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17 posts tagged with Fantasy and Tolkien. (View popular tags)
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"Gandalf as Ring-Lord would have been far worse than Sauron."

Would the One Ring even work for anyone but Sauron? But does the One Ring actually convey power to anyone but Sauron? It actually seems to diminish its bearers: Bilbo feels "thin" and "stretched", Smeagol becomes the wretched Gollum, Frodo is never quite the same even after it is destroyed. None of them seem more "powerful," even in the abstract way that magic-users in Tolkien operate. No mention is made, that I can recall, of a Ringbearer having greater stature or authority, or of people naturally following them or obeying their commands, while they possess the Ring. [more inside]
posted by ignignokt on Jan 16, 2014 - 357 comments

Smaug Alert

Smithsonian Magazine examines the extent to which Peter Jackson's vision of The Hobbit shows fidelity to Tolkien's text. [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb on Dec 24, 2013 - 104 comments

Hobbits would only drink ales since lagers are not found on Middle-earth

So, you want to eat like a hobbit do you? The big old dragon of Middle-Earth recipes is the charmingly retro 'Middle-Earth Recipes' (now with a more modern and photo-friendly blog version ) from which NPR's Beth Accomando has complied an all-day feasting menu suitable for marathon watching (or reading) assorted Lord Of The Rings media while Recipewise sticks to foods served by Bilbo in The Hobbit itself and explains the Victorian convention of high vs. low tea. (Author Diane Duane's own Hobbit-inspired recipe, Took Family Seed Cake can be made with poppy rather than caraway seed if that's your thing) Need something to do while digesting? Why not read about the history and meaning of the rural comfort food in Tolkien at Strange Horizons " Well Stocked Larders: Food And Diet Of Hobbits" by Stephanie Green.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 15, 2013 - 45 comments

Is the beard gray? Does he have a donut-shaped beard extremity? Does he look goofy?

How to identify each Hobbit dwarf by their epic beards
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 14, 2012 - 142 comments

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, went on sale 75 years ago today. The first printing, by Allen & Unwin, was for 1,500 copies (which now fetch a premium at auction); the first reviewer, the son of the publisher, was paid a shilling. Through a contorted publishing history, exact or even approximate sales figures are unknown; "over a hundred million" is often quoted. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Sep 21, 2012 - 108 comments

What Clarke said

Fall, Mortality, and the Machine: Tolkien and Technology From the beginnings of modern fantasy, in the work of Tolkien, technology has always been the enemy of the good life. But does it have to be that way?
posted by infini on Jul 28, 2012 - 82 comments

"Yes."

The Fantasy Novelist's Exam: "Ever since J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis created the worlds of Middle Earth and Narnia, it seems like every windbag off the street thinks he can write great, original fantasy, too. The problem is that most of this "great, original fantasy" is actually poor, derivative fantasy. Frankly, we're sick of it, so we've compiled a list of rip-off tip-offs in the form of an exam. We think anybody considering writing a fantasy novel should be required to take this exam first. Answering "yes" to any one question results in failure and means that the prospective novel should be abandoned at once."
posted by Fizz on Jan 10, 2012 - 306 comments

Mordor’s going about it all wrong, incidentally. Harness all that geothermal energy, sell it to the humans, LIVE LIKE KINGS.

SF author and Mefi's Own Jscalzi was alone one night during a LOTR marathon and decided to live-tweet a running commentary.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 27, 2011 - 56 comments

Tolkien infographics

The inmost circle is a geographically accurate map of Middle Earth according to Tolkien's design, and the journey of the Fellowship is plotted according to major destinations and places of action. - JT Fridsma [more inside]
posted by Trurl on May 10, 2011 - 26 comments

The Last Ringbearer

... history is written by the winners. That's the philosophy behind "The Last Ringbearer," a novel set during and after the end of the War of the Ring... and told from the point of view of the losers. ... In Yeskov's retelling, the wizard Gandalf is a war-monger intent on crushing the scientific and technological initiative of Mordor and its southern allies because science "destroys the harmony of the world and dries up the souls of men!"
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 15, 2011 - 90 comments

Tomes of ancient lore

Although it's commonplace nowadays to assume that J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings was the primary source of inspiration for Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax when they created the world's first tabletop roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons, a careful examination of the game suggests otherwise... James Maliszewski on The Books That Founded D&D. Some disagreement.
posted by Artw on Nov 24, 2009 - 109 comments

The pictures and sketches of JRR Tolkien

The pictures and sketches of JRR Tolkien
posted by nthdegx on Sep 16, 2009 - 24 comments

Adventures in Balrog Math

Some Thoughts On Balrogs.
posted by homunculus on Feb 15, 2008 - 45 comments

Write your name in Tengwar (Tolkien's Elvish)

Write your name in Tengwar, the Elvish language/alphabet created by JRR Tolkien. You can work with Tengwar fonts based on Middle Earth languages and runes and see many examples of the script via a Google Image search. According to Tolkien, "there is quite a bit of linguistic wisdom in it." There are certainly websites devoted to his languages and thier history. And It took some thought and work to make the speech sound right in the movies.
posted by persona non grata on Aug 29, 2006 - 27 comments

Follow Follow Follow Follow Follow the Paths of the Dead

Did The Wizard of Oz inspire Lord of the Rings? "The first film version of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz was released in the summer of 1939, less than a month before World War II officially began. Though started as early as 1937, The Lord of the Rings was largely composed during the war years, but not published until somewhat later. Therefore, it is by no means impossible that J.R.R. Tolkien saw the magnificent MGM movie before he wrote most of his magnum opus. Could Oz have influenced his tale somehow, consciously or unconsciously?"
posted by Joey Michaels on Apr 7, 2005 - 35 comments

hobbits and wizards and orcs, oh my!

The Encyclopedia of Arda A reference guide to Tolkien-can't tell an orc from a Uruk-hai? Stumped at what the three kinds of hobbits are? This website has the answers. Nicely laid out site, too.
posted by konolia on Jan 4, 2004 - 7 comments

If you were expecting the Lord of the Rings movie to receive as much if not more scrutiny from Conservative Christians as Harry Potter did you’re in for a surprise. Despite LOTR being filled with violence and intense fantasy imagery few churches or religious watch-god groups will be condemning the fantasy epic like they did the occult heavy, yet kid-friendly Harry Potter flick.

The reason is simple: Tolkien was a devout Christian.
In fact, Tolkien persuaded C.S. Lewis, who himself later wrote several Christian classics, to become a Christian. The two are credited with paving the way for a new genre of devotional literature, influencing authors like Charles Williams, T.S. Eliot, G.K. Chesteron and Dorothy Sayers.

Fortunately for most Tolkien doesn’t let Christian imagery dribble into his stories the way C.S. Lewis did. So expect religous LOTR friendly reviews from all with the possible exception of the ChildCare Action Project. One has to wonder though - if Harry Potter author, J. K. Rowling, was more publicly religious would her books be as controversial?
posted by wfrgms on Dec 5, 2001 - 38 comments

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