J.R.R. Tolkien Books and Movies | TheOneRing.net™ | The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion https://www.theonering.net/torwp Forged by and for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien Tue, 20 Oct 2020 10:51:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 21870047 Today in Middle-earth, October 20 https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/10/20/30306-today-in-middle-earth-october-20/ Tue, 20 Oct 2020 06:00:07 +0000 http://www.theonering.net/torwp/?p=30306

Flight to the FordThe following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on October 20:

  • Bilbo and the Dwarves think of what to do next at the Hidden Door (1341)
  • Escape across the Ford of Bruinen (1418)
  • Gandalf and Elrond perceive the Black Riders at the Ford of Bruinen (1418)
  • Frodo is brought to Rivendell (1418)
  • Return of the King is published (1955)
  • [join us on the Discussion Boards here]
October 20, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Bilbo and the Dwarves think of what to do next at the Hidden Door. (determined from text - referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

"Bilbo found sitting on the doorstep lonesome and wearisome—there was not a doorstep, of course..."

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p. 199 The Hobbit)

October 20, 3018 (S.R. 1418)

1. Escape across the Ford of Bruinen.

(from the appendices)

"'Our peril will be greatest just ere we reach the river,' said Glorfindel; 'for my heart warns me that the pursuit is now swift behind us, and other danger may be waiting by the Ford....'

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p. 383-385 FotR)

2. Gandalf and Elrond perceive the Black Riders at the Ford of Bruinen.

(not from the appendices-no text & text)

"'The river of this valley is under his power, and it will rise in anger when he has great need to bar the Ford."

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p. 296 FotR)

3. Frodo is brought to Rivendell.

(not from the appendices)

"'The Elves brought you from the Ford on the night of the twentieth, and that is where you lost count....'"

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p. 292 FotR)

]]>

Flight to the FordThe following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on October 20:

  • Bilbo and the Dwarves think of what to do next at the Hidden Door (1341)
  • Escape across the Ford of Bruinen (1418)
  • Gandalf and Elrond perceive the Black Riders at the Ford of Bruinen (1418)
  • Frodo is brought to Rivendell (1418)
  • Return of the King is published (1955)
  • [join us on the Discussion Boards here]
October 20, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. Bilbo and the Dwarves think of what to do next at the Hidden Door. (determined from text - referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

"Bilbo found sitting on the doorstep lonesome and wearisome—there was not a doorstep, of course..."

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p. 199 The Hobbit)

October 20, 3018 (S.R. 1418)

1. Escape across the Ford of Bruinen.

(from the appendices)

"'Our peril will be greatest just ere we reach the river,' said Glorfindel; 'for my heart warns me that the pursuit is now swift behind us, and other danger may be waiting by the Ford....'

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p. 383-385 FotR)

2. Gandalf and Elrond perceive the Black Riders at the Ford of Bruinen.

(not from the appendices-no text & text)

"'The river of this valley is under his power, and it will rise in anger when he has great need to bar the Ford."

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p. 296 FotR)

3. Frodo is brought to Rivendell.

(not from the appendices)

"'The Elves brought you from the Ford on the night of the twentieth, and that is where you lost count....'"

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p. 292 FotR)

]]>
30306
Collecting The Precious – Iron Studios Cave Troll Statue https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/10/12/108891-collecting-the-precious-iron-studios-cave-troll-statue/ https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/10/12/108891-collecting-the-precious-iron-studios-cave-troll-statue/#respond Mon, 12 Oct 2020 05:43:23 +0000 https://www.theonering.net/torwp/?p=108891 Cave Troll

During their New York Comic-Con Online, our friends at Sideshow Collectibles debuted a new collectible from Middle-earth. If you've been following the line of collectibles from Iron Studios you would know that they've been creating the Balin's Tomb sequence from The Fellowship of the Ring. We've already got Gimli and Legolas and now, taking this set up to the next level, we've got a Cave Troll! Fans can pre-order it right now for $725 with payment plans available, to add it to their collections next summer when it ships. [gallery type="thumbnails" columns="4" link="file" ids="108892,108893,108894,108895,108896,108897"]]]>
Cave Troll

During their New York Comic-Con Online, our friends at Sideshow Collectibles debuted a new collectible from Middle-earth. If you've been following the line of collectibles from Iron Studios you would know that they've been creating the Balin's Tomb sequence from The Fellowship of the Ring. We've already got Gimli and Legolas and now, taking this set up to the next level, we've got a Cave Troll! Fans can pre-order it right now for $725 with payment plans available, to add it to their collections next summer when it ships. [gallery type="thumbnails" columns="4" link="file" ids="108892,108893,108894,108895,108896,108897"]]]>
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‘Tolkien is barrel-rolling’ – Revisiting ‘MTV Has Landed’ from 2003 https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/10/09/108868-lost-in-translation-chewing-up-tolkien-in-2020-2/ https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/10/09/108868-lost-in-translation-chewing-up-tolkien-in-2020-2/#respond Fri, 09 Oct 2020 11:08:47 +0000 https://www.theonering.net/torwp/?p=108868

We've been digging through the Green Book archives a bit to find relevant articles discussing the 'purity' of Tolkien and his works. We came across this classic from Green Book author, Anwyn, where she addresses the questions that came out of watching the 2003 MTV Movie Awards. If you aren't familiar with it...read on!

The Hobbits Accept 'Best Movie' at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards

I admit it. I'm at a loss for a stunning literary topic, one that will provoke your emotions, stimulate your mind, and offer some insight into Tolkien's life or works. I sat down this evening with my brain half fried, knowing that I had a deadline to meet, and started flipping channels. Lo and behold, what did I pass but the MTV Movie Awards, and hark, who should be sitting behind Kirsten Dunst but the intrepid trio of Sean Astin, Elijah Wood, and Billy Boyd? Moreover, what award should they be announcing at that very moment but the award for "Best Movie?" I stayed to watch, having not bothered the first time they ran it.

I admit it. My finger is not on the pulse, as they say, of the pop-culture acclaim the Lord of the Rings movie phenomenon has generated and continues to stoke. I have not followed marketing trends; I couldn't tell my father what TTT had grossed at the box office when he asked. I know, in a general way, that these films are wildly popular beyond the book's fan base, that the movies have started their own fire that, due to the modern climate, burns higher than the literary one created when Tolkien was still living. What I don't know is whether or not that's a good thing. 

The intro was cute. Keanu Reeves was charming. And the winner is … The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Elijah, Billy and Sean, looking MTV cool in untucked, unbuttoned shirts, bounded up on stage, where Sean apologized for Gollum's previous tirade. "That dude is out of control!" 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdebYE103sA

I admit it. I didn't watch TORn's clip of Gollum's "acceptance speech." I read a transcript and was horrified enough that I had no desire to watch it. Why? you ask. It was funny! you say. Perhaps. But the issue, in my mind, was not whether or not it was funny, but the fact that Tolkien is barrel-rolling in his grave at having one of his characters co-opted into speaking such filth. Puritan, you remark. Perhaps. "Purist" would be closer to the mark, I think. The hallmark of Tolkien's work is the very purity of his language, and to find the most vile of modern insults coming out of the mouth of a digitally created Gollum disgusted me and, I think, would have appalled and disgusted Tolkien. 

The boyishly handsome trio accepted the award on behalf of the production and left the stage. I came to my computer wondering. This new popularity: good or bad? 

There is no need to speculate about what Tolkien himself would have thought. Though the popularity of his books, in his day, was smaller in scope and lesser in frantic, frenzied intensity than that we are observing now in response to the movies, he still had to fend off a wave of targeted questioning and obsession with minutiae, causing him to make remarks about his "deplorable cultus" and the dangers of becoming involved in the stories "in a way I'm not." That tendency is more alive and well than ever today, thanks partly to the very wonderful establishment with which I am connected and others like it on the internet. "Fan fiction," which I assume to have existed before the web but which certainly has suffered an unbelievable popularity explosion since, with access to an immediate and free forum, proves this in and of itself, as do the myriad questions we get at Green Books every day. 

My colleague Quickbeam and many others have come down to the baseline opinion that if it encourages people to read Tolkien, then the indignities that come with the Hollywood marketing machine are well endured. But arepeople reading Tolkien as a result of all this hype? The evidence that I see is mixed. 

Viggo reads 'The Return of the King'

We get many letters at GB that include notes like "I am now reading the books to my [sons, daughters, nephews, nieces, grandchildren], and they LOVE them. They would never have been interested in them before the movie." That's wonderful, and of course I couldn't be anything but pleased. But we get a greater number of notes, questions for the Q&A, that clearly show that their authors have not read and have no desire to read—only to know more about the world that their current idols [insert Elijah, Orlando, Billy, Dominic, Sean, Sean, or Viggo here] inhabit in these films. "Who is Aragorn and where did he come from?" "Who are Legolas's parents? Does he ever fall in love? Is it true that he dies in the third movie?" and my personal favorite, "Can you give me a complete history of Elrond? Who is he, where did he come from, who are his parents, what is his significance?" Don't tell me that these folks have any intention of reading—this stuff could be readily found if they'd ever even cracked a book. 

So if people are not reading, what's the fuss about? Special effects, swordplay, hot guys, and hot chicks, apparently. Again I hear that scraping, swishing sound … Tolkien is rolling

I am not intending any commentary here on Jackson's films themselves. My opinions on that score are well documented elsewhere. My concern is with the ultramodern hype that has followed. 

I admit it. There's not much reason to care whether or not the marketing machine runs at full efficiency and creates these millions of screaming Orli drones. After all, what does it hurt Tolkien's books or my enjoyment of them? From one perspective, it doesn't hurt one iota. From another perspective, it hurts to see characters that I regarded as the highest of the high, the pinnacle of heroic epic, degenerated into pop-culture icons. And it is not so with some of my other favorites. Anne of Green Gables, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood of Sense and Sensibility, and others have all been brought with sensitivity and grace to the big screen. And sensitivity and grace are not lacking in the majority of Jackson's characterizations, either. So the difference must lie in the public reaction to them and to the supposedly clever accolades, like Gollum's fling at the MTV awards, that follow. 

