November, 1977: In the United States, the National Broadcasting Company (or NBC – you know, with the Peacock) airs the first ever made-for-television Tolkien story, The Hobbit, by Rankin-Bass. I was just barely ten years old! Cost: $3M US.

Copyright 2001 Warner Brothers Entertainment

September, 2022: Throughout the world, Amazon Prime (you know, with the… thing) is programmed to broadcast the first two episodes of the Rings of Power, the first ever made-for-television live action Tolkien story spun from a literary foundation of The Lord of the Rings Appendices, promising a five season series with a total of 50 hours of showtime. Cost: $8B US.

45 years and $7,977,000,000 later, where are we now? Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, and I mean, besides me getting old.

SUPER EXCITED! And tantalizingly close, compared to 2017, when the show was announced.

Source: Amazon Prime

Quenching our Thirst

Now, after a parching, dehydrated, drought of a post-teaser-trailer-season, the marketing associated with RoP has finally begun to quench the thirst of fans throughout the world. As frustrating as it has been for many, it has been equally impressive: Amazon’s work for inhibiting unauthorized release of media, information, even rumor and urban legend regarding RoP has been impressive. Fans have feverishly picked apart the minutia of every image released in 2022, and one thing is clear: we are here for it!

This marketing strategy is very different than what we have experienced – and frankly, appreciated and been accustomed to – in the past. Many worry the approach has been a failure: 60 days from showtime, and no actual video footage has been shared with the public! Yet, I can’t help but imagine a war room of marketing wizards at work, meeting out exactly what is needed, and when, carefully calibrated to strike just the right measure of hype before the show streams in earnest.

Through the words, experiences, and perspectives of the London 30 who were summoned to England several months ago, the marketing wizards casts their spell. A series of images and articles continue to surface on the webs and in print, shared broadly between traditional media outlets, first web-generation Tolkien fan sites like TORn, and the newest of media formats: Reddit, TickTock, Twitter, YouTube… Influencers abound, and Amazon has them tapped. But will it reach enough consumers to tune in on September 2nd? And what is “enough?” We know more is coming at ComicCon, and eagerly await that and the rest.

One of three Empire Magazine covers

Author’s note: I’m thrilled to return to news posting here at TORn at the turn of this tide, and looking forward to sharing dispatches from ComicCon this month, and Rings of Power and all manner of Tolkien tidbits with you over the coming years. To stay informed with any breaking news (and plenty of rumors and speculation), and participate in the tantalizing build up to the show in real-time, join me and other TORn staffers Demosthenes, Justin, Kelvarhin and others, and the throng of this generation’s Ringers, in our very own Discord server:

See you soon! Tookish bows.

Tookish is one of TORn’s first staff members after of the Founding Four, serving as Senior Editor, assistant to Xoanon, lowbrow member of the Greenbooks team, Barliman’s chat moderator, and ComicCon panelist during the Peter Jackson LotR film series era.

Arwen and Elessar The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on Midsummer’s Day:

  • Gandalf, the Dwarves and their Burglar leave Rivendell for the Lonely Mountain (1341)
  • Aragorn and Arwen – A promise is born (1380)
  • Gandalf meets Radagast the Brown (1418)
  • The Wedding of Elessar and Arwen (1419)
  • Frodo resigns office of mayor, and Will Whitfoot is restored (1420)
  • The death of Mistress Rose, wife of Master Samwise, on Mid-year’s Day (1482)
  • [Join us on the Discussion Boards here]

Continue reading “Today in Middle-earth, Midsummer’s Day [Mid-year’s Day]”

Welcome to The Great Hall of Poets, our regular 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  One poem per person may be submitted each month. Please make sure to proofread your work before sending it in. is not responsible for poems posting with spelling or grammatical errors.

Lament for Númenor

by J. Newsom

Before the surging seas were bent
and Ulmo's fury fully spent
and Númenor in all its pride
to doom was sent,
sweet Elvenhome could still be seen,
it's peaks aglow in silver sheen,
by Kingly eyes both clear and keen
from the peak of Meneltarma.

Oh Númenor, oh Númenor!
Precious gift of Valinor!
The creeping fear of mortal tide
estranged your folk from wisdom's guide
now lost for evermore.

The faithful trod with reverent step
the road which round the mountain swept
to reach the view that far and wide
their senses wrapped.
Overhead the eagles soared
while on the summit stillness roared
and none could voice a single word
on the peak of Meneltarma.

Oh Númenor, oh Númenor!
Precious gift of Valinor!
The creeping fear of mortal tide
estranged your folk from wisdom's guide
now lost for evermore.

The land is lost beneath the wave.
From tower tall to quiet nave,
into the depths did each one slide.
None were saved.
Elendil and his faithful few
with nine ships fled the ocean's spew.
Into their sails the torrents blew
from the isle of Meneltarma.

Oh Númenor, oh Númenor
precious gift of Valinor
the creeping fear of mortal tide
estranged your folk from wisdom's guide
now lost for evermore.

~~ * ~~

A Silmarillion Haiku

by Henry Herz

In the beginning,
Grew trees, golden and silver,
Lighting the heavens.

~~ * ~~

Is Love So Dear

by Lynda K. Ward

Ice bright and cold the mountain seemed 
The sun was shining bright
Yet from faraway the darkness came and soon began the night
With the moon reflecting on the cold hard way every scene so clear
Reflecting the hearts of many men when love was no longer dear.

