The social science of Middle Earth

The Lord of the Rings Project collects and analyzes data on all the characters inhabiting Middle Earth, to produce statistical comparisons of life expectancy, age distribution, population, and more.


    1. Well, I wonder what would happen if the same method was applied to history.

      I’m pretty sure that it would show that America was mostly populated by white men between the age of 16 and 60.

    2. I dunno, when I was a teen it seemed like the girls were reading LotR more than the guys.  Has that changed?

      1. The most ardent LOTR fan I’ve ever come across is a woman from Spain.  A hardcore geek among hardcore geeks to be sure, she’s one of the world’s top ten authorities on galactic structure and evolution.  My geek credentials weren’t too shabby with her, I read the books back in the mid-eighties and can hold a bit of my weight when it comes to cosmology.

        My sweet, beloved astrophysicist and I had short but meaningful conversations about Asimov’s “Foundation”, including the “Killer Bees” new trilogy and we even had an impromptu discussion about “Stefno’s Ride”!  There’s geeky ladies, but she is one geeky grand dame.

        I ended up installing and learning KDE on my iMac to help her crunch observatory data, but for external reasons she had to return to Madrid.

  1. Now they need to graph cause of death information.  Very few Orcs made it to retirement and a couple of Ents probably ended up as coffee tables.

    1. Now you have me wondering what kind of pension plan and benefits Sauron offered. I also think that parquet flooring made of Ent-wood would be the kind of “Fuck you, I’m rich” statement that scumbag billionaires everywhere have always been looking for. Furnish your house with the mutilated remains of intelligent trees? Who wouldn’t go for that?

      1. Let’s not go overboard. The remains wouldn’t be mutilated! I’m sure they’d be lovingly cut, grain-matched, finished in your choice of hand-mixed organic finishes, and varnished to preserve your lovely floor for generations to come.

  2. A fairly mild form of social analysis. I would love to see the political economy of middle earth, or something like that. 

    1. I agree.  Basing this only on named characters makes it almost meaningless.  Some extrapolation from real world data would have been much more interesting.

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