“Hæstingas” | My New Book!

Haestingas book banner.png

Well folks, this is it.

The Lay of Leofwin project I briefly posted about over the last few months, has taken a life of its own and been transformed into a book. An actual, published book! 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

‘Medieval Monsters’ by Damien Kempf and Maria L. Gilbert {BookTalk}

BookTalk is a series of blog posts, where I discuss non-Tolkien books in concise and honest reviews. Read on dear reader …

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Medieval Monsters book cover

Many a time I find myself in awe at images and scans of beautifully-crafted manuscripts from the Middle Ages, often wondering what some of the strange, yet colourful creatures adorning the margins actually are or even symbolise. Continue reading

Fun Post: Scatha the Worm (Smaug’s brother?)

Scatha.jpg

Image by Jeff Murray (JeffMurray.com)

Between Tolkien’s three major Middle-earth works, there is a small number of references to dragons, but even less so have been attributed with particular names or involved in specific events.

Scatha the Worm is one of those rare named dragons about whom we know almost nothing, but this presents an excellent opportunity to analyse and speculate briefly. Continue reading

Explained: Dragon-talk and Dragon-sickness

Smaug

I thought it would be a good idea to spend just a few minutes understanding the concept of “dragon-talk” and “dragon-sickness”. I have always found that many people confuse the two as being one and the same. Moreover, with the advent of the film trilogy, this distinction between them seems to have disappeared completely.

So, whilst I claim to be no Tolkien expert, here’s my take on the issue.

Continue reading

Wind on the Withered Heath

withered heath (map)

Whence come the dragons …

Within Tolkien’s works there are only two instances in which the Withered Heath is mentioned, and both come from The Hobbit.

The first (and only) time we get to know about this place is from a comment made by Thorin during the ‘Unexpected Party’.

“And I know where Mirkwood is, and the Withered Heath where the great dragons bred.”

The Hobbit, ‘An Unexpected Party’

Whilst my curious reader-appetite has been satisfied, I’ve always wanted to know more about this particular location in Middle-earth. Continue reading

On Were-worms

Were-worm

Hunting the elusive creature

You pick up a copy of The Hobbit and start reading the first chapter.

Halfway through you encounter the following statement made by Bilbo Baggins:

“Tell me what you want done, and I will try it, if I have to walk from here to the East of East and fight the wild Were-worms in the Last Desert.”

Continue reading