Articles written by: Valdis

Valdís is a classic nerd, with many geeky interests, but her life-long love of Tolkien rules them all. She was completely hooked the first time that she read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings at age 8. Since then, she has read the books at least once a year, and delves into Middle-earth at every opportunity with a fervor that would make any dwarf proud. She also deeply loves Peter Jackson’s films, and defends them staunchly when need arises. When reality forces her out of Middle-earth, Valdís is a university professor, a wife, mother of two daughters, and servant to three cats.

CinemaCon Teases “The Hobbit: There and Back Again”

CinemaCon Teases “The Hobbit: There and Back Again”

Excited fans have been anticipating the sneak peek of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: There and Back Again at this year’s CinemaCon. The Hobbit: There and Back Again was included in a big presentation by Warner […]

Paul Tobin on Concept Art, Concept Design, and Orcrist

Paul Tobin on Concept Art, Concept Design, and Orcrist

According to Weta Workshop concept designer Paul Tobin, “Good design is in the broad strokes, great design is in the details.” In a recent article on Muddy Colors: A Fantasy Arts Collective, Tobin shared some […]

Deep Compositing: A VFX Method Whose Time Has Come

Deep Compositing: A VFX Method Whose Time Has Come

Deep compositing is a new form of both rendering and working with visual elements of a film. A recent story by FX Guide explained some of the techniques behind this increasingly important visual effects method. […]

Philippa Boyens Talks about ‘The Hobbit: There and Back Again’

Philippa Boyens Talks about ‘The Hobbit: There and Back Again’

Philippa Boyens, co-writer and producer of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, certainly has an inside track on what fans can expect of The Hobbit: There and Back Again, to be released […]

The Colors of The Hobbit

The Colors of The Hobbit

Although we were in many ways in familiar territory when we first encountered The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 2012, there were some striking differences between the look and feel of The Hobbit and that […]

Soviet-era Illustrations of The Hobbit

Soviet-era Illustrations of The Hobbit

So many people talk about their childhood memories of The Hobbit. For some, that memory is about being read to by a loved one, while for others The Hobbit was the first full book they […]

Building a Better Dragon

Building a Better Dragon

“Truly, the tales and songs fall utterly short of your enormity, oh Smaug the Stupendous.” In his encounter with the dragon Smaug in the deep halls of Erebor in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, […]

Tolkien the Overlooked Poet

Tolkien the Overlooked Poet

Some readers who are new to Tolkien complain about the songs and poems in the books, perhaps thinking that they are not important to the story. But Sarah Wesson, author of the Earful of Cider […]

Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” Tops Spotify’s Most Popular List

Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” Tops Spotify’s Most Popular List

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug garnered Oscar nominations in three categories (Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick, and Tony Johnson for Best Sound Mixing, Brent Burge for Best Sound Editing, and Joe Letteri, Eric […]

Tolkien Archives Field Trip

Tolkien Archives Field Trip

Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the home of the J.R.R. Tolkien Collection, a treasure trove of Tolkien manuscripts and related materials. Norse mythologist Dr. Karl E. H. Seigfried recently led a group of his […]