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Archive for the ‘Christopher Tolkien’ Category

Why Smaug still matters

Smaug, The Hobbit Lauren Davis from SF webzine io9 explores why, “in a media landscape overstuffed with dragons, do we still care so much about Smaug?”.

This was first published last month, and I missed it at the time, but it’s a very worthwhile read that delves into (among other things) the literary origins of Tolkien’s dragons — the story of Fafnir, and, of course, Beowulf. Follow the link at the bottom to read the complete article.


Why Smaug still matters

“A dragon is no idle fancy,” J.R.R. Tolkien wrote in his lecture “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics.” Whatever may be his origins, in fact or invention, the dragon in legend is a potent creation of men’s imagination, richer in significance than his barrow is in gold.”

(more…)

Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Green Books, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, Tolkien

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.

(more…)

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

On the Finding of Thror’s Map and the Key to the Lonely Mountain

Unexpected PartyIn expanding on Professor Tolkien’s text in his film adaptation, director Peter Jackson allows us to follow Gandalf the Grey into areas that remain secret to us within the text of The Hobbit. As we look forward seeing these events unfold before our eyes next month, this essay by Tedoras examines Gandalf’s journey into the dark fortress of Dol Guldur, what he found there, and the impact that this event had on the fate of Middle-earth. (more…)

Posted in Books, Characters, Christopher Tolkien, Green Books, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, MGM, Miscellaneous, New Line Cinema, Other Tolkien books, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Tolkien, Warner Bros.

The Somme and the ‘animal horror’ that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien

Tolkien_2692769b J.R.R. Tolkien, one of the world’s most celebrated fantasy writers, was inspired by time spent on the bloodsoaked battlefield. John Garth, author of Tolkien and the Great War reports.


A world away from subtle, magnificent Smaug of The Hobbit, Tolkien’s first dragons are surreal hybrids of beast and machine. They lumber against the elf-city of Gondolin, spouting fire and clanking, with orctroops hidden inside. (more…)

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

Was the Elvenking of The Hobbit supposed to be Thingol?

Thranduil Anyone who’s read both The Silmarillion and The Hobbit will have noted the strong similarities between the Elvenking of Mirkwood and Thingol Greycloak. In this article, Tolkien scholar Michael Martinez examines whether, at the time Tolkien was writing The Hobbit, the Elvenking was intended to be Thingol himself.


John Rateliff addressed this question in The History of The Hobbit without really closing the issue, although he favors the view (based on the available evidence) that the Elvenking of The Hobbit (whom we learn is named Thranduil in The Lord of the Rings) is NOT to be equated with King Thingol in The Silmarillion. (more…)

Posted in Characters, Christopher Tolkien, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, Tolkien

Tolkien and the boy who didn’t believe in fairies

Robert Quilter Gilson (left) and Tolkien in 1910 or 1911.

Robert Quilter Gilson (left) and Tolkien in 1910 or 1911. Photo courtesy of Julia Margretts.

John Garth, writer, researcher and author of Tolkien and the Great War recently published online for the first time — with previously unseen photographs — a paper first published in Tolkien Studies 7 in 2010 (Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review is an annual journal of scholarship on J.R.R. Tolkien and his works).

Garth introduces the feature as follows: A salutary lesson in his youth taught Tolkien that fairy-stories are not only or mainly for children. Here I uncover the who, the where and the when. (more…)

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

Jemima Catlin, the newest illustrator of The Hobbit

This is an illustrated tale of the untried university graduate who brought new life to JRR Tolkien’s previous creations. Here lies a tale about a young rookie who was plucked from the wilderness to deliver an almighty task despite lacking in heavyweight stature.

Art student Jemima Catlin, an avid JRR Tolkien obsessive, was just 23 when her work fell into the lap of literary giants Harper Collins – and little did she know that she would go on to illustrate none other than her beloved epic, The Hobbit. (more…)

Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate

Tolkien’s unfinished epic: The Fall of Arthur

fall of arthur Yours truly has been ever-so-slowly getting through the newest Tolkien book The Fall of Arthur for the last month-and-a-half with a hope of at some point stringing together a few poor words on the subject.

