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Archive for the ‘The Two Towers’ Category

LA’s 2016 Baggins Birthday Bash, moves to Long Beach (Updated)


Southern California Tolkien fans are invited to join in the merriment of TORN’s Annual Baggins Birthday Bash, which will take place on Saturday, Sept 24, 2016 starting at noon in El Dorado Park in Long Beach, the Arbor Day Grove. Because this is a Regional Park, there is a $7 entrance fee, for parking. The advantage, there really is a lot of parking, the disadvantage, no in/out privileges so you may want to carpool.

Map and Directions Added Below!!!

We will be celebrating the Birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and rejoicing in each other’s fellowship. THIS IS NOT A POTLUCK ANYMORE. Bring food and drink for yourself and your party. If you wish to share something, no one will turn it down and it will go on a public table.

Costumes are encouraged, and we may have a prize or two for the most beautifully or most creatively attired lads and ladies. There will also be fun and games, as usual, depending on who wishes to participate.

Schedule – to be posted closer to the event on our Facebook Event Page.

Birthday Cake – A Creative Middle-earth Cake decorating contest open to anyone. So get creative, bake a cake or cupcakes and have fun decorating it in whatever Middle-earth style you prefer. This will actually be a Juried event with a prize for the Cake or Cupcakes deemed the most creative. Please know that heat may play havoc with your cake, so make plans for that eventuality. We will know better the week of the party. We will begin the Cake judging at 2pm to avoid the melting problem of last year.

RSVP by leaving a note on our Facebook Event Page, or send an email to
Standard things everyone may want to bring to the picnic include: picnic blanket, lawn chairs, hat and sunscreen and a smile. Maybe a pop up tent as well, shade is always at a premium, although there are a lot more trees at this park.

We are no longer hosting this as a “Potluck”, but rather as a Bring your Own picnic, anything you wish to share, you can, but do make sure you have enough for your party.

There are a few items that would be nice to bring that could be shared, including the following:

Beverages, Ice and ice chests, Supplies – packs of paper plates, plastic cups, boxes of mixed flatware (plastic knives, forks and spoons), napkins, trash bags and table covers. Repeating Ice Chests and Ice.



The official address given by the park is 7550 E. Spring Street, Long Beach CA 90815, but this is actually the address of the Nature Center that is across the street from the park. The park entrance is on the same side of the street as the Dog Park and the El Dorado Archers. It is at the corner of E. Spring Street and El Dorado Park Road. There is a guard gate just as you turn off Spring Street where you have to pay an entrance fee of $7.00 per car – CASH ONLY. This includes being able to park in the lot near the picnic site. Make sure you enter the Park NOT the Nature Center.
Please check your favorite Map app to confirm correct directions from your location. There are not enough Rangers to spare to send out search parties for lost picnic-goers :)
From the North taking the 405 South.
Take Exit 24 Studebaker Road in Long Beach.
Take a sharp left onto N. Studebaker Road.
Continue on N. Studebaker Road 1.8 miles.
Turn Right on E. Spring St. and drive .08 miles.
Turn LEFT into El Dorado Park
From the North taking the 605 South
Take Exit 2B and merge onto E Spring Street.
Destination is on your right
From the South take 405 North to the 605 North.
Exit 1B off the 605 toward Willow Street..
Continue on E. Willow St. .09 miles
Turn Right on N. Studebaker Rd. Drive .05 miles
Turn Right onto E. Spring St. Drive .08 miles
Turn LEFT into park
MAP (click for hi-res version)
Posted in Baggins Birthday Bash, 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 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, Tolkien

Tolkien poem to be republished after 70 years

GaladrielBOTFAPoster“The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun,” written by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1930, and first published in 1945 in the literary journal The Welsh Review, is set to be re-released in November of this year after more than 70 years of being out of print. The 508 line poem tells of the childless couple Aotrou and Itroun (Breton: lord and lady), who are helped by a Korrigan, a Breton term for a fairy.  When Autrou refuses to pay the price of marrying the Korrigan, he dies three days later and his wife, Itroun, subsequently dies of grief, leaving the twins she bore them to grow up as orphans.

