So I Just Saw ‘The Hobbit’ Trilogy … Backwards

The Hobbit (posters - backwards)

Where endings begin and beginnings end . . .

As something more akin to a Doctor Who episode, I’ve watched the entire The Hobbit trilogy in reverse.

What started out as a desire to re-watch The Battle of the Five Armies, ended up transforming itself into a spontaneous impulse to follow-up with a viewing of The Desolation of Smaug, followed by An Unexpected Journey.

It’s not the way these films were designed to be seen (nor any other trilogy, for that matter). Nonetheless, the results were surprising. Continue reading

The Silmarillion – Chapter Twenty-Two

Thingol and the Dwarves (header)

The Downfall of the Sindar

Not that it was always going well for the good guys but, ever since the disaster of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, the narrative has taken a turn for the worse; evil is allowed to reign supreme.

In addition, with Tolkien seemingly bent on revealing the progress of the story via the chapter titles, this next chapter promises another victory point for Morgoth and his minions. Continue reading

Gollum Discovered!

Gollum in Marsascala (header)

Imagine my surprise …

So, just a few minutes away from my hometown, I discovered a fantastic piece of street art adorning an abandoned building.

You can imagine my surprise and awe as the wide-eyed creature that had been so meticulously painted, was none other than Gollum himself.

I almost stumbled on the pavement as I rounded a corner and found myself facing an old, beloved Middle-earth friend.  Continue reading

TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapter Twenty-One

Turin slays Beleg (header)

Tolkien as a “Dark Fantasy” Author

Way back in time, when this blog was but a few days old, I wrote a two-part post (Part I & Part II) on why I considered Tolkien might be categorised under the sub-literary branch of “dark fantasy”.

‘Of Túrin Turambar’ is the second of the Great Tales in The Silmarllion. Undoubtedly, it is also the greatest (both in terms of length and detailed narrative composition).

It’s a dark tale full of ups and downs (with certainly more downs than ups); where a glimmer of hope in the story turns out to be nothing more than an illusion.

It can also be a tough read at first. Thankfully, it’s a standalone story within The Silmarillion narrative and only a few past events and characters bear upon this chapter in any real way.

If you’ve read the previous chapter (‘Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad’) then you’re on the right track; the consequences of that battle are a direct influence on the successive events.

I’m sure you’re aware of the recent publication The Children of Húrin: a significantly expanded version of the chapter found in The Silmarillion. If you’re new to this story, I suggest you go through the chapter first and then proceed to reading the full tale once you’ve grasped the concept of the story.

In the meantime, here’s my own pitiful summary (spoilers ahead). Continue reading

Concluding ‘The Fall of Arthur’ – Canto VI Finished!

Fall of Arthur

Canto VI: The Departure of Gawain

In what feels like an historic moment, the long-worked on Canto VI – following from the fifth Canto of Tolkien’s unfinished poem The Fall of Arthur – is finally complete.

It’s been almost a year since I first started work on this project (and here’s hoping I won’t take as long to complete the other planned cantos).

If this is the first time you’re reading about this little project of mine, head over to the first post to learn how it all started.

As I’ve said many times, I’m in no way attempting to do the impossible and write at the same level of Tolkien. But hopefully, I have captured some of the style of writing and a feel of the Old English metre (which is not strictly adhered to).

I’ve done some reshuffling and re-structuring on how I plan to continue the poem. In fact, two more Cantos will follow in order to complete the Arthurian cycle. Continue reading

What were the Silent Watchers?

The Silent Watchers

Spirits Only a Gamgee could Master

If you have seen the films, you probably didn’t notice them. But if you’ve read The Lord of the Rings, you most probably remember them clearly. You’ve asked questions, but never got to any revealing answers.

It is ironic how, with all the appendices, letters and thousands of pages on Middle-earth’s history and detail, there are so many mysteries left unraveled by Tolkien.

Case in point are the Silent Watchers guarding the entrance to the tower of Cirith Ungol. Continue reading

Favourite Middle-earth Prop

Red Book of Westmarch

A Short Wishlist

Last week I was contacted by Invaluable: an online auction site that specialises in authentic movie props.

I was asked to share my own thoughts on a favourite prop in the form of a blog post. Naturally, my mind hovered over the Middle-earth films and after looking deep into the recesses of thought, I’ve come up with a thing or two.

The result of that thinking process can be seen below … Continue reading