~~ * ~~

Lament For Hurin 

by mimiï

Oh Hurin, Hurin,
now thee set free,
oh Hurin, Hurin,
how can it be?

You will never know,
what a dreadful sin,
you will never know,
you have doomed your kin,

Oh Turin, Turin, Turin,
why must your sad fate befall?
Oh Turin, Turin, Turin,
beckon to Thingol’s calls,

Beleg did try,
to heal the curse,
Beleg did try,
Turin only got worse,

Oh Hurin, Hurin,
why has fate turned this way?
men bewitched by greed,
of the line of Hurin, Morgoth needn’t slay…

~~ * ~~

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

Become a Numenorean and sail to Middle-earth with us

After a successful Cruise to Middle-earth in November of 2008, and a sequel cruise in December 2012, it is time to complete the Trilogy. This Journey to Middle earth starts on January 2, 2023, in Sydney, Australia as you board the Celebrity Eclipse, and runs 12 nights long, ending in Auckland, New Zealand on January 14, 2023.  This is not a LOTR convention at Sea, but more of a Mobile Middle-earth Moot where we get to see the real-world Middle-earth while enjoying the benefits of a luxurious cruise ship.

The Celebrity Eclipse comes with a 1/2 acre of live grass called the Lawn Club

This 12-night cruise will take you to such filming locations as Hobbiton and Edoras, with the option to visit the WETA Workshop in Wellington on a private tour. Other ports visited will be Melbourne, Dunedin, and the Bay of Islands. And for those choosing to arrive in Sydney a few days early, you will be able to celebrate the New Year’s Celebration near the Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge for fireworks (not included, but I can assist in securing a hotel and flights).

Departs Sydney on January 2, 2023 and ends in Auckland on January 14, 2023

Once the cruise is finished, there will be an optional 2-night post-cruise stay in Auckland so that we can experience WETA Unleashed, and have a farewell dinner in the restaurant at the top of the Sky Tower in Auckland, and have a private tour and dinner in Hobbiton. This allows folks to choose a Cultural or Geological tour option in the port of Tauranga (Rotorua) rather than Hobbiton from the ship, which will be rather short and bunched together with other cruise passengers that might not be as geeky as those in our group. If you choose this post-cruise tour, there will be an additional cost, and you will need to remain in New Zealand at least until January 16, 2023.

Garfeimao and Bella in front of Bagend in 2018

If you choose to arrive on the morning of the cruise, you will have to depart North America on December 31, 2022, to arrive by January 2, 2023, or you can depart earlier and spend a couple of days in Sydney. If you wish to be in Sydney for the actual New Year’s celebration, you will want to depart North America no later than December 29 for a December 31 arrival. For those interested parties in Europe or Down Under, the time difference will affect you differently.

I am arranging an exclusive day tour to visit with WETA in Wellington for us when the ship is in port, which will include a private workshop. There will be a motorcoach to pick us up just outside the port area in the morning and take us over to Miramar to tour the facility, taking in not just LOTR projects, but some of the many other film projects WETA has worked on over the years. This will be topped off with a hands-on workshop on crafting leather and chain maille armor before the motorcoach will take us back to the city center for a self-guided tour inside the Te Papa Museum. You will not want to miss Te Papa, besides it being a world-class museum, there is a Gallipoli exhibit created by WETA that must be seen to believe, and the museum is free. We will then make our own way back to the ship before it departs.  This tour can be purchased as a customized package not included in the cruise fare. A quote will be available shortly.  

The original 2008 Cruise to Middle-earth group, the 5-year-old in the center just finished his first year of college.

On the ship, there will be a few days at sea, with no port stops, so I’ll be planning a few group activities that you can choose to join or not, depending on whether you would prefer to go to the spa or partake in other Ship Hosted activities. There will be a Tolkien Toast on January 3, 2023, to commemorate the Professor’s birthday, and then there will be a few games and group discussions, and maybe singing along to some of Tolkien’s songs found in the books. And this cruise takes place just a couple of months after the Rings of Power airs, so lots to discuss and maybe an additional location or two to be seen. For those of you with Middle-earth costumes, feel free to bring them, especially if they are on the lighter side, for packing purposes. There will be a Costumed Cocktail reception, and for those without costumes, a geeky t-shirt will suffice. The bonus is that you can also wear the costume either in Edoras or Hobbiton or bring two costumes and do both.

Other cruises thought our group were performers and wanted to follow us to our show

The nitty-gritty information for this group is that it has been on sale for several months, so some room types are no longer available. The Cruise pricing fluctuates regularly, based on available discounts for persons who qualify (past passenger, Senior or military rate, etc.) and just what rooms are still open for booking. An interior room right now is starting at $2179 per person, a Balcony room starts at $2429 per person and a Concierge Balcony (more perks) starts at $2869 per person. The private tour to WETA during the ship’s port stop in Wellington will have its own price, to be finalized very soon, and the customized 2-night post-cruise tour in Auckland to Hobbiton and other activities is currently priced at $1170 per person, but that will go down with a few more people booked into the group. There is a small planning fee of $50 per person if booked by May 31, and then it goes up to $100 per person on June 1.

To make an inquiry, please contact me at