Map of Hampshire drawn in The Lord of the Rings style by Teesside novelist

DEEP in the land of Portsmouth, in the fires of Mount Gunwharf, the dark lord Sauron forged a master ring, and into this ring he poured his cruelty, his malice and his will to dominate all life.

Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 2:55 pm
Updated Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 4:48 pm

One ring to rule them all.

Many years after the One Ring was made, a fellowship of nine set off from Rivendell, with the sole purpose of destroying it for good.

But had they followed this map, Frodo and Sam may never have made it to Mordor, and Aragorn would have ended up as the King of Gosport, rather than the King of Gondor.

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This map of Hampshire was drawn up by novelist Chris Birse, in the same style used by J.R.R. Tolkien. Picture: Chris Birse

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33-year-old Chris Birse is a fantasy novelist with a penchant for drawing maps for his books, a trend previously followed by J.R.R. Tolkien himself.

Now, Chris has turned his hand to creating maps in the style of those from The Lord of the Rings – and has just drawn up a map for Hampshire.

He said: ‘This all started about two years ago, when I drew up a map for Teesside, where I live.

Chris Birse, right, with his partner Fiona. Picture: Supplied

‘Then I started drawing other maps and it grew from there.

‘I’ve never been to Hampshire, so places like Portsmouth and Havant aren’t familiar to me – but I wanted to keep faithful to Tolkien’s original, and from the feedback I've had people seem pleased with how it looks.’

Ironically, Chris’ map of Hampshire looks fairly similar to Tolkien’s Middle Earth.

The Misty Mountains and mines of Moria are replaced by the stunning South Downs, and Winchester takes the place of the village of Bree, where the hobbits first met Aragorn – and discovered pints.

Hampshire would probably look very different under Sauron's rule. Picture: Chris Birse

Sadly for Pompey residents, Portsmouth falls in a similar spot to where Mordor would, although this means Gosport homeowners would have to share the high street with Shelob the spider.

Chris has done roughly 10 counties so far, with each map taking roughly 60 hours to complete.

‘Maybe one day I’ll do an entire map of the UK in this style,’ he said.

‘That would take a good few years to complete though.

‘I’m going to sell the maps on both print and canvas, and maybe even wallpaper too.’

To follow Chris’ work, people can follow Fantasy World Maps on Facebook.

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