Two More (Easy!) Ways to Participate in our March 2020 TolkienReadingEvent

Tolkien Event 2020 banner

During March 2019, Pages Unbound will be running our sixth Tolkien Reading Event.  Every year on March 25, the Tolkien Society celebrates Tolkien Reading Day, and we like to expand on the event by hosting several days’ worth of Tolkien-related content.  We have had some wonderful guest posts in the past and would like to invite you to submit a guest post this year.

Theme: To Be Announced

Information for our event on Twitter is under the hashtag #TolkienReadingEvent20.

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Ways to Participate

Regular Guest Post

If you want to write a full guest post, check out the information and sign-up form for doing so here.

However, this year we have two MORE ways to participate, both of which are quicker and easier than a guest post:

Tell Us Why You Haven’t Read Tolkien (or Have Only Read One Book)

We’re switching things up a bit this year and asking people who have NOT read any Tolkien books (or people who have read one but haven’t read any more) to share their reasons why. Share your thoughts here.

We promise we will be nice to you in the comments and not shame you for not being a huge Tolkien fan. 😉

Tell Us a Scene from Tolkien’s Work You Find Impactful

Tell us what scene from Tolkien’s work you find particularly impactful/striking/memorable and why. Fill out the Google form here.

Answers will be shared during our Tolkien Reading Event starting March 25.

Wanted: Guest Posts for Tolkien Reading Event (March 2020)

During March 2019, Pages Unbound will be running our sixth Tolkien Reading Event.  Every year on March 25, the Tolkien Society celebrates Tolkien Reading Day, and we like to expand on the event by hosting several days’ worth of Tolkien-related content.  We have had some wonderful guest posts in the past and would like to invite you to submit a guest post this year.

Official Tolkien Society Theme: Nature and Industry

Post Options

The Tolkien Reading Event is open to a wide variety of posts.  In previous events, we have featured everything from book reviews to quizzes to serious literary criticism.   Pitch us an idea for any type of post you would like!  You can also review books and movies that have been featured before; we love new perspectives! See a full list of past posts here.

If you need ideas, we are particularly open to posts about:

  • the official theme: Nature and Industry
  • any aspect of The Silmarillion
  • the art of Middle-Earth
  • a tour of your Tolkien collection (books or merchandise)
  • Tolkien’s villains
  • reviews of books about (not by) Tolkien
  • reflections on Tolkien’s “minor” works (Farmer Giles of Ham, Smith of Wooton Major, Roverandom)

Details

If you are interested in participating, please fill out the Google form below.  We will begin the event on Sunday, March 25, and so would like to receive guest posts by March 17.  We will contact everyone with final details around that time (such as what day your guest post will be scheduled).  Please feel free to spread the word to fellow Tolkien fans!

Title: Please tell us what you would like the title of the post to be when you send us the draft! Otherwise you will be subject to our whims. 😉

Post Length: There is no required post length; however long you feel you need to address the topic is fine.

Photos/Graphics: Feel free to include photos or graphics if you would like, but only include images you own the rights to post.  (Basically, no copyright infringement, please!)

Poems: Excerpts of poems are fine, but please do not include entire poems still under copyright.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN GUEST POSTING, PLEASE FILL OUT THE GOOGLE FORM BELOW.

*LOTR clip art by Nesca at CuteGraphicSupply.

Click to Fill out Google Form

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeA2VVa_uUfnmpBHvOK7ttMkWU6hcp2eojJCrzTzA_1wF6GqQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth (Exhibit at the Morgan Library and Museum in NYC)

Tolkien Reading Event 2019

Every year on March 25, the anniversary of the Downfall of Sauron, the Tolkien Society hosts Tolkien Reading Day. This year’s theme is Tolkien and the Mysterious. The primary goal is to promote the reading of the works of J.R R. Tolkien! To celebrate, Pages Unbound will be hosting two weeks of Tolkien-related posts. In addition to our own thoughts, we will be featuring a number of guest posts!


Tolkien Maker of Middle-earth Exhibit Review-min

Background

From January 25 through May 12, 2019, the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City is running an exhibit focused on J.R.R. Tolkien’s art and writings, in collaboration with the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford.  (A slightly different version of the exhibit was run in England first).

