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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Beowulf: The Lost King of Rohan

Beowulf A Translation and Commentary (header)

An Anglo-Saxon Connection

The Anglo-Saxon epic has been acknowledged many times as one of the major sources of inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. The world in the poem is easily comparable to Rohan and beyond. The character of Beowulf himself has been placed under scrutiny and analysed alongside other characters from Middle-earth, including Aragorn and Bard the Bowman.

The Geat hero, however, shares a close affinity with the majority of the kings of Rohan. Indeed, one could argue that many of the qualities and characteristics found in the House of Eorl can be attributed to Beowulf as an individual. The events that shape his life can be gleamed from the lives of Théoden’s ancestors.

For the purpose of this article, I will be using Tolkien’s recently published: Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, in order to reference specific passages in relation to the character. I have also compared them with the text in The Lord of the Rings, with strong emphasis on ‘The House of Eorl’ in Appendix A. Continue reading

Favourite Middle-earth Prop

Red Book of Westmarch

A Short Wishlist

Last week I was contacted by Invaluable: an online auction site that specialises in authentic movie props.

I was asked to share my own thoughts on a favourite prop in the form of a blog post. Naturally, my mind hovered over the Middle-earth films and after looking deep into the recesses of thought, I’ve come up with a thing or two.

The result of that thinking process can be seen below … Continue reading

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: Characters

Gaffer Gamgee

Ranking all things Middle-earth

Last week we discussed some of the most remarkable sets and locations from the Middle-earth saga. This week, we’ll be looking at the characters.

This was naturally tricky, so I’ve decided not to rank these in the usual way. Rather than assigning numbers, I decided to select 3 characters from each trilogy and briefly explain the reasons why I find them appealing

As with the other posts, it does not mean that those unmentioned characters are not my favourite; but to keep this post brief and maintain the sanity of you the readers, I’ve limited by list to a total of 6.

I’ve made one exception and omitted Gandalf from both trilogies. Let’s face it. These films wouldn’t be the same without the contribution of Ian Mckellan’s stellar performance. Considering he’s in all 6 films, I’ve decided to leave him out. Nothing against Gandalf, at all. Again, it’s all about brevity (… and sanity). Continue reading

The Gaffer’s Elite: Cinematic Shots

Gaffer Gamgee

Ranking all things Middle-earth

Last week we ranked the best characters’ songs from the Middle-earth films. This time, I will be going through my favourite shots from the two trilogies.

In filmic terms, a shot is basically a number of frames. A shot can be anything – a landscape, a setup, a character’s face – in front of the camera. It can be of any length in duration, without breaking away from the action – thus, without any editing cuts.

Think of a conversation between two people; every time the camera shows one character’s face and then the other, it’s switching between two separate shots. Continue reading

Music from Middle-earth – Shore’s Genius

The slow, but gradual, spine-tingling sensation slowly creeps up on you … your heart beats faster … adrenaline rushes through your system … a flood of emotions attempts to escape from your own being …. 

It might sound like something out of a raunchy novel, but that’s a pretty accurate physical description of what happens whilst listening to soundtracks … particular soundtracks for LOTR FOTR Complete Recordingsthat matter.
Continue reading