Have you ever wished you had like-minded friends who love Tolkien’s books as much as you do to discuss them with? A place exists right here on TORn where that’s possible. Over the 17 years TORn has been around, we’ve discussed The Lord of the Rings from beginning to end a total of 6 1/2 times, including the current discussion which is on Book VI Ch 1, The Tower of Cirith Ungol.
The way it works is that volunteers take a chapter and do a number of posts over the course of a week presenting their thoughts and posing questions about the chapter content. How, you might ask, can we possibly find new things to talk about the 5th, 6th and 7th time through? It’s surprisingly easy! New people joining the discussions bring new perspectives and new ideas for their chapter presentations. People use quotes, pictures, historical background from other works by Tolkien, even current events, and combine them to raise interesting, fun, and often challenging questions. Of course, leading a chapter discussion isn’t required. You can simply follow along with each chapter, reading people’s replies, or even better, reply with your own thoughts.
“But, I’m not a Tolkien scholar, I just love reading his books” you might say. No worries! While there are some pretty knowledgeable folks who participate, the discussions are friendly and informal. Having participated in a number of the discussions, I can vouch for how interesting it is to read other people’s perspectives of the same words you’ve read. Sometimes they can be surprisingly different. For example, I thought I knew exactly who killed the Witch King (Eowyn, of course), and was 100% sure Balrogs had wings. Needless to say, I was astounded at the number of people who interpreted the exact same passages of the story entirely differently than I did! To say those questions prompted some lively discussion is an understatement!
Over the years, in addition to discussing The Lord of the Rings, we’ve discussed The Hobbit and Unfinished Tales three times, The Silmarillion four times, and had a full ten discussions of Tolkien’s other works such as The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, and even Letters from Father Christmas!
If following along and/or participating in the current discussion is something that’s of interest, do give the Reading Room a look! You can find the current discussion schedule here (a few chapters are still open for volunteers). You don’t need to register for the forums if you just want to check it out or follow along. Just bookmark this link to the Reading Room. If, after you start reading some of the discussion, you can’t resist joining in, you can register for the boards here.
As we like to say in the Reading Room: pull up a comfy chair, relax, and enjoy!
Posted in Uncategorized
“The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun,” written by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1930, and first published in 1945 in the literary journal The Welsh Review, is set to be re-released in November of this year after more than 70 years of being out of print. The 508 line poem tells of the childless couple Aotrou and Itroun (Breton: lord and lady), who are helped by a Korrigan, a Breton term for a fairy. When Autrou refuses to pay the price of marrying the Korrigan, he dies three days later and his wife, Itroun, subsequently dies of grief, leaving the twins she bore them to grow up as orphans.
From nothing more than this short description, fans will immediately be reminded of Tolkien’s gift for writing about, and romanticizing, tragic circumstances. Anyone who has read The Lord of the Rings knows of the sacrifices Frodo made, [big LOTR spoiler here]…
Posted in Books Publications, Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Two Towers, Tolkien
Between now and August 13, The Dukes theater in Lancashire, U.K., will be performing J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit as their summer season’s ‘walkabout’ outdoor show. The audience will literally follow along as Bilbo Baggins joins Gandalf, Thorin, and his company of dwarves on their mission, quest, thing, to regain their long-lost treasure from the dragon Smaug. From the Westmorland Gazette:
Since 1987, The Dukes walkabout shows have transformed Williamson Park into Neverland, Oz, Ancient Greece and now Middle Earth.
“I feel like the park chose The Hobbit,” explained The Dukes artistic director, Joe Sumsion. “There are some shows – and this is one of them – where people’s instant reaction is to say that will be great in the park. It’s the natural environment for it. The strongest elements in the book are its humour and charm. We plan to capture this, offering an intimate experience where the audience can get really close to all these fascinating characters and creatures.”
According to the Gazette article, there’s also a Lord the The Rings and The Hobbit movie connection in that Andy Serkis began his professional acting career at The Dukes, performing in its first outdoor performance in 1987. Performances of The Hobbit are at 7:15 p.m. nightly except for Sundays. Visit The Dukes website for more information and to purchase tickets.
