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 ““The Shadows Where the Mewlips [really] dwell” – Mapping the road to Mordor?”
© 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 “The Great Eagles during the fall of Gondolin”
(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 “Army numbers in Middle-earth”
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 “Tolkien’s Caves of the Forgotten”
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 “Ioreth of Gondor”
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 “Debating Tolkien’s Magnum Opus”
[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 “The Gates of Morning and the Door of Night, Eä and the Void”
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 “Was Gwaihir the “Great Eagle” in The Hobbit?”
The 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 “Snow-Trolls and Stone-Giants in Middle-earth”
© Warner Bros. & MGM Studios
Three Elven swords were forged in Gondolin during the First Age, and presumably lost after the fall of this city as recounted in The Silmarillion. Glamdring, Orcrist and Sting make their proper appearance in The Hobbit in the lair of the three trolls, some 6,462 years later and just under 1,900 miles away from their original place of forging.
How and when could these swords have been carried such a long distance through three ages of wars, plunder and cataclysmic events? Continue reading “From Gondolin to Trollshaws: Glamdring, Orcrist and Sting”