Tag Archives: JRR Tolkien

Smaug the dragon in gingerbread!

Whatever you may think of Peter Jackson’s cinematic Hobbit trilogy, even Tolkien purists have no beef with Jackson’s rendering of the malevolent dragon Smaug.

Now a Swedish artist and sculptor has constructed Smaug from gingerbread.

Stockholm’s Aftonbladet reports, Dec. 23, 2014, that 27-year-old Swedish artist and sculptor Caroline Eriksson has gingerbread in the blood. During childhood, her family had a tradition of building a gingerbread house at Christmas time.

“But I got tired of it and wanted to do the harder stuff. So I started building towers and ships and such,” says Eriksson.

Last year, Eriksson built a gingerbread Optimus Prime, a character in the Transformers movies, and won first prize in a contest — a trip to Bali. 

This year, Eriksson took two weeks and many late evenings to construct a 70 cm (28 in.) long, 50 cm (20 in.) tall replica of the dragon Smaug entirely out of gingerbread.

Caroline Eriksson's gingerbread Smaug

Caroline Eriksson’s gingerbread Smaug

H/t TheOneRing

See also “A dragon in his garden” about John Brooker, 75, who spent 10 years sculpting the hedgerow outside his cottage in Norfolk, England, into a huge, 100 ft. long, magnificent dragon, complete with six legs, wings, and pointed teeth.


Mythology of Tolkien’s Middle-earth in 4 minutes

For J.R.R. Tolkien geeks

This is a hoot (in spite of the mis-spelling of wizard Saruman’s name).

Bonus video: Tolkien’s Silmarillion in just 3 minutes! LOL


Concerning Hobbits, Authors, Critics and Fans…

Here is an interesting article for all of us who love the works of JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis and Peter Jackson. This is just an excerpt. There is a link at the end to the whole article. ~TD 

A Pilgrim in Narnia

The Hobbit as a Living Text: The Battle of 5 Blogs

hobbit battle of 5 armies posters jacksonThis post is part of the Battle of the Five Blogs, or six blogs to be precise. It is a throw-down of various Tolkien bloggers who are thinking about the release of the final installment of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy,  The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Other bloggers in this series are Kat SasJames MoffettSørina HigginsCrystal Hurd, and Matthew Rettino. Follow the links to check out their reviews, recaps, and rants. We encourage comments and links to your own reviews, recaps, and rants.

The Hobbit as Living Text

There is a curious thing that happens to C.S. Lewis’ writing: He made friends.

I think that most true J.R.R. Tolkien fans are going to hate The Hobbit: The Battle of 5 Armies, the newest and last installment of Peter Jackson’s series. Some of those fans detested the Lord of the Rings trilogy on film, while I loved them. I lack the technical, absolutely precise knowledge of the massive myth project that are the books that make up The Lord of the Rings, The HobbitThe Silmarillion, and the dozen or so other books that tell us about the History of Middle Earth. The second language in my home is not Quenya or Entish, and I haven’t tracked the number of new moons that pass in Frodo’s long journey to Mordor.

The Hobbit Dwarfs FilmI loved the LOTR films. And though there are moments that make you wince in The Hobbit trilogy—poor computer imaging, characters bent out of narrative shape, unclear lusts and motivations, uneven storytelling, genre confusion, and a general lack of Hobbitishness—I have quite enjoyed the films, as films. I went last night to The Battle of 5 Armies and had a great night out with friends.

But even I, who am willing to throw myself into the adaptation projected on screen, felt uncomfortable at times with how Jackson seems to bend what is to me a pretty straight story.

And yet…. And yet… I want to suggest that Jackson’s bending of Tolkien, and my discomfort with it, and the 100s of angry reviews online are all part of the tale.

Let me explain why…

The Hobbit as a Living Text: The Battle of 5 Blogs.

2 maps show pro-life is gaining in America!


J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit that are so loved by millions across the world, once wrote this in a letter:

“Actually I am a Christian and indeed a Roman Catholic, so that I do not expect ‘history’ to be anything but a ‘long defeat’— though it contains (and in legend may contain more clearly and movingly) some samples or glimpses of final victory.” 

Conservatives and Christians with our ears to the ground, aka high-information voters, sometimes get discouraged by the daily news of the unrelenting corruption of Americans and of our culture.

