Minas TirithA group, that displays one man with 500+ Facebook friends, has started a GoFundMe page to build a 1 to 1 scale replica “of Peter Jackson’s depiction of Minas Tirith, as seen in his Lord of the Rings films.”

For American readers, if my pounds to dollars calculator is working right, that is about $2.8 billion, an ambitious amount to raise on IndieGoGo, or really any crowd funding site, or really, by any method. Still, the project would be a dream to visit and would create an economy all its own and would provide years of good media material as the world watched its progress.

“We aim to create both residential and commercial properties, allowing for sustainable growth and a high quality of life,” Jonathan Wilson says on his intro page. He also breaks down the cost, a little bit, to say, “The vast majority of this expense will cover building costs – £15m for land, £188m for labour and £1.4bn for material.”

He hopes to raise £1.8 billion.

Tolkien, Nasmith, painting, illustration, Lord of the Rings, Silmarillion, Hobbit, Middle-earthNot to doubt Wilson, but that does leave out the cost of paying a license fee to the movie studios who own the right to all likenesses and images of its intellectual property as well as Tolkien Enterprises, who bought film rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s books. I have a hunch the Tolkien Estate and its lawyers might also have something to say about it, but hey, maybe all that can be easily negotiated.

A cheaper route might be to get an artist’s rendition, not associated with the films, and build that. We included one here via Ted Nasmith as a fine example.

The funding page also says, “We are currently considering two locations for Minas Tirith, both in southern England.” That is an idea I can get behind. Hopefully it isn’t too far from a river where somebody else can build a resort town of Osgiliath and after those are both successful, Minas Morgul over the hill, but hey, one giant mythical city at a time. New Zealand might be worth a thought too. I know some pretty empty tracks of land in my native Utah, but that is just me being selfish.

Wilson’s page also says, “If we don’t reach our goal of £1.85bn, all pledges will be cancelled and you will not be charged a penny,” so it is hard to get upset at all about his efforts. He isn’t ripping anybody off.

We suggest Wilson find an architectural-minded friend who can help lay out a city plan and determine what businesses and residents will go where and get some corporate sponsorship. Truthfully, it is pretty inviting to get behind the project, at least emotionally. For £1.7, supporters get one of ten luxury, four-bedroom penthouses. For that money I want the one on top that comes with a steward’s hall, but I don’t have the funds anyway, so I can’t really make demands.

MinasTirith_BuildoutThis website, has one man’s ideal build out of Minas Tirith and it is pretty cool.

People have built the city out of all kinds of things but so far, what might be most desired is the one Weta Workshop build in miniature / bigiature form for Jackson to shoot on in the LOTR films. But there are matchstick cities and Lego cities and Minecraft cities and most likely, a lot more.

Best of luck to Wilson and please keep us in mind for more media coverage to bring the latest to Tolkien fans around the world.

Oh and no word on the inclusion of Grond or siege machines planned at the base of the city. We strongly suggest offering horse rides around the outside.

JUST IN: Somebody else is raising Sauron’s Army to march on Minas Tirith.