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Archive for the ‘Lord of the Rings’ Category

Today in Middle-earth, April 12

Frodo Gandalf and the RingThe following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on April 12th:

  •  Gandalf reaches Hobbiton (3018) (more…)
Posted in Calendar, Creations, Fans, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Today in Middle-earth

Today in Middle-earth, April 8

Field of Cormallen by Tolman Cotton

The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on April 8th:

  • The Ring-bearers are honoured on the Field of Cormallen (3019)
  • The Ring-bearers revisit fair Ithilien (3019)

(more…)

Posted in Calendar, Creations, Fans, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Today in Middle-earth

Middle-earth Map March Madness – CHAMPION 2019

And like that, it was over. March Madness is put to bed for another year; all that remains for us to do is announce our Grand Champion 2019.

We started back on March 19, with 64 locations facing off in four brackets: The Shire, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. Each round saw some fairly close fights, and some strange pairings (Lonely Mountain vs Misty Mountains! Bag End taking on Hobbiton!). In the very first round, what some say are Tolkien’s ‘two towers’ (Barad-dur and Isengard) faced off. The only battle which matched one found in the Professor’s books was in Round 2, when Fangorn Forest marched to Isengard. Alas, my personal favourite (the Green Dragon, naturally!) fell in Round 3.

Of our two finalists, both started off with pretty easy journeys through the rounds. Early on, Numenor gave Gondolin the biggest challenge, but even they could only take 40% against the elvish city. In the fourth round, however, Gondolin faced tougher competition, and just narrowly defeated the other very strong contender from the Silmarillion bracket, Valinor. And in the Final Four, Gondolin again had a hard time of it, securing victory by just 3% over the Lonely Mountain!

Rivendell, on the other hand, pretty much cruised through; even against Lothlorien, Elrond’s home in the valley was still able to take two thirds of the vote. Did that make Rivendell the favourite in the epic final?

The votes have been counted, and the margin between the two locations was just about 15%. Without further ado, we can reveal this year’s Middle-earth Map March Madness Grand Champion:

Yes, as the early rounds would seem to indicate, Rivendell was the firm favourite. They will be singing tra-la-la-lally there down in the valley to celebrate, no doubt!

Many thanks to all of you who played along, voted, and commented. We always enjoy seeing folks taking part in our version of March Madness, and reading what you have to say. Let us know what you thought of this year’s theme in the comments below, or on Facebook. We hope you’ll join the fun again next year!

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

Middle-earth Map March Madness – GRAND FINAL

And then there were two… After two weeks of battles between some of the key locations of Middle-earth, we’re down to the two places which will fight it out to see who will be Grand Champion 2019.

Two tough duels made up the semi-final. On one side, Bag End took on Rivendell; and as hard as that hole in the ground tried, it just could not overcome the power of Lord Elrond. In the end, Rivendell took almost two thirds of the vote in this contest.

On the other side, Gondolin faced off against the Lonely Mountain; and this was an epic fight indeed! The difference came down to less than 3%! But once again, the magic of the elves won through, and Gondolin just defeated Erebor. The dwarves will not be pleased!

So now the hidden city takes on the hidden valley! Two elvish realms face off in the final: Rivendell vs Gondolin. Which location will be the ultimate victor? YOU DECIDE! Voting in the Final is open now, and only goes for TWO days, until 10pm EST on Friday 5 April. So don’t delay! Rally the troops and VOTE NOW on this post! The Grand Champion will be crowned on Saturday!

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Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

‘Middle-earth Bandersnatch’ set to rock viewers

In a TORn exclusive, we’ve learned Amazon Prime intends to not just break new ground in its new Middle-earth TV show, but blow fantasy apart with a bold move in the offing.Viewers will be able to interact with the show and decide what choices key characters will make. The choose-your-own-adventure approach could provide up to five hours of viewing per episode in the 10-episode first season.

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Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fool, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Old Glaurung News, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, Tolkien

Middle-earth Map March Madness – Final Four

The end is nigh; just two rounds of Middle-earth Map March Madness 2019 remain! We’re down to 4 locations; which are still in with a chance for the title of Grand Champion 2019?

