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Posts from the ‘News and Notes’ Category

Tolkien’s Tips For Writing Complex Heroes

Who’s the “hero” of The Lord of the Rings?

Is it Frodo? Aragorn? Gandalf? Even Sam?

You could make an argument for each of those characters, I think. And they all have a lot of traits in common.

Last year, a blog called Writing is Hard Work broke down Tolkien’s 5 tips for writing complex heroes.

Here they are:  Read more

Here’s Minas Tirith, Made Out of Toothpicks

Again, another example of fandom at a whole new level. Lord of the Rings fans are incredible.

In the photo to the left, you see what Minas Tirith (the capital of Gondor) looked like in the Lord of the Rings films.


In the photo below you’ll see a replica of Minas Tirith, created entirely with toothpicks.

Toothpicks. Read more

A Game Of Thrones Can Suck It

Today’s post is a guest post from my friend and co-worker Brandon Brison. He’s a copyeditor on our content team, my local Lord of the Rings expert, and he studied medieval literature in a graduate degree program.

I’ve neither read A Game of Thrones nor watched the television show, but I’m interested in hearing what you guys think about Brandon’s take on the comparisons that are made between AGOT and LOTR.

If you’d like to read more from Brandon, you can’t—because he’s not on Facebook, Twitter, and doesn’t have a blog. But he is a real person, I promise. Read more

This Is The Coolest Pub Ever

Can you imagine sitting at a table next to C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as they chatted about literature? Or, even sitting next to them and listening as they discussed the weather, soccer, or gardening? Wouldn’t that be fascinating?

If you were lucky enough to visit the Eagle and Child Pub in Oxford from the late 1930s to the early 1960s, you might have had that opportunity. The pub is where Tolkien and Lewis regularly met as part of The Inklings, a group of writers and poets from Oxford who often met to drink beer while reading and critiquing each other’s work.

Among the works read included the first draft of The Lord of the Rings. Can you imagine? Read more

10 Facts You Don’t Know About The Lord of the Rings

Between Tolkien’s immense novel and Peter Jackson’s incredible adaptation, The Lord of the Rings has more interesting little tidbits than every novel I’ve read from the list combined.

I found this exhaustive list of “facts you never knew” on Empire Online, so I thought I’d share 10 of my favorites with you. Read more

Flannery O’ Connor: Ayn Rand’s Fiction Was Trash

Why do I find author-on-author insults so entertaining?

And why do I find them especially entertaining when the insulted author is Ayn Rand?

So to start your Monday, how about a heaping bowl of love from Flannery O’ Conner to Ayn Rand? Read more

“There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold…”

You know you’re a cool rock band when your lyrics quote The Lord of the Rings.

You know you’re an even cooler rock band when you quote The Lord of the Rings often. And that’s why Led Zeppelin might be the coolest rock band ever.

Just take a look at a few of these song lyrics.

One small sample verse from “Ramble On”: Read more

The 9 Best Lord of the Rings Memes

This is the most BuzzFeed-ish post I’ve ever done, maybe even more so than the one about dogs reading, so I want to apologize in advance for this.

But I can’t help myself. If ever a movie was designed for the meme, it’s The Lord of the Rings. And let’s be honest–there are quite a few pretty funny LOTR memes out there.

So for today’s post, I thought I’d pick 9 of my favorite LOTR memes and share them with you. Here we go!


Read more

The Lord Of The Rings Covers: A Brief History

If there’s any novel that’s just made to have a beautiful cover, it’s The Lord of the Rings.

I would think this novel would be a book designer’s dream come true. So much inspiration.

Every now and then, I’ll take a look back at some book covers over the years for specific novels. We’ve done it with The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath and The Sound and the Fury.

Now let’s take a look at some of the The Lord of the Rings covers over the years. Read more

Breaking Down A Common Core English Lesson

If you live in the U.S., you’ve probably heard a lot about the new Common Core standards recently implemented in our public schools.

If you live in England, some of the guidelines sound similar to what Michael Gove is doing in regards to cutting American literature.

Anyway, we’ve talked about the Common Core on here before, but I’ve never truly understood what it means in terms of books, literature and English. Most of what you see out there are some kooky math problems, but nothing about English requirements.

That is until the NPR released this fascinating piece about English requirements in Common Core. Read more


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