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”
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 Shadows Where the Mewlips [really] dwell” – Mapping the road to Mordor?”
In which these tales and this series come to an end
The fourth and final of the short works that make up The Silmarillion, deals primarily with the events taking place in the Third Age, most of which are recounted in The Lord of the Rings.
It’s fascinating to know that Tolkien wanted to include this work along with the others, thereby producing a book that stretched all the way from the beginning of Arda (in the Ainulindalë) right through the end of the Third Age.
Continue reading “TTRT: The Silmarillion – Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age”
The Downfall of Númenor
As already stated at the beginning of the TTRT series, although the Akallabêth is a separate account from the History of the Silmarils, it is nonetheless part of The Silmarillion as a book: presenting us with the continuation of events at the end of the First Age, with a perspective on the island of Númenor.
It is a fact that from all the works related to Middle-earth, the Second Age is perhaps the least accessible due to the lack of any substantial information.
Our primary sources as to what happens during this 3000-year period consist of a timeline in Appendix B of The Lord of the Rings, a brief account and story in Unfinished Tales, and the ‘Akallabêth’.
My view is that the ‘Akallabêth’ is our most comprehensive account we have available of the Second Age, and is the key to filling up the gap between the events at the end of the ‘Quenta Silmarillion’ and the earliest histories of the Third Age as recounted in The Lord of the Rings. Continue reading “TTRT: The Silmarillion – Akallabêth”
– You asked for it, you got it …
At the mere mention of the word “Celebrian”, the majority of Tolkien readers would stir in their seats; they would frown; and their minds switch to SEARCHING MODE.
All this in a vain attempt to try and piece together a background for this character and place the name within the stories of Middle-earth.
And I wouldn’t blame them …
Celebrian is an extremely obscure figure, whose references in any of Tolkien’s works (by which I mean not just The Lord of the Rings), amounts to only a handful of words.
So who is Celebrian?
“Celeb” meaning “silver” and “(-rian)” signifying “crown-gift” was an elf of Lórien; and more importantly, she was the daughter of Galadriel and Celeborn.
Furthermore, she was the wife of Elrond and the mother of Elladan, Elrohir and Arwen.
Other than that, we have no date of birth, nor any indication of her presence before the beginning of the Third Age.
In Unfinished Tales, in the chapter concerning ‘The History of Galadriel and Celeborn’, we get a few references to Celebrian.
Continue reading “Celebrian: The Silver Crown-Gift”
Questioning the time span between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
Ever since the release of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (and now, The Hobbit), film fans have been confusing the timeline difference between the two stories. It is often stated in articles, reviews, news items and in general discussions, that the story of The Hobbit takes place 60 years before the events in The Lord of the Rings.
Now, if you are a fan like me, you perhaps know that this isn’t exactly true.
But at the same time, it is.
Confusing? Let me explain …
Continue reading “Is 60 the new 77?”
– One dragon to rule them all …
I’ve already described a few times (for instance, here), the brilliant qualities of Tolkien’s most beloved (and feared) dragon. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that Peter Jackson and his team spent a long time trying to get everything just right.
Tolkien presents us with Smaug as the greatest dragon of the Third Age, a fire-breathing, winged creature capable of inflicting damage and destruction both through sheer physical strength and hypnotic-like speech.
Continue reading “Character Profile: Smaug”