Books I’ve Read in 2018 [Christmas wrap-up]

Stacks of books

It has become an annual tradition of sorts on this blog to post a list of books I have read in the last twelve months. This might perhaps provide some inspirational reading ideas for you, dear readers.

Besides, I think it’s the perfect opportunity for me to take a moment, stand back, and admire the books I have consumed (not literally). Continue reading

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21 December 2003

The Lord of the Rings (on-screen logo)

I was 15, and I had just spent the previous twelve months with a feeling of constant uneasiness. I was afraid — afraid of people who knew too much, who had read The Lord of the Rings and would reveal the conclusion to the story before I had experienced it.

During the entire year of 2003, I was ever on the lookout not to find myself part of a conversation that naturally gravitated towards the looming release of The Return of the King. I would veer discussion far away from anything related to the trilogy, and would walk off as fast as a fell-beast flies whenever I heard people close by talking about the films -— often having to hum to myself in order to drown out any noise or keywords being spoken that might spoil the ending. Continue reading

LOTR: Théoden’s sword-swinging moments

Theoden sword swings.jpg

Cinematography is a special branch of filmmaking I hold very dear. The ability to convey a story visually, through the movement of a camera, the setting of a scene and the action of a character, is one of the most powerful tools of making a good film. Continue reading

Approaching Tolkien: The Fall of Gondolin

The Fall of Gondolin.pngFollowing the same editorial structure employed in Beren and Lúthien, Christopher Tolkien’s new publication offers readers a detailed look at the evolution of the writing that was to become the main narrative behind the story of Gondolin.

The book presents several iterations of Tuor’s story — the lone man in search of the Hidden City, and his adventures before and during its fall. As with the preceding publication, there is no new material to adorn this book, although The Fall of Gondolin does present the various scattered stories found in The Book of Lost Tales and Unfinished Tales within one collection. Continue reading

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth … looking back in wonder

Tolkien Exhibition 2018
No photography was allowed inside the actual exhibition space due to light-sensitive documents

As you walk up the steps of the Weston Library in the heart of Oxford, anticipation sets in at the sight of a large sign with the word Tolkien printed on it, and wrapped around one of the columns adorning the building’s facade. Heading inside, you find yourself in a large foyer, reminiscent of the British Library, and greeted by that same thought when visiting such places: “There is knowledge here that surpasses all earthly gold and treasure”. Continue reading

5 Great Places in Middle-earth You Can Actually Visit

The following is a guest post written by Kayla Robbins.

Many filming locations featured in the movies are open to tourists!

Are you looking for a unique vacation destination for your next trip? Why not stop by Middle-earth? It may sound too good to be true, but there are actually several places throughout New Zealand that were featured prominently in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films that are now open to tourists. Continue reading

“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