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Today in Middle-earth, August 22

Spiders Dwarves and a Hobbit The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on August 22:

  •  Bilbo fights off spiders (1341)
  • They come to Isengard; they take leave of the King of the West at Sunset (1419)


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

George R.R. Martin says he wants his epic series to have a LOTR ending

George-RR-Martin-thumbGeorge R.R. Martin, writer with a series of #1 bestellers, a hit HBO show and a measure of celebrity few writers ever achieve, has given a pretty substantial signal about the how the tone of his series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” will end and he credits J.R.R. Tolkien. Martin has long praised Tolkien and credited him with influencing him and most every other fantasy writer.

But this time Martin got pretty specific.

He spoke in an exclusive interview with The Observer, where he didn’t give anything away, but did reveal the kind of tone he hopes to have at the end.

“I’ve said before that the tone of the ending that I’m going for is bittersweet. I mean, it’s no secret that Tolkien has been a huge influence on me, and I love the way he ended Lord of the Rings. It ends with victory, but it’s a bittersweet victory.”

Tolkien_2692769bMartin also talked about the golden age of television and mentioned some great shows that not everybody is watching, but he wasn’t done with praising Tolkien.

“Frodo is never whole again,” he said.

Martin is of course known for writing giant volumes and killing favorite characters. The joke goes that Martin isn’t on Twitter because he already killed 140 characters and the fear is that by the end of the final book, Martin may write something of an apocalypse, which is why his Tolkien comparisons are so welcome for fans.

But he also praised a portion of Tolkien’s writings that filmmaker Peter Jackson left out of his movies, save for a brief glimpse as part of another scene. Martin loves the Scouring of the Shire chapter.

“And the scouring of the Shire—brilliant piece of work, which I didn’t understand when I was 13 years old: “Why is this here? The story’s over?” But every time I read it I understand the brilliance of that segment more and more. All I can say is that’s the kind of tone I will be aiming for.

Martin is writing the sixth book in his series, “The Winds of Winter.”

Read the full story right here.

Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Return of the King, The Two Towers, Tolkien

TORn’s SDCC 2015 wrap us

1 Middle-earth cosplay SDCC2015San Diego Comic Con 2015 is now in the books, let’s do a little recap for any all things related to Tolkien fandom and TORn. The TORn panel, titled “What’s next for Tolkien Fans?” was on Friday afternoon, and directly after the panel we had our annual Tolkien themed Cosplay photo Op, as seen in the first photo.

The panel itself began at 4pm, but without the snazzy little visual presentation we normally have. The laptop that the presentation was on, and had been operating just 2 hours earlier, decided it was taking the afternoon off. Apparently it helped the panel move along at a quicker pace, leaving plenty of room for questions at the end. So, what was discussed in the panel, what IS next for Tolkien fans? (more…)

Posted in Baggins Birthday Bash, ComicCon, Conventions, Elijah Wood, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Happy Hobbit, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit Movie Rumors, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jewelry, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Events, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Richard Armitage, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Two Towers, Tolkien, Tolkien Reading Day, Tolkien Toast, TORn Book Club, TORn TUESDAYS Live!, Weta Collectibles, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop

Today in Middle-earth, July 19

Riddles in the Dark The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on July 19th:

  • Bilbo’s lost in the caves (1341)
  • Riddles in the dark (1341)
  • Bilbo finds the dwarves and the wizard (1341)
  • The Company is trapped in the trees (1341)
  • The funeral escort of King Théoden sets out (1419)


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

Modern Hobbit village being built in Turkey

turkish hobbit holeIn Paşabahçe Picnic Area in eastern Turkey there is a hole in the ground – two so far to be exact. Inspired by the homes inhabited by Hobbits in J.R.R. Tolkien’s books and Peter Jackson’s movies, two small homes have been built into the side of a hill overlooking a valley. Each 65 square meter house (about 700 square feet) has a kitchen, bathroom, toilet and bedroom. The plan is to rent them out fully furnished as part of a hotel complex.

“We planned the project as an apart-hotel. People will be able to book a house for 10 days.” said Mayor Sami Aydin. “I’m baffled at the demand. I was expecting some attention but not this much.” 50 to 60 houses are currently planned, including one that looks more like the familiar hobbit holes in the movies. The hope is to increase interest in tourism both in the Sivas Province and in Turkey. Check out the original story on in Turkish and in English.

Posted in Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Miscellaneous, The Hobbit

An essay: The Silmarillion as a trilogy

The SilmarillionOur friend C.E. High recently sent us an interesting take on making The Silmarillion into a trilogy of movies. While the odds of that happening are almost nil, it’s still fun to think about how it could be done. Which stories would make the best cinematic exposé in terms of both content and characters?  What would have to be cut to keep the storyline cohesive? Have a look at C.E.’s essay, then let us know what your Silmarillion trilogy would look like!

