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Student Publishes Extensive Statistics On the Population of Middle-Earth 218

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-many-hobbits? dept.
First time accepted submitter dsjodin writes "There are only 19% females in Tolkien's works and the life expectancy of a Hobbit is 96.24 years. In January 2012 chemical engineering student Emil Johansson published a website with the hope for it to become a complete Middle-Earth genealogy. Now, ten months later, he has published some interesting numbers derived from the database of 923 characters. The site features a set of unique graphs helping us understand the world Tolkien described. Perhaps the most interesting ones are showing the decrease of the longevity of Men and the change in population of Middle-Earth throughout history. The latter was also recently published in the September edition of Wired Magazine."
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Student Publishes Extensive Statistics On the Population of Middle-Earth

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  • Everybody knows. (Score:5, Informative)

    by sunking2 (521698) on Monday October 08, 2012 @10:28AM (#41584917)
    Dwarf women often get confused with the men.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:07AM (#41585447)

      It's the beards.

    • I don't see how. I mean, it's not like Tolkien's dwarven women had beards or anything. Even though the Lombards were quite clearly the inspiration for his dwarves, he didn't even steal their fake beard myth given to account for the real people gaining their name. So I don't know where you got the idea that dwarven women might have beards. Oh, D&D, Discworld and Jackson's movie and not actually anything by Tolkien? I see. Carry on!

  • Nerds! (Score:5, Funny)

    by LucidBeast (601749) on Monday October 08, 2012 @10:28AM (#41584933)
    I'll come to insult you more - after I go through these numbers and make sure they are correct.
  • by gman003 (1693318) on Monday October 08, 2012 @10:28AM (#41584935)

    *ehem*

    NERD!

    (In all seriousness, though, that's actually kind of cool, pretty interesting)

    • by Random2 (1412773)
      And already slashdotted to boot. The max number of user connections is allotted for the graphs. Apparently we've a lot of nerds here too. :)
    • by HiThere (15173)

      Sorry, the sample size is too small for anyone seriously interested to draw any reasonable statistical conclusions. I didn't even bother to calculate his probable error, as it's clearly too large to take seriously.

  • by slackware 3.6 (2524328) on Monday October 08, 2012 @10:31AM (#41584973)
    That is better than most circles of geeks around here.
  • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Monday October 08, 2012 @10:31AM (#41584975)

    This poor guy will probably soon receive a Cease and Desist letter from Tolken's estate...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    And Bilbo probably skewed Hobbit life expectancy with the life-extension properties of the Ring. There's also the problem that Bilbo and
    Frodo will probably live to enormous age (or possibly not die--it's not clear which from the text) once they are welcomed to the
    Undying Lands. If the become immortal, then the average life expectancy for Hobbits becomes infinite. I suggest moving to medians.

    • also Sam after the death of his wife Rosie left for the grey heavens and sailed to the west as he was also a ring bearer, thus possibly having immortality as well further skewing hobbit age statistics.

      • Why can't we do a search of "Hobbit Life Expectancy" Not-Bilbo Not-Sam?

        Good ol' Boolean ops!

    • by mrbester (200927)

      "BullRoarer" Took lived to 135 without the aid of a magical ring...

    • by niado (1650369)
      If the summary is correct I would assume he has already excluded Bilbo from the data. He probably only used hobbits whose lifespan was known.
    • by Culture20 (968837)
      Forget Bilbo. Gollum skewed the hobbit life expectancy (assuming a proto-hobbit can be called a hobbit).
    • by vlm (69642)

      we'er sorry

      Yeah, you're sorry. Now the poor admin and his friends need to walk and walk and walk, now not including Tom Bombadil, and walk and walk all the way to the data center, which now closely resembles a volcano due to the /. effect, to reboot the server, because no one can explain why the eagles can't just fly there and take care of it, because (insert a whole bunch of mumbo jumbo).