According to the Morgan website:

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” With these words the Oxford professor J.R.R. Tolkien ignited a fervid spark in generations of readers. From the children’s classic The Hobbit to the epic The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s adventurous tales of hobbits and elves, dwarves and wizards have introduced millions to the rich history of Middle-earth. Going beyond literature, Tolkien’s Middle-earth is a world complete with its own languages and histories. Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth celebrates the man and his creation. The exhibition will be the most extensive public display of original Tolkien material for several generations. Drawn from the collections of the Tolkien Archive at the Bodleian Library (Oxford), Marquette University Libraries (Milwaukee), the Morgan, and private lenders, the exhibition will include family photographs and memorabilia, Tolkien’s original illustrations, maps, draft manuscripts, and designs related to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

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Review

I was fairly jealous that I couldn’t attend the original Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth exhibit, so I was extremely excited when it was announced the the exhibit would be making its way to the US, and I basically counted down the days to its opening in New York.  This March, I finally was able to go.

The Morgan website notes that the exhibit is “first come, first served,” and I was warned upon purchasing my ticket (which, of course, includes access to the whole museum) that visitors were only allowed through the Tolkien exhibit once.  If you left the room, that was it.  This all sounded ominous, and it was even more concerning when I passed a long, roped-off line labelled for the exhibit.  However, early crowds for the exhibit must have been much larger.  Although I went on a Sunday, about an hour and a half after the museum opened, there was no line, and I went right up and in.  (Where all my hopes were crushed as I was informed by a staff member that no photography was permitted.  I was also reminded that I wouldn’t be allowed back once I left, though no one marked my ticket or anything.)

According to staff, there is “no order” to the exhibit and guests can wander at will, but items are grouped into general categories that follow a loose timeline of Tolkien’s life and work.  There’s an area for Tolkien’s family life, for The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, etc.  And most people seemed to be following this order through the exhibit, though, of course, I can imagine that would not have to, particularly if they were familiar with Tolkien’s life.

And whether or not visitors are familiar with Tolkien seems to be one area in which the exhibit struggles.  On one hand, the signage does not provide a lot of information, and if you don’t know about Tolkien, you’re likely to be confused by what you’re looking at and, really, by the experience in general.  I overheard several people desperately asking friends how many books The Lord of the Rings was, what “Gondor” was and who lived there, etc.  They were probably somewhat baffled by the whole thing.  On the other hand, the signage frequently does not offer information that is particularly new if you’re an avid Tolkien fan.  I wouldn’t say that I personally “learned” much that I didn’t know already.

That said, the exhibit was still incredibly cool for me to visit as a fan.  Most of the materials I was already familiar with–illustrations from the books, drafts of book jacket designs, maps Tolkien had drawn, etc.  The joy here is simply seeing these things in person rather than reproduced in a book or on a screen.  There were, however, some items I was not already familiar with–heraldic devices Tolkien had drawn for Silmarillion characters, random doodles he was wont to make on the newspaper as he did the crosswords, a timeline for the different characters and their plots in The Lord of the Rings, and an “account book” he kept with Edith for kisses owed based on how much studying he did while in school.  I was somewhat baffled that some of this stuff had been saved (really, random doodles the man made while thinking about a crossword puzzle?), but I suppose he was famous enough his family knew anything he had “created” would be interesting to Tolkien scholars and the general public.

It is worth noting that most of the exhibit is papers, fair enough since it’s about Tolkien’s creation of Middle-earth, the work he did thinking, plotting, brainstorming, illustrating, communicating with his publisher, etc., but there were a few other items, like an Oxford robe he wore to receive an honorary degree, as well as his colored pencils and paint set.  I wished a little that there were more things like this, Tolkien’s personal effects, as seeing them in person was incredibly interesting and made Tolkien seem a bit more real even than the originals of papers and pictures I’ve seen reproductions of a thousand times.

There’s no doubt the exhibit is worth visiting for any fan of Tolkien.  I suppose its real problem is leaving visitors tantalized and wanting more, just as The Lord of the Rings itself often does.  For  fans who cannot visit, there is an exhibit book (aptly titled Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth), and it’s very possible you can get the book from your library if you don’t want to purchase it.

Briana

My Reading Relationship with J. R. R. Tolkien (Guest Post by Ashley)

Tolkien Reading Event 2019

Every year on March 25, the anniversary of the Downfall of Sauron, the Tolkien Society hosts Tolkien Reading Day. This year’s theme is Tolkien and the Mysterious. The primary goal is to promote the reading of the works of J.R R. Tolkien! To celebrate, Pages Unbound will be hosting two weeks of Tolkien-related posts. In addition to our own thoughts, we will be featuring guest posts and interviews!


