Who maketh Morwinyon, and Menelmacar, and Remmirath, and the inner parts of the South (where the stars are strange): Tolkien’s astronomical choices and the books of Job and Amos

— Kristine Larsen

17 October 2021 | Journal of Tolkien Research, Volume 13, № 2, 2

Tolkien’s use of specific stars and constellations within his legendarium has been well-studied. There remain two related questions to be tackled: first, why did Tolkien use these specific real-world stars and constellations, and what was behind the seemingly sudden expansion of the celestial population in the legendarium in 1951? Given his well-demonstrated interest in and knowledge of astronomy, Biblical passages that describe the heavens may have piqued his interest and may have influenced his choices of astronomical references in creating Middle-earth. Popularized works published during Tolkien’s youth on the astronomy of the Old Testament may have also played a role in shaping his opinion of these constellations. His final phase of constellation formation (circa 1951) may be related to his work on the Jerusalem Bible.

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