Three of our four categories in this round ended up with roughly two thirds to one third results. In The Shire this saw Bag End conquer its home, Hobbiton. In the Hobbit section, the one overcame the many, as The Lonely Mountain defeated the Misty Mountains. And in the Lord of the Rings bracket, the power of the elves remained strong: Minas Tirith could not overthrow Rivendell.

In the Silmarillion group, however, the battle was much closer; and this time, elvish magic did not win the day. Valinor took an early lead, but in the end it was Gondolin which came out victorious, in a narrow victory with 52% of the vote.

Now the brackets mix, for our final two rounds! Bilbo will have to choose between his own home in The Shire, and the home he loves to visit down in the valley, as Bag End takes on Rivendell. Gondolin marches for the Lonely Mountain; can men overthrow the dwarvish kingdom of Erebor? Will it be elvish stronghold vs dwarvish realm in the final, or will a simple hole in the ground (but not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, mind you) be facing off against a mountain?  YOU DECIDE! Voting in the Semi Finals is open now, until 10pm EST on Wednesday 3 April. Tell your friends; get your supporters lined up; and VOTE NOW on this post!

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Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

Tolkien – Maker of Middle-earth Exhibit

 

I recently visited “Tolkien – Maker of Middle-earth”, an exhibit at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City, which runs through May 12. The exhibit is the most extensive display of original Tolkien material gathered in one place for several generations. It includes pieces from The Morgan, The Bodlein Library archive at Oxford University, the Marquette University Libraries in Milwaukee, and private lenders. It takes you on a journey through the life of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (or as we know him – J.R.R.) with photos, letters, text, and Tolkien’s own work. For me, it was a truly awe-filled and emotional experience.

To enter the exhibit, you walk through the round green door of Bag End to behold a wall-sized mural of Tolkien’s painting of Hobbiton. There are other murals throughout the exhibit, and it is cool to see his work so large because things that are usually seen as tiny details are suddenly more apparent, and you are drawn in to the landscape. But the real attraction of the exhibit is Tolkien’s actual work.

On display is an extensive selection of his original drawings, paintings and hand-written manuscripts. I can’t possibly describe in words what it is like to stand in front of the original hand-painted dust jacket for “The Hobbit”, replete with Tolkien’s handwritten comments in the margins; to view “Conversations with Smaug” so closely that you can see J.R.R’s brushstrokes; to revel in the light of “The Forest of Lothlorien in Spring.” One of my personal favorites is “Bilbo Comes to the Huts of the Raft Elves”, the image chosen for the exhibition’s catalog cover. If you can’t make it to the museum, I highly recommend this book with the same title as the exhibit. It is available online and includes full color images of every piece in the exhibit along with the accompanying text.

Exhibition catalog available online

There are early sketches for The Doors of Durin, which were a special treat for me because I recently painted a life-sized version of the West-Gate of Moria (Speak “Friend” and Enter) at Scum and Villainy Cantina in Hollywood, where Torn Tuesday is broadcast from. There are even pages Tolkien created to look like they were from The Book of Mazarbul – the book that the Fellowship finds besides Balin’s tomb – hand-calligraphed, painted, torn and burnt. Tolkien the artist could have found himself a place on the team at WETA.

Page from The Book of Mazarbul

There were many manuscript pages filled with Tolkien’s tight, flourishy handwriting, written first in pencil, then erased and crossed-out, then written over in ink. It’s amazing to me that these were able to be deciphered and included in the books.

There were quite a few different, and often large, hand-drawn maps of Middle-earth; original book jackets for LotR; some of the charming drawings and letters from Father Christmas that Tolkien sent to his children. And there were illustrations I’d never seen before – beautiful pieces expressing Tolkien’s vision of Fairy and his ideas about how creativity flows. There were even full-sized newspaper pages crammed with his colorful doodles, some quite Elven in style.

One thing that really struck me was a hand-calligraphed letter that was meant to be reproduced and included at the end of the Lord of the Rings, but unfortunately, the publishers nixed the idea. The letter was from Aragorn to Master Samwise, letting Sam know the King would be stopping for a visit outside the Shire. The letter has two versions side-by-side written in Tengwar – one in Sindarin, the common tongue, and one in the high-Elven speech, Quenya.

