Note: My apologies for posting this late on TORn! Sometimes real life gets in the way of being a volunteer at TheOneRing. If you would like to make sure you get our videos and posts as soon as they’re up, please like our Facebook page and subscribe on YouTube. Hannon le! ~Kili
If you’ve been around TheOneRing.net for a while… correction: if you’ve been around TheOneRing.net for a really, really long time, you might remember the section of our site called GreenBooks. GreenBooks’ tag-line was: Exploring the Words and Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, and that’s exactly what our staff and guest contributors did there for many years. Sections included Quickbeam’s Out on a Limb, Turgon’s Bookshelf, Anwyn’s Counterpoint, and others, and explored topics on everything Tolkien with some movie and Peter Jackson articles thrown in for good measure.
Unfortunately, the old TORn site crashed early in 2007, which turned out to be a good thing as it forced us into the 21st century, adopting a new format that allows our readers to comment directly to articles (what a concept). However, GreenBooks became relegated to our old archived site, and the cobwebs grew thick there. Some of us oldies who know the right paths to take, still delight in poking around the old place every now and then, and while doing so recently it occurred to me that there’s no reason to leave such literary gems languishing in the cobwebs. So, once a week or so, I thought I’d dust one off and re-post it.
If you happened to have some spare pocket change at a recent Sotheby’s auction, you could have picked up a first edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit for a mere £ 137,000, or the equivalent of about $214, 370 U.S. dollars at today’s exchange rate. This first edition, which more than doubled the record for sales of The Hobbit book, was a very special one indeed: it included an inscription by the author in Old English to a former student, Katherine Kilbride.
“Tolkien inscribed only a “handful” of presentation copies of The Hobbit on its publication, said Sotheby’s, with CS Lewis also a recipient. Kilbride’s includes an inscription by the author in Old English, identified by John D Rateliff, author of The History of The Hobbit, as an extract from Tolkien’s The Lost Road. This time-travel story, in which the world of Númenor and Middle-earth were linked with the legends of many other times and peoples, was abandoned by the author incomplete.”
Read the full story, and see if you can decipher the inscription, at theguardian.com.
Discussion Forum member Ethel Duath recently posted a link to an article on slate.com regarding a simple answer to a simple question: why is The Lord of the Rings considered such a classic? Did I say a simple? Ernest W. Adams, who answered the question on Quora, considered it to be J.R.R. Tolkien’s development of languages and back-story for Middle-earth and each of its races. A great answer! But, is it that simple? No doubt we each have our opinions on the best answer, or answers, to that question. Why do you think The Lord of the Rings is such a classic? Let us know in the article comments and/or weigh in on our poll. While you’re thinking about it, check out Mr. Adams’ reasoning in the slate.com article here.
Are you among the lucky few who possibly wrote to J.R.R. Tolkien when he was alive and received an answer, or somehow otherwise obtained an original letter by him? According to a U.S. Antiques Roadshow appraiser, it could be worth thousands of dollars today. At the Charleston, West Virginia, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW event in 2014, books and manuscripts expert Francis Wahlgren appraised a letter from Tolkien to William B. Ready, Director of libraries at Marquette University in Milwaukee. The owner of the letter inherited it some years ago and had it appraised in 1995 for $700. Wahlgren described Tolkien’s recent growth in popularity and determined that an appropriate auction value for the letter would be from $8,000 to $12,000, with an insurance estimate of $15,000. Visit pbs.org to read more.
When Fili decides to bake a surprise to celebrate the release of Kili’s latest book, her sister catches wind and tries to spy while wearing a certain hoodie…
Kili’s (K.M. Rice) books can be found here, and check out LOTH Hoodies here! Recipe below.
SARUMAN’S SECRET SURPRISE CAKE
For the cake:
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter (plus more to grease with pans with or you can use a baking spray!)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for the pans
1 cup of milk
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or a little more!)
