What Would You Name the LOTR Amazon Series?

Let’s start off with what we know. 

Based off the map released by Amazon (above), we know that the setting of this story will be in the Second Age of the world.  How do we know that?  Off the south-western borders of Middle-earth is the island of Númenor, which only existed in the Second Age. 

It was recently reported by TheOneRing.net, that the show would feature Elrond, Galadriel, and Sauron.

Based off of those clues here’s what we can guess about the show.

The story will feature the three characters mentioned above.  In all the events that take place during the Second Age, there is only one event that includes Elrond, Galadriel, Sauron, and the Númenóreans.  It’s called The War of the Elves and Sauron. Sauron helped the Elves make the rings of power, he also tricked them into helping him make the One Ring.  An Elf named Celebrimbor discovered Sauron’s true purpose and helped the Elves hide the Three Rings.  This act infuriates Sauron and he begins his war against the Elves.  The Three Elven Rings are sent into hiding and Gil-galad goes on to lead the Noldor army against Sauron’s forces.  The Elves do their best to defend against his onslaught, but Sauron with the One Ring is too powerful.  For seven years, death and destruction laid waste to Middle-earth and, in the end, Tar-Minastir had to send a great navy from Númenor to help the Noldor defeat Sauron.

Knowing what we know and guessing the plot based on what we know, we would name this TV series, The Lord of the Rings: War of the Rings.  Essentially because this war was Sauron’s effort to control the rings of power.  It’s not an incredibly creative or metaphorical title but it’s simple and it works.  It’s also a little nod to Tolkien’s preferred title for the third book in The Lord of the Rings, which was originally The War of the Ring.  It could be titled Sauron Defeated, but that’s a little obvious as to what’s going to happen.  We’re still going to stick with War of the Rings, it’s an easy clear name that fits the plot of the story.

What’d you think the TV series should be called?  Do you like our choice?  Dislike it?  Let us know in the comments below. 

Thank you so much for your time and remember, from the ashes a fire shall be woken.

– The Wandering One

How Hard Was it to Break into Hogwarts?

Periodically between reading The Hobbit, we’ve been listening to the Harry Potter audio books, which we’ve surprisingly enjoyed.  Now we love the good old fashioned reading, but if we’re tired of music throughout the day an audio book has been a great change of pace.  Now, let’s begin the discussion.

In The Prisoner of Azkaban, Sirius Black reveals that he had been using Crookshanks to sneak into Hogwarts and find Peter Pettigrew.  For us that seemed all too easy, esentially what we’re discussing is the idea that all one has to do is find a highly intelligent animal or train one of your own and Hogwarts’ doors are open to you.  With magic at your disposal we’d have to imagine that training an animal would be oh so simple, for example, Mad-Eye Moody made a spider dance on tables and do cartwheels across students’ tables.  That was through the Imperius Curse, but still, if you’re a dark witch or wizard you’re not going to have second thoughts about using an Unforgivable Curse.

Sirius, of course, had prior knowledge of secret passageways in and out of Hogwarts, so that helped him, but it seems like any wizard could just Imperius an animal to do something dastardly, or if that failed, use magic to train the poor beast.  Hogsmeade is open to all manner of witches and wizards, why not just take your animal with you and let them get to Hogwarts from there.  Also, a dedicated witch or wizard might just want to spend the time becoming an Animagus to find their way in.  Rita Skeeter seemed to have no problem flying around Hogwarts as a bug, Sirius Black was able to walk around as a giant dog.  What exactly are the Hogwarts border enchantments designed to prevent?  Would they prevent an Animagus?  Would they stop a regular animal, what about one under the Imperius Curse?  We’ve seen all manner of witches and wizards get inside Hogwarts, but what about using an animal, it seems like the most covert way to achieve your goal without actually getting caught.

Let us know what you think, did we bring to light a loophole here?  I mean why didn’t Voldemort just send Nagini to go kill Harry, seems pretty simple, “Nagini, crawl into Hogwarts and kill Harry Potter, also don’t talk cause he can speak Parseltongue and he’ll hear you.”  Boom, done.  We know why he never did that though, Voldemort always wanted to be the one to do it himself.  Back to the end, does this seem like a simple way to infiltrate Hogwarts?  Magic always seems to offer infinite possibilities, but utilizing an animal for your benefit looks to have very low risks and high rewards.  Of course there are multiple examples of people finding their way into Hogwarts without animals, but those should be saved for a separate conversation down the road.  This was a topic we’ve never heard before, so we wanted to get your thoughts on the subject.  Let us know in the comments below.

Thank you so much for your time and remember, the crownless again shall be king.

