29 March 2015

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yesterday was my birthday, and I was pleasantly surprised with two new items for my movie memorabilia collection – the ring of the Witch-king (from my parents) and a polystone Witch-king figure (from my significant other).

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26 March 2015

Tolkien Reading Day 2015 – Friendship

While Tolkien Reading Day occurred yesterday, a migraine left me with no energy to prepare a post or do much on social media. Even though I'm a day late, I thought I'd quickly pull and share a few quotes which have really resonated with me and deal with this year's theme, which was friendship:


'You can trust us to stick to you through thick and thin–to the bitter end. And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours – closer than you keep it yourself. But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word. We are your friends, Frodo.' 
–The Fellowship of the Ring, A Conspiracy Unmasked

'But you won't send him off alone surely, Master?' cried Sam, unable to contain himself any longer, and jumping up from the corner where he had been quietly sitting on the floor.  'No indeed!' said Elrond, turning towards him with a smile. 'You at least shall go with him. It is hardly possible to separate you from him, even when he is summoned to a secret council and you are not.'
The Fellowship of the Ring, The Council of Elrond
The Brothers Hildebrandt
'I should dearly love to journey in Fangorn's Wood. I scarcely passed beyond the eaves of it, and I did not wish to turn back.'

Treebeard's eyes gleamed with pleasure. 'I hope you may have your wish, ere the hills be much older,' he said.

'I will come, if I have the fortune,' said Legolas. 'I have made a bargain with my friend that, if all goes well, we will visit Fangorn together–by your leave.'

'Any Elf that comes with you will be welcome,' said Treebeard.

'The friend I speak of is not an Elf,' said Legolas; 'I mean Gimli, Glóin's son here.'
 –The Two Towers, The Voice of Saruman

Éowyn and Faramir by Ted Nasmith
'How should I ease your care, my lord?' she said. 'And I do not desire the speech of living men.'  

'Would you have my plain answer?' he said.

'I would.'

'Then, Éowyn of Rohan, I say to you that you are beautiful. In the valleys of our hills there are flowers fair and bright, and maidens fairer still; but neither flower nor lady have I seen till now in Gondor so lovely, and so sorrowful. It may be that only a few days are left ere darkness falls upon our world, and when it comes I hope to face it steadily; but it would ease my heart, if while the Sun yet shines, I could see you still. For you and I have both passed under the wings of the Shadow, and the same hand drew us back.'

The Return of the King, The Steward and the King
Beleg's Death by Anke Eissmann
'Thus ended Beleg Strongbow, truest of friends, greatest in skill of all that harboured in the woods of Beleriand in the Elder Days, at the hand of him whom he most loved; and that grief was graven on the face of Túrin and never faded.'
The Children of Húrin, The Death of Beleg

~*~*~

What are some of your favourite book quotes relating to friendship in Middle-earth? Leave a comment below or Tweet me @TolkienBritta!

25 March 2015

Today in Middle-earth: March 25

Fall of Sauron by Caoranach
On this day in the year 3019 of the Third Age:

  • The Host is surrounded on the Slag-hills
  • Downfall of Barad-dûr and the passing of Sauron
  • Frodo and Samwise reach the Sammath Naur
  • Gollum seizes the Ring and falls in the Cracks of Doom
  • Minas Tirith

24 March 2015

Today in Middle-earth: March 24

John Howe
 On this day in the year 3019 of the Third Age:
  • The Host camps in the Desolation of the Morannon 
  • Frodo and Samwise make their last journey to the feet of Mount Doom 

23 March 2015

Own The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies on DVD + Blu-Ray Tomorrow! (Review)

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Review)
by Britta Siemen

Many years ago, I was one of those people who got really excited by the idea of Peter Jackson making another film set in Middle-earth. While The Lord of the Rings films were not perfect, they were a noble and well-executed attempt at bringing an "unfilmable" story to life on the big screen, and I enjoyed them immensely. After seeing those films, I had no doubt that he could do equal justice to The Hobbit, a considerably shorter tale. 

