The untold story behind the creation of the million-selling Lord of the Rings calendars, written by an author with first-hand knowledge of the creative genius behind them.by
This is basically a “coffee table” book. It covers all the art work done for the LOTR calendars, I believe in the 1970’s.. It is a great collection and oddy hard to find at times. I was lucky enough to find it at a local used book store. It still had the pull out poster in it .
It’s a must for an Tolkien fan out there. Not only it give you an account of all the art work. It does give you the history of each character and what the brothers had to work with to come up with said characters. If you find it any where, grab it!
Long before the One Ring was forged in the fires of Mount Doom, one man—Húrin—dared to defy Morgoth, the first and greatest of the dark lords to plague Middle-earth. Thus did he and his children, Túrin and Niënor, earn the enmity of a merciless foe that would shape the destiny of all the ages to come.
Only J.R.R. Tolkien, the undisputed master of the fantastic, could have conceived this magical tale of Elves and Men united against a brutal foe. And only Christopher Tolkien, the master’s son and literary heir, could have fit the pieces of his father’s unfinished work together with such deep understanding and consummate artistry. With an introduction and appendices by Christopher Tolkien, who has also contributed maps and genealogy tables, and eight stunning paintings and twenty-five pencil drawings by Oscar-winning artist Alan Lee, The Children of Húrin at last takes its proper place as the very cornerstone of J.R.R. Tolkien’s immortal achievement.
The Children of Húrin….. Sad, Dark and not for the faint of heart. This definitely would give George R.R. Martin a run for his money. This is a tragic story of Túrin Turambar, son of Húrin, and his sister Niënor, their struggle against fate and the curse cast upon Húrin’s kin. In this novel it takes place in a land beyond the Grey Heavens where Treebread once lived. But in the end was drowned in the great cataclysm that ended the First Age of the World. For those who aren’t in depth on Middle Earth history, this would be the first time you would see Morgoth and his armies. Morgoth is the First Dark Lord inthe first age of Middle Earth. Morgoth would put the son and daughter of Húrin under a cure, stating:
Behold! The Shadow of my thought shall lie upon them wherever they go, and my hate shall pursue them to the ends of the world.
But all whom you love my thought shall weigh as a cloud of Doom, and it shall bring them down into darkness and despair. Wherever they go, evil shall arise. Wherever they speak, their words shall bring ill counsel. Whatsoever they do shall turn against them. They shall die without hope, cursing both life and death.
—The Children of Húrin
Morgoth dwelt in the vast fortress of Angband in the North. Tragedy of Turin and his sister Niënor unfolded in the shadows of the fear of Angband and the war waged by Morgoth.
Their brief and passionate lives were dominated by the elemental hatred that Morgoth bore them as the children of Hurin. The man who had dared to defy and to scorn him to his face. Against them he sent his formidable servant, Glaurung, a powerful spirit in the form of a huge wingless dragon of fire. I would read the The Silmarillion first or right after this book. There are events and characters that in there as well and explains some of the events that took place. While I enjoyed this novel vary much, it is dark. It reminded me of Beowulf in some aspects and has a vary Nordic Saga theme. While there are a few off transitions within this novel, it still lays the foundation for the events in Fellowships.
This book is definitely for the hardcore fans out there. After reading this book, it was the main reason as to why I started doing this challenge. I wanted to know more of the history and lore in the Middle Earth. I highly recommend The Children of Húrin, just beware that it is dark and do not or try not to get attached to the characters.
Well was writing about Tom Bombadil in the this Middle Earth Challenge. I brought up the The Valar. I was thinking about doing a follow up about them. But I found this awesome video made by guys over at History of Middle-Earth. I hope you all enjoy this!
This adventure book tells of Tom’s encounters with the River-woman’s beautiful daughter, Old Man Willow, the Badger-folk, the ghostly Barrowwight, a lovely princess, trolls, dwarves, and legendary beasts. A delightful volume of 16 songs, rhymes and poems from the acclaimed The Hobbit. Illustrated.
- “Eldest, that’s what I am… Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn… He knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless – before the Dark Lord came from Outside.“
- —Tom Bombadil (The Lord of the Rings)
Now I find writing about Tom Bomdadil to difficult/odd, mostly do to the fact that he only has one appearance and mentioned through out the LOTR story line. His background is basically unknown and from what I gathered in my reading. Tom is said to exist before the Dark Lord(in this case it was Morgoth and not Sauron.) came to Arda( Arda is known as the world in which all peoples of Middle-earth and of Valinor lived. For those who did not know.). Some people have theorized that Tom Bodadil was alive before the coming of the Valar.
For those who don’t know Middle Earth to well. Valar were the 14 Ainur who were the Powers of Arda. They help shaped the world and ruled it. But that is another history for later.
Tom Bomdadil also went by a few other names like; Iarwain Ben-adar, Orald, Forn, “Moss gatherer”. His power seem to range from destroying ancient enemies with little to no effort, to playing games and singing songs.In the first and second age of Middle Earth, little is known to what Tom actually did, what is known is that he traveled all over Middle Earth and kinda became this Folklore/legend to the Elves, Dwarves and Men. In the third age of Middle Earth Tom made his home outside of Old Forest and was witness to the arrival of the Hobbits as well the rise & fall of Angmar. The Tom Bombadil was given by the Bucklanders do to his cheerfulness and whimsical being.