– The Wandering One

Other Storylines the LOTR TV Show Should Be About

As we continue this series we’ll give a little background to where we’re at today.  While a story about the War of the Elves and Sauron is shaping up for Amazon, there are still many stories to be told in the Third Age.  In fact, when we first heard about the Amazon TV Show based on The Lord of the Rings we felt an anthology series would be a great way to tell a wide variety of Lord of the Rings stories that deserve some expansion.

Our first idea was a storyline centered around Elrond’s sons, Elrohir and Elladan.  Prior to the events of The Lord of the Rings, these two brothers go on an incredible journey of their own.  You can read that post HERE

Our next great event in the Third Age involves a courageous and determined group of Dwarves:

Balin leads a group of Dwarves in a valiant effort to reclaim the Mines of Moria.

Like many of these expanded stories we don’t know much about what happened in the Mines of Moria during this ultimately failed expedition.  True, this story doesn’t have much impact on the events in The Lord of the Rings, but we at Of Blades and Kings are craving a unique story for the Dwarves of Middle-earth, and we feel this is one of them.  Before we break into the possibilities for this story let’s break down what we do know about this event. 

In the year 2989, rumors and talks of treasures of old had begun to spark up amongst the Dwarves of Middle-earth, they spoke of Moria with longing and fear.  It had been many years since Durin’s folk fled from the “nameless fear” inside the mines, and no Dwarf had dared to enter since, besides Thrór, and he was killed.  But, too much time had passed and as the stories of the glory of Moria reached his ears, Balin was resolved to try and reclaim it for Durin’s folk.  With him he took Ori and Óin, and many other Dwarves on this expedition.  At first, news was coming from Moria at a good rate, the news was also encouraging, they were making progress reclaiming the Mines, but by the time of The Lord of the Rings, it had been a long time since anyone heard from them. 

Glóin came to the Counsil of Elrond to speak of this news and hopefully find understanding of what happened and what to do.  Unfortunately, for the case of Balin, not much discussion was given, seeing as the main purpose of this meeting was to decide what to do with the Ring. 

It isn’t until the Fellowship travel to the Mines of Moria that we learn what happened to these mighty Dwarves. 

  • They drove the Orcs away from the main gates of Moria and slew many as they made their way further into the Mines.  A Dwarven warrior named Floi, slew a great enemy, but was killed by an arrow.
  • The Dwarves took the twentyfirst hall of the North end to dwell in.  Balin had set his seat in the Chamber of Mazarbul.  Balin was named the Lord of Moria.
  • 5 years the colony lived, perhaps thrived, in Moria, they were able to mine for gold and they were successful in finding mithril.
  • Unfortunately the success wouldn’t last long, in the 5th year Balin was shot by an Orc.  He slayed the Orc, but many more came and he died from his injuries.
  • Disaster follows, the Dwarves are forced to make a last stand against the Orcs of Moria, none were left alive to tell their tale. 

Few were mentioned by name, but Balin, Óin, Ori, Floi, Frár, Lóni, and Náli all deserve for their stories to be told.  What else happened in those mines?  What was the struggle like?  The victories, defeats?  Did they all want to be there?  What drove them to keep pushing on?  In this tale we can learn a lot about the Dwarven race, we can see how they interact with each other, how they work, how they fight, and how they live.  In The Hobbit, we see some of this, but it’s Bilbo’s story, and rightly so, the Dwarves of Middle-earth need their own story and, tragic as it may be, this event could give us that story.  The question of how this happened still leaves more details that should be fleshed out. 

Let us know your thoughts, do you think this story needs to be told?  What about the Dwarves of Middle-earth, do they even need their own story?  Let us know in the comments below.

Thank you so much for your time and remember, all that is gold does not glitter.

– The Wandering One

On This Day in Middle-earth

October 11th

He drives the Riders off the Bridge of Mitheithel.

On the 9th, an Elf named Glorfindel left Rivendell to try and help Frodo reach Rivendell safely.  Today he reached the Bridge of Mitheithel, also known as the Last Bridge, this was the only safe way to cross the Mitheithel River.  Mitheithel is also translated to Hoarwell. 

The Black Riders had hoped to camp out at this river and block Frodo’s crossing.  Had Glorfindel not fought and driven them off, Frodo’s journey would’ve likely ended at this bridge.

It doesn’t seem like an important moment but it’s huge for Frodo’s journey.

Thank you for your time and remember, from the ashes a fire shall be woken.

– The Wandering One

On This Day in Middle-earth

October 9th

Glorfindel leaves Rivendell.

Knowing that the Black Riders were traveling the Wild in search for the Ringbearer, Elrond sent Glorfindel to track Frodo down before the enemy.

Glorfindel, being a powerful Elf, had the strength to facedown the Ringwraiths and get Frodo to Rivendell safely.  There’s not many beings in Middle-earth who could perform this feat, a testament to his strength.

