Archive for the ‘Green Books’ Category
In this piece, Matt Lebovic of The Times of Israel explores the eternally fascinating question of the parallels between Tolkien’s dwarves and the Jewish people. Allegory is almost certainly too strong a word for the relationship, the quotes that Lebovic draws from Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien and various interviews make clear Tolkien’s dislike of the allegorical style (although Leaf by Niggle makes one wonder and Letters #241 and #153 provide conflicting evidence there), and his sincere admiration of the Jewish people.
Edit to quote from Letter #153:
…I might say in my myth I have used ‘subcreation’ in a special way (not the same as ‘subcreation’ as a term in criticism in art, though I tried allegorically [emphasis mine] how that might come to be taken up into Creation in some plane in my ‘purgatorial’ story Leaf by Niggle (Dublin Review 1945))…
Couple of quick points of nit-picking: the Company has 13 dwarves, not 12, it’s Middle-earth not Middle Earth, and arguably Khazad-dûm (Moria) is more accurately the spiritual home of the Dwarves (especially of the Longbeards of Durin’s line) rather than Erebor. As a point of trivia, the Dwarves eventually reclaim Khazad-dum under Durin VII sometime in the Fourth Age. As for the Arkenstone, some people hold that, within the Legendarium, it might have been a Silmaril, but that seems unlikely to this writer. (more…)
Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Languages, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien
Lauren Davis from SF webzine io9 explores why, “in a media landscape overstuffed with dragons, do we still care so much about Smaug?”.
This was first published last month, and I missed it at the time, but it’s a very worthwhile read that delves into (among other things) the literary origins of Tolkien’s dragons — the story of Fafnir, and, of course, Beowulf. Follow the link at the bottom to read the complete article.
Why Smaug still matters
“A dragon is no idle fancy,” J.R.R. Tolkien wrote in his lecture “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics.” Whatever may be his origins, in fact or invention, the dragon in legend is a potent creation of men’s imagination, richer in significance than his barrow is in gold.”
Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Green Books, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, Tolkien
Ringer ArchedCory, who writes for our friends at Heirs of Durin, has put together this excellent article dissecting (though not literally) the anatomy of Smaug, drawing parallels with creatures from our real world. The particular shape of the head, what might have inspired it? What of the teeth? The eyes? Or the skin texture? (more…)
Posted in Green Books, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, TheOneRing.net Community
John D. Rateliff is one of the foremost experts on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. He is, of course, the author of the two-part book The History of The Hobbit which was published in 2007. It is considered the definitive examination of how the book came to be.
So just what does Rateliff think of Peter Jackson’s newest installment of his three-film adaptation? He’s blogged about it on his own website. Follow the link to his blog to find out. Choice quote: (more…)
Posted in Fans, Green Books, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
This is a very cool, very interesting Middle-earth history lesson wrapped into a list of its seven greatest architectural wonders. I find myself hard-pressed to disagree with any of the author’s choices. The ancient Dwarven cities of Nogrod and Belegost — and even Erebor — paled in comparison to Khazad-dûm’s lost glory.
Perhaps, at its peak, Osgiliath’s grandeur might have outstripped that of Minas Anor, but it lacked Minas Anor’s mountainous, physics-defying scale. The strange Pukel Men of Dunharrow might offer another option. And what of Thangorodrim and Angband, Morgoth’s fortresses from the First age and earlier? Would they have been mightier than Barad-dûr?
Anyway, have a read and add your thoughts in the comments. I’d encourage you to follow the links and read the full (and very extensive) entries on each wonder!
Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Two Towers
Xenite.org founder and Tolkien scholar Michael Martinez discusses the history and inter-relationships of the Silvan elves of Mirkwood and their Sindarin kings — and whether and where Tauriel could have fitted in. Interesting piece. Follow the link at the bottom to read the complete feature.
Q: Is Tauriel in the Book, the Hobbit?
Posted in Characters, Evangeline Lilly, Green Books, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
You’ve almost certainly visited Emil Johannson’s LOTRProject website at some point or another, whether to pore over his Middle-earth genealogy page, view the historical timeline of Middle-earth or try out his recent “Which Hobbit character are you?” quiz.
