“You have 90 seconds or sometimes less to transport people psychologically into a place where they’re ready.”

“Rings, numbers and trees are all important symbols”
Photo and quote courtesy of Variety.com

Variety’s Karen Peterson takes us on her deep dive with creatives Mark Bashore and Katrina Crawford, creators of Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power main title sequence.

Bashore explains, “We came with the idea of a main title built from the world of sound, not built from the world of film.”

Read or listen here. Thanks to Discord Ringer RichardVII for the link! If you’d like to join the chat, we’re open 24/7 over at our Discord server. You can also find a prior article on this topic here with a link to Plains of Yonder, where no doubt you’ll find Mark and Katrina cooking up more great stuff.

It’s been a long wait for Prime Video’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” — a test of patience doggedly undertaken by eager fans of J.R.R. Tolkien; fraught with slow leaks of information and faceless posters. For the artists and creators making this new series it was much more of an arduous journey, I’m sure. All roads must lead to the television set this Labor Day weekend as we finally arrive at this grand moment: we all get to return to Middle-earth.

Television? It might as well be a huge silver screen, for these sumptuous first two episodes are filled with director J.A. Bayona’s painterly and vivid images; awash (sometimes literally) with cinematic scale one cannot deny.

Lindon Under Moonlight, the Kingdom of Gil-galad, High King of the Noldor

Just letting these glorious images rise and crest over you is an experience in itself. Bayona immerses the senses with a sure hand while story beats gently move along.

After being away from any new adaptation of Middle-earth for a decade the audience is beckoned to rediscover insanely lush Elven forests and Dwarven Halls at the pinnacle of their glory. I remember seeing various things in Peter Jackson’s LOTR — like decayed statues appearing subtly behind Frodo’s shoulder in the odd scene. In this Second Age timeframe Rings of Power is the ultimate way-back machine (we are talking thousands of years) to when those freshly-hewn statues still resonated from the original sculptor’s determined chisel. Likewise we sense the determination of showrunners Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne — building visual hints and connections to our existing ideas of what Middle-earth looks like while employing unique brushstrokes of their own. Bear McCreary shines with a luminous score. The opening theme crafted by Oscar-winner Howard Shore is surprisingly understated yet filled with omen (it is not heard in the opening episode, just the following 2-8).

Details and Grand Scale in Middle-earth

Production Design, Costumes, VFX and Tech Departments are firing on all cylinders here, mesmerizing you with rich details barely on screen for a scant few seconds before moving on to the next wondrous reveal. They’ll need to buy a big trophy case for all the Emmys. Trust.

It is satisfying to see such care put into everything. The scale of Tolkien’s Secondary World deserves it; and indeed these early episodes work hard to establish context to this newly envisioned world we Tolkien fans know as Arda. Newbies and casual viewers will not be at a loss, which is saying something considering the further reaches we are exploring. I particularly liked the ingenious use of Tolkien’s maps. They are ubiquitous (to the delight of every nerd in the house). The editors use clever cross-dissolves that sweep the audience across both a map and spectacular arial shots of New Zealand. Geographical names shine with golden letters as the map fades away — the letters have now become a convenient “lower-3rd” establishing our location. Such thoughtful touches deepen the immersion.

Remember when Amazon started their marketing campaign with just a blank map?

Actually, we are gifted with visits to places in Arda frequently discussed by academics and fans alike yet have NEVER been revealed on-screen. To me it is quite interesting, even thrilling to see these places!

Striking far afield from any other Tolkien adaptation, we are no longer confined to the geography of Bilbo’s journey or the events of the War of the Ring. Even though we won’t get to Númenor until Episode 3, a vivid series of gorgeous locales are at the forefront here: Lindon on the western shores of Middle-earth, the Southlands where Men dwell (which is indeed the far Southeast of Núrn before it was Mordor), Rhovanion where the Harfoots migrate, and above Eregion right up to Khazad-dûm’s unassuming western door. Another future gate to be built there will be significant and familiar. Striking deep into the Wilderlands, the Sundering Seas, the frozen wastes of Forodwaith, Rings of Power satisfies that wanderlust to see strange and distant lands from the pages of Tolkien.

And yes, everything I saw in the first two episodes feels very much like Tolkien, albeit with a sprinkling of new characters and plotlines he never penned.

