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

A list of the landmark novels in the history of Dark Fantasy

alan_lee_the children of hurin_the fall of nargothrond2 What folks call dark fantasy — that niche within fantasy of bloody tales full of morally grey people, supernatural forces and a distinct lack of happy endings — has become incredibly popular over the last few years.

But who are the progenitors of the dark fantasy movement? What are their key works?

Here’s a thought-provoking list from io9 of some of the landmark titles that have helped define dark fantasy. It contains some interesting entries.

One readers of Tolkien will certainly recognise is The Children of Hurin — a grim read if ever there was one. Beowulf and The Kalavela were also key inspirations for Tolkien. Victorian proto-fantasy author William Morris was too, although Tolkien’s letters cite influence from The House of the Wolflings and The Roots of the Mountains rather than Williams’ archaically-styled magnum opus The Well at the World’s End. (more…)

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

John Garth reviews Tolkien’s Beowulf translation

Beowulf Tolkien scholar John Garth reviews Tolkien’s long-awaited translation of Beowulf (together with the short story Sellic Spell) in The New Statesman.


 

J R R Tolkien’s Beowulf: one man’s passion for the threshold between myth and reality

by John Garth

In his story “Leaf by Niggle”, J R R Tolkien imagines an artist painting a picture he can neither complete nor abandon. “It had begun with a leaf caught in the wind, and it became a tree; and the tree grew, sending out innumerable branches, and thrusting out the most fantastic roots.” In the end the picture is never put on show. (more…)

Posted in Christopher Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien, Other Tolkien books, Tolkien

Gandalf as Tolkien’s Will

hobbit_gandalf In our latest Library feature, Tedoras muses on how we can view Gandalf as the prime extension of the will of J.R.R. Tolkien within The Lord of Rings.


Gandalf as Tolkien’s Will

By Tedoras

“Hobbits really are amazing creatures,” a wise man once remarked. While Gandalf was indeed right about that, it is a rather fatuous comment for such a sage to make. The praises of the halflings are sung perpetually in our fandom, as they rightfully are affirmed by their deeds in the legendarium. But it is certainly time we reexamined our relationship with Gandalf — for here, truly, is an amazing creature.

(more…)

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

The Hobbits that lurk in Alpine villages

Matterhorn reflected in Riffelsee 2 In 1911, when Tolkien was only 19, he travelled with a on a walking tour of the Swiss Alps. It was his first and only experience of truly large mountains, and as he later made clear in several of his letters, the experience inspired the mountain landscapes in his Middle-earth writings.

`Only once before have I seen them from afar in waking life, but I know them and their names, for under them lies Khazad-dûm, the Dwarrowdelf, that is now called the Black Pit, Moria in the Elvish tongue. Yonder stands Barazinbar, the Redhorn, cruel Caradhras; and beyond him are Silvertine and Cloudyhead: Celebdil the White, and Fanuidhol the Grey, that we call Zirak-zigil and Bundushathûr.
Gimli, The Lord of the Rings.

We’ve previously profiled the Swiss Alps around Interlaken on a couple of occasions, however if you missed those posts previously, here’s another nice write-up courtesy of BBC travel.

(more…)

Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Tolkien

Audio of lost Tolkien speech promises new insights into The Lord of the Rings

Tolkien_2692769b An audio recording of J.R.R. Tolkien speaking at a dinner in Rotterdam in 1958 is set to undergo restoration and may offer new insights into The Lord of the Rings. Significantly, for Tolkien scholarship, it includes a previously unpublished poem.

Tolkien’s Dutch publisher and bookseller Voorhoeve en Dietrich hosted the dinner on 28 March, 1958. More than 200 fans gathered to listen Tolkien speak, and someone had the presence of mind to record his speech on reel-to-reel tape.

However the recording was lost for decades until avid Tolkien collector René van Rossenberg (who runs a Tolkien bookstore called TolkienShop) found the tape in a Rotterdam basement in 1993. Van Rossenberg held onto the tape until SF website and publisher Legendarium approached him with an offer to restore the recording.

(more…)

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

The long-awaited Tolkien translation of Beowulf is out now!

Beowulf The long-awaited Tolkien translation of Beowulf is out now. So, if you haven’t pre-ordered, you should be able to wander into your favourite bookstore and grab yourself a copy (or just head to Amazon.