The first book by J.R.R. Tolkien that I read was The Hobbit, and I was in middle school when I read it. I think I might have been in sixth grade. I remember absolutely loving it and how different it was than anything I had ever read before. It’s a book that I’ve read more than once. The second book that I read by J.R.R. Tolkien was The Lord of the Rings and I read it in seventh grade. You might be thinking, “How did you read a 1,216 page book in seventh grade?” Well, when you’ve always been reading above your grade level, a 1,216 page book is no big deal. I loved The Lord of the Rings just as much as The Hobbit. They’re books that take you on an adventure. I also love Middle Earth (well most of it anyway). I’m also ashamed to say that those are the only two books by J.R.R. Tolkien that I have read so far. Yes, I definitely plan on reading more of his works in the future, but from what I’ve read I would say that I have a great relationship with reading Tolkien. I know some of his books are quite lengthy, but I’ve never had a problem reading big books. I welcome the challenge.

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About the Author

Ashley blogs at Inside My Minds.

My Journey Through Tolkien’s Works (Guest Post by Short Girl)

Tolkien Reading Event 2019

Every year on March 25, the anniversary of the Downfall of Sauron, the Tolkien Society hosts Tolkien Reading Day. This year’s theme is Tolkien and the Mysterious. The primary goal is to promote the reading of the works of J.R R. Tolkien! To celebrate, Pages Unbound will be hosting two weeks of Tolkien-related posts. In addition to our own thoughts, we will be featuring a number of guest posts!


My Journey Through Tolkien

My Journey Through Tolkien

I will be honest: I did not read The Lord of the Rings before I watched it.

My family has always been the type that reads.  Even though I’m getting up in years now, my parents still do “family read-aloud.” Each night, my mother will read a chapter or so aloud from whatever novel we’re on to my father and me. It’s a fun time. I’ve had The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, the Inkheart books, and many other classics read aloud to me over the years.

Surprisingly, though, my parents didn’t read LOTR to me before they decided we should watch it one wintry eve when I was ten or eleven. Since I had never read the books, I was supremely annoyed at the cliff-hanger that the first movie, The Fellowship of the Ring, leaves viewers on. Granted, I had watched LOTR before (the creepy cartoon version, when I was seven, at school; it scared me so I tried not to remember it), but I was still upset. A few weeks later, I goaded my parents into a nearly six-hour long double feature to watch The Two Towers and The Return of the King in order to see what happened next. I remember loving Éowyn, who slays the Witch-King. She was a super cool gal, and my prepubescent self was dazzled.

Then I read The Hobbit.

I know what you’re thinking. Hold the phone, you say, you watched the LOTR trilogy and then read The Hobbit? When are you actually gonna read the LOTR books?!?

The Hobbit was another family read-aloud book, and, as a child, I liked the imagery of the maze of caves that Bilbo finds himself in, where he sees Smeagol. I liked how small the book was but how the characters could still go on such an adventure. The other problem was that my brother owned the copy of LOTR, a thick, dog-eared one with all three books in it, and he was at college.

Eventually, though, he left his book at home, and I stole it and began reading. I was in seventh grade, and I carried the thick book around in my backpack for weeks, reading during lunch, between classes, during breakfast, and before bed. The imagery was just as dazzling, the characters just as gripping. I still loved Legolas and Gimli and Frodo and all of them. Frodo and Sam’s friendship was really important to me, especially in the tumultuous time that was middle school. I claimed my brother’s book as my own and covered it in peanut-butter stains during my excited reading.

When The Hobbit movies came out, I went to see the first one in theaters, and I was a little disappointed. I wanted to see the whole book at once, but I couldn’t! My then-boyfriend was obsessed with Tolkien, and he got me a copy of the movie for Christmas. It was nice of him, but I didn’t end up seeing the other two movies. I decided to keep the magic of The Hobbit to myself.

Even though Harry Potter was my favorite book series growing up (still is), LOTR was an important part of my development. It taught me about friendship, doing the right thing, and going on an adventure. It was part of my family culture–my brother and parents and I bonded over watching/reading it. When I heard recently that there was a movie about Tolkien coming out, I was quite excited.

