Staffer greendragon recently had the pleasure of sitting down with composer Paul Corfield Godfrey and tenor Simon Crosby Buttle to find out more about these epic works, which are finally being made available for us all to enjoy. It’s been a suitably (in a Tolkien-esque sort of way!) long quest, which has included copious correspondence between Godfrey and folks such as Rayner Unwin and Christopher Tolkien – and has even featured an appearance by one of the Tolkien family in a performance! Find out all the fascinating details in our zoom chat:
Good news for all the fans out there who are disappointed that we have yet to see tales from The Silmarillion performed on stage or screen: composer Paul Corfield Godfrey’s suitably epic opera of First Age stories is now available, in a recording made by singers from Welsh National Opera. We may not yet be seeing these tales; but at least you can listen to them!
There are four parts to this mammoth labour of love, all using text taken directly from Tolkien’s writing (with full permission from the Tolkien Estate). Fëanor, Beren and Lúthien, The Children of Húrin and The Fall of Gondolin are available now; and they will be joined in 2023 by a fifth and final part, The War of Wrath. Here are details from the official press release:
The awesome folks at Ravensburger Puzzles wanted us to let you know that right now, fans can snag two awesome puzzles, representing the first two films in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. These beautiful, 2000-piece puzzles are great pieces of art representing each film; The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers are available now at a variety of retailers.
The Return of the King puzzle is coming in 2023, so you won’t have long to wait to get that one as well. These puzzles would make great gifts for the Ringer in your life! We will also be giving you all a look at these puzzles in the future when we put together ours – so be on the lookout for that review.
Meanwhile, you can enter for a chance to win! One lucky winner, chosen at random, will receive both of these first two puzzles in the trilogy. Simply complete this form to be in with a chance to win. The giveaway runs until 11.59pm PT on Wednesday 7th December, and winner will be contacted after that. Sorry, only open to fans in the United States.
We are finally going back to Middle-earth and we get to see so many more places than we’ve ever been able to visit before on Tolkien’s map.
Amazon Prime has finally released the full airing schedule, as shown below. Start marking your calendars to remind you when you can watch the show.
The first two episodes will drop together, and these are the episodes directed by J.A. Bayona. Because they drop together, it is important to note that the first episode is entitled “Shadow of the Past” so that you start off with the correct episode. These will become available on Amazon Prime on Thursday, September 1 starting at 6 pm PT, 9 pm ET and 2 am UK time early Friday, September 2. You will want to sync this info up with your own time zone.
The remaining episodes will drop once a week afterward, starting with Episode 3 on Thursday, September 8 at 9 pm PT, Midnight ET, and 5 am UK time on Friday, September 9, and continue on that same schedule. The 8th episode finale will air on Thursday, October 13 at 9 pm PT, Midnight ET and 5 am UK Time on Friday, October 14. The full schedule is posted below!
Global release occurs on either September 1, 2022 or September 2, 2022 depending on your location
The first TWO episodes will debut together on release night.
Release night timing is the following: September 1, 2022 at 6 PM PT which is 2 AM UK Time on September 2, 2022.
Both Episode 1 and 2 will be available immidiately. Amazon Studios suggests you ensure you first choose Episode 1 titled “SHADOW OF THE PAST” for the best viewing experience. Don’t choose the second episode first by accident!
Episodes 3 to 8 will be singular weekly releases. That is, one episode per week. These episodes will air at 9 PM PT each Thursday. This corresponds to 5 AM UK Time Friday.
The week-by-week Rings of Power schedule
Week 1: Episode 1+2
Episode 1+2 will be available at 6 PM PT THURSDAY NIGHT on September 1, 2022. This is equal to 2 AM UK Time on FRIDAY MORNING, September 2, 2022.
With this schedule, you should be able to plan a Viewing Party or two, for Debut night and Finale night, if not all 7 weeks. If you choose to do so, please do share in the fun with our Twitter/Facebook/Discord social channel of choice and let us know your thoughts. There will also be some live posting, especially in our Discord on show nights, so come play along during the show, or directly afterward for a discussion on what you have just seen.
Since ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ area opened at Universal Studios Florida 12 years ago, rumors of a ‘Lord of the Rings’ themed land at either Universal or Walt Disney World have swirled around the internet. In 2010, shortly after the opening of ‘Wizarding World’, a guest survey was apparently sent out by Universal to gauge public interest in other themed lands. The survey went on to inquire about a potential Lord of the Rings themed ride or area:
“Imagine if you will a world unlike any you’ve ever visited before: it’s Middle Earth, the ancient and beautiful land forged by J.R.R. Tolkien as the backdrop for his two most well known creations, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Walk as a human among dwarves, elves, orcs and hobbits — all faithfully recreated and portrayed in the spirit of the original characters as they appeared in both the books and the movies. In this land you’ll experience one-of-a-kind rides and attractions that bring to life some of the most memorable experiences of Tolkien’s world including Bilbo’s hobbit hole, the fortress at Isengard (before it was destroyed) and even the dark world of Mordor — including the terrifying volcanic Mount Doom.”
Many websites (including, of course, TOR.n!) reported on these rumors, but there has been nothing to substantiate them. Some rumored concepts that have been floating around for the past few years included areas themed around Hobbiton and Rivendell, Middle-earth shops and dining, a boat ride, a ‘Fall of Gandalf’ flying ride (similar to the ‘Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey’ ride at Universal Studios), ‘Escape from Moria’, and a Mordor/Eye of Sauron dark ride.
Cut to 2019: Universal Studios Florida announces that they are creating a 4th theme park (along with Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay) called Epic Universe. Universal has not officially confirmed the new themed areas of this park yet, but the first phase opening (sometime in 2025) is heavily rumored to include areas tied to Super Nintendo World, How to Train Your Dragon, Universal Monsters, and another Wizarding World area (possibly a Ministry of Magic dark ride).
Along with these potential areas, as well as a hotel, shopping and dining areas, are 2 large plots of land set aside for expansion of the park. One area, which is over 20 acres, is next to the proposed Wizarding World land, and it is thought that Universal is holding onto this area should they acquire another large IP (Intellectual Property), which The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit most definitely are!
The theme park fansite ScreamScape recently reported that their sources indicated the first planned expansion for Epic Universe will be to bring the world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth to the park. Whether that would include The Hobbit and the upcoming Amazon tv show is not known. Since the park isn’t scheduled to open for another 3 years, an expansion is most likely 5-10 years away (at least).
At this time, Universal Studios does not have the rights to any Tolkien property. It is worth noting, however, that although the Tolkien Estate holds the rights to Professor Tolkien’s literary works, the movie, merchandise, and theme park rights belong to Middle-earth Enterprises. So it’s not impossible that Universal could buy the rights to design a land, as they did for the Harry Potter franchise. Again, we want to stress that this is all speculation and rumor – as of this writing there are no official plans for The Wizarding World of Middle-earth!
What do you think about a Middle-earth theme park area: “Yay!” or “No Way!”
It’s the discovery of a lifetime: a handwritten manuscript by JRR Tolkien, penned and signed in 1964, has surfaced. This nine-page text, which Christopher Tolkien painstakingly recreated from memory, tells a mostly familiar story for readers of The Silmarillion in chapter 22. Yet, as the ‘original’ manuscript for this part of the story, it contains new treasures to delight the serious Tolkien reader.
This treasure goes under the auction gavel in two weeks with a starting bid of $15,000! Looking over the offerings for this lot is impressive, as The Professor keeps company with the likes of Poe, Dickens, Doyel, Washington, Jefferson, Einstein, Beethoven, and some other incredible artifacts and memorabilia. The manuscript includes a rare genealogy chart titled “Kinship of the Half-Elven,” a signed letter to Mrs. Eileen Elgar in transmission of the manuscript, and “Concerning… The Hoard,” the manuscript itself.