The Haywood Society’s touring exhibition, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien – Soldier recruitment and Myth Maker’ launches at the Museum of Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, UK, March 7th to April 24th.
This fascinating exhibition focuses on Tolkien’s time in Staffordshire during the First World War. It will include ‘Original artwork, of domestic scenes and landscapes, which has not returned to Staffordshire since it left with Tolkien in 1918 … [as well as] photographs specially loaned by The Tolkien Estate and Bodleian Library.’
‘During the Great War Second Lieutenant J. R. R. Tolkien of the Lancashire Fusiliers was stationed in Staffordshire, first at Whittington Heath, near Lichfield, next at a musketry camp at Newcastle-under-Lyme, then at Rugeley and Brocton Camps on Cannock Chase. After his marriage in March 1916 Tolkien’s wife came to live in Great Haywood so that she could be close to him. Tolkien regularly visited Edith in the village until he was posted to France in June 1916.
Tolkien returned to Great Haywood in early December 1916 to recover from his traumatic experiences at the Somme. He lived with Edith in a cottage there until late February 1917 and during this time created his first mythological stories, in part inspired by Staffordshire landscapes and experiences.
After a brief posting to East Yorkshire, Tolkien returned to Staffordshire in 1918 and lived in a cottage at Gipsy Green, Teddesley Park, near Penkridge, where other important work was undertaken.’
With less than a month to go until HobbitCon in Bonn, Germany, staffers deej and greendragon are busily getting ready to join their fellow fans there! For the first time, TheOneRing.net will have an official presence at the con, where we’ll be delighted to chat with folks, give some panels, and maybe share some merchandise and giveaways!
At the moment, TORn is scheduled to give two talks at HobbitCon:
Saturday 2nd April 2pm in Saal Maritim
A Party of Special Magnificence – Behind the Scenes of The One Last Party
February 2015 in Hollywood – TheOneRing.net and fellow fans gathered with some of the cast and crew from Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies, to celebrate this fandom we all love – ‘one last time’… TORn staffers greendragon and deej share tales of fundraising on an epic scale, preparing for this special event, and trying to keep elves, dwarves, hobbits and men – and the occasional dragon – happy! Plus we’ll show some footage from the night itself – and maybe some extra video clips of cast who sent along their support.
Sunday 3rd April 12pm in Saal Maritim
There and Back Again – Looking Back on an Extraordinary Journey
Seventeen years ago, a film maker in New Zealand began his work bringing Middle-earth to the screen; and TheOneRing.net began a mission… quest… thing. In the years which followed, we’ve travelled far and wide, in cyberspace and in the real world; meeting cast and crew; getting magical glimpses behind the scenes; and most importantly, sharing an epic journey with our fellow fans across the globe. Join staffers from TheOneRing.net to share reminiscences about the highs and lows of this Unexpected Journey with a Fellowship of Fans.
The schedule is subject to change, so we’ll update you if need be! Meanwhile we hope to meet lots of fans there. Rumour has it this may be the LAST HobbitCon – so let’s make it a good one! See you in Germany. Bis bald!
Learn how to make a treat that is fit for a king in this latest delicious episode!
THORIN’S TOFFEE BARS
¾ cup butter, room temperature (or melted per Happy Hobbit style!)
¾ cup light brown sugar
1½ cups flour
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp butter
2 cups milk or semi sweet chocolate chips
1½ cups Toffee Bits (store bought or homemade — scroll all the way down for the homemade recipe we used!)
1.Preheat oven to 350°
2. Line a 9×13 pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray.
3. To make the Shortbread Crust, beat butter and sugar together until it is combined.
4. Mix in flour, it will be a bit dry.
5. Press into prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes (or start at 10 just to be safe) or until lightly golden.
6. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
7. To make the filling; in a small saucepan heat sweetened condensed milk and butter together until the mixture is smooth.
8. Pour over shortbread crust. Bake 12-15 minutes until filling is bubbly and browned. (It will start to look browned and slightly caramelized)
9. To make the topping, immediately sprinkle milk chips on top of filling when it comes out of the oven. Place back in oven for around 2ish minutes or until the chips have begun to melt.
10. Carefully spread the chips over the filling.
11. Sprinkle with toffee bits and press them evenly into the chocolate.
12. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares. Let them rest up to overnight, or cool in the fridge…that way you can eat them sooner!
13…EAT THEM ALL!
Homemade Toffee Bits Recipe:
½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
pinch of salt
1. Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil (around 5 minutes)
2. Continue cooking until the mixture is 300 degrees and starts to turn brown.This could be up to 8 minutes of cooking, but in my experience, it is much shorter then that (depending on your stove!) So just be sure to keep an eye on it, or two eyes as Gandalf would do!
3. When it reaches 300 or starts to really thicken and brown, pour it out onto a pan lined with baking parchment.
4. Let it cool completely.
5. Put it into a zip-lock bag and bash it up into bits!
Have you ever wondered what the honey from Beorn’s hives gifted to Gandalf and Thorin’s Company on their Quest tasted like? Now you can find out! For the first time ever, Beorn’s treat is available worldwide from Middle-earth Honey, a New Zealand based company striving both to bring the tastes of Arda to the world and to also save the precious bees that produce it.
