127 years ago today, January 3, 1892, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien came into the world in Bloemfontein, South Africa. After the death of his father in 1896, his mother, Mabel, decided to return to England with ‘Ronald,’ just three years old at the time, and his younger brother, Hilary. While it’s possible, even likely, that the family would have returned to England eventually, the loss of his father at such a young age, the move back to England, and the loss of his mother less than ten years later, propelled Ronald on an adventure that would take him ‘West of the Moon, East of the Sun.’
Tolkien’s adventures included meeting and eventually marrying the love of his life, Edith; fighting in World War I; attending and later teaching at Oxford; meeting, collaborating (and having a few pints) with his fellow Inklings, including C.S. Lewis; and, of course, creating and writing about the beloved realm of Middle-earth.
Today is a day for all of us to celebrate the life of a great man, and our love of the world and characters he created. As is the tradition every year, the Tolkien Society invites his fans to raise a glass (alcoholic or not, alone or with friends), to “The Professor.” Alternatively, you may want to celebrate by pulling something off of your shelf of Tolkien’s works (we all have one), opening it to a favorite passage (or two), and smiling in remembrance.
However you choose to celebrate, let’s all wish a happy birthday to J.R.R. Tolkien and the amazing, awe-inspiring legacies he left us.
Posted in Fans, J.R.R. Tolkien, Meet Ups, Tolkien, Tolkien Family, Tolkien Toast, Uncategorized
This just in from our friends at the Tolkien Society regarding Oxonmoot 2018:
300 Tolkien fans from around the world are meeting in Oxford this weekend to celebrate the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The event, taking place at St Antony’s College, Oxford from Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd September, has sold out due to the increasing popularity of Tolkien’s works. The event follows last month’s publication of The Fall of Gondolin and coincides with the Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth exhibition at the Bodleian Library.
The event itself will include talks from leading Tolkien scholar – including writer John Garth – quizzes, workshops, an art exhibition, a masquerade, a Hobbit bake-off, a party and a visit to the exhibition at the Bodleian Library. The weekend concludes, as always, with Enyalie, a ceremony of remembrance at Tolkien’s grave in Wolvercote Cemetery on Sunday morning. With attendees from 25 different countries, this year’s Oxonmoot takes place following the Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller, The Fall of Gondolin, proving the continuing popularity of J.R.R. Tolkien as author relevant in the 21st Century. Tolkien’s best-known work was The Lord of the Rings, which has been translated into over 50 languages and estimates put sales at over 150 million copies worldwide.
Founded in 1969 by Vera Chapman, The Tolkien Society is an educational charity and literary society with the aim of promoting the life and works with J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien himself supported the organisation and gave it his seal of approval by agreeing to become The Tolkien Society’s President. On Tolkien’s death the family recommended he stay as President, so, to this day, he remains The Tolkien Society’s Honorary President in perpetuo. The Society has over a 1,600 members and hosts events up and down the country every week.
Shaun Gunner, Chair of The Tolkien Society, said: “This is the largest ever Oxonmoot, and this is testament to the growing popularity of Tolkien and his works, and ever-increasing numbers shows that people want to share their passion for Tolkien with others. Oxonmoot has been going for over 40 years and provides an excellent opportunity for hundreds of fans from around the world to come together for a weekend of fun and fellowship in Oxford, a location so important to Tolkien.” He added, “Oxonmoot always takes place in September to coincide with the birthdays of Bilbo and Frodo, but this year we have a record number of attendees coming to St Antony’s College to enjoy the longest-running Tolkien event in the world.”
Although Oxenmoot 2018 is sold out, if any of our readers are lucky enough to be going, we’d love to get a report on how the weekend went! You can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted in Events, Fans, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lectures & Education, Meet Ups, Oxonmoot, Tolkien
In 2003, The Tolkien Society established an annual tradition, designating one day of the year for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien worldwide to celebrate their love of Tolkien’s writings by, well, reading them! March 25 was chosen for the celebration as it is the date in The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, when the ring of power was destroyed and the dark lord Sauron was defeated.
Each year the Society selects a theme for the day, with this year’s theme being Home and Hearth: the many ways of being a Hobbit. This opens up a wide array of things that could be read to explore the ‘inner Hobbit’ in all of us. You might join Bilbo in The Hobbit, as he opens his home to Gandalf and the dwarves, feeding them most of the goodies in his pantry! Another option would be to settle around the dinner table with Frodo, Merry, Sam and Pippin, as they eat the delicious mushrooms offered to them by Farmer Maggot during their journey through The Shire. What favorite Hobbity thing will you pull off of your bookshelves to read today?
