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Middle-earth Map March Madness – Silmarillion locations

Middle-earth Map March Madness 2019 launched yesterday! As you know by now, the four brackets for this year contain different locations from Tolkien’s world. We’re aware that for some readers, the Silmarillion locations may be less familiar than others; so should you need a little guidance, here’s our handy summary of Silmarillion sites (with thanks to staffer Joel):

Gondolin – The hidden city of the elves, surrounded by mountains, founded by King Turgon. The tragic and spectacular fall of this city was one of Tolkien’s earliest writings of Middle-earth.

Valinor – The blessed home of the Valar and Maiar, the greater and lesser angels of Tolkien’s legendarium. The elves were invited by the Valar to live with them in this land, but only some answered their call.

Angband – The many-dungeoned fortress of Morgoth, the great enemy of all that is good in Middle-earth. Sauron was but a servant of Morgoth. This fortress was captured by the Valar in an early defeat of Morgoth, but they failed to destroy it utterly, allowing it to be repopulated over time.

Thangorodrim – A trio of oppressively tall mountains, raised by Morgoth above Angband, to protect the latter. It was destroyed at the end of the first age in the War of Wrath.

Doriath – A forested land near the center of the lands that are part of the story of Middle-earth’s first age. Luthien is from here, daughter to Thingol, the elf, and Melian, the angel. Melian wove a misty wall of secrecy about the kingdom, known as the ‘girdle of Melian.’

Halls of Mandos – The souls of dead elves and humans reside here, kept separate from each other for no good reason other than ‘that’s how it’s supposed to be’. Elves linger in the halls until they are ready to be housed in a new body; the souls of men will not linger here and go elsewhere, to a location not known to the Valar or elves, and only guessed at by humans.

Nargothrond – A hidden underground elvish fortress ruled by Finrod. It was a place that had regular interaction between the races of Middle-earth: between the elves who lived there, the men Beren and Turin, who visited there and encouraged its people to fight Morgoth, the dwarves who helped expand its halls, and even the great dragon Glaurung!

Numenor – A star-shaped large island, raised from the ocean by the deity of Tolkien’s stories, Illuvatar, as a gift to the humans who helped fight Morgoth in the First Age. Mighty were its people, and mighty was the envy of it and hatred for its people by Sauron, who was slowly regaining his strength as the Numenorian people began conquering the lands on the Western shores of Middle-earth.

Tol Eressea – An island, near the shores of Valinor, that was home to many of the elves of Middle-earth who answered the call of the Valar to leave their homes for the Blessed Realm of Valinor. Like a giant pontoon, it was ferried back and forth between Middle-earth and Valinor to transport the elves who, at that early time, had not learned how to build ships.

Menegroth – Yet another underground elven fortress (so much for elves being forest creatures loving to sleep under the stars!) – this time the home of Thingol and Melian in their realm of Doriath.

Belegost – Along with Nogrod, one of two fortresses of the dwarves in the Blue Mountains, to the east of Beleriand, the land of Middle-earth with which the Silmarillion is concerned. After the War of Wrath, the Blue Mountains, just west of the Shire, were the only geographic feature of Beleriand that survived that war’s destruction.

Sauron’s Dungeons – During the first age, Sauron was the chief lieutenant of Morgoth. During this, umm, interesting, time, he occupied a castle in a scary land, could transform into a bat at will, and had servants who were werewolves and vampires. He also had many dungeons, with many famous occupants, including Beren, whom Luthien rescued.

Nogrod – Along with Belegost, one of the two fortresses of the dwarves in the Blue Mountains of Middle-earth. From there was created Nauglamir, a necklace that played an important (and as always, tragic) part in the later history of the First Age.

Vinyamar – an elvish settlement on the shores of Middle-earth, founded, and later abandoned, in the early part of the First Age. However, left there by the king who later founded Gondolin, were a set of armor and a sword, later found by a man who, with his son, changed the course of the world.

Falas – A seaside elven kingdom ruled by Cirdan, the same one who built all the ships that ferried elves to Valinor during the Third Age (the pontoon-island of Tol Eressea having been firmly anchored down ages before).

Hithlum – the land between the polar-ice of the Helcaraxe, and the land of Beleriand, where most of the First Age’s action occured. Hithlum was chilly and rainy, but crops grew there, and it was regularly under attack by Morgoth. Yes indeed, Hithlum was the fun capital of the First Age.

Ready to make some Silmarillion choices? Voting in the first round runs until March 22, so don’t delay – VOTE NOW! [Click here]

Vote in Round 1

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien

Middle-earth Map March Madness starts now!!

Middle-earth Map March Madness 2019 begins today! As promised, the four brackets for this year are all locations from Tolkien’s realm, divided into sites which appear in The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and a fourth bracket just for the many wonderful spots in The Shire and Bree.

