Staffer Demosthenes returns from the wilderness, to consider what the plot of Amazon’s Middle-earth TV series might be…

Hello! It’s been a while!

However, the fine folk of TORn have defrosted me from cryogenic stasis just in time to offer a few thoughts on the recently announced synopsis for the forthcoming Amazomg(tm) Middle-earth series.

I’m going to cut straight to chase and simply start dissecting what I consider to be the guts of their statement. The implicit assumption is that the series is focusing on events of the Second Age. Given the content of the maps revealed by the production crew, I think we’re long past the time where that’s a controversial conclusion.

Amazon's map, showing the West of Middle-earth, and the island of Numenor.  What clues does it give us about the plot of Amazon's Middle-earth TV series?

But what does the rest mean? Given that the Second Age covers more than 3000 years, can we narrow down what time period the series may address?

Continue reading “Analysis: what can we deduce from the Amazon synopsis about the plot of the new Middle-earth series?”

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.

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.

Don’t disturb the water

By D.McGlinchey

Don’t disturb the water, it is best to leave It be.
For I fear there’s something hid within its quiet serenity.
Don’t disturb the water, come away now we must go.
I know the calmness of the top can hide turbulence below.
Don’t disturb the water, something’s watching as we go.
Hasten now from the waters edge ere it drags us down below.

~~ * ~~

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.

“Far, far below the deepest delving of the dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he. Now I have walked there, but I will bring no report to darken the light of day.” (Gandalf, p.122, The Two Towers)

Hobbit, Ent, Orc, Fell Beast – Tolkien’s world is rich with the great and small, good and evil, heroic and cowardly; all unique, all memorable. But it is the one brief description, that has sat at the back of my mind for many years, that has intrigued me most. We can always ask questions about alternative history – what would have happened if… and why didn’t… – and have a relatively strong consensus about what may or may not happen; but what about those things that we cannot explain, nor even so much as describe? I am, of course, talking about the ‘nameless things’, who dwell deep within the fabric of the world.

Pablo Dominguez - Ungoliant, The Gloomweaver
Pablo Dominguez – Ungoliant, The Gloomweaver

These creatures: Do they bear claws? Do they have multiple eyes or limbs? Do they have rows and rows of sharpened teeth? Who knows? Only our imaginations. It is our imaginations that forge the images we perceive from those few written words upon the page; and it is those few words that make all the difference from a passing description, to a hidden labyrinth of endless possibility and imagery.

“Imagination is the reality of the dreamer.” (Ringenbach 2020) How apt is that statement? It’s something I’m sure even Tolkien would approve of. It was never Tolkien’s intent to embed reality within our minds, but for us to decide upon the reality we perceive from his words; perhaps, in a way, like the Bible.

Who could be aware of such creatures without name, nor form? Eru perhaps? They are, after all, dwelling within the world he created. Surely, of all beings, he would be the most aware of their presence? Could the Valar know of them; those supposedly, ‘all-wise’, ‘all-knowing’ beings who live far from the troubles of Middle-earth? I think not. They were blind to Morgoth’s manipulations during his time in Valinor, the fight of the Noldor, and many more events that shaped the First Age and beyond. Perhaps Morgoth? Some make the claim that the nameless things are creatures of the Dark Lord’s design during the early days of the world, perhaps bred in the lairs of Utumno and Angband. I find this unlikely, as not even Sauron was aware of their presence, as Gandalf states in The Two Towers. As Sauron was Morgoth’s lieutenant, he would be privy to his master’s council and command, rendering any argument for Sauron’s awareness and therefore the likelihood of Morgoth’s creation of them completely improbable. One being that would almost certainly be aware of them would be the Balrog, Durin’s Bane, as it was he who fought Gandalf to the very bowels of the earth, and used the tunnels made by the nameless things to dwell in and travel through. It could even be possible that Durin’s Bane fought with them, mirroring the battle between Morgoth and the Balrogs against Ungoliant, thousands of years before. Perhaps this is some wishful thinking, but I believe that was Tolkien’s intention – to encourage more wishful thinking among his readers.

Heather Hudson – The Nameless Thing

I would tell you to bear this in mind – are these creatures not of the same design as Ungoliant, the Great Spider; wrenched from the void during the Ainulindalë as the songs of both Eru and Morgoth brought unbalance to the One’s creation? It must be this riff that brought the void’s darkness into the world and, over time, this darkness manifesting itself into those nameless things Gandalf later describes.

The nameless things then, are creatures akin to Ungoliant, who was the incarnation of the void itself: a force of pure darkness, always hungry, always devouring, that brought even Morgoth to heel. If she, a single creature of this kind, could have wrought so much devastation to both the Valar, by draining the life of Laurelin and Telperion (the Two Trees of Valinor), and to Morgoth (by trapping him within her darkened web), then who knows what those nameless things could conjure? As it states, there are multiple ‘things’, so how do we know that, given the chance, they wouldn’t grow to the size of Ungoliant, or even supersede her?

