Tag: The Lord of the Rings

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. 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.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. 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. 


For some reasons beyond his control and some that were not, host Jack Butler resorts to that most desperate measure of podcasts: a crowd-sourced, ask-me-anything-style Q&A episode. Topics include (predictably): running, aliens, Lord of the Rings, and more.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. ‘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.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. 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.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Clearing the Search History


A few weeks ago I panicked. I rarely ever panic. I was sitting at the kitchen table, researching and writing. I usually sit facing the windows with my back to the room – kids playing and doing assignments behind me, often coming to ask questions every few minutes – math, handwriting assignments, the nature of Infinity Stones, monoglycerides…you know, life.

I typed what I thought was an innocuous inquiry into my search engine and was immediately blasted with a full page of hardcore pornography of the worst kind. My heart raced and I began to feel the heat of terror in my neck. I d­idn’t know what to do and the milliseconds ticked away. My first thought was of my kids playing behind me. Were they seeing this, or were they occupied? I couldn’t tell because I was turned the other way. My next thought was my wife. She was in the bathroom, also behind me. What would happen if she came out and saw my screen? Would she believe me when I told her it was an accident? So many times in years past it hadn’t been. What would happen now?The clock was ticking. It had been almost a full three seconds and I still wasn’t sure what to do. I saw a couple of the images before I bounced my eyes away – a tactic learned through hard experience. Should I close the page? My computer is notoriously slow to close pages. Back button? Minimize it? Where are the kids right now?


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Where Have You “Scene” That Before?


Filmmakers borrow from their peers all the time. Some do so as an homage (that’s an artsy cinema term) to an earlier film or director. Others just modify the original idea because a type of character or a setting works with the film they’re making.