Noldorian camps in Mithrim

Discussion in 'Season 4' started by Haerangil, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. Haerangil

    Haerangil Well-Known Member

    fingolfiniancamp.jpg Hi there! Listening to your podcst I noticed some dissent about the nature of the noldrian War-camps in Mithrim, and I think I can help shed some light on the Situation...

    As I have explained before Fingolfin and Feanor could easily have had a comlete Host (including women and children) of up to 400.000 and 200.000 people. Elves or not, such high numbers ARE a major issue in concern of logistics and economy.

    Mostly I am on Faelivrins side with her considerations on the nature of these settlements and opposing Nicks point of view. I wish to explain why...

    this is a short sketch of Lake Mithrim:


    According to KWFs map that I saw lake Mithrim is up to 40 miles in length, four major rivers contribute to the lake. Now As far as I can see the Lake and the eastern and western river would NATURALLY serve as a red line between the two camps, a line noone would dare to cross...

    there certainly would have been Scout camps, Watchposts, Outposts whatever on possible narrows or fords of these rivers. Both sides would have such outposts and literally lurk on each other, possibly in line of the reach of an Elven Bow.

    The main camps would probably be not on the Hills - that´s where i would suggest Watchtowers and Outposts -but in the broad valleys, next to the lake... i suppose it is a sweetwater-lake so they need a large reservoir of freshwater for their folks.
    As you can see, if both rivers and the lake serve as a red line, secured by each others Watchposts and Archers, there is a large hinterland for each camp to the north and the south. Now we know Hithlum was a cool, but not a barren land... I suppose it has it´s forests and plains and many herds of wild animals living there...
    to feed such a large number of people it will be essential to chop down the wood and to catch and domesticate animals, hunting is not an option for such a large crowd!

    They would also need to grow crops, so all in all, I side with Faelivrin here as I also think these camps would quite quickly develope into cities of wod, and maybe even some stone.

    Now the biggest Refugee camp, Daadaad in Kenya once housed up to 40.000 people in an area of 20 Squaremiles. I suppose the Fingolfinian camp to have a similar size and the feanorian camp roughly half of it - not counting the smaller outposts and watchposts in which only small contingents would be housed - who would have to wacht out that nobody crosses the line from both sides, because they would not only have to defend or protecttheir loggers and gatherers and hunters and scouts from the other side, they would also need to hold back their own people som that no hoistile yelling, throwing of rocks or provocations can happen.

    I have sketched out possible layouts for both camps:



    possible scout/Watch/Outpost:
    I have modeled the campf roughly after the design of Roman War-camps, because these also were very quickly rised and soon became fortified settlements and did not stay rows of tents with a wooden frame around, but had eath dikes, bridges, streets, a Forum...

    The one thing i did change is that i decided that these camps would be circular, like Tirion, baecause round settlements seem natural to Elves and also serve a practical purpuse because these are elves, they can see longer stretchen than humans, they can watch for enemies to all sides.

    Apart from its smaller size i also think that the Feanorian camp does not have a "Gar Ainion" or sanctuary, but the Fingolfinian camp may have one...
    any way both camps have workshops, roads, smithies, housing and much room for keeping animals. Also the erea around the camps would quickly be deforested and can serve for agriculture (again modeled after Minas Tirith and Gondolin where the Pelennor or the valley of Gondolin served as agricultural space for slarge fields and small farmbuildings. A five years timespan is by far sufficient for the developement of such a grea t Camp-City, if you take ito account how fast the romans were able to put up fortified camps of consoiderable size- and we are dealing with Elves here, who should be even more able to do so.


    the points along the rivers where there are Watchposts from both camps facing each other could be perfect places for a meeting on neutral ground, if there was for example a ford or an islet in midst of the River Estuary... the camps would have Watchtowers with Archers in closest distance, and not only Warriors to come to Aid if necessary, but also healers and everything needed to look after wounded warriors... so if Finfin and Maedhros are brought HERE, it is as good as any of both main camps, because there are healers and herbs and everything needed very very close...

    We have to keep in mi d the situation is antique/medieval warfare...
    elves or not, they do not have modern artillery, both camps are not under fire.They are not able to have supplied delivered from anywhere by helicopter... they have to built up camps that arevable to be much self-sustained as they probably also dont expect much help from the Sindar far south and southwest..., yet these are high-elves, natural tamers of beasts, natural growers of things, abd pretty much the best workers, architechts, builders the elves have... they can outdo the romans easily i think... IF theyr logging parties, gatherers and herders stick to their territory north and south of the lake/rivers and do not cross the red line!
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  2. Nicholas Palazzo

    Nicholas Palazzo Well-Known Member

    Ok, here is the deal. People pursue agriculture when they feel safe, which is neither something the Elves feel, nor something we want the audience to think. Having functional settlements gives the impression that these two groups have some assurances that they won't be attacked, and their farms won't be razed.

    As Faelivrin pointed out, there are not going to be a lot of trees available at this point for major construction or for cover. The land is relatively flat on the plain surrounding Mithrim, so it is doubtful that the rivers are impassable or even difficult for an army to cross.

    So, no, we should not be depicting farming or industry going on. Not only is it implausible from sociological, psychological, and strategic standpoints, it definitely gives an impression of safety to show pastoral scenes of peaceful farming communities, and would undercut the tension of the two camps in this episode. Honestly, they could even be nervous a out farming that close to Angband in the first few years, and even more so each other at a much shorter distance.
  3. Haerangil

    Haerangil Well-Known Member

    Hmm... i can see your point, but i have to say, Angband is still 150 miles away and on the othervside of the mountains... and at least the western river comes down from the mountains... the only flat land is directly surrounding mithrim and quite possibly eastern mithrin to the foothills of the Ered Wethrin.

    I disagree on your concepts of agriculture and herding... people ALWAYS did agriculture in times of war, even in dangerous frontier settlements... because well simply because they HAD to...
    Thats why settlers mostly were a well armed watchful lot..

    I'm not saying we HAVE to depict farming communities ON screen... we do not need to show any if we feel it misleads the viewer. I am also not sure about timber... in the books Mithrim will later be the most densely populated part of the entire land - and the Ered Wethrin definitely had pine and fir forest. But i am now talking on logic and how it would have been according to the books...

    I realize that its a different thing what you may wish to show on a tv adaption on screen..
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  4. MithLuin

    MithLuin Well-Known Member

    Ah, yes, my recalling of a walled compound in Afghanistan under daily fire and getting supplies by helicopter was *not* meant as an example of the situation at Mithrim! My only point there was that in a wartime situation, you return to your base after short forays and that both travel and getting supplies are difficult and unsafe.

    Granted, the Noldor are not at war. We are several steps down from an open war situation. This is not a 'lawless' territory like the Wild West or northern Kenya...places where your safety can easily be endangered by other people with weapons and no fear of reprisal. There are not roaming bands of brigands to waylay travellers. It's more that there is a perceived risk of attack.

    And yet...there is high tension. They have reason to suspect hostilities could break out, and some people in each camp no doubt welcome that possibility.

    Choices of what to armed and guarded are they? How fearful are they to venture outside their walls? Overnight? How strongly do they avoid one another? What interactions, if any, between the camps? Are they exchanging news? ultimatums? trading supplies?

    While I recognize the importance of a large sedentary camp establishing agriculture quickly. ..only the Feanoreans have the supplies to do so. So, how do the Fingolfinians get their supplies? Do they domesticate local wild crops and animals on the spot? Do the Sindar help them? Or do they need the Feanoreans to return the supplies stolen with the ships?
    Haerangil likes this.

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