A chance for Faramir, captain of Gondor, to give me a Father’s Day card…
Just wishing all our readers who are Dads – or who are the sons and daughters of Dads, so basically, everyone! – a Happy Father’s Day! Who’s your favourite father in Middle-earth? Sam Gamgee? Elrond? If only Treebeard hadn’t lost the Entwives, he could have made a great Dad! And who can forget Denethor’s impeccable parenting skills….?
Let us know your favourite parenting moments from Middle-earth in the comments. Hope everyone has a great day!
The fans are agape at their 1st full-frontal view of Smaug the Terrible, not to mention the ladies seem to be universally trembling over Thranduil’s eyebrows — and of course this kind of ephemera makes for a juicy fun live webcast! Join us TODAY as we pick apart all the details we can see, hear, or smell in this newest piece of marketing for THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG.
We launch TORn TUESDAY every week at 5:00PM Pacific: brought to you by host Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway and producer Justin “I Promised Royd I Would Read It” Sewell — we will even have special guest Larry Curtis (“MrCere” on TheOneRing.net) join us, the man who was stationed on the New Zealand sets with Peter Jackson, WETA, and all the creative forces behind the camera! Our innovative live show includes worldwide fans who join us on the Live Event page with a built-in IRC chat (affectionately known as Barliman’s Chat room). Be part of the fun and mischief every week as we broadcast *live* from Meltdown Comics in the heart of Hollywood, U.S.A.!
After the show has completed broadcast you can always watch the archive later at TheOneRing.net’s official YouTube channel:
Welcome to our weekly live webcast — TORn TUESDAY — concluding our popular two month long specials on the History of the Dwarves who undertake the Quest of Erebor. Today we wrap up with the big bang theory of Dwarven tragedy and honor: it’s all about THORIN OAKENSHIELD (played with great swagger by our very own Richard Armitage). Bring your questions and join us LIVE for a fascinating chat about how this major character brought the story of THE HOBBIT to where it is in the Tolkien universe.
Join us for TORn TUESDAY every week at 5:00PM Pacific: brought to you by host Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway and producer Justin “I Love Ham” Sewell — as we learn how this magnificent Dwarf suffered and struggled to change his family’s future — and what Peter Jackson & WETA did to help us distinguish his rough and tumble companions from each other (using more than just colored hoods). Our innovative live show includes worldwide fans who join us on the Live Event page with a built-in IRC chat (affectionately known as Barliman’s Chat room). Be part of the fun and mischief every week as we broadcast *live* from Meltdown Comics in the heart of Hollywood, U.S.A.!
Follow Cliff ‘Quickbeam’ Broadway on Twitter: @quickbeam2000
When Configura Equipos, a Spanish-language website featuring technology and gaming reviews and forums, posted this video last week it seemed like we were seeing something new. A preview for Google Chrome’s upcoming “A Journey Through Middle-earth” interactive map featured clips from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as well as the brief shots from Google’s own preview for the the new app.
But in the midst of these familiar images was what looked like a brand new scene of an army of orcs laying siege to a castle with very striking dragon-shaped prominences on the ramparts. Could this be something we hadn’t yet seen from The Desolation of Smaug? Were we getting a sneak peek at some flashback to Carn Dûm or Minas Ithil?
Nope. It turns out it’s a scene from the 2011 film Sucker Punchfrom director Zach Snyder.
Keen detective and TORn staffer Magpie matched up the images and found the scene, one of several in Sucker Punch that are overt homages to other genre films. So, alas, as TORn staffer Justin said, “These aren’t the orcs you’re looking for. Move along.”
Misleading clips aside, we’re still looking forward to Google’s “Chrome Experiment,” which will “bring Middle-earth to life in the browser with 3D Trolls, interactive musical experiences, and more.” It’s currently in beta testing to be released to the public later this year. And as for Configura Equipos… ¡Estamos vigilando!
We know; the compulsion people feel to compare works of fantasy – and in particular, A Song of Ice and Fire with Tolkien’s Middle-earth tales – can get annoying. As writer Anne Hobson herself admits, ‘comparing the two masterpieces is in many ways “as useless as nipples on a breastplate,” as Tyrion Lannister would say…’ Nonetheless, many readers are fans of both George R R Martin and J R R Tolkien, and as both worlds are being brought to life at the moment - in the realms of television and cinema respectively – it is inevitable that comparisons will be drawn.
