Closed Challenges

Where the Stars are Strange

Challenge Details

What, exactly, lies east of Rhûn? Saruman was said to have gone east, waaaay east, but then chose to return. The Blue Wizards went east and never returned. Most of the players in the Ring War went as far as the Sea of Rhûn, but never further. So what lies east of Rhûn?

This doesn't need to be epic. In fact, it might be more exciting to give us just a short vignette - a glimpse into this uncharted territory. Something to tantalize us and make us wonder. (Because, as I've always said, Tolkien's genius lies in hinting at much larger, grander things, at making us wonder about all that is unknown.)

Here are some things to get your creative juices buzzing:

*There are some theories that LOTR is an allegory for World War II. Although Tolkien always denied this, it's interesting to consider the inspirations for his cultures - the Shire as pastoral England, Harad as a North African, perhaps Indian environment. If we continued in that vein, that would mean these unknown eastern cultures resembled Asia.

*It was said that Sauron held great sway over the "Men of the East." But how far east did his power go? Does this mean just the Wild Men around Rhûn, the so-called Easterlings, or beyond? As you travel further east, did people even know about the happenings in Middle-earth?

*Geographical. Just how big is the continent Middle-earth rests on? Is there a body of water seperating our charted territories from perhaps a much larger landmass (an undiscovered "America")?

*Why was there so little contact between the western realms and the east? Was there some sort of limitation to travel or communication? Perhaps, as mentioned above, a body of water, or a desert?

*Assuming there was at least some contact, perhaps news of the Ring War and other Epic Events eventually reached these far-off lands. How did the tales change with time and travel? How would these distant realms have interpreted the events? Would they even have believed these stories? Would they have fashioned them into their own moral, folk tales?

*Type of cultures. Perhaps there was one dominant culture, such as a powerful realm like Gondor, or perhaps it was a mix of sophisticated cultures and more rural, maybe even aboriginal, societies. It could go either way.

*Elves, dwarves, hobbits. Did they go east?

So yeah. Tell me about the Far East of Middle-earth.

Courtesy of Aeneid.

Challenge closes November 30, 2005.

Entries with Stories

The following authors have entered a story in the Challenge.

Beregond5 - What the Eastern Wind Brings
Adult Audience
Last Updated: 28 Jan 07
Edited part of a larger story called Lost and Found for the "Where the Stars are Strange" Challenge. Arwen is told of a Man-like creature living in the forests of Ithilien. Yet little does she know that, upon meeting him by an ironic twist of fate, a sad tale will be unfolded. Drama/ Angst.
Elena Tiriel - Fell and Fair
General Audience
Last Updated: 21 Dec 09
What might have happened if Elladan and Elrohir had fought in the Battle of the Field of Celebrant? How would they be remembered in the legends of other races? A story told in drabbles, depicting events surrounding the battle, and its widening repercussions for the sons of Elrond and others.

MEFA 2007
First Place (WIP)
Adventure: Fixed-Length Ficlet

MEFA 2009
Times: Second and Early Third Age
Loremaster of Anorien - Shattered Illusions
General Audience
Last Updated: 19 May 05
An Easterling laments his people's decision to go to war. Slight AU.
Rous - East of Lórien (Tenative Title)
General Audience
Last Updated: 05 Nov 05
The story of three of the Avari 1000 years after the Great Alliance. Not finished, not titled, not fully developed. It will eventually show a vastly different culture than that presented by Tolkien. This is a rough draft of what I envision this story to be. I will be making changes, adding chapters and in general improving things as I go along. Please bear with me.
Waltraute - Dark Morning
General Audience
Last Updated: 08 May 06
Written for the "Where the Stars are Strange" challenge. Somewhere beyond the known lands, on the shore of the eastern sea, a tall stranger with a sword comes to challenge an ancient curse.


The following authors have entered a placeholder in the Challenge.

Entry Date: 16 Nov 04
Entry Date: 20 Dec 04
Entry Date: 13 Dec 04

In Challenges

Challenge Info

Open Date: November 16, 2004

Closed: November 30, 2005

Challenge Topic: Storytelling/Writing

Entries: 10

Originator: Aeneid

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