It seems we are losing the culture wars — what Tolkien ruefully called a “long defeat.”

Take heart, my friends!

The following two maps are from the pro-choice pro-abortion pro-murder Guttmacher Institute, showing the encouraging pro-life shift in opinion in America in just 13 years, as evidenced by various state legislatures’ restrictions on abortion.



The source of the maps is a sympathetic article on American abortionists murderers, by Karen McVeigh, in the UK-based The Guardian of Nov. 21, 2014. The tone of the article is one of shock and dismay that America has grown more pro-life.

Such is the corrupt soul of The Guardian and its “senior news reporter” Karen McVeigh that they rue the pro-life advances made in America, having sympathy only for the devil.

H/t California Catholic Daily


Fans of Tolkien & Jackson! Trailer of 3rd Hobbit movie is here!


The Battle of the Five Armies, sadly our last visit to Middle-earth, will hit America’s movie screens on December 17.


What time is it?

Did you know that prophecies account for nearly one third of the Bible?

Revelation 1:3 says, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”

Two recent essays point to the unsettling and troubling times we live in. Is the time near?


Helm's Deep

Victor Davis Hanson, “Are the Orcs Winning?,” PJMedia, Sept. 7, 2014:

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings was sometimes faulted by literary critics for caricaturing the evil orcs as uniformly bad.  All of them were as unpleasant to look as they were deadly to encounter. There is not a single good orc or even a reformed orc in the trilogy. The apparent one-dimensional assumption of men, hobbits, dwarves, and elves is that the only good orc is a dead orc. So the absolutist Tolkien tried to teach us about the enduring nature of absolute good and evil. Apparently he did not think that anything from his contemporary experience might allow him to imagine reforming or rehabilitating such fictive folk.

Tolkien’s literary purpose with orcs was not to explore the many shades of evil or the struggle within oneself to avoid the dark side; he did that well enough in dozens of once good but weak characters who went bad such as the turncoat Saruman the wizard, his sidekick Wormtongue, a few of the hobbits who had ruined the Shire, and, best of all, the multifaceted Gollum. Orcs, on the other hand, are unredeemable. Orcs, goblins, and trolls exist as the tools of the even more sinister in proud towers to destroy civilization, and know nothing other than killing and destruction. Their reward is to feed on the crumbs of what they have ruined.

In the 21st century we are often lectured that such simplistic, one-dimensional evil is long gone. A ubiquitous civilization has so permeated the globe that even the worst sorts must absorb some mitigating popular culture from the Internet, Twitter, and Facebook, as if the sheer speed of transmitting thoughts ensures their moral improvement.

Even where democracy is absent, the “world community” and a “global consciousness” are such that billions supposedly won’t let Attila, Tamerlane, and Genghis Khan reappear in our postmodern lives. To deal with a Major Hasan, Americans cannot cite his environment as the cause, at least not poverty, racism, religious bigotry, nativism, xenophobia, or any of the more popular –isms and-ologies in our politically correct tool box that we customarily use to excuse and contextualize evil behavior. So exasperated, we shrug and call his murdering “workplace violence” — an apparent understandable psychological condition attributable to the boredom and monotony of the bleak, postmodern office.

But then suddenly along comes the limb-lopping, child-snatching, and mutilating Nigerian-based Boko Haram. What conceivable Dark Age atrocity have they omitted? Not suicide bombing, mass murder, or random torture. They are absolutely unapologetic for their barbarity. They are ready to convert or kill preteens as their mood determines for the crime of being Christian. In response, the Nigerian government is powerless, while the United States is reduced to our first lady holding up Twitter hashtags, begging for the release of the latest batch of girls.

Is the Somalia-based Al-Shabaab worse? It likes the idea that it is premodern. In addition to the usual radical Islamic horrors of beheadings, rape, and mutilation, Al-Shabaab even kills protected elephants, perhaps thousands of them, to saw off tusks and fund their killing spree. They seem to make the medieval Taliban look tame in comparison.

Roger Cohen, “The Great Unraveling,” New York Times, Sept. 15, 2014:

(Note: my words are colored teal)

It was the time of unraveling. Long afterward, in the ruins, people asked: How could it happen?

