December 30, 2014

What Are "Were-worms" In The Hobbit?

Were-worm by Angus McBride
"The Battle of the Five Armies" spoiler warning!

The biggest shock for me in this last Hobbit film was undoubtedly the use of were-worms at the beginning of the Battle of Five Armies.  Out of all the things I thought Peter Jackson would expound upon nowhere in my wildest imagination did were-worms come up.  But did you know they actually appear in Tolkien's works?  Well, sort of...

December 15, 2014

The Battle of the Five Armies Initial Thoughts and Reactions (Spoiler-free!)

Wow.  What an amazing day.  Watching all three Hobbit movies in one of the country's largest IMAX theaters was an incredible experience.  After travelling there and back again I'm quite exhausted, but incredibly excited too.  Since I'm still in processing mode sleep isn't coming easily.  So, instead I'll try to write down some of my initial thoughts about the last film, The Battle of the Five Armies.  But don't worry, this post will be movie-spoiler free (i.e. If you don't know the general plot of the book you may want to stay away).

December 2, 2014

Why The Hobbit Films Could Never Be Like The Lord of the Rings

While I have to wait another (dreadfully long) two weeks to see the final installment in the Middle-earth Saga I'm trying to avoid as much of the online discussion as possible so I don't come across any spoilers.  Yet even in my seclusion I can't help but notice all the debate about The Hobbit vs. The Lord of the Rings...

November 26, 2014

A Visit to Tolkien's Desk

Earlier this month my family had to take a trip up to Chicago for one of my brother's hockey tournaments.  While not at the ice rink we tried to find some interesting things to do around town and beforehand I had heard about this Wade Center at Wheaton College that had Tolkien's desk...

November 13, 2014

LEGO Countdown for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

These past few weeks have been incredibly exciting!  With the release of the final trailer, soundtrack samples, DOS Extended Edition, and more, it's a great time to be a Tolkienist!  As we slowly approach the final chapter of the Middle-earth saga I'm slowly ticking down the days with some help from a few blocks...

October 27, 2014

What are the Armies in "The Battle of Five Armies"?

The Battle of Five Armies - Watercolor and Digital - Justin Gerad
What armies fought on the slopes of the Lonely Mountain?  The answer is plainly stated in the book, but there still seems to be some confusion...

October 15, 2014

Investigating Tolkien's Dol Guldur

Dol Guldur holds a mysterious and dark place in the lore of Middle-earth.  Tolkien didn't write too much about this ruined fortress despite the fact that it played a pivotal role in the events of the Third Age.  However, with a little bit of digging we can piece together the history of this old fortress and lay bare its pits...

September 24, 2014

Centennial Anniversary of Middle-earth

It was 100 years ago on this day, September 24, 1914 when Tolkien first wrote of Middle-earth. As trenches were furiously being dug across France and Russian forces besieged Przemyśl a 22 year old Oxford student sat in his Aunt's farmhouse and wrote a poem about a remarkable mariner who sailed off into the sky and out of the world...

September 21, 2014

Happy Birthday Bilbo and Frodo Baggins!

Today and tomorrow both mark very important days in Middle-earth history.  On this day, September 21, The Hobbit was first published in 1937, 77 years ago!  Tomorrow, September 22, is the day of Bilbo and Frodo's birthday.  (Actually, because of the discrepancies between our Gregorian calendar and the Hobbit calendar Bilbo's birthday should fall between the 12th and 14th of the month.)

Happy Birthday Bilbo & Frodo Baggins!

August 18, 2014

The Battle of the Five Armies Spoilers in LEGO Sets

As many of you already know, LEGO will soon be rolling out a new wave of LEGO Hobbit sets based on
the final film, The Battle of the Five Armies.  As some of you probably didn't realize though, these sets contain some interesting spoilers...

WARNING: Major Spoilers Lie Ahead!

August 13, 2014

Do Hobbits Really Have Big Feet?

Since the late 1930s (and especially since the early 2000s) Hobbits have become embedded within our modern culture.  Even someone who hasn't read the books or seen the films probably knows a little about what a Hobbit is.  One of the most popular icons of these little people are their big feet, but did you know Tolkien never described them that way? 

