While browsing around, I came across this quote by Winston Churchill.
History is written by the victors.
This got me thinking. And then, a thought came to me…
What if the Lord of the Rings was written by the victors? That would mean that Mordor/Sauron was actually peaceful?
I first thought no, no. It can’t be! Frodo, Gollum, the Fellowship, all of that would be for nothing.
But it then starts to make sense.
The rest of Middle Earth all-together could easily crush a small minority like Mordor. And the strength of all the magic of the elves, wizards and dwarves combined could easily crush a leader like Sauron.
So I did a bit of research, and as it turns out, I’m not the only one.
18 years ago, Russian scientist Kirill Yeskov tried to settle certain geographical problems in Tolkien’s fantasy world. One thing led to another, and he tackled a bigger project – what if we assumed that it’s no less real than our world? His conclusion was that in such a case, the story of the Ring of Power is most likely a much-altered heroic retelling of a major war – but what was that war really about?
The result of this re-appraisal was the publication in 1999 of The Last Ring-bearer – a re-thinking of Tolkien’s story in real-world terms. Dr. Yeskov, a professional paleontologist whose job is reconstructing long-extinct organisms and their way of life from fossil remnants, performs essentially the same feat in The Last Ring-bearer, reconstructing the real world of Tolkien’s Arda from The Lord of the Rings – the heroic tales of the Free Men of the West written in that world. We have a pretty good idea how well heroic tales map to reality from our own world…
Here, I have included a English translation of his book. Explore and enjoy. Will this make you turn to the dark side?
Remember my last post, where I redrew the entire map of Middle Earth? I mentioned at the end of that article that I was going to try to create Thorin’s map from The Hobbit. Well, here it is.
I also mentioned that I was going to try to replicate the effect of the Moon-Runes on the map, which are hidden from view until a certain light (moon light in that case) shines on them.
Well… I managed to create the same effect…. Using a UV light and pen!
And it looks awesome.
Same techniques as before, except the UV light and pen.
I created this map after seeing a similar example on the LOTRProject. This took over 5 hours to finish and I was quite pleased with the result.
So how did I make it?
For the paper, I used Daler Rowney Mixed Media Paper, size A3 with a gsm of 250. (For those who don’t know, Gsm is the quality and thickness of the paper. ) To stain and color it, I used a mixture of Earl Grey and Yorkshire Gold tea and brushed it onto the paper.
Firstly, I began by drawing the coastline of Middle Earth in HB Pencil, as light as possible. Then I marked out roughly where each section of Middle Earth was to go.After that, I drew lines where mountains would go, and then started on Mordor. I first began on the mountains, using Derwent Black Graphik Markers, and then the other landmarks surrounding it, such as the sea, Barad Dur, Mount Doom and Minas Morgul. I then used Windsor & Newtons Promarker Sky Blue to color in the sea, and then started on surrounding areas, such as Near Harad, the Dead Marshes and Gondor. I then began the Misty Mountains, working my way up to the Rhûn and Eriador.
A challenge for me was creating the forests of Mirkwood and Fangorn, especially the first, as I was following Tolkien’s style of the Map, meaning that forests had to be made up of hundreds of small circles to represent trees. This took me over half and hour to do, and was the most tedious of all the landmarks on the map. However, when it was completed, it was definitely worth it.
So I continued with the rest of the map, adding labels, rivers, hills, mountains and marshes. Then after all the land was completed, I drew several lines in the seas and off the coast to represent water, and added some color to the water on the coast.
Finally, I added the compass, the text and the miles. And I had finished.
So what’s next? Will I do this again?
I was very pleased with the end result, and this has encouraged me to think about drawing Thorin’s map of Erebor from The Hobbit. However, I need to learn the runes first, so that I can draw them on, as well as think about how to have hidden text, as in the Moon-runes on the map.
Most people know Jurassic Park™ – the story of the dinosaur island and the failure to keep them in control. Interesting story, isn’t it? But how come that you can recreate animals such as a frog and then there’s Dolly the sheep. So why couldn’t you do the same to Dinosaurs?
Reason 1: Their DNA’s too old.
DNA is too fragile, and if DNA is over 60 MYA (millions of years), it can’t be used in any way.
Reason 2: You can hardly find any fossilized blood-filled insects these days.
In fact, only one blood-filled mosquito has ever been found, and it was 46 MYA – 20 MYA too young to have fed on a dinosaurs.
Reason 3: Their choice of replacement DNA was wrong.
Frogs aren’t the closest relation to dinosaurs – It’s surprisingly birds! That’s why some species of dinosaurs had feathers.
