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Archive for the ‘Creations’ Category

Tolkien artist Jef Murray: March 17, 1960 – August 3, 2015

Jef MurrayA member of the Tolkien community is gone. Jeffrey “Jef” Patrick Murray died Monday, Aug. 3 unexpectedly, at the age of 55.

Jef, living in Decauter, Georgia, was best known to many as a Tolkien artist, and was a selected artist at the upcoming Dragon Con in Atlanta. He leaves behind family and friends who know him as more than his work and will miss him dearly.

Jef was scheduled to help the Tolkien track of programming at Dragon Con this year, as he has many others, and will be missed and remembered. He was active year round in a Facebook group dedicated to the convention, where he posted his art weekly. He put his effort where his passion was and it will be hard not to notice that he hasn’t posted each Tolkien Tuesday.

Jef had a deep spiritual connection with the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and credited the professor and his writings with his conversion to Catholicism. Besides leaving his mark in Tolkien fandom, he was involved as a writer and artist in religious publications and websites. He also wrote his own stories and poems.

Murray received a note of tribute from fellow artist and friend Ted Naismith, noting his passing and explaining that the pair kept in contact via email despite different viewpoints of the world. He said in part:

“I’m proud to call Jef a friend, fellow artist, scholar and colleague, and deeply mourn his loss. My deepest condolences to Lorraine and Jef’s family and close friends. He was a very lively and dedicated voice and talent in our community, and he leaves an impressive legacy. I’m truly saddened that he has left us, it’s simply too soon! I’d like to think he is now free to roam the width and breadth of Middle-earth and Valinor with his canvases and songs.”

Tolkien scholar Constance Wagner, who got to know Jeff at Dragon Con also spoke of her sadness at his passing:

“He has gone Into the West to paint forever with starlight. I will miss his wit and kindness and sense of fun. I will miss his talent. But mostly, I will miss him. Namarie, Jef. Elen sila lumenn’ omentielvo.”

The Tolkien Society knew Jef and his works well. He often contributed to its publications Amon Hen and Mallorn. It published a notice of his death, expressing sadness at his passing.

It is interesting to note, that he graduated from Georgia Tech with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering according to this obituary.

TheOneRing.net wishes our deepest condolences to those hurt by the loss of Jef, yet we honor his works and his passion and his life.

Some of Jef’s creations are posted below but to see a full compliment of his works, visit his official website.

He also left behind his own words about himself:

“Although it’s thought good form to speak about oneself in a “Biography” section, I’m always embarrassed that I’ll either say too much and sound pompous or too little and sound elusive. I intend neither, so beg your pardon in advance if I strike the wrong balance.

I’ve sketched and painted natural and mythological wildlife and landscapes since my childhood years in the north Georgia hills. I suspect I’m best known for my illustrations from Inklings-themed publications, although I’m very grateful that my work has also been published in many other books and journals.

I love the writings of G. K. Chesterton (see my artist’s statement), and a good deal of my work explores the connection between myth/fairy tales and Christian thought. I am Artist-in-Residence for the St. Austin Review (StAR).

My illustrations of whimsical tales and poems and my stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications worldwide, including Amon Hen, Mallorn, Silver Leaves, the St. Austin Review (StAR), the Georgia Bulletin, and Integrated Catholic Life. My most recent book illustrations appear in Seer: A Wizard’s Journal.

Lorraine and I reside in Decatur, Georgia with hamster-in-residence Ignatius, and up to 60,000 honeybees.”

Posted in Creations, DragonCon, Fans

The Great Hall of Poets

AragornReading_RevWelcome to The Great Hall of Poets, our regular monthly feature showcasing the talent of Middle-earth fans. Each month we will feature a small selection of the poems submitted, but we hope you will read all of the poems that we have received here in our Great Hall of Poets.

So come and join us by the hearth and enjoy!

If you have a Tolkien/Middle-earth inspired poem you’d like to share, then send it to poetry@theonering.net
One poem per person may be submitted each month. Please make sure to proofread your work before sending it in. TheOneRing.net is not responsible for poems posting with spelling or grammatical errors.

(more…)

Posted in Creations, Fans, Poetry

The Great Hall of Poets

BoromirReadingYeats_RevWelcome to The Great Hall of Poets, our regular monthly feature showcasing the talent of Middle-earth fans. Each month we will feature a small selection of the poems submitted, but we hope you will read all of the poems that we have received here in our Great Hall of Poets.

So come and join us by the hearth and enjoy!

If you have a Tolkien/Middle-earth inspired poem you’d like to share, then send it to poetry@theonering.net
One poem per person may be submitted each month. Please make sure to proofread your work before sending it in. TheOneRing.net is not responsible for poems posting with spelling or grammatical errors.