Licensing Governs What We Witness Here

If you’re like me, you’ve certainly heard quite enough hand-wringing from folks worried that “The Appendices” of LOTR are barely enough to sustain a series. Look, the Tolkien Estate went ahead and licensed the 2nd Age stories as a complete package deal, with the intent that new creators could crystallize an epic story from them. Way back in time John Boorman had a chance at LOTR and it failed to manifest (thank heavens); then suddenly Ralph Bakshi created a remarkable first feature film adaptation of it. Also on television rights side there was the animation classic that won the Peabody Award — Arthur Rankin Jr. & Jules Bass’ The Hobbit. Later indie New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson would helm a worldwide 3-year juggernaut of cinema. Will you look at that! Such an evolution of different adaptations have appeared since Professor Tolkien himself sold the rights. I’m highly intrigued now to have five seasons of deeply artful portrayals of Middle-earth and that is an encouraging thought.

I’m looking forward to talking at the Thanksgiving table with family and dropping stuff about of The Fall of Númenor — yet this time everyone will get it.

Khazad-dûm at its glorious height.

Granted, whether they stray too far from lore is yet to be seen, but I’m open minded. All signs here point to a careful foundation being built; meant to support epicness yet to come. Certainly we shall revisit this entire Season One after it’s completely available.

I am not envious of the Rings of Power writer’s room having such a unique challenge. They are not adapting, I sense, but rather it seems like a distillation. An alchemy of mixing ingredients guided by the Appendices. They are trying to distill the essence from the ancient fibers of pages that Tolkien insisted on inclusion in the 1955 publication of “The Return of the King,” much to his Publisher’s displeasure at the delay. He wanted the Appendices available to support his wider Legendarium. Of course, deviations and constricting of time are just going to happen, as they do in any adaptation requiring different idioms of delivering a well-told story. I would point to Miyazaki’s remarkable deviations from Diana Wynne Jones’ “Howl’s Moving Castle.” I see his adaptation as a blissful, rich distillation of her work. Though clearly not the novel, it stands as a unique, moving piece of art.

Is there A Prologue?

Yes, and it’s a doozy. This all-too-brief Prologue includes the shadow of Morgoth over the Two Trees and a gasp-inducing shot from The War of Wrath. Was that really Ancalagon the Black we just saw taking down a giant Eagle or was that some Fell Beast of Morgoth? Saruon appears in a stunning tableaux invoking a Frazetta painting dripping with evil — it is but a fleeting moment. This setup provides the context between the First and Second Ages that a general audience would need. Deep readers of Tolkien will not find “The Silmarillion” levels of detail in this highly-condensed opener. Galadriel narrates, naturally. She is but a child at this time, living in Tirion, conversing with her brother Finrod. No other siblings; so don’t expect First Age minutiae not included in the license. Emotions pure enough to fuel an Elven memory are Bayona’s main concern here. A few critical points of history are established and then we swiftly move on. Beleriand by name is not mentioned. We have Lindon and Eregion now as the centers of Elven life in Middle-earth.

But that brief moment in Valinor is genuinely lovely in the most Tolkienesque way.

The Strength of a Great Cast

To the show’s credit the many appealing characters played by a winning cast handle things flawlessly. Hands down, casting was crucial as it has been in previous adaptations. Note the scene where two Elves look each other in the eye and discuss metaphysical things in earnest. How refreshing a narrative placement for these ideas to live and breathe. Even if Tolkien didn’t specifically write them, I’m glad to see it in this type of television.

The grand design of these character’s arcs are only hinted at during the establishing efforts of Episodes 1 and 2 but the larger supporting legs of this giant table are already apparent:

  1. The journeys / ambition of Galadriel
  2. Southlanders in trouble
  3. Harfoots in the wild
  4. The inimitable Elrond/Prince Durin friendship

I know there’s supposed to be a 5th leg supporting the table — the rise of Sauron — but in these opening episodes he is nowhere to be seen, that we know of, either as Sauron or Annatar.

All of the secrecy in the world is piled up to shroud Sauron’s true identity from audience and characters alike. This is also true of The Stranger. As far as deliberate mysteries, I find these are the biggest two. We are all looking for signs of Annatar — the fair form Sauron could take to fool others. Fan theories are rampant. If we are playing a “Where’s Waldo” among characters looking for Annatar, well, I’d say I cannot even tell who Waldo is yet. A new human character from the Southlands named Halbrand has opening dialogue which makes me alert: “Looks can be deceiving.”