For the frosting:
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped, plus shaved chocolate for topping
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
A small amount of cocoa powder for dusting!
Make the cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Butter two 8-inch-round cake pans and dust with cocoa powder, tapping out the excess.
3. Combine the butter, milk and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
4. Transfer to a large bowl, add the cocoa powder and granulated sugar and whisk until smooth. Let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
5. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
6. Whisk the eggs and vanilla into the cocoa mixture then stir in the flour mixture until just combined (it’s ok if there are a few small lumps in this Saruman pool!).
7. Divide the batter between the prepared pans.
8. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 35 minutes.
9. Let cool 10 or more minutes in the pans then run a knife around the edges and invert onto a rack to cool completely.
Make the frosting:
1. Put the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring, until smooth; let cool.
2. Beat the butter and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Beat in the melted white chocolate until combined. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth and fluffy; beat in the vanilla. (If the frosting is too soft to spread, chill 15 minutes or more! This makes a LOT of frosting so you may not end up using it all!)
4. Place one cake layer on a platter and spread with one-third of the frosting. Top with the second cake layer; cover the whole cake with the remaining frosting.
5. Top with dust of cocoa powder and enjoy a bit of Saruman’s surprise!
TORn is looking to host another Laketown Luau during San Diego Comic Con in July. In fact, we may well make this an annual event so that Tolkien fans can stay connected at one of the biggest Pop Culture events in the world. But we’d like to ask you, the readers, if this is something that would really interest you.
The Laketown Luau is a mashup event with both a Tolkien theme and a Luau theme mixed together, resulting in costumed hula contests, Pin the Black Arrow on the Dragon games and lots of fun and fellowship. The advantage of holding the event during San Diego Comic Con is that Tolkien fans attending the convention from all over the world will be in town that week and can attend. Even better, holding the event off-site means that non-attendee fans from So Cal can also attend the party.
HobbitCon 3 took place just a couple weeks ago in Germany and our friends at Henneth-Annun were on-hand to get the low-down.
They’ve compiled an extensive English-language report on the three-day convention, as well as many quotes from Q&A panels featuring Luke Evans, Graham McTavish, Sylvester McCoy, Lawrence Makaore, John Bell and more.
Don’t forget to click the link at the bottom to read the complete report.
HobbitCon 3: third time’s a charm!
by Peter “TheHutt” Klassen
I do remember the very first HobbitCon. When FedCon GmbH, the organizing company, announced a new convention during the RingCon 2012 dedicated exclusively to “The Hobbit”, with the participation of 11 dwarves from Thorin’s Company (although two of them cancelled later), I didn’t know what to think about it. That was even before the first movie from PJ’s second trilogy was released, and the dwarf actors were only known to us from the director’s video blogs. And in fact, the first HobbitCon proved to be a commercial failure, though it had a very pleasant and homely atmosphere.
Luckily, the organizers didn’t give up, and the second HobbitCon fared much better than the first one. And now, after the third HobbitCon (christened by Mark Ferguson “HobbitCon DREI”, which is German for “three”) has passed, you can really tell that there was barely room to swing a cat. If the first HobbitCon had just 800 visitors during the weekend, the third one had 5500 guests from over 27 countries! The Maritim hotel in Bonn was bursting, and the amount of Fili & Kili cosplay couples was staggering.
Speaking objectively, the HobbitCon is a unique event in the whole world. International conventions usually work with several mixed genres, there are many different fandoms present at a convention, with each fandom represented by just one or two actors. These are giant commercial vehicles, with an airplane hangar-like atmosphere. The HobbitCon is very different. You do not need to stay in a line overnight to get into a Q&A panel hall. You can be partying in a bar and suddenly find yourself on the dance floor together with Graham McTavish, Jed Brophy or even Luke Evans. Of course it is not for free – but still, three days of positive emotions, homely atmosphere and the feeling that the movie actors have become your friends, are worth it.
This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law.