August 4, 2014

Remembering Tolkien & WWI

Today marks a very important anniversary, though most other Americans may not know it.  Exactly one-hundred years ago on August 4, 1914 Britain declared war on Germany after the invasion of Belgium.  It was one of the final pieces to fall in place that would send the world rocketing into the bloodiest century, the 'modern age'.  Yet out of all the great tragedies and struggles of the time we can be thankful for many things.  Since this is a Tolkien blog I'm sure you can see where this is going...

July 29, 2014

60th Anniversary of The Fellowship of the Ring

Today, July 29, 2014, marks 60 years since The Fellowship of the Ring was first published in 1954.  George Allen & Unwin Ltd., Tolkien's publishers, only ran 3,000 copies in its first printing and only 1,500 in the US later that year.  Since then The Lord of the Rings has become the second best-selling book of all time behind Charles Dickens's, A Tale of Two Cities, with over 150 million copies sold!

The Battle of the Five Armies Teaser Trailer Frame-By-Frame Analysis

At last!  We finally have some video and photos to drool over from the final Hobbit film, The Battle of the Five Armies.  In this post I attempt to do a little more than just hyperventilate from excitement and instead provide my thoughts and speculation on the trailer frame-by frame.  So if you're undaunted by long posts and over 60 pictures highlighting weird rocks and fabric then hit the jump.

Warning: Spoilers Lie Ahead

July 28, 2014

Trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is Here!!!

Finally, after over 6 months of waiting without any footage, clips, production vlogs, or promotional material, a teaser trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has arrived!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Check it out below:

*Note to self: breath.*


July 14, 2014

Sam as the Main Character in The Lord of the Rings

Who is the main character in The Lord of the Rings?  In a letter written in 1951 Tolkien gave Samwise Gamgee that distinction when he called him the "chief hero".  Wait a minute.  Frodo is the one who carried the Ring to Mordor so shouldn't he get that title?  At first glance it certainly appears so.  But Tolkien did not write that by comment by accident.  So again I'll ask the question: Who is the main character in The Lord of the Rings?  If we take the Professor by his word then the answer must be Sam.  But why?  What does this little hobbit have to offer?  The answer lies beyond the break...

July 9, 2014

Is The Lord of the Rings a Trilogy?

For decades people around the world have called The Lord of the Rings films and books a "trilogy".  Is this title really appropriate?  I mean, they are 3 parts that form a complete story, right?  Isn't that what a trilogy is?  A little digging however reveals mixed answers.  Jump the break to find out more...

June 27, 2014

On The Changes In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Comparing Book to Film

The latest film in The Hobbit trilogy has caused a lot of dissension among fans. Most of the disagreements concern the liberties PJ & Co. have taken with the story. In this post I look at the major (and often minute) narrative deviations in The Desolation of Smaug. I will warn you though that heavy spoilers lie ahead. So if you've already seen the film (or just don't care) and if you're undaunted by long posts go ahead and jump the break!


June 23, 2014

How Do You Say "Smaug"?

Ever since The Desolation of Smaug hit theaters millions of people around the globe have been talking about and saying the word Smaug.  Most of the time I find that people often pronounce it the wrong way.  Jump the break and find out how to correctly name The Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities.

June 19, 2014

What Are The Two Towers?

In this post I attempt to tackle one of the first questions Tolkien fans have asked since The Two Towers was first published in 1954.  Which towers are the ones Tolkien references in the title of Volume 2 of The Lord of the Rings?  Jump the break to find out...

June 14, 2014

Finally! Hobbits in Bree!

While I sit on the edge of my seat for the next Hobbit trailer here's a short little observation that will hopefully give you some food for thought...

June 9, 2014

Tolkien and Cats

In this post I examine a topic that isn't discussed very often by Tolkien fans, cats and dogs.  Which did Tolkien prefer?  Did he even ever write about cats and dogs in his stories?  Hit the jump and find out!

The Professor

June 6, 2014

Character Screen Time In The Desolation of Smaug

It seems like The Desolation of Smaug has split the fanbase in half, more so than any other Middle-earth film released so far.  Most of the discussions revolve around Bilbo's importance in the film.  Many purists argue that Bilbo has taken a backseat role in these trilogy of films titled, The Hobbit.  While these debates will probably continue unceasingly no matter what anyone says or does, I have a few numbers that are worth taking into consideration...

