Art and Literature News / Movie News / Tolkien News

An Eagle’s View of Middle-earth


James Nesbitt and Sir Ian McKellen at the ceremony. (© University of Ulster)

Sir Ian McKellen received an honorary doctorate from the University of Ulster today! I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that James Nesbitt, who played Bofur alongside McKellen’s Gandalf, is the Chancellor of The University of Ulster. (Lily Milos)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has been nominated for MPSE Golden Reel Awards in the following categories (Evie Bowman):

  • Best Sound Editing: Music in a Feature Film
  • Best Sound Editing: Dialogue and ADR in a Feature Film
  • Best Sound Editing: Sound Effects and Foley in a Feature Film

Photographer Tracy Morter decided to capture the Middle-earth inspired road signs in South Woodham Ferrers. “We’re a little town, but we have some interesting quirks and the signs are one of them. I thought it would be something really interesting to photograph,” she said. “I remember the last time the films came out we had several people visiting the town to have a look.” (Evie Bowman)


Use this decal from Etsy shop PeelAndStickDecals to replicate Gandalf’s mark on any door. Just don’t be surprised if you find you have a company of dwarves raiding your pantry! (Lily Milos)

James Daily, a lawyer and co-author of The Law and Superheroes, lent his learned eye to the contract from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. (We have exclusive photos of the contract here!) He comments, “There are some anachronisms, unnecessary clauses, typos, and a small number of clear drafting errors, but given the contract’s length and its role in the film (which is to say not a huge one, especially in the particulars) it’s an impressive piece of work.” (Lily Milos)

Because of it’s release date, committee members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science’s visual effects branch had to vote on the inclusion of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in the awards race before they had even seen it. It helped that The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King performed so well at the Oscars. According to Visual effects steering committee chair Craig Barron, “What (this year’s process) has crystallized is that the committee needs to be more proactive in going out to the producers and saying, ‘We need to see your films so that we can debate and talk about it, so we feel comfortable recommending it to our members.'”  (Evie Bowman)

The economic impact of Tolkien’s masterpiece is difficult to fathom, but the brand is obviously a goldmine. Check out this video from to see the breakdown of the economic impact of this fantasy epic. (Arwen Kester)

Every week, our Middle-earth News reporters seek out Tolkien/Hobbit/LOTR goodness and tag their finds with their names. If you have something to contribute, feel free to submit it using the Got News Precious link in the sidebar.

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One Comment

  1. My favourite post of the week returns, marvelous job as always Lily.