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Archive for December, 2013

Consider this map of Middle Earth:

middle earth

There’s a scale there, on the left, and the source is none other than J. R. R. Tolkien himself, so we can trust the source.  You can verify for yourself, but I reckon Bilbo’s journey to Esgaroth (and then the Lonely Mountain) to be something like 880 miles, and an equal amount on the way back.  This leads to my first discovery…

Bilbo’s journey was like walking from St. Louis to Washington, D.C., and back again.

By car, it should have taken 12 hours and 40 minutes to get to Smaug’s hoard, and an equal amount of time to return (assuming Bilbo had access to No Doz).  Basically, Bilbo had a long Thanksgiving drive.

What about Frodo’s longer journey to pitch the One Ring into some lava?  As the eagle flies, the Shire to Mt. Doom is about 1100 miles, which leads to…

Frodo’s journey (as the eagle flies) was like walking from Baltimore to Miami.

Of course Frodo’s actual journey was a tad more circuitous.  Breaking the journey into legs (Shire to Rivendell, Rivendell to Moria, etc.) I get that it was more like 1450 miles, or…

Frodo’s actual journey was like walking from Little Rock, AR to Boston.

By car, assuming that Frodo drives at a reasonable pace and makes only a few stops, it would take 21.5 hours  for Frodo to get to Mordor and chuck the ring-thingy into that volcano.  (Of course Sam might take a shift driving, and Gollum might be willing to run into the occasional 7-11 to buy snacks.)  Frodo’s deus ex machina trip out of Mordor by eagle is a little like getting an unexpected trip back home via helicopter.

There are other games you can play with the map, to give yourself a sense of scale.  The Shire is about 21,000 square miles, leading to…

The Shire is about the size of West Virginia.

Insert your own joke here.

hillbilly

Bubba Baggins

Then you find that Mordor (which is suspiciously square in shape!) is about 118,000 square miles, or…

Mordor is about the same size and shape as New Mexico.

This cannot be mere coincidence.  Aren’t their climates similar?  Isn’t the Trinity nuclear test site analogous to Mt. Doom?  Doesn’t New Mexico have George R. R. Martin, who looks very similar to the Mouth of Sauron?

Mouth_of_Sauron

Please don’t ask us about the Winds of Winter!

I’ll end my speculations on this note.  “Middle Earth” is an anagram for “Milder Death”, which explains why…well…it explains nothing.  Never mind.

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This is too perfect not share.

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