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Archive for the ‘Silmarillion’ Category

Sam Gamgee and Tolkien’s batmen

Sam battles Shelob Readers are undoubtedly aware of the five-page handwritten letter from J.R.R. Tolkien to H. Cotton Minchin that recently went on auction. If you missed it, The Guardian picks the eyes out of it, while Tolkien Library has assembled a transcript of the entire contents.

However, Tolkien scholar John Garth has also recently blogged about what the letter reveals about the Great War inspiration behind Sam Gamgee. Read on to learn more!


Posted in Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Languages, Lord of the Rings, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, Tolkien

On the identity and origins of the Nazgûl


TORN’s latest library piece tries to uncover the origins of the Ringwraiths.

Some of Tolkien’s most mysterious and alluring characters in Middle-earth, the Nazgûl have remained in the shadows (no pun intended) ever since their appearance in The Lord of the Rings.

The following article has examines many of Tolkien’s sources in an attempt to “map out” the possible locations where the Nazgûl may have originally come from. (more…)

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

Call for papers: the third TORn Amateur Symposium

TORn Amateur Symposium The folks of the TORn message board Reading Room, the section of our forums devoted to discussion of Tolkien’s literary works, have just put out for a call for papers for the third TORn Amateur Symposium (also known as TAS3).

The first two TORn Amateur Symposiums last year published 22 essays on topics as varied as The Physics of The Hobbit, The Corrupting Nature of The One Ring, Concepts of Healing in Middle-earth, The Matter of Glorfindel, and Music and Race in Howard Shore’s Score.

TAS is an opportunity for those who love Middle-earth to share their ideas on Tolkien-related subjects in a longer written form. (more…)

Posted in J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Miscellaneous, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, Announcements, Community, Tolkien

The Tale of the Dagor Dagorath – the Last Battle of Arda

The Doors of Night by John Howe

Vingilot leaving The Doors of Night by John Howe.

TORN’s latest library piece tackles the tantalizingly-enigmatic event of the Dagor Dagorath. Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of Tolkien’s fantasy world is its literal creation and ultimate destruction.

The Last Battle has found itself scattered in many of the author’s works but never before has it been compiled together as one tale. The following article has attempted such a task …


Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, Tolkien

Are Tolkien’s dwarves an allegory for the Jewish people?

DoSBilboAndDwarves01 In this piece, Matt Lebovic of The Times of Israel explores the eternally fascinating question of the parallels between Tolkien’s dwarves and the Jewish people. Allegory is almost certainly too strong a word for the relationship, the quotes that Lebovic draws from Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien and various interviews make clear Tolkien’s dislike of the allegorical style (although Leaf by Niggle makes one wonder and Letters #241 and #153 provide conflicting evidence there), and his sincere admiration of the Jewish people.

Edit to quote from Letter #153:

…I might say in my myth I have used ‘subcreation’ in a special way (not the same as ‘subcreation’ as a term in criticism in art, though I tried allegorically [emphasis mine] how that might come to be taken up into Creation in some plane in my ‘purgatorial’ story Leaf by Niggle (Dublin Review 1945))…

Couple of quick points of nit-picking: the Company has 13 dwarves, not 12, it’s Middle-earth not Middle Earth, and arguably Khazad-dûm (Moria) is more accurately the spiritual home of the Dwarves (especially of the Longbeards of Durin’s line) rather than Erebor. As a point of trivia, the Dwarves eventually reclaim Khazad-dum under Durin VII sometime in the Fourth Age. As for the Arkenstone, some people hold that, within the Legendarium, it might have been a Silmaril, but that seems unlikely to this writer. (more…)

Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Languages, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien

Discover the seven greatest architectural wonders of Middle-earth

Argonath1 This is a very cool, very interesting Middle-earth history lesson wrapped into a list of its seven greatest architectural wonders. I find myself hard-pressed to disagree with any of the author’s choices. The ancient Dwarven cities of Nogrod and Belegost — and even Erebor — paled in comparison to Khazad-dûm’s lost glory.

Perhaps, at its peak, Osgiliath’s grandeur might have outstripped that of Minas Anor, but it lacked Minas Anor’s mountainous, physics-defying scale. The strange Pukel Men of Dunharrow might offer another option. And what of Thangorodrim and Angband, Morgoth’s fortresses from the First age and earlier? Would they have been mightier than Barad-dûr?

Anyway, have a read and add your thoughts in the comments. I’d encourage you to follow the links and read the full (and very extensive) entries on each wonder!


Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Two Towers

Christmas, Eru and Middle-earth. A look at The Debate of Finrod and Andreth

Finrod Felagund and the people of Bëor; art by Ted Nasmith.

Finrod Felagund and the people of Bëor; art by Ted Nasmith.

In this new TORn Library feature, Dr Timothy Furnish explores a lesser-known, but important, philosophical treatise from The History of Middle-earth and speculates whether J.R.R. Tolkien may have doing more than “merely” evoking Christian myth.


Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, Tolkien

Join the discussions of Middle-earth in the second TORn Amateur Symposium

gforum The Reading Room on the TORn messageboards has in the last couple of days kicked-off their second TORn Amateur Symposium (affectionately known as TAS).

The first TORn Amateur Symposium earlier this year published 13 essays on a variety of topics, and the second edition of TAS features nine more of which four have been published thus far, with the remainder to debut over the coming week or so.

These essays may be philosophic opinions, scientific theories, or analytical approaches to understanding or highlighting some facet of Tolkien’s writings and world. These pieces are written with the goal of amateur scholarship at their core — thus inspiring our Symposium title. Authors may choose to include citations or footnotes, but they are by no means required. Keeping in mind the dual spirit of enjoyment and inquiry that we believe in (as much as we value cheer and song), and which is of paramount important to both the TAS team and our authors, we fully encourage discussion of the essays presented.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoy posting it. The TAS is open for discussion, and any comments, questions or thought you wish to share about this essay can be posted in this response to this thread.


Posted in J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, Community, Tolkien

Celebrate ‘Hobbit Festival Family Fun Day’ in the (Stafford) Shire!

Penkridge Tolkien - Oct 2013 032_smallerFor a time in 1918, a cottage at Gypsy Green on the Teddesley Park Estate was home to J.R.R. Tolkien and his family, when the young officer was posted in Staffordshire. Now, nearly 100 years later, a local library is celebrating the area’s ties to the renowned author.

Hobbit Festival Family Fun Day will be held this Saturday, November 16, 2013 in Penkridge, Staffordshire, UK from 10 A.M. until 4 P.M at Penkridge Library. Admission for the event is free, along with many fun activities. Only face painting will cost a small charge. (more…)

Posted in Events, Exhibits, Fans, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lectures & Education, Lord of the Rings, Miscellaneous, Other Events, Peter Jackson, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Tolkien Family

New book reveals previously unprinted artwork and documents the portrayal of Middle-earth across the decades

Middle-earth Envisioned by Brian J Robb and Paul Simpson.

Middle-earth Envisioned by Brian J Robb and Paul Simpson.

Over the decades, lots and lots of people have tried their hand at envisioning Middle-earth — in artwork, stage plays, musicals, television adaptations, comics, games, fan-art and, of course, animated and live action film.

Middle-earth Envisioned is a new, illustrated book From New York Times bestselling author Brian J. Robb and Paul Simpson, TV guide writer/reporter and the former editor of the Star Trek magazine, that comprehensively documents these portrayals of Middle-earth.

Among the highlights is previously unprinted artwork from English schoolteacher Mary Fairbairn. It has been noted that Tolkien himself wrote to Fairburn in 1968, praising her illustrations as “splendid. They are better pictures in themselves and also show far more attention to the text than any that have yet been submitted to me”. (more…)

Posted in Alan Lee, Books Publications, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, John Howe, Lord of the Rings, Merchandise, Other Tolkien books, Peter Jackson, Silmarillion, The Hobbit

Donato Giancola’s Huor and Hurin Approaching Gondolin

gondolin-donatoTORn’s good friend and artist extraordinaire Donato Giancola, who was part of TORn’s art show in Los Angeles last February, has recently completed a new masterpiece: a commissioned painting showing a scene from The Silmarillion, when Huor and his brother Hurin are rescued by eagles.  The work is huge – roughly 9 foot by 6 foot! – and perfectly showcases Giancola’s skill in capturing landscape and living beings alike.  (The image of Donato himself sitting in front of the painting gives you an idea of the scale of the piece!)  The majestic scenery is breathtaking, with beautiful play of light and shadow over the mountains and the valley floor.  The patches of glimmering snow on the peaks in the foreground of the picture are mirrored in the white towers of Gondolin,which gleam ‘like … spike[s] of pearl and silver’.

You can read about Giancola’s inspiration for his work – from artists in the Hudson River School of landscape painters, for example – at his website, here.  You can also see more of his incredible Tolkien paintings in his book, Middle-earth: Visions of a Modern Myth.  Tolkien isn’t the only writer who inspires Giancola; readers who are fans of George R R Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire can look forward to a calendar in 2014, for which Giancola will create 12 new paintings inspired by that world.

Meanwhile, enjoy Huor and Hurin Approaching Gondolin.

donato gondolin

Posted in Books, Events, Exhibits, Other Tolkien books, Shop, Silmarillion

Evangeline Lilly reveals the background of Tauriel

Tauriel After the worldwide Fan Event the other day, Evangeline Lilly stuck around to chat with Entertainment Weekly moderator Anthony Breznican and answer a few more questions from fans at The Grove in Los Angeles. Even if you watched the live event online, you won’t have caught this before.

Lilly had a few interesting things to say, and went into a little more depth about the background of her character Tauriel, and what motivates her. I guess that some of this might be considered background/character movie spoilers so highlight the space below to read a couple of excerpts. (more…)

Posted in Evangeline Lilly, Events, Hobbit Movie, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug