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Middle-earth Reflections

Essays on the works of J. R. R. Tolkien

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Harp the magical.

Music has always possessed the air of mystery around it. Enjoying a long history and a special charm of its own, the harp is, probably, the most enigmatic instrument ever played by people. The harp has often been ascribed magical qualities which are reflected in various myths, legends and tales featuring this ancient instrument. Though several races in Tolkien’s Middle-earth are mentioned as playing the harp, it is the Elves who are mostly associated with it: an otherworldly thing in its own right, the harp perfectly emphasises the Elves’ fairy nature. Let us begin the journey into the enchantment of the harp by looking into the tales and legends of old. Continue reading “Harp the magical.”

Tolkien inspirations /// On autumn.

Autumn is the season which many deeply love. Good, dry autumn is, indeed, a magical time of year. The air is crisp, clear and the smells are rich, musky. Leaves change their colour so that the palette of red, yellow and golden is pleasing for the eye and senses. Autumn is yet another proof that nature is a gifted painter and that her choices of colour are always good. Continue reading “Tolkien inspirations /// On autumn.”

Feline fall from favour: cats turn villains in Tolkien’s stories.

In the letter sent to Allen & Unwin in reply to a cat-breeder, who wished to use names from The Lord of the Rings to name her cats, Tolkien famously said: “I fear that to me Siamese cats belong to the fauna of Mordor….” (Letter 219).  It is hard to tell whether the Professor’s comment referred only to the cats of this particular breed, or expressed his general attitude towards felines, but cats in Tolkien’s literary works are presented mostly in a negative light.  Continue reading “Feline fall from favour: cats turn villains in Tolkien’s stories.”

The wonder of Middle-earth.

Wonder surrounds us everywhere if we care to look carefully. It can be hidden in the smallest details which seem ordinary and which we tend to take for granted as time passes, but which are still wonderful in their own right. “Invoking Wonder” was the topic of Mythmoot IV held at the beginning of June by Mythgard Academy. Unfortunately, I was not present at the conference, but these invoked-wonder posts by Tom and Joe inspired me to do a similar essay.  Continue reading “The wonder of Middle-earth.”

The Oxford company.

Well, has nobody got anything to read us?

Those who write will agree that having an audience to read your works to is one of the key elements and among the most potent driving forces in keeping a writer going. Having a company of like-minded people is even essential for any person who decided to master the art of putting words into stories. After all, who if not those who share your beliefs, ideas and views will be able to provide the best criticism, feedback and encouragement when you feel stuck?

Continue reading “The Oxford company.”

It’s Yule time!

With December nearing its end and the New Year drawing closer, it is high time to look into one of the most important and merriest celebrations in Hobbits’ culture – the holiday of Yule.
Continue reading “It’s Yule time!”

Tolkien inspirations /// Courage.

A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it.

J. R. R. Tolkien

Continue reading “Tolkien inspirations /// Courage.”

Tolkien inspirations /// Humility.

…from high places it is easy to fall low.

J. R. R. Tolkien

Continue reading “Tolkien inspirations /// Humility.”

Tolkien inspirations /// Hope.

Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.

J. R. R. Tolkien

Continue reading “Tolkien inspirations /// Hope.”

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