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Archive for the ‘Tolkien’ Category

Tolkien’s Hidden Realms and their Meaning: Part Two

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.


Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Creations, Fans, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Uncategorized

Today in Middle-earth, November 23

The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on November 23:

  •  Battle of the Five Armies – 2941 (1341)


Posted in Calendar, Hobbit Book, The Hobbit, Today in Middle-earth

Highlights from last week’s event in London

hobbit screeningAs you know, last week a select group of fans in London were treated to a screening of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition. Some pretty special guests were in attendance – we hope many of you were able to watch via the live stream!

The organisers behind the event have sent us along this report:

“On Saturday, 7th November 2015, a number of the world’s biggest and most passionate fans of The Hobbit film trilogy assembled in London for a very special screening event, where they were joined by a host of special guests, to celebrate the release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital release, and to commemorate the one-year anniversary of last year’s incredible The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest competition.  The Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release is the final film in the globally popular The Hobbit Trilogy, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.

Kyle Pedley of (A)musings Media, who was among the UK-based winners of the global fan competition, organised and hosted the event along with fellow members of The Hobbit Fan Fellowship, with help from Warner Bros. Pictures UK and Tourism New Zealand.  International winners flew in from all over the globe – from as far afield as the United States, Mexico and Eastern Europe – to take part in an evening full of surprises and special appearances.

Guests were not only treated to an exclusive UK screening of the Extended Edition of The Hobbit Trilogy’s epic conclusion at Warner Bros. Pictures’ own private screening theatre ahead of its home entertainment release, but were also treated to surprises including a video message from director Sir Peter Jackson all the way from New Zealand, and a Q&A session with a panel of distinguished guests.

These included Royd Tolkien, great-grandson of author J.R.R. Tolkien and long-time advocate and supporter of the film adaptations (who made a cameo appearance in 2003’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King), and writer / broadcaster Brian Sibley, who has long been involved in the community celebrating the author’s legacy, having been jointly responsible for the acclaimed 1981 BBC Radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings and penning a number of official behind-the-scenes books and guides for both of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth trilogies. Finally, to the excitement and disbelief of fans – met with an uproarious standing ovation – came the surprise appearance of film, theatre and television icon Sir Ian McKellen, known and beloved around the world for his defining portrayal of the Wizard Gandalf in Jackson’s Middle-earth and the only principle cast member to appear in all six films across both celebrated film trilogies.

Other special guests in attendance included a contingent of Middle-earth ‘cosplayers’ – The Galactic Knights,  who showcased some of their terrific Hobbit- and Rings-inspired costumes and replicas; Chairman of The Tolkien Society, Shaun Gunner; and Rachel Sprackett of Tourism New Zealand.

Kyle Pedley, The Hobbit Fan Fellowship member and host of the event, said:

“This was an incredible, unprecedented celebration of the impact both these films and also last year’s incredible competition have had on people from all corners of the globe. To have such a dedicated group of fans, who last year formed their own genuine fellowship over the course of a magical week in New Zealand, reunite for this special occasion was just an absolute joy to behold and be part of. To be joined by the likes of Royd Tolkien, Brian Sibley and Sir Ian McKellen, and have such a fantastic personal video message from Sir Peter Jackson over in New Zealand, was an absolute thrill and honour. The guests were not aware or expecting any of it, and their reactions to not only the surprises, but also getting to see one another again, were a moving reminder of how indelible and genuine the bonds of fellowship formed in New Zealand really were.”

The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest was an international search conducted in 2014 by Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand and Warner Bros. to find 75 of the world’s biggest Hobbit fans. Over 140,000 people registered for the competition, and over a two month period were required to complete a series of tasks and challenges, including testing their knowledge of New Zealand as the cinematic Middle-earth, designing a postcard for Peter Jackson, and also producing their own two-minute videos detailing their favourite memories of Middle-earth and demonstrating why they were the biggest fans of the franchise.

The winners and their +1s were then flown to New Zealand for an incredible, all-expenses paid trip which spanned both Islands and included visits to the actual filming locations from the movies, a special tour of the Hobbiton Set itself in Matamata, a special Maori Cultural welcome ceremony and Hangi Banquet, a visit to Weta Workshop where all of the creatures, costumes, weapons and special effects of the Middle Earth films were made, and finally a private screening of the final film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, in the company of Peter Jackson himself, over a month before its theatrical release.”


Oh how we all wish we’d been there! We can at least enjoy some photographs from the evening’s festivities; and here’s a highlights video reel:

Posted in Contests, Events, Fan Fellowship Contest, Fans, Film Screenings, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Fan Contest, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, Meet Ups, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien, Tolkien Family

‘LOTR’ voted favorite film score for 6th consecutive year

Frodo (Elijah Wood) in “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - In Concert” Peter Jackson delivered the images and Howard Shore’s delivered the unforgettable musical score for “The Lord of the Rings.” Music and film lovers haven’t forgotten, voting in the favorite film score fro the sixth consecutive year at Classic FM.

The site, that calls itself the world’s biggest classical music radio station in the world, plays such music including film and video game scores. It is said to be the UK’s only 100 percent classical music radio station that includes radio on all platforms including streaming world wide on the web.

After thousands of votes, Shore’s score edged John Williams’ effort for Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List,” and Hans Zimmer’s music for Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator.”

Those who have been with TORn from the early days will remember that a Burger King tie-in commercial was the first time Shore’s score was heard by the masses, as the “Fellowship” theme showed off flame-broiled goodness along with the miracle of in-scale Men, Hobbits, with a pony, a Dwarf and Wizard.

The score carried themes from “Fellowship” into the following movies, earning an Academy Award for “Return of the King,” after a snub of even an nomination for “The Two Towers.”

