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

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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

Oxonmoot 2018: My Experience

Oxonmoot.png

You may have noticed my recent inactivity on this blog and my silence during two of the most important periods of the year: Tolkien Week and Hobbit Day. Yet, as you may have also noted, I found myself engaged by a rather unique event.

The following post is an attempt to provide a brief account of my first experience attending this year’s Oxonmoot, organised by the Tolkien Society. Continue reading

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

Books I’ve Read In 2017

Stacks of books

It takes me around 2.5-3 weeks to read a 200-page book. With that in mind, I’ve calculated that over the years my annual read of The Lord of the Rings occupies a good 3-month period. This year I’ve managed to whittle that down to 2.5 months – which is impressive for me. Although I know the source material and seem to breeze through each page, I never somehow manage to complete the book in that 1 or 2-week reading period that some fans claims to be able to do. Continue reading