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Archive for the ‘LotR Books’ Category

One does not simply fly into Mordor

Hobbit Eagle There’s always a great deal of amusement and comic humour to be derived from the Eagle-sized problem in The Lord of the Rings.

But as even newbie Tolkien readers understand: Eagles — they’re not a taxi service.

Of course, Tolkien himself was well-aware of the potential of Eagles to derail suspension of disbelief. Here, Benita J. Prins outlines just a few reasons why “one does not simply fly into Mordor”. (For a slightly different, but related, “you must earn your happy ending” perspective, I also recommend this feature by Gibbelins over on io9.)

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Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Two Towers

A report from LI Geek Convention

2015-05-02_11-59-20_86It’s hard to believe it’s almost two weeks since staffers deej, Thorongil and greendragon gathered at LI Geek Con (Islip, May 2nd and 3rd). A new convention, taking place for the first time, LI Geek was small but lots of fun, with a great atmosphere.

Perhaps the biggest draw at the convention was actor Graham McTavish, there both for his role as Dwalin and for his lead role in the popular television show Outlander. He spoke at four Q&A sessions – two focusing on Outlander and two, lead by greendragon, centering on The Hobbit. Many fans had made the trip to Long Island just to see McTavish, and even at such a small convention, there were some fabulous Hobbit costumes to be seen! McTavish himself commented on the quality of many of the costumes, remarking that one particular Dwalin costume was up there amongst the very best he had seen.

2015-05-02_16-11-52_948For fans who hope to meet an idol, such small conventions are the best opportunity; McTavish’s supporters were able to spend a little time actually chatting with him, rather than just being rushed through the autograph line. He was as charming, erudite and amusing as ever, sharing in his panels tales from the sets of The Hobbit, Rambo and Outlander, as well as from his start acting and the journey which led him to Middle-earth. (He mentioned that he read The Hobbit to his older daughter, and each time Dwalin was mentioned in the book, she cheered; her classmates all know him not as ‘Mr. McTavish’ or ‘Honor’s Dad’ but as Dwalin!)

The convention was also attended by celebrities such as David Warner (Star Trek, Doctor Who, Tron and more), actor Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell in Game of Thrones) and actor Nina Toussaint-White (Doctor Who). Panels and discussion groups were held, covering many topics. TORn presented a look forward to what we might see in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition, what’s next for fans of Middle-earth, and a discussion group entitled ‘Kick the Hobbit!’ – chatting (with much affection) about the things which we loved and some we didn’t love so much in Peter Jackson’s second trilogy.

Staffer greendragon finds a BB-8 on duty at Islip airport...

Staffer greendragon finds a BB-8 on duty at Islip airport…

LI Geek Con had the unusual distinction of being the only convention any of us had ever attended which was actually held in an airport! Our table, where we met with convention goers, sold shirts, buttons and lanyards, and gave out prizes, was directly opposite the baggage claim! Some folks arriving on flights into Islip airport seemed bemused to see all the costumes and displays, but the experience turned out to be rather charming. One gentleman, arriving at the airport to catch a flight, caught sight of our table as he entered. His face lit up. He hurried over, and eagerly purchased a ‘Keep Calm and Read Tolkien’ t-shirt. He told us he has read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion seventy-five times each! He had read that a convention was taking place on Long Island, and was disappointed that he didn’t have time to attend – and yet, here we were, in the airport! We asked where he was flying to, and he revealed that he was returning home after flying up for his mother’s funeral. We all of course offered our condolences – and he said that seeing the convention and getting his TORn t-shirt had cheered him up no end! Serendipity bringing a smile all round at MacArthur airport…

An intimate, fledgling convention, LI Geek Con was warm, friendly, and lively – and TORn was delighted to play a part in it. Now we’re looking forward to seeing fans at more conventions through the summer and into the Fall – San Diego ComicCon, DragonCon or New York Comic Con, anyone?

Posted in Conventions, Events, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, The Hobbit

Will you be at San Diego Comic con? Do you want go to a TORn party?

Lake-town LuauTORn is looking to host another Laketown Luau during San Diego Comic Con in July. In fact, we may well make this an annual event so that Tolkien fans can stay connected at one of the biggest Pop Culture events in the world. But we’d like to ask you, the readers, if this is something that would really interest you.

The Laketown Luau is a mashup event with both a Tolkien theme and a Luau theme mixed together, resulting in costumed hula contests, Pin the Black Arrow on the Dragon games and lots of fun and fellowship. The advantage of holding the event during San Diego Comic Con is that Tolkien fans attending the convention from all over the world will be in town that week and can attend. Even better, holding the event off-site means that non-attendee fans from So Cal can also attend the party.

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Posted in ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, 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 the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, The Two Towers, Tolkien

Today in Middle-earth, May 1

The Crowning of ElessarThe following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on May 1st:

  • Gandalf and Bilbo reach Rivendell (1342)
  • Sarn Ford where Gandalf and Aragorn met (1418)
  • Crowning of King Elessar (1419)
  • Elrond and Arwen set out from Rivendell (1419)
  • Samwise marries Rose (1420)

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Posted in Calendar, Hobbit Book, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, The Hobbit, Today in Middle-earth

Today in Middle-earth, April 12

Frodo Gandalf and the RingThe following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on April 12th:

  •  Gandalf reaches Hobbiton (3018) (more…)
Posted in Calendar, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Today in Middle-earth

And the Winner of 2015 Middle-earth March Madness is…

While fans of basketball were enjoying a Duke victory in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, Middle-earth fans were preparing for the epic final of Middle-earth March Madness: Gandalf vs. Bilbo Baggins! This year we decided to keep the poll results hidden to heighten the suspense. I must admit, I took full advantage of my special access to watch the results intently. When we first opened the battle, Bilbo took an early (hobbit-sized) lead of only 1%. Over the next 48 hours, the combatants exchanged that lead nearly every hour. It was a neck and neck competition that only revealed a clear winner in the last 12 hours.

