The Geography of Arda and Middle-earth

The Years of the Lamps and the Years of the Trees

Source: Wikipedia

Andrey Maximov: Illuin and Ormal — Ted Nasmith: Illuin

Karen Wynn Fonstad: The Spring of Arda — from Almaren and the Great Lake in the Time of the Lamps to Middle-earth and Valinor in the Years of the Trees.

Aman and Valinor
Left:source Wikipedia — right: map by Karen Wynn Fonstad (excerpt)

Valinor with the Two Trees, Telperion and Laurelin
(Art by MrSvein872)

Ted Nasmith: Tirion


The First Age

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Eä (the universe created by Eru Ilúvatar) and Arda after the Battle of the Powers

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Arda with Aman and Middle-earth

Stefan Meisl: Helcaraxë

The topography of Beleriand and the Northern Lands
(Art by John Howe)

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Beleriand and the Northern Lands

The Realms of the Ñoldor and the Sindar and their rulers
(map by Sirielle)

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Menegroth, seat of the rulers of Doriath

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Nargothrond

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Gondolin

Alan Lee: Gondolin

Middle-earth before and after the War of Wrath


The Second Age

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Arda with Valinor, Númenor and Middle-earth

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Númenor


Númenor: White ships from Valinor near Andúnië (art by Ted Nasmith)
— Rómenna (art by MatejCadil) — Armenelos the Golden (art by Ralph Damiani)


The Third Age

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Circles of the World before and after the change from flat to round Earth

Source: Wikipedia

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Middle-earth in the early Third Age

The topography of Middle-earth

Karen Wynn Fonstad: The Realms in Exile

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Kingdoms of the Dúnedain

The partition of Arnor

Karen Wynn Fonstad: The plague in Middle-earth

Gondor at the height of its powers (at the beginning of the second millennium of the Third Age)

Gondor in the year of the War of the Ring

Middle-earth in the time of the War of the Rings
Upper map by Pauline Baynes (1970); source of lower map here

Karen Wynn Fonstad: The Shire, the Old Forest, Bree, and Weathertop

The Setting of The Hobbit

The Shire


Karen Wynn Fonstad: Bag End and Hobbiton (before and after the War of the Ring)

Hobbiton (Bagshot Row and Bag End) as shown in the movies

Karen Wynn Fonstad: The Barrow Downs and Tom Bombadil’s Home (left) / Bree (right)

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Rivendell

Alan Lee: Rivendell

J.R.R. Tolkien: Map of Wilderland

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Goblin Town and Gollum’s Lake in the Misty Mountains (left)
and the Lonely Mountain (right)

Christopher Tolkien (1954): Thrór’s Map of the Lonely Mountain
(N.B.: While most of the maps shown on this page give the four directions — North, South, West, and East — the way “our” maps do, this Dwarven map places “East” at the top.  Thus, to reflect “our” perspective, this map must be imagined as turned clockwise by a 90° angle.)

Karen Wynn Fonstad: The Misty Mountains

The hidden gate of Moria: “Speak (say) friend, and enter!”
(Left image: source)

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Moria (left) & Caras Galadon / Lothlórien (right)

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Gondor, Rohan and Isengard

Isengard and Orthanc as shown in the movies

Edoras and the Golden Hall of Meduseld as shown in the movies

Helm’s Deep and the Hornburg as shown in the movies

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Edoras and Dunharrow (left) / Helm’s Deep (right)

Argonath (as shown in the movies): Two immense statues of Isildur and his younger brother Anárion, the first two kings of Gondor, marking the northern boundary of Gondor at the entrance of Nen Hithoel on Anduin, the Great River of Middle-earth’s Second and Third Ages.

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Parth Galen, Amon Hen, Tol Brandir and Rauros at the southern end of Nen Hithoel

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Minas Tirith (left) and Henneth Annûn (right)

Minas Tirith as shown in the movies

Pelargir: Gondor’s principal sea port near the Mouths of the Anduin
(Sources here and here)

Umbar ca. TA 1650

Near Harad as depicted in as depicted in the Middle-earth Role Playing game

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Mordor

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Mount Doom


The Fourth Age

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Middle-earth in the Fourth Age

Alan Lee: The Grey Havens

Source: Wikimedia


From Middle-earth to Our World 

Sources: here and here
(Note: Tolkien said that the Shire was to be found in the area of today’s Oxfordshire.)



Note: Images not specifically attributed or sourced otherwise on this and the associated sub-pages of this blog’s Middle-earth Project originate from the three-part movie adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King; Peter Jackson / New Line Cinema, 2001-2003) and the three-part movie adaptation of The Hobbit (An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug, and The Battle of the Five Armies; Peter Jackson / New Line Cinema / Warner Bros. Pictures / MGM, 2012-2014).  Please see the blog’s Copyright and Privacy Policy page with reference to the use of third-party images under the doctrines of fair use and fair dealing.

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