What if I wanted—someday—to do something with MIDDLE-EARTH REMIXED other than play around with it here on my blog, or potentially as an RPG campaign for my friends and or family? Well, I'd be a bit out of luck. The Hyborian Age is now public domain, but Middle-earth is not, and the Tolkien Estate is relatively diligent in protecting the intellectual legacy of J. R. R.
Now, this isn't exactly true for some characters of Middle-earth, since some of them were literally based on ancient names; the name Gandalf comes from the Dvergatal of the Völuspá, a portion of the Prose Edda. Eärendil comes from Anglo-Saxon mythology, etc. But most of them are. I'd have to distort the map so that it's not so obviously a blatant copy. I'd have to change a bunch of names. I'd probably do away with hobbits altogether (gasp!) and just replace them with some rural yeomen and rustic landed gentry that have the same personality as a culture. Just to make the lines a bit harder to draw in case it ever were to be done by a legal team. I'd want to make sure that MIDDLE-EARTH REMIXED in this scenario would pass muster as legal scènes à faire that are common to the genre.
Of course... if I do this, at some point, it becomes self-defeating. If the attraction is that it's Middle-earth with a twist, the more it becomes just a pastiche fantasy setting clone instead of actually being Middle-earth with a twist, the more one is forced to ask: why bother?
But, nonetheless, I think I'm going to draw up a quick n dirty alternate "Middangeard" map and create some alternate names. Just because, it gives me something else to do with this tag for a little while longer,
And just for fun, here's some more Angus McBride Celts that can be rather ostentatious Eriadorian mayors. Heck; maybe even some landed gentry from Bree-country. Below that is some more humble Eriadoran scouts wondering who's occupying lonely hill forts in Rhudaur, and if they represent the men allied with Angmar.