February 1, 2016

The Original Riddles in the Dark Chapter

"Losst it is, my precious, lost, lost! Curse us and crush us, my precious is lost!" So cries Gollum in chapter 5 of The Hobbit, "The Riddles in the Dark."  It's one of the most memorable scenes in all of Tolkien's writings featuring two of his strongest characters in a battle not of swords, but of wit. However, some fans might be surprised to learn that Tolkien actually pulled a George Lucas on one of his most beloved episodes...

A new season...

"I want to see mountains again, Gandalf! Then find somewhere quiet where I can write on my blog."

Life for me has been extremely busy lately and, somewhat like Bilbo and Tolkien himself, sometimes I feel busy and nothing else.  As a result, my posts have been awfully sparse the past few months and I apologize for that.  For the longest time I felt obligated to write continually and when I couldn't meet my own expectations I simply didn't find the time or energy to write at all which is not the way blogging (or life in general) should be.  While I can't make any promises about steady streams of posts or regular updates, I am realigning my schedule a bit and adjusting my expectations and goals for this blog.  I do plan on continue writing here, but posts may come only once or twice a month instead of almost weekly as they did last summer.  Nevertheless, even with less time I'm excited to continue on this journey with you as we explore Tolkien's world post-Jackson era.


January 3, 2016

Tolkien's Only Baby Picture

On this day 124 years ago in 1882 in the little town of Bloemfontein, South Africa, one of the world's greatest authors was born.  And, since this is a Tolkien blog I'm sure you know who I'm talking about.


October 24, 2015

Middle-earth Map Annotated by Tolkien Discovered!

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In what's being called "the finest piece of Tolkien ephemera to emerge in the last 20 years," a small bookstore has uncovered a rare treasure, a map of Middle-earth annotated by Tolkien himself...





September 24, 2015

Come Hear Middle-earth Music Performed Live THIS WEEKEND in Raleigh, NC!

My report from the North Carolina Symphony's amazing live FotR concert is still coming.  But, life happens and I've been very busy lately, especially with another event regarding music from Middle-earth...



September 22, 2015

Happy Hobbit Day! - Activity/Meal Ideas

While the world knows today as September 22nd, us Hobbit fans worldwide take the date to celebrate some of our favorite stories by J.R.R. Tolkien, especially the ones containing halflings.  Within the legendarium, today marks the very important occasion of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins' birthdays.  In the real world this date lies within "Tolkien Week" (which begins the Sunday before the 22nd) and one day after The Hobbit's publication anniversary.  This year, 2015, marks the 78th anniversary since the adventure of Bilbo Baggins was available to readers in the UK!  You can join me and thousands of other fans worldwide by celebrating today and all week long!  Need a few ideas to get started?  Below are some of my favorite Hobbit Day activities.


September 10, 2015

Join Me At The Fellowship of the Ring In Concert!

One of the most beloved and critically acclaimed aspects of Peter Jackson's divisive hexalogy of Middle-earth films has been the sweeping, emotional and intricate music composed by the award-winning Howard Shore.  But, perhaps the best award Shore has received for his work is the continued popularity of his music.  The score for The Lord of the Rings films is standing the test of time and one of the best evidences of that are the numerous live concerts held worldwide by major symphony orchestras.  And finally, one of those performances will be held near me...


August 29, 2015

Tolkien on the Beginning of The Hobbit

The Hobbit is one of the most popular books ever written with 140.6 million copies sold worldwide, a total that puts it in third place on the all-time record charts under A Tale of Two Cities and The Lord of the Rings.  As many Tolkien fans already know, the classic children's novel first began when Tolkien randomly scribbled, "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit."  This is all common knowledge.  But, thanks to a BBC documentary from the 1960s, we have the chance to hear Tolkien tell the story of how it all started in his own words...