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Archive for the ‘Other Tolkien books’ Category

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

An essay: The Silmarillion as a trilogy

The SilmarillionOur friend C.E. High recently sent us an interesting take on making The Silmarillion into a trilogy of movies. While the odds of that happening are almost nil, it’s still fun to think about how it could be done. Which stories would make the best cinematic exposé in terms of both content and characters?  What would have to be cut to keep the storyline cohesive? Have a look at C.E.’s essay, then let us know what your Silmarillion trilogy would look like!

The Silmarillion as a Movie Trilogy – by C.E. High

It’s an idea that has been capturing the minds of fans since the days of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and probably before that too; will Peter Jackson or anyone make The Silmarillion into a motion picture? After the success of The Lord of the Rings franchise, the natural question was “When will he make The Hobbit?” Ten years, eleven Oscars and a few green light hitches later, we have just been treated to the second Middle-earth film trilogy. Old fans are loving the opportunity to delve back into the world of Tolkien again, new fans are discovering it for the first time and at the end of it all, naturally (and hopefully), we still  want more. Eyes have already been looking toward The Silmarillion – Tolkien’s posthumously released life’s work telling the story of the First and Second Ages of the world, the awakening of the Elves, Dwarves, and Humans, and the events that ultimately create the world that we know from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

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Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Other Tolkien books, Peter Jackson, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, Tolkien

San Diego Comic con is coming and TORn will be there

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San Diego Comic Con

Edited to Add and update details: 

What’s Next for Tolkien Fans
From cast and crew interviews to having a staffer assigned as an embedded reporter on set, TheOneRing.net has had a front row seat these past 16 years as Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth films were created. Now that all the films have been released, the only thing remaining for fans is the extended edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies and rumors of possible Tolkien biopics on the horizon. Join staffers Cathy Udovch (special events coordinator), Clifford Broadway (TORn tuesday), Josh Rubinstein (TORn bookclub), Kellie Rice (Happy Hobbit), and Larry Curtis (senior staff writer) for an in-depth discussion full of expert analysis, behind-the-scenes stories and audience participation with the website forged by and for fans of J. R. R. Tolkien.
Friday July 10, 2015 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Room 25ABC

The 2015 edition of San Diego Comic Con is coming up in just 3 short weeks, and TheOneRing.net will be there. We will not have a booth this year, but we will be hosting a panel on Friday afternoon, July 10, called “What’s next for Tolkien Fans”. We just can’t give any further details until the official schedule is posted next week. Please do plan to wear your Tolkien finery on Friday if you are able. That means costumes, TORn shirts, whatever you have that shows your affinity for all things Middle-earth. Since this may well be TORn’s final big appearance at SDCC (we won’t know until next year if they will invite us back), so let’s go out in style. There will be a mass photo of fans in TORn shirts or other Tolkien themed tees, Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and other denizens of Middle-earth, directly after the panel out on the front steps between Ballroom 20 and the Sails Pavillion. You will have to take the escalators to the ground floor in order to exit to get to the front steps, but this will allow any non-ticket holders to participate. So do plan to represent Middle-earth and we’ll see you on Friday, July 10, Costumes or geeky shirts are equally welcome, this photo event will take place between 5:15pm and 5:30pm.

GCC-LogoThere will also be a TORn Moot that Friday evening, but instead of the Laketown Luau we had last year, which forced us to charge money to attend, we decided to go a little more casual. So, without further ado, all Tolkien fans attending SDCC and those locals that are not attending are invited to an ‘Ice Cream Social’ at the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop in the Gaslamp District, located at 643 5th ave. We’ll begin at 7:30pm, giving everyone time to make it into the Gaslamp District after the hall closes, and run till 10pm.You can RSVP at our Facebook Event page for “We’re Taking the Hobbits to IceCreamGard”

 

Now here’s the rub, Ghirardelli does not take reservations, so everyone will just have to show up, grab whatever chair or table is available, and eat their yummy goodness. We may end up scattered about the place, but that’s OK, we are all Tolkien fans and we can socialize with the best of them. The shop is always rather popular and busy, the turn over is pretty quick, so just show up and have some fun with your fellow Tolkien fans, and there may even be a few prizes to win.

