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

“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

The entire novel of ‘The Hobbit’ in just 76 verses

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Following my last post on discovering the first “fragmented” poem I ever wrote about The Hobbit, some of you kindly requested I put my appalling poetry skills back into use and complete the poem I had started.

That is exactly what I have done.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition – Review (Part II)

FOTR review header

The reviewing continues …

Well, here it is. Almost two years later, here follows the continuation of the massive The Lord of the Rings review.

I’m ashamed to state it took me so long. But finally, here it is.

Mind you, this is only Part 2 of 3 of The Fellowship of the Ring, which I’m hoping won’t take as long to write. In the meantime, you’ve got much reading to do in this second part.

I hope you enjoy 🙂 … Continue reading

Happy Hobbit Day!

Gandalf vs Gandalf

Where have you all been … ?

I’ve been waiting for you to join in my festivities on this blog for over two weeks now! 😉

It’s 22 September and that means two things: Birthdays and Celebrations.

That’s right. If you’re in the loop of who’s who in Middle-earth, then you may or may not know that both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins celebrate their birthday today.

In honour of these two milestones in Middle-earth history, fans worldwide get to celebrate Hobbit Day (and Tolkien Week) in any way possible that demonstrates our love for the fandom. Continue reading

Tolkien’s Dickensian Dreams

Tolkien-Dickens Goblins (header)

Dickens’ short story that inspired a Tolkien chapter

This is somewhat a Tolkien paper I had written a while back, with the expressed intention to publish it one day. When that day never seemed to arrive, I thought it would be suitable to post an edited version on this blog.

The following, although much abbreviated from the original, is still pretty long. So proceed with caution but, as always, please enjoy 🙂

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Tolkien-themed Questionnaire: Answers! (PART I)

Tolkien-Themed Questionnaire (Header)

It’s taken me some time to get around doing this, but finally the time has come.

Behold the questionnaire created by Myla Malinalda (from Middle-earth News) in which Tolkien fans need to do some serious self-examination about what it the Middle-earth stories really mean to us.

The questionnaire was originally designed for The Lord of the Rings; but can easily be adapted also for The Hobbit.

It’s tough to answer a single question in short; but it’s fun and enlightening, not just to others, but to yourself as well.

Go on, treat yourself! Get busy tackling these questions now 🙂

In the meantime, here are mine … (Part II to follow) Continue reading

The Gaffer’s Elite: Realms and Settlements

Gaffer Gamgee

Ranking all things Middle-earth

Hullo friends!

It’s Friday today and that means another post from the Gaffer’s Elite! Now I had announced a “favourite characters” ranking last week, but in the meantime I thought there’s just one more post I need to do before getting to that.

Undoubtedly, one of the most appealing things about Middle-earth, and the reason why we keeping going back to these films and reading the books, is due to the vast variety of locations the stories take place in.

In 6 films, Peter Jackson and his creative team have visualised much of Tolkien’s fertile creativity and sublime imagination. Suffice to say, the combination of visual effects, set design and New Zealand’s natural breathtaking countryside, have given us a wealth of fantasy locales unlike any other.

So without further ado, here are some of my most cherished environments from the films… Continue reading

7 Fantastic Middle-earth Theories

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Brilliant, thought-provoking theories that are debunked, unfounded and pretty much confirmed

I’ve decided to tackle 7 theories constructed by readers of Tolkien’s Middle-earth, that are rather extraordinary in concept and make perfect sense (though some can be disproved or contested).

There are many arguments in discussion around the characters and stories of Middle-earth; but I’ve decided to focus on a few which have struck me the most.

Starting from the impossible and busted arguments to the more plausible ones, here we go … Continue reading

The Shire’s Military Structure?

Sam Gamgee (Hobbits)

Raising the Shire

They are (or were) a little people, about half our height […] have long clever brown fingers, good-natured faces, and laugh deep fruity laughs

The Hobbit, ‘An Unexpected Party’, Chapter I

Ranks of skilled archers cleverly readying their bows. Organized groups of infantrymen waiting for the signal to attack. One word and any intruders will find themselves facing serious consequences.

It is hard to conjure up the imagery of an army within the Shire, based on the rather rustic and easy-going characteristics of the above quote.

Continue reading