Boromir at Parth GalenThe following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on February 26th:

  • Death of Boromir; his horn is heard in Minas Tirith. (3019)
  • Meriadoc and Peregrin captured. (3019)
  • Frodo and Samwise enter the eastern Emyn Muil. (3019)
  • Aragorn sets out in pursuit of the Orcs at evening. (3019)
  • Éomer hears of the descent of the Orc-band from the Emyn Muil. (3019)
  • Frodo’s ordeal on Amon Hen. (3019)
  • [Join us on the Discussion Boards here]

Continue reading “Today in Middle-earth, February 26”

Middle-earth fans will not want to miss this amazing book from artist Jay JohnstoneTolkienography: Isildur’s Bane & Iconic Interpretations (with commentary by Thomas Honegger).

The cover and an inside glimpse of Jay Johnstone's beautiful book, showing Tolkien characters painted in the style of iconography. Also shown is the black (with gold logo) slip cover the book comes in.

It’s an amazing volume, filled with rich, luminous artwork. It was reviewed in the latest edition of the Journal of Inkling Studies (Volume 10, issue 2); here’s a little of what writer Lance A. Green had to say:

Tolkienography invites a deep immersion in Tolkien’s myth through the artwork of Jay Johnstone, who has been painting Tolkien-themed illustrations for about thirty years. Together with Thomas Honegger’s commentary, Tolkienography offers a novel artistic rendering of Tolkien’s sub-creation, provoking new interpretations of its characters and essential themes. Printed with colourful clarity, the styles and techniques of Johnstone’s pieces are different enough to avoid any redundancy for the viewer. Colours, spacing, and characters are varied with each turn of the page, as are the painting techniques, which range from more contemporary styles to those mirroring medieval forms, including frescos and Byzantine iconography. Johnstone’s oils and charcoal works certainly capture the imagination: the charcoal and chalk of the Council of Elrond (25), the oil on canvas of Isildur’s death in the river Anduin (35, 39), and the binding of Melkor (41) all wonderfully convey character and scene. An immense oil and gold-leaf rendering of Gandalf atop Shadowfax riding into Helm’s Deep (49–50) is one of the most striking paintings in the book, afforded two full pages in order to capture its immensity. Yet the artwork that crowns and guides Tolkienography is the Byzantine-styled iconographic paintings of Tolkien’s characters.

Lance A. Green, Journal of Inkling Studies Vol 10 Issue 2
An inside image from the book, showing an icon painting of Elessar in armour, with Anduril in his hands

The Journal is published by Edinburgh University Press; you can find more of the article here. If you’d like your own copy of Johnstone’s beautiful book, don’t delay – it’s a limited print of 500 copies! At only £45 – and signed by the artist! – it really is a steal for such a spectacular book. You can order it – and see more art from Johnstone – at his website, here.

Jay Johnstone's wonderful icon image of Gandalf, displayed in a gold frame.

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.

Upon the Mossy Bank

By: Rebecca Ayers

A voice on the wind, so fair
Drifting in through the door
Evokes visions of rain in the air
Which moves the young scribe to his core

Dust stirs around his feet
As he explores the library’s stacks
He finds the source of the sound so sweet
A forgotten tome left open, marred by drops of wax

Clear water rushes over him in a flash
Submerging him in a shimmering pool
A white hand grips his collar, as he begins thrash
And hauls him back to land, where the moss beneath him is cool

Smiling down at him is a beautiful maid
Robed in a silken gown of deep, forest, green
Her golden hair is woven with flowers, held back in a braid
Her visage most wondrous to be seen

She greets the scribe with a voice soft as dew
And bids him welcome to her home
Inside sits a jolly man, in a tunic bright blue
Who pours them ale with fragrant foam

Adventure awaits the scribe in this land
Though his purpose is not yet said
By dawn he shall join a courageous band
To be trained in the ways of magic and languages long dead

The library is far away now
The dust and ink washed from his fingers
His hosts lead him to a comfortable bed beneath an evergreen bough
Outside, the beckoning song lingers

~ * ~

Lament for Lalaith

By: Eruthiawen Telcontar

When the ground was wet with dew
And Tilion began to flee;
When black of night gave way to blue
And Arien was once set free:

The lightest footsteps ever heard;
They rushèd past, and light they blurred.