  • by Severus Snape (2376318) on Monday October 08, 2012 @10:36AM (#41585045)
    Obviously.

    See with a wee bit of communication before storys go on the front page, I'm sure administrators of sites like this would be happy to get some help from amazon or whoever to keep up with the increase in load.
  • The population change chart has men, elves, and hobbits. What about dwarves, orcs, goblins, trolls, etc?

  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Monday October 08, 2012 @10:40AM (#41585107) Homepage

    This does in some ways raise serious points: A lot of classical fantasy had a dearth of women as characters. In Tolkien's case even when they are characters they are often far more passive than active. One sees how this conflicts with more modern sensibilities- look at how much screen time was given to Arwen and Eowyn compared to how much time they had in the books. (It is true that The Silmarillion also introduces some females but the overall numbers are low). Worse, when later fantasy did try to have empowered female characters, they were often more male fantasies, the classical "chicks in chainmail" and the like. One sees the extension of this to other variants as well in modern games, where in many videogames and MMOs otherwise equivalent armor is depicted as covering much less on the women and often emphasizing the female figure. And one sees a similar pattern in science fiction. Indeed, much of it doesn't even get close to passing the Bechdel test http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bechdel_test [wikipedia.org]. Note that in the case of Lord of the Rings, it fails the Bechdel test so badly that no two major female characters even have a conversation. (Interestingly, another major foundation of the work- The Chronicles of Narnia has much more in the way of strong females.)

    It shouldn't be that surprising in this sort of context that scifi and fantasy have for a long-time been seen as male-dominated genres. That's obviously not exclusively the case (I first started reading fantasy to some extent because woman who babysat me was a voracious consumer of fantasy novels), but it is a definite problem. There have been some clear changes in the genre in the last few years, especially in the Young Adult area. Thus, one has examples like Garth Nix's Abhorsen series where the main characters are to a large extent strong women, and actually strong not just skimpy-armor-strong. So the genre does seem to be changing, but there will likely always be some influence from what founded the genre.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by iggymanz (596061)

      why are you bemoaning an imagined problem because fantasy and the real world don't conform to your expectations? There are some women warriors in the world, sure. but not many. most have the good sense to avoid that occupation like the plague. most women don't think it's cool to destroy, be violent, maim and kill. or to start a war to plunder or expand power. men are different in that regard, on average. get over it, we really need less of that kind of "empowered" women and men on this planet.

      • by JoshuaZ (1134087)
        I don't think that's all that's going on here. In a lot of classical fantasy including Lord of the Rings, many of the people who are involved aren't don't want to be. Both Sam and Frodo clearly are forced into their circumstances for example. And that's a pretty common thing in fantasy. The set of fantasy where people go out of their way to maim, kill and destroy like Conan is fairly limited.
    • by Black Parrot (19622) on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:02AM (#41585371)

      A lot of classical fantasy had a dearth of women as characters.

      Whereas the typical male fantasy has lots of women and only one guy.

    • by Baloroth (2370816) on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:07AM (#41585441)

      At the risk of sounding like a misogynist... is the lack of women really a bad thing in and of itself? It's certainly quite "realistic" (as much as a fantasy setting can be): in medieval cultures, women weren't adventurers or warriors, and LOTR is focused almost exclusively on adventure and fighting. And for good reason: it's a simple biological fact (source [wikipedia.org], warning that the picture at the top is full frontal male/female nudity, so probably NSFW) that men have a greater upper body strength than women, on average, and when wielding 50+ pound swords and 100+ pound draw weights on bows, upper body strength is kinda important (which is not to say women could not be fighters and archers, but the average woman would be worse at it than the average man: obviously, some women are far stronger than most men).