There are many highlights, and different fans would have different favorite moments.

You can read Classic FM’s story here and find more links to more of the top 100.

Doug Adams’ book, “The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films,” stands as the definitive word on the score but is also one of the finest books written on musical scores anywhere. You can read our review of it here.

Posted in Books Publications, Fans, Howard Shore, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Music, Production, Tolkien

The Tolkien Society Celebrating 50 years of The Lord of the Rings, Proceedings of Tolkien 2005

50 Years of The Lord of the RingsShaun Gunner, Chairman of the Tolkien Society has let us know that they’re currently offering this must have addition to our Tolkien bookshelves for the wonderful price of just £10. So, if you’re looking for something extra special for the Tolkien fan in your life, or for yourself, grab yourself a copy of “Celebrating 50 years of The Lord of the Rings“.


Posted in Books, Books Publications, Fans, Green Books, Headlines, Lord of the Rings, Merchandise, Announcements, Tolkien, Tolkien Gift Guide

Today in Middle-earth, November 3

The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on November 3:

  • Thorin learns news of Smaug’s death from the ravens (1341)
  • Battle of Bywater, and Passing of Saruman. End of the War of the Ring (1419) (more…)
Posted in Calendar, Hobbit Book, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, The Hobbit, Today in Middle-earth

Today in Middle-earth, November 1

The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on November 1:

  • An angered Smaug searches the mountain (1341)
  • Bilbo returns to Smaug’s chamber in the afternoon (1341)
  • Smaug attacks Lake-town (1341)
  • Lake-town in the aftermath (1341)
  • The hobbits rest in Rivendell as scouts search the lands for news of the enemy (1418)
  • They are arrested at Frogmorton (1419)


Posted in Calendar, Hobbit Book, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, The Hobbit, Today in Middle-earth

Tragic hero, Kullervo, and Tolkien’s career

Ringer-friend Sampo alerted us to this well-done and informative articleKullervo, published by Finnish Broadcasting Company, about how J.R.R. Tolkien’s career started thanks, in large-part, to his interest in the tragic Finnish hero, Kullervo. “When J. R. R. Tolkien, the father of Hobbits and fantasy literature, was in his twenties, he took a keen interest in the Finnish epic poem Kalevala. So much so that he wanted to rewrite the story of Kullervo. Now, this early work of his has finally been published.”

The article goes on to compare and contrast the various characteristics of Tolkien’s Kullervo with the Kullervo of the Kalevala. A delightful aspect of the article is that it contains bits and bobs of Tolkien quotes such as: “The gem of my attempt to write legends of my own to fit my private languages was the tragic tale of the hapless Kullervo in the Finnish Kelevala.” Another great quote, of reading about Finnish grammar: “It was like discovering a complete wine-cellar filled with bottles of amazing wine of a kind and flavour never tasted before.”

Another great thing about the article is that it’s in English! So, check it out here. In the mean time, The Story of Kullervo, by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Tolkien scholar, Verlyn Flieger will be available on April 5, 2016. It’s available for pre-order from Amazon here.

Posted in Books Publications, J.R.R. Tolkien, Merchandise, Tolkien

Today in Middle-earth, October 25

The following event took place in Middle-earth on October 25:

  • The Council of Elrond (1418)


Posted in Calendar, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Today in Middle-earth

The Great Hall of Poets

ThorinReadingWelcome 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  One poem per person may be submitted each month. Please make sure to proofread your work before sending it in. is not responsible for poems posting with spelling or grammatical errors.


Posted in Creations, Fans, Headlines, Lord of the Rings, Poetry, Community, Tolkien

Tolkien’s own annotated map newly discovered loose inside copy of LOTR

Map from Blackwell's Rare Books

Map from Blackwell’s Rare Books

An important, and frankly amazing Tolkien document has emerged, recently discovered loose in a copy of The Lord of the Rings once owned by illustrator Pauline Baynes.

The Guardian reports that Baynes removed the map from a previous version of the novel as she was working on a then new color map for a new edition that was published in 1970.

The map then had “copious” notes made by J.R.R. Tolkien in green ink and pencil. Baynes then made her own notes on the map. It is essentially a map annotated by Tolkien himself.

Blackwell’s, which is currently exhibiting the map in Oxford and selling it for £60,000, called it “an important document, and perhaps the finest piece of Tolkien ephemera to emerge in the last 20 years at least”.

Corner of Blackwell's Tolkien map

Corner of Blackwell’s Tolkien map

According to Blackwell’s, it displays “the exacting nature” of the author and his creative process. He fixes names, gives additional names and reveals details such as Hobbiton “is assumed to be approx at latitude of Oxford,” where Tolkien was, of course, a professor.

Blackwell’s also claims that Tolkien wrote “the city of Ravenna is the inspiration behind Minas Tirith – a key location in the third book of the Lord of The Rings trilogy.” There are other real-world references as well.

“Before going on display in the shop this week, this had only ever been in private hands (Pauline Baynes’s for the majority of its existence). One of the points of interest is how much of a hand Tolkien had in the poster map; all of his suggestions, and there are many (the majority of the annotation on the map is his), are reflected in Baynes’s version,” said Henry Gott, a rare books expert at Blackwell’s.

Posted in J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Tolkien, Tolkien Family

Today in Middle-earth, October 20

Flight to the FordThe following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on October 20:

  • Bilbo and the Dwarves sit around and begin to think of what to do next at the Hidden Door (1341)
  • Escape across the Ford of Bruinen (1418)
  • Gandalf and Elrond perceive the Black Riders at the Ford of Bruinen (1418)
  • Frodo is brought to Rivendell (1418)
  • Return of the King is published (1955)


Posted in Calendar, Hobbit Book, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, The Hobbit, Today in Middle-earth