(more…)

Posted in Creations, Fans, Headlines, Poetry

GreenBooks Redux: Justice, Mercy and Redemption

GreenBooks LogoIf you’ve been around TheOneRing.net for a while… correction: if you’ve been around TheOneRing.net for a really, really long time, you might remember the section of our site called GreenBooks. GreenBooks’ tag-line was: Exploring the Words and Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, and that’s exactly what our staff and guest contributors did there for many years. Sections included Quickbeam’s Out on a Limb, Turgon’s Bookshelf, Anwyn’s Counterpoint, and others, and explored topics on everything Tolkien with some movie and Peter Jackson articles thrown in for good measure.

Unfortunately, the old TORn site crashed early in 2007, which turned out to be a good thing as it forced us into the 21st century, adopting a new format that allows our readers to comment directly to articles (what a concept). However, GreenBooks became relegated to our old archived site, and the cobwebs grew thick there. Some of us oldies who know the right paths to take, still delight in poking around the old place every now and then, and while doing so recently it occurred to me that there’s no reason to leave such literary gems languishing in the cobwebs. So, once a week or so, I thought I’d dust one off and re-post it.

The one I selected for this week is titled: “Justice, Mercy and Redemption” by staff member, and co-author of TheOneRing.net’s books: “The People’s Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien,” and “More People’s Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien,” Anwyn. Also, if you’d like to take a peek, the old GreenBooks section is here. If you find something of interest that you’d like to discuss in this weekly feature, shoot me an email at altaira@theonering.net and I’ll put it towards the top of the queue.

Enjoy!

(more…)

Posted in Books Publications, Collectibles, Creations, Fans, Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Original TORn, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

The Great Hall of Poets

ThorinReadingWelcome to The Great Hall of Poets, our regular monthly feature showcasing the talent of Middle-earth fans. Each month we will feature a small selection of the poems submitted, but we hope you will read all of the poems that we have received here in our Great Hall of Poets.

So come and join us by the hearth and enjoy!

If you have a Tolkien/Middle-earth inspired poem you’d like to share, then send it to poetry@theonering.net
One poem per person may be submitted each month. Please make sure to proofread your work before sending it in. TheOneRing.net is not responsible for poems posting with spelling or grammatical errors.

(more…)

Posted in Creations, Fans, Headlines, Poetry

Lego Lord of the Rings parody: side by side with a friend

legoparody From Brotherhood Workshop, who brought us the reason Tom Bombadil wasn’t in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies, here’s a new LEGO parody: Side by side with a friend. The punchline is great; the unexpected cameo even better.

Legolas and Gimli have a classic bromance. At least, that’s the way Legolas sees it.

(more…)

Posted in Creations, Fans, Lord of the Rings, Parodies

Meet Ben Pitchford, builder of the 120,000-piece Lego Rivendell

LEGO Rivendell_16125000049_l A little while back, we featured a story on a 120,000 piece Lego replica of Weta’s rendition of Peter Jackson’s Rivendell from The Hobbit.

Here, the designer and builder — Ben Pitchford — chats with us about his enormous creation, and how Lego has since asked him to submit a smaller, potentially commerciable, version to their Lego Ideas site. (If you’d like to see it become a reality — it needs 10,000 supporters to move to the next stage and is already almost halfway there — then head over to Ben’s page on Lego Ideas and add your backing.) (more…)

Posted in Creations, Fans, Green Books, Headlines, LEGO

The Great Hall of Poets

Welcome to The Great Hall of Poets, our regular monthly feature showcasing the talent of Middle-earth fans. Each month we will feature a small selection of the poems submitted, but we hope you will read all of the poems that we have received here in our Great Hall of Poets.

So come and join us by the hearth and enjoy!

If you have a Tolkien/Middle-earth inspired poem you’d like to share, then send it to poetry@theonering.net
One poem per person may be submitted each month. Please make sure to proofread your work before sending it in. TheOneRing.net is not responsible for poems posting with spelling or grammatical errors.

(more…)

Posted in Creations, Fans, Poetry

A Speculative History Of Aragorn II In Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth

aragorn3Forum member Otaku-sempai has submitted an informative, in-depth analysis of how the time-line of Aragorn’s life was changed and condensed as presented in The Lord of the Rings movies, and alluded to in “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” Enjoy this well-researched article!

A Speculative History Of Aragorn II In Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth – by Otaku-sempai

The words of the Elvenking Thranduil to his son Legolas at the end of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies concerning the young Dúnadan Ranger called Strider confirms the long-held assertion that Peter Jackson substantially altered the timeline of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings in his film adaptation by all but eliminating the seventeen-year gap between Bilbo Baggins’ one hundred eleventh birthday and Frodo’s departure from the Shire.  Rather than a young boy being fostered secretly in Rivendell by Lord Elrond, Aragorn son of Arathorn is a young adult abroad in the world.  How old is he at this time?  How far along is he on his journey of exploration and self-discovery?  Where does Aragorn go from here?  We can answer these questions, but we have to make some assumptions in the process.

