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Squeezing the Middle-earth cash-cow

Middle-earth 6-film collector's edition No-one likes being taken for a sucker. And, frankly, the recent announcement of the Middle-earth blockbuster ka-pow edition (or whatever jargon-hype wording Warner Bros Home Entertainment is lobbing onto it) certainly has that feel.

It’s the same content repackaged into a bookcase that you or I might have thrown together in high-school woodworking. Yes the bookcase looks quite nice. And there’s a nice little booklet. Yes, all your discs come in nice faux-leather slipcases. Yes, it’s all in a big, glossy box created by professional designers (even if they’re using the same visual assets we’ve seen elventy-billion times).

But, ultimately, it’s still the same content.

And for eight hundred US dollars. Count them. (more…)

Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Studios, The Hobbit, Warner Bros.

The influence of Eärnil and Eärnur

minas-tirith_00317155 I’ve been thinking that the thirty-second and thirty-third of the kings of Gondor might just be two of the most influential. If that sounds a touch far-fetched, bear with me.

This pair of Gondorian kings are, of course, Eärnil II, and his son, Eärnur.

At this point in its history, Gondor was struggling through a trio of disasters spread across several hundred years.

The first, a period of civil war known as the kin-strife; the second, a great plague; the third, the encroachments of a people known as the Wainriders from the east.

It’s not easy to precisely gauge the effects, but certainly Osgiliath is left both damaged and depopulated. Perhaps more critically, there is a diminution of the Gondorian aristocracy. (more…)

Posted in Green Books, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King

Analysing The Children of Húrin: Túrin, Sador and Brandir

Alan_Lee_-_Túrin_Turambar I’ve been re-reading The Children of Húrin lately in preparation for TORn’s chapter-by-chapter discussion in our chatroom. (We’re starting our discussion later today in The Hall of Fire. Feel free to join us at 6pm ET as we dive into Chapter 1.)

It’s been some years since I’ve read The Children of Húrin in full; I probably haven’t completed a cover-to-cover reading since the novel was first published in 2006. But it’s always interesting how revisiting a novel after a long period sometimes gives you a totally different perspective on the action.

So as I’m reading along, I’m going to try and briefly write about one new thing that strikes me each chapter.

Túrin and Sador; Turin and Brandir: a study in contrasts?

(more…)

Posted in Green Books, Other Tolkien books

Hall of Fire this weekend: the Last Alliance

This Saturday (at 6pm ET (New York time)) Hall of Fire will be chatting about the legacy of Boromir the son of Denethor.

‘Farewell, Aragorn! Go to Minas Tirith and save my people! I have failed.’
‘No!’ said Aragorn, taking his hand and kissing his brow. ‘You have conquered. Few have gained such a victory. Be at peace! Minas Tirith shall not fall!’

(more…)

Posted in Barliman News, Barlimans, Hall of Fire

Hall of Fire this weekend: the Last Alliance

This weekend in the Hall of Fire (Saturday 6pm ET), we’ll be chatting about The War of the Last Alliance — an event at the end of the Second Age that was a geo-political shockwave through Middle-earth and caused ripples that continued all they way through to The Lord of the Rings.

Then Elendil the Tall and his mighty sons, Isildur and Anárion, became great lords; and the North-realm they made in Arnor, and the South-realm in Gondor above the mouths of Anduin. But Sauron of Mordor assailed them, and they made the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, and the hosts of Gil-galad and Elendil were mustered in Arnor.

The War of the Last Alliance (more…)

Posted in Barliman News, Barlimans, Hall of Fire

High towers and strong places: a political history of Middle-earth

high-towers-and-strong-places-cover-web_150_1024x1024 TORn Library contributor Dr Timothy Furnish has just published the first of a two-volume analysis of JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth: High Towers and Strong Places: a Political History of Middle-earth.

Furnish applies primary world analysis — political, cultural, social, and economic — to Middle-earth’s 7,000 years of recorded history.