Despite Tolkien’s tendency to narrate the battle between good and evil, he has, perhaps without even realising, created another battle; the battle between light and dark. This is certainly not the same as good versus evil. It is easy for people to categorise light with good and darkness with evil, as this is the perception we often grow up with from our parents telling us stories, to watching children’s programmes or reading superhero comics. It is a very religious narrative, and with Tolkien’s strong practice of Catholicism, it is understandable, but predictable. But this battle between light and dark signifies more the battle between life and death. Nothing can grow without light. No flower. No tree. Nothing. It is what the nameless things typify: the devouring of all life without care, nor understanding for good versus evil; and that is arguably a far greater foe than Morgoth ever could be.

I believe they lie in wait, trapped within their own darkened labyrinth; a prison matched only by the Timeless Void in which Morgoth awaits his fateful return to the world, wrapped within the chains of Angainor and collared by his own monstrous iron crown. Perhaps, when the fateful day of Dagor Dagorath arises, then these creatures will finally rear their heads and reach the surface, hell- bent to extinguish all light within Eä.

– Liam Clements-Pope

Liam is a guest writer for TheOneRing.net and a student at the University of South Wales, UK. He is also an aspiring film director/screenwriter.

References:
Tolkien J.R.R. (1954) The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. George Allen and Unwin. Ringenbach. S. (2020) Quotes.net (15/11/2020)

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.

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.

Son of Gondor

By Oakenshield

He dreams of white towers and days of old;
For his city to return to glory.
Brave is the soul of Boromir the Bold,
With distant words does he share his story.

His soul is burdened and torn asunder,
But he holds hope that he will make things right.
When The One Ring’s power calls like thunder,
His mortal heart nearly loses its fight.

At his friends’ peril, his goodness prevailed,
But his body is pierced by arrow blades.
He kept his honor, though he thought he failed
His brothers move on, but Boromir fades.

He bids farewell to his Captain, his king,
Rest, Son of Gondor, for hope did you bring.

~~ * ~~

Beleriand

by: Eli R.

To north, to north there lay the land of dread
Dungorthin, where all ways were dead
In hill, in hills of shadow bleak and cold
Beyond was deadly nightshades hold

To south, to south the wide earth unexplored
To west, to west the ancient ocean roared
To east, to east in peaks of blue were piled
The mountains of the outer world

Unsailed and shoreless, wide and wild
To east in peaks of blue were piled
In silence folded, mist unfurled
The mountains of the outer world

Beyond the tangled, woodland shade
Thorn and thicket, grove and glade
Whose brooding boughs of magic hung
Were ancient when the world was young

~~ * ~~

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.

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TheOneRing.net Staff

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.

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.

Gallantry

Joel D

Hark! ye lads of noble stock
To lore of courage born on rock
Hark, Oromë!  Hark, Nahar!
Praise the tale sung under Star
A Firstborn of the Kindreds Three
The son of tree and branch was he
Worn by grief of Olórin slain,
He heedless journeys on again
Keen of eye and fleet of foot,
The Elven prince leaps from his root
Forth the Three Hunters!
Yo ho!

Not the least among Durin’s folk,
He tramps his boots o’er rill and rook,
Striding twice for every step
Of Man and Elf beside him, kept
Watch at midnight, awake at dawn,
Running, running, o’er hill and lawn,
Never tiring, ever forward,
Never yielding, ever onward,
With iron will and heart of flesh,
The Dwarvish lord ne’er stops to rest
Forth the Three Hunters!
Yo ho!

Come! O Wind, to speed their flight,
Through endless day, through restless night
Come, Elessar!  Come, Andúril!
Both Tree and Flower endureth still
Now he holds his hand on high,
Wielding sword and crying, Fly!
With me cross stone and plain
Our friends to find, our foes to gain!
Long foretold, rugged, old,
The King of Men came, strong and bold
Forth the Three Hunters!
Yo ho!

~~ * ~~

To Break Men

by David McGlinchey

Long time forming, melding, churning.
Long time planned from Melkor’s yearning.
Long time whispered, chanted the curse
From Sorcerer’s lips inscribed to verse.
This time, my time, the time to end time
This time, Saurons time,
Time to cease, the White Tower chime
Time for the Wolf’s head
Time for my roar
Time ends for Men when I smash down their door!

~~ * ~~

The Dance of the Wind and Dust

By: Tom Frye

All we are is dust in the wind,
is an understatement here in Nebraska.
Because here, it’s the dust of
a thousand back country roads,
that keeps the landscape alive.

That same dust was kicked up
by the buffalo and horses
of the Plains Indians.
That same dust found its way
into the cabins of
the first pioneers to tread the land.

It’s the dust of those country roads
that mars and scars the old wood
of the barns, farmhouses, and road signs.
That dust paints a vivid picture
of the distant past, the present day,
and the oncoming future.

Particles of dusty DNA
are carried far on strong winds.
Those same winds once
blew winter storms away,
sent tornadoes howling
and screaming across the prairie.

Wind and dust created a wild dance,
like barroom betties kicking up their heels.
It’s the wind and the dust
that we endure out here in the sticks
of Nebraska.

Because if we can survive that,
we can survive anything.

© Copyright 2019 by Tom Frye 

~~ * ~~

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.