“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]…
Now, after all the ping pong balls have landed, we’re happy to announce the 10 lucky fans who will be getting a copy delivered to their doors. There are 6 winners from the United States and 4 winners from other areas of the globe. We want to thank HarperCollins for allowing us to give these away and for including the Ringers who don’t live in the United States. (more…)
We’ve teamed up with our friends at HarperCollins to give away not one, but 10 of these awesome coloring books. Plus, not only are we giving 10 of these away, the contest is open to fans all over the world!
I’ve had a chance to personally look at one and it’s one of the coolest coloring books I’ve ever seen. Covering the entire The Lord of the Rings Movie Trilogy you can add your own spice of color to various scenes from the best trilogy ever put on film. Even if you decide not to color it, the book makes for one heck of a cool addition to any collection. So make sure you enter this contest that starts today and ends this Friday at midnight PST.
When filling out the contest form in the special notes section please make sure to give us your full mailing address and a contact phone number, and if you’re entering from outside the US, please don’t forget your international dialling code.
TORn Library contributor Dr Timothy Furnish has just published the first of a two-volume analysis of JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth: High Towers and Strong Places: a Political History of Middle-earth.
Furnish applies primary world analysis — political, cultural, social, and economic — to Middle-earth’s 7,000 years of recorded history.
Steering clear of literary criticism, this book instead uses Tolkien’s writings to examine each of the major races of Middle-earth in some detail. It then delves into how each people’s anthropological traits influenced their political systems.
In doing so, he compares and contrasts Middle-earth’s many states, from Beleriand and Barad-dûr to Utumno and Umbar, with primary world examples such as Rome and Byzantium, the Carolingian Empire, and the Islamic caliphates. (more…)
Do you love The Lord of the Rings? Do you love to color? Then our friends at HarperCollins have just the thing for you. You can now experience some of your favorite scenes from this brilliant trilogy in a new way. Up for Pre-Order right now at $15.99, with shipping starting May 31st of this year, you can now color The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The sheets with the detailed characters is done on heavy duty paper so any type of artist can have their go at the first authorized coloring book based on The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. This is a great item for any fan of Middle-earth or artist in your family.
Tolkien himself said of this previously unknown work of fantasy that it was “the germ of my attempt to write legends of my own,” and was “a major matter in the legends of the First Age.” Publishers Houghton Mifflin Harcourt tell us:
‘Kullervo, son of Kalervo, is perhaps the darkest and most tragic of all J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters. “Hapless Kullervo,” as Tolkien called him, is a luckless orphan boy with supernatural powers and a tragic destiny.
Brought up in the homestead of the dark magician Untamo, who killed his father, kidnapped his mother, and tried three times to kill him when he was still a boy, Kullervo is alone save for the love of his twin sister, Wanona, and the magical powers of the black dog Musti, who guards him. When Kullervo is sold into slavery he swears revenge on the magician, but he will learn that even at the point of vengeance there is no escape from the cruelest of fates.
Tolkien’s Kullervo was the ancestor of Túrin Turambar, tragic hero of The Silmarillion. Published here for the first time with the author’s drafts, notes, and lecture essays on its source work, the Kalevala, The Story of Kullervo is a foundation stone in the structure of Tolkien’s invented world.’
Colouring books have lately had an enormous resurgence in popularity among adults, and Harper Collins and Warner Bros Consumer Products are doing their bit to help it along with the announcement of an official The Lord of the Rings Movie Trilogy Colouring Book.
We understand the book will combine official character artwork from the films, including Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Frodo, Sam and Gollum, with brand-new colouring pages.
The colouring-in art, created by artist Nicolette Caven, will capture vistas from all three The Lord of the Rings movies – from the the Balrog encounter in the Mines of Moria to the battle of Pelennor Fields. (more…)
Have you finished all of your Christmas shopping yet? Or are you yet to start? If you’re like us, you’ll definitely have a few more things on your list and what better way to complete the task than buying some Tolkienesque presents. TORn’s staffers deej, Elessar, Earl, Altaira and Kelvarhin scoured the internet to find the perfect presents to celebrate the holidays and we were astounded by how many wonderful choices there are. So, without further ado, here are some lovely gift suggestions for your favourite Tolkien fan (even if that happens to be you). All prices are in U.S. dollars.