Steering clear of literary criticism, this book instead uses Tolkien’s writings to examine each of the major races of Middle-earth in some detail. It then delves into how each people’s anthropological traits influenced their political systems.

In doing so, he compares and contrasts Middle-earth’s many states, from Beleriand and Barad-dûr to Utumno and Umbar, with primary world examples such as Rome and Byzantium, the Carolingian Empire, and the Islamic caliphates. (more…)

Posted in Books Publications, J.R.R. Tolkien, Merchandise, Tolkien

Hall of Fire this Saturday: the role and importance of Gondor

This weekend, Hall of Fire (Saturday 6pm ET) turns to the kingdom of Gondor as we chat about the role and importance of Gondor, especially in the latter part of the Third Age.

“But in the wearing of the swift years of Middle-earth the line of Meneldil son of Anárion failed, and the Tree withered, and the blood of the Númenoreans became mingled with that of lesser men. Then the watch upon the walls of Mordor slept, and dark things crept back to Gorgoroth. And on a time evil things came forth, and they took Minas Ithil and abode in it, and they made it into a place of dread; and it is called Minas Morgul, the Tower of Sorcery.”

(more…)

Posted in Barliman News, Barlimans, Hall of Fire

Get first look at The Rangers: A Shadow Rising’s new 40-minute cut

437bcb_451c65c582e94a7b981a4b6b7f726438 Last year, The Forge Studios released the pilot for their epic action adventure fantasy, “The Rangers”.

Now, the independent film studio is releasing a new, 40-minute cut of their pilot on Youtube — and they’re giving TORn readers the chance to have a look first before officially announcing it to the world on Thursday.

The Rangers film project is about a special force of soldiers, known as Rangers, who were founded long ago by King Alirion to guard and watch the borders of the Kingdom of Olaran. The series invites you to follow the adventures of the unit of Rangers led by Brander Noke, also known as Wolf, and their new rookie Soren Fell. (more…)

Posted in Creations, Fans

Hall of Fire this Saturday: magic and art

This weekend in the Hall of Fire (Saturday at 6pm ET) we’ll be gathering to discuss the differences between Art and Magic in Middle-eath.

For this is what your folk would call magic. I believe; though I do not understand clearly what they mean; and they seem also to use the same word of the deceits of the Enemy.

Magic and art (more…)

Posted in Barliman News, Barlimans, Hall of Fire

Hall of Fire this Saturday: Galadriel, Lady of the Golden Wood

This weekend Hall of Fire (Saturday at 6pm ET) will be discussing the story of Galadriel, guardian of the ring, Vilya, and the Lady of the Golden Wood of Lothlórien.

She was proud, strong, and self-willed, as were all the descendants of Finwë save Finarfin; and like her brother Finrod, of all her kin the nearest to her heart, she had dreams of far lands and dominions that might be her own to order as she would without tutelage.

Galadriel, Lady of the Golden Wood (more…)

Posted in Barliman News, Barlimans, Hall of Fire

William Kircher, aka Bifur, at Wizard World Las Vegas! March 18-20

Bifur Kircher Just a quick reminder for Las Vegas folks that William Kircher — aka Bifur in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit — will be appearing at Wizard World Las Vegas Comic Con next weekend.

Wizard World Las Vegas will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center from March 18-20. William says he hopes to see some ‘fan friends’ there!

[Read More]

Posted in Conventions, Events, Hobbit Cast News, William Kircher, Wizard World

Hall of Fire this Saturday: Tolkien, nature and the environment

Before the Sun and Moon, two trees gave light to the Blessed Realm. But an evil act by the diabolical Morgoth destroys the trees and leaves the world in darkness. The symbolism could hardly be stronger. The devastation of Tolkien’s childhood countryside haunts this tale and all his works of fiction.

This Saturday (March 5 at 6pm ET (New York time)) Hall of Fire will be discussing Tolkien, nature and the environment as it appears in his works.

Tolkien, nature and the environment (more…)

Posted in Barliman News, Barlimans, Hall of Fire