Thursday, August 1, 2013

Memorable Worlds: Middle Earth

Middle Earth

My Experience with this World: 

I first discovered Middle Earth while either the Two Towers or The Return of the King was in theaters (I don't remember which one it was. Mother'll probably correct me, though). I wasn't old enough to see it, but my mom and dad were going ... so V and I wanted to know what this movie was all about. So my mom, being the wonderful storyteller that she is, plopped down on the floor and told us a very water-downed version of The Hobbit and the first two movies. We begged her to tell us the third ... but she said she hadn't seen it yet.

Later, she hunted down the cartoon of The Hobbit and let us watch it and got the books on book on tape for us to listen to. I have not seen all of the movies, even though I have them on my desk and Frodo, Gollum, and Aragorn are staring at me. It's quite creepy. We do own a cartoon version of the trilogy, but I haven't seen it.

I haven't laid my hands on the new Hobbit movie, but I've watched every You Tube clip that I've been able to find, and I'm currently listening to the soundtrack. I haven't read the Smillrilian (I know I have that misspelled, but I really don't care.) or any of the extra stories. And I call myself a Tolkien fan ...


If what I've heard is correct, Middle Earth's origins are explained in the Simmilirian, and involve angles singing. God is called Iluvatar.


This is the map in my sister's copy of The Fellowship of the Ring. (My own copy is a single-bound edition and one of the three thickest books on my shelf. I'll let ya'll guess which are the other two thick books).

Middle Earth has every sort of geographical feature you could ask for. Forests, plains, mountains, desserts. It's the perfect place to go adventuring in. And when you want to bunker down and just live peaceably among men, there are always safe havens such as Rivendell and the Shire.

And even among a category of landscape, there is plenty of variation. Take the forests, for instance. Mirkwood is huge, its trees thickly packed so that little light gets in. Lothlorian is much smaller, with trees that, while they're plenty tall, are more comfortably spaced and the elves who dwell there rely more on the rivers for their protection.

Of course, there are places where you do not simply walk into ... such as Mordor. Which has a volcano!

Peoples and Culture:

The peoples in Middle Earth are as varied as the the lands they live in.

The first people you meet are the Hobbits. They're homebodies, mostly living in their utopic Shire blissfully unaware of the trouble brewing outside. It is assumed that they are of relation to the humans, but the only people who would be able to remember are the elves and they weren't paying attention. Hobbits are short people who like to eat. A lot. They love birthday parties and smoking their pipeweed. And yet, when called upon, they make the hardiest of adventurers and can be quite brave.

And then you have the dwarves. They're tough, brawny, and don't often have much to do with the other races. They live deep within the earth where they can work with metals and harvest stones. They aren't easily bent to the forces of evil, either.

When you say the word elf, most people think of one of Santa's little helpers - but to lovers of Tolkien, it is the wise and powerful immortals that we think of. They're tall and mysterious, with abilities that to others can only appear to be magic. While few are corrupted, those who have sink low to become orcs, nasty vile creatures that are pretty much Sauron's main minions.

Ents are tree-like creatures who are the shepherds of the trees. They are a slow-minded people, choosing to not be hasty. I don't think they're immortal, but they do have very long lives. I think death for them is going treeish, though. Unfortunately, since the ent-wives have disappeared, they're a people dying out.

And then you have men, who are as varied and changing as the men of our own world. They are for the most part easily corrupted, but there are noble ones among them who are a force to be reckoned with.

What I like about this world:

First of all, I love the variety of Middle Earth and how Tolkien managed to make a perfect balance of realism and wonder. Also, I'm fascinated by the fact that Tolkien was a PANSTER!!! He made up his world as he went along and has become the father of world building and modern fantasy.

Via Pinterest

What I don't like:

There really isn't very much to not like about Middle Earth. I would have liked the Christian elements to be a bit clearer, but that isn't a huge issue. Tolkien had a very heavy writing style however, which is a major deterrent to readers.

What I learned from this world: 

Middle Earth (the Shire specifically) was the main inspiration for the Rowa. Tolkien taught me how to get into the nitty-gritty of a history, and how to build a language, which is something I have used in Rizkaland, Coluna, and Bookania. (SheaTuaWintinArka!!! KillyNoahJin!!) Also, he's let me  know that Pantsting isn't always a bad thing. Also, who hasn't been influenced by his elves?

These world-building posts are for the promotion of the upcoming release of my book The Ankulen. Feel free to do one yourself, just make sure you refer back to my blog and let your readers know about my upcoming book. If you do write a post, post a link in a comment somewhere on my blog and I'll add you to a giveaway for a copy of my book.


  1. Really enjoyed this post, Kendra! I'm looking forward to reading more in this series!

    Yes, I'm a major Tolkien fan... I've seen all three LOTR films, plus the extended editions, read all three books plus the appendix at the the back of RotK, own a few action figures and posters, read The Hobbit, seen the movie, can't wait for the second, read The Silmarillion, read The Children of Hurin, read behind-the-scenes LOTR film books, acted out scenes from the books and movies, own the piano music and have most of it memorized, introduced others to Middle Earth and got them hooked on it... yeah. They're great stories, and they're mainly what got me so interested in fantasy and why I'm writing so many fantasy stories myself!

    1. I do believe every Christian fantasy author I talk to blames their career on Tolkien or Lewis. I blame mine on both.

      And truth be known, I used your magic post as one of my reference points for the facts I couldn't quite remember. (Such as a few names.)

      My sister was a hobbit for Halloween one year (back when we still participated) and later she reused the costume for a book-themed tea party at the library. (Or was it the other way around - tea party first, and then reused as a last minute costume?) She wanted to write about hobbits - but then she discovered that they were copyrighted, so we came up with our elvings instead, which are more adventurous, and therefore much nicer.

  2. *snickers* Smillrilian made me laugh. I haven't read it either. Yet.

  3. I got my post up, Kendra! And since it's about Middle-earth, I'm leaving the link on this post! ;)

  4. I think Middle-earth has been the biggest influence on my Young World series--in fact, it was the main inspiration (that, and Narnia).

    Here's my post on Middle-earth:

    God bless,
    ~"Tom Wild Rose"~


Hi! Now that you've read my post, hast thou any opinions that thou wouldst like to share? I'd love to hear them!

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