Tag Archives: Tolkien

Tolkien and Lewis’ Movie Date

When I think of JRR Tolkien’s contemporaries, I usually think of CS Lewis and the rest of the Inklings. I rarely think about what was happening on the other side of the pond — even though that’s where I live.

As anyone familiar with Tolkien knows, he had strong opinions, and that went for his contemporaries. One of those — one I never thought of — is Walt Disney.

Back in the 1937, The Hobbit and Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves made their debuts in their respective countries. Since both have always been a part of my life, I never realized that they came out within months of one another and share a protagonist surrounded by a band of dwarves. It’s just fascinating to think about.

While I don’t know what Walt Disney thought of Tolkien’s work, Tolkien certainly wasn’t a fan of him. Neither was Lewis.

Unlike the past several generations, they grew up only knowing the original (and usually darker) versions of fairy tales. To see dwarves — the creatures of Norse mythology — playing jazz and being downright goofy just felt wrong.

I can understand it. When Frozen first came out, I was appalled by just how different the story is from Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tale. There are a handful of similar elements, but besides those things, the stories couldn’t be more different. Since then, I’ve warmed up to it (pun only sort of intended) and have come to like it as its own thing, but certainly not as adaptation. “Inspired by,” sure. “Adaptation”? Definitely not.

Needless to say, it was a fascinating read. If you want to check out the full article, it’s available here.

What are your thoughts on different adaptations of films? Have you ever found yourself in Tolkien and Lewis’ shoes?


Tolkien Fans, Rejoice!

So I wasn’t able to buy Tolkien’s Oxford house (though not for lack of desire), but as it turns out, I may one day still be able to stay somewhere that Tolkien hung out. With CS Lewis and Robert Harvard and all of the other Inklings.

The famous Eagle and Child pub is getting an upgrade, which means there will now be seven rooms inside. (Read more here.)

How much will these rooms be? Maybe a bit too expensive. But that’s okay. A girl can dream, right?

Have you ever visited the Eagle and Child? Would you want to stay there?

Happy Tolkien Reading Day!

Tomorrow is one of my favorite days of the year: Tolkien Reading Day!

Part of me regrets not spending every spare moment of the week on a Lord of the Rings marathon, but part of me feels that what I’ve been doing with my free time is just as appropriate.

It’s been hard to peel myself away from Breath of the Wild. Whenever I have a spare moment (and my husband isn’t playing it), I’ve been exploring the vast landscape and basically doing all I can to save the world one quest at a time. (Fortunately, the times when my husband is playing mean that my writing doesn’t completely suffer.)

However, such fantasy would never exist without Tolkien’s influence. I happened across a Newsweek article that said as much. (Check out “How J.R.R. Tolkien Redefined Fantasy Stories” here.) Tolkien didn’t invent fantasy, but his works defined the genre. It simply wouldn’t be what it is today without him. Which means that the game that I’m playing would be nothing like it is without him.

As usual, though, I’ll give pause to read my favorite passage (and likely more than that when it’s all said and done). There’s something so beautiful about the climax in The Return of the King, Book VI, in the last part of chapter 3 and the beginning of chapter 4. After everything that the characters have endured, this is the moment that changes Middle-earth forever. (And for anyone who’s read The Silmarillion, you know just how long this conflict with Sauron has been going on.)

The Fall of Sauron

One of the best parts : )

So here’s to this year’s Tolkien Reading Day, the anniversary of the Fall of Sauron, and Tolkien’s lasting influence on our world.

The Silmarillion Recap: The Journey’s End

Want to catch up on The Silmarillion so far? Check out the Silmarillion Recaps page here.

Last week, Gondor became the kingdom that we all know from The Lord of the Rings. This week, we finally  have the conclusion of our journey through The Silmarillion.

“Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age” part 9

The current state of Middle-earth is a far cry from what the Valar originally intended. The peaceful world that they hoped for filled with the Firstborn and Secondborn of Ilúvatar (Elves and Men) has descended into chaos. And as this part of the story of Middle-earth concludes, there are a few final events to discuss that lead up to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

First, Elrond makes his home of Rivendell (called Imladris by the Elves) a refuge, filled with the books, songs, and lore that those familiar with the other books know well. Among those who take sanctuary in the Last Homely House (as it’s known in The Hobbit) are the Heirs of Isildur. After all, they are basically his great-nephews (with many generations in between). They also keep the Shards of Narsil (the sword that cut the Ring from Sauron’s finger) there as well. Even though Elrond doesn’t know the future exactly, he does feel that something great will become of Isildur’s descendants and the broken sword one day.

The main reason that Rivendell so well-preserved is because he still has one of the Three Rings that had been given to the Elves. Galadriel still has one as well, which maintains the beauty of Lothlórien. That third Ring, though? Well, its location isn’t revealed at the moment, but it is given in The Lord of the Rings.

Even though Sauron went missing for a while after his last defeat, he hasn’t been defeated. Instead, he sets up shop in Dol Guldor, an old fortress situated in the forest once known as Greenwood the Great. Thranduil (Legolas’ dad) has his kingdom there and has enjoyed peace for a long time, but once Sauron arrives, he focuses on keeping the evil forces that followed Sauron at bay. His beautiful forest loses the name Greenwood and eventually becomes Mirkwood. (And this is the state of things during The Hobbit.)

