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Archive for the ‘J.R.R. Tolkien’ Category

Queensland Tolkien Fans are celebrating International Tolkien Reading Day

TolkienReadingDayBrisbane Tolkien Fellowship are celebrating Tolkien Reading Day on the weekend of 19-20 March this year.  The theme for Tolkien Reading Day 2016 is Life, Death, and Immortality in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. So if you’re in the Brisbane area or are visiting Queensland during March why not drop by and join in the fun.

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Posted in Events, Fans, Headlines, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lectures & Education, Meet Ups, Tolkien, Tolkien Reading Day

Tolkien signature to be auctioned in Poole next week

JRR Tolkien Collectors of Tolkien memorabilia may be interested in a signature of JRR Tolkien (accompanied by a letter from his secretary JM Tolhurst) that will go to auction next week in Poole in the UK.

According to the auctioneers, Cottees, Tolkien inscribed the autograph for a Mrs Gould in March 1971. Mrs Gould then worked for the Department of Health and Social Security in the Pensions Department and met Tolkien on several occasions to assist with problems with his pension.

At the time, Tolkien offered her some signed books but her contract prevented her from accepting ‘gratuities’. Instead he sent the signed slip of paper to her home which she could then attach to one of her own books. (more…)

Posted in Collectibles, J.R.R. Tolkien, Merchandise, Tolkien

Bilbo, Gandalf and Frodo are REAL People!

Library of Congress reading-room At least, as far as the Library of Congress is concerned.

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Posted in Characters, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, The Hobbit, Tolkien

What Are “Were-worms” In The Hobbit?

Glaurung the dragon, one of the chief weapons Morogth used to defeat the Eldar in Beleriand. Artwork: John Howe.

Glaurung the dragon, one of the chief weapons Morogth used to defeat the Eldar in Beleriand. Artwork: John Howe.

Welcome to our latest Library feature, in which Andrew B shares his theories about the “Were-worms” from The Hobbit.  Personally I’d always envisaged them as lesser flightless dragons of the line of Glaurung and not the escapees from Arrakis that we saw in The Battle of the Five Armies, so I found Andrew’s ideas very interesting  :)

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Posted in Creations, Fans, Green Books, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

The Greyscale

boromirWelcome 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.

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Posted in Characters, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, Headlines, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

One year later, Mike Tolkien’s bucket list lives on

Royd Tolkien and his brother Mike visit Hobbiton.

Royd Tolkien and his brother Mike visit Hobbiton.

As we first reported here in December, after J.R.R. Tolkien’s great grandson Mike lost his battle to Motor Neuron Disease (MDS) almost one year ago, his older brother Royd took up the challenge to complete the bucket list of 50 items his younger brother left to him. A related article by the U.K. Independent paints a rich backstory of two brothers who seemed worlds apart, yet who came together in mutual support at the most difficult of times.

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Posted in J.R.R. Tolkien, Tolkien

Happy Birthday, J.R.R. Tolkien!

J.R.R. Tolkien124 years ago today, on January 3, 1892, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein Africa. Forty-five years later, in 1937, his book The Hobbit, was published which he had written for his children. Together with its sequel, The Lord of the Rings, it launched generations of readers on adventures through the invented world of Middle-earth that would impact many of us for the rest of our lives.

Today, we here at TORn join millions of fans worldwide in celebrating Tolkien’s birthday. On this day, you might read a favorite passage or two from Tolkien’s writings or, like many of our message board members, you might even be in the midst of your annual read-through of The Hobbit and/or The Lord of the Rings.

Many fans will be gathering at local pubs with fellow member of the Tolkien Society to raise a glass to: “The Professor!” If you’d like to learn more about the annual January third tradition, or even find a local gathering near you, visit the Tolkien Society’s Tolkien Birthday Toast 2016 page here.

However you decide to celebrate, join us in wishing a happy birthday to “The Professor,” who’s life’s work has come to mean so much to us. Happy birthday, J.R.R. Tolkien!

Posted in Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Meet Ups, Other Events, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien, Tolkien Toast

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.

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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

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

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

The Art of the Lord of the Rings – NEW Tolkien publication. Enter to WIN!

Giveaway ImageToday sees the release of an exciting new publication from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It’s a beautiful book of Tolkien’s art: The Art of The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien, with text by well-known scholars Wayne G Hammond and Christina Scull.

All of the art in this amazing book is by Tolkien himself, and more than half of it has never been published before. Included are maps, inscriptions, plans and sketches, all printed in colour. Through rough drafts and early ‘jottings’, we see the development of designs such as the inscription on Balin’s tomb, and the wonderful Doors of Durin. It is fascinating to see, for example, an early idea for Dunharrow become a beautiful ‘finished’ illustration – on the back of which, as his ideas changed yet again, Tolkien wrote, ‘no longer fits story’.

There is so much to see and learn in this edition – it is crammed with riches! At the very end of the book, for instance, is an Air Raid Warden’s Report Form, on which Tolkien has sketched some kind of contour. It wasn’t only exam papers which the Professor used for notes and ideas!

This gorgeous publication, filled with details and insights, is a must for any Tolkien collection. It is available for purchase online; but thanks to our friends at HMH, you can WIN a copy! The publishers are giving one lucky winner a copy of the book, and a mug which reads ‘Second Breakfast is the Best Breakfast’. Just click here to enter.

(Sorry, everyone outside the US – this competition is for US mailing addresses only. You must be 18 or older to enter.)

Click here to enter to win The Art of the Lord of the Rings.

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

 

Posted in Artwork, Books, Books Publications, Headlines, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Merchandise, Other Tolkien books, Shop, Tolkien

Tolkien’s Hidden Realms and their Meaning: Part One

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.

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