      There is also the fact that LOTR isn't concerned with gender inequality: it's simply not one of the themes of the book, so if you expect it to deal with it, you will obviously be disappointed. I'd say that isn't even the point of the genre, as a whole. It's like expecting sci-fi to explore what it's like to be a single person living in New York city: it's kind of missing the point. Gender equality is an issue in our day-to-day world. Writing fantasy to explore the issue, while possible, is a bit underwhelming. The point of fantasy is it can explore grand themes of the struggle between good and evil and power/corruption in a way no book set in everday life ever could. OTOH, a book set in everday life can explore the issues of gender inequality in a way that fantasy can't, because fantasy is by definition disconnected from the real world, so exploring real-world issues using fantasy will create some issues in the translation.

      Mind you, I'm not saying you should write a book to specifically exclude women or paint them in a bad light, that would be misogynistic. But simply ignoring the issue isn't a problem, IMO, if you don't mean to be dealing with it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        First, if a sword weighs 50 lbs, the blacksmith did something very, very wrong. Maybe it's a lump of gravel glued into the shape of a sword [xkcd.com].

        Second, I think you missed the point of the OP. Gender inequality doesn't have to be central theme of the book, just for women to be in it. That's a problem with historically unequal face time for female characters - it's come to mean that when they do show up, people think it's for a special reason or to 'make a point' or something. When, given that women and girls are

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          If an author ends up writing a book about the lives of several characters and fails to present any women at all because they 'don't want to explore the issue of gender inequality,' there is still a problem.

          That seems like that would really depend on the situation. If what is being written about is a scenario that historically didn't involve many women, then one could potentially face a decision about how hard one must try to include women. For example, if writing about soldiers in WW2, there are times it is going to be pretty male-centric. Of course there were women around, and women could be included in the story from anywhere from interacting with the local population to the couple front-line roles women

          • by PRMan (959735)
            Exactly. It could come across as flat as the Muslim woman in BBC's Robin Hood. That level of PC made me stop watching the show all by itself. Battlestar Galactica, OTOH, had many strong female characters including Starbuck and the President. They weren't preaching women's issues, either. Very refreshing.
      • by vlm (69642)

        It's like expecting sci-fi to explore what it's like to be a single person living in New York city: it's kind of missing the point.

        Good, hard sci fi, you mean.

        Bad soft sci fi like "stranger in a strange land" which is a very thinly disguised veneer of sci fi pasted over a 60s california hippy commune story, which doesn't appeal to me so I found it to be truly awful sci fi.

      • by thelexx (237096) on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:56AM (#41586165)

        "wielding 50+ pound swords"

        Swords do not weigh that much. The Wallace Sword is five feet six inches long and weighs six pounds. It's at the upper end of claymore size/weight and of swords generally.

        • by Baloroth (2370816)

          Right, I was wrong about that (knew I should have looked it up). Still, when the weight is spread out over a 3-4 feet, that isn't nearly as light as it sounds. And of course you also have to carry armor and packs of food/water, which is quite heavy as well (although relying more on leg strength, which has less of a male/female disparity).

          • by Dahamma (304068)

            Still, when the weight is spread out over a 3-4 feet, that isn't nearly as light as it sounds.

            Really? So then does that 6 lb sword weigh more or less than 6 lbs of feathers?

        • Wow that as a lot lighter than I would've expected. But I guess the longer it is the lighter it has to be.

          But to anyone who ever used hammers/malls. It becomes obvious quite fast exactly how heavy even 10 pounds feels when you use tools like that. A 50 pound sword/mace would be pretty unusable, easy to pick up and carry around, but not to actually use.

        • You're mostly correct, but Japanese cavalry swords were up to 18 pounds and were used in actual combat. Larger ceremonial versions weigh more than 150 pounds and exceed 3 meters in length—although these are obviously not usable as weapons.

          • I knew the Japanese wouldn't be outdone in the field of sword hugeness...

          • On the other hand, a standard katana would weigh maybe 1100 g (around 2.5 lbs), which is very similar to the common medieval European swords, but with an additional bonus of being wielded with both hands.