Posted in Clothing, Clothing, ComicCon, Conventions, Costuming, 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, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

A report from LI Geek Convention

2015-05-02_11-59-20_86It’s hard to believe it’s almost two weeks since staffers deej, Thorongil and greendragon gathered at LI Geek Con (Islip, May 2nd and 3rd). A new convention, taking place for the first time, LI Geek was small but lots of fun, with a great atmosphere.

Perhaps the biggest draw at the convention was actor Graham McTavish, there both for his role as Dwalin and for his lead role in the popular television show Outlander. He spoke at four Q&A sessions – two focusing on Outlander and two, lead by greendragon, centering on The Hobbit. Many fans had made the trip to Long Island just to see McTavish, and even at such a small convention, there were some fabulous Hobbit costumes to be seen! McTavish himself commented on the quality of many of the costumes, remarking that one particular Dwalin costume was up there amongst the very best he had seen.

2015-05-02_16-11-52_948For fans who hope to meet an idol, such small conventions are the best opportunity; McTavish’s supporters were able to spend a little time actually chatting with him, rather than just being rushed through the autograph line. He was as charming, erudite and amusing as ever, sharing in his panels tales from the sets of The Hobbit, Rambo and Outlander, as well as from his start acting and the journey which led him to Middle-earth. (He mentioned that he read The Hobbit to his older daughter, and each time Dwalin was mentioned in the book, she cheered; her classmates all know him not as ‘Mr. McTavish’ or ‘Honor’s Dad’ but as Dwalin!)

The convention was also attended by celebrities such as David Warner (Star Trek, Doctor Who, Tron and more), actor Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell in Game of Thrones) and actor Nina Toussaint-White (Doctor Who). Panels and discussion groups were held, covering many topics. TORn presented a look forward to what we might see in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition, what’s next for fans of Middle-earth, and a discussion group entitled ‘Kick the Hobbit!’ – chatting (with much affection) about the things which we loved and some we didn’t love so much in Peter Jackson’s second trilogy.

Staffer greendragon finds a BB-8 on duty at Islip airport...

Staffer greendragon finds a BB-8 on duty at Islip airport…

LI Geek Con had the unusual distinction of being the only convention any of us had ever attended which was actually held in an airport! Our table, where we met with convention goers, sold shirts, buttons and lanyards, and gave out prizes, was directly opposite the baggage claim! Some folks arriving on flights into Islip airport seemed bemused to see all the costumes and displays, but the experience turned out to be rather charming. One gentleman, arriving at the airport to catch a flight, caught sight of our table as he entered. His face lit up. He hurried over, and eagerly purchased a ‘Keep Calm and Read Tolkien’ t-shirt. He told us he has read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion seventy-five times each! He had read that a convention was taking place on Long Island, and was disappointed that he didn’t have time to attend – and yet, here we were, in the airport! We asked where he was flying to, and he revealed that he was returning home after flying up for his mother’s funeral. We all of course offered our condolences – and he said that seeing the convention and getting his TORn t-shirt had cheered him up no end! Serendipity bringing a smile all round at MacArthur airport…

An intimate, fledgling convention, LI Geek Con was warm, friendly, and lively – and TORn was delighted to play a part in it. Now we’re looking forward to seeing fans at more conventions through the summer and into the Fall – San Diego ComicCon, DragonCon or New York Comic Con, anyone?

Posted in Conventions, Events, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, The Hobbit

And the Winner of 2015 Middle-earth March Madness is…

While fans of basketball were enjoying a Duke victory in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, Middle-earth fans were preparing for the epic final of Middle-earth March Madness: Gandalf vs. Bilbo Baggins! This year we decided to keep the poll results hidden to heighten the suspense. I must admit, I took full advantage of my special access to watch the results intently. When we first opened the battle, Bilbo took an early (hobbit-sized) lead of only 1%. Over the next 48 hours, the combatants exchanged that lead nearly every hour. It was a neck and neck competition that only revealed a clear winner in the last 12 hours.