Aragorn’s letter to Sam

And there was mention of an epilogue for LotR that Tolkien wanted to write. In it Sam was to tell his family what happens to all the characters after the end of the Lord of the Rings. When I researched this further, I found a snippet of his intended conclusion, which appears in the ninth volume of “The History of Middle-earth”:

‘… said Elanor. “A story is quite different, even when it is about what happened. I wish I could go back to old days!”

            “Folk of our sort often wish that,” said Sam. “You came at the end of a great age, Elanor; but though it’s over… things don’t really end sharp like that… There are still things for you to see, and maybe you’ll see them sooner than you hope.”’

It makes me think Tolkien knew that his epic story would go on and on, even if he could never have imagined the film-making technology that would become available to make it happen.

I hope you have a chance to see the exhibit, for it is truly incredible and a joy to behold.

Posted in Books Publications, Exhibits, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Tolkien, Tolkien Art, Uncategorized

Middle-earth Map March Madness ROUND 4

It’s Quarter Final time in Middle-earth Map March Madness 2019! 64 locations began this epic battle; now only 8 remain. Which are still with us?

News from The Shire which I personally find tragic: the Green Dragon Inn is out! Alas, the pub could only muster just over a quarter of the vote; Bag End looks like a hot favourite to go all the way in this contest. The Shire’s other pub, the Prancing Pony, is also out, beaten by Hobbiton.

In the Lord of the Rings section Minas Tirith easily conquered Fangorn Forest, once again securing a victory with almost three quarters of the vote. The other duel in this bracket was a tough one: Lothlorien vs Rivendell! How did YOU choose between those two elvish strongholds? In the end, it was Elrond who conquered Galadriel, with two thirds of the poll.

For the second round running, the closest face off in this round was to be found in the Hobbit bracket; this time Elrond was not victorious, as the Misty Mountains defeated the Last Homely House, but with only just over 1% in it! The Lonely Mountain had a more convincing win over Mirkwood, claiming almost 70% of the vote.

Finally, in the Silmarillion group Gondolin and Valinor are still cruising through, taking 86% and 85% respectively. Could one of these locations go on to be the overall winner?

Just one more round within brackets remains, and there are some tough choices to be made! Hobbiton takes on Bag End; Minas Tirith throws down with Rivendell;  the mountains face off as Erebor challenges the Misty Mountains; and in perhaps the most epics of duels, Gondolin confront Valinor. Which locations will be triumphant, and move on to the semi finals? YOU DECIDE! Voting in Round 4 is open now, until 10pm EST on Sunday 31 March. Rally the troops for your favourites, and VOTE NOW on this post!

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Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

Middle-earth Map March Madness ROUND 3

Here we go – Middle-earth Map March Madness 2019 Round 3! We’re down to just 16 locations; let’s see which have made the cut:

Starting in The Shire, the closest contest was between the Party Tree and the Prancing Pony, with the pub taking two thirds of the vote. All of the other winning locations had over 80% in the polls; Hobbiton easily defeated Bree, and Bag End and the Green Dragon Inn are also going through. Now for some tough pairings! Can the Green Dragon beat Bag End? I’m keeping my fingers crossed…

The Lord of the Rings bracket saw Minas Tirith take three quarters of the vote to see off Helm’s Deep; clearly Rohan is no match for Gondor! The power of the elves was in evidence, as Lothlorien and Rivendell easily defeated Mount Doom and Moria respectively. And as one would expect, Fangorn Forest overthrew Isengard; the filth of Saruman is washing away… Now the ents must march to the white city; and we have an elvish smackdown! Who will be victorious when Rivendell takes on the heart of Elvendom on earth? YOU decide! Vote now!

The closest battle of Round 2 was in the Hobbit locations; the Misty Mountains ultimately vanquished Beorn’s House, but with only just over half the vote. Smaug’s Lair was conquered by its host, the Lonely Mountain; now Erebor faces Mirkwood, as that ‘tree infested’ area overcame Lake-town. Elves were winning in this bracket too, with the Last Homely House taking over 60% against Dale.

