What Tolkien Taught Me About Writing

As anyone who reads this blog with any regularity knows, I am both a fan of Tolkien and an aspiring writer of epic fantasy. In fact, it was first reading Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings that in part inspired me to try my own hand at not just writing an epic fantasy, but undertaking the … Continue reading What Tolkien Taught Me About Writing

Advertisements

The Pleasures of Re-Reading “The Lord of the Rings”

Much as I love reading (and books), there are very few works that I read more than once. I'm not really sure why that it is; maybe it's just my relentless desire for something new, some exciting frontier to explore. There are a few books, however, that I return to again and again (and sometimes … Continue reading The Pleasures of Re-Reading “The Lord of the Rings”

“Nine for Mortal Men, Doomed to Die:” The Tragedy of the Nazgûl

At first glance, it might seem counterintuitive to argue that the Ringwraiths of The Lord of the Rings are anything other than evil. They are the ones who lead the attack on the good guys, and they are terrifying as they hunt the hobbits in the first half of The Fellowship of the Ring. They are Sauron's most powerful … Continue reading “Nine for Mortal Men, Doomed to Die:” The Tragedy of the Nazgûl

Reading “The Lord of the Rings”: “The Choices of Master Samwise”

We have finally come to the concluding chapter of The Two Towers, and one of my very favourite chapters in the entire The Lord of the Rings. In it, we learn that Sam, confronted with the awful reality that his master has been struck down by the horrid spider Shelob and that the task of taking the Ring to … Continue reading Reading “The Lord of the Rings”: “The Choices of Master Samwise”

Reading “The Lord of the Rings”: “Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit.”

As we make our way again through The Lord of the Rings, we come at last to the fateful encounter between Frodo and Sam and Faramir, Boromir's younger brother and the leading captain of Gondor. We also get a glimpse, albeit briefly, of the fragrant and peaceful glades of Ithilien. Among his many strengths as a writer, … Continue reading Reading “The Lord of the Rings”: “Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit.”

Reading “The Lord of the Rings”: “The Road to Isengard,” “Flotsam and Jetsam,” “The Voice of Saruman,” and “The Palantir”

As we continue our meandering way through Tolkien's masterwork, we at last come to the aftermath of the Battle of the Hornburg, in which Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas are reunited with Pippin and Merry. Afterward, Gandalf at last has the long-awaited confrontation with Saruman, in which the latter is cast from the Council. At the … Continue reading Reading “The Lord of the Rings”: “The Road to Isengard,” “Flotsam and Jetsam,” “The Voice of Saruman,” and “The Palantir”

Reading “The Lord of the Rings”: “The Uruk-hai” and “Treebeard”

In these two chapters, we return to Merry and Pippin, who manage to escape from the torment of the Orcs (through the timely intervention of the Rohirrim), as well as meet the benevolent yet also strange and powerful Treebeard. We also learn a great deal about the political and tribal fractures that afflict Orc culture. … Continue reading Reading “The Lord of the Rings”: “The Uruk-hai” and “Treebeard”