Up to this point, Gandalf, Elrond, and Strider all had plans for getting the Ring to Rivendell, and nothing has gone according to any of their plans.  We must applaud these powerful individuals as they made level-headed and swift decisions in the face of uncertainty.  It really connects actions to Gandalf’s words.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us…”

All they could do was make decisions based on the time they had left, but they never let the moment get the best of them.

Thank you for your time and remember, the old that is strong does not wither.

– The Wandering One

On This Day in Middle-earth

October 6th

The camp under Weathertop attacked at night. Frodo wounded.

They cross the Ford of Bruinen; Frodo feels the first return of pain.

Two big events are being discussed today, all featuring a harrowing moment for the company.  Last night Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, and Strider were attacked at their camp at Weathertop.  As we’ve said in a previous post, Weathertop was a great area for surveying the surround lands, and since the Black Riders attacked Gandalf here they made sure they kept an eye on this area. 

A huge difference from the movies, the books depict everyone standing guard against the attack and Frodo feels overcome with a strong urge to put on the Ring.  When he does so, the Ringwraiths are shown before him white and clear in the darkness.  They began to advance, in response Frodo can only draw his dagger which, to him, glowed like a fire in the darkness.  Two Ringwraiths halt at this action, but a third, the Witch-King, advanced against Frodo, in desperation Frodo dove and slashed the Ringwraith’s feet.  A shrill cry broke through the air and Frodo was pierced through his left shoulder. 

As he was losing consciousness, Frodo saw Strider leap through the darkness with torches in each hand.  As Strider fends off the Ringwraiths, Frodo takes the Ring off his finger and collapses on the ground. 

Now the company is in a race against time.  Strider knows that Frodo was pierced by a cursed blade beyond his capacity for healing.  So, they move as fast as they can through the Wild, but with three Hobbits traveling by foot and Frodo riding on Bill the Pony, the going was slow.

Shifting timelines to the end of The Lord of the Rings, as Frodo and the Hobbits return to the Shire in The Return of the King, Frodo feels a sharp pain on the anniversary of this attack.  He will probably feel this for the rest of his life, sadly, for Frodo, the memories of his quest are not the only things that will linger.

Thank you for your time and remember, from the ashes a fire shall be woken.

– The Wandering One

What a Great Adventure

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (1937)

Is this a review?  A critique?  Or perhaps a showering of love?  It could be considered all three and, at the same time, none of them at all.  We want to discuss our thoughts, feelings, emotions, likes, and dislikes of our most recent endeavor:  the completion of The Hobbit. 

Being a book that was written for children, it’s not a terribly long book, but it isn’t a book that we have read often, especially not compared to The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter.  So, jumping back into this story was a fun adventure.  This is a great book filled with fun, laughs, wild adventure, death defying feats, a dragon, and most importantly a Hobbit.  It seems so fittingly wonderful that the smallest creature would make such a huge impact on the world.  Beyond the obvious excitement the book follows, there is that theme, no matter how small you are, you can still do great and amazing things.  Don’t believe us?

Well, for Bilbo Baggins’ case, over the course of a year, he traveled with 13 Dwarves across Middle-earth, narrowly escaped 3 monstrous Trolls, dwelt with the fair Elves of Rivendell in the house of Elrond, survived the twisting caverns of Goblins in the Misty Mountains, riddled his way past Gollum, found the Ring, escaped Wargs and more Goblins, was carried by a great Eagle, stayed the night with a great bear, dared the dense forest of Mirkwood, saved the Dwarves from countless giant spiders, snuck his way into the Elven kingdom of Mirkwood, rescued the Dwarves from a seemingly inescapable captivity, floated the river to Lake-town, discovered the ancient key-hole to the secret passage into the Lonely Mountain, burgled treasure from Smaug, survived a close encounter with the great dragon, saved the Dwarves from the dragons wrath and anger, discovered Smaug’s only weakness, found the Arkenstone, helped Thorin become King Under the Mountain, fought for peace between the Elves, Men, and Dwarves, fought in/made his way to safely through the Battle of Five Armies, brought Thorin to a realization of kindness and peace, helped bring peace and prosperity to the lands surrounding the Lonely Mountain, and finally made the long journey back to his home under the Hill.

Bilbo, an unassuming Hobbit, went there and back again, he helped fulfill that prophecy of the King Under the Mountain returning and bringing riches forth.  It is a wide world out there, but this young Hobbit ventured through it and prospered himself.  Overall, we think the biggest theme from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings hits on the idea that the smallest creature can change the course of history.  For us, that is an incredibly encouraging thought.  If a Hobbit can do all of that, then there’s endless possibilities to what we can accomplish.  Yes, it’s just a story, but we ask you, what’s wrong with getting positive motivation from it?