Hobson’s blog in ‘The American Spectator’ is an interesting piece, giving the subject careful thought. She suggests that there are core differences between the two writers, both in the origins of their creations and in their perceptions of morality. You can see what she had to say – and perhaps draw your own conclusions – here.
Welcome to our weekly live webcast — TORn TUESDAY — now on the 5th part of our ongoing series of discussions on the History of the Dwarves who undertake the Quest of Erebor. Today we talk about BIFUR, BOFUR and the immensely overweight and endearing BOMBUR (Go #TeamBombur on Twitter!). Bring your questions and join us LIVE for a fascinating chat about how these characters are all intertwined. (more…)
In his third article for our worldwide community, Tedoras, long-time audience participant on our TORn TUESDAY webcast, shares unique insights on the strange demarcation found in The Hobbit but not mentioned in LOTR: the “Edge of the Wild.” Wondering as we often do what exactly Professor Tolkien meant by this invisible line that other characters refer to in the story, Tedoras has a fresh take on cartography influenced by imagination. Take it away, Tedoras….
Beyond the “Edge of the Wild”
By Tedoras — special to TheOneRing.net
One of the most interesting aspects of the Map of Wilderland included in The Hobbit is that very odd, rather portentous demarcation denoting the “Edge of the Wild.” Perhaps many of us, as kids, did not really note the significance of this line: it remained, to us, an added piece of mystery and awe. Certainly, the line retains those qualities today. However, now that I am older, the real meaning of this line is clearer (and, yes, although the Professor may not have wanted us to search for any “meaning” in this line—but to take at its “face value,” rather—there is yet merit in analyzing it. It was drawn for a reason on the map, mind you). Well, perhaps it is not “meaning” for which we look in this line, but rather its purpose to us, the readers, as we follow Bilbo into the Wild.
My interest in the Edge of the Wild peaked when I discovered a fantastic article by Patrick Brückner. In “Until the Dragon Comes,” Brückner focuses on the “real” and “fantastic,” and the reader’s perception of each, in Tolkien’s works; he notes that the mythopoeic role of dragons adds a “world-view that refers to an epic historic quality far beyond and different from the fairy tale elements of [Tolkien's] texts” (Brückner 101). In the vernacular, Brückner merely posits that the concept of a dragon inherently adds realism to the text because of the historic properties we prescribe to dragons. I am not going to go on much more about archetypal dragons and their roles in mythopoeic fantasy; rather, I would like to focus on how Brückner applies this principle to uncover the true nature of the “Edge of the Wild” line.
Brückner notes, wisely, that it was Tolkien himself who, by virtue of adding this demarcation to the map, declared the point of transition from the “real” to the “fantastic” in The Hobbit. While it may seem a daunting task to argue against the Professor’s ostensible intent, Brückner provides a good case against this line being the actual point of transition. There are two reasons why this line does not mark a shift: first, because Rivendell (i.e., “the boundary of the perilous realm”) is clearly to the right of the line and, second, because the incident with the trolls occurs to the line’s left (109). Brückner’s thesis is, therefore, that we can assign the right side of the Edge of the Wild to the realistic sphere, and that we can do so because of the role of a dragon, Smaug (118). As a dragon, Brückner says, Smaug adds a “relevant epic-historical context that grounds The Hobbit“—the concept of the dragon inherently makes The Hobbit “a text that refers to older texts and traditions… that possess historical significance” (117). Thus, because Smaug exists to the right of the Edge of the Wild—and because his existence as a dragon carries with it the realistic sphere—this demarcation cannot be a point of transition from “real” to “fantastic.”