We closely watched for voter fraud and we are pleased to report that no over-voting was recorded. Each vote had a unique IP.  So without further delay, we are pleased to announce that the 2015 Middle-earth March Madness Champion is…. 

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

The Finals of Middle-earth March Madness – Gandalf vs. Bilbo!

thefinals2015This is it! The Finals are set! An epic battle of historic proporations! In one corner we have Gandalf, the Istar responsible for helping save the fate of all Middle-earth. In the other, Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit who would successfully weild and then, more importantly, pass on the most powerful object in Middle-earth, The One Ring.

Since this is the finals, we are not going to share the results until the contest is complete. So you will NOT see a percentage of votes when you cast your own vote. Don’t fret, the committee will be monitoring the competition behind the scenes.


Voting in the finals will remain open until April 8th at 10pm ET. [Finals Bracket] [Final Four Results] [Round 4 Results] [Round 4 Download] [Round 3 Results] [Round 3 Download] [Round 2 Results] [Round 2 Download] [Round 1 Results] [Round 1 Download]

Posted in Characters, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, 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, Uncategorized

Deception! Scandal! Middle-earth March Madness – Final Four Announced – Vote Today!

final-four2015Middle-earth March Madness has been touched by scandal! When we tallied the votes in our Elite Eight round-up last night, we noticed the votes in The Hobbit division were suspciously more than those of the other divisions. While yes, certain match-ups spur passionate participation, the numbers on this particular match-up were significantly different. So we dug a little bit deeper. As it turns out, one person managed to bypass the system and vote 2300 times!

As the commissioner of Middle-earth March Madness, I took it upon myself to resolve the issue. I converted those 2300 votes to 1 vote. I also reviewed any other multiple votes and converted those to a single vote. As a result, the winner of The Hobbit division for 2015 is…. Bilbo!

So we have our Final Four!

The Silmarillion division winner is, not too surprisingly, the creator of all existence, Eru Ilúvatar. Eru will face off against Bilbo Baggins, fresh off an attempt to wipe him out of this entire tournament!

Coming out of The Lord of the Rings, non other than Gandalf! Can he easy sweep past The Others division winner, Hurin? Or will Hurin pull off the biggest upset of the year!

Stay tuned and vote!

Voting in this round will remain open until April 6th at 10pm ET. And oh yes, you can count us keeping a close eye on any potential cheaters out there!



The FINAL FOUR
April 3 – April 6th 2015



[Round 5 Bracket] [Round 4 Results] [Round 4 Download] [Round 3 Results] [Round 3 Download] [Round 2 Results] [Round 2 Download] [Round 1 Results] [Round 1 Download]

Posted in Characters, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, 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, Uncategorized

Middle-earth March Madness – Elite Eight Match-ups! Vote Now!

2015-middleearthmadness-bracket-rd4No April Fools here folks! We’ve reached the Elite Eight in our 2015 Middle-earth March Madness! This round will determine who will represent each division!

Because today is April 1st, and there are a slew of April Fool’s jokes out there, we’re going to just get right too it! Can (4) Bilbo take out the tournament Cinderella, (11) Thranduil? Can (14) Elrond really take out (5) Gandalf?

Voting in this round will remain open until April 3rd at 10pm ET. Vote Now and tell your friends! [Round 4 Download] [Round 3 Results] [Round 3 Download] [Round 2 Results] [Round 2 Download] [Round 1 Results] [Round 1 Download]

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Posted in Characters, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, 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, Uncategorized

Middle-earth March Madness – The Sweet Sixteen! Vote in Round 3 Right Now!

2015-middleearthmadness-bracket-rd3We are down to the Sweet Sixteen as the chase to crown the 2015 Middle-earth March Madness champion continues!

Look for special analysis of the match-ups in this round coming soon!

But what about you? Have any strong opinions about this round? Send us a report and it just may make it to the homepage of TheOneRing.net! Email spymaster@theonering.net with your display name and a small bio, and article.