Preliminaries

Can we determine Aragorn’s age?  First we must determine the years of the War of the Ring within Jackson’s film trilogy.  In the extended edition of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” we are given the exact date of Bilbo’s eleventy-first birthday: The twenty-second of September in the year three thousand of the Third Age. According to Professor Tolkien, Bilbo chose this date to leave the Shire because it was also the thirty-third birthday and coming-of-age of his nephew (really cousin) and heir Frodo Baggins.

In the commentary track with Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, the director and writers discuss the shortened time-frame of the film, suggesting that as little as a few months pass before Frodo and Sam leave Bag End for Rivendell rather than the seventeen years indicated by Tolkien.  We see in the film that Gandalf the Wizard leaves Bag End to investigate Bilbo’s Ring, traveling to Minas Tirith in Gondor and (presumably) tracking down and questioning the creature Gollum in his investigation before returning to Hobbiton and advising Frodo to go to Rivendell.  All this must have taken a significant amount of time, at least one year as Frodo is able to leave home and awaken in the house of Elrond on the date of 24 October (as told to him by Gandalf).

We know that not very much more than a year or so passes before Frodo leaves the Shire because of the ages of his companions Sam, Merry and Pippin.  In Appendix D of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien provides the birth-years of Frodo (9268), his cousins Meriadoc Brandybuck (2982) and Peregrin Took (2990), and Samwise Gamgee (2980), showing that the latter three were all either children or adolescents by Hobbit standards at the time of Bilbo’s birthday party (the year 3001 in Tolkien’s legendarium). Peter Jackson ages them up so that all three are now Frodo’s contemporaries in age.  This gives us a likely year of 3001 for Frodo’s arrival in Rivendell and the Council of Elrond. If the films roughly follow the same chronology as the books in terms of months and days then the Company of the Ring should leave Rivendell on or near 25 December, 3001.

So, when was Aragorn born?

Eowyn-and-Aragorn-eowyn-2106861-600-400In the extended edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Aragorn reveals to Éowyn, niece of King Théoden of Rohan, that he is eighty-seven years old; she realizes that he appears much younger because he must be one of the Dúnedain descended from the Men of Númenor. This should be (again if the dates in the books and films are congruent) a day or so after Aragorn’s birthday (1 March) which, according to Tolkien, is when Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli met Gandalf the White.

If Aragorn turned eighty-seven years old in 3002, his day of birth would have been 1 March, 2915 (or no earlier than 2914 if the scene between Aragorn and Éowyn took place prior to 1 March).  His true name and heritage would have been revealed to him by Elrond in 2935 (or 2934), just before his first encounter with Elrond’s daughter Arwen.  At the time of the Quest of Erebor (the year 2940 in the film-continuity) Aragorn’s age would have been twenty-five (or possibly twenty-six). To simplify things, let us assume that the months and days during the War of the Ring (although not the years) match up between the books and the films, and that Aragorn turned twenty-five in the year of Bilbo’s great adventure.

What happens, and when?

So, how does this affect the rest of Aragorn’s story?  It changes the timelines of other characters: Arathorn II and Gilraen, Aragorn’s parents; King Thengel of Rohan and his descendants; Éowyn and her brother; Ecthelion II the twenty-fifth Ruling Steward of Gondor; Ecthelion’s son Denethor; and Denethor’s sons Boromir and Faramir; among others.

Aragorn acquires his nickname of Strider sometime soon after he goes into the wild, possibly in Bree.  At some point before the Battle of Five Armies, he comes to the notice of Thranduil of the Woodland Realm who also learns of his true identity. Either Aragorn does not meet Gandalf until after the Quest of Erebor and the Battle of Five Armies or the Wizard does not wish to risk the heir of Isildur against the dragon Smaug nor against the Necromancer.

The great journeys and errantries of Aragorn probably begin in the year 2941, his twenty-sixth year, and likely culminate in 2964, this becoming the year of his victorious raid as Thorongil upon the Corsairs of Umbar and his reunion with Arwen in Lothlórien where the couple plighted their troth upon Cerin Amroth.  This would be the period in which Aragorn as Thorongil distinguishes himself in service to both King Thengel of Rohan and Ecthelion II in Gondor.  He likely had several other adventures, both alone and with Gandalf the Grey.

Aragorn at Gilraen's graveThe years after this, leading up to the Great Years of the War of the Ring, might be when Aragorn journeyed to the distant regions of the East and South, “exploring the hearts of Men, both good and evil,” as Tolkien wrote, “and uncovering the plots and devices of the servants of Sauron.”  Gilraen, Aragorn’s mother, would return to her own people during this time and pass away sometime around the year 2990. The Hunt for Gollum must have been much shorter, having quickly come to a successful conclusion, or did not take place at all as it written by Tolkien; there is nothing in the films to indicate that a captured Gollum was ever taken to the Woodland Realm, much less that he escaped from there–only that Gandalf somehow located and interviewed him with or without the help of Aragorn.