All you have to do to take part is vote for your favourite in each of the pairings! We start with 64 competitors; by next round we’ll be down to 32, then 16, and so on until we have a final showdown between the two locations which make it to the grand final. How you choose which way to vote for each duel is up to you; logic, chance or emotion can be your guide! All that matters is that you cast your votes!

Unsure of some of the locations? We’ll be bringing you a few posts to help you sort your Brandywines from your Barad-durs, so stay tuned! Meanwhile voting is officially open NOW! Want to see The Last Homely House take on Cirith Ungol in the final? VOTE NOW! [Click here]

Vote in Round 1

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien

Collecting The Precious – Iron Studios Gandalf the Grey, Frodo Baggins, & Ringwraith Pre-Orders

As we mentioned a while back, we have a new player in the Middle-earth Collectibles game. Iron Studios is going to be producing collectibles based on the best trilogy of all-time: “The Lord of the Rings,” of course! These pieces will be produced in 1:10 scale, which is smaller than other collectibles based on the trilogy. Despite being smaller from what we can see in the production photos the to be very well made. I have had the chance to see their Marvel pieces up close, so I have very high hopes we’re in for a real treat! All four pieces Gandalf the Grey, Frodo Baggins, standing Ringwraith, and attacking Ringwraith can be pre-ordered right now. They range from $95 for Frodo to $115 for Gandalf the Grey. Collectors can expect all of these figures to start landing during quarter four of 2019.

Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Lord of the Rings, Merchandise, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Shop, Sideshow Collectibles

Middle-earth March Madness is coming soon

Blast from the past, Middle-earth March Madness circa 2012

TORn staff have been busy mixing things up a little bit this year. With Amazon Prime floating all these versions of Middle-earth Maps, we decided it would be fun to take some familiar and some not so familiar Middle-earth locations and spread them out in a Bracket and let you readers decide which destination is your favorite. This year’s madness will be known as Middle-earth Map March Madness for this reason, so you may want to pull out your books and start looking at your maps. Sure, we’ll have some handy little guides to help remind you of some of the more obscure locations, but in the end, this will help you get ready for Amazon’s series, if their teased maps are any indication.

We’ve decided upon a rather simple format of divvying up by books, giving one quarter draw to locations within Silmarillion, one to places found in the Hobbit, and one to locations found in the Lord of the Rings. To fill out the fourth quarter draw, we separated the Shire from the other books and gave it a place of it’s own. So, our final Four will include one location from each of these draws, but will your favorite Middle-earth locations even make the cut? We are still finalizing the draw, which basically consisted of various staff members tossing out loads of names until we had a good 20-25 from each segment, then we began voting to narrow each Quarter draw down to just 16 selections. We hope to have things ready to go in the next few days, so make sure to vote and keep track of the game as it moves through each round.

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien

Betty Ballantine, paperback pioneer, dead at 99

Courtesy of Tolkienlibrary.com

AP – Elizabeth Jones, “Betty,” Ballantine, passed away on Tuesday, February 12 at her home in Bearsmouth, New York. She was 99 years old. Together with her husband, Ian, who passed away in 1995, they Founded Bantam Books and Ballantine Books, expanding and mainstreaming the market for paperback books in the U.S. Of course, the name ‘Ballantine Books’ is near and dear to readers of J.R.R. Tolkien. What lover of Tolkien’s books doesn’t have several beloved, dog-eared Ballantine editions of “The Hobbit” and/or “The Lord of the Rings” on their bookshelves?

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

Is Amazon Studios scouting LOTR filming locations outside of New Zealand?

A report has appeared in Scotland’s Daily Record stating that representatives of Amazon Studios were scouting filming locations for their Lord of the Rings TV project in Scotland over the summer. This story is light on details, so we at TORn are treating this information as rumors, for now. These location scouts purportedly traveled as tourists, checking out various locales around Scotland, which offered the opportunity for a meaningful connection with the local communities.  (more…)

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, New Line Cinema, Television, TheOneRing.net Announcements, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Family

Collecting The Precious – Vanderstelt Studio Thranduil: King of the Woodland Realm

If you’re like me and you’re a big fan of Jerry Vanderstelt’s work, you’re going to love the Thranduil: King of the Woodland Realm art print and will want to add it to your collection. As you may remember a couple years ago Weta Workshop unveiled the very cool Thranduil on Elk statue. This superb print by Jerry Vanderstelt captures the same majesty as the statue, and gives you a peek at just what might have been going on around Thranduil in that moment. As always, Jerry gives fans multiple ways to add this print to their collection, ranging from a high quality paper giclee to a 28×36 gallery wrapped print. This allows fans to get something for whatever their collecting budget allows. Limited to 2000 pieces it won’t last long, so do not hesitate to snag this one today!

