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October 24, 2015
September 24, 2015
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
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
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
August 25, 2015
Warner Bros. has finally published a press release detailing the distribution for the Extended Edition of The Battle of the Five Armies.
August 13, 2015
|Detail from Turin and His Band are Led to Amon Rudh by Ted Nasmith and the peak of Pilot Mountain, NC|
Amon Rudh, one of the most striking geological features in Tolkien's works, is, like nearly everything else in his legendarium, strongly influenced by reality (the "primary world"). Such solitary peaks like this one featured in chapters seven and eight of the tragic tale, The Children of Hurin, are rarely found, but one mountain in particular bears striking resemblance to the Bald Hill, Pilot Mountain...
August 7, 2015
Peter Jackson's film adaptations of Tolkien's works are known throughout the fan-community to be full of invented material. In many instances this was required to successfully tell the story in another medium while the benefits of other additions are left up to debate. One of the more interesting and arguably successful changes (from a film standpoint) was the use of the Evenstar stone. Given to Aragorn by Arwen in The Fellowship of the Ring film, it was later used throughout the trilogy as a visual reminder of Arwen and her relationship to the future King when the two characters were hundreds of miles apart. But, how much of this is actually in the book?
August 4, 2015
Reports are coming in that Extended Editions of all three Hobbit movies (including The Battle of the Five Armies) will be shown in select cinemas this October...
August 1, 2015
Last month, two of my loving, thoughtful and generous grandparents surprised me with a newly published book by Philip and Carol Zaleski titled, The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings. I quickly devoured it (while still savoring every chapter) and now I have finally gotten around to tying up some of my thoughts about the volume to post something new on Musings of a Tolkienist, a book review.
July 29, 2015
The Tolkien community is an incredibly thoughtful and intelligent group of fans, so its been no surprise to see such insightful comments left by visitors here over the year this blog has existed. These thoughts, ideas and questions have been left using Blogger's default comment system which works, but leaves some features to be desired. So, after much thought and deliberation, Musings of a Tolkienist is moving on to DISQUS.
July 24, 2015
|19-year old Elijah Wood on the set of The Fellowship of the Ring|
July 16, 2015
|An Unexpected Party by John Howe|
July 15, 2015
July 14, 2015
Another Lord of the Rings-inspired fan project has earned the coveted support of 10,000 users on LEGO Ideas.
July 1, 2015
Now that the Middle-earth movies have (seemingly) come to an end (with the exception of the BoFA Extended Edition release later this year), many fans have begun to settle down and go back to the books while looking back over an exciting era in Tolkien fandom. However, Hollywood may not be finished with Tolkien's world yet...
June 29, 2015
|Corsair Ship by John Howe|
June 23, 2015
We may finally now know the release date for the Extended Edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies...
Aside from the new book announcement, Tolkien news has been pretty depressing these past few months with the deaths of Andrew Lesnie, Sir Christopher Lee and now James Horner.
Wait... What!? What does the composer of Titanic and Avatar have to do with Middle-earth?
June 18, 2015
Harper Collins Publishers in the UK have just updated their site to feature a new title, The Story of Kullervo by J.R.R. Tolkien!
June 8, 2015
It's an incredibly nerdy question that plagues my viewing of the Middle-earth films. But, this is a geeky Tolkien blog after all so I suppose it's appropriate...
May 30, 2015
Over the course of the semester-long Hobbit class I taught for middle-schoolers earlier this year we looked at many of the different legends and ancient stories that inspired Tolkien's mythology. For this Origins post here on MOAT I'm taking another look at one of our favorite topics, trolls...
May 22, 2015
May 13, 2015
It's well known that Peter Jackson's films are in a constant state of flux up until the last minute (literally!). Scripts, designs, edits, sound, schedules and even the number of installments of a series have been changed very late in the production process. It's not surprising then to learn that the famous (or infamous depending on your viewpoint) White Council scene went through some major and interesting revisions in the years leading up to release...
May 12, 2015
Finally! My stressful month is coming to an end! As a homeschooler I still continue school though the summer, but now that one quartet, finals, extra classes, philharmonic and end of year testing is almost done I can finally start thinking about my Tolkien blog again. I'm still going to be incredibly busy with "normal" school, a quartet, arranging music and the production of a short film, but I'm going to be making a concerted effort to post at least a couple times a month.
March 25, 2015
Happy New Year! It may not be the start of our own calendar year, but today begins a new Gondorian year. Marking the day Sauron fell in the year 3019 of the Third Age, Gondorians set aside time to celebrate and remember the historic event by starting their year on March 25.
March 14, 2015
|Manna lelyale Voromire?|
February 22, 2015
As a few of you reading this already know, this semester at our homeschool co-op I am teaching a class on The Hobbit for middle-schoolers. That, along with a number of other distractions and priorities, is why I have been unable to post very often lately. Unfortunately, this mild "post-drought" will probably have to continue until the end of the school-year. However, as our class journeys with Bilbo through Wilderland I'd like to share some of the things we discover with you, my blog audience. So, without further ado, here is an interesting piece we looked at a few weeks ago, the origin of Gandalf:
January 18, 2015
As I explained in my last post, "What's Next For The Middle-earth Franchise?", it's only a matter of time before The Silmarillion becomes available to filmmakers. That amount of time could pass very quickly or in several decades. Nevertheless, we will eventually see tales from the Silmarillion mythology on the big (or small) screen. During the past month I've thought a lot about The Silmarillion and how it could be successfully adapted. In the rest of this post I share some of my thoughts on how I think it should be handled and discuss some of the more difficult challenges one very (un)lucky director would have to overcome.
January 13, 2015
After a decade of seeing Peter Jackson's cinematic Middle-earth come to the silver screen it seems as if we've come to the end of the road. But is it really? Ever since December rumours have been swirling about a continuation of the Middle-earth Saga. While these current rumours are probably all false (most of them have spread from people misquoting actors and crew) I can't imagine Warner Brothers will just leave their billion-dollar franchise alone for long. So where could it all go from here?
January 12, 2015
"The Battle of the Five Armies" spoiler warning!
The Battle of the Five Armies surprised me in many ways. I already dealt with the most jarring embellishment, the Were-worms, in an earlier post. Now I turn towards that fortress Legolas and Tauriel travelled to in the film. Unlike the aforementioned worms, Gundabad plays a significant role in the the story of Middle-earth. However, that role is a bit different in the book(s) than in the movie so in this post I want to take a look at the mountain/fortress as Tolkien described it, uncover its rich history, and compare that to the version Peter Jackson depicted.