Great journeys and errantries

The period of what Tolkien called Aragorn’s “great journeys and errantries” might be greatly affected by the Peter Jackson film series. In the legendarium it lasted from 2957 to 2980 and Aragorn as Thorongil might have spent most or all of that period in Rohan and Gondor. Saruman the White did not turn against Rohan until after he was given permanent possession of Isengard in 2953. This probably does not change in the film-continuity since Saruman is still considered to be good at the time of the Quest of Erebor when the White Council drives the Necromancer and his servants from Dol Guldur.

It is possible that Aragorn began his explorations of the East and or South before the beginning of his service to Rohan. Alternately, he might have remained in the regions of Eriador and Rhovanion both as a companion of Gandalf and on his own during that time. In film-terms, the journeys and errantries of Aragorn could have begun at any time between 2941 and 2957 and might have ended as early as 2964 or as late as 2980. However, I am inclined towards the earlier dates.

Aragorn most likely came to Rohan after 2953 when Orcs and Dunlendings began harassing the Rohirrim and making trouble along the borders of Fangorn. Saruman was then pretending to still be a friend to Rohan even while secretly supporting its enemies. Tolkien wrote little of this period except to say that, as Thorongil, Aragorn rode with the host of the Rohirrim in defense of their lands.

Aragorn with swordAfter taking his leave of King Thengel, Aragorn (still as Thorongil) traveled to Gondor and gave his services to Ectheilion II, the twenty-fifth Ruling Steward. He accrued great renown in Gondor and became seen as a great leader of men. He also became Ecthelion’s most loved and trusted advisor, supporting the counsels of Gandalf and warning the Steward against accepting the aid of Saruman. In this a foresight might have been upon him as the treachery of Saruman was as yet unknown. Denethor II, the son of Ecthelion, considered Thorongil to be a rival for his father’s attention and might have guessed at his true identity, fearing that Gandalf was plotting with the Dúnadan to supplant him.

In Aragorn’s last year of service to Ecthelion he led a successful raid on the Corsairs of Umbar, destroying a large part of their fleet. Then, setting his eyes on the Mountains of Shadow, he took leave of the Steward of Gondor and traveled east. After spending some weeks or months within the borders of Mordor, Arargorn was allowed to enter Lothlórien and was reunited with Arwen.

After the War of the Ring

Aragorn-and-ArwenThe events of the War of the Ring are known and accounted for in the films, with the new elements of Aragorn’s self-doubt, and initial reluctance to seek after the Kingship of Gondor. After the Fall of Sauron, events presumably proceeded much as they did in Tolkien’s legendarium with Aragorn having been crowned as King Elessar of the Reunited Kingdom, wedding Arwen who has given up her immortality for her love, siring with her several children including their son Eldarion and at least two daughters, and ruling over Gondor and Arnor until his passing in the one hundred twentieth year of the Fourth Age.

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Note: if you have an article you’d like to submit, please send it to spymaster@theonering.net.

Posted in Creations, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Two Towers

The Great Hall of Poets

ArwenReading_revisedWelcome to The Great Hall of Poets, our regular monthly feature showcasing the talent of Middle-earth fans. Each month we will feature a small selection of the poems submitted, but we hope you will read all of the poems that we have received here in our Great Hall of Poets.

(more…)

Posted in Creations, Fans, Poetry

Hall of Fire this weekend: discussing the fan-film Born of Hope

Barliman's Chat This weekend (Sat March 7 at 5pm EST) Hall of Fire will be chatting about the Kate Madison-directed Middle-earth fan-film Born of Hope: The Ring of Barahir.

Arise Dúnedain, remember who you are!

Born of Hope: The Ring of Barahir

Born of Hope is based on the appendices of The Lord of the Rings and tells the story of the Dúnedain as it follows the lives of Arathorn II and Gilraen, the parents of Aragorn. (more…)

Posted in Barliman News, Barlimans, Creations, Fans, Hall of Fire

Watch this new fan-film based on Leaf by Niggle

treeandleaf J.R.R. Tolkien’s short story Leaf by Niggle is one of my favourite of his works. Written in 1938-39, and first published in the Dublin Review in January 1945, the piece is often considered an allegory of Tolkien’s own creative process (respected Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey argues in his book The Author of the Century that it functions as an autobiographical allegory).

Adam Dens and his friends have adapted this work into a short, 17-minute film. There are some sound issues here and there, but it’s worth a watch in my opinion. Go check it out. Adam writes: (more…)

Posted in Creations, Fans, Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Other Tolkien books, Tolkien