So Amazon just released an interactive map in what appears to be the beginning of a long and tantalising marketing campaign leading to the release of the secretively-termed “Lord of the Rings series”.
The interactivity of this map lies in the user’s ability to zoom in or out of the familiar layout of Middle-earth and scroll across the landscape features. Suffice to say, the map is quite bare – lacking any sort of geographical names or other details.
So what clues can we gather from this rather uncommunicative map. I decided to undertake a quick exercise to analyse the map, and avoid the hundreds of other fan theories most likely spawning out there on the internet.
What follows is my own, unbiased (most probably totally erroneous, but fun-making) analysis of what this map could mean … Continue reading “A “very” sketchy analysis of the Lord of the Rings Amazon series interactive map”
It was on 15 September 1977 when that J.R.R. Tolkien’s (possible) magnum opus was released. Christopher Tolkien’s laborious and successful attempts to bring his father’s complex and vast array of writings into a cohesive and readable format were achieved. Continue reading “The Silmarillion turns 40 … [perhaps a pocket edition now?]”
Reading The Silmarillion, you would be forgiven for thinking that Himring, where Maedhros sets up his fortress in the northeast of Beleriand, has nothing to do with the isle of Himling in The Lord of the Rings.
Before I knew much about Tolkien, looking at the map of Middle-earth, I was always intrigued by that lonely island just off the coast of Lindon. What was its meaning there? Why would the author give it a name and not mention it during the events of the War of the Ring? Continue reading “A Brief History of Himling”
The Downfall of the Sindar
Not that it was always going well for the good guys but, ever since the disaster of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, the narrative has taken a turn for the worse; evil is allowed to reign supreme.
In addition, with Tolkien seemingly bent on revealing the progress of the story via the chapter titles, this next chapter promises another victory point for Morgoth and his minions. Continue reading “The Silmarillion – Chapter Twenty-Two”
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 “TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapter Twenty”
O Beren, Beren, wherefore art thou Beren?
It’s a love story that transcends the physical world; a powerful narrative on the hopes and destinies of the two principal races in The Silmarillion.
The first of the three Great Tales from the First Age, ‘Of Beren and Lúthien’ highlights Tolkien’s mastery in balancing the vast and the epic, with the intricate and romantic.
Forget Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, or Dante’s Paolo e Francesca. The story of Beren and Lúthien may have been inspired by these older tales, but they are merely sketches that made way for the final masterpiece.
It’s impossible to summarise a chapter that runs over 20 pages and still do it justice. Therefore, I urge you to read through the book first (if you haven’t done so already) and then come back to these few meager lines that follow in this post … Continue reading “TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapter Nineteen”
I Love Maps!
The next two chapters in The Silmarillion – strategically placed in the middle of the book – offer a descriptive glimpse into the lands of Beleriand and the establishment of the Noldor and the other races.
They are not complex chapters to deal with, but the intricate details with which Tolkien describes every waterfall, shrub, lowland and grain of earth, might feel slightly overwhelming.
That’s where the maps come in …
Continue reading “TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapters Fourteen and Fifteen”
The Fall of Fëanor and the Rise of the Noldor
Remember last week we tackled 3 chapters? This week it’s just the one. Things are about to get intricate and personal…
Continue reading “TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapter Thirteen”
Something Wicked this Way Comes
This week we’ll be dealing with the next three chapters.
As is the style of The Silmarillion, even short sentences pack a punch. A phrase can suddenly take a reader a thousand years forward into the narrative.
So whilst these chapters are short of pages, there’s much going on …
Continue reading “TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapters Ten, Eleven and Twelve!”
The Fall of Elvenkind
Since this chapter is quite long I decided to tackle it on its own for this week. As always, stick-figures make a persistent return.
Chapter 9 – Of The Flight of the Noldor
Melkor has wreaked havoc in Valinor. The Two Trees lie dead in the darkness of the world. As the Valar convene in Máhanaxar (“the Ring of Doom”), they mourn the staggering loss they have suffered and decide on what to do next. Continue reading “TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapter Nine”