Forgive me, dear readers, if I am indulging in a ramble without a point. This musing is simply part of a bigger question—how healthy is all this fandom, anyway? "Frenzy and intensity," I said above to describe the modern fanboy and fangirl machines, and it's true. The nearness of people to one another through the media and internet allows them to mass-embrace one concept in a way they never could have done a century ago. Is this healthy for our individual and collective minds and spirits? The screaming, the shoving for a picture or an autograph … I digress. Those are issues connected with all popular Hollywooders, not with Lord of the Rings alone, of course. And I guess that's the crux of the matter—something formerly so exalted in the realm of literature alone has been brought to a level equal to that of the Backstreet Boys or Britney Spears. I guess that's where the real rub lies. Like the rub of a tweed jacket upon the inside of a coffin. Tolkien is rolling.

]]>

We've been digging through the Green Book archives a bit to find relevant articles discussing the 'purity' of Tolkien and his works. We came across this classic from Green Book author, Anwyn, where she addresses the questions that came out of watching the 2003 MTV Movie Awards. If you aren't familiar with it...read on!

The Hobbits Accept 'Best Movie' at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards

I admit it. I'm at a loss for a stunning literary topic, one that will provoke your emotions, stimulate your mind, and offer some insight into Tolkien's life or works. I sat down this evening with my brain half fried, knowing that I had a deadline to meet, and started flipping channels. Lo and behold, what did I pass but the MTV Movie Awards, and hark, who should be sitting behind Kirsten Dunst but the intrepid trio of Sean Astin, Elijah Wood, and Billy Boyd? Moreover, what award should they be announcing at that very moment but the award for "Best Movie?" I stayed to watch, having not bothered the first time they ran it.

I admit it. My finger is not on the pulse, as they say, of the pop-culture acclaim the Lord of the Rings movie phenomenon has generated and continues to stoke. I have not followed marketing trends; I couldn't tell my father what TTT had grossed at the box office when he asked. I know, in a general way, that these films are wildly popular beyond the book's fan base, that the movies have started their own fire that, due to the modern climate, burns higher than the literary one created when Tolkien was still living. What I don't know is whether or not that's a good thing. 

The intro was cute. Keanu Reeves was charming. And the winner is … The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Elijah, Billy and Sean, looking MTV cool in untucked, unbuttoned shirts, bounded up on stage, where Sean apologized for Gollum's previous tirade. "That dude is out of control!" 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdebYE103sA

I admit it. I didn't watch TORn's clip of Gollum's "acceptance speech." I read a transcript and was horrified enough that I had no desire to watch it. Why? you ask. It was funny! you say. Perhaps. But the issue, in my mind, was not whether or not it was funny, but the fact that Tolkien is barrel-rolling in his grave at having one of his characters co-opted into speaking such filth. Puritan, you remark. Perhaps. "Purist" would be closer to the mark, I think. The hallmark of Tolkien's work is the very purity of his language, and to find the most vile of modern insults coming out of the mouth of a digitally created Gollum disgusted me and, I think, would have appalled and disgusted Tolkien. 

The boyishly handsome trio accepted the award on behalf of the production and left the stage. I came to my computer wondering. This new popularity: good or bad? 

There is no need to speculate about what Tolkien himself would have thought. Though the popularity of his books, in his day, was smaller in scope and lesser in frantic, frenzied intensity than that we are observing now in response to the movies, he still had to fend off a wave of targeted questioning and obsession with minutiae, causing him to make remarks about his "deplorable cultus" and the dangers of becoming involved in the stories "in a way I'm not." That tendency is more alive and well than ever today, thanks partly to the very wonderful establishment with which I am connected and others like it on the internet. "Fan fiction," which I assume to have existed before the web but which certainly has suffered an unbelievable popularity explosion since, with access to an immediate and free forum, proves this in and of itself, as do the myriad questions we get at Green Books every day. 

My colleague Quickbeam and many others have come down to the baseline opinion that if it encourages people to read Tolkien, then the indignities that come with the Hollywood marketing machine are well endured. But arepeople reading Tolkien as a result of all this hype? The evidence that I see is mixed. 

Viggo reads 'The Return of the King'

We get many letters at GB that include notes like "I am now reading the books to my [sons, daughters, nephews, nieces, grandchildren], and they LOVE them. They would never have been interested in them before the movie." That's wonderful, and of course I couldn't be anything but pleased. But we get a greater number of notes, questions for the Q&A, that clearly show that their authors have not read and have no desire to read—only to know more about the world that their current idols [insert Elijah, Orlando, Billy, Dominic, Sean, Sean, or Viggo here] inhabit in these films. "Who is Aragorn and where did he come from?" "Who are Legolas's parents? Does he ever fall in love? Is it true that he dies in the third movie?" and my personal favorite, "Can you give me a complete history of Elrond? Who is he, where did he come from, who are his parents, what is his significance?" Don't tell me that these folks have any intention of reading—this stuff could be readily found if they'd ever even cracked a book. 

So if people are not reading, what's the fuss about? Special effects, swordplay, hot guys, and hot chicks, apparently. Again I hear that scraping, swishing sound … Tolkien is rolling

I am not intending any commentary here on Jackson's films themselves. My opinions on that score are well documented elsewhere. My concern is with the ultramodern hype that has followed. 

I admit it. There's not much reason to care whether or not the marketing machine runs at full efficiency and creates these millions of screaming Orli drones. After all, what does it hurt Tolkien's books or my enjoyment of them? From one perspective, it doesn't hurt one iota. From another perspective, it hurts to see characters that I regarded as the highest of the high, the pinnacle of heroic epic, degenerated into pop-culture icons. And it is not so with some of my other favorites. Anne of Green Gables, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood of Sense and Sensibility, and others have all been brought with sensitivity and grace to the big screen. And sensitivity and grace are not lacking in the majority of Jackson's characterizations, either. So the difference must lie in the public reaction to them and to the supposedly clever accolades, like Gollum's fling at the MTV awards, that follow. 

Forgive me, dear readers, if I am indulging in a ramble without a point. This musing is simply part of a bigger question—how healthy is all this fandom, anyway? "Frenzy and intensity," I said above to describe the modern fanboy and fangirl machines, and it's true. The nearness of people to one another through the media and internet allows them to mass-embrace one concept in a way they never could have done a century ago. Is this healthy for our individual and collective minds and spirits? The screaming, the shoving for a picture or an autograph … I digress. Those are issues connected with all popular Hollywooders, not with Lord of the Rings alone, of course. And I guess that's the crux of the matter—something formerly so exalted in the realm of literature alone has been brought to a level equal to that of the Backstreet Boys or Britney Spears. I guess that's where the real rub lies. Like the rub of a tweed jacket upon the inside of a coffin. Tolkien is rolling.

]]>
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Lost in Translation – Chewing up Tolkien in 2020 https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/10/08/108857-lost-in-translation-chewing-up-tolkien-in-2020/ https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/10/08/108857-lost-in-translation-chewing-up-tolkien-in-2020/#respond Thu, 08 Oct 2020 11:16:42 +0000 https://www.theonering.net/torwp/?p=108857

Speaking of translating Tolkien's world to TV and cinema, we dug into our archives to find a rather relevant masterpiece from Green Books staffer Ostadan - originally posted November 4th, 2004. Enjoy!

Golden copy of the “Universal Gateway”, Chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra kept in Taiwan National Palace Museum. One of the many excellent works of Kumarajiva

"Translation is like chewing food that is to be fed to others who are unable to chew themselves. As a result, the masticated food is bound to be poorer in taste and flavor than the original." [attributed to Kumarajiva, translator of Buddhist texts into Chinese. Translated.]

In the article Glossopoeia for Fun and Profit, we saw the Esperanto translation of the Ring inscription:

Unu Ringo ilin regas, Unu ilin prenas,
Unu Ringo en mallumon ilin gvidas kaj katenas.

Let us look at this translation more carefully. If we were to take each word and translate it to English directly, it would read,

One Ring them rules, One them takes,
One Ring into darkness them guides and chains.

The Ring Verse

Esperanto's word order is more liberal than English, especially in verse; a more grammatically correct English translation would be "One Ring rules them, One takes them, One Ring guides them into darkness and chains them." Those familiar with the English text will see many evident differences -- the use of present tense; the reduction of "them all" to simply "them"; the change of "find" to "take", and so on. Why should this be so? The main reason is that Bertil Wennergren, who translated the verse, was attempting to retain not only the sense of the text, but the rhyme scheme and general meter of the original. Esperanto, which uses suffixes as markers for such things as tense and part of speech, has few single-syllable words. In contrast, there is only one word of more than one syllable, "darkness", in the entire English version of the Ring couplet (and few, indeed, in the entire Ring-verse). If any semblence of the poetry of the original is to be retained, then the meaning of the text must be altered somewhat to fit the restrictions imposed by the verse form and the language of translation.

Of course, within the story, the famous couplet is itself only a translation, with a slight change in meter, of the Black Speech found on the Ring:

Ash nazg durbatulūk, ash nazg gimbatul,
Ash nazg thrakatulūk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

Gandalf says that his rendering in the Common Speech is "close enough" to what is said on the Ring. So the question arises: is the Esperanto translation similarly "close enough"? A "purist" might say, no: there are too many details lost or even changed by this translation, and Tolkien's linguistic work has been undermined; someone reading the Esperanto text would come to very different conclusions about the vocabulary and grammar of Black Speech from those reached by English-speaking readers. But someone of a more "revisionist" bent sould say that the Esperanto Ring-inscription tells, probably as well as possible given the constraints of a verse translation in Esperanto, the same story as the original English. After all, it is certainly plausible that Celebrimbor, hearing these words spoken from afar as Sauron first took up the One Ring, would indeed know just how he had been betrayed and what Sauron's true purpose behind the Rings of Power was.

J.R.R. Tolkien

In a real sense, any translated work is a collaborative effort between the original author and the translator, much as a symphonic performance is a collaboration between the composer and the conductor. In a work as complex as The Lord of the Rings, the translator must be aware of the stylistic and linguistic techniques that Tolkien is using, and create them anew in the language of translation. For the result to have any artistry at all, the translator has to be as creative and capable in the language of translation as Tolkien was in his own. The result will not be pure Tolkien; it will be Tolkien as interpreted and re-told by the translator. Arden Smith's irregular column in the journal Vinyar Tengwar, entitled "Transitions in Translations", has documented a wide range of successful and unsuccessful translations. In some, little care is taken in style or nomenclature -- one might be reminded of the infamous Japanese subtitles for the Fellowship of the Ring movie. In others, the translator may go as far as inventing Tengwar and Cirth modes for the language of translation and will re-draw the title page inscription in translation, as well as re-lettering the translation of the West-gate of Moria in the illustration. But in all cases, the result is not, and cannot be, identical to the experience of reading the original English text.

