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

Advertisements

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

Possible Middle-earth films…

Middle-earth next film

Other promising stories contending for the silver screen 

Even during the initial stages of production on The Hobbit, people worldwide were already speculating what other future projects pertaining to the world of Middle-earth may grace our screens.

The Silmarillion is a vast horde of riches sitting beneath the clutches of a fire-breathing dragon; a source of material barred from cinematic adaptation within the foreseeable future – and perhaps, a good thing too.

However, copyright issues aside, we must not forget the other stories contained within the appendices of The Lord of the Rings; stories that have been virtually untouched by Peter Jackson’s expansion of his Hobbit trilogy. 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

Approaching Tolkien: Tales from the Perilous Realm

Wondering through the enchanted paths of Middle-earth and the lands of Faërie …Tales from the Perilous Realm cover

Tales from the Perilous Realm is a collection of four independent works written by J.R.R. Tolkien. Whilst exploring Tolkien’s style of writing in different lands other than those of Middle-earth, it is interesting to see how these short works inspired or, in turn, were influenced by the author’s more famous works.

The following post shall briefly tackle each major work; outlining the general storyline/content and providing some reflections on each of them and their context within Tolkien’s other work.
Continue reading