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Middle-earth Reflections

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

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What makes The Hobbit special?

In September 2017 The Hobbit celebrates its 80th birthday. Since being released in 1937 the book has been enchanting readers all over the world – both children and grown-ups, and has joined the ranks of world classics. As it happens with many books that are in for a legendary fate, The Hobbit did not seem to be especially planned for writing or publication. The written-down story began on the spur of the moment as Tolkien was marking examination papers and, turning over one of them and finding a blank page there, he wrote: In the hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Upon many occasions later the Professor admitted that he did not know or remember clearly why he wrote this line, but these ten words began the life of what would later became one of the most favourite and best books in literature Continue reading “What makes The Hobbit special?”

Language notes /// On Fingon.

Among the characters in The Silmarillion one of the most renowned for his deeds of valour and nobility was Fingolfin’s eldest son Fingon. Named the Valiant, Fingon won great honour for his glorious feats and showed himself as a person of real courage.

Continue reading “Language notes /// On Fingon.”

Melkor and Manwë: like night and day.

Manwë and Melkor were brethren in the thought of Ilúvatar.

The mightiest of those Ainur who came into the World

was in his beginning Melkor; but Manwë

is dearest to Ilúvatar and understands most clearly his purposes.

(Silmarillion, p. 16) Continue reading “Melkor and Manwë: like night and day.”

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.”

Sea the majestic (Part III).

All roads are now bent

Over the course of Ages, the Sea in Arda was becoming an increasingly impenetrable obstacle on the way to the Blessed Realm. Having gone the whole way from being a passable border between two continents to the realm of confusing waters and magical islands, the Sea turned into the border between two worlds within different planes of the universe.

Continue reading “Sea the majestic (Part III).”

«Alone of the Valar he knew fear»

for though his might was greatest

of all things in this world,

alone of the Valar he knew fear.

(Silmarillion, p.178)

Quite often throughout The Silmarillion we can read of Morgoth’s being afraid at those especially tense moments when his safety was in peril. While fear is a common reaction in mortals as a means of self-preservation, it does not seem to be a very typical emotion for immortal divine beings, even in their physical forms. Morgoth was the only exception: he could feel fear. But how come the mightiest of the Ainur was frightened of anything at all? Continue reading “«Alone of the Valar he knew fear»”

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!”

In friendship they trust.

Known as great lovers of nature and living in close connection with it, Elves stand out among other Middle-earth dwellers. Due to their immortality, Elves are bound to the world and are doomed to live as long as it does, thus forming a harmonious, eternal part of Arda, not a temporary, passing element of it.  Continue reading “In friendship they trust.”

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