From nothing more than this short description, fans will immediately be reminded of Tolkien’s gift for writing about, and romanticizing, tragic circumstances. Anyone who has read The Lord of the Rings knows of the sacrifices Frodo made, [big LOTR spoiler here]…


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

Hand-written annotations by Tolkien adorn map acquired by Bodleian Libraries

Courtesy of

      Photo courtesy of

The Bodleian Libraries, home to the largest collection of Tolkien manuscripts and drawings in the world, has acquired a recently discovered map of Middle-earth annotated by J.R.R. Tolkien and artist Pauline Baynes during her early preparations to produce a poster map of Middle-earth that was later published in 1970. The fold-out map was pulled from one of Baynes’ copies of The Lord of the Rings. In order to help her represent Middle-earth as accurately as possible, Tolkien made notes on the map (those in green ink and pencil) regarding the climate of various areas, often equating them to real places in England and Europe, in order to give Baynes an accurate idea of the area’s flora and fauna.

The map was kept by Baynes, who passed away in 2008. It resurfaced in 2015 and was acquired by the Libraries. According to the Libraries:

“The annotated map went unseen for decades until October 2015 when Blackwell’s Rare Books in Oxford put the map on display and offered it for sale. The purchase of the map was funded with assistance from the Victoria & Albert Purchase Grant Fund and the Friends of the Bodleian.

This working document reveals that the creatures which enliven the final poster map – wolves, horses, cattle, elephants and camels – were all suggested by Tolkien and that Baynes drew the animals in the exact locations he specified. ‘Elephants appear in the Great battle outside Minas Tirith (as they did in Italy under Pyrrhus) but they would be in place in the blank squares of Harad – also Camels,’ wrote Tolkien.”

The Bodleian Libraries hopes to put the map on display to the public in the near future – a great reason to plan a special trip! In the meantime, read the fascinating full article here.

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

A [Middle-] Earth Day Tribute

Tolkien sitting under his favourite tree Pinus nigra

In celebration of Earth Day, here is a collection of Middle-earth moments in a special BS (Book Spoiler) post in the Main Discussion Board… for a moment of Tolkien-zen.


[TIME and BS entries are maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and are in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. Copyrights and trademarks for the books from which dates and short quotes are taken are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law.]

Posted in Earth Day, Fellowship of the Ring, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Two Towers, Community, Today in Middle-earth

The Greyscale

boromirWelcome 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.


Posted in Characters, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, Headlines, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Community, Tolkien

Washington D.C. NFL pros embrace Tolkien

Lord of the Rings CoverTORn’s staff and our readers know from experience that Tolkien fans can sometimes be found in surprising places. So, imagine our delight when we learned through this Washington Post story that there aren’t just Tolkien fans on the Washington D.C NFL team, quotes from The Lord of the Rings are regularly heard in the locker room and even on the playing field!

The board was set, the pieces were moving, and victory was in hand, but Kirk Cousins needed a little help with his lines.

“Is it the third day or the fifth day you’ve got to look to the East?” Cousins asked teammate Tom Compton on the FedEx Field sidelines, as the clock counted down Washington’s triumph over the Bills.

Compton grimaced at the memory, still aghast that his quarterback would need to ask.

“I was like, ‘It’s the fifth day, bro,” Compton recalled. “Like, c’mon.”

Information secured, Cousins delivered the lines that welcomed the world into his team’s growing “Lord of the Rings” fascination.

“Today, the gray became the white,” Cousins announced, as they closed in on a division championship. “We look to the East.”  Read more…

Note: out of respect for our Native American readers (and non-readers) a word that is viewed by many as a racial slur has been removed from the headline and body of this article. We overlooked that in our attempt to reword the headline of the source article. We’d like to apologize to any of our readers who might have been offended, and encourage everyone to focus on the true intent of linking to the story which was to highlight how Tolkien fandom helps us all transcend labels and brings us together as a community, sometimes in the most unlooked for ways.



Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers

Happy Birthday, J.R.R. Tolkien!

J.R.R. Tolkien124 years ago today, on January 3, 1892, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein Africa. Forty-five years later, in 1937, his book The Hobbit, was published which he had written for his children. Together with its sequel, The Lord of the Rings, it launched generations of readers on adventures through the invented world of Middle-earth that would impact many of us for the rest of our lives.

Today, we here at TORn join millions of fans worldwide in celebrating Tolkien’s birthday. On this day, you might read a favorite passage or two from Tolkien’s writings or, like many of our message board members, you might even be in the midst of your annual read-through of The Hobbit and/or The Lord of the Rings.

Many fans will be gathering at local pubs with fellow member of the Tolkien Society to raise a glass to: “The Professor!” If you’d like to learn more about the annual January third tradition, or even find a local gathering near you, visit the Tolkien Society’s Tolkien Birthday Toast 2016 page here.