      • Of course books with no women in them are a lot less fun for women to read, and since the point of most fantasy is to entertain people taking Tolkien's approach reduces your book's entertainment value by 50%. I'm not saying there's no place in fantasy for gritty reality, but if you've got magic you've already let a bunch of people with no upper body strength dominate your battlefield.

        Heck you aren't necessarily being that realistic. While history books won't record the names of women who did not choose to s

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:17AM (#41585569) Homepage

      There are good reasons why Lord of the Rings failing the Bechdel test is hardly surprising:
      1. Tolkien wrote it in the 1940's. Sexism was hardly unusual then.
      2. Tolkien was actively imitating and drawing from older tales and epics, which regularly had very few important female characters. For instance, the only woman with any kind of significant role in Beowulf (a significant inspiration for Tolkein) is Grendel's mother, and she isn't even given a name.
      3. One of the constant and enduring themes throughout the books is the deep bonds that form between men thrown together into really bad situations. Probably part of the point was to give folks an idea of what it was like to be at the front in WWI, where the only women in the area were nurses.

      There was at least one fantasy novel I read a long time ago that had actually completely reversed the roles of men and women: The women were the tough fighters and leaders and in charge of everything, the men were expected to sit around looking pretty until the women wanted to sleep with them.

      • Tolkien was actively imitating and drawing from older tales and epics, which regularly had very few important female characters. For instance, the only woman with any kind of significant role in Beowulf (a significant inspiration for Tolkein) is Grendel's mother, and she isn't even given a name.

        Yes, respecting an inspiration (fictional or real world) can lead to carrying over some of its issues.

        I'm reminded of this Jimi Hendrix quote: "I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes."

      • There was at least one fantasy novel I read a long time ago that had actually completely reversed the roles of men and women: The women were the tough fighters and leaders and in charge of everything, the men were expected to sit around looking pretty until the women wanted to sleep with them.

        This reminds me of White Man's Burden, a movie which reversed the situation of blacks and whites: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Man's_Burden_(film) [wikipedia.org]
        Man bites dog, it's interesting because it's the opposite of what you'd expect. That kind of thing is a striking way to make a point about the problem, but it isn’t necessary to go that far. Perhaps some elements of a more-regular setting can be reversed.

      • Ah, but you're neglecting the fact that serious reviewers are expected to judge all literature by politically correct standards that didn't exist 25 years ago. Go ahead, say something about old literature withOUT condemning it for failing to meet our modern expectations. Not gonna happen - not in any respected forum or journal, that's for sure.
    • by Simon Brooke (45012) <stillyet@googlemail.com> on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:23AM (#41585665) Homepage Journal

      I think it's more nearly the truth that Tolkien (like many men of his class and generation) was quite alienated from women. I don't think you'd exactly call him a misoynist - although many of his attitudes look very misoynistic to modern eyes - but he had no sympathetic ability to understand what it was to be a woman, not to write from a woman's view point. His understanding of women is pretty much as sexless and passive creatures. The outstanding exceptions to passivity are Eowyn and perhaps Luthien, but Eowyn at least is clearly unable to express the sexuality of her feeling for Aragorn[1], and is apparently virgin until her marriage to Faramir. I don't remember the Luthien narrative in detail, but my memory of it is that he pursues her, not the other way around; so again there's little evidence of any erotic feeling on her part. The only couple in the whole damned epic (I include the Silmarillion and the Hobbit) to appear to have anything approaching what we'd describe as a normal healthy sex-life are Sam and Rosie Gamgee, and that happens in a few pages at the very end of the text.

      I have very conflicted feelings about Tolkien, and this is one of the issues. In the end he's telling a very reactionary story, a story of primogeniture, divine right, and male supremacy. A story, undoubtedly, influenced both by his Catholicism and his experience of the Great War. But seriously, do you see Arwen as good in the sack? Do images of Galadriel have you writhing in the night? No, didn't think so. Me neither. And, actually, I think the story would be stronger if they did.

