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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.

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A representation of the Ruling Ring
Credit: Osa 150

The One Ring is a fictional artefact that appears as the central plot element in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth fantasy novels. It is described in an earlier story, The Hobbit (1937), as a magic ring of invisibility. The sequel The Lord of the Rings (1954–55) describes its powers as being more encompassing than invisibility, and states that the Ring is in fact malevolent. The Lord of the Rings concerns the quest to destroy the Ring, which was created by the primary antagonist, Sauron.

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Gandalf is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's universe, Middle-earth. Along with Merlin, he is often considered the archetypal wizard in Western fiction.

The Old Norse name "Gandalfr" appears in the list of dwarves in the Völuspá of the Elder Edda; the name means "cane-elf". Tolkien took the name along with the dwarves' names when he wrote The Hobbit in the 1930s. He came to regret the creation of this "rabble of eddaic-named dwarves, [...] invented in an idle hour" (The Return of the Shadow:452), since it forced him to come up with an explanation of why Old Norse names should be used in Third Age Middle-earth. He solved the dilemma in 1942 by the explanation that Old Norse was a translation of the language of Dale. The figure of Gandalf has other influences from Germanic mythology, particularly Odin in his incarnation as "the Wanderer", an old man with one eye, a long white beard, a wide brimmed hat, and a staff: Tolkien states that he thinks of Gandalf as an "Odinic wanderer" in a letter of 1946 (Letters no. 107).

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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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