When brightest was the noonday sun
And laughing ran the little stream;
When the morning’s light was done
And tired eyes slipped into dream:

Her heart was full, her face was bright
She laughed at each and every sight.

When dark was stream and pale was moon
And weary were the Edain;
When houses swelled with drowsy tune
And blessed sleep found those within:

With open ears she listened long
Her heart was filled with many a song.

Her arms were lithe and strong and free
With meadow-flow’rs she wove her hair;
An elven-maid she seemed to be
With radiant face so bright and fair:

Her spirit left and passèd on
From Dor-lómin she now is gone.

~ * ~

O Edain, Edain

By: Adam Waggener

Edain, Edain, Iluvatar’s second-born are come at last,
Our wondrous new kin have risen with the sun.
We Eldar welcome you here, in friendship we will hold fast,
As Arien’s fire rises high, and a new age has begun.
Edain, Edain, of much in the world you must learn,
Of lands, lore, craft, and tongue, we Eldar will show you much.
Ye seek honor and glory, after valor your hearts do yearn,
In time ye will rise to heights your own, with strength you will achieve such.
Edain, Edain, your lives pass by like gasps in time,
Like shooting stars of night, racing briefly to fade and die.
Yet brief they are, your lives brightly shine,
Bright as that golden sun lighting all the endless sky.
Edain, Edain, by Eru Iluvatar ye are blessed,
To guide thy kin’s own destiny, a freely chosen fate.
Hold fast to what is good, endure life’s every test,
That your strength and valor live on once you are beyond death’s gate.
Edain, Edain, Manwe rules from the sapphire sky,
Closest of all Ainur to Iluvatar, his judgment ever true.
His queen, Lady Varda, gave us the eternal stars on high,
Those purest silver lights, the first the Eldar ever knew.
Edain, Edain, Arda’s seas are Ulmo’s land,
Quiet springs and raging tides all answer to his deep voice.
Aule the Smith forges mighty works with his hands,
The father of dwarves shapes the earth, in forging wonders does he rejoice.
Edain, Edain, these strong trees and emerald leaves,
Come from Yavanna, Aule’s wife, all green things she keeps.
Mandos proclaims Arda’s dooms, heavy for all to receive,
And guides souls past ever-looming death, guides them to their sleep.
Edain, Edain, Lady Vaire ever weaves her threads,
Mandos’ wife tells Arda’s tale in a tapestry so grand.
Sad Nienna, Mandos’ sister, ever hang her somber head,
Weeping over Arda’s wounds, comforting the dead with gentle hand.
Edain, Edain, do you hear Orome’s resounding horn,
The Valar’s stalwart huntsman, all monsters his spear doth pierce.
I hear the hearty laugh of Tulkas, with hair as gold as the morn,
A warrior of unequaled might, and ever a friend so fierce.
Edain, Edain, your youth is not left to chance,
Lady Vana, Orome’s wife, deems precious every life tender and young.
Nessa, Tulkas’ wife, spins on in joyful dance,
Faster than the swiftest arrow from any bow ever strung.
Edain, Edain, be not haunted by evil dreams,
May master Lorien calm thy visions, in them may you see peace.
Este, his wife, heals all hurts, all wounds she redeems,
By her hand may all pain and long agony at last cease.
Edain, Edain, this pure world foul Morgoth has maimed,
The Dark Lord seeks to destroy and corrupt, with malice dark and cruel.
One day the Silmarils will be reclaimed,
The Valar will yet return and end dark Bauglir’s rule.
Edain, Edain, let us cherish our time as friends,
Before your life ends by age, illness, or blades of steel.
You face that death with courage, not frightened by that end,
Your doom cannot rob you of your vigor nor your zeal.
Edain, Edain, let your life shine ever bright,
Like that last fruit of Laurelin, that warm, intimate sun.
You will be missed my dear friend, as you go into that night,
May you journey on knowing your life’s battles are won.
Edain, Edain, as your years here near their end,
May light guide you to that great unknown, beyond Arda’s most distant shore.
In this farewell I will not despair, I hope we shall meet again,
In world remade, in Eru’s light, in the new West, forevermore.

