For more than half a century, the iconography of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” was rooted in the power of the word. Or rather, in the tens of thousands of words that made up his 1937 fantasy “The Hobbit” and the subsequent expansion of that tale into the “Rings” epic. Then came director Peter Jackson’s film adaptations, and what had been the province of written language was transformed, translated and transmuted into visual imagery, revealing Tolkien’s universe to a audiences who might be disinclined to wade through the dense pages of his very large novels. Add to this the imagery of sound – Howard Shore’s film scores – and the sensory reorientation was complete. [More]