Tag Archives: Lord of the Rings

For Tolkien fans: Real life counterparts of Hobbiton & Minas Tirith

TheOneRing.net reports, Oct. 23, 2015, that illustrator Pauline Baynes recently discovered a map of Middle-earth drawn and annotated by J.R.R. Tolkien himself.

↓Click maps to enlarge↓


The Guardian reports that Baynes found the map loose in a copy of The Lord of the Rings. The map has “copious” notes made by Tolkien in green ink and pencil, as well as Baynes’ own notes.

Blackwell’s, which is currently exhibiting the map in Oxford and selling it for £60,000, called it “an important document, and perhaps the finest piece of Tolkien ephemera to emerge in the last 20 years at least”.

According to Blackwell’s, the map displays “the exacting nature” of Tolkien and his creative process. He fixes names, gives additional names and reveals details such as Hobbiton “is assumed to be approx at latitude of Oxford,” where Tolkien was a professor.

Blackwell’s also claims that Tolkien wrote “the city of Ravenna is the inspiration behind Minas Tirith – a key location in the third book of the Lord of The Rings trilogy.”

Minas Tirith is the city-capital of Gondor.

The city of Ravenna is located in northern Italy on the Adriatic coast between Milan and Rome.

map of Ravenna in Italy

Here’s a pic of Ravenna. It certainly resembles Minas Tirith!

Ravenna, Italy


An archer like Legolas


Legolas Greenleaf is the Elven prince of the Woodland Realms in the three volumes of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

As portrayed by Orlando Bloom in Sir Peter Jackson’s movie rendition of LOTR, Legolas became a surprise hit worldwide because of his golden locks, physical grace, archery skills, and superhuman athletic prowess, catapulting Bloom to instant stardom.

But Legolas, of course, is a fantasy — a literary and cinematic creation.

Here is a real-life Legolas, Danish archer Lars Andersen who is single-handedly reviving the lost, forgotten art of war archery by his study — and practice — of old, forgotten techniques in historical archery manuscripts.

For thousands of years, the bow and arrow was used for war, but nowadays what archery we know is the distorted version from TV and movies. Andersen shows Hollywood archery has very little to do with actual war archery, specifically:

  • Carrying arrows in a quiver on your back only works if the archer is a target archer who shoots while standing still, instead of real-life war archers who shoot on the run.
  • Historical archers actually carry their arrows in a quiver from their belt, or in their draw hand.
  • Placing the arrow on the left side of the bow is also bad when the archer is in motion. Instead, placing the arrow on the right side of the bow is quicker.

Watch Larson as he rapid-fire shoots one arrow after another; catches an incoming arrow in his hand, then shoots that arrow back; shoots incoming arrows with his arrows; and splits an incoming arrow in two.

H/t Activist Post


Farewell to Middle-earth


Yesterday, the music video for “The Last Goodbye,” the song for the end credits of the third Hobbit movie, The Battle of the Five Armies, that will come to U.S. cinemas beginning December 17, premiered exclusively on EW.com.

Composed by the great Howard Shore, “The Last Goodbye” is sung beautifully by Billy Boyd, who so masterfully played Pippin in The Lord of the Rings movies.

Boyd said:

“After seeing the film [The Battle of the Five Armies], I went to my room and I started to put down some ideas, and along with Fran and Philippa, we started to sculpt the song we thought the movie needed. A lot of ideas took us to dead ends or we found the tone wasn’t just right. I think we discovered very quickly this wasn’t just a song to end The Battle of the Five Armies—it was a song to say goodbye to Middle-earth.

The Lord of the Rings films were such a special time for me in many ways—working with Pete, Fran and Philippa, being in New Zealand, being part of Professor Tolkien’s work or even just the incredible friends I made. And being asked to go back to that, to work in that wonderful fantasy world again and to be singing the song that says goodbye to Middle-earth for everyone involved and the fans who took this beautiful journey with us is truly a great, great honor.”

Indeed, since the Tolkien Estate has not given movie rights to any books other than The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, “The Last Goodbye” is also Sir Peter Jackson’s goodbye to us after his superlative 6-movie effort depicting Middle-earth on film. As such, it is fitting that the music video features Boyd singing to images of the entire saga spanning 6 movies.

Tears . . . .


I saw the light fade from the sky 
On the wind I heard a sigh 
As the snowflakes cover my fallen brothers 
I will say this last goodbye 

Night is now falling 
So ends this day 
The road is now calling 
And I must away 
Over hill and under tree 
Through lands where never light has shone 
By silver streams that run down to the sea 

Under cloud, beneath the stars 
Over snow one winter’s morn 
I turn at last to paths that lead home 
And though where the road then takes me 
I cannot tell 
We came all this way 
But now comes the day 
To bid you farewell.

Many places I have been 
Many sorrows I have seen 
But I don’t regret 
Nor will I forget 
All who took the road with me. 

Night is now falling 
So ends this day. 
The road is now calling 
And I must away.
Over hill and under tree 
Through lands where never light has shone 
By silver streams that run down to the sea. 

To these memories I will hold 
With your blessing I will go 
To turn at last to paths that lead home.
And though where the road then takes me 
I cannot tell. 
We came all this way 
But now comes the day 
To bid you farewell…. 

I bid you all a very fond farewell. 

H/t TheOneRing


James Gandolfini of “The Sopranos” dead at 51


I was never a fan of The Sopranos, having watched 10 minutes of an episode and got turned off by the abundant use of the F-word as punctuation.

Nevertheless, it’s still shocking to learn of Gandolfini’s death from a heart attack. Crikey! He was only 51 years old.

Nikki Finke and Nellie Andreeva report for Dateline.com, June 19, 2013:

Actor James Gandolfini died suddenly after a suspected heart attack while on holiday in Rome to attend the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily. He was 51. Gandolfini will be forever known for his portrayal of mob boss Tony Soprano on the seminal HBO series The Sopranos, which won him three Emmy Awards. […]

Overweight, balding, rough around the edges with a thick New Jersey accent, Gandolfini was the opposite of a marquee leading man, destined to be a character actor, and yet he proved through his masterful acting that he could make Tony Soprano sexy and smart, towering and powerful. his portrayal was one of TV’s largest-looming TV anti-heroes — the schlub we loved, the cruel monster we hated, the anxiety-ridden husband and father we wanted to hug when he bemoaned, “I’m afraid I’m going to lose my family. […]

Born in 1961 in Westwood, New Jersey, Gandolfini’s official bio says the Rutgers graduate spent years as a Manhattan bouncer and nightclub manager. He discovered his lifelong profession in the late 1980s when a friend took him to an acting class. He and made his Broadway debut in the 1992 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire with Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange. […]

Gandolfini’s death at 51 is a reminder to us that life is fleeting.

Use your time well, for we will be asked by our Lord what use we made of the time He’d given us. (Matthew 25:14-30)

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” – Gandalf, LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring


Fun Quiz: Are you a Hobbit, Dwarf, or Elf?

It’s no secret that I’m a huge J.R.R. Tolkien fan geek. So is Trail Dust. ;)

Not surprisingly, both of us –separately — have already seen The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first of Sir Peter Jackson’s three movies of Tolkien’s book. And we both give it an enthusiastic “thumbs up”. :D

For Tolkien fans, here’s a fun short quiz to find out which Hobbit character you most resemble. Click here!

hobbit quiz

I’m told I’m a furry-footed Bilbo Baggins!

P.S. If you’re planning to see The Hobbit: AUJ, make sure you pee first ’cause the movie’s nearly 3 hours long. Also, I suggest you NOT go to the movie, expecting the Good vs. Evil Sturm und Drang of Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit takes place 60 years before LOTR, a lighter-hearted time in Middle-earth.

H/t TheOneRing.net, the best Tolkien fan site, ever.


Fun Saturday Game!

Here’s a fun game to start our weekend!

Boys and girls, can you identify what’s in Pic #3?

#1: Ringwraiths in Lord of the Rings

#2: A Harry Potter dementer

#3: ???

H/t my friend Mark S. McGrew (who’s running for El Paso County Sheriff) for pic #3!


You Know You’re LOTR Obsessed When…

This one is for you my friend. :D Stumbled upon it. This is only first 75 of 388

—————————————– Sam G.——————————————-

Just to get your blood going before battle. Ride for the Fellowship.

Your AOL screen name is Elbereth.

You can pronounce Nirnaeth Arnoediad.

The opponents in your MS Hearts game are named Morgoth, Sauron and Ungoliant.

You have a decided opinion on the question of the two Glorfindels.

You understand #4.

Your thesis was entitled “On the Valar and their Treament of the Noldor”

When watching The Two Towers, you must fight the urge to scream, “THERE WERE NO ELVES, NEITHER FROM IMLADRIS NOR LÓRIEN, IN THE BATTLE OF THE HORNBURG!

But you mourn Haldir anyway.

It’s not “hello”, it’s “Hail and well met.”

You know the difference between Sindarin and Quenya.

You use Shire reckoning.

You can recite the names of all the Kings (and the four Ruling Queens) of Númenor.

You think Ar-Pharazon was a louse.

Your twin sons are named Elladan and Elrohir.

Your baseball bat had a name, too: Narsil. And when it broke and had to be taped up, you re-named it Anduril.

Finarfin is your role model.

Given a map of Middle Earth, you can instantly locate Rivendell, Lórien, Minas Tirith, and Edoras.

Your vacation house is on your private island, which happens to be named Tol Eressea.

You can trace Eldarion’s bloodline all the way back to Thingol and Melian.