One of the best parts about The Hobbit is witnessing the character growth of Bilbo Baggins.  It’s clear as day, but it still gets us excited when we read this story.  Bilbo goes from a timid, uptight, and somewhat pompous Hobbit to a spider slaying, treasure burgling, facer of dragons.  It’s a complete 180° change, if you ask us, and it is incredibly awesome to read.  We couldn’t be prouder when Bilbo slowly, but surely, gains the respect of his Dwarven companions.  But, when Bilbo starts coming up with plans, making suggestions, when the Dwarves turn to him for guidance?  That’s when we see Bilbo turn into the leader they need.  Yes, Thorin is widely known as the “leader” of this Dwarven company, but in times of great need he turned to Bilbo to get them out of Mirkwood and face Smaug.  Make no mistake, Bilbo has got to be the bravest Hobbit since Bandobras “Bullroarer” Took.  This change makes Bilbo somewhat of an outcast in Hobbiton, but he didn’t care he had faced dragons, goblins, giant spiders, trolls, and wargs, ill-mannered Hobbits didn’t frighten him like they used to.  We have to give props to this Hobbit, he ends up becoming a straight boss.  Even in The Lord of the Rings, when the Council of Elrond was discussing what to do with the Ring he was the first person to stand up and say “I’ll take it.”  Bilbo was ready to accept responsibility for his part in this story and bring an end to it.  Without a doubt Bilbo is our favorite Hobbit in Middle-earth, yes Frodo and Sam are great, but for us Bilbo sets the tone for an adventurous Hobbit and we love seeing how his story begins in The Hobbit. 

To bring this long winded discussion to an end, The Hobbit is a great book, very different from The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, or any other story in Middle-earth that Tolkien had written, and for us, that makes this book extremely special.  It has adventure, suspense, fun riddles, comical moments, Elves, Wizards, Dwarves, and a great Hobbit hero.  Now that we’ve finished this book we have a strong urge to start it back over again, just to feel those familiar emotions.  However, other books are begging to be read, so we must say goodbye to The Hobbit, for now.

Thank you so much for your time, let us know what book your reading right now, what recommendations you have for us?  Have you read The Hobbit before?  What did you think?  Let us know and let’s continue the discussion.

Remember, renewed shall be blade that was broken.

– The Wandering One

On This Day in Middle-earth

October 5th

Gandalf and the Hobbits leave Rivendell.

We’re moving forward in the timeline with today’s event.  Previously the past couple of days we’ve been discussing events as they’ve happened in The Fellowship of the Ring.  Today’s event takes place near the end of The Return of the King.  Since September 21st, the Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, and Gandalf has been staying in Rivendell spending time with the Elves and Bilbo. 

However, as much as they enjoyed spending time in Rivendell, these Hobbits knew they needed to get back home to the Shire.  So, today they continue their journey, at a leisurely pace though. 

Thank you for your time and remember, a light from the shadows shall spring.

– The Wandering One

On This Day in Middle-earth

October 3rd

He is attacked at night on Weathertop.

He, meaning Gandalf, went to Weathertop because, in the Wild, between traveling from the Shire to Rivendell Weathertop is a great central point where you can survey they land around you and set out to continue your journey.  It also helps that Gandalf and Aragorn had discussed meeting at Weathertop should things not go according to plan. 

What doesn’t help is that the Black Riders were surrounding all areas around Bree.  When Gandalf showed up around Weathertop, he lit a fire and naturally they were drawn to his light.  Luckily, Gandalf was aware of the Black Riders’ presence and he was able to get away from the ambush.

Still, Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Strider, and Bill the Pony are traveling through the Wild, doing everything they can to pass undetected by the Black Riders.  Even if they have to pass through the Midgewater Marshes.

Thank you for your time and remember, the crownless again shall be king.

– The Wandering One

On This Day in Middle-earth

October 1st

Gandalf leaves Bree.

Happy October everyone, not much to discuss about today’s events in Middle-earth.

Gandalf, like the Black Riders, is still searching for Frodo, but since Strider has taken the Hobbits into the Wild it’s proving hard for anyone to find them.  That’s obviously a good thing when you’re being tracked by enemies, but it does make it hard for your allies to find you.  Regardless, Gandalf has done a great job catching up, he just missed the Frodo leaving Bree by around 8-12 hours last night and he left early today.  He also made sure he had a few choice words for the Prancing Pony’s innkeeper, Butterbur.

Since Gandalf knows Frodo is with Strider a sense of comfort must have come over him.  Now Gandalf can go to a location that he and Strider had spoken about before and hopefully they’ll reunite soon.

Thank you for your time and remember, all that is gold does not glitter.

– The Wandering One