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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The Tale of the Last Alliance

Last Alliance

In Tolkien’s own words 

I have long wished to see a full account of the War of the Last Alliance as written by Tolkien for the history of Middle-earth. Unfortunately, much of what we know is scattered into fragments over numerous books.

Following the success of The Tale of the Dagor Dagorth post, I have attempted to do the same thing. Looking for every passage, sentence, footnote and scrap of information referencing the Last Alliance, I have tried to construct a full account using Tolkien’s own writings. Continue reading

Concluding ‘The Fall of Arthur’ – Canto VI Finished!

Fall of Arthur

Canto VI: The Departure of Gawain

In what feels like an historic moment, the long-worked on Canto VI – following from the fifth Canto of Tolkien’s unfinished poem The Fall of Arthur – is finally complete.

It’s been almost a year since I first started work on this project (and here’s hoping I won’t take as long to complete the other planned cantos).

If this is the first time you’re reading about this little project of mine, head over to the first post to learn how it all started.

As I’ve said many times, I’m in no way attempting to do the impossible and write at the same level of Tolkien. But hopefully, I have captured some of the style of writing and a feel of the Old English metre (which is not strictly adhered to).

I’ve done some reshuffling and re-structuring on how I plan to continue the poem. In fact, two more Cantos will follow in order to complete the Arthurian cycle. Continue reading

TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapter Twenty

Nirnaeth Arnoediad (header)

The Near-Annihilation of Elves, Men and Dwarves

With a chapter whose Elvish title can be translated as “Unnumbered Tears”, a reader can only expect one outcome from the battle that unfolds.

The pages recounting the Nirnaeth Arnoediad have always been special to me. Finally, after the conflicts and bickering among Elves, Dwarves and Men, the three races join forces to repel Morgoth once and for all.

It’s undoubtedly a major moment in the history of the First Age, and a highlight in The Silmarillion. It also marks Tolkien’s acute sense of geography, scale and mayhem. Continue reading

The Gaffer’s Elite! Battles

Gaffer Gamgee

Ranking All Things Middle-earth

In The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the story is everything. But what adds to the beauty of experiencing it, is witnessing the breathtaking conflict that takes place throughout the narratives. In this second installment of “The Gaffer’s Elite” series, I’ll be attempting the daunting task of classifying my most favourite confrontations from the Middle-earth films.

For last week’s post, see ‘Soundtracks’.   Continue reading

Discovering Middle-earth: Part II

The long”-ish” tale of how I began to admire and enjoy Tolkien

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As stated in Part I, viewing ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ re-wired my thoughts about the fantasy genre – nonetheless, I was still far away from picking up any book written by Tolkien.

It so happened that as October 2002 passed by, I stumbled upon the second trailer of ‘The Two Towers’. And then it snapped …

Continue reading