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Does anyone remember laughter?

This song (based on the literature of Tolkien) will change your life. Almost Famous - Stairway to Heaven - Deleted Scene. [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Jun 8, 2014 - 58 comments

Lord of the Jing(le)s

Miami Ad School Berlin student Valerio Amaro combines his two passions in life (advertising and The Lord of the Rings) by asking himself, "What would happen if J.R.R Tolkien worked in advertising?" His answer: One Ad To Rule Them All . [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Feb 18, 2014 - 19 comments

Ever wondered what you'd see if you approached Middle-earth from space?

The developers of Outerra (a "3D planetary engine for seamless planet rendering from space down to the surface") have posted some samples of their product to Imgur: stunning renderings of Tolkien's Middle-earth as seen from the ground, in the air - and from space! [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jan 26, 2014 - 32 comments

The Silmarillion, as reimagined by Aaron Diaz

Aaron Diaz, author of Dresden Codak, re-imagines the Silmarillion as a 3-season animated series. Character sketches, 'chapter' summaries, details about his aesthetic choices (notably: Noldor have facemasks inspired by the soot of forging and craftsmanship).
posted by flibbertigibbet on Jan 21, 2014 - 49 comments

"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

The hobbit — an unexpected deficiency

Vitamin D has been proposed to have beneficial effects in a wide range of contexts. We investigate the hypothesis that vitamin D deficiency, caused by both aversion to sunlight and unwholesome diet, could also be a significant contributor to the triumph of good over evil in fantasy literature.
posted by Chrysostom on Dec 21, 2013 - 14 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

Jacksons Silmarillion would be somewhere between 1200 - 1500 minutes

The Silmarillion in 3 minutes. The Silmarillion in 65 minutes. The Silmarillion in 890 minutes.
posted by mediocre on Oct 30, 2013 - 78 comments

Hab SoSlI' Quch! (Your mother has a smooth forehead!)

Are Elvish, Klingon, Dothraki and Na'vi real languages?

Dictionaries: Elvish, Klingon, Dothraki [pdf] and Na'vi
Phrases: Elvish, Klingon, Dothraki and Na'vi
posted by desjardins on Sep 27, 2013 - 41 comments

Happy Hobbit Day!

Not only is today, September 22, the Autumnal Equinox it also happens to be Hobbit Day, the date Tolkien fans celebrate the shared birthdays of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins as well as Hobbit culture in general. So go around barefoot, or smoke some pipe-weed, but watch out for eating seven meals each day, because you know. . . [more inside]
posted by Curious Artificer on Sep 22, 2013 - 36 comments

Morse Code

The Walrus And The Lexicographer, or How Tolkien's OED Etymology Makes An English "Walrus."
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 25, 2013 - 12 comments

Bunny Sled!

Radagast's racing rhosgobel rabbits: A recreational musher looks at the realities of bunny sledding.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies on Mar 16, 2013 - 15 comments

The King Under The Rock

Hey guys, remember that old show "Fraggle Rock?" And, and you know that recently-released movie The Hobbit? Well, why not combine the two?
posted by JHarris on Mar 2, 2013 - 8 comments

Speak "friend" and enter.

Explaining the languages of Middle-Earth. Ever wonder how Peter Jackson and the Lord of the Rings writers developed lines of dialogue for the elves or dwarves when they weren't quoting directly from Tolkien? They asked David Salo, a linguist who specializes in Sindarin and the other languages of Middle Earth. [more inside]
posted by MsMolly on Feb 20, 2013 - 37 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

Tootleg Boy audiobook defacement

These audio files contain profanity:
The Lord of the Books of the Fifty-Five Arse-Hymens of Stone
Pride and Prejudice and 367 Pages of Balls and Young Men
Pride and Prejudice and Praise and Porridge and Presents and Pedantic Ponies and Pride and Pride and Pride and Proud and Priiide
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Oct 26, 2012 - 23 comments