Now there is a tale says, Tom is challenged by various river-residents on his journey down the Withywindle to Brandywine river. So happens to be where the Hobbits live at Haysend, including birds, otters, but charms them all with his voice, ending his journey at the farm of Farmer Maggot. Where Tom drinks ale and dances with the family. At the end, the charmed birds and otters work together to bring Bombadil’s boat home. Not to mention his random adventures to the Bree, where he met with Barliman Butterbur(who is the owner of the The Prancing Pony).
- “But I had forgotten Bombadil, if indeed this is still the same that walked the woods and hills long ago, and even then was older than the old. That was not then his name. Iarwain Ben-adar we called him, oldest and fatherless. But many another name he has since been given by other folk: Forn by the Dwarves, Orald by Northern Men, and other names beside. He is a strange creature…“
- —Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring
It was wasn’t till the War of the Ring started and in the novel Fellowship of the Ring is when we get to meet Tom Bombadil. Frodo, Merry and Pippin where in the Old Forest and had an encounter with Old Man Willow. While Frodo look for help he found Tom. As the story goes, both of them went back and commanded the release of his friends. In which Old Man Window immediately did. Later on the Hobbits would stay with Tom Bombadil for two days. In that time Frodo told Tom about the One Ring. Now here is the odd thing. When Tom asked if he can seee the ring, Frodo gave it to him with no second thought. Once Tom had the One Ring, he put it on and it did nothing to him. Tom did not vanish nor was any effects. The other thing is that Tom was able to see Frodo when he had the One Ring on. The three Hobbits left Tom’s house to only be in trouble again. Captured by Wights(Barrow-wights were shape-shifting beings of darkness, similar in circumstance to Wraiths, who dwelt in dark places of Eriador such as the Barrow-downs.) on the Barrow-downs. Fortunately, Tom once again came to their rescue, dispersing the Wights and breaking open their tomb. After this, he escorted the Hobbits to the borders of his land and left.
It was at the Council of Elrod, Tom became a topic of discussion. Mostly on the fact that the One Ring had no effect on him and if they should give it to Tom to hold. Gandalf would state that Tom would take the Ring if asked, but wouldn’t fully understand the reason behind it. Because Tom would likely forget it or throw it away. Also stating that Sauron would sooner or later focus all his power to Tom and bend him to his will. But over all the council assumed that Tom would not care and/or be able to keep the Ring within his realm. That was it. No more was said about Tom with in the LOTR novels.
After a number years after the One Ring was destroyed. Gandalf spent time with Bombadil. Little is unknown how the meeting involved or what was discussed between the two. When asked by Frodo, of how well Bombadil is getting along, that he is, “as well as ever”, “quite untroubled” and “not much interested in anything that we have done and seen”. Except encounters with the Ents.
The Lord of the Rings film trilogy:
In many film and radio adaptations of The Lord of the Rings, Bombadil is notable by his absence, possibly because nobody knows quite what to do with him. Peter Jackson justified his omission of Bombadil from the film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by pointing out that the character had little to do with the grand story-line, and did not advance the Hobbits’ progress towards Rivendell. However, much of Bombadil’s dialogue, and the scene in which the hobbits meet Old Man Willow, are transplanted into scenes that Merry and Pippin share with Treebeard in the film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
Because of the imprecision of his true identity or nature, Tom Bombadil is considered to be the most mysterious character created by Tolkien.
Both Tom and Treebeard were referred to as the oldest living creatures of Arda, though it is not clear which of the two is the oldest. However, according to Tolkien’s letters, it is implied that Bombadil was the oldest living being in Middle-earth.
I’m still digging around to find more information about this character. It’s interesting to have this person with great power and not really use him. To only have him pop up every so often in conversations.
In light of doing the Middle Earth Challenge I inflicted upon myself. I’ve had a few people as me what would be the best order into which you should read these novels.
I have to say this is the best line I have found so far. Plus I love the fact that the author takes the time to explain why and personal side stories. So if you want to dive into the Middle Earth, this is a good stop to make a list of what you need to read.
Thank you Daniel Stride for making this list!!!
The question of Tolkienian reading order has popped up in a couple of places recently. It’s a basic question, but a fair enough one too – fifteen years after the last Jackson Rings film came out, there is now an entire generation who know the story from that source, rather than the original. And, well, The Fall of Gondolin has come out since I offered my opinion on The History of Middle-earth series – my earlier advice to read Book of Lost Tales Volume II is now redundant.
My opinion, as far as the Middle-earth texts go:
- The Hobbit. – I myself read The Hobbit after The Lord of the Rings, but while it is perfectly do-able, I think it’s a mistake. Reading The Hobbit first will give much more insight into certain aspects of Rings (such as the grief at the tomb of Balin), plus it’s less likely to…
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