A "purist" might therefore conclude that because a translation necessarily loses some of the nuances and richness of the original, nobody should read Tolkien's work in translation, and that the translators themselves are wasting their time in a futile exercise at best, or a fraudulent representation of their own works as being J.R.R. Tolkien's at worst. To the purist, Tolkien's original work is the only "true" account of events in a world that seems nearly as real as the ancient history of our own world, and deviation from that account seems to be somehow a distortion of a primary truth. But most people would agree that, given a certain minimum quality of translation, the defects inherent in reading a work in translation are outweighed by the availability of the book to people who cannot read it in English and would not be able to experience Middle-earth in any form without the translation, like the unfortunate soul in the quotation from Kumarajiva, who requires someone else to chew their food if they are to avoid starvation. Some of these people may even be motivated by a good translation to search out an English edition and laboriously work through it.

By now, the reader has probably anticipated the author's conclusion from these musings about translation: the art of the filmmaker has much in common with the art of the translator. The requirements of film -- or at least an artistically and commercially successful one -- dictate particular rhythms and modes of expression in the storytelling that the original author contemplated no more than Tolkien considered how the Ring-verse would fit the rhythms of Esperanto or other languages. Even more than a translator, the filmmaker is a collaborator with the author, reinventing and recreating the author's work so that it can be expressed as artistically as possible in the "language of film". The result will not be purely Tolkien's work, and will inevitably lose much of the delicious "flavor" of the original. It may even have serious defects in several particulars; but the real question is whether, like the Ring-verse translation, it tells the same essential story, "close enough". If it does, then it does what any good translation does: it brings a great work to people who otherwise would not read it on their own.

"I cannot read the black and white letters," he said in a quavering voice.

"No," said Jackson, "but I can. The letters are English, of a narrative mode, but the language is that of the Epic Romance, which I will not utter here. But this in the Cinematic Tongue is what is said, close enough…"

(Fade to black. Music up.)

– Ostadan

]]>

Speaking of translating Tolkien's world to TV and cinema, we dug into our archives to find a rather relevant masterpiece from Green Books staffer Ostadan - originally posted November 4th, 2004. Enjoy!

Golden copy of the “Universal Gateway”, Chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra kept in Taiwan National Palace Museum. One of the many excellent works of Kumarajiva

"Translation is like chewing food that is to be fed to others who are unable to chew themselves. As a result, the masticated food is bound to be poorer in taste and flavor than the original." [attributed to Kumarajiva, translator of Buddhist texts into Chinese. Translated.]

In the article Glossopoeia for Fun and Profit, we saw the Esperanto translation of the Ring inscription:

Unu Ringo ilin regas, Unu ilin prenas,
Unu Ringo en mallumon ilin gvidas kaj katenas.

Let us look at this translation more carefully. If we were to take each word and translate it to English directly, it would read,

One Ring them rules, One them takes,
One Ring into darkness them guides and chains.

The Ring Verse

Esperanto's word order is more liberal than English, especially in verse; a more grammatically correct English translation would be "One Ring rules them, One takes them, One Ring guides them into darkness and chains them." Those familiar with the English text will see many evident differences -- the use of present tense; the reduction of "them all" to simply "them"; the change of "find" to "take", and so on. Why should this be so? The main reason is that Bertil Wennergren, who translated the verse, was attempting to retain not only the sense of the text, but the rhyme scheme and general meter of the original. Esperanto, which uses suffixes as markers for such things as tense and part of speech, has few single-syllable words. In contrast, there is only one word of more than one syllable, "darkness", in the entire English version of the Ring couplet (and few, indeed, in the entire Ring-verse). If any semblence of the poetry of the original is to be retained, then the meaning of the text must be altered somewhat to fit the restrictions imposed by the verse form and the language of translation.

Of course, within the story, the famous couplet is itself only a translation, with a slight change in meter, of the Black Speech found on the Ring:

Ash nazg durbatulūk, ash nazg gimbatul,
Ash nazg thrakatulūk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

Gandalf says that his rendering in the Common Speech is "close enough" to what is said on the Ring. So the question arises: is the Esperanto translation similarly "close enough"? A "purist" might say, no: there are too many details lost or even changed by this translation, and Tolkien's linguistic work has been undermined; someone reading the Esperanto text would come to very different conclusions about the vocabulary and grammar of Black Speech from those reached by English-speaking readers. But someone of a more "revisionist" bent sould say that the Esperanto Ring-inscription tells, probably as well as possible given the constraints of a verse translation in Esperanto, the same story as the original English. After all, it is certainly plausible that Celebrimbor, hearing these words spoken from afar as Sauron first took up the One Ring, would indeed know just how he had been betrayed and what Sauron's true purpose behind the Rings of Power was.

J.R.R. Tolkien

In a real sense, any translated work is a collaborative effort between the original author and the translator, much as a symphonic performance is a collaboration between the composer and the conductor. In a work as complex as The Lord of the Rings, the translator must be aware of the stylistic and linguistic techniques that Tolkien is using, and create them anew in the language of translation. For the result to have any artistry at all, the translator has to be as creative and capable in the language of translation as Tolkien was in his own. The result will not be pure Tolkien; it will be Tolkien as interpreted and re-told by the translator. Arden Smith's irregular column in the journal Vinyar Tengwar, entitled "Transitions in Translations", has documented a wide range of successful and unsuccessful translations. In some, little care is taken in style or nomenclature -- one might be reminded of the infamous Japanese subtitles for the Fellowship of the Ring movie. In others, the translator may go as far as inventing Tengwar and Cirth modes for the language of translation and will re-draw the title page inscription in translation, as well as re-lettering the translation of the West-gate of Moria in the illustration. But in all cases, the result is not, and cannot be, identical to the experience of reading the original English text.

A "purist" might therefore conclude that because a translation necessarily loses some of the nuances and richness of the original, nobody should read Tolkien's work in translation, and that the translators themselves are wasting their time in a futile exercise at best, or a fraudulent representation of their own works as being J.R.R. Tolkien's at worst. To the purist, Tolkien's original work is the only "true" account of events in a world that seems nearly as real as the ancient history of our own world, and deviation from that account seems to be somehow a distortion of a primary truth. But most people would agree that, given a certain minimum quality of translation, the defects inherent in reading a work in translation are outweighed by the availability of the book to people who cannot read it in English and would not be able to experience Middle-earth in any form without the translation, like the unfortunate soul in the quotation from Kumarajiva, who requires someone else to chew their food if they are to avoid starvation. Some of these people may even be motivated by a good translation to search out an English edition and laboriously work through it.

By now, the reader has probably anticipated the author's conclusion from these musings about translation: the art of the filmmaker has much in common with the art of the translator. The requirements of film -- or at least an artistically and commercially successful one -- dictate particular rhythms and modes of expression in the storytelling that the original author contemplated no more than Tolkien considered how the Ring-verse would fit the rhythms of Esperanto or other languages. Even more than a translator, the filmmaker is a collaborator with the author, reinventing and recreating the author's work so that it can be expressed as artistically as possible in the "language of film". The result will not be purely Tolkien's work, and will inevitably lose much of the delicious "flavor" of the original. It may even have serious defects in several particulars; but the real question is whether, like the Ring-verse translation, it tells the same essential story, "close enough". If it does, then it does what any good translation does: it brings a great work to people who otherwise would not read it on their own.

"I cannot read the black and white letters," he said in a quavering voice.

"No," said Jackson, "but I can. The letters are English, of a narrative mode, but the language is that of the Epic Romance, which I will not utter here. But this in the Cinematic Tongue is what is said, close enough…"

(Fade to black. Music up.)

– Ostadan

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UHD 4K LOTR and Hobbit Announced! A Special Message from Sean Astin https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/10/07/108839-uhd-4k-lotr-and-hobbit-announced-a-special-message-from-sean-astin/ https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/10/07/108839-uhd-4k-lotr-and-hobbit-announced-a-special-message-from-sean-astin/#respond Wed, 07 Oct 2020 16:00:24 +0000 https://www.theonering.net/torwp/?p=108839

It has long been rumored...and now we can finally confirm! For the first time, Warner Bros. will be releasing 'The Hobbit' Trilogy and 'The Lord of the Rings' Trilogy on 4K UHD on December 1st, 2020. To celebrate, we have a special TheOneRing.net exclusive message to fans from Samwise Gamgee himself, Sean Astin:

https://youtu.be/wKjBbnow43E

But wait...There is more! Directly from our friends at Warner Bros.:

Warner Bros. is also announcing that in the summer of 2021 it will be releasing a 4K ULTIMATE COLLECTORS’ EDITION with theatrical and extended versions of ALL SIX of the remastered films and new bonus content.  Additionally, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first The Lord of the Rings film, a newly remastered Blu-ray trilogy of The Lord of the Rings films will be available in the Fall of 2021, also including the theatrical and extended versions.  

If you are like me, and you may not fully grasp the significance of this news - don't worry, hopefully I can shed some light on the topic. Bottom line - Peter Jackson and the team remastered the entirety of both trilogies (and extended editions), including the special effects, to make these masterpieces of cinema look as amazing and breathtaking on your modern devices as the day we saw them in the theater. And most likely a lot better!.

In the coming days we'll sort through all the various options and places to purchase these editions and provide you with a one stop guide. In the meantime, know that 2020 will be ending on a positive note as we get to enjoy our favorite films all over again!

Here's a high res preview of the box art!

]]>

It has long been rumored...and now we can finally confirm! For the first time, Warner Bros. will be releasing 'The Hobbit' Trilogy and 'The Lord of the Rings' Trilogy on 4K UHD on December 1st, 2020. To celebrate, we have a special TheOneRing.net exclusive message to fans from Samwise Gamgee himself, Sean Astin:

https://youtu.be/wKjBbnow43E

But wait...There is more! Directly from our friends at Warner Bros.:

Warner Bros. is also announcing that in the summer of 2021 it will be releasing a 4K ULTIMATE COLLECTORS’ EDITION with theatrical and extended versions of ALL SIX of the remastered films and new bonus content.  Additionally, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first The Lord of the Rings film, a newly remastered Blu-ray trilogy of The Lord of the Rings films will be available in the Fall of 2021, also including the theatrical and extended versions.  

