27 October 2012

Mythgard Courses for Spring 2013

Interested in taking another exciting course at Mythgard Institute or Signum University? Or are you a first-time student looking to see for yourself what all the buzz is about?

The following courses will be available during the spring 2013 semester (which begin on January 14):

Science Fiction, Part II – In this follow-up course to the Science Fiction, Part I course that was offered this semester, Dr. Amy H. Sturgis examines the development of the sci-fi genre, from the 1960s to present.

The Story of 'The Hobbit' – Hosted by Dr. Corey Olsen (the "Tolkien Professor") and featuring scholars John D. Rateliff (The History of The Hobbit) and Douglas A. Anderson (The Annotated Hobbit), this course "will examine several important precursors of the book, works that helped establish the genre in which Tolkien was writing, or which influenced Tolkien’s own thinking."

Tolkien's World of Middle-earth – Taught by Professor Verlyn Flieger, students in this course will read Tolkien's critical essays (Beowulf and The Silmarillion), as well as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. With three interim exams and a two-hour final exam, the focus of this course is to encourage students to think deeply and critically about the material within the works, as well as their relationships with one another.

Elementary Latin I (Encourse) – This course will be offered through Signum University and taught by Professor Philip Walsh. Students will learn the basic elements of the language, with an emphasis on the fundamentals of grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.

Not sure whether to enroll for credit or audit the course? Visit Mythgard's Embark page for more details.

24 October 2012

'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' Soundtrack Available for Pre-order!

Anxious to get your hands on the soundtrack for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey? Amazon.com has two versions – a Standard and Special edition –  now available for pre-order (the official release date is December 11, 2012). While the covers have yet to be released, we do know that both versions will include two discs.

22 October 2012

Stephen Colbert's 'Hobbit' Cameo Confirmed

In the November issue of Playboy magazine, fake TV pundit Stephen Colbert - who, if you didn't already know, is a huge Tolkien fan - revealed that he had visited the set of The Hobbit, where director Peter Jackson showed him 25 minutes of footage. Naturally, this led to the question: does this mean a possible cameo appearance for the passionate Tolkien fan?

Colbert would neither confirm nor deny the possibility, but instead teased that it  "could be."

The rumour has now been confirmed, though it is currently unknown what size his role will be. All we do know is that Colbert will not appear in the first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which comes out this December.

17 October 2012

New Tolkien Book Coming in 2013

In May 2013, fans of J.R.R. Tolkien will be able to get their hands on a new book compiled from unfinished manuscripts that were safely kept in the home of his son, Christopher. 

“The Fall of Arthur,” which will be published by HarperCollins UK, is a poem over two-hundred pages in length which depicts the last days of the legendary king.

“We were both delighted and surprised when we received word that Christopher Tolkien had completed work on editing “The Fall of Arthur” for publication,” said HarperCollins editor Chris Smith. “Though its title had been known from Humphrey Carpenter’s biography and J.R.R. Tolkien’s own letters, we never supposed that it would see the light of day.”

Sir Ian: “Gandalf is Still Inside Me”

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sir Ian McKellen confessed that he wasn’t very keen on reprising his role as the wizard Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s upcoming Hobbit trilogy.

“It was a little like going back to something that wasn’t necessarily going to be particularly challenging,” he said. “Gandalf is still inside me, as it were, so the business of getting to know a new character -- I was sort of going to be robbed of that.”

The 73-year-old actor quickly changed his mind after a friend reminded him of the importance of his bushy-browed character, and the impact his absence would have on the millions of eager fans who are more than eager for his return.

“You felt, how many millions of people are waiting for it?” he recalls his friend saying. “They wouldn’t understand if you weren’t as keen as they were.”

Fortunately for us fans, Sir Ian didn’t let his reservations get the best of him.   

16 October 2012

“Earthsea” Series Giveaway!

In case you've missed this exciting news, over the summer, Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea series was given a new look. Now, the six-book series – which is often mistakenly referred to as a trilogy – features brand new covers, all of which come together to more accurately depict the stories as being part of a series. 

