2007 has been quite an exciting year for Tolkien fans! There’s been an abundance of news and events from across the globe including openings of musicals, new book releases and new movies in the pipeline: something to satisfy just about any geeky preference! As a thank-you for following all the developments of the year with us, we thought we’d put together a retrospective of the top Tolkien stories of 2007 in one convenient list. The list below is in chronological order.
Here’s to a 2008 that’s just as exciting! Stay tuned!
1) The Children of Hurin – published April 17
To the delight of Tolkien fans everywhere, The Children of Hurin, by J.R.R. Tolkien’s son, Christopher Tolkien became the first book of Tolkien’s works published in 30 years. The Children of Hurin tells the story of one of Tolkien’s most tragic heroes: Turin Turambar. The story was compiled by Christopher from various sources written by his father over the course of decades. To the added delight of fans, the book includes new works of art by Alan Lee, the book’s illustrator. The book debuted at the top of the New York Times bestseller list and remains on the list today at #24.
2) The Lord of the Rings musical – re-opened in London June 19
After playing for a time in Toronto, the new and improved The Lord of the Rings musical moved across the pond and re-opened at the Theater Royal Drury Lane. The Lord of the Rings captures the magic of Tolkien’s Middle-earth using lighting effects, beautifully designed costumes and sets and elaborately choreographed battles. The production is currently set to run through September of 2008. So, if you’ve always wanted to see Hobbits actually do the ‘springle-ring,’ a trip to London may be in your future.
3) 70th Anniversary Edition of The Hobbit – published September 21, 2007
The publication of The Hobbit: 70th Anniversary Edition gave fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and Bilbo Baggins plenty of reason to celebrate this year. Complete with a new introduction by Christopher Tolkien, this edition also features a reproduction of the original watercolor painting done by Tolkien himself for the cover, as well as and Tolkien’s own illustrations and drawings throughout. For those of us who already own several editions of The Hobbit, the cover and illustrations alone make this a worthwhile addition to our collections.
4) The History of the Hobbit – published September 21, 2007
John D. Rateliff’s two volume work is the culmination of years of research including the study of various Tolkien manuscripts at Marquette University. It features the complete unpublished draft of J.R.R. Tolkien’s original version of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, as well as text notes and essays by the author, illustrations and maps. Part I, Mr. Baggins, covers the story up to Bilbo’s arrival in Laketown and the story continues in Part II, Return to Bag End. Another ‘must have’ for lovers of Tolkien and his stories, both volumes of The History of the Hobbit are also available as a boxed set along with The Hobbit: 70th Anniversary Edition.
5) “The Lord of the Rings, The Return of The King (The Complete Recordings)”- released November 20.
If you still had any spending money left by the end of the year, “The Lord of the Rings, The Return of The King (The Complete Recordings)” was another irresistible buy. Together with the complete recordings from the first two movies, this 5 disc set provides hours and hours of geeky enjoyment for lovers of The Lord of The Rings movies and Howard Shore’s stunning soundtrack. Performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the release has been getting rave reviews by our readers. Although there were some problems with initial shipments, we have it on good advice from our readers that the problems have been fixed and the recordings are again in stock and available at Amazon.com (but is still unavailable at amazon.co.uk). Thanks to everyone for your input on this!
6) Tolkien Fans get a chance to buy into Ent statue to be erected in the U.K. – from October 1, 2007
You may never have the chance to drink ent-draught from the pools of Treebeard’s Wellinghall, but thanks to The Moseley Statue Group and sculptor Tim Tolkien (great nephew of J.R.R. Tolkien) you can now be part of an Entish tribute to Tolkien being planned in Moseley Village, U.K.. From The group’s website: “The giant statue will be fabricated in recycled stainless steel with bronze and copper coatings. The individually wrought leaves will be embedded into a paving of resin bonded, crushed green glass at the base of the Ent. Tim will engrave each unique leaf with wording of the sponsor’s choosing.” Leaves are now up for bid on Ebay. If you can’t afford one of your own, you may be interested in joining with some of our message board members to purchase a leaf on behalf of readers and members of TORn.
7) Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema join with MGM to produce “The Hobbit” movie. – December 18.
What better way to end the year for fans of Tolkien’s books and the Lord of the Rings movies alike than with the extraordinary news that The Hobbit movie is going to happen!! Who will direct? Who will be cast as Gandalf, Thorin and, of course, as Bilbo? And just what will that second movie include? 2008 will be filled with speculation, spy reports and exciting new developments surrounding these and many other topics, so stay tuned to TORn for all the latest.