Peter Jackson delivered the images and Howard Shore’s delivered the unforgettable musical score for “The Lord of the Rings.” Music and film lovers haven’t forgotten, voting in the favorite film score fro the sixth consecutive year at Classic FM.
The site, that calls itself the world’s biggest classical music radio station in the world, plays such music including film and video game scores. It is said to be the UK’s only 100 percent classical music radio station that includes radio on all platforms including streaming world wide on the web.
After thousands of votes, Shore’s score edged John Williams’ effort for Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List,” and Hans Zimmer’s music for Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator.”
Those who have been with TORn from the early days will remember that a Burger King tie-in commercial was the first time Shore’s score was heard by the masses, as the “Fellowship” theme showed off flame-broiled goodness along with the miracle of in-scale Men, Hobbits, with a pony, a Dwarf and Wizard.
The score carried themes from “Fellowship” into the following movies, earning an Academy Award for “Return of the King,” after a snub of even an nomination for “The Two Towers.”
There are many highlights, and different fans would have different favorite moments.
You can read Classic FM’s story here and find more links to more of the top 100.
Doug Adams’ book, “The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films,” stands as the definitive word on the score but is also one of the finest books written on musical scores anywhere. You can read our review of it here.
Shaun Gunner, Chairman of the Tolkien Society has let us know that they’re currently offering this must have addition to our Tolkien bookshelves for the wonderful price of just £10. So, if you’re looking for something extra special for the Tolkien fan in your life, or for yourself, grab yourself a copy of “Celebrating 50 years of The Lord of the Rings“.
Ringer-friend Sampo alerted us to this well-done and informative article, published by Finnish Broadcasting Company, about how J.R.R. Tolkien’s career started thanks, in large-part, to his interest in the tragic Finnish hero, Kullervo. “When J. R. R. Tolkien, the father of Hobbits and fantasy literature, was in his twenties, he took a keen interest in the Finnish epic poem Kalevala. So much so that he wanted to rewrite the story of Kullervo. Now, this early work of his has finally been published.”
The article goes on to compare and contrast the various characteristics of Tolkien’s Kullervo with the Kullervo of the Kalevala. A delightful aspect of the article is that it contains bits and bobs of Tolkien quotes such as: “The gem of my attempt to write legends of my own to fit my private languages was the tragic tale of the hapless Kullervo in the Finnish Kelevala.” Another great quote, of reading about Finnish grammar: “It was like discovering a complete wine-cellar filled with bottles of amazing wine of a kind and flavour never tasted before.”
Another great thing about the article is that it’s in English! So, check it out here. In the mean time, The Story of Kullervo, by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Tolkien scholar, Verlyn Flieger will be available on April 5, 2016. It’s available for pre-order from Amazon here.
Today sees the release of an exciting new publication from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It’s a beautiful book of Tolkien’s art: The Art of The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien, with text by well-known scholars Wayne G Hammond and Christina Scull.
All of the art in this amazing book is by Tolkien himself, and more than half of it has never been published before. Included are maps, inscriptions, plans and sketches, all printed in colour. Through rough drafts and early ‘jottings’, we see the development of designs such as the inscription on Balin’s tomb, and the wonderful Doors of Durin. It is fascinating to see, for example, an early idea for Dunharrow become a beautiful ‘finished’ illustration – on the back of which, as his ideas changed yet again, Tolkien wrote, ‘no longer fits story’.
There is so much to see and learn in this edition – it is crammed with riches! At the very end of the book, for instance, is an Air Raid Warden’s Report Form, on which Tolkien has sketched some kind of contour. It wasn’t only exam papers which the Professor used for notes and ideas!
This gorgeous publication, filled with details and insights, is a must for any Tolkien collection. It is available for purchase online; but thanks to our friends at HMH, you can WIN a copy! The publishers are giving one lucky winner a copy of the book, and a mug which reads ‘Second Breakfast is the Best Breakfast’. Just click here to enter.
(Sorry, everyone outside the US – this competition is for US mailing addresses only. You must be 18 or older to enter.)
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