World’s Strangest

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The Hobbit In-Flight Safety Video

To make sure that you get there and back again safely, Air New Zealand – the official airline of Middle Earth, mind you – has released a new Hobbit-themed in-flight safety video. In this video, [...]

J.R.R. Tolkien Reading One of His Poems in Elvish

(Video Link)  Shakespeare may sound better in the original Klingon, but The Fellowship of the Ring sounds better in Elvish. Here’s a 1952 recording of J.R.R. Tolkien reading “Namárië,” an Elvish language poem that appeared in that book. -via io9

What Your Favorite Literary Characters Were Almost Named

Did you know Sherlock Holmes was almost named “Sherringford” Holmes? Or that Gandalf was almost “Bladorthin?” Bladorthin the Grey? Yeah, not so much. But that seems to have been J.R.R. Tolkien’s original thinking. In pencilled notes on early drafts of The Hobbit, Tolkien noted that “Gandalf” was the name of the chief dwarf and “Bladorthin” was, [...]

17 Famous Literary Characters Almost Named Something Else

“Bladorthin the Grey” just doesn’t have the same ring to it as “Gandalf the Grey,” does it? Good thing J.R.R. Tolkien decided to do some name swapping. Turns out he’s in good company: here’s the story of Gandalf and other famous characters who experienced an identity change before publication. 1. The only Pevensie child [...]

Why Didn’t Tolkien Win the Nobel Prize?

I’m not a fan of The Lord of the Rings, but I have wondered how such a monumentally influential author was overlooked for a Nobel Prize in literature. C.S. Lewis nominated J.R.R. Tolkien in 1961. The governing committee considered him, but ultimately awarded the prize to the Yugoslavian writer Ivo Andri?. Why? Recently declassified documents [...]

Harry Potter Vs. Lord Of The Rings

It appears J.K. Rowling was more than a little inspired by Tolkien’s classic  fantasy series the Lord Of The Rings when writing her Harry Potter series, and this cute chart aims to prove it by illustrating the similarities between the characters and plot points in both series. Check out all 4 sections of the chart at [...]

Behind The Scenes Of The Hobbit

(YouTube Link) Peter Jackson is such a visionary film director that he’s even changing the way movies are advertised to the public by releasing a video blog series which shows the making of his new J.R.R. Tolkien movie adaptation “The Hobbit”. He shows things that directors generally keep to themselves, like the process of filming 3d footage [...]

Tolkien-Inspired Bronze Sculptures

Once upon a time, British sculptor David Goode was the youngest ever waxwork modeller for Madame Tussauds. He spent most of his career studying the human form, but lately he’s taking that study into Middle Earth by bringing life to some of the elves, imps and orcs of J.R.R. Tolkien’s imagination. Using the centuries-old lost [...]

Russian Map of The Hobbit

Frank Jacobs of Strange Maps blog posted this map that accompanied the Russian translation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. It has a distinctly Slavic motif, including log homes for the Hobbit dwellings (instead of those cute Hobbit houses). Link – via The Map Room | More Hobbit Maps </

Maurice Sendak Almost Illustrated The Hobbit

In the 1960s, the prominence of The Lord of the Rings series was rising, so the publisher of The Hobbit decided to release a 30th anniversary edition. Maurice Sendak, the children’s author and illustrator most famous for Where the Wild Things Are, was among the artists considered to illustrate The Hobbit. J.R.R. Tolkien looked at [...]