Without a doubt, the Middle-Earth stories of Lord of the Rings, Hobbit and The Silmarillion are the most well-known piece of fantasy work. Those three stories were written by John Ronald Reuel Tolkein whereas the other Middle-Earth stories were written by his son Christopher Tolkein. The Silmarillion was started by John but he died before it got completed so his son Christopher finished it off. The stories are supposed to be set in a long ago time on Earth but some people see Middle-Earth being in a parallel universe or another world. It has inspired many copies, the most notable has been World of Warcraft. where the game makers have copied many terms e.g. Mithril, Ents and the Eye that watches down over Icecrown zone in Northrends. There is also a MMORPG based around the game but its success is nowhere near that of World of Warcraft. There is one big difference between the two games now, LotR is now free to play for the first 50 levels. In Middle-Earth, Gimli, a dwarf famously says that in Middle-Earth, the female dwarves are indistinguishable from the men because they grow beards too. Whenever you see female dwarves depicted elsewhere and in the game, female dwarves do not have beards.
The hobbit in question is Bilbo Baggins who after hosting a feast for Thorin and his band of twelves dwarve joins them on a task to retake the Lonely Mountain and claim treasure from the dragon Smaug. During the journey, Bilbo gets separated from the others and meets Gollum after discovering a mysterious ring. Gollum challenges Bilbo to a game but Bilbo just uses the ring which makes the wearer invisible. Bilbo re-joins the group and they continue their journey. Once they have reclaimed the mountain, they now face another challenge from wood-elves and lake-men who want payment for their earlier help. The book is to be turned into two movies because the producers have said there is too much to cram into one film, that is code for lets make as much money out of the book as we can. The two films are to be called :- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again , both chapter titles.
The film had been stuck for a long time in limbo causing the planned director Guillermo del Toro, who directed Pans Labyrinth to pull out. Peter Jackson returned to the directors chair for the film. The films will contain quite a few of the faces from the first trilogy, amongst them Hugo 'The Elf King' Weaver, Orlando 'Legolas' Bloom, Andy 'Gollum' Serkis along with some fresh faces, Evangeline 'Tauriel' Lily and Martin 'Bilbo Baggins' Freeman.
Originally meant to be just one book, the publishers persuaded Tolkein to split the book into three :- Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and Return of the King with them published in stages. It tells the story of a battle long ago between the races of Middle Earth and the forces of Lord Sauron. He had created twenty rings which he gave away so he could control them. One ring he kept for himself to control them.
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne,
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
-- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
During the war, the controlling ring was chopped off his hand and it disappeared for years. It falls into the possession of a hobbit called Gollum who over the years gets corrupted and mutated by the power of the ring. He looses the ring one day and it falls into the hands of Bilbo Baggins. When Gandalf, the mighty wizard realises what the ring is, he confiscates it and orders Frodo Baggins to journey with the ring to where it was created so that it can be destroyed. The Ring is made of pure gold and has to be thrown into the lava of Mount Doom for it to be destroyed.
The rings were forged by Celebrimbor, a master Elven crafts man in the Elven kingdom of Eregion. He forged the rings as per the poem above. It was Lord Sauron disguised who had got Celebrimbor to craft the rings. The one ring to control them all was forged by Sauron himself to control all the other rings, the one ring to control them all.
The defeat of Sauron by an alliance of men and Elves following the downfall of Numenor marked the beginning of the Third Age.
The Silmarils are a three gems that were forged many years ago with the light from two trees. These divine trees lit up the world before the Sun and the moon were created. When Morgoth and Ungoliant destroyed the trees, the jewels were the only sources of divine light left in Middle-Earth. The gems were made and designed by Feanor before they were stolen by Morgoth. The Silmarils are not in either the Lord of the Rings or Hobbit stories. They are encountered and described in 'The Silmarillion', a different type of story to the others. Whereas LOTR and Hobbit have speaking, the Silmarillon is more an account, a report of what happened. The story will not be made into a film anytime soon as the person who hold the copyright disapproved of how the films came out.
After Morgoth stole the Silmarils, Feanor swore the Oath of Feanor to regain the gems which had been put in Morgoth's crown. It was a bad decision because it caused immense tragedy for the Elves in the First Age and it forced Feanor and his sons to kill their own people. Once one of the Silmarils were recovered, Beren, a human character lost his hand to Carcharoth, great werewolf whilst holding the Silmaril.
When the final two Silmarils were recovered, the sons had done so much evil that their hands were burned away. The gems had been imbued with power to burn the flesh off any one evil who holds the items. It did not go well for Carcharoth either. Amongst the evil things that happened was that Feanor had persuaded the Noldor clan to help which caused the Noldor to slay the other major tribe at the time, the Teleri and steal the Teleri's ships.
The first Lord of the Rings film took home four academy awards including best cinematography. It was nominated for nine awards tho. The third film, Return of the King was nominated for eleven and won them all including Best Picture and Director. It is tied with Ben Hur and Titanic for most Oscars won. It is the most nominated film trilogy ever, It had 30 nominations compared to Star Wars (21) and Godfather (28).
Copyright: Tolkein Estates