It’s no secret that the artists of Weta Workshop who brought both Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to life are an insanely talented bunch, but have you ever wondered what they’ve been up to post Middle-earth? Aside from contributing to multiple other films and their own projects, several have been collaborating on a wonderful series of books showcasing their Fantasy and Science Fiction art: White Cloud Worlds. New Zealand’s Maori name is Aotearoa, which means “the land of the long white cloud,” and given that the art is all Kiwi-made, well, you get the picture! Several of the art pieces included were also inspired by Middle-earth.
The covers of Volumes 1 & 2
Books one and two have already been released, and book three is due out in November. This new volume is said to contain over 200 images, showcasing the work of 60 New Zealand artists, several of whom include such Middle-earth artists as:
Gus Hunter, Weta Workshop Designer, LOTR & The Hobbit
Ben Wootten, Weta Workshop Designer, LOTR
Paul Tobin, Weta Workshop Designer, The Hobbit
Jamie Beswarick, Weta Workshop Designer, LOTR & The Hobbit
Andrew Baker, Weta Workshop Designer, The Hobbit
Lindsey Crummett, Weta Workshop Designer, The Hobbit
Available for pre-order now is allegedly one of Tolkien’s darkest stories, which (if any of you are familiar with my books) has me all kinds of excited.
Here’s the official press release we have received:
THE STORY OF KULLERVO
The world first publication of a previously unknown work of fantasy by J.R.R. Tolkien, which tells the powerful story of a doomed young man who is sold into slavery and who swears revenge on the magician who killed his father.
• The Story of Kullervo is the first piece of prose fiction that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote
• This is its first appearance in book form
• 2015 is the centenary of its creation
• Illustrated on the cover by one of Tolkien’s own paintings
Kullervo son of Kalervo is perhaps the darkest and most tragic of all J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters. ‘Hapless Kullervo’, as Tolkien called him, is a luckless orphan boy with supernatural powers and a tragic destiny.
Brought up in the homestead of the dark magician Untamo, who killed his father, kidnapped his mother, and who tries three times to kill him when still a boy, Kullervo is alone save for the love of his twin sister, Wanona, and guarded by the magical powers of the black dog, Musti. When Kullervo is sold into slavery he swears revenge on the magician, but he will learn that even at the point of vengeance there is no escape from the cruellest of fates.
Tolkien himself said that The Story of Kullervo was ‘the germ of my attempt to write legends of my own’, and was ‘a major matter in the legends of the First Age’. Tolkien’s Kullervo is the clear ancestor of Túrin Turambar, tragic incestuous hero of The Silmarillion. In addition to it being a powerful story in its own right, The Story of Kullervo – published here for the first time with the author’s drafts, notes and lecture-essays on its source-work, The Kalevala – is a foundation stone in the structure of Tolkien’s invented world.
The book will be released in the UK on the 27th of August 2015 and is scheduled for release in April 2016 in the US.
While I doubt the rights will be released any time soon, this sounds like an edge-of your seat read that would make a fantastic film. With stories like this kicking around in his desk drawers (or wherever the Professor kept them!), one has to wonder what would be his chosen medium if alive and publishing today. Would he be like J.K. Rowling and write not only novels, but for the stage, and the screen as he expanded his magical world? Or do you think he would’ve just stuck to books? Before you go into a lecture about Jackson’s films “ruining everything,” remember that Tolkien willingly sold the rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, knowing full well their stories would be told on the big screen with all kinds of changes to match the cinematic storytelling medium.
Note: My apologies for posting this late on TORn! Sometimes real life gets in the way of being a volunteer at TheOneRing. If you would like to make sure you get our videos and posts as soon as they’re up, please like our Facebook page and subscribe on YouTube. Hannon le! ~Kili
Learn how to (and how not to) make strawberry wine worthy of the Woodland Realm with Kili!
STRAWBERRY WINE (1 gallon)
3-4 lbs of fresh, ripe strawberries
2.5 lbs of sugar
1 gallon of pre-boiled water
2 tsp citric acid
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 tsp yeast
Mash the strawberries. Add mashed berries and sugar to a crock pot. Add 2 tsb citric acid. Pour the boiled water over the mixture and dissolve the sugar as much as possible.
Once the mixture cools, add yeast nutrient and yeast. Stir.
Let the mixture sit for a week, stirring every day.
After one week, strain the strawberries and squeeze out the juice into a sanitized glass carboy. Good luck. If needed, sterilize more water by boiling. Allow it to cool then add it to your wine. Attach an airlock and let sit for 4 weeks.