Unfortunately, from the very beginning, the Hobbit films have seemed more like fan fiction than a straightforward adaptation: where the Lord of the Rings films omitted some of the source material in order to tell a more concise story, the Hobbit films added new, often made up, material in order to lengthen a story that really didn't need any help. When I first saw An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug, I couldn't resist pointing out all of the inaccuracies; but after the DVDs came out and I watched each film a second time, I found myself able to overlook some of my gripes and actually enjoy the experience. As I've said before, Peter Jackson and his team do know how to make films that are worth watching. 

Going forward, I chose not to assess The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies on its merit as an adaptation of The Hobbit. I would probably drive myself (and others) mad if I continued to nitpick all the changes, whether major or minor. Instead I opted to judge it by what it was: a movie. And since it was almost entirely devoted to the Battle of the Five Armies, I frequently found myself comparing it to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

With The Battle of Helm's Deep, the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, and the Battle of the Morannon as prime examples of what Jackson and his crew are capable of, I was expecting to be blown away by the Battle of the Five Armies. If anyone can take a single sentence from a book ("So began a battle that none had expected; and it was called the Battle of the Five Armies, and it was very terrible" [The Hobbit, 'The Clouds Burst']) and turn it into an engaging three hour cinematic experience, Jackson's your guy. Not to mention he's had a decade to improve his craft. 

22 March 2015

Today in Middle-earth: March 22

Frodo Gazing at Mt Doom by Ted Nasmith
 On this day in the year 3019 of the Third Age:
  • The dreadful nightfall
  • Frodo and Samwise leave the road and turn south to Mount Doom
  • Third assault on Lórien 

19 March 2015

Today in Middle-earth: March 19

The Tower of Barad-dûr by zerojinx
 On this day in the year 3019 of the Third Age:
  • The Host comes to Morgul-vale 
  • Frodo and Samwise escape and begin their journey along the road to the Barad-dûr

18 March 2015

Today in Middle-earth: March 18

On this day in the year 3019 of the Third Age:
  • The Host of the West marches from Minas Tirith 
  • Frodo comes in sight of the Isenmouthe; he is overtaken by Orcs on the road from Durthang to Udûn

17 March 2015

Today in Middle-earth: March 17

The Battle of Dale by Jan Pospisil
 On this day in the year 3019 of the Third Age:
  • Battle of Dale. King Brand and King Dáin Ironfoot fall 
  • Many Dwarves and Men take refuge in Erebor and are besieged 
  • Shagrat brings Frodo's cloak, mail-shirt, and sword to Barad-dûr
  

16 March 2015

Today in Middle-earth: March 16

On the Way to Mount Doom by S-A--K-I
On this day in the year 3019 of the Third Age:
  • Debate of the commanders 
  • Frodo from the Morgai looks out over the camp to Mount Doom

15 March 2015

Today's (Unintentional) Tolkien Haul

I went out today, not with the intention of "treasure-hunting", but to just get a couple of things I needed. One thing led to another, however, and I ended up with 5 new items in my Tolkien collection!

$5 at a used bookstore
The Fellowship of the Ring on VHS; $1.99 at a thrift store
Love these versions.
I also have this version in black
At the used bookstore where I found the latter three books, I also came across a 1960 copy of The Hobbit ($175) and a pristine second printing of Tree and Leaf ($275). Since I have a birthday coming up, I thought I'd wait on those and casually drop some hints to my family and friends...but even without those two copies, I think I did pretty well today!

