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Archive for the ‘The Two Towers’ Category

Vote Now – Round 2 of Middle-earth March Madness is upon us

Things are really heating up in the 2014 edition of Middle-earth March Madness with some competitors moving into the second round by the skin of their teeth. Voting for Round 2 is now open at the bottom of this post.

2014Bracket2

LONELY MOUNTAIN BRACKET

The perfect example is the very first match up in the Lonely Mountain bracket. Elrond squeaked past Smaug by just 1%, while his second round match up in Fingolfin made it past Bombur by just under a 3% differential. So what can we expect from a meeting of two great Elven Lords? Fingolfin became High-King of the Noldor once they arrived in Middle-earth and was a well renowned warrior before he fell to Morgoth. Elrond Half-elven is one of the great Elven Lords and by the time we get to the War of the Ring he holds one of the Elven rings of Power, Vilya, the most powerful of the three Rings. With two such regal Elves going toe to toe, this should be one match up to keep your eye on.

The Lonely Mountain bracket have a few other match ups worthy of taking note of. Treebeard beat Saruman, proving that the March of the Ents and subsequent taking of Isengard was no fluke. The eldest of the Ents will take on Gollum, just about the craftiest survivor in Middle-earth, this will be one unpredictable showdown. Aragorn defeated Melian, an ancestor of his wife Arwen while Bain fell to the Balrog of Moria, which face it, was not a fair fight. Aragorn wanted a chance to face the Balrog when the Fellowship was chased to the Bridge of Khazad-dum, but Gandalf stepped in stating that “this foe is beyond you”, now he gets a second chance to face this foe. The final match up in the bracket is that of Frodo Baggins, who defeated Manwe with a decent margin against Bard the Bowman, who handily dispatch Bill the Pony back to Bree. Will the grim holder of the Black Arrow prevail against the final Ringbearer? Only you can decide the fate of these contestants.

BAG END BRACKET

Most of the first round contests were handily won by those who move into the second round, with the closest match up being that of Radagast defeating Balin by just a 5% differential. But now the Brown Wizard will be facing Galadriel, who easily moved past Beren. What can Brown do against the Lady of the Golden Wood, you must decide. The most fascinating duel will be that of the Black Arrow against Anduril. The Flame of the West quickly dispatched the Spiders of Mirkwood while the Black Arrow made quick work of the Watcher in the Water, but these two mighty weapons head to head should be the most hotly contested match in the Bag End bracket. Thranduil didn’t even break a sweat in moving on past Tom, William and Bert, and his new foe, Gwaihir, easily flew past Barliman Butterbur. Can the Wind Lord outpace the King of the Mirkwood Realm?

Of the contests in the Bag End bracket, the most unpredictable is most likely Bilbo against Glorfindel. Bilbo made it past the Fell Beasts fairly easily, while Glorfindel had a harder time against Kili. Having slain a Balrog, and dying in the process only to be sent back to Middle-earth by the Valar probably aided that. Both Bilbo and Glorfindel were living in Imladris, with Bilbo being a special guest of Elrond and Glorfindel acting as Lord Elrond’s Lieutenant. Gandalf has called him “one of the mighty of the Firstborn, an Elf-lord of a house of Princes”. Thus it was that Elrond sent Glorfindel out to assist Frodo in finding his way into Rivendell because he was strong enough to face the Ringwraiths. And yet, Bilbo has faced Trolls, goblins, won the Ring of Power from Gollum, defeated giant spiders and faced a dragon and lived to tell the tale. This should be an battle of epic proportions, vote wisely.

EREBOR BRACKET

This bracket is full of darkness with three of the four contests having at least one Dark character. But none is more full of evil intent than Morgoth versus Ancalagon. While Morgoth easily slipped past the Arkenstone in round 1, Ancalagon reduced the Bunny Sled to ashes and now the Master will face his creation. Ancalagon the Black was bred by Morgoth and was considered the largest and mightiest of all the dragons in Middle-earth, and Morgoth began as Melkor, the most powerful of the Ainur before succumbing to darkness. His is a cautionary tale against pride, wrath, envy, lust for power and greed. Will the mightiest of all Fire-drakes be able to defeat the Dark Lord that preceded Sauron who was, in fact, Morgoth’s lieutenant?

After defeating Gothmog, Dain Ironfoot is set to take on The One Ring after it handily defeated Nenya. Can this Heir of Durin resist the lure of the Ring of Power? In the other contest with dark overtones is that of Beorn against the Witch-king of Angmar. Beorn handily survived Glamdring while the Witch-king crushed the Master of Laketown. Glorfindel is the one who made the prophecy that the Witch-king could not be killed by man, but Beorn is not of the Race of Men, should make for an interesting smackdown.