Edited by Christopher Tolkien, Beowulf includes the translation in prose plus an illuminating commentary, based on a series of lectures given by J.R.R. Tolkien at Oxford in the 1930s. (more…)

Posted in Books, Books Publications, Christopher Tolkien, Headlines, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, Tolkien

New Trailer for ‘Shadow of Mordor’ Game (Updated)

ShadowofMordor_FOB_PS4A brand new gameplay video (“Weapons and Runes”) has been released for the upcoming video game “Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor”. The game will be released on October 7 and will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor delivers a dynamic game environment where the player orchestrates their personal plan of vengeance as they bend Mordor to their will. The game begins on the night of Sauron’s return to Mordor, as his Black Captains brutally execute the Rangers of the Black Gate. Players become Talion, a ranger who loses his family and everything he holds dear, only to be returned from death by a mysterious Spirit of vengeance. As Talion’s personal vendetta unfolds, players uncover the mystery of the Spirit that compels him, discover the origin of the Rings of Power and confront the ultimate nemesis.

(more…)

Posted in Gaming, J.R.R. Tolkien, Merchandise, Miscellaneous, Tolkien, Video games

Smaug vs. Godzilla: TORn helps the Wall Street Journal with the showdown

headGodzilla is stomping closer to theaters while Smaug is between the two films featuring the performance of Benedict Cumberbatch, but Wall Street Journal writer Michael Calia asked our own news editor Demosthenes to help out with the showdown between the two pop-culture heavyweights. Its a pretty fun read and Demos certainly did us proud but if Godzilla is King of the Monsters (1956 film) then maybe he should face J.R.R. Tolkien’s greatest dragon Ancalagon The Black. Many readers at the WSJ blog probably haven’t heard of him though, so Smaug is much more fun for the masses. You can read the blow-by-blow right here.

Posted in Benedict Cumberbatch, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien

IGN Video: “Smaug will be a killing machine…”

THE HOBBIT - FAKE BOFA TITLEIGN has posted a video with some interview snippets with WETA Digital Animation Supervisor Dave Clayton. In the minute and a half video, he discusses both Smaug’s impending attack on Laketown, as well as the final film’s massive “Battle of the Five Armies”. Thanks to Huan and Brandon Petkau for telling us about this! (more…)

Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Miscellaneous, Production, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien, WETA Digital

How There and Back Again became The Battle of the Five Armies. And why.

THE HOBBIT - FAKE BOFA TITLEWell, that was a surprise.

Even following our spy report last week that Warner Bros. (via New Line) had registered a new title for its trilogy of Hobbit films, I thought it unlikely they actually would follow through and make a change.

Mostly because There And Back Again seemed too established as a name and it seemed a bit irrational to toss away all that brand recognition.

On the other hand, it’s almost inarguable those two words The Hobbit are the true key that deliver all that goodwill (in an accounting sense) toward the films. And Warner Bros, with nothing more than the announcement of a mid-stream title change, have just scored the film millions of dollars worth of free editorial. That’s gold for any marketer.

(more…)

Posted in Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, MGM, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Tolkien, Warner Bros.

Explore this great interactive map of lost Beleriand

A couple of weeks ago we revealed LOTRProject’s new interactive map of Middle-earth — complete with key dates, events and character movements for events of the Second Age and Third Age.

Now Emil Johannson has reached back into the events of the Elder Days of Middle-earth’s history, creating a similar interactive map that depicts the key events of the elves’ war against Morgoth on a map of Beleriand. (more…)

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

Experiencing the Music of the Ainur

The Silmarillion and the birth of Middle-earth

As soon as you open your copy of The Silmarillion, you are faced with what is perhaps the most difficult chapter in all of the book.

Have you ever tried to image how the scene of the Music of the Ainur and the vision of the world, would unfold?

How is Tolkien’s highly-complex imagination perceived by you?

The following post presents a three-minute video with one fan’s outlook towards the Ainulindalë.

________________________________________________________________________

- Comprehending and Conceptualizing the Ainulindalë in the real world

Ever read Dante Alighieri’s La Vita Nuova?

That passion. That love. All the emotions in just a few cleverly-constructed sentences.

Transform that text into music and you get Patrick Cassidy’s Vide Cor Meum; and you might just start to comprehend what the Music of the Ainur may have sounded like.

No discords of Melkor. At first.

Just all the Ainur signing in unison before the seat of Ilúvatar – the glory, the majesty, love and subtleties of nostalgia.

[Read More]

Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Creations, Fans, J.R.R. Tolkien, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, Tolkien