If you are like me, and you may not fully grasp the significance of this news - don't worry, hopefully I can shed some light on the topic. Bottom line - Peter Jackson and the team remastered the entirety of both trilogies (and extended editions), including the special effects, to make these masterpieces of cinema look as amazing and breathtaking on your modern devices as the day we saw them in the theater. And most likely a lot better!.

In the coming days we'll sort through all the various options and places to purchase these editions and provide you with a one stop guide. In the meantime, know that 2020 will be ending on a positive note as we get to enjoy our favorite films all over again!

Here's a high res preview of the box art!

]]>
https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/10/07/108839-uhd-4k-lotr-and-hobbit-announced-a-special-message-from-sean-astin/feed/ 0 108839
Sex & Sensibility: Amazon’s Nude Take On Tolkien https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/10/06/108573-sex-sensibility-amazons-nude-take-on-tolkien/ https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/10/06/108573-sex-sensibility-amazons-nude-take-on-tolkien/#respond Tue, 06 Oct 2020 11:01:15 +0000 https://www.theonering.net/torwp/?p=108573

Amazon Studios' LOTR Series Heads Into Uncharted Carnal Waters with Casting Call for Nudity and an "Intimacy Coordinator"

This might be a singularly surprising or even upsetting concept to present to Tolkien fans. If I were to address this reality to Star Wars, or Harry Potter, or even Miyazaki fandom it could raise eyebrows or outright alarm. But gather 'round the campfire and hear my tremulous words:

"Prepare for a newly-sexualized version of your favorite fantasy world."

It's the equivalent of saying: "Get ready to watch Anakin and Padme do something onscreen that will forever alter the way you see Star Wars. Sorry about the sand. It gets everywhere."

Is this a real lightning rod issue? Depends on your temperament. I have to be really careful about presumed gatekeeping (which is not my intention) or any semblance of that; I just want this discussion WAY out in the open. Let's get to the heart of this, because it is a thing now.

We must clearly ask ourselves what we want and don't want from a billion-dollar Tolkien TV adaptation, because the tracks are laid and that train is headed straight for us, via your streaming device and paid subscription.

It is needful to discuss and understand those qualities of Tolkien's work that are most important to us. Fair to say we have a worldwide multigenerational scholarly and fan community that share some great common denominators of what "fidelity" means in an adaptation of Tolkien. Thankfully we have shared voices; and if we shout from the rooftops collectively Amazon Studios might, perchance, just listen.

Let's tell them what we expect. We are the audience they need to win over, after all.

T/W: By necessity, our topics today include sex organs, bodily functions, sexual abuse and rape in other fantasy TV shows, and coordinating intimacy—so here's the trigger warning ahead of time. New territory for TheOneRing.net, BUT HEY IT'S 2020! Bear with me. We may find an egalitarian way forward in this conversation.

Amazon's Approach: Will There Be Sex On Screen?

Fact check: We can confirm Amazon Studios has hired Jennifer Ward-Lealand, a well-known New Zealand Intimacy Coordinator, for the Lord of the Rings production.

The only Amazon show in NZ is Lord of the Rings, a production so overwhelmingly large that Auckland film unions report that over 80% of all local production crew are working on it, leaving no crew for other TV shows. It should be known that instead of clearly stating to be on LOTR, Ms. Ward-Lealand's official site declares the acronym for "Untitled Amazon Project" / UAP is listed on her upcoming projects, first reported on Knight Edge Media and other sites. We know for sure Amazon's UAP is the catch-all working title for LOTR. Remember how "Jamboree" and "Little Rivers" were the working titles for Peter Jackson's LOTR and Hobbit Trilogies, respectively. But how much nudity is Amazon considering?

Source: BGT Background Casting, Oct 2020

Will There Be Group Nudity?

Fact check: Rumor! An open casting call for background extras "comfortable with nudity" appeared. Just how many naked extras do you need for a classy, romantic love-making scene?

Caleb Williams dug deep while reflecting on some of our earlier reporting on TheOneRing.net of new casting announcements by BGT Casting; stating ‘must be comfortable with nudity’ for upcoming roles in LOTR. Put two and two together: there's an Intimacy Coordinator who serves an important role to ensure the well-being of actors during sex scenes (or with nudity) and then we learn nudity in certain roles is openly asked for.

Will Characters Be 'Sexified' That Weren't In Tolkien’s Books?

Fact Check: Unknown! The precise story they're telling is unknown, as is the time within the 2nd Age wherein it's all set. Don't know what's in the scripts, their content, nor what proper characters are associated with already-established cast members. We do know who plays a handful of the leads (Galadriel, Elrond) with best guesswork. We follow these actors on Instagram but we don't know exactly who this 'Tyra' characters is because Tolkien never named one.

We surely don't know who's involved in scenes of nudity/sexuality. Debate is now open on where that would be necessary in a grand story of Númenor or the Elven-smiths of Eregion, or the welcoming halls of Khazad-dûm in its pre-Balrog glory.

We do know they are using water tanks. A stunt performer was injured filming scenes underwater (and she has thankfully recovered). Possible connection to Númenor being flooded and ruined in a specific catastrophe? Yes, quite possible. Underwater scenes depicting naked people swimming? We just don't know.

How Tolkien Presented Sexualized Content

He simply didn't. Tolkien was super-duper Catholic. In his own words to his publisher he expressed the desire for his overall Legendarium to be presented as "‘high’, purged of the gross." That's from his famous Letter 131. I'll get back to it in a bit. He did not write stories in the manner of George R.R. Martin, although the inverse is often true. The word 'rape' does not appear in The Hobbit, and only once in LOTR: The Return of the King (even then not referencing a person but a geographical place, Gondor: as in 'sack' or 'pillage').

There are a few notable instances of non-sexual nudity mentioned in The Lord of the Rings itself: (a) the hobbits' bath in Crickhollow, (b) the running naked through the grass to clear their hearts and minds after imprisonment by the Barrow Wights, (c) Frodo's rescue by Sam at the Tower of Cirith Ungol. Perhaps there's one I missed.

A few stories from The Silmarillion include incredibly dark things like incest; as with Túrin and Niënor. But that wasn't their fault (poor things) and Amazon Studios does not have the licensing for those particular stories.

That's not what they're currently producing.

Tolkien vs. Other Popular Fantasy

I'm more keen to look at Tolkien's works the way the Professor himself looked at them. He was spiritually and mentally deliberate in everything he did. With his "Sub-Creation" Tolkien meant to celebrate God's main Creation with such language and artistry as he possessed. This Secondary World of Arda was a vessel of joy and a profound expression of faith. If anyone had a "purity" litmus test for this kind of fantasy it was John Ronald himself, as seen in a nearly 10,000-word letter to his publisher Milton Waldman, from late 1951:

Do not laugh! But once upon a time (my crest has long since fallen) I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-story, the larger founded on the lesser in contact with the earth, the lesser drawing splendour from the vast backcloths – which I could dedicate simply to: to England; to my country. It should possess the tone and quality that I desired, somewhat cool and clear, be redolent of our 'air' (the clime and soil of the North West, meaning Britain and the hither parts of Europe: not Italy or the Aegean, still less the East), and, while possessing (if I could achieve it) the fair elusive beauty that some call Celtic (though it is rarely found in genuine ancient Celtic things), it should be 'high', purged of the gross, and fit for the more adult mind of a land long now steeped in poetry. I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama. Absurd.

Excerpt from Letter 131, "The Letters of J.R.R Tolkien" (1981), p. 143

Here he admits his original ambitions may have been overreaching. Generations later we find they were not; as many other minds, artists, and hands have since played within Arda. Amazon Studios is playing in that sandbox right now, as I write this. Broadly speaking, Tolkien's popularity helped launch an entire strata of "High Romantic Fantasy" that changed publishing forever. Previous adaptations of his books to films, plays, games, comics and audio have, by and large, held true to this aesthetic.

Notice how he describes his connected Legendarium with words like "large and cosmogonic," "splendour," "elusive beauty," "majestic," "steeped in poetry," and the most revealing of all: "'high,' purged of the gross."

He never uses words like "scatological," "salacious," "sexually charged," "tumescent," "steeped in carnality," or "debauched." If you are even slightly attuned to Tolkien's stories you know the tone he set. You know the point I'm driving at. I don't even feel like being subtle anymore.

Look... this is Tolkien telling you why none of his characters masturbate or take a pee break behind the bushes. He’s telling you why his characters are never described in acts of copulation or defecation. Yes they certainly did copulate, but none of that needed to appear; violating his deliberate idiomatic approach that served his own noble purpose. Nobody ever said the word fart in Middle-earth, at least not through the voice of our omniscient narrator. Elsewhere he makes clear his reasoning: the heroic and sympathetic characters do not engage in acts causing revulsion. He leaves that to the Orcs, corrupted enemies, demonic monsters, and their poisoned physical environments; and it greatly heightens the sense of revulsion in the reader by such measured and careful use. Tolkien said that the Orcs' language (part of their unique cultural brutalism) was far worse than he let on. SO NOTHING IS GRATUITOUS. Not one word is wasted in its application or import.

Professor Tolkien kept the toilets, orgasms, and such other bodily ephemera offstage the entire time. Invisible. Never even suggested. This is high fantasy, remember, and a special kind too. There's one noticeable exception in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug where Peter Jackson showed Bilbo and the Dwarves climbing into Bard's house through the secret entrance of, yes, the toilet. Thus the word ‘toilet’ entered Middle-earth dialogue for the first time (Tolkien would have disapproved linguistically at the very least because it's so damn French); but to some fans this silly, throwaway gag was a red flag that P.J. had *perhaps* missed some of the marks in his adaptation of The Hobbit (amongst other reasons, looking at you Tauriel/Kili/Legolas triangle) compared to the monumental achievement of his previous Trilogy.

Case in point: even the provocative director of the X-rated film Fritz the Cat, Ralph Bakshi, managed to keep it in his pants. His ambitious yet incomplete 1978 animated Lord of the Rings stays in the right lane, true to its high fantasy trope, even though the film is wildly psychedelic in its visual flair. Such a great contrast to his other fantasies Wizards and Fire & Ice which was R-rated "Adult Swim"-fare arriving decades early! Instinctively and thoughtfully, Bakshi knew that Tolkien's story didn't need all the Tits & Ass that had previously made the animator the darling of 70's arthouse cinema. He kept that out of Middle-earth, indulging it elsewhere more suitably for his other films.

