See the Sketches J.R.R. Tolkien Used to Build Middle-Earth

Wired: The key lesson of The Art of The Lord of the Rings is this:
We forget that it’s not only filmmakers who need to translate words into pictures.

Tolkien was an endless reviser. “Earliest map of the Shire” reveals his creative recycling. Pencil lines have been overlaid with blue and red ink. Dashed and dotted lines represent Frodo, Sam, and Pippin’s route, or the boundaries of features like The Old Forest. In light pencil, upper right, “Elves” are added with a circle. Nomenclature changes; Tolkien gives “Puddifoot” a new name: “Maggot.” The detailed maps printed in their finished form in Lord of the Rings help readers get their bearings. But as drafts, they must have helped Tolkien, too. “The ‘First Map’ of Middle-earth” was Tolkien’s master reference map; over the years, he glued new sheets on top of old ones as his story grew and changed in the telling.

See also

Craft and creativity

The sketches J.R.R. Tolkien used to build Middle-Earth

“For Tolkien, the art of writing and the art of drawing were inextricably intertwined. In the book ‘The Art of The Lord of the Rings’, we see how, and why.” — Wired

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