Nine French Toast Squares for Mortal Men Doomed to Die

Denny's will soon be launching a Hobbit inspired menu. Featuring such delights as Bilbo's Berry Smoothie and Radagast's Red Velvet Pancake Puppies, second breakfast and elevenses will never be the same! (via boingboing)
posted by ursus_comiter on Oct 23, 2012 - 93 comments

New Zealand loves its "precious"

In anticipation of "The Hobbit" movie, New Zealand has issued "Lord of the Rings" themed coins that are legal tender.
posted by reenum on Oct 14, 2012 - 92 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

Tolkien, l'anneau de la discorde

Last May, Christopher Tolkien, a resident of the South of France since 1975, granted a rare interview to Le Monde. Naturally, the interview and article are in French. For those of us who don't read French, American ex-pat Sedulia Scott provides an English translation. [more inside]
posted by ob1quixote on Jul 31, 2012 - 131 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

And Elmo begat Gladhon

Emil Johansson is attempting to build a Family Tree that holds all of the characters in Middle Earth. As of today, there are 646 entries.
posted by soelo on Jan 21, 2012 - 31 comments

The Battle Of Maldon

The Battle Of Maldon is an Old English poem (here in the original Old English, here in a modern translation) retelling the events of a battle that took place in England in 991, in which a small army of Saxons attempted to halt an invading Viking force only to suffer a crushing defeat. This battle, and the disastrous rout suffered by the Saxons, led to the introduction of the Danegeld, the payment of silver in tribute to the Vikings to buy off their invading forces. [more inside]
posted by dng on Jan 12, 2012 - 25 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

The Hobbit - There in 1977 and Back Again in 2012

As the trailer for Peter Jackson's film adaptation of The Hobbit premieres online, it's worth remembering that this isn't the first take on the journey of one Bilbo Baggins. There was the 1977 animated version as well. Here's some screencaps and a trailer. Of course, if that's not enough for you, you could just watch it on Youtube (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). And before it was a film, it was something called... a book? Here's pictures of the cover of this 'book' thing from all over the world.
posted by Effigy2000 on Dec 20, 2011 - 126 comments

Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo! I WILL EAT YOUR SOULS! Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow! I WILL EAT YOUR SOULS! Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo! I WILL EAT YOUR SOULS!

Oldest and Fatherless: The Terrible Secret of Tom Bombadil (previous)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 16, 2011 - 89 comments

Back and There Again.

Many ages ago, before some had yet to hear of The Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings or the collectible LOTR glasses sold at Burger King, critics did their initial reviews. Here's the original review by the New York Times of The Hobbit in 1938. Then came The Fellowship of the Ring, followed by The Two Towers, and of course The Return of the King. Here's a 1967 interview with Tolkien after the influence of his work was starting to be felt. One interesting detail noted is that Tolkien typed the entire 1200+ page manuscript of TLOTR with two fingers. Of course, not everyone viewed the books so favorably. The BBC has detailed some initial criticism against the books, but this seems to have been the minority response within a generally broad and warm literary reception.
posted by SpacemanStix on Dec 15, 2011 - 44 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

Of all the hobbit holes in this broken down Shire she had to walk into this one

An astonishing feat of archival reconstruction has turned up the original 1944 Lord of the Rings motion picture
posted by Sebmojo on Nov 18, 2011 - 21 comments

[The opening page] took the most time of all, I think about seventy or eighty hours.

TolkienLibrary.com interviews Benjamin Harff about his hand-illuminated edition of The Silmarillion. Complete with click-to-see-larger pictures of his work.
posted by hippybear on Aug 27, 2011 - 22 comments

Howard Shore's music for Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy

The annotated scores for [*and Filmtracks.com's reviews of] Howard Shore's soundtracks to The Fellowship of the Ring*, The Two Towers*, and The Return of the King*
posted by Trurl on Aug 24, 2011 - 21 comments

His feet are faster

Who is Tom Bombadil? [Via a more wide-ranging discussion on reddit.]
posted by Jpfed on Jul 27, 2011 - 214 comments

Epic doesn't begin to describe it.

