Welcome to Middle Earth

One map to rule them all...

The process for this map was a choppy one. I had a few requests for this after making The Shire, and for a very long time I resisted. There are a lot of Middle Earth maps out there already, many created before I was even born, so it seemed folly to try and contend with some of the originals (as if I had anything else to add). I started the first outline about a year ago, but the amount of detail was daunting and I put it on and off the back burner for the rest of 2014. Eventually, time and my own obsessiveness won out. Every time I would watch the movies (more often than I will admit here), I would wonder just how far Rivendell was from Amon Sûl (besides six days, you nerds), or how close Minas Tirith was to Mordor (pretty damn close). Then, I was heavily inspired by the collection of information on LOTR Project, especially their fantastic interactive Map of Middle Earth that shows timelines, character paths, events and basically everything you will ever need in terms of locations. I was hooked, and the only solution was to get into the mapping on my own.

Stylistically, this map is a little cleaner and less gritty than many of my others. With how dense and detailed the world is, I didn't want to make it any more complicated than it already was. It was pretty refreshing, and I'm even considering reworking the Shire map so they complement each other better (not sure how purists will feel about that). Originally, I wanted to make sigils for the prominent settlements (like my Westeros map), but as many of these locations were already packed with text, it would be way too cluttered to add more frilly content. Instead I stuck with just a few icons and doodles to identify certain areas, and then some font alterations for certain territories. Something fun to look for perhaps.

In case you want to explore some of my sources, here are some of my references:

Atlas of Middle Earth (also on Amazon)

LoTR Wiki

Council of Elrond

LoTR Project

*Artist tangent: Now with that out of the way, is it too much to ask for a Middle Earth theme park? I mean, they are going to go so far and create the World of Panem, and there are literally no places that I wanted to visit in the Hunger Games world (I mean, wasn't that the damn point??). I think the universe owes us a large and complex Middle Earth park, preferably closer to North America than New Zealand and Spain (and no, the Hobbit house doesn't cut it...unless someone wants to build me one specifically). Someone get on that.

End of rant, end of post, now enjoy this Legolas buzzfeed for giggles.

Comments

Anonymous

Of course the art is amazing and I love the of and rant as much! Your patience, eye for detail and color are phenomenal. The fonts are great. And I agree about Hunger games. Mordor is far more intriguing than Panem which has no orcs or ents for that matter.

Kaz Palladino

Thank you so much! And you are completely right--hanging out in Mordor still sounds like a better day than being stuck in Panem ;)

Haleth son of Hama

Need more of your renditions of things that already exist!! Awesome perspective shots of the map! I think the choice to differentiate this style from your other maps was great! I love the crispness of this one. Too bad gps has taken over because I would love a second copy to fold up in the glove compartment so when I'm most with a passenger I would say, get me the map and help me out...

Kaz Palladino

Well, I'm not sure how great the satellite reception is in some of those Middle Earth mountain ranges, so it is still possible you'll need a backup map ;)

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