      Perhaps the reason that the population of Middle Earth is so small and doesn't grow in anything like a natural way is that Middle Earth women just don't like sex very much? Or perhaps Middle Earth men just aren't very good at it?

      [1] I'm not suggesting that Eowyn 'ought' to have made an unsubtle pass at Aragorn; there are plenty of societies in which young women are very inhibited from doing that, although it's a little surprising in the robust horse-nomad society of the Rohirrim: but there are plenty of subtle ways in which Eowyn could have made a pass at him, and she just doesn't. She mopes about waiting for him to make a pass, and then when he doesn't goes all fey and suicidal.

      • by mrbester (200927) on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:49AM (#41586057) Homepage

        The Tale of Beren and Lúthien was written by Tolkien as an epic love story deliberately casting himself and his wife as the characters.

      • by tnk1 (899206) on Monday October 08, 2012 @01:12PM (#41587385)

        Do you really think the characters would be improved if they were more plausible as sex objects? I really never thought so, personally.

        Most, if not all of the women in the story are of a noble class, either elves or of men. Noblewomen may certainly have desires and be desirable, but they also got points for demonstrating a certain subtlety in how they went about courting. Not to mention that neither they, nor often the men, were entirely free to marry on their own. If Eowyn was some sort of lower class woman, as opposed to a member of the royal family of Rohan, she might well have been more direct.

        However, since she is who she is, despite her nomadic roots, she's still got certain requirements. If she's going to get Aragorn, it's going to be as a husband, because in reality, if she just bedded him, everyone would know the next day. If she's a virgin until she's married, that's because that was a common requirement for a woman of her class.

        In a sense, she's a more accurate portrayal of a woman of that sort of world than the sexy Eowyn would be, because she knows as a noble and as a female, she has certain duties and responsibilities that are not easy to escape. Tolkien lived in a very class-conscious society, and in that society, men and women of certain classes operated in specific ways. Insofar as he was also describing a feudal sort of society himself, his experiences probably ring true for what woman would have appeared to be on the surface.

        If you do want to call Tolkien on something, you might well call him out on Rohan itself, since he calls them Horse Lords, but they never really bore much resemblance to anything like real horse nomads. Of course, it was said that they settled down a bit when they were given their land by Gondor, so that may well explain the changes. If so, though, that is also probably why Eowyn acts more like a court lady and less like some Mongol chieftain's niece.

        Anyway, I understand that some stories feature romances as motivational factors and push the story forward, but in this case, I don't see how they do anything for the story. How does a fuller description of what Aragorn thinks of Arwen in the sack add anything? In some stories, the hero is fighting for some woman, but in this story, it's pretty clear that you don't even need that sort of motivation. A very real evil is coming, and in reality, when that sort of total war is coming, your women are usually going to be doing their best to keep things going while you are away fighting and not at all acting like vixens. They may well jump you before you leave, because you may well not come back, but that would be a coupling born of dread.

        I suppose of Tolkien was all you had to go by, it would be deficient in describing females, but it's almost refreshing to *not* have the heroes or heroines hooking up all the time. In the real world, there's a reason you had camp followers and that's because the women you married were at home, being protected, and also protecting things in their own way by controlling the family estates. He's describing a time where women did not go to war, and telling a story that is entirely about the action and little in the way of talking about the home front or the feelings of the population.

      • You win the award for "totally unable to view a concept of another time outside of his 2012 blinkers". As if other cultures were exactly like our own at this point in time and were all about sex, all the time. You forgot to mention the point that if women didn't like sex, then they'd just suffer spousal rape. That's standard modern dogma [rainn.org]. You are sentenced to write a 2,000 word self-criticism due in one week which will be reviewed by a representative of the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, and a
    • Even in a modern sword-and-sorcery like "Game of Thrones", the men-as-fighters and women-as-backstabbers (I'm sorry, politicians and behind-the-scenes agents) continues, and since the focus is on the fighters the focus is on the men.
    • I've been re-reading the Revelation Space series lately and it struck me suddenly just how many principal characters are female. In the first book there are 3 principal characters - two of which are female, probably ~10 peripheral characters - about half of which are female and the trend continues into the other books as well though less so as the number of characters increases. Even the principal villains (I personally see the Inhibitors as more of a force of nature that must be dealt with than as villai