Today in Middle-earth: March 15

The Pyre of Denethor by Anke Eissmann
On this day in the year 3019 of the Third Age:
  • In the early hours the Witch-king breaks the Gates of the City 
  • The horns of the Rohirrim are heard at cockcrow 
  • Denethor burns himself on a pyre 
  • Battle of the Pelennor 
  • Aragorn raises the standard of Arwen 
  • Théoden is slain 
  • Frodo and Samwise escape and begin their journey north along the Morgai 
  • Battle under the trees in Mirkwood; Thranduil repels the forces of Dol Guldur 
  • Second assault on Lórien     

14 March 2015

Today in Middle-earth: March 14

The Tower of Cirith Ungol by Donato Giancola
On this day in the year 3019 of the Third Age:
  • Samwise finds Frodo in the Tower 
  • Minas Tirith is besieged 
  • The Rohirrim led by the Wild Men come to the Grey Wood

13 March 2015

Today in Middle-earth: March 13

On this day in the year 3019 of the Third Age:
  • Frodo is captured by the Orcs of Cirith Ungol 
  • The Pelennor is overrun 
  • Faramir is wounded 
  • Aragorn reaches Pelargir and captures the fleet 
  • Théoden in Druadan Forest 

12 March 2015

Today in Middle-earth: March 12

Ted Nasmith
On this day in the year 3019 of the Third Age:
  • Gollum leads Frodo into Shelob's lair 
  • Faramir retreats to the Causeway Forts 
  • Théoden camps under Min-Rimmon 
  • The Ents defeat the invaders of Rohan  

11 March 2015

Today in Middle-earth: March 11

Shelob and Gollum by Dagmar Jung
On this day in the year 3019 of the Third Age:
  • Gollum visits Shelob, but seeing Frodo asleep nearly repents 
  • Denethor sends Faramir to Osgiliath 
  • Aragorn reaches Linhir and crosses into Lebennin 
  • Eastern Rohan is invaded from the north 
  • First assault on Lórien

10 March 2015

Today in Middle-earth: March 10

The Riders of Rohan by Ted Nasmith
 On this day in the year 3019 of the Third Age:
  • The Dawnless Day 
  • The muster of Rohan: the Rohirrim ride from Harrowdale 
  • Faramir rescued by Gandalf outside the gates of the City 
  • Aragorn crosses Ringlo 
  • An army from the Morannon takes Cair Andros and passes into Anórien 
  • Frodo passes the Cross Roads, and sees the Morgul-host set forth

09 March 2015

Today in Middle-earth: March 9

Ted Nasmith
On this day in the year 3019 of the Third Age:
  • Gandalf reaches Minas Tirith 
  • Faramir leaves Henneth Annûn 
  • Aragorn sets out from Erech and comes to Calembel 
  • At dusk Frodo reaches the Morgul-road 
  • Théoden comes to Dunharrow 
  • Darkness begins to flow out of Mordor    

08 March 2015

Today in Middle-earth: March 8

The Lord of the Rings - Collab by Duckazoid, Vitorzago, and Velsen
 On this day in the year 3019 of the Third Age:
  • Aragorn takes the 'Paths of the Dead' at daybreak 
  • Aragorn reaches Erech at midnight
  • Frodo leaves Henneth Annûn 

07 March 2015

Today in Middle-earth: March 7

The Forbidden Pool by Ted Nasmith
On this day in the year 3019 of the Third Age,
  • Frodo taken by Faramir to Henneth Annûn 
  • Aragorn comes to Dunharrow at nightfall

06 March 2015

Today in Middle-earth: March 6

On this day in the year 3019 of the Third Age:
  • Aragorn overtaken by the Dúnedain in the early hours 
  • Théoden sets out from the Hornburg for Harrowdale. Aragorn sets out later

05 March 2015

Tolkien Gifts From Lily!

My friend and fellow Middle-earth News member Lily Milos is basically the fairy godmother of Tolkien collecting: if you follow myself and Myla Malinalda (also of Middle-earth News) on Instagram, you'll see us posting things along the lines of, "Oh my God! Look what Lily sent me!"

Most recently, Lily sent me three new books: The Two Towers, The Return of the King, and The QPB Companion to The Lord of the Rings; additionally, she sent an Arwen bookmark and a unique card featuring a mashup of Rohan, Helm's Deep, and Isengard.

Thank you so much, Lily, for your unbelievable generosity!


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