My current favorite theories about The Stranger (bracingly portrayed by Daniel Weyman) include him being one of the Istari, the Wizards of the Third Age, or even better being the Maiar Eönwë himself, arriving in a meteor to suss out the presence of Sauron. Let the guessing games continue with hearty speculation! Will fortune favor this bold choice by the writers? I’m very curious indeed.

It’s quite an interesting dance the showrunners have found themselves waltzing. From interviews with McKay and Payne we know things will get squishy with a very condensed timeline. Yes, two Durin’s are alive at the same time, I know, but let us see where this goes…

The Height of Dwarven Might

My favorite thing of this whole endeavor, so far, is the realization of Khazad-dûm — the mightiest Kingdom of the Dwarves under the Misty Mountains. Destined to be found when the first forefather of all Durins looked into the Kheled-zâram, the Mirrormere, and beheld the crown of stars above his head. A location forever cemented in our minds as a ruined, Balrog-infested nightmare; but here how things are so different, so fresh, so alive!

We get the dynamic interplay between Robert Aramayo’s elegant Elrond and his dear friend Prince Durin IV, a cinderous Owain Arthur. Against the backdrop of the a truly extraordinary, verdant Dwarven Kingdom these two bicker and fight and test and forgive and reconcile all within this one episode and I’m immediately drawn in. I just loved this stuff and how it represents Tolkien’s dynamic relationships between Elves and Dwarves. The vibrant Sophia Nomvete brings life to Disa, the better half of the fiery Dwarf Prince, and her energy uplifts everything.

Fans are going to ship hard for Durin IV and Elrond, mark my words.

Celebrimbor is ready to steal the show at any minute, you can catch magnificent glimpses from Charles Edwards. You can tell he is the lightning about to strike somewhere in the distance. Yet after his character is tantalizingly introduced he then stays offstage, waiting outside the door (literally at one point).

Durin IV and Disa

What Else is Good?

The Harfoots are amazing. Suddenly everyone will press “Pause” to freeze frame a closer inspection of those props and items. Great credit to the Property Masters and Art Department — what they came up with is grand. It is delicious to see how the Harfoots keep themselves hidden yet immediately can be set adrift to migrate to other places where fields and weather might be more kind, as generations demand over time. Thus continue traditions of the finest agrarian ingenuity deserving of early Hobbits.

A most satisfying portrayal of the Southlanders bears a dynamic worth exploring. Descendants of Men known to have worshipped Morgoth have immediate tension between them and Sylvan Elves who watch over their lifelong settlements. Sharply-observant Arondir (Ismael Cruz Cordova) walks into the Public House and is glared down by all the patrons. I’m sure there are few who can smolder onscreen the way Cruz Cordova can smolder. He is mesmerizing to watch. As a fiery healer, Nazanin Boniadi is a good counterpoint to him. She and her son Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin) have a future part to play in much greater things, methinks, especially with that weird Sauron-infested blade Theo seems to have kept hidden away for no reason. After seeing these segments with the Southlanders you’ll never see Mordor the same way again. It’s rather, shall we say, lovely.

Playing a Bit Outside the Box with Lore

There’s a huge moment that might be way too SPOILERY for you but here we go, stop reading for two paragraphs then continue — it’s in the 1st Episode and we need to talk about this rather binary choice that was given to Galadriel. I don’t want to say, just yet, that any one leg of this table is a little wee bit wobbly — but if there were such a thing, this is it. This early serving of Galadriel’s motivations and actions are in many ways resonant and beautiful, but at one point when Gil-galad offers her to access the Gift of the Valar and return to the Undying Lands (what’s that about), there was a story-point I really had to get my head around. I worked too hard for it, actually.

I wondered why such a powerful character would just jump from the ship right before it enters Valinor, leaving the most powerful Noldorin Elf adrift in the empty waves: no rations, no fresh water, no plan, nowhere to go. I thought for a moment, have they written themselves into a corner here? Then after sharing some thoughtful conversation with Tolkien Professor Corey Olsen and Matt Nerd of the Rings we figured this was maybe a lore-moment that would raise a few eyebrows.