After a month, rack your wine (siphon it into another sanitized carboy).
When Fili decides to bake a surprise to celebrate the release of Kili’s latest book, her sister catches wind and tries to spy while wearing a certain hoodie…
Kili’s (K.M. Rice) books can be found here, and check out LOTH Hoodies here! Recipe below.
SARUMAN’S SECRET SURPRISE CAKE
For the cake:
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter (plus more to grease with pans with or you can use a baking spray!)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for the pans
1 cup of milk
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or a little more!)
For the frosting:
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped, plus shaved chocolate for topping
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
A small amount of cocoa powder for dusting!
Make the cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Butter two 8-inch-round cake pans and dust with cocoa powder, tapping out the excess.
3. Combine the butter, milk and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
4. Transfer to a large bowl, add the cocoa powder and granulated sugar and whisk until smooth. Let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
5. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
6. Whisk the eggs and vanilla into the cocoa mixture then stir in the flour mixture until just combined (it’s ok if there are a few small lumps in this Saruman pool!).
7. Divide the batter between the prepared pans.
8. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 35 minutes.
9. Let cool 10 or more minutes in the pans then run a knife around the edges and invert onto a rack to cool completely.
Make the frosting:
1. Put the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring, until smooth; let cool.
2. Beat the butter and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Beat in the melted white chocolate until combined. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth and fluffy; beat in the vanilla. (If the frosting is too soft to spread, chill 15 minutes or more! This makes a LOT of frosting so you may not end up using it all!)
4. Place one cake layer on a platter and spread with one-third of the frosting. Top with the second cake layer; cover the whole cake with the remaining frosting.
5. Top with dust of cocoa powder and enjoy a bit of Saruman’s surprise!
As some of you may have noticed, my March madness really was spent in Middle-earth! In the month I spent in New Zealand, I had the immense pleasure of visiting the Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata. Journey with me now to the Shire to experience your own adventure in Hobbiton!
And please feel free to peruse the photos below!
A quaint little home
Which way to go?
A vegetable garden
Barefoot in Hobbiton!
A very happy hobbit!
The tree atop the hill
The door is cracked… Bilbo must be in! Or is it Frodo?
Hmm, definitely Bilbo, since we know Frodo is out reading his book
The first time I watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition, I mistook a hobbit in the marketplace scene for Sean Astin. Upon pausing the film, however, I realized it wasn’t Sean at all but rather an actor who strongly resembled him… holding a baby. I’m certain the filmmakers also noticed this resemblance, which begs the question: is this Gaffer Gamgee and Samwise?!
Remember, Hobbits are a longer-lived race than Men. They come of age at 30, after all. In The Fellowship of the Ring (book), Frodo celebrates his 50th birthday shortly before embarking on the Quest to destroy the One Ring. The events of The Hobbit are said to take place roughly 60 years before Frodo steps out his front door on that fateful day. Sam is stated to be younger than Frodo in the books, but given the altered timeline of the films, Samwise (who looks older than Frodo in FOTR) could be around 60 years old when he joins his friend on the adventure, which could justify this (possible) baby cameo.
Samwise is ready for an adventure!
After all, Jackson’s Middle-earth films are a magical place in more ways than one: that stumbling man in Bree is still eating a carrot 60 years later, unchanged by time!
What do you think? Is this baby Sam Gamgee? Or perhaps baby Hamfast (Gaffer) and his father? At the very least, they must be some Gamgee relation!
Sam and his daughter Eleanor at the end of ROTK
Only one thing is abundantly clear: baby hobbits are adorable.
Kili and Dodo Brushwater, a shady hobbit from Frogmorton, want some donuts but neither know how to make the delicious treats. How will they convince Fili to make them… or will they?
Dodo’s Donuts Recipe:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups milk (preferably whole but can be any)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the sugar coating:
1/4-1/2 a stick of unsalted butter (can use up to a stick but just eyeball it)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (Can adjust the amounts of sugar and cinnamon to taste or color!)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 doughnut pans well.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
In a small bowl, stir together the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. (Stirring with a spatula or large spoon works best!) Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined.
Spoon the batter into the baking pans, filling each one a little more than three-quarters full. Bake for 17 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then tap the doughnuts out onto a sheet pan. You may need to carefully cut around their edges to get them out!
For the topping, melt the butter in the microwave then combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip each doughnut first in the butter, (if you’re using a wide enough bowl, or else paint the butter on with a brush), and then in the cinnamon sugar, either on one side or both sides.
This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law.