Posted in Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Two Towers, Tolkien
Our friend, TheHutt, from the TORn discussion forums recently shared some interesting information from German site IGN.com: Amazon has revealed to them that shooting on the new Middle-earth series will begin in 2019, with the goal to begin airing the first episodes in 2020. The 2020 goal is designed to fill the void Game of Thrones will leave after the final season airs, likely now to be in 2019.
Posted in J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Studios, Television, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Warner Bros.
As is to be expected, the internet, our discussion forums, and comments to our story from yesterday are abuzz with the news broken by Variety magazine yesterday of talks between Warner Brothers and Amazon to make a series adaptation based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Since there are many outstanding questions, we thought we’d go back over some of the background related to the movie and television rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, as well as relate some additional information also published yesterday at Deadline Hollywood.
Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, Television, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Warner Bros.
Check your calendars. This is not, I repeat NOT one of our famous (or infamous) TORn April fools jokes. Variety broke the story tonight that Warner Bros. is in talks with Amazon to develop a series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings novels! According to Variety, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is personally involved in the negotiations, which are still in the very early stages.
Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Production, Return of the King, Studios, The Two Towers, Warner Bros.
Updated 11/3/17 – From time-to-time you, the fans, email TORn about events of interest to other fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and/or Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. As a service to our readers, we decided to created this new feature: a listing of upcoming events to keep everyone apprised of where they can hook-up and commiserate with other fans, learn a thing or two, or just plain enjoy the fandom that we’ve all come to know and love. From Howard Shore concerts in Paris, to fan get-togethers in Kentucky and South Carolina, to exhibitions in Staffordshire, U.K., it’s all listed here! The list will be updated periodically as past events drop off and future events are added. If you know of an upcoming event, please let us know either in the comments section of this story, or by emailing email@example.com. – TORn, ‘Together in Tolkien’
Posted in Concerts, Conventions, Director news, Events, Exhibits, Film Screenings, Hobbit Movie, Howard Shore, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lectures & Education, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Other Events, Peter Jackson, Stage Productions, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien, Tolkien Toast, Uncategorized
Next Friday, September 22, is both Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday, and has been proclaimed by the Tolkien Society as Hobbit Day. Many fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, including TORn, are planning parties of special magnificence for the auspicious day, and Weta Workshop is front-and-center, ready to help put on the best party ever with their Hobbit Day Party Business Bundle. As they so aptly put it at Weta: “There ain’t no party like a Hobbit Day party because a Hobbit Day party DON’T STOP!”
The Party Business Bundle contains the following items every Hobbit-loving collector will drool over (but not on the birthday cake, please!):
- Bilbo’s Pipe
- The One Ring (film-accurate size 11)
- Bilbo’s Portrait
- Bilbo’s Button
- Hobbit Scarf by Stansborough
- One Ring Keyring
- No Admittance Sign
- The Unexpected Journey Art Print
- Hobbit Feet magnet
The package is priced at $229 USD, but contains $368 USD worth of everything you need to enjoy Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday long after September 22 has come and gone. Speaking of September 22 coming and going, the package is available through September 29 at midnight New Zealand time, a full week after the big birthday event. You can place your order here.
Posted in Characters, Clothing, Collectibles, Events, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Other Events, Other Merchandise, Posters Prints, The Hobbit, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop
We just found out that the Changeling Artist Collective is currently having a ‘There and Back Again’ online auction of Tolkien-inspired artwork. The Collective is comprised of fantasy artists, many of whom specialize in all things Tolkien, from Hobbits to dragons to landscapes. A wide variety of other fantasy-related artwork can also be found there. From their home page: “Inhabiting the more mysterious nooks of the world, the Changeling Artist Collective is comprised of creators and conjurers. We channel our abilities to weave visual tales that are sure to delight your eyeballs.”
Check out the auction site here. The thing is, the auction ends at noon EST tomorrow, September 15. Yes, we know it’s late notice, but we just found out about it ourselves, and better late then never, right? The good news is, if you don’t read this in time to bid, many of the artist’s works will still be available, and there are other auctions scheduled for the future.
Posted in Creations, Events, Fans, Other Events
Whether you love Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit movie trilogy, or love to hate it, it includes some iconic moments from J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories that are truly exceptional. So says movie writer Max Farrow in this article we found at moviepilot.com:
“As we all know, Peter Jackson’s lauded adaptation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy went on to win many Oscars, yet his efforts with The Hobbit were met with a comparatively mixed response.
