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18 June 2014
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Legacies - Birmingham

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Myths and Legends
Sarehole, the inspiration for Hobbiton?

© Reproduced by permission of Birmingham Library
Talking Tolkien

It’s strange how easily the line between reality and fiction can become blurred. So the landscape around Haworth in Yorkshire becomes Brontë Country, and Warwickshire is re-packaged by the tourist industry as Shakespeare’s County. But perhaps most striking of all, one of Birmingham’s suburbs has been re-born as Middle Earth. More...

Words: Chris Upton

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Your comments

1 Paul from Barry, South Wales - 16 January 2004
"I've always thought that "The Two Towers" were Minas Tirith (the Tower of Guard - which was formerly Minas Arnor, the Tower of the Sun) and Minas Morgul (the Tower of Corruption - formerly Minas Ithil, the Tower of the Moon) as they are quite clearly in opposition throughout. However, Tolkiens' original artwork shows two opposing Towers, one white with a moon over, the other black with a star over, which would represent Minas Morgul and Orthanc - again, two towers in opposition, as the double treachery of Saruman makes clear. It appears even Tolkien himself varied from time to time. However, one thing I am sure of, "The Two Towers" represents one third of a literary masterpiece, which itself represents only a relatively small part of the effort that JRR Tolkien put into Middle Earth, its people, its languages, and its "history"."

2 gary from birmingham - 5 January 2004
"where in birmingham did tolkien live? are there any places in birmingham where his work exists? "

3 Paul Scriv from Manchester, England - 5 January 2004
"The two towers are, quite clearly, Orthanc and Cirith Ungol. Minas Tirith and Barad Dur do not appear in books 3 and 4. "

4 James from Coventry - 18 December 2003
"Please warn people that you give away some of the LOTR storyline, I am gutted now I have read "Gamgee was to re-appear in Tolkien’s writings as Frodo’s faithful servant and the last ring bearer.""

5 Nyowe from Kampala, Uganda - 18 December 2003
"I have heard that JRR Tolkien's inspiration to write the LOTR's novel was his observation that modern English culture lacked a sense of mythology and legend. Is this a myth or fact?"

6 Dude from Birmingham - 12 December 2003
"my school is next 2 the two towers where he got his ideas and the reservoir where he sat and looked at the two towers, they are quite scary"

7 Esau Aguinaga Marquez from Mexico - 12 December 2003
"As far as I know the two towers are Baradur and the Orthanc tower and not Minas Morgul and Minas Tirith. Those are names for two of the gondorian cities."

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Look back into the past using the Legacies' archives. Find nearly 200 tales from around the country in our collection.

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