Minecraft: Middle Earth - A tour of a nearly full scale recreation of Middle Earth in Minecraft.
posted by empath on Jul 23, 2011 - 25 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 Illustrated Hobbitses

Hobbitish is a site that collects the various cover and interior paintings and illustrations of The Hobbit from versions around the world. [more inside]
posted by curious nu on May 2, 2011 - 21 comments

Pauline Baynes

Pauline Baynes: Queen of Narnia and Middle-Earth
posted by puny human on Mar 28, 2011 - 18 comments

"One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness SUE them"

A 'Mirky' legal battle for J.R.R. Tolkien Estate. Texas case will contest the right of Tolkien's literary estate to block fictional use of the Lord of the Rings author's name. The estate of JRR Tolkien is embroiled in a fierce legal battle over an American novel that uses the author of The Lord of the Rings as a central character. The J.R.R. Tolkien's Estate has been involved with other legal battles in the past.
posted by Fizz on Feb 26, 2011 - 36 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

The Long and Winding Road - There And Back Again

The Beatles' Lord of the Rings. Yes, that CNN article dates back to 2002, but Superpunch has recently had a contest to design posters for the film-that-never-happened (including a fake Wikipedia page for the film) and someone has written a fictional account of a fan discussing the film-that-never-happened with Paul McCartney, as if it had actually been made.
posted by crossoverman on Jan 8, 2011 - 35 comments

Leci n'est pas une pipe

Ever wanted to start smoking a tobacco pipe? Begin by selecting from the many types of pipes available. Next, choose a tobacco type and flavor. Pipe smoking has a long and storied history- many a famous man, woman, or fictional character would not be parted from his or her pipe (link slightly NSFW). Pipes in art. Books about pipes. And of course, there is widely varying opinion on just how healthy pipe smoking isn't.
posted by nzero on Dec 1, 2010 - 111 comments

Middle-Earth

An interactive map of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. You can zoom and pan, search for or center a location, and link to a particular area. Place names are labeled in both English and Elvish. [more inside]
posted by gman on Sep 10, 2010 - 27 comments

Move any mountain

Director Guillermo Del Toro has announced that he will no longer be directing The Hobbit, and has made a follow up statement today. Speculation is rife as to what he might work on next, having given up that massive commitment. Some are speculating, based on this AICN interview promoting the movie Splice, that going forwards with his adaptation of HP Lovecraft's At The Mountains of Madness may be on his mind again.
posted by Artw on Jun 6, 2010 - 61 comments

Russian Lord of the Rings

English Russia presents Lord of the Rings character illustrations from the USSR. [more inside]
posted by gman on May 27, 2010 - 47 comments

Madshobbithole

My name is Maddie Chambers and this all began when I was a young child and read the Hobbit for the first time. And so, a year later I have a nearly finished replica of Bag End. I still have quite a bit of work to do on it, but I think it can be classed as an ongoing project that I can improve over the years (yes I am a perfectionist when it comes to things that I make!)
posted by Fizz on May 15, 2010 - 48 comments

Son of Arathorn and Gilraen

Born Of Hope is a 71 minute fan-made prequel film available for online viewing. In the spirit of The Hunt For Gollum (previously), it fleshes out the Lord Of The Rings universe written about by J.R.R. Tolkien and depicted in the Peter Jackson films. The story here is that of the meeting of Aragorn's parents and his birth and early childhood, many decades before the events involving Frodo and the Fellowship.
posted by hippybear on Apr 10, 2010 - 36 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

...I didn't actually read the link...

It’s only natural that if you wish to present yourself as a well-read person, a certain degree of complete bullshit is required. There’s no shame in lying about what you’ve read. There’s only shame in getting caught. Then you look like a doofus, and an illiterate one at that... How to lie about books.
posted by Artw on May 28, 2009 - 73 comments

The Shire is in Foreclosure

Subprime crisis worse than we thought... The Shire, an Oregon housing development based on Tolkien's Hobbit village, is in foreclosure.
posted by jrochest on Aug 4, 2008 - 53 comments

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