~ * ~

The Fox of Dorthonion

by Hans Howk

It had not been deliberate,
the bumbling toward the demon’s trap;
the fox had left Dorthonion
and eastward made for Maglor’s Gap,
but peaks there were at forest edge
and finding not an easy way,
he steered him north and soon was lost
in foreign wood, the fox dismayed.

Long he searched the huddled pines
and cursed his nose for aiding not,
until at last the great trees broke
and padding quick the traveler thought,
‘The Pass of Aglon! Thank the stars!
And if I keep a steady course,
the Gap of Maglor there at last
and onward to great Gelion’s source!’

But fog like cobwebs hid the moon,
the fox held to a faulty path,
and blunted by a fool’s relief
he crossed into Dor Daedeloth.

Pitch was night in Angband’s realm,
the wayward traveler passing near,
and careful not to tumble stone
for if some wretched guard should hear
the shuffling of his nightly noise
and thought to check the placid plain,
the fox would surely come to know
the truth of tales of dread and pain.

Creeping through the browning grass
a sudden urge to lay him down,
to sleep a while and rest his bones
bethrust the fox upon the ground.

He lay in sleep an hour at most-
or was it several thousand years-
and did not feel the clutching claws
that lifted up his hide severe
and carried him for leagues on end,
up mountain roots and valleys grim,
and came at last to settle by
the gates of cold Thangorodrim.

The horrors impressed upon the fox
no story there is fit to tell.
He suffered long in fiery pits
and languished in the jails of hell,
until the rending was complete
and rising forth to take his place
among the fey sentries and ghosts
that haunt the marshes and the wastes.

And in Dorthonion they say,
when fog lays cool upon the pines,
and clouds enshroud the winter moon,
the fiend of Morgoth wanders nigh.
And stout hearts dread to hear his call,
the nightmare screams that ring therein
are echoes of that ancient song
that stalks the steps of Elves and Men.

~ * ~

129 years ago today, in Bloemfontein Africa, a very special person came into the world: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. Forty-five years later, in 1937, his book The Hobbit, was published which he had written for his children. Together with its sequel, The Lord of the Rings, it launched generations of readers on adventures through the invented world of Middle-earth; adventure that would impact many of us for the rest of our lives.

One of the greatest ways Tolkien has impacted many of our lives is through the friendships we’ve made from having read Tolkien’s books and/or watched Peter Jackson’s movies of the same. Tolkien himself made lifelong friendships as a result of his writing endeavors, sharing many a pint critiquing yet-unfinished works at the Eagle and Child pub in Oxford with friends C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and others. Today, countless discussion forums, websites, and clubs carry on the tradition of those discussions, sharing ideas about Tolkien and his writings with like-minded fans and, yes, dear friends.

Today, TORn celebrates life of J.R.R. Tolkien and the inspiration and friendships he has given us. To express our thanks, we’re continuing our theme of the day of Tolkien quotes, this time with quotes having to do with friendship from The Lord of the Rings:

“I name you Elf-friend, and may the stars shine upon the end of your road”

– Gildor to Frodo (The Fellowship of the Ring: Three is Company)

“You can trust us to stick to you, through thick and thin – to the bitter end. And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours – closer than you keep it yourself. But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word. We are your friends, Frodo.”

 – Merry to Frodo (The Fellowship of the Ring: A Conspiracy Unmasked)

“Though all the mighty elf-friends of old, Hador and Hurin, and Turin, and Beren himself were assembled together your seat should be among them.”

– Elrond to Frodo (The Fellowship of the Ring: The Council of Elrond)

“You will meet many foes, some open, and some disguised; and you may find friends along your way when you least look for it.”

– Elrond to the Fellowship (The Fellowship of the Ring: The Ring Goes South)

“Twice blessed is help unlooked for, and never was a meeting of friends so joyful.

 – Eomer to Aragorn (The Return of the King: The Battle of the Pelennor Fields)

“I wish we could have a Stone that we could see all our friends in and that we could speak to them from far away.”

Pippin (The Return of the King: Many Partings)