While I agree with Brückner’s conclusion, I cannot say it is only the dragon that adds realism to the story. Just as Smaug brings with him the “epic-historical” notions of dragons which ground him in the “real” sphere (think of dragons throughout Western literature, from Beowulf on), so too do the other “mythological” creatures in the text. Because of our now long exposure to Orcs, Elves, Wargs, and other rather fantastical inhabitants of Middle-earth, we attribute to them, too, the very same historical context as Brückner says we do to Smaug. One of the reasons we attribute such realism to the dragon is, as Brückner notes, that it references other texts. Well, with the wealth of literature written by Tolkien himself or about his works, the same references are possible with Orcs or any other creature. To fans of Tolkien’s works, Orcs and Dwarves are as “real” as Smaug; we simply use Tolkien’s legendarium as the historiographic source. Thus, to a fan to whom the question of Smaug’s existence is not an issue, neither is the assumption that the other ostensibly “fantastic” creatures to the right of the Edge of the Wild are actually real. It is, in my opinion, the collective picture painted by the inclusion of all these now familiar “fantastic” aspects (to which we ourselves assign historic—albeit not explicitly “real” historic—weight), that result in our placing the right side of the line in the sphere of realism.
The most common sense case can be made for a demarcation placed East of Rivendell. The Misty Mountains mark the Western border of Rhovanion (Wilderland), so in that sense, such a line would really be the Edge of the Wild. However, that is of course not the case. So why, then, is the line placed where it is? The best scenario would be to ask the Professor himself (certainly this is one of those rather puzzling Middle-earth conundrums). Yet, I think I can fathom a guess, or at least one hypothesis. If you look at the Map of Wilderland, you’ll note that to the left of the demarcation, at the top, is written “Western Lands”, with an arrow naturally pointing West. If we hold Tolkien’s views on direction as canonical, then it makes sense for the East to be characterized as the “wild”, and altogether less fair than the West. Looking at a map of Eriador, such a conclusion seems plausible for, certainly, Wilderland lies far to the East.
Though simple, such a hypothesis is sound; anyone familiar with Middle-earth knows that to the East lies danger. And the aforementioned simplicity is also key. When deciding to draw this now infamous line, Tolkien would probably not have been debating the convoluted significance of such an action—rather, he would have been thinking of geography, as any cartographer is wont to do. Unfortunately, we may never know.
(All references to the text from: Brückner, Patrick. ” ‘…Until the Dragon Comes’: Tolkien’s Dragon-Motif as a Poetological Concept.” Tolkien’s Shorter Works: Essays of the Jena Conference 2007 (2008): 101-35. Walking Tree Publishers. Print.)
In his second of many articles for our worldwide community, Tedoras, long-time audience participant on our TORn TUESDAY webcast brings us a fascinating idea: a lost connection to the Beacons of Gondor perhaps… Read on for a short but very interesting look at how an ancient Biblical account may have inspired Tolkien! Take it away, Tedoras….
The (Biblical) Beacons of Gondor
By Tedoras — special to TheOneRing.net
This past April 28th happened to be the Jewish holiday of Lag B’Omer (the 33rd day of the Counting of the Sheaves, to be more precise). Now, you are probably wondering how this little-known holiday relates to The Lord of the Rings(and, if you’re like me, you’d like to know what a “sheaf” is, too). It turns out a sheaf is a bundle for cereal plants—fortunately for us all, though, my story has nothing to do with Biblical agriculture. Rather, it begins with The Return of the King.
If you are like me, you love those amazing fly-by shots from The Lord of the Ringsfilms. One of the most epic sequences of such shots is the lighting of the beacons in ROTK(refresh your memory here). Whether your first encounter with these mountaintop fires was in literature or film, you probably thought it was an ingenious mode of communication. Certainly, they are by far the best means for sending urgent messages across long distances (and I hope the Gondorian who urged their construction was handsomely rewarded). In order to see the connection between these beacons and the aforementioned holiday, it is important to know the story of Lag B’Omer.
In short, Lag B’Omer commemorates a revolt in the year 131 CE. The Israelites, under the leadership of Bar Kochba, rose up against the Romans, who ruled the land at that time. Years before the Romans came, the Israelites had built a series of m’durot, or bonfires, upon the surrounding mountains. So, when the revolt began, (you guessed it) Bar Kochba ordered a beacon lit. A soldier took a torch to the top of a mountain, lit one the beacons, and thus sent word around the land that war had begun.
Certainly, the use of the beacons of Gondor to call for Rohan’s aid is reminiscent of this episode. Yet, was Tolkien inspired by this Biblical tale in his creation of the beacons? On the one hand, we know Tolkien was well-versed in the Bible; his contemporaneous English education saw to that. Furthermore, Tolkien was a lifelong scholar—thus, if not in school, it is likely he would have encountered this story on his own. Assuming Tolkien was acquainted with this tale, the unanswerable question here, of course, is whether or not he consciously recognized the Bible as their source.
