Guy Gavriel Kay has carved out a unique niche, writing fantasy novels that take real-life historical settings and transforming them into something new and different. His latest novel, Children of Earth and Sky, takes place in a version of 16th century Europe that’s under threat from a version of the Ottoman Empire,…
The Hobbit author J.R.R. Tolkien contributed two poems to a school magazine in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, back when he was an Oxford don. One is an early version of a poem that later appeared in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (pictured above), while the other is a Christmas poem, set in a landscape not unlike Middle…
This is a pretty incredible find: a map of Middle Earth featuring annotations from its creator, J.R.R. Tolkien was recently discovered in a copy of a book owned by illustrator Pauline Baynes, which sheds some light on some of the inspiration behind it.
Fantasy legend J.R.R. Tolkien means a lot of things to a lot of people. To Vin Diesel, what’s really inspiring about Tolkien is the way he writes about death. Tolkien is a touchstone for Diesel, and he was a huge influence on Diesel’s new film The Last Witch Hunter.
Weta doesn’t just create props and VFX for the movies—they also create awesome collectibles. Including this beauty, which was the hottest item at New York Comic Con. Behold the official bust of Smaug from The Hobbit, made by the same artists and technicians who worked on the films.
There’s a new fantasy story from J.R.R. Tolkien set to be published later this fall: the author’s estate will be releasing The Story of Kullervo in October, one of his earliest prose works that would eventually lead him to Middle Earth.
A pristine copy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel The Hobbit has sold at auction for a record £137,000 (just over $213,000 US), more than double the record for the previous record, set in 2008.
Several hundred Hobbit fans gathered in the woods near Dosky, Czech Republic, thirsty for the kind of blood-pumping joy that only fantasy combat can provide. Feast your eyes on more photos from the annual Battle of Five Armies reenactment below.
Author Evan Puschak, aka blogger the Nerd Writer, breaks down what he calls “the perils of worldbuilding” in this video, using the works of Tolkien and Game of Thrones, among others, as examples. On his blog, he writes:
Many of science fiction's greatest classics were published as paperback originals — and the genre might never have gotten so much widespread appeal without the cheap paperback format. As a new article in Investor's Business Daily explains, this was the brainchild of publisher Ian Ballantine.
Because Middle-Earth can be a confusing, perilous place, Reddit user mbingcrosby created this Google Maps-style guide to the journey from Hobbiton to Mordor. As you can see, it's expected to take six months ("four months without Orcs"), and be ready, because "this route has trolls."
When people describe a story as being told in a "by the numbers" fashion, that's usually regarded as bad. But in a talk at Oxford University the other day, scientist Marcus du Sautoy argued that a great mathematical proof is a lot like a story. In fact, a really great proof is like Frodo's journey in Lord of the Rings…
As part of its vast collection of literary and historic treasures (the Magna Carta, Leonardo da Vinci's notebook), the British Library owns some six million sound recordings, including significant theater productions, famous voices (like J.R.R. Tolkien's), and field recordings of extinct animals. Some of them…
Michael Moorcock once referred to the huge catalog of names, places, rings and rulers in J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy texts as "a pernicious confirmation of the values of a morally bankrupt middle class." He accused Tolkien's work of infantilization. And he created his most famous character, Elric, as a critique of…
Anne Leonard's fantasy novel Moth and Spark comes out in paperback today. To celebrate, Leonard's written us an essay about how the "mundane" and everyday things are even more important to include in a book about dragons and heroic quests — because without them, you'll never understand the scale of magic.
When it comes to personality traits, how does J.R.R. Tolkien's Gandalf compare to Peter Jackson's movie version? An IBM researcher used the company's artificially intelligent Watson computer system to crunch the data and find out.
There are writers who disown entire books after they've written them, but sometimes writers like their stories on the whole, but feel a twinge of regret over one a small (or not-so-small) detail. Here are a few decisions that the writers, in hindsight, wished they had thought through a little better.
If you haven't dived into the pages of The Silmarillion, there's a whole cosmology of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth that you may not know. This short video outlines the basics, explaining as much about the universe's divine and angelic beings as you can learn in four minutes.
The Hobbit trilogy has thrown Tolkien-fans a rather rare problem: way too much screentime for some of their most beloved characters. So, what could have been cut to make the movie a little smaller and a whole lot better? So, so much.
Even Bilbo Baggins would have a hard time tackling this week's riddles.