I’m very happy to announce that through the series' publisher, I am able to offer a copy of the redesigned set to one (1) lucky winner, to be chosen at random on Tuesday, October 30, 2012.


Beginning tomorrow, October 17, I will be periodically posting the link (something along the lines of "re-tweet/'like' this link for a chance to win!") on my Twitter and Facebook accounts – to enter, simply re-tweet and/or ‘like’ the post. You may re-tweet and/or ‘like’ the posts as many times as you would like to increase your chances of winning.

On Tuesday, October 30, I will randomly select one name out of all the ‘likes’ and re-tweets.


To participate in this giveaway, you must be a resident of the United States.
You must be eighteen (18) years of age or older to participate.
Spam or fake Twitter and Facebook profiles will be ineligible for participation.


One (1) lucky winner will be chosen at random from all 'likes' and re-tweets received from eligible candidates.

In order to win the Earthsea set, I must be able to contact you.

If you enter the giveaway via Facebook: you must be able to receive inbox messages from me. If I cannot send the winner a message via Facebook, a new one will be selected.

If you enter via Twitter: participants must be following me on Twitter so I can contact them via direct message. If I cannot contact the winner via Twitter, a new one will be selected.

For more information about Earthsea's new look, visit the Simon & Schuster webpage.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, you are more than welcome to leave a comment below or send an e-mail to: tolkienbritta@yahoo.de.

15 October 2012

Hugo Weaving on 'Hobbit' Trilogy

At a press conference for his newest release, Cloud Atlas, actor Hugo Weaving talked about reprising his role as Lord Elrond in Peter Jackson's upcoming Hobbit trilogy.

"I found out The Hobbit was going to be a trilogy quite recently, when everyone else found out about it. Originally, when I said goodbye to Pete [Jackson] in L.A., I said, “I’ll see you on The Hobbit,” and he said, “Well, I’m not doing The Hobbit.” And then, it was, “We are doing The Hobbit, but I’m not going to direct it.” And then, it was, “Well, I am directing it now.” And then, it was, “Actually, we’re doing The Hobbit in two films.” So, when I went to shoot it out there, there were two scripts and two films. Now, I’ve just found out [about the trilogy], not that long ago, when it was announced. He said, ‘Well, we’ve got all this fabulous material and these wonderful people.’"

He also disclosed information regarding the initial conclusion of the second Hobbit film, which included a "final battle sequence" (the Battle of Five Armies). Now that the Hobbit films have been extended into a Hobbit trilogy, speculation has it that the end of the second film, The Desolation of Smaug, will set up the battle sequence for the third film, There and Back Again. 

07 October 2012

LEGO Reveals Hobbit Spoilers?

After a recent photo emerged of LEGO's newest Hobbit set, featuring Legolas and Tauriel fighting spiders in Mirkwood, many fans are wondering if Jackson and Co. have made yet another change to the movie's plot, giving Tauriel and Legolas the task of rescuing Thorin and Co. It also suggests that both Elves will appear in the first Hobbit film - which, according to several sources, is reportedly 2 hours and 44 minutes in length.

Photo: ComicBookMovie.com

I'd love to hear your thoughts on LEGO's newest set - and what you think of this possible change in The Hobbit. Share your comments below or let me know on Twitter: @TolkienBritta!

06 October 2012


If you're like me, then you're probably anxiously awaiting the release of LOTRO's newest expansion, Riders of Rohan, which will become available in just another week.

In addition to the expansive new region that will become available, the mounted combat/warsteed features are generating quite a bit of buzz. While there are many great LOTRO guides available, Sig Stonebeard has created a website entirely devoted to warsteeds and mounted combat - aptly titled WARSTEEDS.com. I highly recommend you check it out if you have any interest in warsteeds and mounted combat.

I will also be periodically contributing to the website, now that I've finally had a chance to get my own warsteed and try out mounted combat. So if you have any questions, don't hesitate to leave a comment on the WARSTEEDS website or ask me on Twitter: @TolkienBritta.

You can also 'Like' WARSTEEDS on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and check out some awesome videos on YouTube.