Of course, I’m older now, so I have to admit the flaws of both Tolkien as a person and also his writing, but his books paved the way for me to love fantasy, try and write some of my own, and to keep on exploring.

Books offer you the opportunity to go into a another world, and The Lord of the Rings series definitely did that for me.

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About the Author

Short Girl has been blogging at Short Girl Writes (www.shortgirlwrites.wordpress.com) for a little over three years. As the name implies, she’s a short girl who writes. Her blog is focused largely on book reviews, but includes posts on other aspects of the world of reading and writing. In her spare time, she’s usually making music, knitting, or…surprise, reading books.

The Bittersweet Ending of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings

Tolkien Reading Event 2019

Every year on March 25, the anniversary of the Downfall of Sauron, the Tolkien Society hosts Tolkien Reading Day. This year’s theme is Tolkien and the Mysterious. The primary goal is to promote the reading of the works of J.R R. Tolkien! To celebrate, Pages Unbound will be hosting two weeks of Tolkien-related posts. In addition to our own thoughts, we will be featuring a number of guest posts!


ending of the lord of the rings discussion

When I read fantasy, I often find myself half hoping for a happy ending and half hoping that things will fall apart and go terribly wrong because, as much as I love happy endings, I sometimes have a sneaking suspicion that they’re too common, too predictable and that if the protagonist were to fail at least it would be a good plot twist.  The heroes win so much in fantasy (particularly YA fantasy, which I read a lot of) that I often assume the outcome of the book is a given, that I’m not really reading to see how things end but to see how the characters get there.  I want good to win, but I’m sometimes left wishing the villains would triumph, just to mix things up.  It’s a mental struggle I go through nearly every time I pick up a fantasy novel.

The last time I thought about my dilemma in choosing whether to cheer for good or evil (again, just for the sake of variety), it occurred to me that Tolkien’s heroes in The Lord of the Rings win.  They take the Ring to Mount Doom and toss it in, Sauron is destroyed permanently, and his armies mostly fall apart. Yet it never occurred to me to think that this ending was too boring or too predictable and needed to be “spiced up.”  And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this is because the ending of the book comes with immense joy but also with a sense of loss because, although the future is bright in Middle-earth, things will never be quite the same.

I do want to emphasize that the ending is happy, happier than the characters and even readers might predict.  Boromir, of course, is killed by Saruman’s Uruk-hai early on, but no other members of the Fellowship die.  Frodo and Sam, who were prepared to toss the Ring into Mount Doom at the cost of their own lives, are saved.  Merry and Pippin make it through the war.  Aragorn is crowned king.  Both he and Eowyn find love.  Middle-earth is poised to flourish.  But, still, there is loss.  It just isn’t what the characters were expecting.

Fighting Sauron meant fearing death, fearing the Ringwraiths, fearing a world where all the Free Peoples were enslaved and all green things died.  Little of that came to pass.  Instead, Frodo lost peace and his sense of belonging.  Sam lost his best friend when Frodo left for the Undying Lands.  The Shire lost its innocence and sense of safety.  Middle-earth lost the Elves and ushered in the Age of Man.

The Lord of the Rings shows us that, even when we defeat great evil, one of the costs is that things can never be quite the way they were before.  Change, of course, is not necessarily bad, and maybe some of what is different will be better.  But there will always be loss.  The “good guys” win in The Lord of the Rings, but it is a bittersweet victory tinged with the loss of some beautiful things.  It’s too complex to be a “happy ending.”

Briana

“The Hands of the King are the Hands of a Healer” (Guest Post by Michael J. Miller @ My Comic Relief)

Tolkien Reading Event 2019

Every year on March 25, the anniversary of the Downfall of Sauron, the Tolkien Society hosts Tolkien Reading Day. This year’s theme is Tolkien and the Mysterious. The primary goal is to promote the reading of the works of J.R R. Tolkien! To celebrate, Pages Unbound will be hosting two weeks of Tolkien-related posts. In addition to our own thoughts, we will be featuring guest posts and interviews!