And now for the final piece of the puzzle: the Wizards. It’s been a long time since the Valar have directly intervened on behalf of the inhabitants of Middle-earth. However, they do so now by sending servants, known as the Istari or Wizards (by men). They are sent as a direct response to Sauron’s growing threat and to inspire Elves and Men alike. Even though only three of the five make appearances in the books, Gandalf and Saruman are key players in the books in which they appear.

Before the events of The Hobbit, Gandalf is the first to suspect that Sauron is trying to make a stronghold in Greenwood (aka Mirkwood). When he investigates Dol Guldor, Sauron flees. However, it’s not long before he shows up again… and brings us to the events of The Hobbit and later The Lord of the Rings.

And that’s it. The rest of this book is actually summary of The Lord of the Rings and the backstory for what Gandalf was doing whenever he left the Company in The Hobbit (which was included in the Peter Jackson films).

Now where does that leave us on Wednesdays? That’s to be determined. I have some ideas, but if you have any suggestions, let me know! :)

The Silmarillion Recap: The Last King of Gondor

Want to catch up on The Silmarillion so far? Check out the Silmarillion Recaps page here.

Last time, the set up for The Lord of the Rings and the Rangers we all know and love all fell together. This week, it’s the end of the glorious Gondor that once existed and the beginning of the familiar one from The Lord of the Rings.

“Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age” part 8

Towards the beginning, Gondor was still an impressive kingdom. The Dúnedain still reigned and Sauron’s forces had been defeated. However, those days soon faded.

Living in Middle-earth means that the Dúnedain inevitably began marrying the Men who lived in the kingdom. Slowly, this took a toll on the Dúnedain, resulting in shorter lives.

However, that is the least of their problems. During one of the later king’s reigns, a plague hits. Many of the people of Gondor are killed, leading to the abandonment of Minas Ithil. While this isn’t a problem in itself, it does allow for evil to creep back into Mordor unnoticed. Among them are the Nazgûl — the Ringwraiths, the nine Men who took Rings from Sauron and were corrupted. They know that Sauron is on his way so they prepare his old stronghold. Along the way, they also capture Minas Ithil, transforming it instead into Minas Morgul, the Tower of Sorcery. During those days, Minas Anor is also renamed to Minas Tirith, the Tower of Guard and the major line of defense against the Nazgûl.

One day, a King of Gondor named Eãrnur has a showdown with a Morgul-lord. It’s supposed to be a one-on-one dual, but Eãrnur is betrayed and a Nazgûl captures him and he’s never seen again. Since this king has no heir, he’s the last King of Gondor. The land would have surely fallen to Sauron’s forces if it wasn’t for the Stewards, Men who already worked with the Kings. However, Gondor will never be the same without the Dúnedain kings.

Next time, a few final words on the Heirs of Isildur.

Happy Tolkien Reading Day!

Sorry it’s been two weeks since my last post. Mix one of the busiest parts of the school year with the flu, and the result is that barely anything gets done. But I’m back now.

Anyways, today is one of my favorite holidays: Tolkien Reading Day!

There are several things I love about the holiday, especially on years like this. First off, it’s an homage to one of my favorite authors. Even though I love many writers, Tolkien’s influence on my own writing is undeniable. It’s a great excuse to read at least a few pages of one of his works and wear some of the geeky Lord of the Rings paraphernalia that I own.

My favorite excerpt to read (especially on years when I can’t sit and read the entirety of The Hobbit in one day) is about the reason this day was chosen to be Tolkien Reading Day in the first place: it’s the anniversary of the Fall of Sauron.

Even if I don’t get to read anything else, I always read The Return of the King, specifically Book VI, the last part of chapter 3 and the beginning of chapter 4, where it all goes down.

The Fall of Sauron

One of the best parts : )

Sometimes, like this year, it very appropriately falls on Good Friday. While The Lord of the Rings isn’t allegory (and Tolkien would roll over in his grave if such a thing were said of his works), it does ring true to what he and CS Lewis called the One True Myth. I think it’s one of those things he would make him smile.

So, happy Good Friday, Easter, and Tolkien Reading Day!

And here’s to being back after far too long.

Do you celebrate Tolkien Reading Day or any other booklover holidays?

The Silmarillion Recap: Farewell to the Glory Days

Want to catch up on The Silmarillion so far? Check out the Silmarillion Recaps page here.

Last time, Isildur finally met his doom. This week, the set up for The Lord of the Rings and the Rangers we all know and love.

“Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age” part 7

As the last chapter of this book comes to a close, so does the last major chapter for the Dúnedain.

Remember Narsil, the sword that Elendil and Isildur used in the fight with Sauron? Well, Isildur had kept it after that fight, and it was with his group when they were ambushed. While most of his convoy were killed by the Orcs, one man wasn’t: Ohtar. He gathers up the shards of the famous sword and heads over to Elrond’s home of Rivendell (aka, Imladris), where Isildur’s wife and youngest son, Valandil, have been hiding out.

For a while, the Dúnedain kingdoms founded by Elendil, Isildur, and Anárion remain, but it doesn’t last forever. Within seven generations, the strong kingdoms break up into smaller kingdoms. Then the smaller kingdoms break up further, leaving nothing but a group of wanderers. By the time we reach the era of The Lord of the Rings, hardly anyone seems to remember a time when the Dúnedain were great.

There is one last tidbit, though, that deserves to be noted. Those shards of Narsil — that famous sword — aren’t forgotten. They are passed from father to son without exception for generation after generation… until they reach the best known Dúnedain of them all and are reforged in order to face Sauron one last time. (And if you guessed that that person is Aragorn, you guessed right!)