The other day, we posted an essay by Ringer DarkJackal over at Heir of Durin exploring the confusion surrounding exactly when Durin’s Day occurs. But even more widely, star lore — and astronomy — plays a significant role in the shaping of Middle-earth, both figuratively and literally.
In this fantastic essay, first presented at the RingCon Tolkien convention in November 2002, Dr. Kristine Larsen, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Central Connecticut State University discusses the evolution of Tolkien’s star lore, and its links with our own stars and constellations. It’s a long read, but quite worthwhile.
The astronomy of Middle-earth
One question we might ask ourselves when embarking on a critical study of Tolkien’s work is “are we just reading too much into a story?” Christopher Tolkien argued for the authenticity of such analysis: “Such inquiries are in no way illegitimate in principle; they arise from an acceptance of the imagined world as an object of contemplation or study valid as many other objects of contemplation or study in the all too unimaginary world.” Continue reading “The astronomy of Middle-earth”