Outline of Middle-earth

The following outline is presented as an overview of and topical guide about Tolkien's fantasy universe:

Middle-earth – fictional setting of the majority of author J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy writings. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings take place entirely in Middle-earth, as does much of The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. The term Middle-earth is also a nickname of the entirety of Tolkien's creation, instead of the more appropriate, but less known terms Arda which refers to Tolkien's world (including celestial bodies), and Eä, which refers to the universe.


Nature of Middle-earth

Middle-earth can be described as:

General reference


Published works


  • The Hobbit – a 1977 animated musical television special created by Rankin/Bass*The Lord of the Rings film trilogy
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  • The Hobbit – two-part prequel to The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, currently in production, scheduled for release in 2012 and 2013.

Cosmology of Eä

Geography of Middle-earth

The stories takes mostly place in Beleriand, Eriador, and Rhovanion, but there are many other places in Middle-earth.

See also Aman, Númenor for places outside Middle-earth.

Nations and large regions

First Age only:

Present after the First Age:

See also Regions of Gondor, Realms of Arda.

Natural features

Middle-earth was carefully designed by Tolkien, and contains many natural features such as rivers, mountains, and seas.

Large waters

First Age only:

  • Bay of Balar
  • Helcaraxë, the Grinding Ice
  • Inland Sea of Helcar

Present after the First Age:

  • Bay of Belfalas
  • Belegaer the Great Sea
  • Ice-bay of Forochel
  • The Great Gulf
  • Gulf of Lhûn (present only after the First Age)
  • Lake Evendim
  • Long Lake of Esgaroth
  • Inland Sea of Núrnen
  • Inland Sea of Rhûn

Mountains and Hills

First Age only:

  • Crissaegrim, home of the great Eagles
  • Mount Dolmed
  • Echoriath or Encircling Mountains
  • Ered Engrin or Iron Mountains
  • Thangorodrim or Mountains of Tyranny

Present after the First Age:


First Age only:

See also the Seven rivers of Ossiriand

Present after the First Age:

  • Adorn
  • Anduin the Great River
  • Baranduin or Brandywine
  • Bruinen or Loudwater
  • Carnen or Redwater
  • Celduin or River Running
  • Forest River of Mirkwood
  • Greylin
  • Gwathló or Greyflood
  • Isen or Angren
  • Mering Stream
  • Mitheithel or Hoarwell
  • Morgulduin
  • Onodló or Entwash
  • Snowbourn
  • Withywindle of the Old Forest

See also Rivers of Gondor

For a full list of rivers, see: List of Middle-earth rivers.

Cities, fortresses and other populated places

First Age only:

Present after the First Age:

See also Cities of Gondor


History of Middle-earth

Historical periods

A more detailed list can be found at Ages of Middle-earth.

  1. Years of the Lamps
  2. Years of the Trees
  3. Years of the Sun
  4. Ages of the Children of Ilúvatar
    1. First Age
    2. Second Age
    3. Third Age
    4. Fourth Age

Named weapons





See Timeline of Middle-earth.


What follows is a brief and inevitably incomplete listing of characters from Tolkien's work who lived in Middle-earth, divided into First Age, Second Age, and Third Age. Note that characters are sorted according to several groups, and may appear multiple times. For a full list of characters see: List of Middle-earth characters.

First Age

House of Finwë

Sons of Fëanor

House of Fingolfin

House of Finarfin

House of Elwë and Olwë

  • Elwë (Elu Thingol)
  • Melian (wife of Thingol)
  • Olwë
    • Eärwen

House of Bëor

House of Marach

Descendants of Lúthien and Beren

Descendants of Idril and Tuor

Haladin of Brethil


For a list of the Valar, see that article.

Second Age

Kings of Númenor: see Kings of Númenor

Sauron, a.k.a. Annatar

Ringwraiths or Nazgûl

Third Age

Thorin and Company

(13 Dwarves, 1 Hobbit, and 1 Wizard)

The Fellowship of the Ring

(4 Hobbits, 2 Men, 1 Wizard, 1 Elf, and 1 Dwarf)

Kings of Gondor: see Kings of Gondor

Kings of Arnor: see Kings of Arnor

Kings of Arthedain: see Kings of Arthedain

Chiefs of the Rangers of Arnor: see Chiefs of the Dúnedain

Stewards of Gondor: see Stewards of Gondor

Kings of Rohan: see Kings of Rohan

Wizards or Istari:

Dwarves of Durin's folk: see Durin's folk

Other characters


Culture of Middle-earth


Major languages

  • General overview

Folklore of Middle-earth


Love Stories



See also

For a list of Middle-earth related articles by name, see: List of Middle-earth articles.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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