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‘Our Father, who art in Mordor…’: Hilarious reviews of Tolkien-themed prayer ring
01:07 pm


J.R.R. Tolkien

I’ve been far too engrossed by the amusingly vitriolic negative reviews of protein supplement shakes on Amazon and almost missed the gloriously geeky reviews of one of the most absurd products of all time:  a men’s black ring with the text of the Lord’s Prayer written in Elvish script.
According to Wikipedia: “The Tengwar are an artificial script created by J. R. R. Tolkien. In his fictional universe of Eä, the tengwar were invented by the Elf Fëanor, and used first to write the angelic tongue Valarin and the Elven tongues Quenya and Telerin. Later a great number of languages of Middle-earth were written using the tengwar, including Sindarin.” 

Here are a few highlights:

Exactly what I wanted. Lovely ring. Well made. I’m only giving it a 4, because it is a little uncomfortable. But my plans for world domination are now coming along quite nicely. The included power to command the wraiths has been very convenient.

Stainless? I don’t think so. This ring is supposedly stainless steel, but the mark it left on my soul will never be healed. Beware, my friend, beware.

Simply precious! I love this beautiful ring. It’s my favorite thing in the whole wide world. Although, ever since I’ve started wearing it, I feel like someone is stalking me. He follows me constantly, staring at me from the shadows, mumbling and hissing. He wants to take the ring.

I bought this ring as a weight-loss aid. I’m giving it only three stars, because while it did help me lose weight, it left me feeling thin, and stretched, like butter spread over too much bread.

Special Care Instructions. I found this ring to be of fantastic quality and very durable - at one point my friend had hit it with an ax with no noticeable damage. However, I would suggest the following tips when caring for this ring:

1. Keep it secret
2. Keep it safe

I keep mine in an envelope and this works very well.

Didn’t last very long. Wanted as family heirloom to last several generations unfortunately they neglect to list that it’s Not lava proof, #thoroughly disappointed.

Via io9.

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Leave a comment
John Lennon wanted to play Gollum in a Beatles ‘Lord of the Rings’ movie, but Tolkien quashed it

In 1967 and 1968 the Beatles were feeling ambitious. They founded Apple Records. They also started a division called Apple Films run by an associate named Denis O’Dell who had been instrumental in getting A Hard Day’s Night made. Apple Films was more successful than people remember—it released the Beatles’ 1967 TV movie Magical Mystery Tour, the theatrical Beatles releases Yellow Submarine and Let it Be, 1972’s The Concert for Bangladesh, and a few others, including the 1974 John Hurt cult movie Little Malcolm and the T.Rex concert film, Born to Boogie, which was directed by Ringo Starr.

One of the projects the Beatles were interested in pursuing—particularly John—was a Beatles adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

In 2002 Paul McCartney ran into Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson at the Academy Awards and told him of the Beatles’ plans. Jackson told Wellington’s Evening Post newspaper, “It was something John was driving and J.R.R. Tolkien still had the film rights at that stage but he didn’t like the idea of the Beatles doing it. So he killed it.”

CNN reported at the time:

John Lennon wanted to play the grasping, thieving creature Gollum in a 1960s Beatles version of the “Lord of the Rings,” New Zealand movie director Peter Jackson told Wellington’s Evening Post newspaper.


George Harrison was to play the wise wizard Gandalf who advises the hobbit Frodo in his quest to destroy the evil golden ring at the center of the epic tale of good versus evil, one of the most popular books of the 20th century.

Ringo Starr was to play Frodo’s devoted sidekick Sam, while Lennon would take the part of the hobbit-like creature that tracks the heroes throughout the story, trying to get his hands on the powerful ring

Beatles Lord of the Rings soundtrack
Mockup of a fake—yes, fake—soundtrack for a Beatles/Kubrick Lord of the Rings movie
Notice there’s no mention of who Paul would have played. Some sources say he would have played Frodo. To direct, The Beatles wanted to get either David Lean or Stanley Kubrick. According to Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney by Howard Sounes, John wanted to play Gandalf.

According to Walter Everett’s 1999 book The Beatles as Musicians: Revolver Through the Anthology, Apple Films also wanted to adapt Lennon’s two books (In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works) as well as produce some kind of vehicle for the model Twiggy.

