Saturday, September 03, 2022

New Maps of Westeros & Middle-earth

Fans of fantasy fiction must believe that they have sailed across the Great Sea and arrived in the blessed lands of Valinor. With both House of the Dragon and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power currently airing on subscription tv we really are living in the Blessed Realms.

One of the many highlights from the first two episodes of The Rings of Power have been the sumptuous and sweeping transitions from map views to Middle-earth landscapes.  For example in episode two when Elrond and Celebrimbor travel from Eregion (the Realm of the Elven Smiths) to Khazad-dûm (the Realm of the Dwarves) the journey is shown on a Tolkein inspired map of Middle-earth. 

If you want to explore these locations for yourself on an interactive map then the LOTR Project is a fantastic resource. The interactive map on the LOTR Project uses place names from the Third Age. The Rings of Power is set in the Second Age and many of the place-names used at this time have long since gone out of use by the time of the Third Age. 

For example Khazad-dûm is labeled Moria on the LOTR Project map (in the Second Age the dwarves were forced to leave Khazad-dûm. Subsequently this dark, empty underground kingdom became known as Moria, the Black Pit). Therefore if you want to find Khazad-dûm on the interactive map you need to search for Moria (the elven realm of Erigion can be found directly to the west of Moria on the map).  

If you want to have a better sense of the many locations featured in the first two episodes of the House of the Dragon then you can refer to HBO's own interactive Map of Westeros. The first two episodes take place mainly at King's Landing. If you click on King's Landing on the interactive map you can learn more about some of the key locations in the capital city of the Seven Kingdoms. 

In the second episode Prince Daemon has taken up home at Dragonstone. A key scene of episode two takes place on Dragonstone, which you can find on the HBO map north-west of King's Landing at the entrance to Blackwater Bay.

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