We asked Emil if he’d like to write a few words collecting his own thoughts on Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Here is his review of the film.
If you’re still to see the film and are avoiding spoilers, please be aware that there are spoilers throughout.
The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug review: It is no longer Tolkien’s Middle-earth
The screen went black. The Desolation of Smaug had ended and I was left in the darkness of the cinema with a mix of emotions and thoughts in my head. It had been an entertaining and breathtaking two and half hours. They had essentially consisted of one single long action scene set in some truly spectacular locations. Martin Freeman had once again proved his worth as Bilbo Baggins, his subtle humor and incredible timing perfect for the role. (more…)
Posted in Fans, Green Books, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, Tolkien
Finrod Felagund and the people of Bëor; art by Ted Nasmith.
In this new TORn Library feature, Dr Timothy Furnish explores a lesser-known, but important, philosophical treatise from The History of Middle-earth and speculates whether J.R.R. Tolkien may have doing more than “merely” evoking Christian myth.
Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, Tolkien
Thranduil, King of the Wood-elves.
This is more of a nerdy observation list, than a full-on exploration of textual fidelity (or lack thereof) but if you want to go hunting Tolkien easter eggs in The Desolation of smaug, this article from The Smithsonian provides a few via the insights of Tolkien scholars Michael Drout and John Rateliffe. Enjoy!
Posted in Characters, Green Books, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The original, discarded, design for Bolg, son of Azog.
Undoubtedly the tale of the casting (and re-casting) of Azog and Bolg has been one of the most complicated of The Hobbit. Here, TORn staffer Arandir documents how the parts and actors got shuffled around with poor old Conan Stevens eventually losing out in the game of musical chairs. (more…)
Posted in Conan Stevens, Green Books, Hobbit Movie, John Rawls, Lawrence Makoare, Manu Bennett, The Hobbit
Middle-earth Envisioned by Brian J Robb and Paul Simpson.
The Short Version: Not Good, Good, Great, or Awesome? It’s great. This book is not only beautiful and bursting with Tolkien art, but it also gives a chronological, detailed overview of the state of Tolkien interpretive art to date. Lovely and informative, with only a few things that I wish could have been improved.
Cut to the Chase: Do You Want This Book for Christmas? Absolutely, you do! (more…)
Posted in Books Publications, Green Books, Merchandise
[Editor's Note: Fear not, dear readers, TORn staffer Quickbeam presents our first official review of DOS *spoiler-free* until loudly noted in the later section (with plenty of buffer space) where inquisitive minds may read further with spoiler-iffic abandon.]
The Great Schism: Splendid Smaug Splits Fandom?
Hobbit Version 2.0: Jackson Does it Differently
I know it’s been a long year to wait. Ringer fans are going into ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ with high hopes for another thrilling chapter in the ongoing saga adapted by our fellow fan, Peter Jackson. Indeed it is thrilling. And indeed it bears all the hallmarks of a P.J. film, replete with energetic action set pieces and gorgeously realized creatures and places that only cinema can properly provide to our senses.
Be forewarned Book Fans, because of the extent DOS deviates from J.R.R. Tolkien’s original, you can bet your bottom dollar there will be a very vocal fan reaction, if not an outright scream of frustration from one or two up in the balcony. The filmmakers have certainly delivered the goods; it is a very enjoyable movie that pretty much blows the audience away with well-crafted storytelling. It is by turns breathlessly paced and frightening and funny and gorgeous (Smaug especially has much of his “muchness”). But by the end credits, it no longer resembles the book you read as a kid, not by a long shot.
Which is something I must mention up front because of the laborious efforts towards fidelity in ‘An Unexpected Journey.’ In fact, much of the LOTR Trilogy was a concentrated effort to (mostly) honor the source material. True, there were odd bits that didn’t ring true to Tolkien; like Faramir dragging the hobbits to Osgiliath and Frodo sending Sam home (piffle) but what happens in DOS is just completely off the rails, especially in the third act.
Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Media Reviews, Miscellaneous, Out on a Limb, Premieres, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TORn TUESDAYS Live!