Art and Literature News

An Eagle’s View of Middle-earth

benjamin harff silmarillion illuminated tome

Benjamin Harff created this deluxe edition of the Silmarillion for his thesis at the Rhein-Sieg-Akademie. This beautiful work was created entirely by hand in a very short amount of time. The opening page alone took about seventy or eighty hours! Harff told Pieter Collier of the Tolkien Library that he wasn’t entirely satisfied and considers this his first attempt, “a kind of alpha-version.” (Lily Milos)

In a letter due to be auctioned by Bonhams in London on 19 March, author J.R.R. Tolkien revealed to publisher Rayner Unwin that the poet WH Auden did not approve of the romance between Aragorn and Arwen, calling it “unnecessary and perfunctory.” Tolkien held out hope though, saying “I hope the fragment of the ‘saga’ will cure him. I still find it poignant: an allegory of naked hope. I hope you do.” (Evie Bowman)

PC Gamer highlighted a full conversion Tolkien mod for Crusader Kings II called The Middle Earth Project. The gorgeous and detailed map covers the main areas of Middle-earth, but allows for some interesting twists on the story depending on the choices the players make. You can play a Balrog, you can play Treebeard, and you can even play Aragorn and decide to marry Shelob. If you play it for yourself, we want to hear your strange adventures in Middle-earth! (Britta)


Adam Dodge excels at creating intricate scenes from famous films and his own imagination using LEGO pieces. This re-creation of the pass of Caradhras even hangs from the wall, adding to the Fellowship’s sense of imminent danger! (Lily Milos)

Sean Astin, who played Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, confirmed that he will not be having a cameo in the third Hobbit film. Apparently, Sean had hopes of playing Samwise’s father Hamfast Gamgee in the earlier timeline, but he told Nuke the Fridge, “Peter Jackson has not contacted me. So, the answer is, No, but I would love to return to Middle-earth.” Is there a chance Jackson will read this and fly him out for a quick cameo shoot? (Evie Bowman)

TUAW, also known as The Unofficial Apple Weblog, has come up with a list of 5 Apps that would have made the Fellowship’s trip to Mordor much easier. It includes the obvious choices of Google Maps (if one is going to simply walk into Mordor, a map would be a handy place to start) and iTranslate Voice (how else are you going to understand all the languages spoken in Middle-earth?). (Britta)


Whether your are introducing a child to the magic of Tolkien’s The Hobbit or you need a softer weapon for LLARPing, cholyknight has a plush Sting tutorial just for you! The step-by-step process makes it easy to create your own version of Bilbo’s sword, and the added touch of glow-in-the-dark thread will allow it to actually glow blue when orcs (or younger siblings) are near. (Lily Milos)

Jeff Arundel is a musician and producer with an eclectic sense of style. He is selling his Minneapolis home that some call “an urban castle,” though he prefers to describe it as “Tim Burton meets Lord of the Rings.” It is something you have to see to believe, so click through to the gallery at the Star Tribune and decide if you could feel at home living there. (Britta)

Orlando Bloom, who played Legolas in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, was just announced as one of the stars involved in a massive We Day event that will come to California. Fellow guest and actor Natalie Portman, had this to say about the event: “I believe in the power of young people to change the world, but they need support and guidance to do so. We Day helps to bring that passion to life, encouraging young people to take meaningful actions towards the issues they care about and giving them the tools to make it a reality.” (Evie Bowman)

Is it just me, or is there something about the sound of 8-bit video game music that makes you feel like you’re about to start an adventure? After Maria found that awesome 8-bit Hobbit art in last week’s Eagle’s View, I got searching and found this remix of the “Concerning Hobbits” theme from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack. Enjoy! (Lily Milos)


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.

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