July 17, 2001

Movies and Maps

An insider question on this month's e!online's 'Force of Hobbit' has raised an interesting question, that I felt was rather poorly answered.

How will the geography and lay of the land of Middle Earth be portrayed in the movies? I remember that when I read the books I frequently referred to the maps to sort out who was where in relation to what.

Obviously location names probably won't be as prominent in the movies (dang) but in quite a few instances the relationships of the various locations is important, especially East of the Misty Mountains, when the travels of the fellowship gets far more circuitous and diverged.

Perhaps you and I know that the Anduin runs mainly north-south, and that Rohan and Isengard are to its West, Mordor to its East, and Gondor right in the middle. But will the casual viewer pick this up?

I would prefer not to see an 'Indiana Jones' style fade-in map with dotted trails, and I don't think it is in PJ's style, but just how will the viewer know?

Does anyone have a clue, reassurance, or comment?