Their first product is called Anduin Vale Honey and its inspiration was taken directly from the text of The Hobbit: “This is what he promised to do for them. He would provide ponies for each of them, and a horse for Gandalf, for their journey to the forest, and he would lade them with food to last them for weeks with care, and packed so as to be as easy as possible to carry—nuts, flour, sealed jars of dried fruits, and red earthenware pots of honey, and twice-baked cakes that would keep good a long time, and on a little of which they could march far. The making of these was one of his secrets; but honey was in them, as in most of his foods, and they were good to eat, though they made one thirsty.” – The Hobbit, “Queer Lodgings”
You can meander through the Vale at the Middle-earth Honey website here, and likewise may keep up to date with new products and recipes by following their Facebook page here.
Like Beorn, the nature-loving guardian of the Vale, Middle-earth Honey holds its bees in high regard and gives them the best possible treatment. Their honey is 100% natural and is based just ten minutes from Hobbiton in Matamata, NZ.
Anduin Vale Honey is but the first of many Middle-earth products, including candies, chocolates, and even some meads (honey wine) to be released later this year.
Even better, Middle-earth Honey is helping to support the endangered honey bee by maintaining healthy hives on the Pacific Island nation of Niue where the bee population has been untouched by disease or decline.
You can find out more about these special island bees in the video below:
How time flies! Exactly a year ago today, February 21st 2015, many of us gathered in Hollywood for The One Last Party. Fans and TheOneRing.net staffers were joined by movie cast and crew members, brought together by a love of Tolkien and of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth trilogies. Many more fans around the world tuned in to watch TORn’s live stream coverage, led by staffers Quickbeam and Justin. Bruce Hopkins (Gamling) acted as MC for the night, PJ himself sent a special video greeting, and the Professor’s great-grandson Royd Tolkien came all the way from Britain for the celebration. Partygoers danced the night away to the music of Emerald Rose and William Kircher’s group The California Dreamers. It was indeed a night to remember!
Staffer Mithril posted recently about the beautiful Red Book she made, containing the names of all who contributed to the crowdfunding campaign to make The One Last Party happen; this lovely book was sent to Sir Peter as a ‘thank you’ from all of us to whom his movies have meant so much. In another look back to that wonderful night a year ago, here are just a few moments captured from that night, and put together by film maker and TORn friend Dan McBride. Let’s reminisce – and hope that it isn’t really the last such event. We may yet have an excuse, one day, for an unexpected party…
Glaurung the dragon, one of the chief weapons Morogth used to defeat the Eldar in Beleriand. Artwork: John Howe.
Welcome to our latest Library feature, in which Andrew B shares his theories about the “Were-worms” from The Hobbit. Personally I’d always envisaged them as lesser flightless dragons of the line of Glaurung and not the escapees from Arrakis that we saw in The Battle of the Five Armies, so I found Andrew’s ideas very interesting
Another of my favorite pieces from Comic-Con 2015 is now available for Pre-Order. This statue really impressed me with the likeness, detail, and the amazing metallic paint job. Lord Elrond at Dol Guldur is the next piece from The Hobbit Trilogy that fans can get ready to add to their collections. Sculpted by Gary Hunt this amazing piece is available right now for $299(there is a NRD at the time of purchase) with an edition size of only 1500 pieces world wide. Due to ship in quarter two of this year the wait won’t be long until we have Lord Elrond in our collections.
Welcome to our latest Library feature, in which Benita J Prins discusses the belief that Tolkien characters are either totally good, or totally bad, and therefore his characterizations are two-dimensional. She shows that Tolkien did, in fact, write characters that aren’t good, but aren’t entirely bad, and they appear in all of his works.
Weta Digital has been nominated for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-time Project by the Visual Effects Society for the virtual reality demo “The Hobbit: A Thief in the Shadows.” The virtual reality (VR) experience, a collaboration between Weta Digital, Epic Games, NVIDIA and Oculus is designed to let someone wearing the Oculus virtual reality headset take Bilbo’s place as he first encounters Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) in his lair.
Autumn had finally arrived in northern California when I boarded a plane to head into spring on the other side of the planet in New Zealand. To say I wasn’t frightened would be a lie. I felt very much like Frodo heading out into the wide world, for I was about to be away from my family and my continent for longer than I ever had. The weather in Wellington had been pleasant until I arrived, or so I’m told, and as more and more cold rainstorms blew into the bay off the Pacific, my co-workers at Weta Workshop teased that I had brought winter with me to their beautiful island nation.
The flight from Auckland to Wellington, NZ
Like most fans of the TheLord of the Rings films, I had long dreamed of visiting New Zealand and seeing as much of its Middle-earth landscape as I could. However, also like most fans, the cost of such an adventure always held me back. As such, if someone had told me that I would have gone to Aotearoa twice in 2015, I would’ve thought they were as full of tall tales as old mad Baggins! But step out my front door I did, each time with a little nudge.
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