Tolkien Week: Days 5 & 6 – In Minas Tirith’s Library

Tolkien Week Minas Tirith Library (header)

The things I do for this blog …

I’ve spent the last two days hunched over a table in near-darkness, poring over maps, parchments and dusty books in the recesses of Minas Tirith’s general library.

I have scoured through countless Tolkien books in search of hidden knowledge and have come out a wiser man …

In case you’re wondering, Minas Tirith was the thought in my head as I sat at my desk in my room reading some Tolkien. I felt like Gandalf, leafing through pages in a semi-lit space; hence the short GIF below …

Tolkien Week - Minas Tirith Library

The things I do for this blog … pity that the fake smoke from the fake pipe (I don’t smoke, remember) I’m holding isn’t very visible. I wanted to get that atmosphere from the film as much as possible; surrounded by Tolkien books, candle light and some smoke.

Suffice to say, in pursuit of generating said smoke, I ended up burning a couple of fingers. Which is why, everyone, never play with fire.

It’s dangerous and it hurts, a lot …

Tolkien Week Minas Tirith Library (ouch)

The moment I realised this was a bad idea …

Still, it was pain well earned as we come to the end of Tolkien Week. It’s been a great few days sharing with you some of the activities on this special occasion.

I do hope you had an awesome week too and I shall be turning back to my regular posts in the coming days.

Gandalf in the Minas Tirith Library

Gandalf doing it right 

Until then, bye!

Copyright of image belongs to New Line Cinema.



10 thoughts on “Tolkien Week: Days 5 & 6 – In Minas Tirith’s Library

  1. I felt like that when I went to the British museum Library for a week in a layover during graduate school back in 1995. Good stuff and I am better for it. =)

  2. I love the gifs. 🙂 The mood of the LotR books and movies came across well
    I can’t decide if it was worth the pain of burnt fingers, but I appreciate it.
    Seems like a luxury to pour over Tolkien books like that, through. I wish I had the time!

  3. I find it is just perfect to read Tolkien under candle light, though I rarely do it these days. Glad to see others doing the same.

    Not so much these days, but many years ago, choosing the right candles and candle holder all became part of my Tolkien experience. Church candles did well, as well as the regular sized household candles from the day store as a secondary light. Occasionally I bought some beautiful larger, carved candles, but never the scented kind. Good books have there own smell.

    It’s easy to understand how some Tolkien fans end up drawing their own maps or even re-writing, by hand, Tolken books. It can be a most relaxing experience.

    A nice blog. Good pictures.

  4. I wanted to add to my above reply, and add a little about recreating maps. From your photos, it looks to me like you’ve already re-drawn some. I’m not sure if they’re bought or you’ve made them yourself. But for anyone who wants to make middle-earth maps and age them a few hundred years:

    You need some good quality art paper, the thick, heavy kind with some texture, a fountain pen with black ink and possibly red. For some, a good art pencil may do, the sort with soft lead, beyond the HD range.

    Once it’s drawn, which is the most difficult part, scrunch the map, unfold it then dip/soak it in black tea. Flatten the map and hang it to dry. Next, iron it. Lastly, you could get a lighter and gently burn the outer edges in places to age it even more.

    Exactly what paper you use, how much you scrunch up the map, or fold it, how strong the tea is, how long you dip or soak the map, whether you use hot or cold water, how much you burn the edges after, if at all, and whether or not you then keep the edges burned looking or scrape the black parts off, are all individual decisions. You could simply pick away at the edges while it’s wet or crease them further. It all depends on how old and how well used you wish the map to look.

    It has been many years since I’ve done this kind of work and I no longer have any work to show. But it makes a pleasant Bilbo Baggins’ or middle- earth map maker’s night in.

    1. Hi Antony, thanks for your contribution! As for the maps, they’re actually printed illustrations of some maps and papers written in tengwar that I had found a couple of years back.

      Nevertheless, thanks so much for the awesome tips in creating authentic-looking maps. I’ve always been intrigued by making old parchment and things like that 🙂

  5. Hi James. Your latest blog entry reveals devastating news for all Middle Earth fans. I see that you provide film and pictorial evidence that the one ring has not been destroyed! Its been on your desk all this time! Gandalf, come back, we need you!

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