Askmiddlearth

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Name: askmiddlearth
Date(s): January 16, 2013[1] - present
Submissions: Yes, takes questions
Type: ask blog, meta
Fandom: Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion
Scope: Anything canonical to the books, some movie canon
URL: http://askmiddlearth.tumblr.com/; archive link
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Askmiddlearth is a Tumblr ask blog that provides information about Tolkien's universe. It's run by an anonymous woman who is not Stephen Colbert.[2]

Subject

Like most ask blogs, askmiddlearth answers questions from followers. In this case, the topic is Tolkien canon, generally book-based. (A clear distinction is made between bookverse and movieverse elements.) Most posts include sources for the information, and some include links to essays by other Tolkien fans.

Criticisms

Some fans consider the blog's reference style - which lacks in-line citations and page numbers - to need more detailed citations[3] and more referencing of fan sources where theories were originally generated.[4]

Sometimes fans have disagreements with the blogger about canon.[4][5]

Popularity

The blog received over 1000 followers in its first six weeks[6] and had 3,647 posts by March 13, 2015.[7] It is a common source of information for fans working on fanworks set in Tolkien's world.

Topics

The blog covers a wide variety of topics and is split into tag groupings by the categories

  • Books
    • Themes
  • Events & Time Periods
  • Places
  • Races/Peoples/Cultures
    • Elves
    • Dwarves
    • Men
    • Hobbits
    • Evil Things
    • Other
  • Characters
  • Other
    • Tolkien's Languages
    • Objects
    • Mystical[8]

Sub-topics include such themes as Things We Don't Know About Legolas, Music of the Ainur, and Durin's Folk.[8]

The blog also offers downloadable guides on a number of topics., including "Which Book Should I Read?", "Awesome Ladies of the Shire", and "Racism and Middle Earth". Most are available in pdf and ibook formats.[9]

References

  1. "New Ask About Middle Earth Blog". 
  2. Who Am I Not? tag on askmiddlearth includes several answers of "Nope" to the repeated question "Are you Stephen Colbert?"
  3. "The specific reference is as follows: J.R.R. Tolkien, “Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings”, in Parma Eldalamberon 17 (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 183." The specific reference is as follows by lucifers-cuvette. Accessed April 19, 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "I was rather appalled that the Ask Middle-earth post lifted pretty much directly from the Barrow Downs but did not give attribution to that fact. I guess I’m old school or spoiled by too much academic writing or both: Facts aside from common knowledge require citation. And it’s rude to take another person’s thinking and claim it as your own. I feel like I did shoddy work because I didn’t cite individual letters in my [pretty common knowledge] explanation of how TH came into being."Comment on "So about that theory that the Arkenstone is a Silmaril …" by Dawn. Accessed April 19, 2015. Crossposted to Tumblr: The Arkenstone is not a Silmaril. Accessed April 19, 2015. Responding to the post Was the Arkenstone a Silmaril? by askmiddlearth, accessed June 18, 2015, at which time it did include a reference to Barrow Downs at the bottom of the post, with the other references.
  5. "I hate to point this out to you but you might want to reconsider your research done here. For example Morwen. Perhaps you might have forgotten that Nienor was not born when Túrin was sent into fosterage. [...]" I hate to point this out to you by rhapsodythebard. Accessed April 19, 2015. In response to Maternal Abandonment in Middle Earth by askmiddlearth, which lists Morwen as the 3rd example. Accessed June 18, 2015.
  6. "Ask About Middle Earth: 1,000 FOLLOWER GIVEAWAY". 
  7. The blog had 7 posts on page 365, with each page containing 10 posts.
  8. 8.0 8.1 askmiddlearth. "The Big Tag List". Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  9. askmiddlearth. "Downloadable Guides". Retrieved June 18, 2015.