June 1, 2014

Are Ents Trees?

Despite the fact that Treebeard says himself that he is not a tree in the Two Towers film, many casual LotR fans (and especially non-LotR fans) always seem to mistake them for trees.  One relation in particular repeated the falsehood numerous times so eventually I wrote the following in an attempt to clarify the misconception.  If you're confused yourself or know of someone like that hopefully this post will help.  Jump the break to find out exactly what ents are and why they are not simply walking trees.

Treebeard Sketch by Alan Lee


Welcome to my new blog!  First of all let me introduce myself; My name is Andrew.  I'm currently a high-school student who would much rather be tramping through Middle-earth than trudging through the murky swamps of high school academia. ;-)  (School isn't all bad though, I quite enjoy history.)  Besides that I'm also an avid musician who has been playing the violin since I was four.  Some of you will also know me through Animato Studios, a title under which my siblings and I produce LEGO stop-motion videos (also known as brickfilms).

My nudge out the door came the Christmas after I turned 12 when I was given a copy of The Hobbit.  The following year I received The Lord of the Rings and devoured it within two months.  My fascination grew and before long I needed a second shelf for my rapidly growing Tolkien collection.  By this point my family has become a bit tired and exhausted with the endless barrage of Tolkien trivia, news, stories, and random musings.  So in an attempt to alleviate my family (which will probably be futile) I'm going to try and keep part of my constant bubbling constrained to this blog where others will hopefully find some of it interesting.  My hope is to post at least once a week about something I find interesting in regard to Tolkien and Middle-earth.  These posts could come in the form of a short essay, a quick comment, or just a few sentences about something I found thought-provoking, insightful, or interesting.  I'll also post periodically when important Tolkien news comes up (film, book releases, events, etc.).

Throughout these posts I'll often use some abbreviations for space and time's sake so if you ever get a little confused please make use of the abbreviations page.  If you want to learn a little more about me and my journey to Middle-earth please see the "About Me" tab.  Don't forget to follow by e-mail and share the site on social media!

Comment spaces are open for anyone to use but they will be moderated by me before they appear on the blog.  Only comments with foul language will be removed.  Discussion is encouraged on all posts and pages so please let me know what you think!

May 30, 2014

Privacy Policy

If you require any more information or have any questions about our privacy policy, please feel free to contact us by email at

At, the privacy of our visitors is of extreme importance to us. This privacy policy document outlines the types of personal information is received and collected by and how it is used.

Log Files

Like many other Web sites, makes use of log files. The information inside the log files includes internet protocol ( IP ) addresses, type of browser, Internet Service Provider ( ISP ), date/time stamp, referring/exit pages, and number of clicks to analyze trends, administer the site, track user’s movement around the site, and gather demographic information. IP addresses, and other such information are not linked to any information that is personally identifiable.

Cookies and Web Beacons does use cookies to store information about visitors preferences, record user-specific information on which pages the user access or visit, customize Web page content based on visitors browser type or other information that the visitor sends via their browser.

DoubleClick DART Cookie

.:: Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on

.:: Google's use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to users based on their visit to and other sites on the Internet.

.:: Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy at the following URL -

Some of our advertising partners may use cookies and web beacons on our site. Our advertising partners include ....

Google Adsense

These third-party ad servers or ad networks use technology to the advertisements and links that appear on send directly to your browsers. They automatically receive your IP address when this occurs. Other technologies ( such as cookies, JavaScript, or Web Beacons ) may also be used by the third-party ad networks to measure the effectiveness of their advertisements and / or to personalize the advertising content that you see. has no access to or control over these cookies that are used by third-party advertisers.

You should consult the respective privacy policies of these third-party ad servers for more detailed information on their practices as well as for instructions about how to opt-out of certain practices.'s privacy policy does not apply to, and we cannot control the activities of, such other advertisers or web sites.

If you wish to disable cookies, you may do so through your individual browser options. More detailed information about cookie management with specific web browsers can be found at the browsers' respective websites.