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

New Tolkien Book: The Story of Kullervo UPDATED


Available for pre-order now is allegedly one of Tolkien’s darkest stories, which (if any of you are familiar with my books) has me all kinds of excited.

Here’s the official press release we have received:


The world first publication of a previously unknown work of fantasy by J.R.R. Tolkien, which tells the powerful story of a doomed young man who is sold into slavery and who swears revenge on the magician who killed his father.

  • • The Story of Kullervo is the first piece of prose fiction that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote
  • • This is its first appearance in book form
  • • 2015 is the centenary of its creation
  • • Illustrated on the cover by one of Tolkien’s own paintings


Kullervo son of Kalervo is perhaps the darkest and most tragic of all J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters. ‘Hapless Kullervo’, as Tolkien called him, is a luckless orphan boy with supernatural powers and a tragic destiny.

Brought up in the homestead of the dark magician Untamo, who killed his father, kidnapped his mother, and who tries three times to kill him when still a boy, Kullervo is alone save for the love of his twin sister, Wanona, and guarded by the magical powers of the black dog, Musti. When Kullervo is sold into slavery he swears revenge on the magician, but he will learn that even at the point of vengeance there is no escape from the cruellest of fates.

Tolkien himself said that The Story of Kullervo was ‘the germ of my attempt to write legends of my own’, and was ‘a major matter in the legends of the First Age’. Tolkien’s Kullervo is the clear ancestor of Túrin Turambar, tragic incestuous hero of The Silmarillion. In addition to it being a powerful story in its own right, The Story of Kullervo – published here for the first time with the author’s drafts, notes and lecture-essays on its source-work, The Kalevala – is a foundation stone in the structure of Tolkien’s invented world.


The book will be released in the UK on the 27th of August 2015 and is scheduled for release in April 2016 in the US.

[Read More]

While I doubt the rights will be released any time soon, this sounds like an edge-of your seat read that would make a fantastic film. With stories like this kicking around in his desk drawers (or wherever the Professor kept them!), one has to wonder what would be his chosen medium if alive and publishing today. Would he be like J.K. Rowling and write not only novels, but for the stage, and the screen as he expanded his magical world? Or do you think he would’ve just stuck to books? Before you go into a lecture about Jackson’s films “ruining everything,” remember that Tolkien willingly sold the rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, knowing full well their stories would be told on the big screen with all kinds of changes to match the cinematic storytelling medium.

Posted in Books Publications, Headlines, J.R.R. Tolkien, Announcements, Tolkien

Crowd funded Minas Tirith pricetag: £1.8 billion

Minas TirithA group, that displays one man with 500+ Facebook friends, has started a GoFundMe page to build a 1 to 1 scale replica “of Peter Jackson’s depiction of Minas Tirith, as seen in his Lord of the Rings films.”

For American readers, if my pounds to dollars calculator is working right, that is about $2.8 billion, an ambitious amount to raise on IndieGoGo, or really any crowd funding site, or really, by any method. Still, the project would be a dream to visit and would create an economy all its own and would provide years of good media material as the world watched its progress.

“We aim to create both residential and commercial properties, allowing for sustainable growth and a high quality of life,” Jonathan Wilson says on his intro page. He also breaks down the cost, a little bit, to say, “The vast majority of this expense will cover building costs – £15m for land, £188m for labour and £1.4bn for material.”

He hopes to raise £1.8 billion. (more…)

Posted in Fans, J.R.R. Tolkien, Locations Sets, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, New Zealand, Studios, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, WETA Workshop

Tolkien’s Beowulf translation now in paperback – enter to WIN!

Beowulf Online GiveawayOur good friends at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt this week released Tolkien’s wonderful translation of Beowulf in paperback – and to celebrate, they are offering YOU a chance to win a copy of the paperback, as well as a poster of the beautiful cover art (drawn by Tolkien himself).

To enter, all you have to do is click here and complete the entry form. The contest winner will be selected on August 18th – so don’t delay! (Alas, this US based competition is only open to those who are over 18 and who have a valid US address – sorry!)