However, on the other hand, a case can certainly be made that Tolkien knew not of the story of Bar Kochba’s revolt. For a realm the size of Gondor, it would make sense to have a system for mass-communication in the event of any important occurrence. And, while these beacons also housed fresh horses on stand-by for couriers, it is clear that signal fires would be a much faster means. The independent invention of the beacons is not only possible in terms of the technology available to Gondor at the time, but it is also becoming of the prudence and wisdom of the Gondorian kings of Old.
This is one of many familiar situations to us Tolkien fans: is there a “right” answer here? Personally, I do not think it really matters; I intended only to present a surprising and uncanny resemblance upon which I happened to stumble. But, of course, such a topic is up for interpretation—so I will let you decide for yourself.
Welcome to our weekly live webcast — known as TORn TUESDAY — a unique show format where you can come into the chat and participate live. We are now on the 4th part of our ongoing series of discussions on the History of the Dwarves who undertake the Quest of Erebor. Today we switch gears to discuss OIN and GLOIN (father of our Fellowship member Gimli) and learn about the great fate tying up these characters in the House of Durin’s Line! Bring your questions and join us LIVE for what will be a very illuminating discussion of dark Dwarven secrets! We have *JUST* confirmed that our actors playing these roles have been whisked away to the studios in Wellington, where Peter Jackson has commenced new shoots for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug!
Join us for TORn TUESDAY every week at 5:00PM Pacific: brought to you by host Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway and producer Justin “I Haven’t Read The Books Yet” Sewell — as we discuss the unique characteristics of each Dwarf. We shall learn how they fit into the larger history of Tolkien’s legends — and what Peter Jackson & WETA did to help us distinguish these rough and tumble travelers from each other (using more than just colored hoods). Our innovative live show includes worldwide fans who join us on the Live Event page with a built-in IRC chat (affectionately known as Barliman’s Chat room). Be part of the fun and mischief every week as we broadcast *live* from Meltdown Comics in the heart of Hollywood, U.S.A.!
NEXT WEEK: Bifur, Bofur….. and Bombur, for real this time!
Follow Cliff ‘Quickbeam’ Broadway on Twitter: @quickbeam2000
What a fun movie! Dominic Monaghan (Meriadoc Brandybuck) came on board to be our wonderful narrator! Actually this film is a time capsule of many decades of pop culture history — giving us the full story on how the world has embraced Tolkien’s masterpiece THE LORD OF THE RINGS over 50 years and more!
Winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival, RINGERS was produced in association with TheOneRing.net — this remarkable little film was forged BY fans and FOR fans, just like our website, with the production/writing talent of Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway (who hosts TORn TUESDAY every week), Jeff Marchelletta, and supercool director Carlene Cordova. It was executive produced by X-Men/Transformers guru Tom DeSanto.
With a wonderful rock-driven score and detailing all the outpouring of love bestowed on Tolkien over many generations, this film is a must-have for your digital collection! Get it on iTunes now for only $9.99!
From the original Sony Press Release:
“RINGERS is comprehensive, entertaining and informative pop culture history.” – The Toronto Star
“…Will always be a salient part of ‘LORD OF THE RINGS’ history…
See it, absorb it, love it.” – FilmThreat
Winner of “Outstanding Achievement” Award at the
Newport Beach Film Festival
FASCINATING DOCUMENTARY CAPTURES THE HISTORY, INFLUENCE AND PHENOMENON THAT IS LORD OF THE RINGS
CULVER CITY, Calif. (September 12, 2005) – Sony invites you to return to the Shirewith the release of the feature-length documentary RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS,direct to DVD.In association with the popular fan-site TheOneRing.net, Carlene Cordova produced, directed and wrote this award-winning film with executive producer Tom DeSanto(X-Men, X2: X-Men United and Transformers), which charts the incredible influence and ripple-effect that Lord of the Rings has had on worldwide pop culture over the past five decades.Whether you are a fan or first timer, critics agree, RINGERS, stands as the most comprehensive film documenting the ongoing impact of J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary achievement.