Posted in Artwork, Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Posters Prints, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Donato Giancola’s book ‘Middle-earth: Journeys in Myth and Legend’ to be published

Great news for lovers of Tolkien-inspired art. TORn’s good friend Donato Giancola is to release a new collection of his incredible Middle-earth paintings, Middle-earth: Journeys in Myth and Legend.  Published by Dark Horse, the volume will be available in April.

Giancola shares some insight into the development of the book on the blog MuddyColors; click here to read more.

To preorder the book, visit Giancola’s website, here. For those who’d like to splash out on a Limited Edition, Giancola and Shawn Speakman (of the SignedPage.com) are offering signed and embossed books; the emboss is the sigil of the Kings of Gondor. Click here to order one.

If you aren’t familiar with Donata Giancola’s work, you have a treat in store. He is an astonishing artist – and also a very nice guy, whom TORn followers may have met at past TORn events. Don’t miss out on getting a copy of this fabulous book – and check out some sneak previews of content, above right and below:

 

Posted in Artwork, Books, Books Publications, Fans, Hobbit Book, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Merchandise, Other Tolkien books, Shop, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, Tolkien

Save the Date: May 10, 2019 for “Tolkien”, the Biopic about J.R.R. Tolkien will finally hit theaters

Principle photography was completed on this film a little over a year ago and the first test audience screenings began in June, so we’ve been waiting quite a while for this release date to be announced. This film will open on May 10, 2019 in a limited release, as is usual for indie films. This is good news if you live in big cities that typically get art films, but others may have to make a little more effort to get out and see it. Once we get word on just how many theaters it will open in and whether it will go into a wider release, we will share that news here. Also, there are those among us who have seen the film, and once permission has been given you can expect a review or two. But first, just what is this film about and when is it set?  (more…)

Posted in Events, Film Friday, Film Screenings, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, LotR Books, Studios, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien, Tolkien Remembrance

The big debate over the filming of the Amazon LOTR series in New Zealand

This past week, the New Zealand Government and executives from Amazon TV held a meeting in an effort to address concerns about a lack of studio capacity in Auckland. This planned 5 season LOTR series is a big production that will require quite a lot of studio space for filming, post production facilities and local crews, so of course they want to make sure the resources exist that they need. It appears that a decision or deal may be made within the next month, so we don’t have long to wait. You can see the source of this story at Stuff.Co.NZ.

You may be wondering why Auckland and not Wellington, but that is easily explained by the fact that the Avatar trilogy of films currently in pre-production will soon be moving into full production. While the Amazon LOTR production will be big, Avatar is going to be much bigger, and there may or may not be enough room for both as far as studio and post-production facilities go.

This leads to a much bigger debate on whether or not this new series should look and feel much like the existing Middle-earth films or whether it should blaze its own path for design and locations. The appeal to any production of not having to look for too many new locations can’t be understated. Film and TV productions are always having to research and locate interesting places that fit what the production needs, so the fact that so many locations in New Zealand have already been established as feeling like Middle-earth is a boon. But then, there are hundreds of beautiful places around the world, and with chunks of filming now happening in studios, does it really matter where those studios are? Is it possible that Amazon can do location filming in New Zealand and Studio work in London, Hollywood or Vancouver? Or why not film in British Columbia, or Northern Ireland or Slovenia for that matter?

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, J.R.R. Tolkien, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, LotR Production, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Production, Studios, Television, Tolkien

The Return of the King 15th Anniversary Redux — TORn’s RotK Geeky Observations List

Welcome to TORn’s The Return of the King Geeky Observations List 15th Anniversary Redux!

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Posted in Creations, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Community, TORn's Geeky Observations Lists

Fabulous new Middle-earth clothing

You’ll remember a while back we brought you news of the lovely Middle-earth inspired collection from the good folks at Oscha Slings  – stunning throws, scarves, baby wraps and even mugs, all crafted with incredible elven, dwarvish and hobbity designs.

In our Holiday Gift guide we mentioned that there is now clothing available from Oscha  – and we want to make sure you all know about it! They have joined forces with Teemill to create some gorgeous tshirts, tops, hoodies, bags, and more. If you’re looking for something beautiful and original for the Tolkien lover in your life (or even just for yourself), then you should definitely check out their amazing products. (The image shows their Doors of Durin design, just one of their hand-drawn illustrations.) Even better, all their products are made using 100% certified organic cotton, renewable energy, and minimal waste technology. Quick delivery is available – but the last order date to have your goodies in time for Christmas is fast approaching, so don’t delay!

Check out our Holiday Gift guide for more ideas.

Posted in Clothing, Clothing, Collectibles, Drinkware, Lord of the Rings, Merchandise, Other Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Tolkien Gift Guide