I recall my Dad taking me to the movies see John Boorman's Excalibur when I was just 12. He knew my brother and I were really big on this sword and sorcery thing. Our love of Tolkien was so strong Dad figured the King Arthur legend would be ideal for us but he didn't comprehend what was behind the "R" rating. I remember so clearly the opening scenes of Uther Pendragon's sexual assault against Arthur's mother, arranged by Merlin to conceive the future King. Shocked, my Dad leaned over to check on me—uncertain what to do: "You okay son? This might be too much for you..." I waved him off, "Yeah, I'm fine," while my retinas were seared permanently with the first sexual act I had ever witnessed in my life. It was inscrutable and jarring to a child. Confusing. Dad wasn't prepared to discuss the birds and bees and their biological needs, not by a mile. It didn't overly-phase me, as my young mind was too busy trying to memorize The Charm of Making.

But it would strike me as very odd (and unnecessary) that a future predicament similar to my Father's might befall parents innocently watching "a Tolkien fantasy show." Imagine if suddenly you have to press pause, take the smallest children out of the room, and... "have the talk." Well, you get it.

That was assuredly the moment for me where Tolkien differentiated himself from other fantasy storytellers. Indeed, that distinction was drawn in sharpest relief. Perhaps we are lucky that Mr. Boorman never got to direct LOTR for United Artists (that almost happened for real, but he made Excalibur instead).

"Dawn of the Firstborn Elves" by Ted Nasmith

If you are unfamiliar or never read Tolkien and wanted to get into the fandom, would you want to start with the adaptation that stikes furthest away from Tolkien's literary sensibilities? One which could be deemed too much for a child to watch?

Sure, there's more than enough room for all the “adult content” of darkness and otherworldly terrors from Tolkien's larger span of legends, there is DEFINITELY a place for that! I'm not arguing against any adaptation desirous of that. We can go as far away from the golden-hued fairy story of Bilbo's journey that you want and go right to the 2nd Age of Sauron-inflicted deceits, treachery, and metaphysical corruption.

But why does it need to be prurient?

The horrors brought upon Númenor end up with Satanic style Morgoth-worship and ghoulish human sacrifices. Body horror? Beheadings? Ripping living hearts from a sacrificial victim? Maybe. But there are no brothels mentioned. No Littlefinger. No orgies.

The Hobbit and LOTR stand rather apart from the most insanely disturbing stuff within The Silmarillion (especially) and Unfinished Tales, so yes, it may yet be that someday we will have a separation of what Tolkien shows/movies you watch with your little ones... and those you just don't. And now we realize the time may be upon us sooner than we think.

I'm just a guy who knows what he's getting when he reads Tolkien. I know what I like: the languages, the world-building, the spirit of Arda. There's a gazillion other styles and idioms of modern fantasy where you can get your fix of anything: be they puppets (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance) or video games (hey there Witcher).

Now The Witcher comes to mind as a counterpoint to Game of Thrones in terms of sexual portrayals. GoT portrayed so much of its sex negatively, tied to assault and dehumanizing acts (yeah, yeah there's a wee bit of "romance" in the tub Jaime/Brienne) while in contrast The Witcher is extremely playful and wink-wink (hey, there's a magic spell for your erectile dysfunction, how cute), and the orgy scene shows a woman completely in charge of its illusory energy. Not a victim at all compared to so many other depictions of female characters in fantasy. Yes, there's room for all that sexy "insert tab A into slot B" in modern fantasy, as we have seen, but the end results can be widely divergent.

Y'all ready for this? As I said in the Star Wars example at the top of this piece, Amazon’s series might be an adaptation that forever alters how we see Arda.

What Exactly Do We Want From Amazon's 2nd Age Series?

That's the big kahuna. The ever-burning question. Observe what's happening over there in Amazonland/Auckland. They hired a ton of very talented people but let's focus on a couple of things:

  • Esteemed Tolkien scholar and author Tom Shippey was only brought on board to help with the Map of Middle-earth that launched their Twitter feed a year ago. There has not been any marketing effort since then and he is confirmed to be no longer on the project. It seemed to be only lip-service to the fans, which does NOT work. That kind of subterfuge will NOT work, Amazon. We don't know why his name still appears on the Cast and Crew Listing over on IMDb.
  • John Howe is not currently in New Zealand and does not appear to be working on the production, certainly not in the fullness of his engagement as he was with Alan Lee back in the time of the New Line LOTR Trilogy. He may have provided some work for Amazon’s show but he's seemingly not now.
  • Then there's that one dude that has caused a wee bit of nerves. Bryan Cogman is onboard as a Consulting Producer, after his commanding story work for Benioff and Weiss on HBO's Game of Thrones. Quite capable and mega-geek-centric, Mr. Cogman however was a focal point of some controversy on that production. Ringers have been quite vocal that the kind of "rapey" Sansa Stark storylines (attributed to Mr. Cogman) would NEVER be the kind of thing they'd want to see in Middle-earth, no matter how gritty you want to get.
Never forget that THRONES is the mandate

Grit and realism have their place. Darkness and light are explored in their extremes. No one is shying away from the more "adult" things Tolkien had in his stories or saying they don't exist. The real question is to what extent are they going to "sexify" this show for the sake of getting their next Game of Thrones mega-hit? Just look at this from Variety where Jeff Bezos has mandated a programming shift to get what he wants: another GoT.

AMAZON: So you’re okay with accidental incest, human sacrifice, dismemberment, and sins against Eru?

RINGER FANS: Yes! That’s what Tolkien wrote!

AMAZON: But... you’re not okay with depicting sexualized characters having intercourse?

RINGER FANS: Exactly! That’s what Tolkien wrote!

AMAZON: ......

A predictable future tweet

My personal take: What fans want most from any Tolkien adaptation is verisimilitude. Something that carries the true spirit of Tolkien and has integrity in realizing it. Amazon's showrunners can keep that integrity by staying true to the themes and characters and intent of the author. It is not impossible to guess Tolkien's intentions when they are so plainly available to us, even though he is gone. #FidelitytoTolkien is a hashtag we have endeavored to use. Not perfect, but it's a decent axiom to bear in mind.

Seeing anything remotely sexified between Galadriel and Annatar (oooh, a hot young shirtless Sauron in his seduction mode) or anything else like that is going to turn off fans so fast it will cause seismic waves through a very vocal fandom.

There won't be any coming back from that. 1000's of fans have replied and quote-tweeted this news with a variety of opinions for and against:

https://twitter.com/theoneringnet/status/1309253785584238593

Does the Tolkien Estate Have "Veto Power" Over the Scripts?

Fact check: Unconfirmed! Well, we have been reporting that they do but it is unclear to what extent that power really exists. It is troubling. The Estate’s authority over the show’s content might not be sacrosanct; indeed it may be limited to keeping the structural frame of the narrative within the existing timelines we know are book-canon. They most likely don’t have final script approval (maybe there's an infinitesimal chance they do); but it's more like a general oversight to prevent fundamental alteration to the histories. We have a funny feeling that the two-episode combined pilot they are finishing up will be presented for the Estate's approval. Time will tell.

But in my mind we're better off tackling this as a fandom right now, and tell them what we want and don't want from this Tolkien adaptation. They must listen.

Ringers—I ask you all: Do you want this LOTR to be just a Witcher meets Riverdale series with the branding of Middle-earth slapped on it? Why do I even say that? Because I’m afraid that’s what’s happening. Respected Tolkien twitter scholar The_Tolkienist shared an epic 30-tweet thread on the matter (with plenty of wink wink sarcasm).

https://twitter.com/The_Tolkienist/status/1309572416843272193

Leave your comments on our message boards and social platforms: Twitter, FB, Instagram, knowing that Amazon Studios are definitely listening... and collecting data (!)... and calibrating their next efforts.

Much too hasty,
Clifford "Quickbeam" Broadway

Twitter: Quickbeam2000
Instagram: Quickbeam2000

]]>

Amazon Studios' LOTR Series Heads Into Uncharted Carnal Waters with Casting Call for Nudity and an "Intimacy Coordinator"

This might be a singularly surprising or even upsetting concept to present to Tolkien fans. If I were to address this reality to Star Wars, or Harry Potter, or even Miyazaki fandom it could raise eyebrows or outright alarm. But gather 'round the campfire and hear my tremulous words:

"Prepare for a newly-sexualized version of your favorite fantasy world."

It's the equivalent of saying: "Get ready to watch Anakin and Padme do something onscreen that will forever alter the way you see Star Wars. Sorry about the sand. It gets everywhere."

Is this a real lightning rod issue? Depends on your temperament. I have to be really careful about presumed gatekeeping (which is not my intention) or any semblance of that; I just want this discussion WAY out in the open. Let's get to the heart of this, because it is a thing now.

We must clearly ask ourselves what we want and don't want from a billion-dollar Tolkien TV adaptation, because the tracks are laid and that train is headed straight for us, via your streaming device and paid subscription.

It is needful to discuss and understand those qualities of Tolkien's work that are most important to us. Fair to say we have a worldwide multigenerational scholarly and fan community that share some great common denominators of what "fidelity" means in an adaptation of Tolkien. Thankfully we have shared voices; and if we shout from the rooftops collectively Amazon Studios might, perchance, just listen.

Let's tell them what we expect. We are the audience they need to win over, after all.

T/W: By necessity, our topics today include sex organs, bodily functions, sexual abuse and rape in other fantasy TV shows, and coordinating intimacy—so here's the trigger warning ahead of time. New territory for TheOneRing.net, BUT HEY IT'S 2020! Bear with me. We may find an egalitarian way forward in this conversation.

Amazon's Approach: Will There Be Sex On Screen?

Fact check: We can confirm Amazon Studios has hired Jennifer Ward-Lealand, a well-known New Zealand Intimacy Coordinator, for the Lord of the Rings production.

The only Amazon show in NZ is Lord of the Rings, a production so overwhelmingly large that Auckland film unions report that over 80% of all local production crew are working on it, leaving no crew for other TV shows. It should be known that instead of clearly stating to be on LOTR, Ms. Ward-Lealand's official site declares the acronym for "Untitled Amazon Project" / UAP is listed on her upcoming projects, first reported on Knight Edge Media and other sites. We know for sure Amazon's UAP is the catch-all working title for LOTR. Remember how "Jamboree" and "Little Rivers" were the working titles for Peter Jackson's LOTR and Hobbit Trilogies, respectively. But how much nudity is Amazon considering?