Posted in Events, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Other Events, Stage Productions, The Hobbit, Tolkien
Courtesy of www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk
We reported earlier here that a map of Middle-earth, annotated by J.R.R. Tolkien while working with Pauline Baynes was to go on display at the Bodleian Libraries. Well, that day was today! However, it proved to be so popular that they added one more day and will also have it on display tomorrow, Friday, June 24. So, if you’re anywhere near the area, you still have a chance to catch it. According to the Bodleian website, the map was a working document that Tolkien and acclaimed illustrator Pauline Baynes both annotated in 1969 when Baynes was commissioned to produce a poster map of Middle-earth. The map will be on display from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. Admission is free.
Posted in Events, Exhibits, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Tolkien
In the ‘pretty darn cool’ department, an ‘authentic’ Hobbit hole in Orondo Washington, U.S.A., is now available to rent. While we’ve reported on similar things before, the accommodations at this dwelling come compete with rustic furniture, a nice little garden, an absolutely gorgeous mountain view and, yes, shampoo. Whether you use the shampoo on your head, your feet, or both, is up to you.
Posted in Creations, Fans, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Miscellaneous, The Hobbit
Our friend, Doug Adams, recently confirmed via twitter that the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s program later this month, The Film Music of Howard Shore, will include the premiere of The Hobbit: Four Movements Ra. This has been long awaited by fans as a logical progression from Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony, released on CD in September 2011. No word yet on if and when it might be available on CD, but if you’re in or near the Pittsburgh area at the end of this month, the performances are scheduled for Friday, June 24 and Saturday, 25 at 8:00 p.m. with an afternoon concert scheduled for Sunday, June 26. In addition to music from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the performances will also include music from other Howard Shore scores such as The Aviator, Hugo and The Silence of the Lambs, and more. Get more information and purchase tickets here, on the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s website.
Update: thanks to Doug, we can now share the official press release for the event! Check it out below, and be sure to purchase your tickets soon if you’re lucky enough to be able to go. Also, don’t forget to send us your reports and pictures from the concert!
The Film Music of Howard Shore
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestraorld Premiere:
FOUR MOVEMENTS FOR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
with many more favorites from his outstanding career
June 24, 2016 – June 26, 2016 at Heinz Hall
Special Guest Howard Shore
Howard Shore, special guest
Ludwig Wicki, conductor
Jon Burlingame, interviewer
Lydia Kavina, Theremin
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concludes another spectacular Pops season with a one of a kind evening: an audience with the Academy Award-winning composer Howard Shore. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra celebrates the outstanding career and achievements of a true icon, with performances of his best known scores and live interviews, by acclaimed film music writer Jon Burlingame, with the composer from the stage. Audiences will thrill to the music from his legendary scores to The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the world premiere of music from The Hobbit with scores from his films: The Aviator, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Silence of the Lambs, Hugo and many more. This is an epic evening filled with amazing music and the composer’s own insights.
A unique experience not to be missed!
June 24 at 8:00 pm
June 25 at 8:00 pm
June 26 at 2:30 pm
Buy Tickets: 412-392-4900
Heinz Hall | 600 Penn Ave | Pittsburgh, PA | 15222
Posted in Concerts, Events, Hobbit Movie, Howard Shore, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Our friends at La Sociedad Tolkien Española (STE) have informed us that they are now taking submissions for their 12 annual Ælfwine Awards contest. Held every year to further the study of the works and life of J.R.R. Tolkien, the contest is open to anyone who has an interest in writing about Tolkien and/or his writings, from amateurs to professionals. Essays may be submitted in either Spanish or English and are due no later than October 1, 2016 to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The winning essays will be published on their website in November, 2016. First prize includes 120 Euros and a year’s free membership in the Spanish Tolkien Society. Second prize is a year’s free membership in their Tolkien Society. Keep reading for the complete rules.
Posted in Contests, Creations, Events, Fans, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, LotR Books, TheOneRing.net Community
Now here’s an interesting concept. Assuming part of why you frequent TheOneRing.net is interest in the LOTR/Hobbit movies, would you have paid to see them on opening night – at home? Some of you may already be aware of the proposed ‘Screening Room’ offering from this article at deadline.com in March. More recently, deadline reports that Sir Peter Jackson has enthusiastically jumped on the bandwagon in support of Screening Room, joining a number of other directors, including Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams.