Maybe it seemed really “out there” but it’s a binary choice ultimately to dramatize what Valinor looks like — as a place, as as destination for the sprit and body and soul. It occurred to me this huge set-piece is here for television audience’s sake. So a few Seasons moving on, when Ar-Pharazon seeks out this same place, audiences will recognize what is at stake. This is where books adapted into TV can vary the most wildly, folks, where big attempts at dramatizing the metaphysical can be, well, dictated buy the visual economy of televised storytelling. I daresay her standing on the shore and politely saying “No,” and refusing to even get on the boat would be rather dull in the end.

Me quibbling that aside, the ferocity and wisdom in Morfydd Clark’s eyes is compelling. She delivers a great performance as Galadriel, glints in her eyes of great tragedy and also light. Halbrand, played with a studied glare by Charlie Vickers, has a strange pouch around his neck bearing a strange sigil, and how quickly he hides it.

Being teased by strange mysteries hidden within a newly visualized Middle-earth is where this series is headed, and I’m glad to take the ride.

Once we get past this entire First Season’s run of 8 full episodes we shall have a better grasp, certainly, of how they manage to keep these plates spinning. One wonders, dimly, what changes we will see between this and future Seasons. The many riches on display in this first Season were produced solely in New Zealand — everything going forward will be new Heads of Departments, new crew, new studios, and perhaps a difference in approach and energy. That remains to be seen yet I am most curious.

An Overall Rating, But Only So Far

Giving an overall rating should really wait till then: but if we are all insisting then I’ll give these two Episodes a solid 8.5 out of 10, where things are yet to be resolved, this number will certainly change.

The Rings of Power is eager to please, as I said on Twitter. There is wonderment and a strong undercurrent of greatness that could be a real knock-out, if the stars align, or the Meteor Man arrives. One need not be afraid to enter gamely into Lore discussions (“Why is there even a Meteor Man?”) because from those open-handed chats we all learn and appreciate more about Tolkien — and what we love about him. Again, pass or fail, The Rings of Power surely will bring new readers with a healthy curiosity. And so in the end we get to engage and encourage an ongoing fandom.

That’s what I meant by “Everyone Wins.”

Much too hasty,

Clifford Broadway is the Writer & Producer of the Award-Winning Documentary "Ringers: Lord of the Fans, a Co-Host for the weekly livestream "TORn Tuesday" hosted by TheOneRing.net on mutliple platforms. His articles on Tolkien and popular culture appear in "Famous Monsters of Filmland" and on DeviantArt, also within "The People's Guide To J.R.R. Tolkien" (Cold Spring Press)  

The rollout of the Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power TV series has re-energized Middle-earth fandom, and one thing is clear, we all love to get together, online, at conventions, and at the theater and talk Tolkien.

Reading The Hobbit during the Baggins Birthday Bash

The Baggins Birthday Bash, coming to Los Angeles at 11:30am on September 24 at Griffith Park’s Mineral Wells picnic area is the perfect way for SoCal Tolkien fans to gather and party like Hobbits. There will be games, there will be food, there will be plenty of Tolkien discussion going on, and I’m sure we can fit some fun in there somewhere.

Regarding food, in the before times it was a big buffet, and last year, we decided to ask everyone to just bring enough food and drink for their own party. This year, it will probably end up being a bit of a hybrid. Some will just bring what they want to eat, and a few will bring shareable dishes, and we’ll let the food and drink sort itself out. It would be nice if some folks bring extra picnic plates and cups, maybe some paper towels, and of course, everyone should bring a portable chair or blanket and a popup if you have it.

We would like to bring back the Cake or Cupcake contest for the best Middle-earth designed desserts. We’ve had some really creative and beautiful designs in the past, so start contemplating now on how to wow your fellow fans this year. Costumes are welcome, as usual, especially any new 2nd Age costumes. If we do trivia, there is a decent chance it will include some references to the Rings of Power show, since the 5th episode will have screened just 2 days before the picnic.

Please do RSVP on our Facebook Event page, located at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1271178800320132/ and read through the About Details, including selecting ‘see more’ to access the directions for those driving from different sections of Southern California in order to get to Griffith Park and the Mineral Wells section of the park.