Why Tolkien’s animus towards the Fab Four? It’s not entirely clear, but Matthew Schmitz at First Things does point out the following:

In a 1964 letter to Christopher Bretherton, Tolkien complained about “radio, tele, dogs, scooters, buzzbikes, and cars of all sizes but the smallest” making noise “from early morn to about 2 a.m.”

“In addition,” Tolkien wrote, “in a house three doors away dwells a member of a group of young men who are evidently aiming to turn themselves into a Beatle Group. On days when it falls to his turn to have a practice session the noise is indescribable.”

We don’t have the Beatles Lord of the Rings movie, but we do have the inevitable YouTube mashup—here’s a bunch of LOTR footage matched up to a big chunk of Side 2 of Abbey Road.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Bilbo’s Pizza: Kalamazoo, Michigan’s only Tolkien-themed pizzeria
08:22 am


J.R.R. Tolkien
Bilbo's Pizza

Bilbo’s Pizza in Kalamazoo, Michigan is a small locally-owned pizzeria that has somehow managed to avoid being sued by the Tolkien estate for its use of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit character names. Even their logo is the tree that was inside the pavilion at Bilbo’s eleventy-first birthday party, misidentified on their website as “the singular and unusual (to Hobbits) existence of the Mallorn tree in Hobbiton that became the centerpiece for the grand birthday party that Bilbo threw for himself that signaled the beginning of the adventure of the War of the Ring.” (Mallorn trees grew in Lothlórien.) The business was started in 1976 by two friends and Tolkien fans, John Hindman and Charlie Konett. They chose the name Bilbo’s “because of the enduring nature of the character by that name.” 

The generosity of diversity in Tolkien’s character development allowed us to have a lot of fun with this world. The richness endemic to fantasy characters presented as they were as part of a history gives rise to to fleeting notions that such beings might well have preceded us here and that flight is buttressed from time to time by references in the work. Hobbits, for example, are said to be able to pass unnoticed by most if they wished to and elves would probably have been considered to be some half remembered day dream if any of us had happened upon them unawares. So we feel remotely tied to them and their world. In the early years there were groups of people, whether Tolkien Society or Society for Creative Anachronism members who engaged us in debates about our depictions of characters. 

It was pointed out by one that Hobbits did not have facial hair and that our rendition of Bilbo was therefore inaccurate. Our response was that there was a remote division of Hobbits, the Stoors, who indeed did sometimes grow facial hair and that Bilbo was certainly a descendant of this line. There was a group of people who had developed their own costumes with elaborate masks and accouterments who, upon arrangement, would visit our dining room and display themselves in full regalia. Patrons of Bilbo’s were treated to fairy-like creatures crouching next to their table as if avoiding some greater threat from something otherwise unseen by ordinary men and women. Before anyone could gather themselves enough to break the spell, the visitors were gone.

There is an “Elven Favorite” pizza (pepperoni, mushroom, ham and green pepper) on the menu, but the list of sandwiches has the most Tolkien references:  The choice of “Master Sam,” “The Old Guy lived 130 years and he NEVER tasted anything this good!,” “It took 13 strong young dwarves to carry this,” “The Elves of the world recommend,” “Brought forth on the ships of the ancient sea king,” and “Old Fatty, whose wise nose led him here.”

Dennis Miller was so bummed about Obama winning his first term that the day following the election, Miller restricted listeners’ calls on his radio show to the subject of sandwiches. Some weird guy from Michigan called in and mentioned the “Fatty Lumpkin” from Bilbo’s but would not answer the simple question of what was on the sandwich (sliced breast of turkey, choice roast beef, Monterrey jack cheese, shredded lettuce, fresh tomato and mayo on seven-grain bread), and Miller hung up on him. 

One of Bilbo’s locations now has its own craft beer as well, “Sledgehammer Wizard Wheat Dragon Red Ale.” I can hear the dwarven drinking songs now.

A peek inside Bilbo’s Pizza, below:

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Leave a comment
A lovely J.R.R. Tolkien documentary from 1968
09:40 pm

Pop Culture

J.R.R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien seems like a character out of The Hobbit in this charming BBC documentary, In Their Own Words British Authors J.R.R. Tolkien, from March of 1968.

The interviews with Oxford students are fascinating in their wildly divergent views on Tolkien’s fantastic novels. A couple of them come off as humorless, pretentious twits who have clearly not yet been introduced to any kind of mind-altering substances.

An entertaining half hour spent with a man who initiated many of us into realms of magic, shifting our consciousness away from the mundane into the mystic.


Via biblioklept

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment