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    As a loyal reader of "The Lord of the Rings", I had often the desire of being able to follow the characters' journeys as the chapters went by. Si… Read More
    As a loyal reader of "The Lord of the Rings", I had often the desire of being able to follow the characters' journeys as the chapters went by. Since the book offered the data needed to do it, I decided to make an attempt at creating such a visual aid. The final result is a book with 63 maps, positioned at the beginning of every chapter, that reproduce the path taken by the characters in the related chapter, so that the reader knows exactly what route will be covered and can make a comparison with the previous and subsequent (which is otherwise impossible). Camping sites are also represented, so you also get a feeling of the space of the journey. Read Less
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As a loyal reader of The Lord of the Rings, I had often the desire of being able to follow the characters' journeys as the chapters went by. Since the book offered the data needed to do it, I decided to make an attempt at creating such a visual aid.

The idea was to re-paginate the book, with 63 maps, positioned at the beginning of every chapter, that reproduce the path taken by the characters in the related chapter, so the reader can see exactly what route will be covered and can make a comparison with the previous and the following (which is otherwise impossible). Camping sites are also represented, so you can also know the time of the journey.
Re-Pagination
First I re-paginate the book, reviewing the translation of the text. Some words were maim in the official 1971 translation: orcs becomed orchetti (small orcs) and trolls were translated vagabondi delle montagne (tramps of the mountains). Also a lot of phrases and paragraphs where mis-traslated, and some expressions distorted. The last step was re-arranging the text. I re-structured all the notes and put order in the texts weight: deleting all the quotes, and using correctly the regular, italic and bold. Doing the text-page layout, I made all chapters starting right, so before all the chapters there was a blank page,where I can put the map. I also remade the  Appendix tables and the family trees, and I vectorized all the drawings and the runes.

Vector Map
To make the 63 chapters maps, I needed a biggest total map, from which obtain the 63 close-up. The original map sold together with the book, is very artistic and beautiful, but not very detailed. Following the routes taken by the characters was certainly possible (especially thanks to the data provided in the Appendices), but the map did not include all the places and all the names I needed to do the work. Its roughness collided with the preciseness of the book's narrative style. To do the work I needed to create a larger and more detailed drawing. To do this, I used the various topographic maps contained in The Atlas of Middle-Earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad. By overlaying the various sections contained in the Fonstad's book (more detailed) on the complete LOTR map, (and recreating the missing parts), I obteined a huge full map, 4 times larger and detailed than the original sold with the book. This map was than vectorized, retouched, defined and treated in order to obtain a topographic map, clearly readable and easy to use. I also added all of the names (possibly in two languages Elven/Italian) mentioned in the book, and necessary to understanding the path.


Path & Chapter division
The vector map obtained was enought precise to find all the references mentioned in the book, that I needed to draw precisely the journeys. To do this it was necessary to re-read the book in order to divide and isolate the paths according to the chapter progress. Both Appendix B and The Atlas of Middle-Earth subdivided the paths according to the single characters or by the chronological time-line of events. But this classification does not coincide with the narrative development, that sometimes focuses on a character, sometimes on another, upsetting the temporal order. Re-reading the book (in addition to marking the journeys) it was also possible to mark the stops (differentiating day and night camp) and write the arrival day.

Close up & details
In some occasion I made a close up of the characters journey to show it in a more detailed whay. This was important expecially when the characters used tunnels or when the path made complicate detour from the main roads.

Populations & Army charts
Not all the maps are strictly a close up of the total one, and not all of them shows just a route. For some chapters (like in the Appendix, or for the wars) was more important to show the movement of the different Army or the areas inhabited by one Population. This (whit also the close up) increased the total amount of the maps from 63 to 120.

Fonts
The Italian book was written in Garamond, very classic and readable; the original font used in the map was a heavy serif, that gave the impression of an handmade writing.  I opted instead for the same set of fonts, both for the text layout and the map material. I chose two fonts that were: harder and sharper that the Garamond; and cleaner and more readable than the handwritten font of the Map. The two chosen  fonts are: Caslon Pro for the body of the page and the Alegreya for the titles and the notes. Both the font have very irregularity characteristics. The Caslon was chosen for his robust texture, and the swash of some of is letters: very classic and elegant. The Alegreya typeface, among its crowning characteristics, it conveys a dynamic and varied rhythm, and it provides freshness to the page almost looking like calligraphy. For this reason was perfect expecially for the main title, the maps and for the Appendix tables.

Cover
The work was meant to be a modern reinterpretation of the book. For this reason, I chose as bookbinding an hardcover with a simply cardboard cover, instead of a more classic and heavy leather case-bind. This binding made more young this old and important book. Also the image on the cover has to reflect this idea: instead of a serious and classic design, I choose a more modern and young one. So I decide to make a simple and immediate image: summarizing the history of the book, and the concept of journey.  The image is handmade, then vectorialized and painted in flat colors.

The total cover shows: on the back, the Shire, Moria, the Misty Mountains and the Eagles in the clouds. On the front a huge Mount of Doom on which is superimposed a (stylized) golden Ring. Everything is in shades of green.
 
See more at my website: pels.it