Just six weeks ago, it felt like a Rings of Power drought. Now every day there’s a new batch of interviews and reveals. These are via Time Magazine writer Eliana Dockterman. Dockterman was able to shadow and interview the showrunners and key cast at San Diego Comic-Con.

Below are summaries and links to four articles that emerged from that for your reading pleasure.

The Secretive, Extravagant, Bighearted World of The Rings of Power, the Most Expensive Show Ever Made

Tears are streaming down Ismael Cruz Córdova’s chiseled cheekbones. Somehow, hardly anyone notices. I’m at San Diego Comic-Con, halfway through 96 hours spent shadowing the cast and creators of The Rings of Power, Amazon’s highly anticipated Lord of the Rings prequel series. Tomorrow, franchise superfan Stephen Colbert will debut a trailer for the series to 6,500 screaming attendees, many wearing pointy wizard hats. But tonight, at a private dinner, journalists are getting an early preview of the video in a golden faux forest constructed by Amazon for the occasion.

After a day spent among the convention crowd in 80-degree heat, sweaty, sneaker-clad members of the press mingle with actors dressed in cocktail attire: Córdova has chosen a sharp suit with a black leather harness pulled tight across his chest. A 16-person choir and 25-piece orchestra—fronted by a violinist decked out in Middle-earth regalia—perform music from the series.

Read More

11 Rings of Power Secrets We Learned From the Cast and Creators

Spend some time in Middle-earth and you’ll learn a lot of secrets. I shadowed the cast and creators of the much-anticipated Lord of the Rings prequel series, The Rings of Power, for four days at San Diego Comic-Con in July. During my conversations with the showrunners, executive producer, and several members of the cast, I did my best to pick up clues about where the series may be headed—along with details about the immense production behind the epic saga.


If you want to watch the series without knowing anything about what might happen in the show, know that this story contains minor spoilers. Stop reading now. But if you want some background on the series and how Payne and McKay cooked up a story from Tolkien’s notes, forge ahead. I’ve seen two episodes of the show, and the information in this story comes primarily from the appendices.

[Editor’s note: Having read the article, I don’t consider any of this to be much of a spoiler for anyone who’s been casually following press reports and has a passing knowledge of Middle-earth’s Second Age.]

Read More

The Rings of Power Exclusive: Producer Says Fan Theories About Sauron Are Wrong

Fans have spent months speculating when and how he might appear in the show. They’ve combed the various trailers and publicity shots. Some theorize that fans have already seen his image—or at least his Annatar guise. But executive producer Lindsey Weber told TIME the prevailing fan theories may be on the wrong track.

[Editor’s note: This is potentially a spoiler, though I think fandom very quickly discarded the Sauron identity theory that Weber discusses with Time. It would have been much more interesting to address the other (much more compelling) rumour that’s doing the rounds right now. Unfortunately, they don’t even touch on it.]

Read More

This Fan-Favorite Character Is Joining the Second Season of The Rings of Power

McKay and Payne leaned heavily on the appendices to The Lord of the Rings, which trace the rise of Sauron, the creation of the one ring, and the battle between Sauron and the last alliance of elves and men for the soul of Middle-earth. Elves are immortal in Tolkien’s world, so Lord of the Rings fans can expect to see familiar faces like Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Elrond (Robert Aramayo). (Both characters also appeared in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy.) But a fan-favorite character has been missing…

[Editor’s note: I guess this could be a minor spoiler for some so I’ve hidden the character’s name behind the link below just to be safe!]

Read More

TIME Rings of Power cover

Before we plunge into news junkets and global premiers, here’s one more look-back at SDCC 2022.

This was my 5th adventure with TORn for an experience that continues to be as overwhelming as it is incredible. Bookending Covid closures, the cons of 2019 and 2022 were completely different for TORn. Three years back we were in 20th Anniversary mode, and our panel of familiar faces brought both reminiscent nostalgia as well as the “rare good ballast” of Dispatches from Middle-earth that our faithfully devoted Comic Con fans love (hello the Button Lady!), as well as a discussion of the then far-off Rings of Power series.


