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19568Re: Population Levels in Middle-earth

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  • Merlin DeTardo
    Mar 8, 2008
      ---"Larry Swain" <theswain@...> wrote:
      << Merlin, You make two errors here. >>

      I certainly welcome corrections -- thank you, Larry. I apologize for
      any confusion. I did not mean to argue that there was no trade
      between Dunland and the Shire: as you point out, there obviously is,
      at least between Saruman and Lotho. Rather I meant that Tolkien may
      be inconsistent in his presentation of that trade when he has Aragorn
      say here that there he is unaware of open movement of goods or people
      between those lands. Does this mean that entire waggon-loads were
      sneaked past Aragorn's Rangers (who guard Sarn Ford), or that the
      Rangers knew of *secret* shipments, but they never bothered to
      investigate them?

      You also make good points that the refugees in Bree and the details
      of Boromir's journey suggest populated lands in southern Eriador, but
      again, Aragorn here refers to "empty countries" along the road north
      to the Shire from Rohan -- is that another inconsistency?

      A few additional notes:

      << the 1417 crop too it would seem, events in the story taking place
      in early 1419 at this point >>

      You are correct: Pippin confirms that date is stamped on the barrels.

      << So there may not be much population between Isengard and the
      Shire, but there isn't that much distance either. 4 days on
      horseback following a road. >>

      That's a fast horse. Checking the _LotR_ map, it looks to be more
      than 400 miles in a straight line from Isengard to Sarn Ford, and the
      road bends a little. It takes Gandalf more than 4 days on Shadowfax,
      racing to find Frodo before the Ringwraiths do.

      << the autumn of 4018 he sent away "loads of stuff", enough that
      supplies actually ran short in the Shire. >>

      You mean 3018 (or 1418).

      -Merlin DeTardo
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