Where is Middle Earth?

Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria


The countries listed above are centered around the Alps. I think that these would make wonderful Misty Mountains because of where they are. They have rivers and forests surrounding them on all sides, with lakes in between and cave systems inside. In this region they speak German, French, and Italian. In the Hobbit, there are also several different languages including the common tongue, elvish and dwarvish. The Alps have contributed to a lot of the culture, making skiing popular, as well as music, dance, poetry and wood carving. The religion for over half of this area's inhabitants is Catholic (Christianity).


In The Hobbit, it starts out with Bilbo's home in the Shire. The Shire is made up of green, grassy rolling hills. These hills are the place of the Hobbit holes. In Northern Italy, rolling green hills are plentiful. They then travel through several towns and start journeying over the Misty Mountains. The Alps are very close in resemblance to the Misty Mountains as described in the book. In chapter 4 they are described as 'seeming to be endless', 'having new valleys at every turn' and 'very easy to get lost in'. The Alps meet all of these criteria except perhaps the last one. Although some people who don't hire guides do get lost.

More Pictures From This Region

Counter- Claim

Some people might argue that New Zealand is a better representation of Middle Earth than this region. However, let's think this through. To the right is a picture of Middle Earth as shown at the beginning of the book. Below is a picture of my region (third picture). Think of the picture of the Alps, rotated 90 degrees clockwise. Notice that the formations are almost exactly the same. Also, the Black Forest in Germany is in the exact place where Murkwood would be. What more proof could you possibly need? I mean, look at a map of New Zealand's mountains (below middle). Two long and narrow islands, a couple rivers, lakes and some grass. The Alps have beautiful mountains, long, winding rivers, lakes full of life, mountain caves, castle ruins and this area has the same number of languages that are mentioned in the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. To me, the point isn't even debatable.

More Picture Comparisons


In conclusion, I believe that Northern Italy, Eastern France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany and Western Austria is the most Middle Earth- like place. The Alps are perfect for the Misty Mountains, the hills of northern Italy are like the Shire reborn and the Black Forest is perfect as Murkwood. Not only are the landscapes good, but the locations are perfect. The Alps are horseshoe shaped around the green hills, the Black Forest is where Murkwood would be and there are lakes and rivers every which way. Who cares about New Zealand? This area is the place for Middle Earth.