Category Archives: Lord of the Rings

Birthday Musings: Why We Need More Men Like J. R. R. Tolkien

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on this date (January 3) in 1892 in what is now South Africa. He needs to introduction here.

For this birthday observance, I’m going to use the quote on the left as my jumping off point. I’ve subtitled this post “Why We Need More Men Like J. R. R. Tolkien”.  That’s not just clickbait.

Tolkien wrote one of the most influential works of literature, one that resonates with people and is still popular nearly half a century after his death.  I want to briefly examine why that is. Continue reading

Professor Tolkien’s Birthday

tolkien academicJ. R. R. Tolkien was born on this date, January 3, in the long-ago year of 1892.

The Lord of the Rings has cast such a long shadow over his life that it’s easy to forget that Tolkien was a university professor.  I wonder what it would have been like to take one of his classes.

Of course, there’s a good reason that TLotR has cast such a long shadow over Tolkien’s life.  The thing is a masterpiece.  It’s been well over a dozen years since I last read TLotR. I may try to fit it in sometime later this year if things let up a bit.

Happy Birthday, J. R. R. Tolkien

TolkienJ. R. R. Tolkien was born this day in 1892.  He needs no introduction to the readers of this blog.  As Charles Rutledge says in his tribute, the world of fantasy today would be a smaller and poorer place with him and his works.  He’s correct.

I read somewhere years ago that most, if not all, fantasy written after the 1960s (I’m paraphrasing quite a bit here since I don’t recall the source) was either an imitation of or a reaction against The Lord of the Rings.  While that the extent to which that statement is true might be arguable, what can’t be argued is that Tolkien’s shadow still looms large over the field today, and not just fantasy but literature in general.

I saw The Desolation of Smaug over the Christmas holidays.  I”ll save my comments on the film for another time, save for this.  Watching the movie reminded me why I began to read fantasy in earnest.  I’d been reading science fiction for a few years when I read The Lord of the Rings in high school.  My mind was blown, and I haven’t been the same since.

I last read Tolkien when the LotR films came out.  It’s time to plan a rereading sometime this year.  My life has been richer because of Professor Tolkien’s works.  It’s time revisit them.

Here’s a little something from last year honoring Tolkien I couldn’t resist adding:

Tolkein birthday

A Thought or Two on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

We finally got our act together and saw The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey.  It was better than I was expecting.

I’m not going to try and do an in-depth analysis of the movie.  There are other people who are much more qualified than I am for that.  I’ve only read the book twice, most recently prior to the release of the first LOTR movie.  Some of the details are a little blurry, to say the least.

On the whole, the movie matched the book quite well, at least to the best of my memory.  There were a few details I thought were different.  I know Jackson is embellishing the story a little, drawing on sources in Tolkien’s writings other than the novel itself.  Those scenes were fairly obvious.

The cinematography was great.  Every time I see one of these movies, I want to move to New Zealand. 

One thing I did find interesting.  With all the running the party did, I was impressed that no one ever seemed out of breath, especially since it was in the mountains. 

On the whole I was impressed.  This is one I’ll be getting on DVD. 

Strong Heroines in Fantasy

There’s been a lot of discussion in the blogosphere lately of the role of women in epic fantasy, both in terms of characters and authors.  I’ll have something to say on the subject in a few days.  Until then, here’s a little something on the lighter side of that topic.

If you’re a fan of Twilight, you probably won’t like it.