I’ve also been reading other what others have had to say in the media. This piece, by Tolkien scholar John Garth, is a good place to start if you’re interested.


Early in The Fall of Arthur, long awaited by fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and now edited for publication by his son Christopher, an army rides to Mirkwood where they see in a storm above it, Ringwraith-like:

wan horsemen     wild in windy clouds
grey and monstrous     grimly riding
shadow-helmed to war,     shapes disastrous.

But this isn’t Middle-earth: it is Europe on the brink of the Dark Ages, and the army is led by Arthur and Gawain. Mirkwood is simply the old name for Germany’s eastern forests, which Tolkien borrowed for the children’s story he was writing in the same period in the early 1930s, The Hobbit.

Tolkien was a writer of endless stories. And as with most of them, The Fall of Arthur is literally endless: unfinished. It’s been lying among his vast legacy of papers, almost unknown but for a paragraph in Humphrey Carpenter’s 1976 biography and a single reference in Tolkien’s published letters. Publication follows that of the more difficult The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún in 2009, which Christopher Tolkien probably elected to publish first because it was complete. Like Sigurd and Gudrún, The Fall of Arthur is in alliterative verse, a mode last fashionable in the 14th century.

[Read More]

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

TORn Light the Beacons auction: No Admittance Bookends, Gollum Sideshow bust and the Book of Lost Tales Vol II!

As you know, over the next couple of weeks or so TORn is conducting a pledge drive to raise funds and keep our servers running. But, as you might know, we also have some very exciting auctions going on over at ebay.

We have some fabulous, exclusive pieces up for grabs – including some things which, usually, money can’t buy! Here’s just three that might tickle your fancy: (more…)

Posted in Books, Books Publications, Christopher Tolkien, Collectibles, Headlines, Merchandise, Sideshow Collectibles, TheOneRing.net Announcements

TORn Light the Beacons auction: People’s Guide to JRR, Children of Hurin signed by Chris Tolkien and Frodo goblet!

As you know, over the next couple of weeks or so TORn is conducting a pledge drive to raise funds and keep our servers running. But, as you might know, we also have some very exciting auctions going on over at ebay.

We have some fabulous, exclusive pieces up for grabs – including some things which, usually, money can’t buy! Here’s just three that might tickle your fancy: (more…)

Posted in Books, Books Publications, Christopher Tolkien, Collectibles, Headlines, Merchandise, Sideshow Collectibles, TheOneRing.net Announcements

TORn Light the Beacons auction: Happy Hobbit guest slot, Children of Hurin hardcover and Bag End bookends!

As you know, over the next couple of weeks or so TORn is conducting a pledge drive to raise funds and keep our servers running. But, as you might know, we also have some very exciting auctions going on over at ebay.

We have some fabulous, exclusive pieces up for grabs – including some things which, usually, money can’t buy! Here’s just three that might tickle your fancy: (more…)

Posted in Books, Books Publications, Christopher Tolkien, Collectibles, Headlines, Merchandise, Sideshow Collectibles, TheOneRing.net Announcements

Tom Shippey talks Tolkien and Norse myth

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún In my internet wanderings, I sometime stumble on cool Tolkien things. Not necessarily news, but interesting — like this transcript of a live chat with renowned Tolkien scholar Professor Tom Shippey (author of the acclaimed J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century) over on Tolkien Library to celebrate the release of The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun back in 2009.

Yes, we can all agree that’s fairly old.

However, if you’re interested in Norse myth, Shippey’s thoughts on Tolkien’s parallels with other early fantasists such as William Morris, Lord Dunsany and E.R. Eddison, as well as what he thought of meeting Tolkien himself, then you’ll find (like I did) this a worthwhile read. (more…)

Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Languages, Other Tolkien books, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, Tolkien