Voting in this round will remain open until March 31st at 10pm ET. As always, tell your friends and vote for your favorites to make it to our final four! [Round 3 Download] [Round 2 Results] [Round 2 Download] [Round 1 Results] [Round 1 Download]

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Posted in Characters, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, 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, Uncategorized

Tolkien Reading Day (Never too late!)

TORn Staffer Mithril, Reading Day 2014Yesterday, March 25, was officially Tolkien Reading Day. Celebrated annually by the Tolkien Society since 2003, Reading Day is exactly what it sounds like: a day “to encourage fans to celebrate and promote the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien by reading favourite passages.” March 25th was chosen to commemorate the day in Middle-earth history of the destruction of the One Ring and the downfall of Sauron, but events are often held throughout the week surrounding the official date.

Fans worldwide celebrate Reading Day with a variety of events. Wheaton College’s Tolkien Society in Illinois and the University of New Mexico Hobbit Society in Albuquerque hosted gatherings this year to share their favorite Tolkien pieces. And tomorrow (3/27), the Israeli Tolkien Society will host a picnic in Tel-Aviv. In Los Angeles, the local smial of the Tolkien Society, Tolkien Forever, will host a Reading Day event this Saturday, 3/28, at the famous Last Bookstore.

Tolkien Books Box SetThe theme for this year’s Reading Day is Friendship, chosen not only to commemorate how Frodo and Sam’s friendship triumphed in Mordor, but also to “celebrate the deep friendships that Tolkien developed in his own life and in his work.” By extension, a shared love of Tolkien’s work has inspired countless friendships, traversing continents and oceans. So share your love of Tolkien by joining a Reading Day event, or simply sharing your favorite passage with a friend!

Posted in Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Events, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien, Tolkien Reading Day, TORn Book Club, Uncategorized

Middle-earth March Madness – Round 2! Vote Now!

2015-middleearthmadness-bracket-rd2Round 1 is in the history books, as Middle-earth March Madness continues to capture the attention of Tolkien fans worldwide! In our first round, we had over 190,000 total votes cast, with the most contentious match-ups recieving nearly 10,000 votes! Voting for Round 2 starts now! (Vote below).

Round 1 didn’t have many close match-ups, but there were definitely a few surprises.

The most contraversial seems to be (11) Thranduil taking down (6) Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit division. As the 2014 Middle-earth March Madness champion, Thranduil seems to have a dedicated and loyal following that should help him through his next match-up with (3) Beorn. (Or will fan backlash against those Thranduites push Beorn through?!)

In The Lord of the RIngs division, (8) Arwen was able to take down The Dark Lord himself, (9) Sauron. Will she make it past (1) Galadriel to possible match-up against (4) Aragorn?!

In The Others division, (2) Father Christmas was knocked off by (15) Legolas of Gondolin, obviously taking advantage of the name recognition of another famous Elf.

There are a lot of intriguing match-ups in round 2, which I’m sure some TORn staffer will highlight in an article this week. Maybe you want to highlight your favorite match-ups in this round? Submit an article to spymaster@theonering.net with your display name and a small bio, and we’ll see if we can post it!

Voting in this round will remain open until March 26th at 10pm ET. Vote Now and tell your friends! [Round 2 Download] [Round 1 Results] [Round 1 Download]

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Posted in Characters, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, 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, Uncategorized

Middle-earth March Madness – The Silmarillion Characters

2015-middleearthmadness-bracket-rd1Middle-earth March Madness is on! As we come to the end of Round 1, we realize that there may be some names in these brackets that you don’t recognize. It’s okay. In the entire pantheon of Middle-earth, there are a lot of names. We can’t expect all of them to stick – especially those from such dense sources as The Silmarillion. Our live Sunday show, TORn Book Club (hosted by yours truly), is currently going through the book chapter-by-chapter as a primer for those who want to read it but may be intimidated by the huge scope of the story. With that in mind, I’m here to go through the Silmarillion characters listed in our March Madness and give you a little glimpse into who they are so that you can cast your vote with more confidence.