We closely watched for voter fraud and we are pleased to report that no over-voting was recorded. Each vote had a unique IP.  So without further delay, we are pleased to announce that the 2015 Middle-earth March Madness Champion is…. 

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Posted in Events, 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, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Two Towers

Today in Middle-earth, April 8

Field of Cormallen by Tolman Cotton

The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on April 8th:

  • The Ring-bearers are honoured on the Field of Cormallen (3019)
  • The Ring-bearers revisit fair Ithilien (3019)

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Posted in Calendar, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Today in Middle-earth

The Finals of Middle-earth March Madness – Gandalf vs. Bilbo!

thefinals2015This is it! The Finals are set! An epic battle of historic proporations! In one corner we have Gandalf, the Istar responsible for helping save the fate of all Middle-earth. In the other, Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit who would successfully weild and then, more importantly, pass on the most powerful object in Middle-earth, The One Ring.

Since this is the finals, we are not going to share the results until the contest is complete. So you will NOT see a percentage of votes when you cast your own vote. Don’t fret, the committee will be monitoring the competition behind the scenes.


Voting in the finals will remain open until April 8th at 10pm ET. [Finals Bracket] [Final Four Results] [Round 4 Results] [Round 4 Download] [Round 3 Results] [Round 3 Download] [Round 2 Results] [Round 2 Download] [Round 1 Results] [Round 1 Download]

Posted in Characters, Events, 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, Other Events, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Two Towers, Uncategorized

Deception! Scandal! Middle-earth March Madness – Final Four Announced – Vote Today!

final-four2015Middle-earth March Madness has been touched by scandal! When we tallied the votes in our Elite Eight round-up last night, we noticed the votes in The Hobbit division were suspciously more than those of the other divisions. While yes, certain match-ups spur passionate participation, the numbers on this particular match-up were significantly different. So we dug a little bit deeper. As it turns out, one person managed to bypass the system and vote 2300 times!

As the commissioner of Middle-earth March Madness, I took it upon myself to resolve the issue. I converted those 2300 votes to 1 vote. I also reviewed any other multiple votes and converted those to a single vote. As a result, the winner of The Hobbit division for 2015 is…. Bilbo!

So we have our Final Four!

The Silmarillion division winner is, not too surprisingly, the creator of all existence, Eru Ilúvatar. Eru will face off against Bilbo Baggins, fresh off an attempt to wipe him out of this entire tournament!

Coming out of The Lord of the Rings, non other than Gandalf! Can he easy sweep past The Others division winner, Hurin? Or will Hurin pull off the biggest upset of the year!

Stay tuned and vote!

Voting in this round will remain open until April 6th at 10pm ET. And oh yes, you can count us keeping a close eye on any potential cheaters out there!



The FINAL FOUR
April 3 – April 6th 2015



[Round 5 Bracket] [Round 4 Results] [Round 4 Download] [Round 3 Results] [Round 3 Download] [Round 2 Results] [Round 2 Download] [Round 1 Results] [Round 1 Download]

Posted in Characters, Events, 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, Other Events, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Two Towers, Uncategorized

Middle-earth March Madness – Elite Eight Match-ups! Vote Now!

2015-middleearthmadness-bracket-rd4No April Fools here folks! We’ve reached the Elite Eight in our 2015 Middle-earth March Madness! This round will determine who will represent each division!

Because today is April 1st, and there are a slew of April Fool’s jokes out there, we’re going to just get right too it! Can (4) Bilbo take out the tournament Cinderella, (11) Thranduil? Can (14) Elrond really take out (5) Gandalf?

Voting in this round will remain open until April 3rd at 10pm ET. Vote Now and tell your friends! [Round 4 Download] [Round 3 Results] [Round 3 Download] [Round 2 Results] [Round 2 Download] [Round 1 Results] [Round 1 Download]

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Posted in Characters, Events, 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, Other Events, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Two Towers, Uncategorized

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

Middle-earth March Madness – The Sweet Sixteen! Vote in Round 3 Right Now!

2015-middleearthmadness-bracket-rd3We are down to the Sweet Sixteen as the chase to crown the 2015 Middle-earth March Madness champion continues!

Look for special analysis of the match-ups in this round coming soon!

But what about you? Have any strong opinions about this round? Send us a report and it just may make it to the homepage of TheOneRing.net! Email spymaster@theonering.net with your display name and a small bio, and article.

Voting in this round will remain open until March 31st at 10pm ET. As always, tell your friends and vote for your favorites to make it to our final four! [Round 3 Download] [Round 2 Results] [Round 2 Download] [Round 1 Results] [Round 1 Download]

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Posted in Characters, Events, 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, Other Events, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Two Towers, Uncategorized