Dominic Monaghan (star of ABC’s Lost and the Academy Award® winning Lord of the Rings trilogy) narrates the documentary as it looks behind the curtain between Lord of the Rings andhow it inspired so many artists of different mediums.The film moves beyond “cult classic” and through different generations unearthing the way legendary rock musicians, filmmakers, professors, actors and authors all unite under the banner of ‘Ringer.’Interviewees included in the film are Lord of the Rings trilogy filmmaker Peter Jackson as well as Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Sean Astin and David Carradine.Infused with a dynamic rock-driven score, irreverent cut-out animation (á la Terry Gilliam), and a centerpiece audience sing-a-long, RINGERS is a genre-busting documentary that shows how a single literary work continues to spark the minds and hearts of millions.
RINGERS continues the momentum of the motion picture trilogy Lord of the Rings, a winner of 17 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director for Peter Jackson, who made history as the first person to direct three major feature films simultaneously.
From the official synopsis:
Ringers: Lord of the Fans is a feature-length documentary that reveals the ongoing cultural phenomenon created by The Lord of the Rings. Very funny and often moving, Ringers shows the hidden power behind Tolkien’s books — and how after 50 years a single literary work continues to spark the minds and hearts of millions, across cultures and across time.
Shot with groundbreaking new digital technology in 24P, Ringers explores the real foundations of Middle-earth; a community of true fans who share a common bond. Moving beyond “cult classic” and over several different generations, the film unearths academics, musicians, authors, filmmakers, and a plethora of pop junkies — the people gathered under the banner of ‘Ringer.’ From the hippie counter-culture to the electronic age; from the Bakshi animated film to Jackson’s epic trilogy; this documentary brings together extensive footage from across the globe. With units in Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Bonn, Germany, Wellington, New Zealand, and Oxford, England, our cameras capture the most fascinating “Ringers” and Lord of the Rings events.
What began as the private amusement of a tweedy Oxford professor has now become a new mythology for the 21st century. Ringers: Lord of the Fans shows how an adventure story published in 1954 has had dynamic ripple-effects through Western pop-culture. Ringers carefully pulls away the veil between Tolkien’s book and the creations of art, music, and community that have been inspired by it.
As TORn readers will no doubt have heard by now, Ray Harryhausen, the man who pioneered stop motion photography and led the way to many of the special effects we take for granted today, died on Tuesday. He was 92. His classic films, such as Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans, inspired many future movie makers, with their wonderful scenes of monsters and mythical creatures, brought to life by Harryhausen’s brilliant use of stop motion technique. As a teenager, Harryhausen had himself been inspired by the 1933 King Kong; it seems fitting, then, that he in turn became a source of great inspiration for a teenage Peter Jackson, who of course made his own King Kong movie in 2005. USA Today quoted this statement from Peter Jackson: ‘The Lord of the Rings is my Ray Harryhausen movie. Without his lifelong love of his wondrous images and storytelling it would never have been made — not by me, at least.’
You can read more about Ray Harryhausen here. In 2010, BAFTA paid special tribute to Harryhausen in celebration of his 90th birthday. Peter Jackson was a surprise guest, and at the event he showed some of his earliest attempts as a teenage film maker, clearly inspired by Harryhausen’s movies. Jackson’s presentation – and those wonderful, early film clips – can be seen here.
The film industry has lost a legend; RIP Ray Harryhausen.
Greetings all! Last week we began the first of a series of webcasts profiling each dwarven member of Thorin’s Company, starting with Balin and Dwalin (who were 1st to arrive at Bilbo’s round green door) and today moving on to discuss the youngest, and in a way almost beardless, Dwarves of the nascent traveling company, Kili and Fili! Join us for TORn TUESDAY every week at 5:00PM Pacific: brought to you by host Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway and producer Justin “I Haven’t Read The Books Yet” Sewell — as we discuss the unique characteristics of each Dwarf. We shall learn how they fit into the larger history of Tolkien’s legends — and what Peter Jackson & WETA did to help us distinguish these rough and tumble travelers from each other (using more than just colored hoods). Our innovative live show includes worldwide fans who join us on the Live Event page with a built-in IRC chat (affectionately known as Barliman’s Chat room). Be part of the fun and mischief every week as we broadcast *live* from Meltdown Comics in the heart of Hollywood, U.S.A. The show will begin in less than 20 minutes from *now*!
This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law.