    • by vlm (69642) on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:58AM (#41586201)

      A lot of classical fantasy had a dearth of women as characters

      With childhood death rates around 80% any culture that doesn't do the barefoot pregnant and in the kitchen thing is literally going to disappear in at most a couple generations. As the Bechdel wiki page contains "A work may fail the test for reasons unrelated to gender bias, such as because its setting works against the inclusion of women"

    • The story focuses a lot on physical drama-- trekking through dangerous wilderness, ruins, and enemy territory, plus of course war zones and battles. Men are physically stronger and better suited for that kind of thing. The things women are better at aren't given much time. Children are even less visible, so no need for any mothering. Talk is hardly needed, as, true to classic fantasy, the lines are already drawn and everything is black and white. Naturally the evil side is so dramatically strong and th

      • The reason fantasy ignores non-Monarchies is fantasy tends to be based on RL cultures using roughly the technology in the books, which means if you want heavy cavalry (aka: knights) you can't use the Roman Republic. Moreover ancient Republics had forms of government with more hereditary privilege then any Monarchy since about 1800, and extremely complicated political systems that are impossible to explain in anything less then a PhD dissertation. For example under the Roman system only nobleman had a legal

    • "In Tolkien's case even when they are characters they are often far more passive than active."
      "Worse, when later fantasy did try to have empowered female characters, they were often more male fantasies, the classical "chicks in chainmail" and the like."

      So first off you start by stating that putting women is passive, stereotypical woman, roles is sexist and bad.
      And then you state that putting women in active roles is sexist and bad.
      ??? So what is not sexist in your view?

      And women characters in games need rev

      • by JoshuaZ (1134087)
        You are missing the point. The problem is that rather than making the female characters active in a meaningful way, they are essentially active in a way which emphasizes their role as sex objects. The impractical scantily clad armor is one example of this. In fact, as I pointed with the example of Abhorsen it is quite possible to have female leads in fantasy novels who aren't male sex objects.

        And women characters in games need revealing armour, otherwise you would not be able to tell that they were women. They would look like any other tank, just with a funny feminine name (remember that the characters in games are not like ones on TV, where they are mostly close up; In videogames you have small character sprites and you need to exaggerate for players to be able to make what what they are at a glance.).

        I can't quite tell if this is meant as a serious argument. Maybe you can tell that the character is female, because

    • by KingAlanI (1270538) on Monday October 08, 2012 @01:12PM (#41587383) Homepage Journal

      I first thought bad female characterization was a problem with amateur writers such as myself, but even very good professional writers sometimes have issues with it. This can come up even if the writer is not bigoted, or trying not to be.

      As a male, I worry about my ability to write female characters. I want to try, but I don’t want to screw up by doing it badly. I don’t want to make well-meaning mistakes. I want to include it without forcing it in. I can and should have good female characters without covering female-specific issues, but I want to try writing that too. I’m not actively trying to fail Bechdel, but I’m not actively trying to pass it either.

      Perhaps understanding the group better helps write about them well, whichever comes first.

      One woman advised me to make them well-written characters in general and not to overplay stereotypes.

      Other differences (sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, social class, et cetera) present similar challenges. Although it’s not as much of a social issue, writers from a nondominant group might have trouble writing characters from the dominant group.

      This could be a subset of “write what you know”. Also, people are often inspired by works similar to them.

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        The usual approach of writing a character significantly different from you is to draw on people you know in the relevant category. Chances are pretty good that you know some women pretty well (immediate family if nobody else), and can draw on their personalities for ideas about how. An example of this working out very well: F Scott Fitzgerald based the main female characters of The Great Gatsby on women who were living in Chicago at the time.

