Welcome to The Great Hall of Poets, our regular monthly feature showcasing the talent of Middle-earth fans. Each month we will feature a small selection of the poems submitted, but we hope you will read all of the poems that we have received here in our Great Hall of Poets.
So come and join us by the hearth and enjoy!
If you have a Tolkien/Middle-earth inspired poem you’d like to share, then send it to firstname.lastname@example.orgOne poem per person may be submitted each month. Please make sure to proofread your work before sending it in. TheOneRing.net is not responsible for poems posting with spelling or grammatical errors.
Welcome to our latest Library feature, in which Benita J Prins discusses the belief that Tolkien characters are either totally good, or totally bad, and therefore his characterizations are two-dimensional. She shows that Tolkien did, in fact, write characters that aren’t good, but aren’t entirely bad, and they appear in all of his works.
The long-awaited second installment of the article about Tolkien’s special hidden realms has arrived! In Part One, which you can read here, C.E High explored the hidden realms of the First Age. In Part Two, he continues on to consider hidden realms of the Second and Third Ages. Enjoy!
In the second and third ages the devices that Tolkien uses with his realms blossom into more complex symbolism with a diversity of outcomes. As men grow and diversify, this creates new problems for the other races of Middle-earth leading to a variety of realms that grow out of need and out of want. There is also that pesky Sauron, Morgoth’s second in command in the elder days, and in the absence of his master he arguably surpasses him in malice and evil deeds in the land of Mordor.
No longer do we have three hidden elven kingdoms of a similar making, we now have a variety. Eregion and Lothlorien are, at first, settlements of the displaced Noldor, which quickly become refuges against the evil now located in the east of Middle-earth. Rivendell, and the Woodland Realm to the north of Eregion and Lothlorien, round out the retreats of elves from battles with Sauron. Last, but not least, we have the newest and most intriguing hidden realm of them all: The Shire, a realm founded in the third age.
Our friend, C.E. High, has penned another interesting article about Tolkien’s special hidden realms. From Gondolin to Doriath, Part One explores the hidden realms of the First Age. Enjoy!
J.R.R. Tolkien had a fascination with hidden kingdoms and cities. As one reads through his works they can be seen everywhere, throughout the ages and in a variety of forms. Many things these hidden realms have in common and all have their own symbolism; many are bastions of hope against an ever present dark foe, others are places that are ignorant of any darkness and simply exist in bliss and wonder and are overlooked. Some are tucked away in a valley or at the base of a mountain range; while others are deep in dense and impenetrable forests either with natural or supernatural defenses. Some are carved straight out of the stone or delved deep into the earth, and others…well a few even existed right out in the open.
Tolkien’s love of things being tucked away and only talked about in rumor or in private circles is fascinating. He wove it into almost all of his stories and made the reader feel like they were in on a secret that no one else was. Almost everything that was hidden for Tolkien was noble and good; by contrast everything that was evil was right out in the open. Tolkien made a situation where evil was ever present and out in plain sight, things that were good needed to be kept hid and held onto tightly; and many of his stories involved characters whose actions were motivated by wanting to save or destroy these precious hidden things.
Come one, come all to TORn’s Annual Baggins Birthday Bash, held in the Mineral Wells section of Griffith Park this coming Sunday, starting at noon. This is a potluck event, so bring your own beverages, munchies or sweets, and consider sunscreen and hats for the heat. Please do RSVP for the Baggins Birthday Bash by emailing garfeimao@TheOnering.net or head over to our Facebook event page where you will get an idea of what others are bringing, and what you might want to contribute. TORn staffers will be hosting a variety of fun and games, with a few prizes thrown in for good measure, here is a tentative schedule of events.
12pm – Official Start (arrive a little early if brining a pop up tent or tables)
12:30pm – Silmarillian discussion with TORn Bookclub host Sarumann
1:30pm – Middle-earth Cake and Cupcake contest judging begins
2pm – Middle-earth Trivia
2:45pm – Middle-earth Quotes contest (brush up on both book and film quotes)
3:30pm – Pin the Black Arrow on the Dragon
4pm – Golfimbul
For directions, here is a map of the Park, just work your way towards the Mineral Wells location. Griffith Park Map
Update: Accidentally posted Sept. 27, the event will be this weekend, Sunday, September 20.
Yet more opportunities to win with TheOneRing.net! This time, it’s our good friends at Harper Collins who are giving away TEN copies of the newly published The Story of Kullervo– Tolkien’s first piece of prose fiction.
According to Harper Collins’ official press release, The Story of Kullervois ‘a previously unknown work of fantasy by J.R.R. Tolkien, which tells the powerful story of a doomed young man who is sold into slavery and who swears revenge on the magician who killed his father. This is its first appearance in book form; 2015 is the centenary of its creation.’
This beautiful new publication is illustrated on the cover with one of Tolkien’s own paintings. The press release goes on to say:
‘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 who tries three times to kill him when still a boy, Kullervo is alone save for the love of his twin sister, Wanona, and guarded by the magical powers of the black dog, Musti. 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 cruellest of fates.
Tolkien himself said that The Story of Kullervo was ‘the germ of my attempt to write legends of my own’, and was ‘a major matter in the legends of the First Age’. Tolkien’s Kullervo is the clear ancestor of Túrin Turambar, tragic incestuous hero of The Silmarillion. In addition to it being a powerful story in its own right, The Story of Kullervo – published here for the first time with the author’s drafts, notes and lecture-essays on its source-work, The Kalevala – is a foundation stone in the structure of Tolkien’s invented world.’
We have ten copies of this book to give away to ten lucky readers – and the competition is open worldwide! To enter, all you need to do is complete the form below, including answering the following simple question:
How many years is it since Tolkien first created The Story of Kullervo?
Simply write the answer in the ‘special note’ box. Please also NOTE YOUR SHIPPING ADDRESS in the ‘special note’ box. Complete the rest of the form and hit ‘enter now’! The competition is open until Thursday 10th September. Good luck!
San 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…)
Our 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.
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.
There 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.
It’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.
For 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…
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?
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….
This 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.
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