Witches and werewolves and vampires, oh, my! J.R.R. Tolkien was not one to shy away from creatures of the night. Just the opposite–he seemed to relish writing horror stories.
When we think of “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”, Elves, Wizards, Hobbits, and quests come first to mind. But the Professor’s long quest to create an encompassing mythology for Britain led him to conjure stories within stories. Middle-earth feels real because Tolkien fleshed out its history in-depth. Though they are often only hinted at in the main stories, Tolkien wrote many of these historical references in detail.
In honor of the best holiday of the year (subjectively), let’s explore a few tales of terror written by Tolkien fit for All Hallows’ Eve. These are by no means the only ones. The Silmarillion is filled with stories that invoke a sense of horror in us, such as the story of Húrin and his family. Just thinking about Frodo and Sam’s encounter with Shelob in her lair is enough to make skin crawl. Dig deep, and you’ll find bones aplenty in Tolkien’s work.
Exciting news: tomorrow, Tuesday 9th February, Viggo Mortensen and his son Henry will be joining Quickbeam on TORn Tuesday!
Last week saw the online release of Viggo’s powerful and moving directorial debut, Falling. You can rent or buy the movie now on Amazon or iTunes. It’s a profound, compelling piece about families, love, and dementia. Viggo and Henry will be chatting about the movie, and about the power of story telling, at 5pm PT/ 8pm ET tomorrow; find TORn Tuesday on YouTube or Facebook. Don’t miss it!
Congratulations! You are a true Rider (or runner, or maybe a walker). You answered the call to traverse the miles from Dunharrow to Minas Tirith. Here is your Finisher Certificate. Print it out and share a photo of yourself on our World and Works of J.R.R. Tolkien Facebook page, and tell us a tale of your adventures, or perhaps share a poem or song.
Whether you have run the previous three races or not, you can still participate in this one, so get psyched up for The Run of the Rohirrim Virtual 5k. This course follows the route that King Théoden and the Riders took from Harrowdale to the Pellenor, while Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, and the Grey Company tread the Paths of the Dead.
This is a Virtual 5k Race (3.1 miles). You can run, jog, walk in your neighborhood or your backyard, use a treadmill, climb the stairs in your home, or use an elliptical – whatever is most convenient and safe for you. (Please follow your town’s current rules.) 30 minutes of exercise can also count as 1 mile. Run your own race, at your own pace, and time it yourself – our 5k’s are on the honor system.
Before you start wracking up miles, download a RACE BIB hereor from TheOneRing.net’s “The World and Works of J.R.R. Tolkien” Facebook page. Write your name or nickname and/or race time in the white box, then you can stop by our Facebook page and post a photo wearing your bib. Once you have completed each race, let us know! Download your Finisher Certificate and share another photo. Finisher Certificates will be posted early next week.
This is the last race, but it is not too late to participate in the previous three. Just click these links to get your bibs and certificates. All races are 5k (3.1 miles). If you complete all four, an additional crowning certificate will be available next Friday to download.