Just as a warning, this will go into some spoilers for The Silmarillion, but I’ll do my best to keep them to a minimum. It should also be noted that these are just summaries, and they may skip over various details to get to the heart of the subject. I will also do my best to keep my opinions to myself and not play favorites.

Beren vs. Túrin

Túrin Turambar by Alan Lee

Beren – Beren son of Barahir is best known as one of the two main characters from the tale of Beren and Lúthien, an action-packed romance. Beren, one of the few survivors of a terrible battle with the Dark Lord, Morgoth, lived as an outlaw until he was driven by Sauron through dark and terrible lands until he finally reached the protected Elf forest of Doriath.  There he met and fell in love with Lúthien, daughter of the Elven king Thingol. Thingol, unwilling to give his daughter’s hand in marriage to a lowly Man, told Beren that he could wed Lúthien if – and only if – he could steal a Silmaril, one of the most prized jewels in all of Middle-earth, from the crown of Morgoth himself. Thingol’s presumption was that Beren would either fail or die in the attempt. Either way, Lúthien would not be able to marry him. But Beren was undaunted, and he undertook a great adventure with Lúthien to reach Morgoth’s stronghold of Angband (an adventure so huge, it could probably be its own film trilogy). In the end, Beren was able to fulfill his task and steal a Silmaril, but he ended up receiving a mortal wound and succumbing. What did Lúthien do about that? Well, I’ll get to her later on.

Túrin – (WARNING: This summary contains larger-than-average spoilers) Túrin Turambar is probably one of the most tragic characters ever written by Tolkien. Just like Beren and Lúthien, Túrin’s story is a huge one – so big, in fact, that it is its own separate novel: The Children of Húrin. Just like Beren, Túrin’s family was involved in a great battle with Morgoth. They were defeated, and Túrin’s father, Húrin, was captured by Morgoth, who then cursed him and his family. Túrin fled to the forest of Doriath. King Thingol, his heart softened by the deeds of Beren, was much more welcoming this time around. Túrin lived for years in Doriath, until he got into an argument with an Elf named Saeros who didn’t care too much for Men. In the heat of the argument Saeros was killed, and fearing for his own life, Túrin fled Doriath and took up with outlaws. He developed a great reputation as a feared warrior, and eventually came to another secret Elven kingdom called Nargothrond. Eventually, he was able to convince Orodreth, the king of Nargothrond, to open up his gates and fight Morgoth openly. This decision was so bad, the Valar Ulmo, lord of the waters, tried to convince Túrin not to go through with it. But go through with it, he did. And, just as Ulmo predicted, Nargothrond was besieged by Morgoth’s forces, led by Glaurung, the father of Dragons. One by one, all of his friends were killed. Túrin, wracked with guilt, went back to life as a vagabond and outlaw. Meanwhile, Túrin’s mother Morwen and long-lost sister Nienor left their safe home in order to find him. Eventually, they came upon the ruined Nargothrond and Glaurung, who had taken up residence there. Glaurung killed everybody, but left Nienor alive, opting instead to cast a spell on her, removing her memory. Túrin found her and named her Níniel. Eventually, they fell in love and were married, neither one of them aware of who the other truly was. Believing that he had finally found happiness, Túrin gave up his life as a warrior to live out his days with his new wife. Glaurung, however, was not done with Túrin, and eventually left Nargothrond to take the fight to him. Reluctantly, Túrin took up his sword one last time to fight the great dragon. He dealt Glauring a fatal wound, but was knocked unconscious in the process. While Túrin was out cold, Nienor approached the dying dragon. With his last breath, Glaurung removed the spell, and she regained her memory. Horrified at what she had done, she killed herself. Túrin, upon waking, learned of her death and who she truly was, and fell on his sword in grief.

