August 9, 2017 (August 7, 3018)

The Hunt For Gollum

Shire Reckoning: August 7, TA 3018 (Wedmath 7, 1419)

Content/notes:
Fan movie: The Hunt For Gollum!
– Remember the movie I sent out a few weeks ago about Aragorn’s dad that you all (hopefully) enjoyed so much? Turns not that’s not the only low-budget high-quality fan-made prequel out there!! The Hunt for Gollum is another amazing one, released earlier in the same year (2009) as Born of Hope. Chris Bouchard directs and Adrian Webster stars. Read the full story of wikipedia.
– I honestly enjoy this one even more, and it’s shorter so it’s easier to watch in one go. The story follows Aragorn as he hunts down Gollum in the summer of TA 3017 (“last year”, hence why Gandalf is still around). Have fun watching this exciting, spooky movie and be sure to compare with the entries in the Tale of Years from the last reading! ~Tom

August 4, 2017

Assorted content

Links to Other Content:
– CivEx focus: Witch-King of Angmar. Great summary video of the history of the Witch-King. Note: MAJOR spoilers after 3:15, so just be careful to stop when you get to Frodo if you haven't read LOTR yet.
Realms in Exile map, by (Tyler? not exactly sure how I found this.) Cute little maps showing the evolution of the realms of exiled Númenóreans. One of the few maps I've seen which show Arthedain, Cardolan, and Rhudaur.
Sauron, by NeilMcClements. Somewhat terrifying depiction of Sauron – just to remind us of what Frodo is up against.

Other:
– There’s an entry in the Tale of Years for around this time:
'All trace of Gollum is lost. It is thought that at about this time, being hunted both by the Elves and Sauron's servants, he took refuge in Moria; but when he had at last discovered the way to the West-gate he could not get out.'

Notes: There'll be some more content about the Third Age next week, then some more appendix content. About a month left until Frodo (finally) leaves the Shire. ~Tom

July 26, 2017

Born of Hope (fan movie)

Content:
– Got a super special treat today: the incredible full-length fan movie Born of Hope, by Actors At Work Productions:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qINwCRM8acM

Born of Hope is set toward the end of third age, following the story of Arathorn (father of Aragorn), the last chieftain of the Dúnedain. I suppose don’t pay too much attention to the importance of Aragorn right now (technically a spoiler), but suffice to say he’s going to be a crucial character in LOTR. We read the other day about the Dúnedain and how they “passed into the shadows and became a secret and wandering people” and this movie is the perfect depiction. This takes place after they have been defending Eriador for about 850 years, and are finally starting to be overpowered by the increasing numbers of orcs and other monsters. Another key plot element is the Ring of Barahir (different from the One Ring that Frodo has), which was mentioned in the last appendix section. Long story short, it’s an heirloom from the first age that is a sign of Númenórean royalty. There’s so much I could say, but seriously just watch the movie. For a low-budget fan production, it is stunning and just really enjoyable.

More to follow regarding the Third Age (and Gondor) Friday. ~Tom

May 29, 2017

Second Age “Week” – Second Age Timeline

Pages To Read:
-RK.AppB “The First Age ended with the Great Battle” (p.1) – “The Second Age ends” (~p.3)

Events:
– This timeline in ‘The Tale of Years’ summarizes every major event in The Second Age in about the briefest form possible, so if you’re interested… just read it.

Trivia/Details:
– Thranduil gets a shoutout – apparently he set up his realm in Greenwood The Great in the beginning of the second age. (You may remember Thranduil as the Elvenking from The Hobbit)
– Elros (first king of Númenor, brother of Elrond) lives for 442 years. To be fair, the rest of the Númenóreans were not this long-lived but wow.
– The origins of the Rings of Power are told in brief (entries 1500, 1600, 1693). We’ll hear more about this later.

Content:
– Great summary vid of the background of Númenor (Part 1, Part 2), by CivilizationEx. CivEx has an amazing LOTR video series, which covers big topics like Númenor, but also specific things like the role Eagles have in Middle Earth. Their videos feature good pronunciation and accurate details as far as I can tell; I’ll link to several as LOTRRA continues. Although most of the time I recommend reading actual Tolkien text, I think it’s fair to substitute the Appendix material about the Second Age with watching these vids.
Sacrifice, by MirachRavaia. Really cool watercolor of Ar-Pharazôn worshipping Melkor after the arrival of Sauron. (Remember Ar-Pharazôn was the last king who stupidly listened to Sauron and then got Númenor destroyed)

Notes: Wasn’t my intention to drag the Second Age info on for more than a week, but I got distracted with, you know, life and stuff. Anyway, here’s the final update of Second Age “Week.” There’s not going to be much during the next few weeks, I’ll pick back up in the Shire on June 17th so look forward to that. ~Tom