Source: BGT Background Casting, Oct 2020

Will There Be Group Nudity?

Fact check: Rumor! An open casting call for background extras "comfortable with nudity" appeared. Just how many naked extras do you need for a classy, romantic love-making scene?

Caleb Williams dug deep while reflecting on some of our earlier reporting on TheOneRing.net of new casting announcements by BGT Casting; stating ‘must be comfortable with nudity’ for upcoming roles in LOTR. Put two and two together: there's an Intimacy Coordinator who serves an important role to ensure the well-being of actors during sex scenes (or with nudity) and then we learn nudity in certain roles is openly asked for.

Will Characters Be 'Sexified' That Weren't In Tolkien’s Books?

Fact Check: Unknown! The precise story they're telling is unknown, as is the time within the 2nd Age wherein it's all set. Don't know what's in the scripts, their content, nor what proper characters are associated with already-established cast members. We do know who plays a handful of the leads (Galadriel, Elrond) with best guesswork. We follow these actors on Instagram but we don't know exactly who this 'Tyra' characters is because Tolkien never named one.

We surely don't know who's involved in scenes of nudity/sexuality. Debate is now open on where that would be necessary in a grand story of Númenor or the Elven-smiths of Eregion, or the welcoming halls of Khazad-dûm in its pre-Balrog glory.

We do know they are using water tanks. A stunt performer was injured filming scenes underwater (and she has thankfully recovered). Possible connection to Númenor being flooded and ruined in a specific catastrophe? Yes, quite possible. Underwater scenes depicting naked people swimming? We just don't know.

How Tolkien Presented Sexualized Content

He simply didn't. Tolkien was super-duper Catholic. In his own words to his publisher he expressed the desire for his overall Legendarium to be presented as "‘high’, purged of the gross." That's from his famous Letter 131. I'll get back to it in a bit. He did not write stories in the manner of George R.R. Martin, although the inverse is often true. The word 'rape' does not appear in The Hobbit, and only once in LOTR: The Return of the King (even then not referencing a person but a geographical place, Gondor: as in 'sack' or 'pillage').

There are a few notable instances of non-sexual nudity mentioned in The Lord of the Rings itself: (a) the hobbits' bath in Crickhollow, (b) the running naked through the grass to clear their hearts and minds after imprisonment by the Barrow Wights, (c) Frodo's rescue by Sam at the Tower of Cirith Ungol. Perhaps there's one I missed.

A few stories from The Silmarillion include incredibly dark things like incest; as with Túrin and Niënor. But that wasn't their fault (poor things) and Amazon Studios does not have the licensing for those particular stories.

That's not what they're currently producing.

Tolkien vs. Other Popular Fantasy

I'm more keen to look at Tolkien's works the way the Professor himself looked at them. He was spiritually and mentally deliberate in everything he did. With his "Sub-Creation" Tolkien meant to celebrate God's main Creation with such language and artistry as he possessed. This Secondary World of Arda was a vessel of joy and a profound expression of faith. If anyone had a "purity" litmus test for this kind of fantasy it was John Ronald himself, as seen in a nearly 10,000-word letter to his publisher Milton Waldman, from late 1951:

Do not laugh! But once upon a time (my crest has long since fallen) I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-story, the larger founded on the lesser in contact with the earth, the lesser drawing splendour from the vast backcloths – which I could dedicate simply to: to England; to my country. It should possess the tone and quality that I desired, somewhat cool and clear, be redolent of our 'air' (the clime and soil of the North West, meaning Britain and the hither parts of Europe: not Italy or the Aegean, still less the East), and, while possessing (if I could achieve it) the fair elusive beauty that some call Celtic (though it is rarely found in genuine ancient Celtic things), it should be 'high', purged of the gross, and fit for the more adult mind of a land long now steeped in poetry. I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama. Absurd.

Excerpt from Letter 131, "The Letters of J.R.R Tolkien" (1981), p. 143

Here he admits his original ambitions may have been overreaching. Generations later we find they were not; as many other minds, artists, and hands have since played within Arda. Amazon Studios is playing in that sandbox right now, as I write this. Broadly speaking, Tolkien's popularity helped launch an entire strata of "High Romantic Fantasy" that changed publishing forever. Previous adaptations of his books to films, plays, games, comics and audio have, by and large, held true to this aesthetic.

Notice how he describes his connected Legendarium with words like "large and cosmogonic," "splendour," "elusive beauty," "majestic," "steeped in poetry," and the most revealing of all: "'high,' purged of the gross."

He never uses words like "scatological," "salacious," "sexually charged," "tumescent," "steeped in carnality," or "debauched." If you are even slightly attuned to Tolkien's stories you know the tone he set. You know the point I'm driving at. I don't even feel like being subtle anymore.

Look... this is Tolkien telling you why none of his characters masturbate or take a pee break behind the bushes. He’s telling you why his characters are never described in acts of copulation or defecation. Yes they certainly did copulate, but none of that needed to appear; violating his deliberate idiomatic approach that served his own noble purpose. Nobody ever said the word fart in Middle-earth, at least not through the voice of our omniscient narrator. Elsewhere he makes clear his reasoning: the heroic and sympathetic characters do not engage in acts causing revulsion. He leaves that to the Orcs, corrupted enemies, demonic monsters, and their poisoned physical environments; and it greatly heightens the sense of revulsion in the reader by such measured and careful use. Tolkien said that the Orcs' language (part of their unique cultural brutalism) was far worse than he let on. SO NOTHING IS GRATUITOUS. Not one word is wasted in its application or import.

Professor Tolkien kept the toilets, orgasms, and such other bodily ephemera offstage the entire time. Invisible. Never even suggested. This is high fantasy, remember, and a special kind too. There's one noticeable exception in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug where Peter Jackson showed Bilbo and the Dwarves climbing into Bard's house through the secret entrance of, yes, the toilet. Thus the word ‘toilet’ entered Middle-earth dialogue for the first time (Tolkien would have disapproved linguistically at the very least because it's so damn French); but to some fans this silly, throwaway gag was a red flag that P.J. had *perhaps* missed some of the marks in his adaptation of The Hobbit (amongst other reasons, looking at you Tauriel/Kili/Legolas triangle) compared to the monumental achievement of his previous Trilogy.

Case in point: even the provocative director of the X-rated film Fritz the Cat, Ralph Bakshi, managed to keep it in his pants. His ambitious yet incomplete 1978 animated Lord of the Rings stays in the right lane, true to its high fantasy trope, even though the film is wildly psychedelic in its visual flair. Such a great contrast to his other fantasies Wizards and Fire & Ice which was R-rated "Adult Swim"-fare arriving decades early! Instinctively and thoughtfully, Bakshi knew that Tolkien's story didn't need all the Tits & Ass that had previously made the animator the darling of 70's arthouse cinema. He kept that out of Middle-earth, indulging it elsewhere more suitably for his other films.

I recall my Dad taking me to the movies see John Boorman's Excalibur when I was just 12. He knew my brother and I were really big on this sword and sorcery thing. Our love of Tolkien was so strong Dad figured the King Arthur legend would be ideal for us but he didn't comprehend what was behind the "R" rating. I remember so clearly the opening scenes of Uther Pendragon's sexual assault against Arthur's mother, arranged by Merlin to conceive the future King. Shocked, my Dad leaned over to check on me—uncertain what to do: "You okay son? This might be too much for you..." I waved him off, "Yeah, I'm fine," while my retinas were seared permanently with the first sexual act I had ever witnessed in my life. It was inscrutable and jarring to a child. Confusing. Dad wasn't prepared to discuss the birds and bees and their biological needs, not by a mile. It didn't overly-phase me, as my young mind was too busy trying to memorize The Charm of Making.

But it would strike me as very odd (and unnecessary) that a future predicament similar to my Father's might befall parents innocently watching "a Tolkien fantasy show." Imagine if suddenly you have to press pause, take the smallest children out of the room, and... "have the talk." Well, you get it.

That was assuredly the moment for me where Tolkien differentiated himself from other fantasy storytellers. Indeed, that distinction was drawn in sharpest relief. Perhaps we are lucky that Mr. Boorman never got to direct LOTR for United Artists (that almost happened for real, but he made Excalibur instead).

"Dawn of the Firstborn Elves" by Ted Nasmith

If you are unfamiliar or never read Tolkien and wanted to get into the fandom, would you want to start with the adaptation that stikes furthest away from Tolkien's literary sensibilities? One which could be deemed too much for a child to watch?

Sure, there's more than enough room for all the “adult content” of darkness and otherworldly terrors from Tolkien's larger span of legends, there is DEFINITELY a place for that! I'm not arguing against any adaptation desirous of that. We can go as far away from the golden-hued fairy story of Bilbo's journey that you want and go right to the 2nd Age of Sauron-inflicted deceits, treachery, and metaphysical corruption.

But why does it need to be prurient?

The horrors brought upon Númenor end up with Satanic style Morgoth-worship and ghoulish human sacrifices. Body horror? Beheadings? Ripping living hearts from a sacrificial victim? Maybe. But there are no brothels mentioned. No Littlefinger. No orgies.

The Hobbit and LOTR stand rather apart from the most insanely disturbing stuff within The Silmarillion (especially) and Unfinished Tales, so yes, it may yet be that someday we will have a separation of what Tolkien shows/movies you watch with your little ones... and those you just don't. And now we realize the time may be upon us sooner than we think.

I'm just a guy who knows what he's getting when he reads Tolkien. I know what I like: the languages, the world-building, the spirit of Arda. There's a gazillion other styles and idioms of modern fantasy where you can get your fix of anything: be they puppets (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance) or video games (hey there Witcher).

Now The Witcher comes to mind as a counterpoint to Game of Thrones in terms of sexual portrayals. GoT portrayed so much of its sex negatively, tied to assault and dehumanizing acts (yeah, yeah there's a wee bit of "romance" in the tub Jaime/Brienne) while in contrast The Witcher is extremely playful and wink-wink (hey, there's a magic spell for your erectile dysfunction, how cute), and the orgy scene shows a woman completely in charge of its illusory energy. Not a victim at all compared to so many other depictions of female characters in fantasy. Yes, there's room for all that sexy "insert tab A into slot B" in modern fantasy, as we have seen, but the end results can be widely divergent.

Y'all ready for this? As I said in the Star Wars example at the top of this piece, Amazon’s series might be an adaptation that forever alters how we see Arda.

