The Minecraft community continues to blow minds with its incredible builds, but even in that lofty company Minecraft Middle-earth stands out. This block-by-block recreation of JRR Tolkein’s world has to be seen to be believed.
All of Middle-earth’s top hot-spots—and everything else—has been recreated in the blocky sandbox. You can take a quiet stroll through Hobbiton, delve into the depths of Moria, and so much more. Ever wanted to swan dive off the apex of Minas Tirith? I’ve done it—it’s awesome.
Minecraft Middle-earth celebrated its ten-year anniversary last month, so I spoke with the server’s founder Nicky Vermeersch, also known as q220, about its humble beginnings, and why anyone in their right mind would take on such an ambitious build.
Vermeersch was first introduced to Minecraft when it was still in beta in 2009, and like many others who played early on in the game’s development, he was completely captivated. As a moderator on a Dutch Minecraft server, the idea of building Middle-earth was a concept that quickly began to float around the server’s community.
“I grew up with Lord of the Rings, like most people around 30 years old, I imagine,” Vermeersch says. “We had people who were interested from the Minecraft forums, so we had this solid player base to start with. We began building the basic locations, like Bree and Hobbiton, then after publishing screenshots, people got hooked on what we were doing and started joining the project.”
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