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

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Tolkien’s Caves of the Forgotten

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Hiya folks!

In a post title that feels somewhat appropriate given my recent absence from this blog, allow me to delve into yet another one of those Middle-earth topics we know very little about … 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

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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)

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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

Was Gwaihir the “Great Eagle” in The Hobbit?

Eagles

On my first few readings of The Hobbit I paid no attention to the possible connection between the Lord of the Eagles, who rescues the Hobbit and the Dwarves from a fiery forest, and Gwaihir, the Eagle who saves Gandalf three times in The Lord of the Rings.

Yet, the more I read the books, the more I found it unquestionable that the creature was one and the same in both stories. Continue reading

Snow-Trolls and Stone-Giants in Middle-earth

La dix-neuvième Caravane des Dominicains d'Arcueil. [With a deThe evidence for the existence of both snow-rolls and stone-giants haunting the deep, shadowy passes of Middle-earth is, at best, poor.

To begin with, we have a stronger argument in favour of giants. Continue reading