyond that. There are no sources for that part. Since you stated you consider that part is not needed anyway, omitting it is a good solution, while retaining the linguistic source of the word. --Jack-A-Roe (talk) 03:27, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Dennis Gerrolt, Now Read On... interview[edit]

Its a good interview made in Januarary 1971 and worthy of being cited. But I must point out a few things, Tolkien wasn't necessarily consistent with his comments. He made similar claims as to the world being a kind of secondary imagination in several letters as early as 1944 (although this is more a nod to some of his prototype ideas most likely), even. During that time he was also writing letters stating that his world was earth, and/or took place in distant past. He even states in that interview that his books take place in "our world" (although he is unclear about the "timing" issue, instead bringing up one of his alternative imagination comments). BTW, the idea of the stories taking place on earth in the distant past, is even stated in the Appendices D Calenders in LOTR itself.

However, its clear he hadn't give up the Middle-earth is earth, and in a couple of later letters, dated July 1971, and one in "Autumn 1971", he mentions the idea of his books taking place in an distant epoch of Earth's past again.

What does this mean? Well only Tolkien believed whatever he believed. He may have had two distinct yet overlapping interpretations of the world. The most commonly repeated comment however, was that it's supposed to take place in "our world" (his words not mine) of Earth. It's a good example why one should avoid reading too much into what he said in his interviews... and rather look at culmination of everything he had ever said :p... (talk) 15:35, 25 August 2010 (UTC)


"Oh yes, they're the same word. Most people have made this mistake of thinking Middle-earth is a particular kind of earth or is another planet of the science fiction sort but it's just an old fashioned word for this world we live in, as imagined surrounded by the Ocean." However, he continued to make references to it being "

Chad.burrus edited the first instance of "word" to "world", which does make slightly more sense. It's been reverted now, but I'm curious if anyone actually knows which one it is, and if it is the former, in what context is it used? -- Lolinder (talk) 02:13, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

I believe its supposed to be "world". I could go check when I get the chance. (talk) 20:03, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Edit: Hmm actually its from the interview right? I think the previous question the interviewer as asking about the words Midgard and Middle-earth and if they meant the same thing. Tolkien was referring to them being actually the same word, iirc. Tolkien then explains that Earth/Middle-earth/Midgard are alljust words for the world we live in. I hope this helps? (talk) 20:09, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

--Chatatea (talk) 00:09, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

New Roleplaying Game[edit]

The article mentions there being 2 roleplaying games. There are now three. The One Ring has just been released: — Preceding unsigned comment added by Voidstate (talkcontribs) 15:37, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Fictional universe[edit]

I added in the Category:Fictional universes for this article, since it is clearly a Fictional universe. Other articles already identify it as that. List of kings of Gondor This is a list of kings of Gondor from the fictional universe of Middle-earth by J. R. R. Tolkien List of Middle-earth Dwarves This is a list of Dwarves from J. R. R. Tolkien 's fictional universe of Middle-earth etc. 31 articles total use the exact words "fictional universe of Middle-earth" [1] Dream Focus 14:25, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Those articles are in error, Middle-earth refers to one specific area of a fictional world, Arda, that is in itself in the fictional universe of . This articles inclusion in the category Fictional continents is correct GimliDotNet (talk) 14:38, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
The series is called Middle-earth. The fact that the literal word for universe in that imaginary language is Ea, is not relevant here. Reliable sources refer to it as the "universe of middle-earth". See these 14 Google news search results for that here [2]. Dream Focus 14:49, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
A fictional continent or other setting can take place in a fictional universe, the word "universe" not meaning an area of space with planets in it, but instead everything in the series. See Category:Fictional universes for over 50 examples of this. Or as I have said, read what a fictional universe is in the article dedicated to explaining it at fictional universe. Google book search shows 89 results for "universe of middle earth" [3] showing some refer to it in books as well. Dream Focus 14:54, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. Was being a bit to narrow in my definition of 'universe'. Plus a casual reader could easily assume 'middle-earth' to refer to the whole fictional setting. 15:05, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

It actually is't a universe. Middle-earth is just a region, or better, a continent, on planet called Arda (maybe Tolkien even mentioned the name of universe itself, not sure). Just a note, do whatever you think with it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:57, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

"The series is called Middle-earth" ... on the internet (on Wikipedia). Your argument is circular. We can recognize that this has become "common popular usage", of course, but that's as far as it should go. "Fictional universe" is a questionalbe context, and is by now used more or less as a synonym of "fiction" (if it is fiction, and set in some kind of universe, it is "in a fictional universe"). It is a depressing term derived from pop-culture taxonomy of literature, and using it establishes that you are talking about pop culture, not literary culture. Tolkien has, of course, had a tremedous influence on pop culture, but it does not follow that he should be treated as pop culture by default. --dab (𒁳) 09:26, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
The word "of" can have two different meanings in the context of place-names. One is 'in, belonging to, associated with' etc., as in 'United States of America' or 'the green fields of England'. Thus I read "the fictional universe of Middle-earth" as 'the fictional universe associated with Middle-earth'. The other meaning of "of" is 'named', as in the 'Republic of France'. In my view 'Middle-earth' technically & properly = the Old World (Eurasia & Africa), however its use as a shorthand for Tolkien's whole fictional universe is so widespread that it has some legitimacy. In any case, adding definitions of 'Middle-earth' won't improve the introductions of Wikipedia articles which contain references such as "fictional universe of Middle-earth". In such phrases, "Middle-earth" should contain a link to the 'Middle-earth' article itself, where a proper explanation can be found for users who are interested. Regards Jungleboy63 (talk) 03:54, 24 March 2019 (UTC)