“The Hands of the King are the Hands of a Healer”-min

This is exciting!  I’ve admired Krysta and Briana’s site for ages and having the chance to write for their Tolkien Reading Event 2019 is an honor.  However, this was also an intimidating post to write.  I am a casual Tolkien reader at best – not reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time until I taught it (and when I say “it” I mean “the films” but I read the books before I taught it so only judge me half as much as you were going to when I said “films”) to my Youth Group about ten years ago.  Reading this site has given me a far deeper appreciation for not only the brilliance of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work but also the devoted nature of his fans.  So I know I’m writing for readers who know their Tolkien.  Yikes.  But I’m always up for a challenge and this gives me an avenue to write about something profound I found in the pages of The Return of the King when I first read it all those years ago – the Houses of Healing.

The Houses of Healing comprise a relatively short part of Tolkien’s work.  However, this scene struck me more than anything else in the entire story when I first read it.  It was the part which left the most vivid impression on me, too.  I think of it often.  I am in awe of the brilliant allegorical work Tolkien accomplishes here.  Obviously, as a Catholic and someone who has spent the last seventeen years – his entire adult life – studying and teaching theology, Tolkien has my respect in a special way.  Tolkien’s faith greatly influenced his life and work, producing one of the most thoughtful and expansive examples of Christian allegory in all of literature with The Lord of the Rings.  For me, the most powerful example of this allegory occurs at the House of Healing.

In The Return of the King, while the Battle of Pelenor Fields rages, Gandalf arrives at the Houses of Healing.  As he’s there, the healers are struggling to help the people brought to them, “But now their art and knowledge were baffled; for there were many sick of a malady that would not be healed; and they called it the Black Shadow, for it came from the Nazgûl.”[1]  As the people grow sicker and sicker, Gandalf waited and he watched.  “Then an old wife, Ioreth, the eldest of the women who served in that house, looking on the fair face of Faramir, wept, for all the people loved him.  And she said: ‘Alas!  if he should die.  Would that there were kings in Gondor, as there were once upon a time, they say!  For it is said in old lore: The hands of the king are the hands of a healer.  And so the rightful king could ever be known.’”[2]

BOOM.  But it gets better!

Aragorn arrives and when he comes to the Houses of Healing he instantly begins his work.  He heals Faramir,[3]  Éowyn,[4] and Merry[5] using his hands, herbs, and his voice – calling them back to him.  Then, despite his desire to rest, he hears the calls of the people and continues his work:

“At the doors of the Houses many were already gathered to see Aragorn, and they followed after him; and when at last he supped, men came and prayed that he would heal their kinsmen or their friends whose lives were in peril through hurt or wound, or who lay under the Black Shadow.  And Aragorn arose and went out, and he sent for the sons of Elrond, and together they laboured far into the night.  And word went far through the City:  ‘The king has come again indeed.’”[6]

BOOM.  What makes this – Aragorn being the one able to heal Faramir, Éowyn, Merry, and all the others – so profound isn’t simply the fact that Aragon is the king but rather that he is one of Tolkien’s central Christ figures in the story.  A Christ figure isn’t literally Christ but rather the character(s) who symbolically represents Jesus Christ in some way, shape, or form.  In The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien gives his readers three central Christ figures in Frodo, Gandalf, and, of course, Aragorn.  But of all the theological allusions in this story, all the Christological moments, it is this one which is the most significant (at least as far as I’m concerned) because it ties so directly into Jesus’ ministry.

I remember a professor of mine once saying, “What we know for certain about the Historical Jesus could fit on the back of a post card.”  It was not an original insight on his part but rather an oft repeated remark meant to underscore while we know a lot about Jesus, there is very little we can say with absolute certainty as being historically factual.  (Granted, the majority of the truth of scripture doesn’t hinge, and was never meant to, on it being historically factual.  Humanity’s greatest and most profound truths often come clearest in metaphors.)  But one of the things we do know with absolute certainty is that Jesus of Nazareth had a reputation as a mystic healer.[7]  We see reference to Jesus’ healings in the Christian scriptures, obviously, but we also see references to them in Jewish and Roman sources.  This is important from a historical standpoint as Jewish and Roman writers had no need to try to prove Jesus the Messiah or God.

As Historical Jesus theologian Marcus Borg puts it, “He was a remarkable healer: more healing stories are told about him than about anybody else in the Jewish tradition.”[8]  Speaking of Jesus’ technique, theological scholar Albert Nolan writes, “There was certainly a spontaneous concern to make some kind of physical contact with the sick person.  He touched them, took them by the hand or laid his hands on them.”[9]  The hands of the king are the hands of a healer.  By invoking this connection between healer and king, by having Aragorn enter Minas Tirith and immediately begin healing the sick, Tolkien is directly connecting him to one of the most significant and historically verifiable aspects of the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth.