When life sucks, you move westward.

You know Gil-galad’s real name.

You know who Nerwen is.

Spock is your favorite Star Trek chaacter.

Your idea for the Big Dig is to rebuild Boston on the plan of Gondolin.

TV just isn’t the same as a palantír.

You have learnt to blow smoke rings.

You have a weed patch.

You own a shipbuilding company named Círdan’s Crafts.

You know you’re obsessed with LotR when…you no longer answer to your real name, but rather, you prefer to be called Elerial, daughter of Bruce, of the house of Smith. (by Shari M.)

30-64 Submitted by Melanie McCorkle

You talk about nothing but LOTR. All the time.

You’ve read LOTR more than once, to the surprise and disgust of your peers. (Note: I think most hardcore LOTR fans have read LOTR several times… – Nevermore)

Your family (who don’t like LOTR) know many of the lines to FOTR from walking past you watching it, or hearing you quote it.

Your favorite CD’s are the LOTR soundtracks, even though you don’t like classical music.

Your teachers even tell you you need to lighten up on LOTR.

When you’re helping your little brother with his himework and it says “The Lord of the Rings” you want to frame that paper when he gets it back.

When that homework paper says “The Hobbit” on the other side you don’t know which side to frame facing out and decide to rotate it every week or so.

When you can’t find your LOTR CD (Heavan forbid) you flip out and start humming one of the songs to make yourself feel better.

If someone likes LOTR they DON’T talk to you, because they don’t want a 3 hour lecture on how Tolkien, not Jackson, was the creator, and how Jackson majorly screwed some things up.

You have read/own 5 or more Tolkien books (counting LOTR as 1)

People are careful not to say LOTR 1, LOTR 2, and LOTR 3 around you, because you’ll yell at them.

When someone says they don’t like it you exclaim: “What?! How can you say that?!” and smack them.

When your “friend” says she’s tired of hearing you talk about it you smack her and continue talking.

When people say you’re obsessed you say: “And proud of it!” the way Frodo does and smack a mug down on a table.

The tiniest things remind you of LOTR, like the way the mirror you got for Christmas that has the lights that reflect all the way back makes your eyes look like Galadriel’s.

Or the way some people have Hobbit-hair (which makes you wonder if they have hairy feet)

When you’re watching TV and they even show a picture of something from LOTR for a nanosecond you can tell exactly where it came from, and what’s going on, even if you only glance up to see it and there’s no sound to it.

When you see that picture you turn the volume WAY up and pay close attention to that comercial from then on.

When you see a word that looks anything like something from LOTR you read it as that word, like when you see Fodor’s Map of the Caribbean (?) you read it as Frodo’s…

You spend your time copying poems from the books.

You have a portion of your bookshelf dedicated to Tolkien, but for some reason Tolkien books seem to be scattered all over your bedroom, and not one is in the Tolkien Shrine.

When you do put your books together, it’s not on your shelf, it’s on your dresser, where everyone can see the 3 and a half foot stack of books all bearing the same name: J. R. R. Tolkien.

You truly wish you had pointy ears, or had a long braided beard, or were 3 and a half feet tall.

You don’t mind Aragorn’s greasy hair (that much)

You know the movie by heart.

If (somehow, and I don’t know how this would happen) your friends see a picture of one of the LOTR actors they cover your eyes till you’re past.

If they don’t catch the picture in time they groan in agony at the inevitable exclamation of “He was in LOTR!” and a long explanation of his life, his character’s life, his part in the movie, what is favorite thing to do in New Zealand was, and the precise location of his Elvish nine tattoo (provided he’s a member of the Fellowship).

You watched the Oscars just to see if TTT won anything.

You almost threw a chair at the TV when it only got 2.

You cracked up when Mickey pulled the Ring out of his pocket, and thought Sean Astin’s face was the funniest thing you’ve ever seen.

You seriously beg your parents for archery/swordfighting lessons.

You want to take a family vacation to New Zealand to see all the places the movie was filmed.

You’ve watched all 16 hours of bonus “stuff” on the extended DVD.

You read every parody you can find and love them all.

You start using words like “atop” in your stories (if you write).

65-75 submitted by KRRouse

You wear a gold ring on a chain everywhere you go.

You are careful never to put your ring on.

You hiss at people and yell “Get away from my Precious!” when they get too close to your ring.

You try to bite their fingers off if they put your ring on.

You scream “My Precious is lost!” if you lose your ring.

You excuse yourself from class so you can read your copy of Lord of the Rings in the bathroom.

You excuse yourself from class so you can work on perfecting your Gollum voice in the batroom.

You ask people for the recipe for Lembas.

You complain about your feet not being hairy.

You always say “Mellon” before you open a door.

You live in a hole in the backyard.

H/T      http://www.lotrspoofs.net/obsessedlist.html