The final contest in the Erebor bracket is that of Thorin, King Under the Mountain, and Boromir, a Son of Gondor. Thorin dismissed Pippin quite easily, while Boromir sent the two Blue Wizards packing, but these two have so much in common that this is set to be a very unpredictable match up. Boromir, the greatest Captain of the Gondorian army during the War of the Ring becomes enthralled by the temptation of the Ring, and betrays Frodo before coming to his senses. He redeems himself with his sacrifice in order to save Merry and Pippin and becomes the last to use and hold the Horn of Gondor. Likewise, Thorin is a mighty warrior and hero among the Dwarves exiled from their home, but his desire to reclaim his kingdom, and the enthrallment with the treasure sees him succumbing to Dragon sickness. His is a last minute realization that there is more to life, and like Boromir, he is redeemed in the eyes of those he values. This is going to be an epic showdown of two of Tolkien’s most flawed heroes, and their fate is now in your hands.

MIRKWOOD BRACKET

This bracket is a little bit of a wildcard with some  much loved characters going head to head, most notable Gandalf versus Luthien. Gandalf simply trounced the Great Goblin, much as he did in Goblintown, while Luthien barely snuck past Gil-Galad. Can Gandalf, holder of Narya, one of the three Elven rings and wielder of the Flame of Arnoth move on past one of the most beloved of Elven Maidens? She is actually Half-Elven, with the other half being Maiar, and yet she fell in love with a mortal man, in turn inspiring countless tales and songs after she chose to become mortal in order to die alongside her husband Beren. Elves to this day still mourn the loss of Luthien, and a few Men as well, such as Aragorn. It was her choice to become mortal that allowed her descendant Arwen to make the same choice. This match up is sure to inspire great debate and will be more unpredictable than the rest in this bracket.

Glaurung defeated Shelob in a battle of monsters in order to face off against Faramir, who surpassed Varda in round 1. With the incorruptible Son of Gondor be able to survive squaring off against the first dragon of Middle-earth? Glaurung may be the first dragon, but he has no wings, where as Faramir will still have to defeat a fire breathing drake. The next contest has Sting, which easily outwitted the Talking Wallet taking on Legolas, who actually got past Sauron. The small, elvish blade of little consequence for the likes of Elves and Men earns a mighty reputation when put into the hands of a Baggins, but is it capable of defeating a princely Elven hunter? The final pairing is that of Samwise Gamgee against Tauriel. She easily handled Saruman’s Palantir, but Samwise the Brave made mince meat out of Azog. Where as Tauriel is the more skilled warrior, it is doubtful she can top Sam’s ability with a skillet and a brace of Coneys.

In the end, it is up to you to decide what befalls all these characters and artifacts of Middle-earth. Vote, discuss and share and lets see what surprises Round 2 has in store for us all.

Download the Bracket! [Round 2] [Round 1]



The Lonely Mountain – Round 2
March 21st – March 24th 2014


Bag End – Round 2
March 21st – March 24th 2014


Erebor – Round 2
March 21st – March 24th 2014


Mirkwood – Round 2
March 21st – March 24th 2014


Posted in Characters, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, 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, Tolkien

HuffPost: Ten facts only Rings ‘super fans’ know

balrog2335 Ten facts you probably know about Middle-earth. I’m not entirely sure they make one a “super fan” (which is, frankly, the sort of exclusionary title wielded to make others feel that they’re not real fans). Enjoying Tolkien is surely not some sort of contest to prove one is the biggest fan.

Still it is a nice little list with plenty of nods to some lesser-known but important characters from Tolkien such as Celebrimbor, Feanor, Gothmog and Oropher. So read and enjoy! Minor nitpick: there are more than two Elvish languages (at least conceptually), but Sindarin and Quenya were probably the best developed. (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

A field trip to the Marquette University Tolkien archives

Raynor Memorial Library at Marquette University. Credit: Marquette University. Creative Commons.

Raynor Memorial Library at Marquette University. Credit: Marquette University. Creative Commons.

The Raynor Memorial Library at Marquette University in Milwaukee is home to original manuscripts and working drafts for three of the J.R.R. Tolkien’s most celebrated works: The Hobbit, Farmer Giles of Ham, and The Lord of the Rings. It also holds the original copy of the children’s book Mr. Bliss and has, over the years, grown to become one of the largest repositories of secondary works on Tolkien and his writing.

If you’ve never visited the Tolkien Collection or are unaware of the contents of the archive, this two-part report from Tolkienist and Norse mythologist Dr Karl Seigfried documents just some of the literary treasures it holds. (more…)

Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate

On the identity and origins of the Nazgûl

NazgulJed

TORN’s latest library piece tries to uncover the origins of the Ringwraiths.

Some of Tolkien’s most mysterious and alluring characters in Middle-earth, the Nazgûl have remained in the shadows (no pun intended) ever since their appearance in The Lord of the Rings.

The following article has examines many of Tolkien’s sources in an attempt to “map out” the possible locations where the Nazgûl may have originally come from. (more…)

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

Ringers take Disneyland on March 1, 2014

DisneyMordorCalling all Dwarves, Elves, Hobbits and Wizards, you are hereby invited to ‘Ringers take Disneyland’ on Saturday, March 1 as part of the Oscar weekend festivities for fans of Middle-earth. Disneyland has been the site for Star Wars days, Potter Days, Browncoat Days and more, so why not fans of Middle-earth?