However you decide to celebrate, join us in wishing a happy birthday to “The Professor,” who’s life’s work has come to mean so much to us. Happy birthday, J.R.R. Tolkien!

Posted in Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Meet Ups, Other Events, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien, Tolkien Toast

Tolkien’s Hidden Realms and their Meaning: Part One

Our friend, C.E. High, has penned another interesting article about Tolkien’s special hidden realms. From Gondolin to Doriath, Part One explores the hidden realms of the First Age. Enjoy!

J.R.R. Tolkien had a fascination with hidden kingdoms and cities. As one reads through his works they can be seen everywhere, throughout the ages and in a variety of forms. Many things these hidden realms have in common and all have their own symbolism; many are bastions of hope against an ever present dark foe, others are places that are ignorant of any darkness and simply exist in bliss and wonder and are overlooked. Some are tucked away in a valley or at the base of a mountain range; while others are deep in dense and impenetrable forests either with natural or supernatural defenses. Some are carved straight out of the stone or delved deep into the earth, and others…well a few even existed right out in the open.

Tolkien’s love of things being tucked away and only talked about in rumor or in private circles is fascinating. He wove it into almost all of his stories and made the reader feel like they were in on a secret that no one else was. Almost everything that was hidden for Tolkien was noble and good; by contrast everything that was evil was right out in the open. Tolkien made a situation where evil was ever present and out in plain sight, things that were good needed to be kept hid and held onto tightly; and many of his stories involved characters whose actions were motivated by wanting to save or destroy these precious hidden things.


Posted in Creations, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Two Towers, Tolkien

Two Towers discussion in the “Reading Room” forum

Two Towers first editionA discussion of The Two Towers began this week in’s “Reading Room” forum. If you’ve been doing your annual re-read of The Lord of the Rings, or if you’re overdue for a re-read, join fellow fans in debating the finer points about Rohan, Saruman and Treebeard! Best of all, there are still a few chapters open for discussion leaders. If you’re interested in leading a discussion, go to the sign up thread here. Here’s more information from organizer noWizardme:

Starting next week in the Reading Room, we’re discussing The Two Towers. Everyone is welcome to join, whether you’re read it many times, or want to start reading now for the first time. How it works is that we have a volunteer ‘Chapter Leader’ for each week. He or she posts an initial post (thoughts, questions) to get the discussion started. Then discussion takes off in any and all directions. You are almost certain to get a new insight into the chapter, how ever many times you’ve read it yourself.

We work through a chapter a week. The full schedule for the exercise is given in my tasteful 1980s retro footer… (and there are still a few vacant slots for chapter leaders if anyone wants to volunteer). There are absolutely no ‘entry requirements’ to join in, beyond having read the chapter we’re discussing and ideally having some form of opinion, question or comment to contribute.

Saruman the White by John Howe.

Saruman the White by John Howe.

We each of us imagine Middle-earth inside our heads, based on when and how we read the book & what we understand from it. Also, what else we’ve read (or watched, played, written…) and what our own real-life experiences have been. So any reader might have something interesting to say. I find other peoples’ Middle-earths endlessly fascinating. So watch the Reading Room from early next week – hope to see you there!

Posted in Fans, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, The Two Towers, Tolkien

The LA Baggins Birthday Bash is back, this Sunday, Sept. 20

Baggins Birthday CakeCome one, come all to TORn’s Annual Baggins Birthday Bash, held in the Mineral Wells section of Griffith Park this coming Sunday, starting at noon. This is a potluck event, so bring your own beverages, munchies or sweets, and consider sunscreen and hats for the heat. Please do RSVP for the Baggins Birthday Bash by emailing or head over to our Facebook event page where you will get an idea of what others are bringing, and what you might want to contribute. TORn staffers will be hosting a variety of fun and games, with a few prizes thrown in for good measure, here is a tentative schedule of events.

12pm – Official Start (arrive a little early if brining a pop up tent or tables)
12:30pm – Silmarillian discussion with TORn Bookclub host Sarumann
1:30pm – Middle-earth Cake and Cupcake contest judging begins
2pm – Middle-earth Trivia
2:45pm – Middle-earth Quotes contest (brush up on both book and film quotes)
3:30pm – Pin the Black Arrow on the Dragon
4pm – Golfimbul

For directions, here is a map of the Park, just work your way towards the Mineral Wells location.
Griffith Park Map

Baggins Birthday Bash

Update: Accidentally posted Sept. 27, the event will be this weekend, Sunday, September 20. 

Posted in Baggins Birthday Bash, 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, Tolkien

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