1 – GOLLUM WAS DIAGNOSED WITH SCHIZOID PERSONALITY DISORDER IN AN ARTICLE IN THE BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL
In 2004, six medical students and a lecturer in old age psychiatry published an article in the British Medical Journal where they attempted to diagnose Gollum’s problems. The article first examines Gollum’s mental state and notes that while “he shows no evidence of clinical depression, although he subjectively feels sad and is anxious to be reunited with his ‘precious’” there are “features of dissociation”. They also note that he suffers from paranoia, especially when it comes to Sauron and Samwise Gamgee. The authors consider several possible diagnoses and begin with possible reasons to his physical symptoms. A brain tumor is seen as unlikely due to his longstanding symptoms. They go on to suggest that due to his limited diet he could suffer from B-12 deficiency, which can cause delusions as well as paranoia, and iron deficiency anaemia, causing loss of hair and weight. Now, if anyone needed motivation for a healthy diet with sufficient amounts of iron and B-12 I think this is it. When diagnosing Gollum’s mental problems, the authors note that Gollum does not fulfill the criteria for schizophrenia but that “he fulfils seven of the nine criteria for schizoid personality disorder (ICD F60.1), and, if we must label Gollum’s problems, we believe that this is the most likely diagnosis
2 – MOUNTAINS ON TITAN ARE NAMED AFTER MOUNTAINS IN TOLKIEN’S WORKS
The astronomers responsible for naming geological features on Saturn’s moon Titan apparently felt inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien. Mountains and hills have been named after mountains and characters from Arda. Some examples are Angmar Montes, Doom Mons, Misty Montes, Bilbo Colles and Arwen Colles. See all of the names here.
3-THERE IS A FAMILY OF SEA SLUGS CALLED SMEAGOL
Smeagol is a genus of sea slugs of the family of mollusks called Smeagolidae. They exist in New Zeeland and Australia. The first of the species was discovered in 1971 and in 1980 it was named Smeagol manneringi in honor(?) of Sméagol. When I first read this I immediately though having a sea slug named after you isn’t much of an honor. However, F. M. Climo, who named the new order, family and species, wrote this in the New Zealand Journal of Zoology in 1980:
“The genus takes its name from the pallid, sometimes subterranean Tolkien character Smeagol (whose alternative name is Gollum), a pitiable humanoid who ultimately played a very important role in saving ‘Middle earth’ from evil forces. The slug described below is far more significant, phylogenetically, than its drab exterior indicates – hence the analogy.”
With that description it suddenly does seem like an honor.
On a similar note, biologist Leigh Van Valen named 20 fossil mammals he discovered after characters from Tolkien’s works. Among them are Bomburia, Mimatuta morgoth and Earendil.
4-TOLKIEN NEVER COMPILED HIS WORKS
Tolkien’s son, Christopher Tolkien, actually compiled all his works, including The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and others such as The Simallarion, The Children of Hurin and Unfinished Tales.
5-ROVERANDOM WAS A ‘SORRY’ TO TOLKIEN’S SON
As a small boy, Michael Tolkien lost his toy dog Rover on a beach. To comfort him, J.R.R Tolkien wrote a story about the very same toy where an irritable wizard turns Rover into a toy, and Rover goes to the moon and under the sea in order to find the wizard again to turn him back into a normal-sized dog.
6-TOLKIEN GOT THE IDEA FOR HIS WORKS FROM THE ANGLO-SAXONS
He served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, from 1925 to 1945. And the Anglo-Saxons wrote in runes. That’s where Elf and Dwarf runes originate from.
7-TOLKIEN LOST A COMPETITION OF WRITING TO CS LEWIS
As a member of the literary circle know as the Inklings, he and CS Lewis set a challange; Lewis was to write on space-travel, while Tolkein was do to time-travel. Lewis completed the novel Out of the Silent Planet, which set off a series of books alongside The Chronicles of Narnia. However, Tolkien never finished his, The Lost Road.
8-WHEN TOLKIEN’S SON JOINED THE ARMY, HE LISTED HIS FATHER’S OCCUPATION AS ‘WIZARD!’
9-TOLKIEN REFUSED TO HAVE THE HOBBIT PUBLISHED IN NAZI GERMANY
When agents from Nazi Germany wished to translate the Hobbit into German, they sent a letter asking to prove he was ‘Aryan’. Tolkien gave a scathing reply, saying amongst other thing that he wished he had Jewish ancestors.
10-HE INVENTED SEVERAL LANGUAGES
From his early teens, Tolkien invented several languages. Quenya became an important aspect of his middle earth Legendarium. In a letter published in Observer, 1981, Tolkien wrote: The stories were made rather to provide a world for the languages than the reverse. To me name comes first and the story follows.’