 

Ungoliant vs. Huan

Ungoliant and Melkor by rubendelva

Ungoliant – Simply put, Ungoliant is a being of pure malice. She took up the form of a giant spider, but she was much more than just that. Her origins are something of a mystery, but she is most basically identified as a primeval spirit of the night. She first appeared on the island of Valinor, and was convinced by Melkor (also known as Morgoth) to help him in overthrowing the Valar and tearing down the Trees of Valinor, the source of all light in the world. He promised her anything, but she wanted the Silmarils, which he coveted too much. Unable to control Ungoliant and her insatiable hunger, Morgoth had his Balrogs drive her away. But she left a trail of darkness behind her, and eventually took up residence in a mountain range where she spawned so much evil that the mountains were named Ered Gorgoroth, “The Mountains of Terror”. Eventually, unable to satisfy her own hunger, she finally devoured herself. Think about that. Ungoliant was so evil and malicious, the literal Lord of Darkness thought she went too far.

Huan – This is another character from the tale of Beren and Lúthien. Huan was a great hound from the land of Valinor, who served the two Elf princes Celegorm and Curufin. After Beren left Doriath on his quest for a Silmaril, Lúthien went after him and was intercepted by Celegorm and Curufin, who hoped to wed her and forge an alliance with her father. Huan betrayed his masters and helped Lúthien escape, and also accompanied her in her quest to find Beren, who at that point was imprisoned by Sauron. The two of them took on Sauron’s army of orcs and werewolves, and eventually rescued Beren when Huan defeated Sauron himself (in werewolf form) in single combat. Huan also helped Beren and Lúthien enter Morgoth’s fortress Angband, and eventually was killed fighting Morgoth’s guardian wolf, Carcharoth, who was driven mad after biting off Beren’s hand and swallowing the Silmaril he had just stolen.

 

Gil-galad vs. Elendil

Gil-galad from The Fellowship of the Ring

Gil-galad – He was the last of the great Elven kings. After the final defeat of Morgoth, and the reshaping of the world, he established a new Elven kingdom. He is best known for being the only Elf who saw through the ruse of a stranger named Annatar, who taught the Elven smiths how to forge rings of power. Yes, Annatar was Sauron. He helped to disperse and hide the rings of power from Sauron, and joined forces with Elendil, the king of Men, in the Last Alliance. Taking the fight to Mordor, he fought in single combat with Sauron and was killed.

Elendil – He was one of the few survivors of the destruction of the great kingdom of Númenor. Traveling with his sons Isildur and Anárion, they established a new kingdom in Middle-earth, forsaking the dark and ultimately destructive history of their ancestors. When Gil-galad gathered armies to march on Sauron in Mordor, Elendil joined the fight. Just like Gil-galad, Elendil was killed in single combat with Sauron. It was his son, Isildur, who would eventually defeat him.

 

Glaurung vs. Thingol

Glaurung and Túrin

Glaurung – The Father of Dragons, Glaurung was the first and arguably one of the greatest. He’s also the most insidious of them. His appearance in the story of Túrin above is his most well-known appearance, and his actions are arguably quite despicable. Not happy with only killing his foes, he felt the need to toy with them.

Thingol – He has been mentioned in a few entries above, but Thingol is an important character in his own right. He is one of the High Elven Kings, who established his domain in the forest of Doriath. Fighting in one of the early battles against Morgoth, he realized that he could not hope to defeat him openly, and opted instead for a more defensive stance. In Doriath, he established his underground stronghold of Menegroth. He also wed a Maia named Melian, and their daughter, Lúthien, was considered the fairest of all of the Elves. After gaining a Silmaril from Beren, Thingol fell victim to its corrupting power, and it eventually led to his downfall.

 

Morgoth vs. Melian

Fingolfin versus Morgoth by Ted Nasmith

Morgoth –  This is the original Dark Lord. He began his existence as a spirit – or Ainur – named Melkor. He was the wisest and most powerful of the Ainur, but he was also the most ambitious. As the Ainur created a great symphony that would become the universe and the world, Melkor endeavored to disrupt it and make it his own. After the creation of Arda, the Kingdom of Earth, the Ainur descended to it and became the Valar, the powerful lords of the Earth. Because of his disrupting nature, Melkor was not made a Valar, but still descended to Arda in order to corrupt and destroy the Valar’s work. As he continued to corrupt and destroy, he gave in to hatred and malice. His dark intentions and corrupting powers eventually led to him being named “Morgoth” or “Black Foe of the World” by Fëanor, the creator of the Silmarils, after his theft of them. The First Age of Middle-earth is all about the wars against Morgoth waged by Elves, Men and Valar alike.

