A “very” sketchy analysis of the Lord of the Rings Amazon series interactive map

Amazon LOTR Map banner

So Amazon just released an interactive map in what appears to be the beginning of a long and tantalising marketing campaign leading to the release of the secretively-termed “Lord of the Rings series”.

The interactivity of this map lies in the user’s ability to zoom in or out of the familiar layout of Middle-earth and scroll across the landscape features. Suffice to say, the map is quite bare – lacking any sort of geographical names or other details.

So what clues can we gather from this rather uncommunicative map. I decided to undertake a quick exercise to analyse the map, and avoid the hundreds of other fan theories most likely spawning out there on the internet.

What follows is my own, unbiased (most probably totally erroneous, but fun-making) analysis of what this map could mean … Continue reading

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Army numbers in Middle-earth

Last Alliance 2(C) New Line Cinema

 

When reading accounts of battles and warfare, numbers are important. They help provide context and scale to the conflict, allowing readers to assess the situation in terms of balance in favour or against an ally or enemy. Which is why I have often found it somewhat baffling that Tolkien gives us so little information on army numbers in his Middle-earth stories. Continue reading

Was Gwaihir the “Great Eagle” in The Hobbit?

Eagles

On my first few readings of The Hobbit I paid no attention to the possible connection between the Lord of the Eagles, who rescues the Hobbit and the Dwarves from a fiery forest, and Gwaihir, the Eagle who saves Gandalf three times in The Lord of the Rings.

Yet, the more I read the books, the more I found it unquestionable that the creature was one and the same in both stories. Continue reading

Snow-Trolls and Stone-Giants in Middle-earth

La dix-neuvième Caravane des Dominicains d'Arcueil. [With a deThe evidence for the existence of both snow-rolls and stone-giants haunting the deep, shadowy passes of Middle-earth is, at best, poor.

To begin with, we have a stronger argument in favour of giants. Continue reading

From Gondolin to Trollshaws: Glamdring, Orcrist and Sting

sting

© Warner Bros. & MGM Studios

Three Elven swords were forged in Gondolin during the First Age, and presumably lost after the fall of this city as recounted in The Silmarillion. Glamdring, Orcrist and Sting make their proper appearance in The Hobbit in the lair of the three trolls, some 6,462 years later and just under 1,900 miles away from their original place of forging.

How and when could these swords have been carried such a long distance through three ages of wars, plunder and cataclysmic events? Continue reading

Fun Post: Scatha the Worm (Smaug’s brother?)

Scatha.jpg

Image by Jeff Murray (JeffMurray.com)

Between Tolkien’s three major Middle-earth works, there is a small number of references to dragons, but even less so have been attributed with particular names or involved in specific events.

Scatha the Worm is one of those rare named dragons about whom we know almost nothing, but this presents an excellent opportunity to analyse and speculate briefly. Continue reading

Gimli: Most reproached character in Middle-earth

Gimli.jpg© New Line Cinema

It’s a tough life in Middle-earth for Gimli the Dwarf…

This is something I’ve noticed whenever re-reading The Lord of the Rings. I find myself thinking that he is the most reproached individual out of all the characters. He often serves as the audience’s bridge to the story, speaking the reader’s mind when interacting with other characters. For that reason, he finds himself reprimanded, sometimes quite severely.

I really empathise with Gimli and his fruitless attempts to try and win an argument or a conversation. His statements and questions are constantly put down by the other characters he finds himself with. Continue reading