        The real expert on men writing great female characters has to be J

    • by niado (1650369)
      In response to this trend we have Robert Jordan's lovely Wheel of Time [wikipedia.org] series. The reader is practically assaulted by strong female characters. Some readers (who love the series) believe that Jordan secretly hated women, due to his portrayal of them as overbearing and largely obnoxious. However, I think that he was just writing them rather well from his (and the typical male) perspective.

      Jordan's women are emotional and moody. They all seem to think men are idiots who must be supervised at all times, th
    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      A problem with the data maybe. Relying on geneologies often makes things look like modern times have many more people than the past. That's because family trees branch and the uninteresting bits are pruned off. Take one ancestor from 200 years ago and count all the descendants and it would superficially look like a population explosion. Look at the tree for dwarves, it makes it look like there were a whole line of Durin's who only had one child each and then suddenly in modern times it starts to branch.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Monday October 08, 2012 @10:44AM (#41585165) Homepage Journal
    Flores man [wikipedia.org] is thought to have become small due to island dwarfism [wikipedia.org]. But what sort of environment would select for the traits ascribed to Tolkien's hobbits and especially the apparent population explosion starting around the 26th century T.A. (10th century S.R.) as seen here [lotrproject.com]?
    • Personally, I'm voting for "literary necessity" followed by "some convenient agricultural innovation."

      More seriously: without having read nearly as much Tolkien as I'd like to be able to claim, and without even referencing your LotR Project link because it's Slashdotted right now, one of the theories behind island dwarfism is a series of population explosions: the creatures over-eat, consume all available resources, and only the smallest organisms are able to find enough food to survive afterwards. This doe

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I would think that with comments about hobbits being shy quiet folk, with an ability to not be seen if they don't want too, and living in 'holes in the ground' that there was a large preditors that ate all the tall ones...selecting for short, quiet (hairy footed) hobbits.

        It may well have been the ent wives...since they are unaccounted for..and probably mean.

        Are the ent wives counted in the stats?

  • "Four boys for ev - ry - girl!"

  • by tomzyk (158497)

    Interesting. Now I'd like to see someone come up with statistics like these for Westeros.
    I want to know things like:
    - what the population of Westeros needed to be in order to supply enough man-power to populate and guard all of the castles along the Wall?
    - and what kind of crime-rate would that imply?
    - and why are there only "nine free cities" in Essos? shouldn't there be potentially hundreds of large cities scattered across the continent if this civilization has been around for some

    • by tnk1 (899206)

      - what the population of Westeros needed to be in order to supply enough man-power to populate and guard all of the castles along the Wall?

      Good question.

      - and what kind of crime-rate would that imply?

      Not necessarily a higher one than what might be considered average. Exile has always been a common punishment, and indeed, since it was common to execute even fairly minor criminals, they may well have accommodated a significant percentage of the criminal population of the Seven Kingdoms at the Wall who were escaping that end. At least in the past, anyway. In the present, it is clear that they lack the resources to maintain as large a force as in the past.

      It is also fairly obvious that even

    • The Nine Free Cities is easy. The key term is "Free City."

      If a free City owes no allegiance to anyone but itself, and dominates a region similar to the way Venice and Genoa dominated their regions, then it would make sense for the entire Free City bit of Essos to only have a half-dozen or dozen of them.

      Wondering why there are only nine of them is like wondering why a world with 192 countries only has 5 UN Security Council states.

  • Why not just ask them [wikipedia.org]?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 08, 2012 @12:57PM (#41587147)

    As the creator of LotrProject I can only offer my deepest apologies for the site being down. My host has temporarily shut it down -_-
    Being featured on Slashdot is a dream come true.

    Best,
    Emil

  • This thread is ridiculous. I just watched WWII in HD, an actual, modern historical account of a war - guess how many of the "characters" were women. I didn't crunch the numbers, but 1 in 5 is not even in the ball park.

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