Middle-earth, also known as Endor, is the continent in which Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is set. It is one of the habitable parts of Arda and it underwent many geographical changes during the First and Second Ages caused by Eru Ilúvatar.
There are three periods to the history of Middle-earth: the Years of the Lamps, the Years of the Trees and the Years of the Sun.
The Years of the Lamps began after the Valar finished shaping Arda. Two lamps were created to light up the world, and great towers were forged in which these lamps would be held. When Melkor destroyed the two lamps, the Years of the Lamps came to an end.
Then Yavanna, a Vala, made two trees in the land of Aman, which lit up the continent while the rest of Arda remained in darkness, only to be lit up by the stars. Melkor had been imprisoned, but was let free on parole. Melkor stole the Silmarils, three gems that contained the light of the Two Trees, and destroyed the Trees themselves.
The next period, the Year of the Sun, commenced when the Valar created the sun which rose over the world. Melkor, then known as Morgoth, caused war across the continent, but was eventually captured and banished into the Door of Night. The Silmarils were recovered, but at a great cost.
- The term "Middle-earth" was not invented by Tolkien. Rather, it existed in Old English as middanġeard and in Middle English as midden-erd or middel-erd.
- Years after publication, Tolkien postulated in a letter that the action of the books takes place roughly 6,000 years ago, though he was not certain.
- Tolkien stated that the geography of Middle-earth was intended to align with that of our real Earth in several particulars. Some suggest that if the map of Middle-earth is projected on our real Earth, the Hobbits' Shire might lie in the temperate climate of England, Gondor might lie in the Mediterranean Italy and Greece, Mordor in the arid Turkey and Middle East, South Gondor and Near Harad in the deserts of Northern Africa, Rhovanion in the forests of Germany and the steppes of Western and Southern Russia, and the Ice Bay of Forochel in the fjords of Norway.
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|Outside of Mordor|