What Exactly Do We Want From Amazon's 2nd Age Series?

That's the big kahuna. The ever-burning question. Observe what's happening over there in Amazonland/Auckland. They hired a ton of very talented people but let's focus on a couple of things:

  • Esteemed Tolkien scholar and author Tom Shippey was only brought on board to help with the Map of Middle-earth that launched their Twitter feed a year ago. There has not been any marketing effort since then and he is confirmed to be no longer on the project. It seemed to be only lip-service to the fans, which does NOT work. That kind of subterfuge will NOT work, Amazon. We don't know why his name still appears on the Cast and Crew Listing over on IMDb.
  • John Howe is not currently in New Zealand and does not appear to be working on the production, certainly not in the fullness of his engagement as he was with Alan Lee back in the time of the New Line LOTR Trilogy. He may have provided some work for Amazon’s show but he's seemingly not now.
  • Then there's that one dude that has caused a wee bit of nerves. Bryan Cogman is onboard as a Consulting Producer, after his commanding story work for Benioff and Weiss on HBO's Game of Thrones. Quite capable and mega-geek-centric, Mr. Cogman however was a focal point of some controversy on that production. Ringers have been quite vocal that the kind of "rapey" Sansa Stark storylines (attributed to Mr. Cogman) would NEVER be the kind of thing they'd want to see in Middle-earth, no matter how gritty you want to get.
Never forget that THRONES is the mandate

Grit and realism have their place. Darkness and light are explored in their extremes. No one is shying away from the more "adult" things Tolkien had in his stories or saying they don't exist. The real question is to what extent are they going to "sexify" this show for the sake of getting their next Game of Thrones mega-hit? Just look at this from Variety where Jeff Bezos has mandated a programming shift to get what he wants: another GoT.

AMAZON: So you’re okay with accidental incest, human sacrifice, dismemberment, and sins against Eru?

RINGER FANS: Yes! That’s what Tolkien wrote!

AMAZON: But... you’re not okay with depicting sexualized characters having intercourse?

RINGER FANS: Exactly! That’s what Tolkien wrote!

AMAZON: ......

A predictable future tweet

My personal take: What fans want most from any Tolkien adaptation is verisimilitude. Something that carries the true spirit of Tolkien and has integrity in realizing it. Amazon's showrunners can keep that integrity by staying true to the themes and characters and intent of the author. It is not impossible to guess Tolkien's intentions when they are so plainly available to us, even though he is gone. #FidelitytoTolkien is a hashtag we have endeavored to use. Not perfect, but it's a decent axiom to bear in mind.

Seeing anything remotely sexified between Galadriel and Annatar (oooh, a hot young shirtless Sauron in his seduction mode) or anything else like that is going to turn off fans so fast it will cause seismic waves through a very vocal fandom.

There won't be any coming back from that. 1000's of fans have replied and quote-tweeted this news with a variety of opinions for and against:

https://twitter.com/theoneringnet/status/1309253785584238593

Does the Tolkien Estate Have "Veto Power" Over the Scripts?

Fact check: Unconfirmed! Well, we have been reporting that they do but it is unclear to what extent that power really exists. It is troubling. The Estate’s authority over the show’s content might not be sacrosanct; indeed it may be limited to keeping the structural frame of the narrative within the existing timelines we know are book-canon. They most likely don’t have final script approval (maybe there's an infinitesimal chance they do); but it's more like a general oversight to prevent fundamental alteration to the histories. We have a funny feeling that the two-episode combined pilot they are finishing up will be presented for the Estate's approval. Time will tell.

But in my mind we're better off tackling this as a fandom right now, and tell them what we want and don't want from this Tolkien adaptation. They must listen.

Ringers—I ask you all: Do you want this LOTR to be just a Witcher meets Riverdale series with the branding of Middle-earth slapped on it? Why do I even say that? Because I’m afraid that’s what’s happening. Respected Tolkien twitter scholar The_Tolkienist shared an epic 30-tweet thread on the matter (with plenty of wink wink sarcasm).

https://twitter.com/The_Tolkienist/status/1309572416843272193

Leave your comments on our message boards and social platforms: Twitter, FB, Instagram, knowing that Amazon Studios are definitely listening... and collecting data (!)... and calibrating their next efforts.

Much too hasty,
Clifford "Quickbeam" Broadway

Twitter: Quickbeam2000
Instagram: Quickbeam2000

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Today in Middle-earth, October 6 https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/10/06/30089-today-in-middle-earth-october-6/ Tue, 06 Oct 2020 06:00:39 +0000 http://www.theonering.net/torwp/?p=30089

Weathertop Nazgul attacks FrodoThe following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on October 6:

  • Thorin requests supplies (1341)
  • Gandalf heads for Rivendell after escaping Weathertop (1418)
  • The camp under Weathertop attacked at night. Frodo is wounded (1418)
  • They cross the Ford of Bruinen; Frodo feels the first return of pain (1419)
  • Frodo is again ill (1420)
  • Samwise returns to Bag End (1421)
  • [join us on the Discussion Boards here]

October 6, 2941 (S.R. 1341)

1. Thorin requests supplies

(from Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

"At the end of a fortnight Thorin began to think of departure. While the enthusiasm still lasted in the town was the time to get help."

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p. 192-193 Hobbit)

 October 6, 3018 (S.R. 1418)

1. Gandalf heads for Rivendell after escaping Weathertop.

(not from the appendices)

 "I hoped to draw some of them off, and yet reach Rivendell ahead of you and send out help...'

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p. 347 FotR)

2. The camp under Weathertop attacked at night. Frodo is wounded.

(from the appendices)

"'Well, here we are!' said Merry.  'And very cheerless and uninviting it looks! There is no water and no shelter.And no sign of Gandalf...'"

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p.252-255 FotR)

October 6, 3019 (S.R. 1419)

1. They cross the Ford of Bruinen; Frodo feels the first return of pain.

(from the appendices)

"When they came to the Ford of Bruinen, he had halted, and seemed loth to ride into the stream…"

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p. 331 RotK)

October 6, 3020 (S.R. 1420)

1. Frodo is again ill.

(from the appendices)

"One evening Sam came into the study and found his master looking very strange.  He was very pale and his eyes seemed to see things far away."

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p.377 RotK)

October 6, 3021 (S.R. 1421)

1. Samwise returns to Bag End.

(from the appendices)

"At last they rode over the downs and took the East Road, and then Merry and Pippin rode on to Buckland…"

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p.384-385 RotK)

]]>

Weathertop Nazgul attacks FrodoThe following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on October 6:

  • Thorin requests supplies (1341)
  • Gandalf heads for Rivendell after escaping Weathertop (1418)
  • The camp under Weathertop attacked at night. Frodo is wounded (1418)
  • They cross the Ford of Bruinen; Frodo feels the first return of pain (1419)
  • Frodo is again ill (1420)
  • Samwise returns to Bag End (1421)
  • [join us on the Discussion Boards here]

October 6, 2941 (S.R. 1341)

1. Thorin requests supplies

(from Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)

"At the end of a fortnight Thorin began to think of departure. While the enthusiasm still lasted in the town was the time to get help."

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p. 192-193 Hobbit)

 October 6, 3018 (S.R. 1418)

1. Gandalf heads for Rivendell after escaping Weathertop.

(not from the appendices)

 "I hoped to draw some of them off, and yet reach Rivendell ahead of you and send out help...'

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p. 347 FotR)

2. The camp under Weathertop attacked at night. Frodo is wounded.

(from the appendices)

"'Well, here we are!' said Merry.  'And very cheerless and uninviting it looks! There is no water and no shelter.And no sign of Gandalf...'"

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p.252-255 FotR)

October 6, 3019 (S.R. 1419)

1. They cross the Ford of Bruinen; Frodo feels the first return of pain.

(from the appendices)

"When they came to the Ford of Bruinen, he had halted, and seemed loth to ride into the stream…"

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p. 331 RotK)

October 6, 3020 (S.R. 1420)

1. Frodo is again ill.

(from the appendices)

"One evening Sam came into the study and found his master looking very strange.  He was very pale and his eyes seemed to see things far away."

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p.377 RotK)

October 6, 3021 (S.R. 1421)

1. Samwise returns to Bag End.

(from the appendices)

"At last they rode over the downs and took the East Road, and then Merry and Pippin rode on to Buckland…"

(Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p.384-385 RotK)

]]>
30089
The Great Hall of Poets https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/10/01/108552-the-great-hall-of-poets-85/ https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/10/01/108552-the-great-hall-of-poets-85/#respond Thu, 01 Oct 2020 05:03:59 +0000 https://www.theonering.net/torwp/?p=108552

Welcome to The Great Hall of Poets, our regular monthly feature showcasing the talent of Middle-earth fans. Each month we will feature a small selection of the poems submitted, but we hope you will read all of the poems that we have received here in our Great Hall of Poets.

So come and join us by the hearth and enjoy!

If you have a Tolkien/Middle-earth inspired poem you’d like to share, then send it to poetry@theonering.net  One poem per person may be submitted each month. Please make sure to proofread your work before sending it in. TheOneRing.net is not responsible for poems posting with spelling or grammatical errors.

Olôrin's leaving

By D. McGlinchey 

Olórin he is and his name shall remain.
In the West.
 In the North.
In the South.
Even to Eastward shall his name be enshrinedA Pilgrim
A Wizard
A Friend.

Great was the power he held in his hand
Wise in his word
In his action
And deed
The Flame of Udûn and The Light of Anor 
A Shadow
A FlameRenewed

Farewell then Olórin as you board the white ship.
Gulls call
Water stills
Friends sigh
Olórin he is and his name shall remain.
In the West. 
In the North.
In the South.

~~ * ~~

Treasures of the Road

by: Tom Frye

Jewels by the roadside.
Gems in the stream.
They glimmer
and they glisten.
They beckon
and they scream,

“Come off your road,
O Traveler,
for in us you will find.
Treasure for your pockets
and peace to rule your mind.”

But once you’ve
left the roadside,
to find them
and lost your way.
The jewels will
turn to stone,
the gems will turn to clay.

© Copyright 1995 by Tom Frye

~~ * ~~

]]>

Welcome to The Great Hall of Poets, our regular monthly feature showcasing the talent of Middle-earth fans. Each month we will feature a small selection of the poems submitted, but we hope you will read all of the poems that we have received here in our Great Hall of Poets.

So come and join us by the hearth and enjoy!

If you have a Tolkien/Middle-earth inspired poem you’d like to share, then send it to poetry@theonering.net  One poem per person may be submitted each month. Please make sure to proofread your work before sending it in. TheOneRing.net is not responsible for poems posting with spelling or grammatical errors.

Olôrin's leaving

By D. McGlinchey 

Olórin he is and his name shall remain.
In the West.
 In the North.
In the South.
Even to Eastward shall his name be enshrinedA Pilgrim
A Wizard
A Friend.

Great was the power he held in his hand
Wise in his word
In his action
And deed
The Flame of Udûn and The Light of Anor 
A Shadow
A FlameRenewed

Farewell then Olórin as you board the white ship.
Gulls call
Water stills
Friends sigh
Olórin he is and his name shall remain.
In the West. 
In the North.
In the South.

~~ * ~~

Treasures of the Road

by: Tom Frye

Jewels by the roadside.
Gems in the stream.
They glimmer
and they glisten.
They beckon
and they scream,

“Come off your road,
O Traveler,
for in us you will find.
Treasure for your pockets
and peace to rule your mind.”

But once you’ve
left the roadside,
to find them
and lost your way.
The jewels will
turn to stone,
the gems will turn to clay.

© Copyright 1995 by Tom Frye

~~ * ~~

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Collecting The Precious – Weta Workshop’s Aragorn at Amon Hen Review https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/09/30/108521-collecting-the-precious-weta-workshops-aragorn-at-amon-hen-review/ https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/09/30/108521-collecting-the-precious-weta-workshops-aragorn-at-amon-hen-review/#respond Thu, 01 Oct 2020 04:47:55 +0000 https://www.theonering.net/torwp/?p=108521

Over the summer I got a chance to sit down and finally review one of my favorite pieces, and my favorite version, of the character Aragorn. This outstanding piece from our friends at Weta Workshop has long been sold out, with eager collectors snapping it up during the early bird pre-order stage. So while you may have to go to the secondary market if you want to get him yourself, I hope you use this review to see it is absolutely worth tracking down.

[gallery columns="4" ids="108524,108525,108526,108527,108528,108529,108530,108531,108532,108533,108534,108535,108536,108537,108538,108539,108540,108541,108542,108543,108544,108545,108546,108547,108548"]

https://youtu.be/jkbjMm7Ut0E
]]>

Over the summer I got a chance to sit down and finally review one of my favorite pieces, and my favorite version, of the character Aragorn. This outstanding piece from our friends at Weta Workshop has long been sold out, with eager collectors snapping it up during the early bird pre-order stage. So while you may have to go to the secondary market if you want to get him yourself, I hope you use this review to see it is absolutely worth tracking down.

[gallery columns="4" ids="108524,108525,108526,108527,108528,108529,108530,108531,108532,108533,108534,108535,108536,108537,108538,108539,108540,108541,108542,108543,108544,108545,108546,108547,108548"]

https://youtu.be/jkbjMm7Ut0E
]]>
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Collecting The Precious – Weta Workshop’s Cave Troll Statue Pre-Order https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/09/29/108493-collecting-the-precious-weta-workshops-cave-troll-statue-pre-order/ https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/09/29/108493-collecting-the-precious-weta-workshops-cave-troll-statue-pre-order/#respond Tue, 29 Sep 2020 06:27:38 +0000 https://www.theonering.net/torwp/?p=108493

Our friends at Weta Workshop revealed the new Cave Troll collectible at their Weta Workshop's Comic-Con at home. It's the next superb piece in their premium statue series, and it goes live for pre-orders on Wednesday, September 30th.

While this new sub-line of statues is new to Weta's line of collectibles, at only 500 pieces, this statue won't be lasting long. Collectors should log into their accounts before it goes live (times listed below) and be ready to be quick with the order button. We've been waiting for years to get another shot at the Cave Troll. Make sure you're logged in and ready to go!

Pre-Orders Open at:

  • September 30th at 1 pm PDT
  • September 30th at 10 pm CET
  • October 1st at 9 am NZT

[gallery columns="4" ids="108339,108338,108337,108494,108495"]

]]>

Our friends at Weta Workshop revealed the new Cave Troll collectible at their Weta Workshop's Comic-Con at home. It's the next superb piece in their premium statue series, and it goes live for pre-orders on Wednesday, September 30th.

While this new sub-line of statues is new to Weta's line of collectibles, at only 500 pieces, this statue won't be lasting long. Collectors should log into their accounts before it goes live (times listed below) and be ready to be quick with the order button. We've been waiting for years to get another shot at the Cave Troll. Make sure you're logged in and ready to go!

Pre-Orders Open at:

  • September 30th at 1 pm PDT
  • September 30th at 10 pm CET
  • October 1st at 9 am NZT

[gallery columns="4" ids="108339,108338,108337,108494,108495"]

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Today in Middle-earth, September 29 https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/09/29/30051-today-in-middle-earth-september-29/ Tue, 29 Sep 2020 06:00:22 +0000 http://www.theonering.net/torwp/?p=30051

September 29 The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on September 29:
  • The company of Thorin recovers in Lake-town (1341)
  • Frodo reaches Bree at night (1418)
  • Gandalf visits the Gaffer (1418)
  • They come to the Grey Havens (1421)
  • Frodo and Bilbo depart over the Sea with the Three Keeper (1421)
  • The end of the Third age (1421)
[join the conversation on the Message Boards here] September 29, 2941 (S.R. 1341) 1. The company of Thorin recovers in Lake-town. (not from the appendices) "...within a week they were quite recovered, fitted out in fine cloth of their proper colours... (Tolkien, 1966 Ballantine, p.190-191 Hobbit) September 29, 3018 (S.R. 1418) 1. Frodo reaches Bree at night. (from the appendices) "...Even from the outside the inn looked a pleasant house to familiar eyes... ...Over the door was painted in white letters: The Prancing Pony by Barliman Butterbur...." (Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p.208-214 FotR) 2. Gandalf visits the Gaffer. (from the appendices) "But fear grew in me as I rode. Ever as I came north I heard tidings of the Riders…" (Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p.344 FotR) September 29, 3021 (S.R. 1421) 1. They come to the Grey Havens. (from the appendices) "...they came to the Far Downs, and to the Towers, and looked on the distant Sea; and so they rode down at last to Mithlond, to the Grey Havens in the long firth of Lune." (Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p.383 RotK) 2. Frodo and Bilbo depart over the Sea with the Three Keepers. (from the appendices) "But Sam was now sorrowful at heart, and it seemed to him that if the parting would be bitter, more grievous still would be the long road home alone." (Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p.383-384 RotK)  3. The end of the Third age. (from the appendices) "...The Third Age was over, and the Days of the rings were passed, and an end was come of the story and song of those times. With them went many Elves of the High Kindred who would no longer stay in Middle-earth..." (Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p.383 RotK)]]>

September 29 The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on September 29:
  • The company of Thorin recovers in Lake-town (1341)
  • Frodo reaches Bree at night (1418)
  • Gandalf visits the Gaffer (1418)
  • They come to the Grey Havens (1421)
  • Frodo and Bilbo depart over the Sea with the Three Keeper (1421)
  • The end of the Third age (1421)
[join the conversation on the Message Boards here] September 29, 2941 (S.R. 1341) 1. The company of Thorin recovers in Lake-town. (not from the appendices) "...within a week they were quite recovered, fitted out in fine cloth of their proper colours... (Tolkien, 1966 Ballantine, p.190-191 Hobbit) September 29, 3018 (S.R. 1418) 1. Frodo reaches Bree at night. (from the appendices) "...Even from the outside the inn looked a pleasant house to familiar eyes... ...Over the door was painted in white letters: The Prancing Pony by Barliman Butterbur...." (Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p.208-214 FotR) 2. Gandalf visits the Gaffer. (from the appendices) "But fear grew in me as I rode. Ever as I came north I heard tidings of the Riders…" (Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p.344 FotR) September 29, 3021 (S.R. 1421) 1. They come to the Grey Havens. (from the appendices) "...they came to the Far Downs, and to the Towers, and looked on the distant Sea; and so they rode down at last to Mithlond, to the Grey Havens in the long firth of Lune." (Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p.383 RotK) 2. Frodo and Bilbo depart over the Sea with the Three Keepers. (from the appendices) "But Sam was now sorrowful at heart, and it seemed to him that if the parting would be bitter, more grievous still would be the long road home alone." (Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p.383-384 RotK)  3. The end of the Third age. (from the appendices) "...The Third Age was over, and the Days of the rings were passed, and an end was come of the story and song of those times. With them went many Elves of the High Kindred who would no longer stay in Middle-earth..." (Tolkien, 1965 Ballantine, p.383 RotK)]]>
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Interview with Sala Baker https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/09/22/108484-interview-with-sala-baker/ https://www.theonering.net/torwp/2020/09/22/108484-interview-with-sala-baker/#respond Tue, 22 Sep 2020 21:03:57 +0000 https://www.theonering.net/torwp/?p=108484

It's not only Bilbo and Frodo's birthday today; it's also actor and stuntman Sala Baker's special day! Sala recently gave an in-depth interview with host Joshy G, for the show 'Get Super' with our friends over at Sideshow. Sala talks about how he went from having to be persuaded by a friend to go along to auditions for extras in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movies, to snagging the role of Sauron - to starting a new life in Los Angeles, and most recently appearing in The Mandalorian.

Check out what Sala had to say in the interview here; and stay tuned to work out with Sala at the end of the show! Happy birthday Sala; here's to you!

Click here to watch Get Super on Sideshow's YouTube channel; and catch the next episode on 29th September, when WWE Superstar Tyler Breeze talks about playing table top games and the Lord of the Rings card game!

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It's not only Bilbo and Frodo's birthday today; it's also actor and stuntman Sala Baker's special day! Sala recently gave an in-depth interview with host Joshy G, for the show 'Get Super' with our friends over at Sideshow. Sala talks about how he went from having to be persuaded by a friend to go along to auditions for extras in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movies, to snagging the role of Sauron - to starting a new life in Los Angeles, and most recently appearing in The Mandalorian.

Check out what Sala had to say in the interview here; and stay tuned to work out with Sala at the end of the show! Happy birthday Sala; here's to you!

Click here to watch Get Super on Sideshow's YouTube channel; and catch the next episode on 29th September, when WWE Superstar Tyler Breeze talks about playing table top games and the Lord of the Rings card game!

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