Christmas in the Shire

Last night, for no particular reason, I watched the first of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  (Thoughts on the trilogy as a whole here.)  Watching it brought to mind a satirical video I’d seen years ago of the Rankin-Bass Hobbit Christmas special that should have been.  Was it still online?  AContinue reading “Christmas in the Shire”

Thoughts on The Hobbit Films

Last week, the third of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films came out on DVD and Blu-Ray. Wednesday night, I rewatched the film after seeing it in the theater after Christmas, and I think this Tweet summed up my reaction to the film: Three months later, the third Hobbit film is still tedious. It hasn't improved withContinue reading “Thoughts on The Hobbit Films”

Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Arwen Stories

With the final Hobbit film in theaters in a week, it’s natural for one’s thoughts to turn to Middle-earth. A few weeks ago I watched the first two Hobbit films back-to-back. A few weeks before that I watched the Rankin-Bass Return of the King. And something else, too. I read Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Arwen stories,Continue reading “Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Arwen Stories”

Of the Wanderers in the Fields of the Unbroken Arda

Though the Lamps were thrown down by Melkor long ages ere the awakening of the Elves and Men, it is said that one of the Kindred of Men, with a spirit that flowed like the waters of the mighty Sirion in later days, walked in the fields of the unbroken Arda and looked upon theContinue reading “Of the Wanderers in the Fields of the Unbroken Arda”

On Kirill Yeskov’s The Last Ringbearer

A few months ago on a bulletin board I was drawn into a somewhat tedious argument over what, exactly, pipeweed is in The Lord of the Rings. My sparring partner argued that pipeweed was clearly tobacco, Tolkien said so, and that, clearly, was that. The problem with the identification of pipeweed with tobacco, I said,Continue reading “On Kirill Yeskov’s The Last Ringbearer”

On Musing about Beowulf and Its Culture

This morning, while I was listening to Scott Simon on NPR’s Weekend Edition and waiting for the coffee to kick in, I saw that a friend posted a question on Facebook about Beowulf. No, not the Robert Zemekis film. The Anglo-Saxon epic poem on which the Zemekis film was based. What, he wanted to know,Continue reading “On Musing about Beowulf and Its Culture”

On Waging the War in the North

A group of Orcs rushed down the rocky, snow-covered mountain trail toward my party. My two-handed sword was held out in front of me, and as the orcs approached I swung. The sword connected with the lead Orc. He staggered under the blow, and my momentum carried him into the Orc immediately behind him, knockingContinue reading “On Waging the War in the North”

On Anticipating the Next Lord of the Rings Game

For the first time in about five years, I am really excited about a video game. Specifically, Warner’s The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, which is coming out next week. I used to get excited about video games all the time. I just had to have this or that or the other.Continue reading “On Anticipating the Next Lord of the Rings Game”

On Things I’ve Been Reading

“The Professor, the Queen, and the Bookshop” Doctor Who Magazine #429 Panini UK Written by Jonathan Morris Art by Rob Davis One winter’s day, during the height of the Blitz, two young children — Amelia and Rory — run through London’s streets, en route to a nearby train station to meet Amelia’s aunt. Amelia spiesContinue reading “On Things I’ve Been Reading”