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Similarities of the diverse races found in each world

The first and most striking resemblance to be found in both secondary worlds is the existence of Elves or Sithi, both of which are strikingly similar physically and conceptually to one another. They both prefer to live in forests, and impart undying spring to the habitats they call home. Indeed, the only real difference is their language and their skin colour. Elves feature in Celtic mythology, so this may just be a shared source, yet it would seem that no modern fantasy epic can do without Elves or an Elf-like race.

Another similarity is that found between the Riders of the Riddermark and the Hernistyri. They are both races of nature loving people yet fierce fighters when pressed. Their capital cities are similar: the Taig is a wooden fortress, similar to the Golden Halls of Edoras; and in times of dire need the Rohirrim pull back westwards to the western mountainous Valley of Helm’s Deep, with its own system of caves for living in. The Hernistyri pull back to the caves high in the mountains to the west of their homelands too. Both races follow a similar sort of pagan religious belief system rather than anything more formalised. The Hernistyri of Tad Williams have a form of nature cult, while Tolkien’s Rohirrrim follow a form of ancestor worship.

The inhabitants of Gondor and Erkynland also show some similar features. The men of Gondor are peaceful farmers, with a distinct fighting class, which is necessary living in close proximity to Mordor. The folk of Erkynland are farmers, wishing no more than to be able to farm in peace and not have their crops ruined by the quasi-real threat of the concealed Sithi or more accurately the Norns in actuality who were far worse adversaries. They trust in their King to protect them from the superstitiously perceived, evil Sithi concealed in the heart of the forest; the men of Gondor trust in the Steward to act like a king in his stead and protect Gondor from the dark forces massed on the other side of the Great River. These two lands, Gondor and Erkynland are the ‘home lands’, where the main body of Men generally live in both worlds.


Any further comparisons between races would be far too speculative, having no hard evidence in order to back them up.

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