Tag: JRR Tolkien

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Amazon is creating a new series based on Tolkien’s Middle Earth. It will be set in the Second Age, the age dominated by the long-lived men of the island of Númenor. Here are the latest (but not so recent) rumors about the production. The Tolkien estate has announced the constraints it has placed on Amazon’s […]

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Quote of the Day: All We Have to Do


“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given us.”

QOTD: Their Dream, Our Nightmare


My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) … The most improper job of any man … is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.

J. R. R. Tolkien, in a letter to his son Christopher Tolkien (29 November 1943)

The Conservative Stewardship of Christopher Tolkien


“A wizard is never late,” says the wizard Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lords of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. “Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he needs to.”

I am not a wizard. Which is why I am only now getting around to memorializing J.R.R.’s son Christopher, who died earlier this month at age 95. Indeed, his passing has already been noted, in a more timely fashion, elsewhere on Ricochet. So I can only hope that readers will excuse my tardiness. For Christopher’s efforts on behalf of his father’s literary legacy are not merely worthy of praise in themselves. They also present an example of what it means to be conservative, in the most literal sense.

Christopher was involved in the saga of The Lord of the Rings almost from its very beginning. Though the germ of Middle-Earth predates any of J.R.R.’s children, telling what became his works as stories to his children helped him refine and develop them. Christopher later recalled, “[a]s strange as it may seem, I grew up in the world he created. For me, the cities of The Silmarillion are more real than Babylon.” And of these children, Christopher was the keenest on these tales. So keen, in fact, that his father put a young Christopher to work as an editor. In a letter to his publisher, the elder Tolkien wrote that “I received a letter from a young reader in Boston (Lincs.) enclosing a list of errata [in The Hobbit]. I then put my youngest son to find any more at two pence a time. He did. I enclose the results—which added to those already submitted should (I hope) make an exhaustive list.”

A Christian Tolkien Conference


Ricochet has many Tolkien fans and many Christians, so I thought you might want to pencil in a new conference. Aptly titled Christ and Tolkien, it will be held Oct. 1-3, 2020, in Deerfield, IL, just north of Chicago.

Tolkien’s works present many Christian themes, though not quite as obvious as those of his dear friend C.S. Lewis. JRR’s defense of the faith helped CS abandon atheism and embrace Christianity. The two went on to found the Inklings, a famous literary discussion group held at the Eagle and Child pub near the University of Oxford. (Full disclosure: I stole the name “Inkling” for my college graphic design business.)

The Christ and Tolkien Conference will discuss and celebrate the author’s works from all traditional Christian points of view, be they Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant. It’s a chance for Tolkien fans and scholars to engage more deeply with his writings and each other.

The Legendarium Podcast Has Come to Ricochet


At the beginning of this year, I got an offer I couldn’t refuse. Craig Hanks, who listens to the Remnant with Jonah Goldberg (on which I make furtive appearances) heard that I was reading The Silmarillion by J.R.R. and Christopher Tolkien. Craig happens to host his own podcast, The Legendarium Podcast, on which he and others discuss the great works of sci-fi and fantasy literature. He invited me onto his show to discuss The Silmarillion. You can listen to the episode here

Something strange happened when I distilled my thoughts about The Silmarillion in a post I published on Ricochet: All of Ricochet’s various nerds came out of the woodwork and had a field day discussing this somewhat more obscure “prequel” to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. A similar thing happened when I produced another post, about God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert, after appearing on one episode of the Legendarium (and later another) to discuss it. 

The revelation of an “undocumented nerd” community at Ricochet convinced higher-ups to bring this large, underserved population “out of the shadows” by bringing Craig’s podcast here. And so here it is. Now the Legendarium’s deep-dives not only into Tolkien and Herbert and the worlds they created but also their explorations of other, perhaps more obscure authors and worlds, are available via Ricochet. 

‘The Silmarillion’ Is a Dense Yet Highly Engaging Origin Story for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth


As Game of Thrones draws to a close, and a new Amazon Lord of the Rings TV series awaits, J.R.R. Tolkien is sure to return as the king of fantasy (if he ever even left). Despite being dead now for nearly 46 years, Tolkien created, in Middle-Earth and the stories that take place there, a rich, vivid mythology that has ensured his immortality.

Many people first came to appreciate Tolkien’s work because of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings film trilogy in the early 2000s. I was one of them. Only eight years old when The Fellowship of the Ring came out, I was not allowed to see either it or its sequel in theaters (though I did catch them later on DVD). But when my parents said they would let me see The Return of the King in theaters, I decided to read all of the books in the trilogy before the movie came out so that I would appreciate it properly. Even at age 10, I recall getting lost–in the best possible way–in the epic and fully realized world of heroism and mysticism that Tolkien had created. Seeing the last movie in theaters remains one of my best-ever theatrical experiences, and it confirmed my status as a Tolkien fan.

Looking for more ways to deepen my fanhood at the time, I came upon The Silmarillion, which I have now had the chance to discuss on an episode of the Legendarium Podcast. Described to me as the ‘Old Testament’ of The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion gave the backstory to which the more famous trilogy is the culmination: the creation of the world, the early struggles between its gods, the plight of the elves, the coming of men and dwarves (and their own trials), etc. Delighted that there was more material to read, I dove right in…only to crash on a rocky shoal of confusing names, excessive detail, and quasi-poetic prose that seemed straight out of some ancient tome. I got only a few dozen pages in before giving up on The Silmarillion.

Director Peter Jackson Strikes Gold Again with WWI Documentary


The Oscars for 2018’s movies have come and gone. It’s far too early to tell whether any of these movies, even Green Book, the Best Picture winner, will actually be watched much after this year. But true transcendence is hard to pull off, so the safe bet is: No.

Yet one movie with a good chance of a lasting legacy didn’t even get any nominations: Peter Jackson’s World War I documentary They Shall Not Grow Old. Jackson is best known for directing live-action adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. The final chapter, The Return of the King, won Best Picture for its year of release, and earned Jackson Best Director. This is worth considering not merely for reasons of pedigree. For these two works share more than a quality that has ensured a legacy for Tolkien’s work and Jackson’s adaptations, and will, I hope, ensure one for They Shall Not Grow Old.

How Secularism gets Tolkien Wrong


I have had to check out of Ricochet for a while because I was assigned to write a book, which is cool but to get anything done on that project I needed to take a break. I came back to the site and started reading posts and sure enough that made it impossible for me not to write up a post myself. A post by @LoisLane really inspired me to write I post I have been thinking about for a very long time you can find her excellent post and fascinating comment thread here

The Lord of the Rings movies differed from the books in many ways, which is to be expected since a movie and a book are very different mediums. For instance at the “Breaking of the Fellowship” I think it was vital to the movie to show Boromir fighting for Merry and Pippin and Aragorn “avenging” Boromir. I saw the Fellowship of the Ring three times in the theater and each time the audience was on the edge of their seats as Boromir redeemed himself and they erupted in applause when Aragorn dispatched the Uruk-hai that killed Boromir.

Member Post


https://www.weeklystandard.com/hannah-long/christopher-tolkien-and-the-legacy-of-his-father-j-r-r-tolkien-the-steward-of-middle-earth A brilliant piece on the legacy of Tolkien – not only in work but also in spirit. ‘Frodo Lives’ was scrawled on a subway wall and somehow that tiny sword, glowing with hope found it’s way to me many, many years ago in the Appalachian Mountains. It prompted me to check the books out […]

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