We even see Aragorn employing some of Jesus’ healing techniques.  He lays his hands on Faramir, Éowyn, and Merry and he also speaks to them, calling them back and telling them it will be alright.  While less anchored in historical certainty, this too is something we see highlighted quite clearly in the Gospels.  In both the raising of Lazarus (John 11:43-44) and the raising of Jairus’s daughter (Luke 8:54-56), for example, Jesus calls to the one who has died and they come to him, alive and healthy.  He wakes them with his voice, just as Aragorn does in the Houses of Healing.

To illustrate Aragorn’s kingship in the act of healing is to tie him with knowledge and nuance to the very heart of who Jesus was.  It shows both the depth of Tolkien’s knowledge of his faith and his care in presenting it, placing an appropriately important spotlight on healing in a story of spectacular battles across bloody battlefields.  Obviously, loving this scene the way I do, I was disappointed it didn’t make it into Peter Jackson’s adaptation (there was one extended scene that didn’t even try to present it accurately! (and the movie’s like a zillion hours long! couldn’t they give me fifteen minutes of this??)) but I shouldn’t be surprised.  After all, the book is always better and when it comes to expertly weaving deeply theological threads through a narrative, no one can do it quite like J.R.R. Tolkien.


[1] J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002), 871.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid., 876.
[4] Ibid., 878.
[5] Ibid., 879.
[6] Ibid., 881.
[7] Albert Nolan, Jesus Before Christianity, (New York: Orbis Books, 1976), 43.
[8] Marcus Borg, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith, (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1994), 31.
[9] Nolan, 37-8.

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About the Author

Michael Miller writes and rambles about comic books and comic book movies (not to mention Doctor Who and Star Wars and whatever else randomly pops into his head) on his blog My Comic Relief. He teaches theology at Mercyhurst Preparatory School in Erie, PA – including classes on Star Wars as modern mythology and the intersection of comic books and social justice. Should it be your thing, you can also find him on Twitter @My_ComicRelief.

Wanted: Guest Posts for Tolkien Reading Event (March 2019)

Tolkien Reading Event 2019

During March 2019, Pages Unbound will be running our sixth Tolkien Reading Event.  Every year on March 25, the Tolkien Society celebrates Tolkien Reading Day, and we like to expand on the event by hosting several days’ worth of Tolkien-related content.  We have had some wonderful guest posts in the past and would like to invite you to submit a guest post this year.

Theme: Tolkien and the Mysterious

Post Options

The Tolkien Reading Event is open to a wide variety of posts.  In previous events, we have featured everything from book reviews to quizzes to serious literary criticism.   Pitch us an idea for any type of post you would like!  You can also review books and movies that have been featured before; we love new perspectives! See a full list of past posts here.

If you need ideas, we are particularly open to posts about:

  • the official theme
  • any aspect of The Silmarillion
  • the art of Middle-Earth
  • a tour of your Tolkien collection (books or merchandise)
  • Tolkien’s villains
  • reviews of books about (not by) Tolkien
  • reflections on Tolkien’s “minor” works (Farmer Giles of Ham, Smith of Wooton Major, Roverandom)

Details

If you are interested in participating, please fill out the Google form below.  We will begin the event on Sunday, March 25, and so would like to receive guest posts by March 17.  We will contact everyone with final details around that time (such as what day your guest post will be scheduled).  Please feel free to spread the word to fellow Tolkien fans!

Title: Please tell us what you would like the title of the post to be when you send us the draft! Otherwise you will be subject to our whims. 😉

Post Length: There is no required post length; however long you feel you need to address the topic is fine.

Photos/Graphics: Feel free to include photos or graphics if you would like, but only include images you own the rights to post.  (Basically, no copyright infringement, please!)

Poems: Excerpts of poems are fine, but please do not include entire poems still under copyright.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN GUEST POSTING, PLEASE FILL OUT THE GOOGLE FORM BELOW.

*LOTR clip art by Nesca at CuteGraphicSupply.

2nd Annual Book Blogger Awards: My Nominations

Joce at Write Through the Night is hosting her 2nd Annual Book Blogger Awards. You can read more about it here. I followed the awards last year and found a lot of great new bloggers, so I wanted to participate again this year and start out by nominating some bloggers.

