Friday, December 14, 2012
The Wales Theory of Middle Earth's Shape
Middle Earth is based off Tolkien's view of a romantic, pre-industrial, pre-history Europe. While he wrote that it was foolish to try to equate places in Middle Earth with present-day Europe, countless geographers and Tolkien fans have tried.
I, however, have been more interested in Middle Earth's shape than locations. Looking at the map of Middle Earth I independently became a proponent of the little claimed theory that Middle Earth's geographical shape is based on Wales.
To a certain extent even the mountains match
Flip the map over and Middle Earth looks even more like Wales.
Wales fits Tolkien's worldview and thus could have at least inspired the shape of Middle Earth. Wales is populated by Welsh who are in fact the original Britons who were pushed out of England by the Saxons. As such they could represent the Old Europe which migrated west after great changes at the end of an age (much like the Elves and most other magical creatures of Middle Earth).
Tolkien, a fan of language, history, and geography, clearly took ideas from everywhere for creating his Middle Earth. However, I maintain that Wales was a major driving factor his creation of the shape of Middle Earth.