Roughly two decades earlier, the convention was a much smaller enterprise, and so were we. Hall H was just a room with a lot of seating capacity and a big screen. A handful of us presented on our panel and we didn’t have so much as a folding table on the exhibit hall floor. The Lord of the Rings films were a great big unknown for most not too far beyond the bounds of Tolkien fandom. Weta’s 1st line of FotR movie collectibles were on display at the Sideshow Toy booth while the Weta team wandered the floor like we did; I was shooting pictures with my mother’s digital camera and couldn’t get the date set right…

We could see the wave coming on some distant horizon. We knew we were building something, part of something. Something that crossed boundaries and minimized identities of nation, ethnicity, faith, gender, economic status, ability. The last thing we were thinking about was 2022.

A merry gathering

For me, this year’s Comic Con was absolutely an unexpected party. Two panels, a booth, and hosting the Prime Video Rings of Power fan event was not in the early forecast! Understanding the moment, TORn leadership reached out to fandom colleagues we met for the first time in person in London, inviting them to join our panels and staff our booth.

And they came! From London proper and destinations sprinkled throughout the US, they came by planes, trains, and yeah – automobiles. Planes dead on the tarmac, nasty weather, overnight flights, crazy transfers and rerouting, driving through 115 degree heat… nothing stopped these new friends from coming together to do what we love the most: celebrate the writings of JRR Tolkien.

Celebrate we did! And represent. And engage. Crowds at the booth were often five people deep, in an area dedicated to books that is usually pretty quiet by con standards. Willie (Knewbettadobetta) holding court alongside Matt (Nerd of the Rings) and Jed Brophy (Nori, orcs #5, 6 & 7, elf #5, Ringwraith, writer…). Kaitlin’s (Tea with Tolkien) calming presence. Kellie (author and Happy Hobbit) sharing her books and signing for her fans. Kris (Elf_boi) scripting the names of fans in elvish on an iPad. Lauren in her now-famous Galadriel cosplay. Chris (TORn Tuesday camera man and all-around ninja) tirelessly handling exchanges to move the small mountain of merch we had to sell. Cliff (our own Quickbeam) booming trivia with the voice of an ent. Tireless Justin (TORn Tuesday) seeming to be everywhere and nowhere, the nuclear power making it all happen.

Panels, halls and a party

This year we hosted not one, but TWO panels. Thursday’s set featured a more typical TORn offering, with Justin at the helm, engaging staffers Cliff, Kellie, Cathy (Garfeimao), and Josh (Collecting the Precious), and special guest Kris. Richard Taylor and Philippa Boyens kicked of the conversation with a War of the Rohirrim-themed welcome video! (Demosthenese interviewed Boyens recently re: WotR here.)

Straight from the panel this Took struck out to find the Day Before line for Hall H. Highlights: Hanging with LadyNico and her intrepid British Posse; scoring a ticket to see Shatner on Shatner from Cathy; late night blues with Varking and Knewbettadobetta, literally sleeping on the concrete wrapped in a thin blanket; meeting Dianne from our Discord; jamming to the disco cabs riding by (also a low-light); finally getting banded and marching to the next line.

As you may have heard, the Prime Video Rings of Power Hall H panel was astounding. Check out this piece by staffer Garfeimao for details.

Two hours after Hall H ended, it was time for our staff to report for duty at what promised to be the fan event of the weekend: the Prime Video party! Showrunners Patrick McKay and Lindsey Weber mingled with us after a special cast signing for holders of a Golden Mallorn (leaf) ticket. Actual costumes graced the hall, as you can see in this post by staffer Mithril. The event was spectacular, and being able to select cosplayers to meet the cast was truly memorable.

Sunday, TORn’s second panel was serious, funny, and exemplary. Moderated by Justin, the focus was on Middle-earth’s 2nd Age, and it was a whopper. Tolkien Professor Corey Olsen, Cliff, Willie, Anna Marie, and Matt held some serious court in a room fixated on every word. Time compression seemed to actually happen as a rich discussion of the 2nd Age’s known elements, and the wide open spaces between them inviting new storytelling, unfolded. Here it is!

TORn 3.0

This isn’t just a new era for Middle-earth storytelling – it’s a new era for Tolkien fandom too. After a long slog by many faithful and hard working staff, TORn 3.0 has bloomed! It’s incredible to be here. Hosting and sharing Comic Con with our friends in fandom enriched everyone’s experience and illustrative of how times have changed. We look forward to continued collaborations as the community swells and the influence of JRR Tolkien broadens through time and place. Forth Ringers!