## Discussing: How far, how far....

### How far, how far....

Cheryl

Message:

09 Oct 04 7:48 PM

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Message:

**32173**09 Oct 04 7:48 PM

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### Re: How far, how far....

*The Two Towers*, LoTR Book 3, Ch 2,

*The Riders of Rohan*So, the Three Hunters went nearly 34 miles per day (which I would definitely consider an upper bound to anyone's endurance!) So, walking 20 miles a day for a few days might not be unreasonable... assuming you're not dealing with temperamental ponies or hungry Hobbits... I believe the horse people estimate about 15 miles per day on horses for long trips. So, I wouldn't expect bipedals to be able to go 20 mpd for more than 3 or 4 days, and only if they're very fit. (Heirs of Elendil and Elves appear to qualify in the "very fit" category ) - Barbara

### Re: How far, how far....

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### Re: How far, how far....

*Mind your use of the word "league" though. Its actual definition is "how far a person can travel on foot in an hour." Not really at an all-out pace, like the Three Hunters, but at a pretty good one.*This is what Tolkien wrote about a league (emphasis mine): Measures of distance are converted as nearly as possible into modern terms. "League" is used because it was the longest measurement of distance: in Númenórean reckoning (which was decimal) five thousand

*rangar*(full paces) made a

*lár*,

**which was very nearly three of our miles**.

*Unfinished Tales*, Part 3, Ch 1,

*The Disaster of the Gladden Fields: Appendix, Númenórean Linear Measures*In the quote I gave above, Éomer estimated the distance to be about 45 leagues. I used Tolkien's estimate of about 3 miles per league to get a total of about 135 miles. Spread over about four days, that is about 33.75 miles per day, which I rounded to 34 (there are far too many approximations for any fraction to be significant; in fact, I suspect the last digit isn't mathematically significant either... I probably should have said 30-35 or possibly 30-40). The whole point being, every step of the calculation is an approximation. If you try to read the distances from a map, you are simpy adding a couple more layers of approximation (one based upon the inherent difficulties of mapping a sphere onto a plane, and yet another due to the fact that this particular map is based upon fictional descriptions). Don't get me wrong: I absolutely

**love**the

*Atlas*, and refer to it frequently; but if Tolkien gives a distance for a specific trip, I prefer to use his written words, as well as his own estimate of the length (in modern terms) of the unit of distance. - Barbara

### Re: How far, how far....

*Don't get me wrong: I absolutely love the Atlas, and refer to it frequently; but if Tolkien gives a distance for a specific trip, I prefer to use his written words, as well as his own estimate of the length (in modern terms) of the unit of distance. - Barbara*I completely agree. It's

*finding*that written word that can be challenging, if it exists. Many times I find myself refering to the

*atlas*to fill in the gaps. As far as that goes, it's a great source, and it does give you a good visual reference for where exactly they are and things like what kind of terrain they're crossing. Cheryl

### Re: How far, how far....

*The thing that bugs me, though, is that the Three Hunters were supposed to be chasing the Uruk-hai for three days and nights without rest. That would make it 72 hours, enough time to travel 72 leagues or (at their pace) 216 miles. Where'd the other 66 miles go? Some of that can be chalked up to terrain, but 66 miles of it!? Yikes!*The Three Hunters stopped for rest each night. The first night, the three debated whether to continue in the dark and risk missing a sign or to stop and regain their strength. Legolas wanted to continue; Gimli wanted to stop. They leff the decision to Aragorn who decided to rest. ("'We will not walk in the dark,' he said at length.") After that first night, the three stopped to rest on the other two nights without much debate although Legolas mourned the delay. ("'Now do I most grudge a time of rest or any halt in our chase,' said Legolas.") I think that alters your maths somewhat, Berz. LKK

### Re: How far, how far....

*I completely agree. It's finding that written word that can be challenging, if it exists.*Oh, absolutely! He gave distances for very few trips... and I simply don't know how I ever did without being able to picture the terrain in the

*Atlas*! And not just terrain -- I have a terrible time following his written descriptions (even detailed ones) of places like Helm's Deep, but, seeing the layout in the

*Atlas*, suddenly it makes sense! - Barbara

### Re: How far, how far....