Yet even if you despise The Hobbit trilogy as much as orcs hate elves, you can’t deny that in the series’ seven hour run-time, there are some precious moments of movie magic. Glittering brightly like the jewels of Erebor, some scenes in this series really are a cut above the rest.”
As it turns out, many of Max’s 15 favorite scenes are among my own, including Gandalf’s first encounter with Bilbo at Bag End, to Bilbo naming his sword Sting, and the amazing depiction of Smaug. How about you? What are your favorite moments from The Hobbit movies? Do you agree with Max’s list? Let us know!
Posted in Director news, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit
If you haven’t yet voted in Round 2 of TheOneRing.net’s March Madness competition, now is the time to do so! This round is producing some VERY interesting results among the 32 remaining contestants. Neck-and-neck battles currently include:
In the Movies Only division, the lovely Tauriel has a narrow lead over Sebastian the Hedgehog. Can elvish archery prowess win out over sheet unadulterated cuteness?
In the Movies and Books division there are currently two contests that are too close to call: Smaug vs. Sauron and Bilbo vs. Faramir. Fire is sure to be involved in the battle between the two Middle-earth arch-villains: the wily dragon Smaug and the Dark Lord Sauron. Could the fact that today is March 25, the day of Sauron’s defeat in The Return of the King give Smaug a slight edge, or might Sauron’s victory be guaranteed by knowledge of the bare spot on Smaug’s breast? How does one chose between two of Middle-earth’s most virtuous heroes: Bilbo and Faramir? Can Faramir’s Gondorian armour withstand a blow from Sting?
Fingolfin Challenges Morgoth – John Howe
The Wider Mythos division has another close contest in the works between evil incarnate, Morgoth, and the mighty Varda, queen of the Valar. In The Silmarillion, it took all of the might of the Valar to defeat Morgoth. Can Varda do it on her own? Can the light defeat the darkness one more time? It’s up to you to decide! Round 2 voting is open until 10:00 p.m. EST tonight. Go here to vote, and join us in deciding these, and other great battles going on right now.
Posted in Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien
In The Lord of The Rings, The Return of the King, March 25, 3019 marked the day the Ring of Power was destroyed and Sauron was defeated. In ‘modern day’ 2017, March 25 marks the day Tolkien fans around the world, in groups or individually, read from their favorite works by author J.R.R. Tolkien.
Tolkien Reading Day is a tradition stared in 2003 by the Tolkien Society. From their Tolkien Reading Day webpage: It has been organised by the Tolkien Society since 2003 to encourage fans to celebrate and promote the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien by reading favourite passages. We particularly encourage schools, museums and libraries to host their own Tolkien Reading Day events.
To celebrate this year’s Tolkien Reading Day, the Society is hosting an event a day of events at the Story Museum. As part of the day, the Society has obtained the permission of the Tolkien Estate for live storytellings of Mr. Bliss. For more information, visit this year’s event page.
Each year, the Society selects a theme for the day, and this year’s theme is Poetry and Song. This opens up an amazing number of possibilities for reading for today. One of the most delightful aspects of The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings in particular, was how Tolkien interspersed poems and songs throughout the story. They added a depth of understanding of Tolkien’s characters and cultures that were unique to his works.
Who doesn’t feel Bilbo and Frodo’s sense of adventure when they read: “The road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began”? No less is the thrill of reading “Arise now, arise, Riders of Théoden!”, or the amusement at Sam’s: “Troll sat alone on a seat of stone and munched and mumbled a bare old bone.”
Tolkien’s poems weren’t limited to his novels. If you haven’t read it, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil offers a collection of 16 poems not published elsewhere. In it, we learn that old Farmer Maggot and Tom Bombadil were acquainted, enjoy an alternate version of The Man in the Moon, and learn the haunting story of the traveler in The Sea Bell:
There still afloat waited a boat,
in the tide lifting, its prow tossing.
Weary I lay, as it bore me away,
the waves climbing, the seas crossing
The Mewlips – Pauline Baynes
One of my favorites is The Mewlips:
through the wood of hanging trees and gallows-weed,
you go to find the Mewlips – and the Mewlips feed.“
Makes me shiver every time!
So, indulge yourself today! Get one (or more) of those Tolkien books from your bookshelf, crack it open,, and spend a few minutes (or hours), reading! If you’d like to join other fans, check out the Tolkien Society links above for planned gatherings. Which poem or song is your favorite? Which makes you smile? Which makes you sad? Which is your all-time favorite? Let us know!
Posted in Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Meet Ups, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien