Summer 2022 available now!

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Udwin
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Summer 2022 available now!

Post by Udwin »

The members of the MERS are proud to announce the latest issue of Edge of the Wild is now available! It feels like a lot of talk here lately has been about taverns, villages, and other such topics, which is a great coincidence as this issue deals with Architecture in Middle-earth!
Check it out by direct PDF download HERE, or browse this and past issues on the Newsletters section of our website. Please share freely among your circles, consider joining our subscription mailing list, and give us a like on Facebook and Instagram.

What would you like to see covered in future editions?
I can let slip that our next issue will be themed around Numenor...are there any Second Age topics you want to know more about? Please let us know!

Happy reading!
Personae: Aistan son of Ansteig, common Beorning of Wilderland; Tungo Boffin, Eastfarthing Bounder, 3018 TA
Erfaron
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Re: Summer 2022 available now!

Post by Erfaron »

Yay! Can’t wait to read it
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Harper
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Re: Summer 2022 available now!

Post by Harper »

Once again, thanks for sharing.
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Elleth
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Re: Summer 2022 available now!

Post by Elleth »

Well that was just outstanding!

.. I very much like the approach of "let's recalibrate our expectations." I think the physically less imposing structures described here make the landscape of Middle-earth all the more intimidating, strangely. And foreign to our modern eyes. I quite like the "view of Orthanc" particularly in that respect.

My favorite article though is the reconstruction of Elrond's home... I think it's going to be a few reads before I even understand all the references! The structure as drawn still has a somewhat Romanesque feeling to me, though I'm sure that's my ignorance of the other vernaculars you mention. Very intriguing, all!

I do wonder if we were to track over that 1911 vacation through Switzerland, if we might find some hostel or another with a similar structure that might have been the kernel of Imladris?
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Peter Remling
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Re: Summer 2022 available now!

Post by Peter Remling »

Nice job! Enjoyed this issue very much!
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Eofor
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Re: Summer 2022 available now!

Post by Eofor »

Well that was fantastic thank you all. I've recently started researching buildings and construction from the Anglo Saxon period so it was a surprise to see this episode delve so deeply into middle earth buildings.

I very much like your interpretation of Elronds home and thank you for your regrounding of the colossal scale that seemed to creep in to the visuals via the movies. Well done indeed.
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Re: Summer 2022 available now!

Post by Odigan »

Elleth wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 7:39 pm My favorite article though is the reconstruction of Elrond's home... I think it's going to be a few reads before I even understand all the references! The structure as drawn still has a somewhat Romanesque feeling to me, though I'm sure that's my ignorance of the other vernaculars you mention. Very intriguing, all!

I do wonder if we were to track over that 1911 vacation through Switzerland, if we might find some hostel or another with a similar structure that might have been the kernel of Imladris?
Thank you! I could (and did) write pages more about it, so there are many unfinished thoughts that crept into the text and drawings; I'm not surprised if it sounds a bit muddled! I actually originally drew up three completely distinct floorplans, based on different cultural models, but in the end combined these as a reflection of the great span of time that the site must have developed under. My favourite of these was based on a basilica plan, but it was several times the size of this final version and not in keeping with the scale that can be gleaned from the drawings. If you're seeing some Romanesque, that's not surprising given clay roof tiles, colonnade, and squat square tower. Of course, none of these are exclusive to the Romanesque, but I was looking at Pre-Romanesque or Carolingian architecture, and sites like Charlemagne’s palace.

If there isn't a direct influence between such a place and Imladris, I would say there is at least a spiritual one, in terms of the Carolingian Renaissance holding a light in the dark, and the palace of Aachen and Rivendell both being seats of power, knowledge, and art. There is also the religious/political component, if one wishes to draw parallels between the East/West split and the unification of the latter. I actively avoided comparisons to the Swiss Chalet style as being too modern, and instead offered alternatives rooted in the style's origins that are closer to Tolkien's drawings. But if you like that sort of look, from the same era I'd recommend the Dragestil and particularly the Hotel Dalen in Telemark, Norway.
Hotel_Dalen_Telemark_Norway.jpg
Hotel_Dalen_Telemark_Norway.jpg (102.25 KiB) Viewed 611 times
If we're going for the outsized and fanciful, a personal pick of mine is Mănăstirea Bârsana in Romania, which I visited quite fortuitously many years ago. Does it match the drawings? Not at all. But it does give a sense of a similar dispersed, self-sufficient, living-with-nature/universe community with great spires and wood carvings dwelling within a valley beside a river! It's a large complex and difficult to photograph everything as it's in the round, so this panorama really condenses things. I'll leave you with the Google Maps link if you want to really look around.
Mănăstirea_Bârsana_Maramureș.jpg
Mănăstirea_Bârsana_Maramureș.jpg (226.85 KiB) Viewed 611 times
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Elleth
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Re: Summer 2022 available now!

Post by Elleth »

Thank you! I could (and did) write pages more about it, so there are many unfinished thoughts that crept into the text and drawings; I'm not surprised if it sounds a bit muddled! I
Oh, I think your writing was quite clear! It's just that you referenced a number of styles I knew little to nothing about. If you've the time, I'd be very interested in hearing some of the thoughts that didn't make it onto the page.

And yes, I think it was the squarish guard tower and maybe that broad shaded porch that made me think Romanesque, but also I've not much frame of reference for historical architecture. The places you linked to are neat!

I think you're onto something with the spiritual resonance with the Carolingian era. So much to learn! :mrgreen:
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Cimrandir
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Re: Summer 2022 available now!

Post by Cimrandir »

Sat down and read the newsletter the other day but I'm just now getting around to commenting on it.

In short, completely awesome. I'm a big fan of architecture and the thought and research that's gone into this issue is incredible. Well done everyone.

I really enjoyed the article in the Argonath in particular. I had no idea Pauline Baynes had drawn a version of it. They remind me of the Lewis chess pieces somewhat which is awesome. I find that despite the smaller scale, that only adds to the realism of the world. The film version always bugged me for exactly the reasons listed. Far too massive, physical improbability, and so on. I'd love to see an artist tackle a version inspired by this article.

Elleth wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 12:32 amI think you're onto something with the spiritual resonance with the Carolingian era. So much to learn! :mrgreen:

Right there with you. I've been so focused on the British side of history I've completely neglected the Continental history. I see a lot of "spiritual resonance" for sure!
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Elleth
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Re: Summer 2022 available now!

Post by Elleth »

Right there with you. I've been so focused on the British side of history I've completely neglected the Continental history.
Likewise, I'm only now getting into Continental history, and the interconnections are eye opening. I (very belatedly) just realized the fall of Constantinople and the beginning of the War of the Roses were within a couple years of each other.

... I have no idea what the connection might be, but I have a hard time believing there's not some common thread there. That's the thing about history I suppose - everything you learn just adds to the number of questions. :mrgreen:
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Re: Summer 2022 available now!

Post by Iodo »

this looks like it will be really cool, I'll read it later :P
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