Melian – Melian is a Maia, one of the Ainur who descended to Arda but did not play as large a part in the shaping of the world as the Valar. She loved the woods, and King Thingol found her and fell in love with her there. They wed and had a daughter, Lúthien. She was Thingol’s closest and most trusted counsellor. When Thingol chose to hide his kingdom in Doriath, she aided him by creating the Girdle of Melian, a boundary in the forest designed to thwart and frighten away anybody who would attempt to cross it. She is the only Ainu to ever wed an Elf or Man or have children with one. When Thingol was killed, she finally left Middle-earth and returned to Valinor where she mourned him for the rest of time.

 

Manwë vs. Finrod

Manwë Sulimo by GustavoMalek

Manwë – He is the greatest of all of the Valar, and is named King of Arda. In the creation of Arda, his main focus was on the air and the heavens, and he commands the Eagles. He also keeps a watchful eye over all of Middle-earth from his hall in the top of the tower of Taniquetil in Valinor. He is the only Valar who has a direct connection to Eru Ilúvatar, the supreme being who created everything, and who is most privy to his plans.

Finrod – Finrod was the Elven King who established the kingdom of Nargothrond. He was also the Elf who first discovered Men when they were first awakened by Eru Ilúvatar. He taught them of the world, and became very fond of them. In one of the great battles against Morgoth, Barahir, father to Beren saved Finrod’s life. Finrod swore an oath to repay that debt to Barahir, and gave him his ring as a symbol of that oath (you may remember that as the Ring of Barahir that Aragorn wears). When Beren began his quest to retrieve a Silmaril for Thingol, he called upon Finrod to fulfill his oath and join him in his quest. Finrod did so, and eventually repaid the oath by defending Beren against Sauron and sacrificing his life.

 

Ancalagon vs. Eru Ilúvatar

Dragon of the First Age by Rubendevela

Ancalagon – Ancalagon the Black was Morgoth’s greatest weapon against the Elves and the Valar in the War of Wrath, the final battle of the First Age. Ancalagon was the largest of all of the dragons, and he led a fleet of dragons against the Eagles, led by their great chief Thorondor, and the great Halfelven lord Eärendil. In the battle, eventually defeated and threw down Ancalagon, and the impact was so fierce that it destroyed Morgoth’s fortress of Thangorodrim.

Eru Ilúvatar – Also known as the One, Eru Ilúvatar is the supreme being who created the world. Residing in the Void, he was the keeper of the Light Imperishable, the source of all life in the universe. He used it to create the Ainur, who he commanded to perform a great symphony. He gave them two themes, and the music the made from it created Arda, the Kingdom of Earth, and the Ainur descended to it to become Valar and Maiar. But he also created a third theme that was solely for his use, and that theme led to the creation of the Children of Ilúvatar: Elves and Men. They are solely his creation, and the Valar and Maiar have no direct power over them – though they can influence them. Eru Ilúvatar tends to let things play out as they will, as the events in Arda and Middle-earth are all part of a plan according to the themes he created. He only ever directly intervenes in the events of the world in the direst of circumstances.

 