Here at TORn headquarters, we began to wonder what else we could do on Oscar weekend apart from our “One Dragon, One Party” that would be fun for locals and out-of-towners alike. LA and Hollywood are a popular tourist destination for dozens of reasons, but we needed a place that everyone wants to go to at least once in their lifetime, and is also family friendly and super fun. Disneyland fits the bill in oh so many ways, not the least of which is the fact that it has Dwarves, a Wizard and Mines, as well as many other Middle-earth-like realms and magical folk.  
(more…)

Posted in Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Lord of the Rings, Meet Ups, Other Events, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

Are Tolkien’s dwarves an allegory for the Jewish people?

DoSBilboAndDwarves01 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

Discover the seven greatest architectural wonders of Middle-earth

Argonath1 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!

(more…)

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

Classic Hildebrandt Artwork Exclusively Available in New Formats

13-eowyn-and-the-nazgul

To the Death – Eowyn and Nazgul

Rare and Unique Items from Greg and Tim Hildebrandt Available Now!

Back in the 1970′s Greg and Tim Hildebrandt created 3 Tolkien themed calendars for Ballantine Books, beginning around the time of the 25th anniversary of the publishing of ‘The Lord of the Rings’. During this resurgence of popularity for Tolkien’s collective works, those calendars provided an entire generation’s vision of Middle-earth and all the characters within. Since the release of those calendars, very few alternative versions of those images have been available outside of the calendars and a few art books. Greg and Tim were always very particular about the quality of how their art was showcased. That is all changing, much of this work is now being released in multiple formats that meet with Greg’s exacting standards. (more…)

Posted in Artwork, Books, Books Publications, Calendar, Calendars, Calendars, Characters, Collectibles, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, LotR Books, Miscellaneous, Other Merchandise, Posters Prints, Return of the King, Shop, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien

Perrott’s Folly, a possible inspiration for Orthanc, to open to the public October 26th

perrott's follyThere are many places, stories and events which are said to have been influences on J R R Tolkien in his tales of Middle-earth.  One which has long intrigued the Professor’s fans is Perrott’s Folly in the West Midlands, England. This extraordinary tower is located in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham, near where Tolkien lived as a boy.  It is a 96 foot tall structure, built by John Perrott in 1758 for some reason which is unknown today – possibly it was simply a status symbol, though the more romantic belief is that he wanted a building from which he could see his wife’s grave 15 miles away (even though she was still alive when first Perrott built the tower; the sceptics say he was in fact using it to spy on her infidelities…)

You can read more about Perrott’s Folly and its supposed influence on Tolkien here.  Normally this strange building is not open to the public; visitors on the Tolkien Trail in Birmingham are turned away, disappointed.  However, next Saturday, 26th October, the Folly will be open for a ‘Drawing Event’, organized by Trident Reach the People Charity, which manages the building.  The occasion will be a family friendly, experimental art event, where mirrors, odd objects and noise will be used to imagine how Perrott’s Folly might look, sound and function in the future.

The day will run from 11am to 5pm, and is free and open to all.  You can read more about it here.  If you’re in the area, don’t miss this great opportunity to see inside a landmark which would have been very familiar to J R R Tolkien, and which just might have been a seed for one of his ‘Two Towers’.

[Click here to find out more about Trident Reach the People's Folly Project.]

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

Are Middle-earth adventures only for bachelors?

We're all going on an adventure.

“I’m going on an adventure!”

In our newest TORn Library feature, Gibbelins muses on the unwedded status of the Fellowship during the Quest to destroy the Ring in The Lord of the Rings. Could it be that Middle-earth adventures are only for bachelors? (more…)

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

The astronomy of Middle-earth

The Sun, the Moon and the Stars of Tolkien's universe - Eä.

The Sun, the Moon and the Stars of Tolkien’s universe – Eä. Note: As Larsen explains in the article, there is no evidence that Luinil or Nénar correspond to Neptune and Uranus. Sadly the artist got a bit over-enthusiastic.

The other day, we posted an essay by Ringer DarkJackal over at Heir of Durin exploring the confusion surrounding exactly when Durin’s Day occurs. But even more widely, star lore — and astronomy — plays a significant role in the shaping of Middle-earth, both figuratively and literally.

In this fantastic essay, first presented at the RingCon Tolkien convention in November 2002, Dr. Kristine Larsen, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Central Connecticut State University discusses the evolution of Tolkien’s star lore, and its links with our own stars and constellations. It’s a long read, but quite worthwhile.


The astronomy of Middle-earth

One question we might ask ourselves when embarking on a critical study of Tolkien’s work is “are we just reading too much into a story?” Christopher Tolkien argued for the authenticity of such analysis: “Such inquiries are in no way illegitimate in principle; they arise from an acceptance of the imagined world as an object of contemplation or study valid as many other objects of contemplation or study in the all too unimaginary world.” (more…)

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

Why Tolkien works for readers of all faiths

Earendil and Elwing by Jenny Dolfen.

Earendil and Elwing by Jenny Dolfen.

In this new TORn Library piece, Gibbelins writes about the deep, yet extraordinarily subtle faith underlying Tolkien’s legendarium, and why it works for readers of all faiths — even those who profess to no faith at all. (more…)

Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, 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, Tolkien