Who's summer?[edit]

Quote: "A prequel trilogy is currently in production in New Zealand under the direction of Peter Jackson. The three films are scheduled for release in December 2012, 2013, and Summer 2014." - I get the feeling the person who wrote this may be an American. Who's summer are we talking about? December 2014? There are two summers in a year. (talk) 10:21, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Eddinson's middle-earth. (the worm ouroboros)[edit]

I don't really want to edit stuff, as I am not sure of how to do it properly. Regardless, I would like to point out that in his work "The Worm Ouroboros" Eddinson use the expression middle-earth 4 times. Here they are:

Chap IV: Conjuring in the Iron Tower "Therewith came forth that offspring of perdition from its hole, strutting erect on its two legs that were the legs of a cock; and a cock’s head it had, with rosy comb and wattles, but the face of it like no fowl’s face of middle-earth but rather a gorgon’s out of Hell."

Chap XIV. THE LAKE OF RAVARY "At length when winter was gone in middle earth, and the spring far spent, back came that last little martlet on weary wing she they had long given up for lost."

Chap XXVIII. ZORA RACH NAM PSARRION "And that was a note not like a bird’s of middle earth, but a note to charm down spirits out of the air, or to witch the imperishable senses of the Gods when they would hold communion with holy Night and make her perfect, and all her lamps and voices perfect in their eyes."

"What man of middle-earth is this that troubleth our quiet? Make an end! Call up the basilisks."

I hope it helps. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:53, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Good point. At present the Etymology section implies that the word jumps straight from Shakespeare to Tolkien without any usages in between, whereas in fact it was used as a literary archaism by 19th century writers as well as by Eddison. I've now fixed that. --Antiquary (talk) 18:28, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

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Old World[edit]

The introduction refers to Middle-earth as the "central continent of Earth", which I consider correct. However the intro also refers to Middle-earth as "the north continent". Tolkien himself, in his Prologue to The Lord of the Rings, indicated an equivalence to the Old World: "the regions in which Hobbits then lived were doubtless the same as ... the North-West of the Old World". Accordingly I think this equivalence (to the Old World) should be noted in the intro.

The intro goes on to state that Middle-earth's "general position is reminiscent of Europe". However I think it would be fairer to say, given Tolkien's own statement, that the general position of the main scene of action is reminiscent of Europe (and also that the climate and ecology thereof is also reminiscent of Europe). However this is an important article, and the introduction is its key, so I'd be interested in comments and suggestions. Jungleboy63 (talk) 12:55, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

You are correct: Middle-earth is not just the north-western area where the action of LotR takes place. -- Elphion (talk) 05:00, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

Map duplication[edit]

There are two section on maps (both within Geography). I propose to merge these. Any comments? Jungleboy63 (talk) 01:57, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

Go for it. -- Elphion (talk) 04:58, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

Thanks Elphion; I hope the result is satisfactory. I now propose a new section 'Regional maps', so these can be referenced from other articles. I envisage it to be essentially a list of 6 dot-points, and to be positioned between 'Whole-world maps' and 'Cartography'. Does anyone have any comments? Regards, Jungleboy63 (talk) 08:48, 3 February 2019 (UTC)

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Why is "The history of the Hobbit" included in books category?[edit]

It was not written by Christopher Tolkien. What is setting it apart from other books by various authors like "The Annotated Hobbit"? Is it because it had Christopher's "blessing"? Is it because it contains previously unpublished drafts? Or is it just wrong to include it? I just wanted to bring some attention to this topic, in case it's a mistake, since it seems to me like the only "unofficial" book in that list. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:19, 28 February 2019 (UTC)

The History of the Hobbit contains not only Tolkien's drafts, but comprehensive commentary and notes by Mr. Rateliff on many topics which became totemic of Middle-earth (Hobbits, Dwarves, the Misty Mountains, etc., etc.), including its many links to the real world and its mythologies. Accordingly I prefer 'remain'. Regards, Jungleboy63 (talk) 10:46, 3 March 2019 (UTC)

"Well if that isn't a plague and a nuisance!"[edit]

In my view the Great Plague deserves a home somewhere. It affected many peoples and lands, and so it's mentioned in a number of articles. The event devastated much of Middle-earth, so I wonder if its worth mentioning in the Middle-earth article, in the section History: the Third Age? In the meantime I've added a paragraph to the main article on the Third Age (in the article History of Arda).

Likewise I think the Long Winter and the Fell Winter deserve homes too.

What do others think? The redirect 'Great Plague (Middle-earth)' needs to be redirected from Gondor to its new home, but I have no idea how to do this. Regards, Jungleboy63 (talk) 12:08, 7 May 2019 (UTC)