In the Silmarillion category the men of Numenor have been conquered by Gondolin, after putting up a brave fight but only being able to take 40% of the vote. The good guys are dominant in the rest of this category, with Doriath, the Halls of Mandos, and Valinor all cruising to victory, over Angband, Thangorodrim and Nargothrond. Valinor is definitely the location to beat in this bracket; can the Halls of Mandos put up a good fight in Round 3?

The biggest victor in this entire round was Bag End, so that seems to be the odds on favourite now. (Come on Green Dragon!!) The power is in YOUR hands, and voting in Round 3 closes at 10pm EST on Thursday 28 March: VOTE NOW! In this round you will be able to check the results as the polls unfold; so check back often to see how your favourites are doing, and to rally support around them if need be! [View Full Round 3 Bracket]

Vote Below!

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Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

Lootcrate Lord of the Rings crates: EXCLUSIVE reveal of premier item

It seems a long time ago that we first let you know about Lootcrate’s exciting Lord of the Rings crates. At last they are nearly here! If you want to join the fun for the first of the three crates, you need to sign up by March 30, (though should you miss that deadline, you can still sign up later for the subsequent packages).  Full information can be found on Lootcrate’s website.

The good folks at Lootcrate have given us an exclusive reveal of a premier item which will ship in the first crate! The beautiful, stoneware Prancing Pony stein (below) is 12.7cm tall and 10.5cm in diameter. It features the pub logo on a medallion on the front. It’s a really lovely, weighty item of high quality, which feels great in the hand, and will make you feel like you’re back in Bree enjoying a pint after a hard day’s work (if you’ve ever done a hard day’s work…) This gorgeous collectible is exclusive to Lootcrate, and is just one of the treasures you will receive in the first crate! You can only get this stein if you sign up for the first Lord of the Rings one time only, limited edition crate. You only have five more days to sign up; don’t delay!

Lootcrate.com

 

Posted in Clothing, Clothing, Collectibles, Lord of the Rings, Merchandise, Other Merchandise, Shop, Tolkien

Today in Middle-earth, March 25

map Battle of Morannon and Mt Doom March 25The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on March 25th:

  • The Captains of the West come to the Black Gate (3019)
  • The Host is surrounded on the Slag-hills (3019)
  • Downfall of Barad-dûr and the passing of Sauron (3019)
  • Frodo and Samwise reach the Sammath Naur (3019)
  • Gollum seizes the Ring and falls in the Cracks of Doom (3019)
  • Minas Tirith (3019)
  • Gondor proclaims their New Year (3019)
  • Frodo comes home  (3020)
  • Birth of Elanor the Fair, daughter of Samwise (3021)
  • The First “Tolkien Reading Day” (2003) 

(more…)

Posted in Calendar, Creations, Fans, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Today in Middle-earth, Tolkien Reading Day

Middle-earth Map March Madness Round 2 update!

Middle Earth March Madness 2019 - Round 2 Match-ups Graphic

Middle-earth Map March Round 2 is underway – and here’s how this round is unfolding thus far.

No location has a lead in the 90% zone; the biggest leaders are all in the 80s. They are Bag End, leading against the Brandywine Bridge by 88% to 12%; Lothlorien thrashing Mount Doom with a lead of 84%; and Bree is proving to be no match against Hobbiton, only managing to secure 14% of the vote. Valinor is also cruising to another easy victory, currently leading by 83% to 17% against Nargothrond.

It is of course the close battles which are most interesting. Right now the Misty Mountains are only 2% ahead of Beorn’s House, so that duel could go either way! Mirkwood is ahead of Lake-town, but by only 58% to 42% – so get over there and vote if you want to see Esgaroth turn that fight around. The margin between the Halls of Mandos and Angband is similar; Morgoth’s fortress is giving the home of elvish souls a run for its money, so far managing to claim 41% in the poll. Numenor likewise has 41% against Gondolin; if you’d like to see the men of the West pull out a victory against Turgon’s city, you’d better vote now!

In the match-up which actually replicates an event from the books, Fangorn Forest has business with Isengard… And so far, the result is as you would expect: Fangorn leading with two thirds of the vote.

Round 2 closes at 10pm EST tomorrow, Monday 25th. So don’t delay – only you can decide which locations go through to Round 3 of Middle-earth Map March Madness! VOTE NOW!

 

Click here to Vote Now

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien