“The Shadows Where the Mewlips [really] dwell” – Mapping the road to Mordor?

The Mewlips.png

I’m chuffed by the eager response asking me to post the paper I presented at this year’s Oxonmoot. Well, here it is in full (with a few additional notes) for your enjoyment, if such be its fate. Continue reading

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The Great Eagles during the fall of Gondolin

Eagles' Rescue© Warner Bros. & MGM Studios

I asked a particular question on the Tolkien Society Facebook page, in the hope of getting some interesting answers. But since that didn’t really happen, nor did it instigate a thought-provoking discussion, I’m re-posting the question here on this blog, hoping to evoke some comments and ideas from you all! Continue reading

Army numbers in Middle-earth

Last Alliance 2(C) New Line Cinema

 

When reading accounts of battles and warfare, numbers are important. They help provide context and scale to the conflict, allowing readers to assess the situation in terms of balance in favour or against an ally or enemy. Which is why I have often found it somewhat baffling that Tolkien gives us so little information on army numbers in his Middle-earth stories. Continue reading

Ioreth of Gondor

Ioreth

Making a brief appearance almost halfway into The Return of the King is the character of Ioreth; a woman from Lossarnach and one of the healers in the city of Minas Tirith. No matter the limited number of pages she is present in, she nevertheless maintains a memorable presence in the book. Continue reading

Debating Tolkien’s Magnum Opus

The Silmarillion_4

Stephen King has The Dark Tower series. George Orwell has 1984. Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy is the author’s own unparalleled piece of writing.

“Magnum Opus” (translated from Latin as “masterpiece”) is a term that can be applied to virtually any piece of art or literature that has somehow had a significant impact upon those who experience it, and was brought about by a sophisticated, high standard and excellent creative impulse on the part of its creator. Continue reading

The Gates of Morning and the Door of Night, Eä and the Void

Banner (Cosmology Arda)

[Highly complex illustration follows below]

The Silmarillion contains two obscure references to places or “structures” that seem to be the opposite of each other. Both are fascinating concepts but difficult to grasp given how little information we have access to. Continue reading