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

Lord of the Rings vs. Game of Thrones

thelordoftheringstrilogyWith the sixth season of The HBO series Game of Thrones just around the corner, are comparisons between it and The Lord of the Rings inevitable? The Irish Times seems to think so. In this provocative article, author Ed Power explores the irresistible urge of some fans to rank them against each other.

“Central to the whispering campaign against Tolkien is the idea that he peddled a reductive world view. While George RR Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire sequence is regarded as mature, complex and reflective of real human life, Lord of The Rings is felt to be fusty, puritanical and cheesily moralistic. Nobody in Game of Thrones is truly good or bad”

The Lord of the Rings is cheesy and puritanical? Oh dear. Of course, devoted fans of J.R.R. Tolkien would never describe it that way, but devoted fans of George R.R. Martin (who haven’t read LOTR?) might – and some apparently do. Can Jaime Lannister hold a candle to Aragorn, or vice versa? Are Gollum, Eowyn or John Snow one-dimensional?

As a devoted fan of both (yes, it’s quite possible), I personally think that the difference between the two is a good thing. Both approaches can be enormously entertaining, cringe-worthy at times, yet pierce the heart with both beauty and tragedy. What about you? Do you have a preference or do you enjoy both? Read the full article, and let us know!

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

Free tickets available for a FOTR Extended Edition screening in So Cal

NBFF_NazgPeter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” turns 15 years old this year and the Newport Beach Film Festival in Southern California is planning a fun little celebration next week. In fact, I’m quite sure will be celebrating this fact all year long at various events. Anyhow, if the FOTR Anniversary screening goes well, the Festival will host one for The Two Towers next year, and again in 2018 for The Return of the King.

On Sunday, April 24 there will be a full afternoon of Tolkien fun, starting first with a lunchtime Moot at the Corner Bakery Cafe at 1621 W. Sunflower Ave in Santa Ana. This is in a little shopping center across the street from the theater and very near to the South Coast Plaza. There will be some opportunity for fun and games at 2pm over at the theater where we plan on having our Barrel and backdrop for photo ops, some trivia and most importantly, a costume contest. Below is a little timeline to help you organize your day.

*Moot – Noontime till 2pm at the Corner Bakery Cafe
*Line Party fun – 2pm till 3pm – Regency South Coast Village theater
*Film – 3pm start, should finish around 6:30pm or so

LordOfTheRings_FOTRNormally, a retrospective film like this only costs $5 per person and tickets can be purchased at the Film Festival website, but has secured a Barrel full of Tickets to share with local fans, especially those in costume.

All you have to do to secure a pair of tickets is email me at and tell me what costume you plan to wear. It can be a full on fancy costume with prosthetics, or a costume lite variation, or even a mash-up or gender bender, anything even remotely Tolkien related, including Tolkien himself. After all, not only will there will be a costume contest, but really, who needs an excuse like a free ticket or prize to wear a costume, don’t we all live for this?

One note, for those of you with costumes that have weaponry or large accessories, you can wear that for the contest, and then it must be returned to your car before entering the theater for the film.

Costumed attendees, or those with a companion in costume should RSVP to me by Monday at noon. If we still have tickets left after that, I will open it up to those who do not wish to wear a costume. All updates and announcements will be made on our Facebook Event page.

So come join and a load of local Tolkien fans at what should be a lovely day at the theater.

Posted in Contests, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Film Screenings, J.R.R. Tolkien, Line Party, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Tolkien

The Story of Kullervo published in America TODAY

kullervo1Fans in Europe were able to buy The Story of Kullervo last year; the good news is, today the wait is over at last for fans in the US!

Tolkien himself said of this previously unknown work of fantasy that it was “the germ of my attempt to write legends of my own,” and was “a major matter in the legends of the First Age.” Publishers Houghton Mifflin Harcourt tell us:

‘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 tried three times to kill him when he was still a boy, Kullervo is alone save for the love of his twin sister, Wanona, and the magical powers of the black dog Musti, who guards him. 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 cruelest of fates.

Tolkien’s Kullervo was the ancestor of Túrin Turambar, tragic hero of The Silmarillion. Published here for the first time with the author’s drafts, notes, and lecture essays on its source work, the Kalevala, The Story of Kullervo is a foundation stone in the structure of Tolkien’s invented world.’


Posted in Books, Books Publications, Contests, Events, Headlines, J.R.R. Tolkien, Merchandise, Other Tolkien books, Shop, Tolkien

‘J.R.R. Tolkien – Soldier and Myth Maker’ exhibition in the UK

Tolkien-Exhibition-image-for-social-media2The Haywood Society’s touring exhibition, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien – Soldier recruitment and Myth Maker’ launches at the Museum of Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, UK, March 7th to April 24th.

This fascinating exhibition focuses on Tolkien’s time in Staffordshire during the First World War. It will include ‘Original artwork, of domestic scenes and landscapes, which has not returned to Staffordshire since it left with Tolkien in 1918 … [as well as] photographs specially loaned by The Tolkien Estate and Bodleian Library.’

The website ‘The Great War Staffordshire’ tells us:

‘During the Great War Second Lieutenant J. R. R. Tolkien of the Lancashire Fusiliers was stationed in Staffordshire, first at Whittington Heath, near Lichfield, next at a musketry camp at Newcastle-under-Lyme, then at Rugeley and Brocton Camps on Cannock Chase. After his marriage in March 1916 Tolkien’s wife came to live in Great Haywood so that she could be close to him.  Tolkien regularly visited Edith in the village until he was posted to France in June 1916.

staffordshire exhibitionTolkien returned to Great Haywood in early December 1916 to recover from his traumatic experiences at the Somme. He lived with Edith in a cottage there until late February 1917 and during this time created his first mythological stories, in part inspired by Staffordshire landscapes and experiences.

After a brief posting to East Yorkshire, Tolkien returned to Staffordshire in 1918 and lived in a cottage at Gipsy Green, Teddesley Park, near Penkridge, where other important work was undertaken.’

Find out more about the exhibition here. Be sure to let us know if you’re able to go along – we’d love to hear more about the exhibition!



Posted in Events, Exhibits, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Other Tolkien books, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Family

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.


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.


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  :)


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, 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.


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, 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.


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.


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