It was a time of beheadings (ISIS). With a left-handed sawing motion, against a desert backdrop, in bright sunlight, a Muslim with a British accent cut off the heads of two American journalists and a British aid worker. The jihadi seemed comfortable in his work, unhurried. His victims were broken. Terror is theater. Burning skyscrapers, severed heads: The terrorist takes movie images of unbearable lightness and gives them weight enough to embed themselves in the psyche.

It was a time of aggression. The leader of the largest nation (in land mass) on earth (Russia) pronounced his country encircled, even humiliated. He annexed part (Crimea) of a neighboring country (Ukraine), the first such act in Europe since 1945, and stirred up a war on further land he coveted. His surrogates shot down a civilian passenger plane (MH17). The victims, many of them Europeans, were left to rot in the sun for days. He denied any part in the violence, like a puppeteer denying that his puppets’ movements have any connection to his. He invoked the law the better to trample on it. He invoked history the better to turn it into farce. He reminded humankind that the idiom fascism knows best is untruth so grotesque it begets unreason.

(See “Was it really a Russian INVASION of Crimea?” )

It was a time of breakup. The most successful union (United Kingdom) in history, forged on an island in the North Sea in 1707, headed toward possible dissolution — not because it had failed (refugees from across the seas still clamored to get into it), nor even because of new hatreds between its peoples. The northernmost citizens (Scotland) were bored. They were disgruntled. They were irked, in some insidious way, by the south and its moneyed capital, an emblem to them of globalization and inequality. They imagined they had to control their National Health Service in order to save it even though they already controlled it through devolution and might well have less money for its preservation (not that it was threatened in the first place) as an independent state. The fact that the currency, the debt, the revenue, the defense, the solvency and the European Union membership of such a newborn state were all in doubt did not appear to weigh much on a decision driven by emotion, by urges, by a longing to be heard in the modern cacophony — and to heck with the day after. If all else failed, oil would come to the rescue (unless somebody else owned it or it just ran out).

It was a time of weakness. The most powerful nation on earth (USA) was tired of far-flung wars, its will and treasury depleted by absence of victory. An ungrateful world could damn well police itself. The nation had bridges to build and education systems to fix. Civil wars between Arabs could fester. Enemies might even kill other enemies, a low-cost gain. Middle Eastern borders could fade; they were artificial colonial lines on a map. Shiite could battle Sunni, and Sunni Shiite, there was no stopping them. Like Europe’s decades-long religious wars, these wars had to run their course. The nation’s leader (POS) mockingly derided his own “wan, diffident, professorial” approach to the world, implying he was none of these things, even if he gave that appearance. He set objectives for which he had no plan. He made commitments he did not keep. In the way of the world these things were noticed. Enemies probed. Allies were neglected, until they were needed to face the decapitators who talked of a Caliphate and called themselves a state. Words like “strength” and “resolve” returned to the leader’s vocabulary. But the world was already adrift, unmoored by the retreat of its ordering power. The rule book had been ripped up.

It was a time of hatred. Anti-Semitic slogans were heard in the land that invented industrialized mass murder for Europe’s Jews. Frightened European Jews removed mezuzahs from their homes. Europe’s Muslims felt the ugly backlash from the depravity of the decapitators, who were adept at Facebooking their message. The fabric of society frayed. Democracy looked quaint or outmoded beside new authoritarianisms. Politicians, haunted by their incapacity, played on the fears of their populations, who were device-distracted or under device-driven stress. Dystopia was a vogue word, like utopia in the 20th century. The great rising nations of vast populations held the fate of the world in their hands but hardly seemed to care.

It was a time of fever (Ebola). People in West Africa bled from the eyes.

It was a time of disorientation. Nobody connected the dots or read Kipling on life’s few certainties: “The Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire / And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire.”

Until it was too late and people could see the Great Unraveling for what it was and what it had wrought.

Hobbit 3: Battle of Five Armies trailer is here!

Hobbit 3 poster

For Tolkien-Lord of the RingsThe Hobbit geeks!

A mere hour ago, Warner Brothers released this teaser trailer for the third Hobbit movie: The Battle of the Five Armies:

The movie will be in U.S. theaters December 17.

What a bitter-sweet moment it’ll be because The Battle of the Five Armies will be the last time we get to visit Middle-earth on screen because the Tolkien Estate has not given copyright approval to any of J.R.R. Tolkien’s other writings, including The Silmarillion.

Sniff, sniff….

H/t FOTM’s sufercajun