Posted in Director news, Guillermo Del Toro, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Courtesy of moviepilot.com
If, like many of us, you heard about the making of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies before they even started production (and were old enough to read at the time, haha), you probably remember the good old days of endless debates and discussions around casting rumors! Was Sean Connery really considered to portray Gandalf? Was Sylvester McCoy considered for a role long before he brought Radagast to life in The Hobbit movies? This interesting article over at moviepilot.com puts a number of those rumors to rest.
Do you think Patrick Stewart would have made a good Gandalf? What about Jake Gyllenhaal as Frodo? If there are any rumors left over from the olden days that aren’t covered in this article, let us know in the comments section and we’ll see what we can find out. Read the full article here.
Posted in Director news, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Peter Jackson, Rumors Spy News, Rumours Spy News, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again
Thanks to a tweet from Weta Workshop, we’re reminded that this infamous video of Legolas’ memorable line from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; “They’re taking the Hobbits to Isengard!” just passed the 10-year anniversary of its release on May 11, 2006. With over 21 million views, and 39,000 comments, this mash-up by Erwin Beekveld has attracted a lot of attention over the years. Speaking of years, if the fact that it’s been a decade since it was made makes you feel a bit old – join the club! In any case – it’s just as funny as it was 10 years ago, so enjoy!
Posted in Creations, Fans, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Movie The Two Towers, Orlando Bloom, WETA Workshop
When TheOneRing.net marked its 10th anniversary in 2009, we celebrated in style. In fact, we had such a good time, we decided to continue to celebrate every year on April 26, the date that TORn was established.
Founders Day is TheOneRing.net’s official holiday, filled with the best that a virtual party can offer. If you’re new(er) to the site, it’s a chance to find out about the roots of the site, about the four founders, and to say thanks to the people who keep this place going. If you’ve been around for a bit, it’s a great day to reminisce, tell war stories, and reflect on all the adventures and friendships that have been forged over the years.
Look for a few special party threads on our message boards (mostly on Main, Off Topic and Feedback) — so don’t be shy! Hunt around, find a party game you like, or a conversation you enjoy, and dive in! Plus Barliman’s chat is always open, as is our facebook page, of course. While we understand they don’t currently have a special event planned, they always welcome both old friends and new visitors, so why not drop in and say Hi!
Here’s to our Founders (from left to right below: Corvar, Xoanon, Tehanu, Calisuri)!
Happy 17th TORniversary, TheOneRing.net!
As part of our celebrations every year we reprise posting the TORn “Valaquenta” below. The TORn “Valaquenta” was written by member Alassëa Eruvende and set most beautifully to paper by our dear friend Daniel Reeve, calligrapher and artist for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. Enjoy!
Posted in Events, Founders Day, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community
With the sixth season of The HBO series Game of Thrones just around the corner, are comparisons between it and The Lord of the Rings inevitable? The Irish Times seems to think so. In this provocative article, author Ed Power explores the irresistible urge of some fans to rank them against each other.
“Central to the whispering campaign against Tolkien is the idea that he peddled a reductive world view. While George RR Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire sequence is regarded as mature, complex and reflective of real human life, Lord of The Rings is felt to be fusty, puritanical and cheesily moralistic. Nobody in Game of Thrones is truly good or bad”
The Lord of the Rings is cheesy and puritanical? Oh dear. Of course, devoted fans of J.R.R. Tolkien would never describe it that way, but devoted fans of George R.R. Martin (who haven’t read LOTR?) might – and some apparently do. Can Jaime Lannister hold a candle to Aragorn, or vice versa? Are Gollum, Eowyn or John Snow one-dimensional?
As a devoted fan of both (yes, it’s quite possible), I personally think that the difference between the two is a good thing. Both approaches can be enormously entertaining, cringe-worthy at times, yet pierce the heart with both beauty and tragedy. What about you? Do you have a preference or do you enjoy both? Read the full article, and let us know!
Posted in 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, Television, Tolkien