Session 4-23: Episodes 11 and 12

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Indeed!the published silmarillion map has no longitudinal scale
If i adapt beleriand to the lotr map i'd get a Tumladen of roughly 17 miles in diameter...

We cannot always trust Karen wynn-fonstadts maps, but she also has tumladen an oval valley of
14-15 miles at the widest point.

Some other maps give the width of the vale as 21 and more miles...

I guess i'd go with a round, volcano-like vale of 17 miles in diameter... so tumladen would be a place of ca 230 squaremiles
kwf makes gondolin a place of ca. 95 squaremiles... so there's a contradiction here.

If gondolin has about 120.000 inhabitants a size of 70 squaremiles seems reasonable, so gondolin occupies roughly one thirdth of the entire vale of tumladen... most of the outer area would be a large agricultural area... so i guess there's little space to hunt or explore to start with, though i might imagine that turgon has a small forest as a hunting-preserve somewhere... maybe 2000 squaremiles and a diameter of ca. 50 miles for entire tumladen would be more reasonable?

On the other hand... antique yinxu had ca 120000 inhabitants on ca. 19 squaremiles... which would fit far better to a vale of tumladen which has ca. 60 squaremiles at a diameter of ca 9 miles? I don't know...

Maybe we should use the midpoint and say: tumladen 100 squaremiles, gondolin 30 squaremiles?
that would be ca 11miles in diameter which again is close to fonstadts 14-15 miles...

Or we stay with a diameter of 17 miles, making an area of ca 230 squaremiles of which one quarter ,ca.60 squaremiles, are occupied by gondolin? That would maybe be closest to what we can conclude from jrrts maps and drawings... but on the other hand i mean... looking at his sketch, i could imagine that his gondolin might be about less than 1 mile in diameter... that could mean an area of roughly half a squaremile, ... if his gondolin occupies one quarter of the valley that woukd leave us with a vale of only five miles in diameter, an area of roughly 20 squaremiles... that is really small!
Withnan army of 10.000 gondolin must have had at last 10.000 inhsbitants! Small cities of 10.000 inhabitants, if not densely settled might have an area of ca 2 squaremiles... and i still think gondolin could easily have had a population of up to 120000, Turgon would not have led his entire people to battle!

Damn i don't know!
 
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Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Let’s not forget that the lower inner parts of the encircling mountains won’t be suitable for farming but could be nice hunting grounds.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
The only definite measurement I can think of is that Thangorodrim and Menegroth are 450 miles apart/150 leagues, and the Encircling Mountains are somewhere within that measurement since they are north of Menegroth.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
Another definite measurement is that Dorthonion is 60 leagues (180 miles) from west to east, but I don't think the Encircling Mountains are included within that.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Another definite measurement is that Dorthonion is 60 leagues (180 miles) from west to east, but I don't think the Encircling Mountains are included within that.
From what I can glean from the map in The Children of Hurin, the Encircling Mountains form the western border of Dorthonion, with the Pass of Amlach in between.
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Indeed!the published silmarillion map has no longitudinal scale
If i adapt beleriand to the lotr map i'd get a Tumladen of roughly 17 miles in diameter...

We cannot always trust Karen wynn-fonstadts maps, but she also has tumladen an oval valley of
14-15 miles at the widest point.

Some other maps give the width of the vale as 21 and more miles...

I guess i'd go with a round, volcano-like vale of 17 miles in diameter... so tumladen would be a place of ca 230 squaremiles
kwf makes gondolin a place of ca. 95 squaremiles... so there's a contradiction here.

If gondolin has about 120.000 inhabitants a size of 70 squaremiles seems reasonable, so gondolin occupies roughly one thirdth of the entire vale of tumladen... most of the outer area would be a large agricultural area... so i guess there's little space to hunt or explore to start with, though i might imagine that turgon has a small forest as a hunting-preserve somewhere... maybe 2000 squaremiles and a diameter of ca. 50 miles for entire tumladen would be more reasonable?

On the other hand... antique yinxu had ca 120000 inhabitants on ca. 19 squaremiles... which would fit far better to a vale of tumladen which has ca. 60 squaremiles at a diameter of ca 9 miles? I don't know...

Maybe we should use the midpoint and say: tumladen 100 squaremiles, gondolin 30 squaremiles?
that would be ca 11miles in diameter which again is close to fonstadts 14-15 miles...

Or we stay with a diameter of 17 miles, making an area of ca 230 squaremiles of which one quarter ,ca.60 squaremiles, are occupied by gondolin? That would maybe be closest to what we can conclude from jrrts maps and drawings... but on the other hand i mean... looking at his sketch, i could imagine that his gondolin might be about less than 1 mile in diameter... that could mean an area of roughly half a squaremile, ... if his gondolin occupies one quarter of the valley that woukd leave us with a vale of only five miles in diameter, an area of roughly 20 squaremiles... that is really small!
Withnan army of 10.000 gondolin must have had at last 10.000 inhsbitants! Small cities of 10.000 inhabitants, if not densely settled might have an area of ca 2 squaremiles... and i still think gondolin could easily have had a population of up to 120000, Turgon would not have led his entire people to battle!

Damn i don't know!
So how many Elves can live in Gondolin and how much space can the city take without too much fear of overcrowding?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
For Episode 12 and the Construction of Nargothrond: should Amon Ethir, the great earthen mound raised by Finrod where Nienor encounters Glaurung, be part of the construction project?
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
So how many Elves can live in Gondolin and how much space can the city take without too much fear of overcrowding?
I suppose it all depends upon how close we want to be to the apparent size Gondolin and Tumladen are on the map. It also depends on how high we want the elves to be building. I think that some time ago it was determined that a good limit to unsupported elven stone construction would be around 500 feet (about 150m). Of all places, I would be ok with Gondolin having an almost modern skyline in comparison with most ancient or medieval cities. Given what we have already discussed about Elven agriculture, I do not think they would need nearly as much land for it as humans do, or in fact as large a population to support the 10,000 soldiers they will later be able to field as an expeditionary force.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I suppose it all depends upon how close we want to be to the apparent size Gondolin and Tumladen are on the map. It also depends on how high we want the elves to be building. I think that some time ago it was determined that a good limit to unsupported elven stone construction would be around 500 feet (about 150m). Of all places, I would be ok with Gondolin having an almost modern skyline in comparison with most ancient or medieval cities. Given what we have already discussed about Elven agriculture, I do not think they would need nearly as much land for it as humans do, or in fact as large a population to support the 10,000 soldiers they will later be able to field as an expeditionary force.
Indeed my guess that Gondolon on jrrts sketch is less than 1 mile in diameter is based on thevassumption that turgon's tower is not much taller than 600 meters! If we take his drawing literally and turgons tower is 150 m tall then Gondolin is a village of not much more than 500 meters in diameter... but even if the tower has fantastic measures like 800 meters or the like gondolin would have at maximum 2,5 km diameter. I think 3 sq mi are small for a city with tens of thousands of inhabitants... so maybe i should just leave his drawing behind me as a conceptual sketch...
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Another definite measurement is that Dorthonion is 60 leagues (180 miles) from west to east, but I don't think the Encircling Mountains are included within that.
That is a good orientation point! If taken literally then tumladen would be about 14 mi long at the widest point!
if combining with jrrts sketch then Gondolin could have an area of 2- km2 ... i think that would be okay for a city with above 100.000 inhabitants... those could be reasonable numbers i could well live with.
 
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Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
For Episode 12 and the Construction of Nargothrond: should Amon Ethir, the great earthen mound raised by Finrod where Nienor encounters Glaurung, be part of the construction project?
It could happen in Episode 12, or maybe Finrod could have it built in the season finale to show the people of Nargothrond's increasing watchfulness after they get news of Glaurung.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
It could happen in Episode 12, or maybe Finrod could have it built in the season finale to show the people of Nargothrond's increasing watchfulness after they get news of Glaurung.
Wouldn't it be ironic that on the hill built to watch for Glaurung, Glaurung used his most potent display of mind powers?
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
How different will Gondolin look when it is first built than when Tuor comes to it almost 400 years later. Obviously stronger defenses will be added, such as the seventh gate built by Maeglin, but do the Gondolindrim build more houses as their population increases, or did they plan for this when first building it?
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Well the seven gates technically are not part of the city...but i think... at first they probwbly do not need an outer wall or even watchtowers... those could be later additions!
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Also, a reminder that Gondolin is built on a hill, so it has more surface area than a flat city with the same boundaries would.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Quite a lot! But the hill of Gondolin is really more a plateau so... the difference shouldn't be that big actually.
But you're right... the slopes of gondolin look very rocky and barren... if that is a result of the quarrying for stone to built the city we don't know of course..
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Btw as i continue to read the script...

I can't say how much i love the way the captains and wives are introduced! It is so good to have new interesting characters!
and i like the funny mocking on flying balrogs and a not dead elf with a strangely twisted name

I like the feanorians brooding and boasting, the strategy, The Finarfinians excourse of etymologies ... really good!

One thing i did not like however... i felt that rhogrins capture is a bit unheroic and sad... maybe the part in which he fights could be omitted and we just see him heavily wounded crawling out of the remains of some battle or ambush to see the undefined shape of some terrible enemy , then again cut outbwhat happens and we see him as a prisoner? Something like this maybe? I don't know...
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Btw as i continue to read the script...

I can't say how much i love the way the captains and wives are introduced! It is so good to have new interesting characters!
and i like the funny mocking on flying balrogs and a not dead elf with a strangely twisted name

I like the feanorians brooding and boasting, the strategy, The Finarfinians excourse of etymologies ... really good!

One thing i did not like however... i felt that rhogrins capture is a bit unheroic and sad... maybe the part in which he fights could be omitted and we just see him heavily wounded crawling out of the remains of some battle or ambush to see the undefined shape of some terrible enemy , then again cut outbwhat happens and we see him as a prisoner? Something like this maybe? I don't know...

As I recall, the original discussion of Rhogrin's capture was more of a jump scare than a protracted sequence, and he was later shown to be in captivity.
 
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