The Silmarillion as a Movie Trilogy – by C.E. High

It’s an idea that has been capturing the minds of fans since the days of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and probably before that too; will Peter Jackson or anyone make The Silmarillion into a motion picture? After the success of The Lord of the Rings franchise, the natural question was “When will he make The Hobbit?” Ten years, eleven Oscars and a few green light hitches later, we have just been treated to the second Middle-earth film trilogy. Old fans are loving the opportunity to delve back into the world of Tolkien again, new fans are discovering it for the first time and at the end of it all, naturally (and hopefully), we still  want more. Eyes have already been looking toward The Silmarillion – Tolkien’s posthumously released life’s work telling the story of the First and Second Ages of the world, the awakening of the Elves, Dwarves, and Humans, and the events that ultimately create the world that we know from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.


Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Other Tolkien books, Peter Jackson, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, Tolkien

San Diego Comic con is coming and TORn will be there


San Diego Comic Con

Edited to Add and update details: 

What’s Next for Tolkien Fans
From cast and crew interviews to having a staffer assigned as an embedded reporter on set, has had a front row seat these past 16 years as Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth films were created. Now that all the films have been released, the only thing remaining for fans is the extended edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies and rumors of possible Tolkien biopics on the horizon. Join staffers Cathy Udovch (special events coordinator), Clifford Broadway (TORn tuesday), Josh Rubinstein (TORn bookclub), Kellie Rice (Happy Hobbit), and Larry Curtis (senior staff writer) for an in-depth discussion full of expert analysis, behind-the-scenes stories and audience participation with the website forged by and for fans of J. R. R. Tolkien.
Friday July 10, 2015 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Room 25ABC

The 2015 edition of San Diego Comic Con is coming up in just 3 short weeks, and will be there. We will not have a booth this year, but we will be hosting a panel on Friday afternoon, July 10, called “What’s next for Tolkien Fans”. We just can’t give any further details until the official schedule is posted next week. Please do plan to wear your Tolkien finery on Friday if you are able. That means costumes, TORn shirts, whatever you have that shows your affinity for all things Middle-earth. Since this may well be TORn’s final big appearance at SDCC (we won’t know until next year if they will invite us back), so let’s go out in style. There will be a mass photo of fans in TORn shirts or other Tolkien themed tees, Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and other denizens of Middle-earth, directly after the panel out on the front steps between Ballroom 20 and the Sails Pavillion. You will have to take the escalators to the ground floor in order to exit to get to the front steps, but this will allow any non-ticket holders to participate. So do plan to represent Middle-earth and we’ll see you on Friday, July 10, Costumes or geeky shirts are equally welcome, this photo event will take place between 5:15pm and 5:30pm.

GCC-LogoThere will also be a TORn Moot that Friday evening, but instead of the Laketown Luau we had last year, which forced us to charge money to attend, we decided to go a little more casual. So, without further ado, all Tolkien fans attending SDCC and those locals that are not attending are invited to an ‘Ice Cream Social’ at the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop in the Gaslamp District, located at 643 5th ave. We’ll begin at 7:30pm, giving everyone time to make it into the Gaslamp District after the hall closes, and run till 10pm.You can RSVP at our Facebook Event page for “We’re Taking the Hobbits to IceCreamGard”


Now here’s the rub, Ghirardelli does not take reservations, so everyone will just have to show up, grab whatever chair or table is available, and eat their yummy goodness. We may end up scattered about the place, but that’s OK, we are all Tolkien fans and we can socialize with the best of them. The shop is always rather popular and busy, the turn over is pretty quick, so just show up and have some fun with your fellow Tolkien fans, and there may even be a few prizes to win.

Posted in Clothing, Clothing, ComicCon, Conventions, Costuming, 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, Other Events, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Two Towers, Community, Tolkien

Today in Middle-earth, Lithe [Midsummer’s Day]

Arwen and Elessar The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on Lithe,

Midsummer’s Day:

  • Gandalf, the Dwarves and their Burglar leave Rivendell for the Lonely Mountain (1341)
  • Aragorn and Arwen – A promise is born (1380)
  • Gandalf meets Radagast the Brown (1418)
  • The Wedding of Elessar and Arwen (1419)
  • Frodo resigns office of mayor, and Will Whitfoot is restored (1420)
  • The death of Mistress Rose, wife of Master Samwise, on Mid-year’s Day (1482)


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

Why is The Lord of the Rings a Classic?

LordoftheRings001Discussion Forum member Ethel Duath recently posted a link to an article on regarding a simple answer to a simple question: why is The Lord of the Rings considered such a classic? Did I say a simple? Ernest W. Adams, who answered the question on Quora, considered it to be J.R.R. Tolkien’s development of languages and back-story for Middle-earth and each of its races. A great answer! But, is it that simple? No doubt we each have our opinions on the best answer, or answers, to that question. Why do you think The Lord of the Rings is such a classic?  Let us know in the article comments and/or weigh in on our poll. While you’re thinking about it, check out Mr. Adams’ reasoning in the article here.

Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Return of the King, The Two Towers, Tolkien

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.)


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.


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