The trouble with those paper maps is that they’re always getting wet and smudging. Adventurers who embark on quests with leather maps are much more likely to get to their destinations. This leather map of Middle-earth has been scaled down and richly embellished from the original map and burned with great detail by cartographer Deven Rue. Ready for framing or adding to your role playing adventures, it’s perfect for fan fiction writers, geeks, and Tolkien fans alike. Just to be safe, you should probably get one for every member of your company. (Lily Milos)
Our friends at ThorinOakenshield.net have hi-res pictures of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey spread in F*** Magazine (that’s seriously the name–asterisks and all). The articles give character details on the dwarves, wizards, and other characters, including concept art, and Thorin Oakenshield (and Richard Armitage) gets a full two pages. In an exclusive interview with writer and producer Philippa Boyens, she discusses adapting literature to film, making the 13 dwarves idiosyncratic, and how Ian McKellen made her cry. (Alice)
Martin Freeman is part of two major franchises with huge fanbases. But you might be surprised to know which group of fans sends him more mail. Freeman told Yahoo Movies, “Sherlock’ is one of the biggest things I will do, ever – we could never have predicted that level of insanity around the series. I think that gets me more fan mail than Bilbo.” But thanks to The Hobbit, he said, “I get more 12-year-olds coming up to me than I used to.” (Lily Milos)
Get the full Metal Earth nail polish collection inspired by The Hobbit from SinisterBenediction on Etsy. Gondolin Steel is a silvery-blue color and packs plenty of fine blue and silver glass flecks. The One Ring is a pale yellow gold with a hidden shimmer of red glass flecks. Mithril is a high shimmer light silver with a golden highlight and plenty of gold and silver glass flecks. (Myla)
Visitors to Jelly Babies Day Nursery in Little Lever should not be surprised if they are invited in to have a nice cup of tea in a home resembling that of Bilbo Baggins. The nursery enlisted the help of Bolton company, Cool Canvas, to transform their grounds into fun, magical learning area based on the staff, parents, and children’s ideas. Landscape artist and designer Oliver Wotherspoon, owner of Cool Canvas, said he wanted to create playgrounds where children created their own adventures. “The idea of the Hobbit Hole and the Shire was to create an idyllic place for the children,” he said. “They can now take it any direction they want, it is not static. They can use their own ideas to add to it. It is a natural play area designed to develop children’s learning and skills.” (Arwen)
Salon did a piece that compared J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings to George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. With comments like, “To be sure, if the dense Samwise Gamgee and the softhearted Frodo Baggins were to set off in Westeros—the continent where Martin’s series largely takes place—their tender hobbit hearts would bring them, and most likely everyone around them, to disaster,” I think a few of our readers might take issue with it. So, I’m just going to link to their article and back away slowly. (Lily Milos)
The Misty Mountains track from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has sparked a lot of creativity in many musicians. Artist Speo said, “The dwarf song in the trailer to “The Hobbit” is one of the best pieces of audio ever used in a trailer, in my humble opinion. So I chucked it in Reason and had my go at it.” The result was this addictive dubstep remix, titled “The Hobbit Dubstep.” Now we just need a dacing dwarf cosplayer to make an awesome music video. Any takers? (Myla)
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, please submit it using the Got News Precious link at the bottom of the page.