How Middle-earth Was Created in The Lord of the Rings: The Lore Explained
Middle-earth seen in The Lord of the Rings doesn’t cover half of Tolkien’s fantasy world, and here’s the story of the creation of Middle-earth and the continents beyond. The War of the Ring depicted in Peter Jackson The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit the movie trilogies are set almost exclusively in Middle-earth, as are JRR Tolkien’s novels of the same name. Frodo’s journey to destroy the One Ring takes viewers through myriad locations in Middle-earth, beginning with the humble Shire, through the treacherous mines of Moria and the White City of Gondor, to to the dark realm of Mordor where Frodo eventually destroys the Ring of Mount Doom.
New locations are introduced in The Hobbit movies, such as The Lonely Mountain, Durin’s folks home at that time in Tolkien’s legendarium; and the forests of Mirkwood, where Legolas is raised. The next series from Amazon, power rings, will be set in less familiar locations in Tolkien’s fantasy world. Set in the Second Age, the age before the events of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, power rings will feature places, like Númenor, that no longer exist in the Third Age.
Although there is no dearth of knowledge in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, one thing that’s omitted is how Middle-earth and the world it’s set in came to be. The creation tradition for Middle-earth is described in one of Tolkien’s books, The Silmarillion, in an opening chapter titled “Ainulindalë”, which in other editions of the book is also referred to as “The Music of the Ainur”. Whereas The Silmarillion works less like a novel and more like a detailed account of Tolkien’s world history, it’s Amazon’s main source power rings since The Silmarillion mainly recounts the events of the Second Age.
Arda explained: how Tolkien’s Earth is different from real life
Tolkien’s world is known in his writings as Arda, and Middle-earth is just one continent on Arda. Although Arda is a fantasy world, Tolkien describes his work and the stories of Arda as supposedly set “in a period of the current Old World of this planet,” as disclosed in letter no. 165 of the JRR Tolkien’s Letters. Tolkien regretted that his “beloved country” England did not have adequate histories or legends in relation to the mythologies of Greek, Celtic, Germanic and other cultures. As such, Tolkien aimed to create his own.
Of course, Tolkien’s Arda in the Lord of the Rings and its story contains similarities with other myths and legends. However, he maintained that it was because he believed “legends and myths are largely made up of ‘truth’.” Arda inevitably bears some similarities to the real Earth, as it is made up of multiple continents that are home to different peoples with different histories. While Arda is home to men, who for the most part are identical to humanity in real life, it is impossible not to recognize Arda’s fantastical differences. Arda is home to magic, wizards, elves, dwarves, goblins, balrogs, dragons and orcs – to name just a few mythological creatures. Although the geography and realms of Arda and Middle-earth are somewhat similar, they are also imbued with forces that do not reside in real life.
The God of Middle-earth Explained
Tolkien described in The Silmarillion how Arda was created by an antecedent deity called “Eru, he who in Arda is called Ilúvatar.” He existed beyond Arda, existing in the Timeless Halls, and he possesses the Imperishable Flame in spirit, which single-handedly enabled him to create things out of nothingness. Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic, and so there are obvious similarities between Eru and the Christian god. Despite this, there are few or no instances of Eru worship in Tolkien’s work, and none in The Lord of the Rings Where The Hobbit movies. This is because only elves had tales of Eru, and her name was generally considered too sacred to be spoken. One of the few examples of Eru worship is that of the Númenóreans (a race of men from whom Aragorn is descended), who worshiped Eru in The Three Prayers.
How Eru Ilúvatar created Middle-earth and the Ainur
In The Silmarillion, the first thing that Eru Ilúvatar created is the Ainur, the Saints, who were the offspring of his thought. The Ainur were divine spirits who surpassed everything in Middle-earth. However, an Ainur surpassed all others as they received gifts from all others. This Ainur was called Melkor, also known as Morgoth, who was the first Dark Lord, and Sauron served Melkor (Morgoth) as a lieutenant under. It has been confirmed that Melkor will appear in Amazon power rings as his war against Arda is a precursor to the events of the series and the Second Age.
Eru proposed themes of great music to the Ainur, and together they created the Music of the Ainur. The Music of the Ainur created the universe described by Tolkien, Eä, and also Arda. Of all the worlds of Eä, only Arda is mentioned in Tolkien’s work. Arda was intended as a place of settlement for the children of Ilúvatar, both men and elves. When the Ainur created the music, Melkor attempted to sow discord in the music, introducing his own harmonies because he also wanted to be a creator as well as Eru. His desires never wavered and Melkor hoped to destroy Middle-earth, waging wars in Arda. Melkor’s wars led to Arda becoming a very different place than it was originally intended, and among its exploits was the destruction of the land of Almaren and the raising of the Misty Mountains. While Arda was originally flat and symmetrical, the version of Arda seen in The Lord of the Rings it is very different.
Other Lord of the Rings Regions Besides Middle-earth
Middle-earth is located in the northeast part of Arda. In Arda’s original design, the westernmost continent was called Aman. Separating Aman and Middle-earth was the great ocean of Belegaer. At the end of The Lord of the Rings, Frodo leaves Middle-earth to travel to the Undying Lands, which resides in Arda. The Undying Lands are home to Elves and Valar (the Ainur, except Melkor). The Immortal Lands get their name from the fact that the Valar and Elves are immortal. During the events of The Lord of the Rings, there is a third continent known as the Dark Lands. Originally, the Dark Lands were a single landmass with Middle-earth. However, during a war between the Valar and Melkor, the Sea of Ringil grew and separated Middle-earth from the Dark Lands. Little is known about this continent, but it is also known as the Southern Lands due to its geographical location. There is also a final continent known as the Land of the Sun, which is separated from Middle-earth by the East Sea.
Another important place in Arda is Númenor, a kingdom of men on an island located in Belegaer in the Second Age. During the Second Age Sauron spent a great deal of time on Númenor, and this will be seen in power rings for Sauron remains the main antagonist. power rings will also present new places in lord in the rings in Arda, like Lindon, an elven city in the far west of Middle-earth where many elves made the journey to the Undying Lands.