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The LOTR Project Charts Exactly How Dude-Heavy Middle Earth Is

Emil Johansson of the LOTR Project has combed through Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, and J.R.R. Tolkien‘s other Middle Earth-set works in order to chart the demographics—life expectancy, age distribution, and the like—of its denizens. It’s the gender breakdown that’s more up our alley, though. Only 19 percent of Tolkien’s named characters are female. No wonder Peter Jackson created Tauriel.

(via: io9)

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  • Anonymous

    Hmmm…That’s strange. I thought that there were no named female trees in any of the books. Unless he’s counting more than the Ents. The Ent-wives were lost long ago in the mists of time and the Ents are moving to the end of their people…so to speak.

  • Anonymous

    What do you want? Tolkien was an Oxford don. They supposedly didn’t even know that women existed. Give him some credit.

  • Megan

    While I’m glad that Peter Jackson has beefed up the female presence a smidge in his adaptations, I’m more inclined to forgive Tolkien for his dearth of female characters than I would a modern-day storyteller (and there are so, so many that still fail the “where are all the women?” test).

  • Anonymous

    It never ceases to amaze me that people are still bemused that a the work of a man who fraternised almost exclusively with men through most of his life published in the 1930s-1970s has something of a gender bias. What does amaze me is that the females make up 19% of the named characters, because I thought it was *less* than that number. LotR was written and published in a time period where women were seen and not heard, where the housewife was the only acceptable occupation, a constant assault of anti-feminist sentiments from the media. The fact that LotR boasted such bold characters as Eowyn and Galadriel should far outweigh the fact that they’re rare in comparison to stuff written when the fruits of feminism have redressed the gender imbalance.

    “No wonder Peter Jackson created Tauriel.”

    I’d be less bothered by that if the writers didn’t leave out so many existing female characters ripe for expansion in LotR (Ioreth, Goldberry) relegated them to meaningless extended editions fodder (Lobelia), and made so many alterations to the existing prominent females. As it is, all we got was a stroppy lovesick Eowyn, a moping Arwen, and a paranoid Galadriel. I don’t have high hopes for Tauriel.