Where is Middle Earth?

Unlocking the greatest mystery of traditional literature


Rarely noticed for its geographical beauty, Pakistan, which lies on the borders of India and Afghanistan, is a lush and varied nation, home to centuries of rich cultures, Urdu phrases, Islamic tales and customs, snow-covered mountains, spice farms, barley fields, and lush hills. Becuase of this, I find it a perfect reflection of the world described in J. R. R. Tolkien's books, which include The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Though many may disagree with my little-known opinion, I assure you that the many lands of Pakistan are the true location of Middle earth.

the lands of middle earth

The first loctaion that we encounter in The Hobbit is the Hobbit Hole, located in a quaint countryside town with many hills and creeks. But in Pakistan? In our chosen location, Bilbo Baggins' home would be in the northeast, a lush and mountainous region that fits Tolkien's description of the Hobbit Hole prefectly- rivers, mountains, hills, lush lands, and countryfolk. Next, as The Company and Bilbo embark on their adventure through the rocky, cold Misty Mountains to find the elves. The Himalayan mountains, located in eastern Pakistan, are known for their cold climates and high altitudes. Living in the valleys of Nepal, India, and Pakistan are nomads and villages secluded from the outside world, much like the elves of the Last Homely House. Also, the many castles, temples, and towers, including those of the Lonely Mountain, can be seen in the massive and breathtakingly beautiful Islamic mosques, many of which are hundreds of years old.

Cultural Comparison

The cultures of Pakistan are remarkably similar to to those described in Middle Earth. To begin with, their are many diverse groups scattered across the landscape; dwarves in the Lonely Mountain, goblins in caverns, people in towns, hobbits in hills, and elves in castles. Similarly, the Pakistani tribes, which include the Yusufzai, Cheema, Awan, Swati, and , Tanoli groups, inhabit different parts of their homeland. Next, they have similar languages in writing. Both consist of a pattern of dots and slashes, separated into both phrases and words. In comparison to the tribal calendars, there are many different terms and dates in Pakistan referring to the seasons, weather, and holidays. Finally, these tribes, just like those of The Hobbit, usually get along quite well, though some hold grudges or are viewed as more dangerous than others.

But isn't pakistan a desert?

Many people - I bet you were one of them! - thought that Pakistan was just a huge desert, completely empty of anything Middle-Earthly. But you are wrong! Not only is Pakistan NOT a complete desert- over 50% of the land is arable! Yes, Pakistan does contain a lot more desert than we may be used to, but beyond the sandstorms and shrubs, there is a vast expanse of glorious greenery to be found. On the border of India and Pakistan, there are more trees and wildlife than almost anywhere here in the U. S. And, without a doubt, the snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas, the lush hillsides and forests, and the beautiful agriculture make Pakistan the perfect location for Middle Earth.

Pakistan as Middle Earth

As one of the greatest mysteries of traditional literature, we may never know J. R. R. Tolkien's true book setting, but it is clear to see that Eastern Pakistan possesses the geography, culture, and climate necessary for the location of Middle Earth. It holds hills and hobbit holes, mosques and mountains, tribes and trolls,and everything else in the world of Bilbo Baggins. Though some may have viewed Pakistan as a deserted sand dune, now it is revealed as not only beautiful, but fantastical enough to be the home of some of the most acclaimed novels in history.

Alexandra Ames

For more information about the people, politics, geography, and climate of Pakistan, visit their national headquarters website. Thank you for reading!