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Portal:Middle-earth

Introduction

Middle-earth is the fictional setting of much of British writer J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. The term is equivalent to the term Midgard of Norse mythology, describing the human-inhabited world, that is, the central continent of the Earth in Tolkien's imagined mythological past.

Tolkien's most widely read works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, take place entirely in Middle-earth, and Middle-earth has also become a short-hand to refer to the legendarium and Tolkien's fictional take on the world.[citation needed]

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Hobbiton, as depicted in the Lord of the Rings films
Credit: Rob Chandler (Rob & Jules)

The Shire is a region of J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional Middle-earth, described in The Lord of the Rings and other works. The Shire refers to an area settled exclusively by Hobbits and largely removed from the goings-on in the rest of Middle-earth. It is located in the northwest of the continent, in the large region of Eriador and the Kingdom of Arnor.

Hobbiton, a village in the Westfarthing of the Shire, is the home of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. It was re-created at Matamata, New Zealand for the filming of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings film series. The film location (pictured) has become a tourist attraction.

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Sindarin is an artificial language (or conlang) developed by J. R. R. Tolkien. In Tolkien's mythos, it was the Elvish language most commonly spoken in Middle-earth in the Third Age. It was the language of the Sindar, those Teleri which had been left behind on the Great Journey of the Elves. It was derived from an earlier language called Common Telerin. When the Ñoldor came back to Middle-earth, they adopted the Sindarin language, although they believed their native Quenya more beautiful. Sindarin shared common roots with Quenya, and the two languages had many similar words. Sindarin was said to be more changeful than the older tongue, however, and there were a number of regional 'dialects' of the tongue. The Sindarin spoken in Doriath was said to be the highest and most noble form of the language.

Before the downfall, most of the Men of Númenor also spoke the language. Knowledge of it was kept in the Númenórean realm in exile Gondor, especially amongst the learned. Sindarin is the language referred to as the Elven-tongue in The Lord of the Rings.

Tolkien originally imagined that the language which would become Sindarin was spoken by the Ñoldor (second clan of Elves). However, Tolkien later decided that it was the language of the Sindar. For this reason it is called Noldorin in the older material, such as the Etymologies. When Noldorin became Sindarin, it also adopted some features of the originally unrelated language Ilkorin. Tolkien based the sound and some of the grammar of his Noldorin/Sindarin on Welsh, and Sindarin displays of the consonant mutations that characterise the Celtic (especially Brythonic) languages. The language was also probably influenced to an extent by the Germanic languages, as Tolkien was a scholar of both Old English and Old Norse.

The written script alphabet of the Elven languages is typically Tengwar, although Cirth can also be used.

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Things you can do

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Here are some open tasks for WikiProject Middle-earth. Feel free to help with any of the following tasks:

Collaboration: Return Middle-earth to featured status, make Lord of the Rings a good article, review Cirth for good article nomination.
Cleanup: List of Hobbits, List of hobbit families, Second Age
Copyedit/extensive work: Círdan, Meriadoc Brandybuck, Valaquenta
Create: J. R. R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography, Kay Miner, Tolkien's View: Windows into his world
Expand to separate pages/list entries: Alliterative verse by J. R. R. Tolkien, Art inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien
Stubs: The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, Tolkien Studies
Provide references: The Notion Club Papers
Add secondary sources: Númenor, Moria (Middle-earth)
Current topics (may need updating): The History of The Hobbit, The Hobbit films
Merge into: Minor places in Middle-earth, Minor places in Beleriand
Other: See the Things to do page, update a Random article (reset) , or review recent changes

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J.R.R. Tolkien     Guide to The Lord of the Rings     Elven writing     Quenya     J.R.R. Tolkien
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