If you didn’t grab a copy of Beowulf in hardback, now is your chance to own this fabulous translation by the Professor.  You can read TORn staffers’ reviews of this edition here and here; suffice to say, it’s well worth adding to your library. Snap up a copy or try your luck to win the poster as well!

[Click here to enter the HMH giveaway]


Posted in Books, Books Publications, J.R.R. Tolkien, Merchandise, Other Tolkien books, Posters Prints, Shop, Tolkien

TORn’s SDCC 2015 wrap us

1 Middle-earth cosplay SDCC2015San Diego Comic Con 2015 is now in the books, let’s do a little recap for any all things related to Tolkien fandom and TORn. The TORn panel, titled “What’s next for Tolkien Fans?” was on Friday afternoon, and directly after the panel we had our annual Tolkien themed Cosplay photo Op, as seen in the first photo.

The panel itself began at 4pm, but without the snazzy little visual presentation we normally have. The laptop that the presentation was on, and had been operating just 2 hours earlier, decided it was taking the afternoon off. Apparently it helped the panel move along at a quicker pace, leaving plenty of room for questions at the end. So, what was discussed in the panel, what IS next for Tolkien fans? (more…)

Posted in Baggins Birthday Bash, ComicCon, Conventions, Elijah Wood, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Happy Hobbit, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit Movie Rumors, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jewelry, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Events, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Richard Armitage, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Two Towers, Tolkien, Tolkien Reading Day, Tolkien Toast, TORn Book Club, TORn TUESDAYS Live!, Weta Collectibles, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop

Modern Hobbit village being built in Turkey

turkish hobbit holeIn Paşabahçe Picnic Area in eastern Turkey there is a hole in the ground – two so far to be exact. Inspired by the homes inhabited by Hobbits in J.R.R. Tolkien’s books and Peter Jackson’s movies, two small homes have been built into the side of a hill overlooking a valley. Each 65 square meter house (about 700 square feet) has a kitchen, bathroom, toilet and bedroom. The plan is to rent them out fully furnished as part of a hotel complex.

“We planned the project as an apart-hotel. People will be able to book a house for 10 days.” said Mayor Sami Aydin. “I’m baffled at the demand. I was expecting some attention but not this much.” 50 to 60 houses are currently planned, including one that looks more like the familiar hobbit holes in the movies. The hope is to increase interest in tourism both in the Sivas Province and in Turkey. Check out the original story on in Turkish and in English.

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

An essay: The Silmarillion as a trilogy

The SilmarillionOur friend C.E. High recently sent us an interesting take on making The Silmarillion into a trilogy of movies. While the odds of that happening are almost nil, it’s still fun to think about how it could be done. Which stories would make the best cinematic exposé in terms of both content and characters?  What would have to be cut to keep the storyline cohesive? Have a look at C.E.’s essay, then let us know what your Silmarillion trilogy would look like!

The Silmarillion as a Movie Trilogy – by C.E. High

It’s an idea that has been capturing the minds of fans since the days of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and probably before that too; will Peter Jackson or anyone make The Silmarillion into a motion picture? After the success of The Lord of the Rings franchise, the natural question was “When will he make The Hobbit?” Ten years, eleven Oscars and a few green light hitches later, we have just been treated to the second Middle-earth film trilogy. Old fans are loving the opportunity to delve back into the world of Tolkien again, new fans are discovering it for the first time and at the end of it all, naturally (and hopefully), we still  want more. Eyes have already been looking toward The Silmarillion – Tolkien’s posthumously released life’s work telling the story of the First and Second Ages of the world, the awakening of the Elves, Dwarves, and Humans, and the events that ultimately create the world that we know from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.


Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Other Tolkien books, Peter Jackson, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, Tolkien

San Diego Comic con is coming and TORn will be there


San Diego Comic Con

Edited to Add and update details: 

What’s Next for Tolkien Fans
From cast and crew interviews to having a staffer assigned as an embedded reporter on set, has had a front row seat these past 16 years as Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth films were created. Now that all the films have been released, the only thing remaining for fans is the extended edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies and rumors of possible Tolkien biopics on the horizon. Join staffers Cathy Udovch (special events coordinator), Clifford Broadway (TORn tuesday), Josh Rubinstein (TORn bookclub), Kellie Rice (Happy Hobbit), and Larry Curtis (senior staff writer) for an in-depth discussion full of expert analysis, behind-the-scenes stories and audience participation with the website forged by and for fans of J. R. R. Tolkien.
Friday July 10, 2015 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Room 25ABC

The 2015 edition of San Diego Comic Con is coming up in just 3 short weeks, and will be there. We will not have a booth this year, but we will be hosting a panel on Friday afternoon, July 10, called “What’s next for Tolkien Fans”. We just can’t give any further details until the official schedule is posted next week. Please do plan to wear your Tolkien finery on Friday if you are able. That means costumes, TORn shirts, whatever you have that shows your affinity for all things Middle-earth. Since this may well be TORn’s final big appearance at SDCC (we won’t know until next year if they will invite us back), so let’s go out in style. There will be a mass photo of fans in TORn shirts or other Tolkien themed tees, Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and other denizens of Middle-earth, directly after the panel out on the front steps between Ballroom 20 and the Sails Pavillion. You will have to take the escalators to the ground floor in order to exit to get to the front steps, but this will allow any non-ticket holders to participate. So do plan to represent Middle-earth and we’ll see you on Friday, July 10, Costumes or geeky shirts are equally welcome, this photo event will take place between 5:15pm and 5:30pm.

GCC-LogoThere will also be a TORn Moot that Friday evening, but instead of the Laketown Luau we had last year, which forced us to charge money to attend, we decided to go a little more casual. So, without further ado, all Tolkien fans attending SDCC and those locals that are not attending are invited to an ‘Ice Cream Social’ at the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop in the Gaslamp District, located at 643 5th ave. We’ll begin at 7:30pm, giving everyone time to make it into the Gaslamp District after the hall closes, and run till 10pm.You can RSVP at our Facebook Event page for “We’re Taking the Hobbits to IceCreamGard”


Now here’s the rub, Ghirardelli does not take reservations, so everyone will just have to show up, grab whatever chair or table is available, and eat their yummy goodness. We may end up scattered about the place, but that’s OK, we are all Tolkien fans and we can socialize with the best of them. The shop is always rather popular and busy, the turn over is pretty quick, so just show up and have some fun with your fellow Tolkien fans, and there may even be a few prizes to win.

Posted in Clothing, Clothing, ComicCon, Conventions, Costuming, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Events, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Two Towers, Community, Tolkien

GreenBooks Redux: Justice, Mercy and Redemption

GreenBooks LogoIf you’ve been around for a while… correction: if you’ve been around 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.

The one I selected for this week is titled: “Justice, Mercy and Redemption” by staff member, and co-author of’s books: “The People’s Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien,” and “More People’s Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien,” Anwyn. Also, if you’d like to take a peek, the old GreenBooks section is here. If you find something of interest that you’d like to discuss in this weekly feature, shoot me an email at and I’ll put it towards the top of the queue.



Posted in Books Publications, Collectibles, Creations, Fans, Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Original TORn, Community, Tolkien

First edition of The Hobbit sells at auction for £137,000

hobbit1rstIf 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

Posted in Collectibles, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, Tolkien

Why is The Lord of the Rings a Classic?

LordoftheRings001Discussion Forum member Ethel Duath recently posted a link to an article on 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 article here.

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

Tolkien letter worth $8,000 to $12,000 says Antiques Roadshow expert

tolkien_letter_close4Are 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 to read more.

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

Will you be at San Diego Comic con? Do you want go to a TORn party?

Lake-town LuauTORn 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.


Posted in ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, The Two Towers, Tolkien