Lúthien vs. Eärendil

Lúthien Tinúviel by Alan Lee

Lúthien – The daughter of Thingol and Melian, Lúthien Tinúviel is regarded as the most beautiful of all the Elves who ever walked in Middle-earth. She fell in love with Beren, who wandered into her land through great terrors. When he saw her dancing among the trees, he forgot all of the horrors he had seen and fought and named her Tinúviel which means “nightingale.” They spent a great deal of time in the woods of Doriath before Thingol finally discovered them. He commanded Beren to steal a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth in order to win her hand in marriage. When Beren left on his quest, Lúthien secretly left Doriath to follow him and aid him. She met the Great Hound Huan when she was captured by the brothers Celegorm and Curufin, and he aided her in finding Beren. By then, Beren and his company had been captured by Sauron. Lúthien and Huan, disguised as aids to Sauron, infiltrated his fortress and defeated his orcs and werewolves. When Huan defeated and humiliated Sauron, Lúthien commanded him to leave the fortress and pass lordship of it to her. Once Sauron was gone, Lúthien found Beren grief-stricken because his entire company had been killed by Sauron’s werewolves. She convinced him to return with her to Doriath, but Beren had to fulfill the quest to win her hand. Using disguises again, Beren, Lúthien and Huan were able to sneak into Morgoth’s fortress, Angband – something never before accomplished by Elves or Men. In Morgoth’s great hall, Lúthien used the power of her song to put Morgoth and everybody within the sound of her voice into a deep sleep. Beren was able to pry a Silmaril from Morgoth’s crown, but his blade snapped in his attempt to take all three. The shard pierced Morgoth and woke him, prompting Beren and Lúthien to flee with the Silmaril. They were waylaid at the entrance to Angband by Carcharoth, the greatest of the werewolves. Beren attempted to fend him off with the light of the Silmaril, but Carcharoth bit off his hand and swallowed the jewel. Beren and Lúthien were then spirited back to Doriath by the Eagles before they were overtaken by Morgoth’s forces. Beren told Thingol of what happened, and he agreed to allow Lúthien to marry him, but there was still the matter of the wild Carcharoth and the Silmaril. Beren and Huan joined the hunting party, and both received mortal wounds before killing the wolf and retrieving the Silmaril. Beren was taken back to Doriath and died. Since Men leave the world when they die, Lúthien pleaded with him to meet her in Valinor before succumbing to her own grief at his loss and dying. In Valinor, Lúthien pleaded with the Valar to give them both a mortal life and to live out their days in peace. The Valar, moved by her song and heartfelt plea, agreed to her request. Beren and Lúthien returned to Doriath, and lived a long second life and had a son, Dior, who would become Thingol’s heir.

Eärendil the Mariner by Jenny Dolfen

Eärendil – Raised in the secret Elven kingdom of Gondolin, Eärendil is actually a Half-Elf. He was only a child when Morgoth learned of the location of Gondolin and sacked it. He and his surviving family escaped to the mouth of the great river Sirion, where Eärendil learned the art of being a shipbuilder and a mariner from Cirdan, the Elven Shipwright. He eventually married Elwing, the granddaughter of Beren and Lúthien, who also possessed the stolen Silmaril. The other Elven Kings learned of Elwing’s Silmaril, and sent raiding parties after her in their kingdom of Arvernien when Eärendil was out to sea. But rather than let it fall into their hands, Elwing cast herself and the Silmaril into the sea. Because she had the Silmaril, the Valar Ulmo, Lord of the Seas, lifted her up and delivered her to Eärendil. Learning of what happened, Eärendil determined that the Elves were falling under the corrupting power of Morgoth, and that it was finally time for the Valar to intervene. He sailed his ship to Valinor, and was the first mortal to ever set foot on it alive. He begged the Valar to take up arms and aid Men and Elves in their fight against Morgoth, and they agreed. Since Eärendil had traveled to Valinor for Men and Elves and not for himself, he and Elwing were given a choice to live their lives either fully as Elf or as Mortal. Elwing chose to be an Elf, and Eärendil chose the same to be with her. Their children, Elrond and Elros were also given the same choice in their time. Once the choice was made, the Valar joined Eärendil’s host and lay siege to Morgoth’s fortress in the War of Wrath, the final battle of the First Age. Eärendil battled Ancalagon the Black, the mightiest of all dragons, and tore down the fortress Thangorodrim. When Morgoth was defeated, the Valar expelled him to the Void outside of existence. After the battle, Eärendil sailed his ship into the heavens where he sits as the brightest and most beloved star. It is prophecied that one day Morgoth will return to destroy Arda utterly, and Eärendil will also return to join the Valar in the final battle that will unmake the world and remake it in a brand new vision.

Posted in Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion