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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
The Lord of Water
I move through the world via many paths. Each pathway leads to me and I cover this Middle Earth. Nowhere is beyond my reach. For if I am hinderedI may take to the sky to fall again anew, Where each raindrop may carry a message from me, Each teardrop you shed a tale from you. Through the scars of the land I move unassailed. In my depths I hold memories and great tales never told. For the memories and tales are as the Great River’s roar. Each crash is a cry out. Each trickle a whispered sigh. The thunder of Rauros echoes of a thousand battles, Whilst the screens of a waterfall have hidden the events that began them!
Not for me the grand halls and graces of Valinor, Nor the rugged beauty of the lands of Arda. It is Ulmonan holds my heart. The depths of my oceans and the calm of my seas offer seclusion enough. But beware my wrath and cherish my pity For I am ever present to protect. To guide. To avenge. For I offer both mercy and punishment to the Children of Illúvatar I will speak with Nàmo and Manwë if need, within the Máhanaxar And forestall the works of Melkor For I am of the Eight, The Aratar The Holy Ones of Arda And I remain.
~~ * ~~
The Dawn of the Fourth Age
By Mary E.
He who was the younger now must take charge. The one who his father loved the least has now become the first. What has happened to the world? That which was fair is now corrupt He who was less now is more. Those who loved peace now must fight. The land which was green is now a blight. The kingdom of elves is fading fast It is men that must take up the banner of good. The king will return The halfling will save. All that must be will be Much that is old must leave the earth. For a new age has come, Never seen under this sun. All things must come to an end But many others have just begun. That which was beautiful but deadly Has at last been destroyed. The power of evil no more can stand All peoples will join the final fight And bring down that which blocked the light. A star in heaven will join her lord And a new race of kings will be born. The last of the wise will pass over the sea, But leave in their wake the ones who have tales still meant to be told. What has happened to the world? Is the dark gone for good The light here to stay? Prophesies fulfilled and wars won and passed? The earth is beautiful, fair and bright, The King loves his people And all is right.
~~ * ~~
Elf of the wand
By: Theo van de Pol
And so it was told that both were Maiar,
but the light was in Olórin and the
darkness with Valaraukar.
One walked Middle Earth and Gandalf became his
the other dwelt deep in darkness and would become
Many years later Durin Doors would sway open again,
and the Grey Pilgrim led a brave fellowship into
the Balrogs den.
In the grim cold of the mine there are no lights or
there he would face his greatest test as outlined
by the wise Valar.
At the bridge of Khazad-Dum he stood firm but fell
in the abyss,
fighting the demon for days, leaving his friends
alone and amiss.
The darkness took him and he strayed out of thought
but was send back naked as it was still his task to
guide and shine.
He became Gandalf once again to help those who opposed Sauron to fight, this time not as the Grey, but purely as the White.
Here we go! Middle-earth March Madness 2020 begins today!
This year we’re pitting against one another various scenes from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, in the categories of Tearjerkers, Scenic, Laughter, and Drama/Action. (Those listed are the moments as they appear in Peter Jackson’s movies; though you can of course feel free to reread the appropriate sections in the book and use your imagination, when making your choices!) Do you love the part when the Ents stride out to war? Or do you prefer Theoden’s stirring speech to the Riders of Rohan on the edge of Pelennor Fields? Which makes you laugh more: Pippin’s, ‘Great, where are we going?’ or Gandalf’s command to him that ‘it’s better if you don’t speak at all’? Take a look at all the magical moments vying to be 2020’s Champion:
(Don’t worry if some of those seem a little unclear; when you go to the actual survey to vote, you’ll see a longer description to help you place the scene. We just had to fit succinct summaries on the bracket image!)
So, how do you play along, I hear you ask? Simple! Click here to go to a survey, where you can vote in each of the battles in this first round. You only get to vote once, so choose wisely! Round One runs until 10pm ET on Thursday 2nd April; on Friday 3rd in the morning we will post results, with an updated bracket, and voting on Round Two will begin. So it continues until only two remain, with the Grand Final happening on April 14-15. Which scene will be declared the overall winner? YOU decide!
Maybe you need to revisit PJ’s films to weigh up all these stirring scenes – a perfect excuse for a marathon viewing! Maybe you want to lift your copies of the books down from the shelf, and read aloud certain moments, in the Professor’s own words. Discuss online with friends, have a remote viewing party, and make the case for your preferences. HOW you decide on your vote is up to you! We’ve given you four days for this first round, so you have plenty of time to ponder, and to savour all these magical moments in the realms of Middle-earth.
We hope you’ll share your opinions with us too: here in the comments, on the message boards, in the Facebook group, via Twitter (#memarchmadness), etc. Are there incidents you think should be on there, which we’ve omitted? Finding it hard to choose? Share your thoughts and dilemmas! Let’s virtually gather together in this time of social distancing, to enjoy these stories we love; and to engage in a bit of friendly dueling!
What strange days we are living through. Quarantine, isolation, social distancing, and uncertainty make these tough times for us all. We here at TheOneRing.net are thinking of all our fellow fans, and hoping that you are all keeping safe and well. We hope you’ll join us on the message boards or in the chat room, on Twitter or at the Facebook group; perhaps you’ll enjoy a Happy Hobbit video, or play along when Middle-earth March Madness begins on Monday. However you choose to be together in the fandom, know that you are not alone; your friends are with you!
We know that many folks are struggling with loss of work at this time, and small businesses are fighting hard to survive. Badali Jewelry have been great friends and supporters of TORn since the First Age. They are a wonderful company, run by lovely people, who make beautiful things – including their licensed Middle-earth range. Now they, like lots of small businesses, are struggling to stay afloat. Please support them if you can, by donating to their GoFundMe, by making a purchase from their website, and/or by helping to spread the word.
We stand together in these strange and bewildering days. As Samwise tells us, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow; the sun will shine out the clearer when all this is over.
It’s a tradition going back some years: TheOneRing.net’s own version of March Madness! Each Spring, staffers at TORn draw up a table of characters (or something else – see more below) from Tolkien’s realms, and we ask you all to vote in each round, until we have an overall winner. This year is no exception! We all need things to do, and to think about, to keep us distracted in these days of social distancing; so we hope you’ll join us and play along for this year’s Middle-earth March Madness!
The fun begins on Monday, when we’ll post this year’s brackets, together with a link to a poll where you can place your votes. We’ll be posting articles about the various ‘battles’, and we hope you’ll join in and discuss on facebook and the message boards. Meanwhile, here’s a look back on some of the earlier contests.
We first created our own March Madness fun back in 2012, making this the 9th year of the contest. (What shall we do for our tenth, next year?) That year our four brackets consisted of various characters from Middle-earth, with the brackets named for Ralph Bakshi, Rankin Bass, the Tolkien family, and Peter Jackson. The final was between Aragorn and Samwise, with Sam coming out on top.
In 2013 and 2014 the brackets were simply named for different places, with a mix of characters in each bracket. 2013 saw The Shire, Erebor, Mordor and Angmar brackets, with a final showdown between Thorin (from the Mordor bracket) and Gandalf (from Angmar). It was a close contest, but the wizard ultimately came out on top. 2014’s brackets were named for Bag End, the Lonely Mountain, Erebor (yes the Lonely Mountain going by another name) and Mirkwood. The finalists came from the Bag End and Mirkwood categories, and were father and son: Thranduil took on Legolas. The fans were out in force for both these pretty elves, but Thranduil won in the end.
2015 saw the first year that combatants were divided by specific categories, with brackets being Lord of the Rings characters, Hobbit characters, Silmarillion characters, and ‘Others’ from the Professor’s writing. It also saw a first in a combatant being ‘disqualified’: Thranduil’s fans were so desperate to see him victorious again, they were bucking the system and voting multiple times. With Mirkwood’s ruler thrown out, the final saw Bilbo and Gandalf face off; and Gandalf was champion for the second time.
In 2016 we drew up brackets according to attributes: Beauty, Brains, Brawn, and Baddies. Ultimate Baddie Morgoth took on Galadriel in the final, where the elf maiden was triumphant, taking two thirds of the vote! 2017’s groupings divided characters into ‘Book Only’, ‘Movie Only’, ‘Wider Mythos’, and ‘Movie and Book’. A first this year was that we deliberately did not include past champions Gandalf, Galadriel, Samwise or Thranduil; also the divisions allowed many first time entrants, such as ‘Sebastian the Hedgehog’ and ‘The Fox’. The champion in 2017, appearing in his second final, was Aragorn.
2018 mixed things up by including characters from outside of Tolkien’s writings. This year, we had roles from the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies, AND roles from other films, played by the same actors. This meant that was saw Lee Pace’s Ronan take on his Thranduil, as well as a show down between Count Dooku and Saruman. Middle-earth characters, however, were the ones who made it to the final, where Gollum beat Elrond.
And just last year, our contest became Middle-earth MAP March Madness, with all the entrants being locations: from The Shire, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. Gondolin faced, but could not defeat, Rivendell in that final.
What will the categories be this year? All will be revealed on Monday! Or head on over to join TheOneRing.net’s Facebook group, The Worlds and Works of J.R.R. Tolkien, where you can get an early preview tomorrow. Let’s get ready to rumble!
Tomorrow is Tolkien Reading Day! And as so many of us are social distancing and staying at home right now, let’s get our copies down off the shelves and share some favourite paragraphs together. Farmer Giles, Roverandom, Father Christmas Letters, The Hobbit – whatever works by the Professor take your fancy, head on over to the message boards or the Facebook group, and post a passage for us all to enjoy.
Our good friends at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have put together an online kit to inspire you, including maps, trivia, and a complete list of Tolkien’s works. Check it out, here. Let’s escape together into the pages of a book by our favourite author!
It’s been a long time since fans of The Lord of the Rings could buy brand new actions figures of the greatest trilogy of all-time. At Toy Fair this year the awesome folks at Diamond Select Toys showed off they will be doing a line of figures based on The Lord of the Rings. There will be two series to start when pre-orders launch next month with each figure having a price of $30. Series 1 will launch with Gimli and Legolas while series 2 consists of Aragorn as well as a Nazgul. If you want the Sauron figure in the pictures you will need to buy those four figures as Sauron is a build-a-figure. The Frodo figure will come with random parts for Sauron, and the Orc will come with various Orc parts. So be ready next month to get your orders in and add to your Middle-earth collection.
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