We’ve got to talk about Tolkien’s map of Middle-earth. The man might have made up some beautiful languages and written stories that generations of writers have responded to in ways ranging from homage to bad photocopy, but I’m going to guess he was no connoisseur of geography.

Even at an early age, I thought the map of Middle-earth looked a little… odd. With my years of geological education and work experience, now it seems more like a geographical car wreck from which I can’t quite look away. (This is what happens when you spend a lot of student loan dollars on graduate school.)

Middle-earth’s got 99 problems, and mountains are basically 98 of them.