Here is an excerpt from her post explaining how this round of nominations works:

Round 1: Nominations

  • When: April 1st-April 30th

  • What:  During the month of April, you have the opportunity to nominate bloggers for each category.  To do this, you can make your own post (preferred) or simply comment below with your nominations.  If you’re commenting, PLEASE KEEP IT ALL IN ONE POST.  For those of you writing your own posts, comment the link below or make sure there’s a pingback.

  • Why: This is your opportunity to make sure all of your favorite bloggers are recognized! The blogosphere is huge so it’s important that you contribute to make sure everyone has a chance.

My Nominations

(Obviously, I’d love to nominate ALL the awesome bloggers I follow, but there are hundreds of you, so this is just a selection of some bloggers I think are great.)  Also, I skipped some categories because, for instance, I don’t read romance blogs, so if you want to participate in this with your own nominees, you should head over to Joce’s blog to get the full list of categories.

THE BLOGGER
  • Best Pre-Teen/Teen Book Blogger (13-19): I really wanted to nominate someone for this category, but I really have no idea how old many of the bloggers I follow are, so….
  • Best Adult Book Blogger (20+): Ashley from Nose Graze
  • Best Book Blogger from an Underrepresented/Minority Group: Nandini at Unputdownable Books
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5 Favorite Quotes From Tolkien’s The Hobbit (Guest Post by Rachel)

Tolkien Reading Event 2018

Every year on March 25, the anniversary of the Downfall of Sauron, the Tolkien Society hosts Tolkien Reading Day. This year’s theme is Home and Hearth: The Many Ways of Being a Hobbit. The primary goal is to promote the reading of the works of J.R R. Tolkien! To celebrate, Pages Unbound will be hosting two weeks of Tolkien-related posts. In addition to our own thoughts, we will be featuring a number of guest posts!  Check out the complete schedule here.


Introduction

The Hobbit is an iconic book, one we all know and love. While Tolkien wrote many, many books, The Hobbit is what started such a fantastic series and fandom known as The Lord of the Rings.

The Hobbit laid the base foundation for The Lord of the Rings and is just as an important story as the rest of the tale that celebrates hobbits everywhere.

This book has great storytelling, loveable characters, and wonderful life lessons and messages. Here are my top 5 favorite quotes.

1. “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

This is one of my favorites. It’s simple, it’s the first line in the book, it lays the foundation for The Lord of the Rings, and it’s well-known by everyone. This quote is a nice introduction to not only Bilbo, but also to hobbits in general. Hobbits, in my opinion, have the best kind of life.

2. “Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”

This is the perfect introduction to Gandalf the Grey. His personality really shines through this saying and it’s a funny line. Honestly, it got me thinking. Gandalf is right. What are we actually saying when we tell someone, “Good morning?”

3. “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”

I read this quote as, “Never give up.” There are times when you’re going nuts looking for your car keys, and it turns out they’ve been hanging up by the door right where they’re supposed to be. However, there are times in our lives when we’re looking for less tangible things. We’re trying to figure out what the right career is for ourselves or we’re simply trying to find out who we are. The answer is never easy, but if you keep pushing forward, you’ll find it – even if it’s not what you expected.

4. “The road goes ever on and on.”

We can all channel our inner Bilbo with this one. We’re all on our own individual journeys in life. What are the right choices to make? Where do we see ourselves 5 years from now? The road goes ever on and on, indeed.

5. “Where there’s life, there’s hope.”

I find this quote to be the most inspirational and so true to life. The media and news has been toxic for quite some time, but there are good people in the world. There are good news reports that, for whatever reasons, get buried underneath all the bad. There’s still hope, even if it’s hard to see sometimes.

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Tolkien was a fantastic writer with a wild imagination. He really made a way for himself in the fantasy writing world and has easily taught us a lot about life through fantastical scenarios. I won’t be running into an Orc anytime soon or be making friends with any Elves, but I can heed what I’ve learned and apply it to my life.

What are some of your favorite quotes from The Hobbit? Let us know in the comments below!


About the Author

“I’m a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in all things writing and gaming. I keep myself busy running two blogs among other things in the creative world. I’m currently working on a couple mystery books to be published in the near future. Feel free to connect with me on my Blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.”