So about that theory that the Arkenstone is a Silmaril …

I hate to be the person who comes with a hot pin to pop the happy balloon of this theory but that’s what I’m about to be. I’m going to start out by clarifying that I take no issue with using this (or any!) theory for writing fan fiction or as a personal head canon. […]

Complex Characterization vs. Victimization (Or How to Write Complex Characters without Becoming an Apologist for Heinous Things)

The other day, I saw a quote about how inside every villain was a victim. Responses ranged from celebratory to scandalized, with the latter making the (valid, imho) point that responding to an awful act by trying to find how the perpetrator was somehow made a victim comes awfully close to becoming an apologist for […]

Gender Equality and Elves

Marta has a post up (The Problem with Eowyn) that is in reply to a post by Anna Wing (Eowyn, Female Agency, blah blah) about the possible gender issues in Tolkien’s depiction of Eowyn. Not being an expert on the LotR canon, I don’t feel that I can contribute to the discussion on Eowyn, but […]

Welcome to Middle-earth–Now Speak English!

I am jumping through the last leg of hoops in terms of completing my teaching certification, one hoop of which requires me to take two basic linguistic courses. Admittedly, it is probably the most pleasurable hoop to jump through, since it is an area I have wanted to study for some time anyway. While reading […]

Was the Elvenking in The Hobbit originally meant to be Thingol, and not Thranduil?

The following entry is a guest post by Dreamflower. Dreamflower has been a Lord of the Rings fan since 1967, when she was 15 years old. She has read the books countless times over the years, but did not begin writing fanfic until 2004. She’s written many stories, nearly all of them hobbit-centric; in addition she is a co-mod of the […]

Lúthien: A “Mere Maiden”?

I am in the midst of reading The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, which I have never read in full. They are very illustrative and have spurred many ideas for future HL posts (and I am only one-third through!), but I encountered one statement the other day that refuses to rest in my mind until I […]

Open Thread for Slash Discussion

I am opening this post for any and all who are interested in continuing the slash discussion from LotR Genfic. This discussion has been moved offlist since the list is a gen group and the discussion was starting to touch on issues that don’t necessarily belong on a family-friendly group. So that we could keep […]

The Appeal of The Silmarillion

Today is the 32nd anniversary of the publication of The Silmarillion. Each of us has her or his own story of coming to The Silmarillion, or to Tolkien in general. I’ve written my quite a few times by now and so won’t repeat it here. Suffice to say that I never thought I’d be the […]

Move over Fëanor …

Since my last post was a little on the heavier (and more controversial) side, I thought I’d post something lighter for a change. After all, even heretics like to have fun. I encountered this article quite by accident today on The New York Times website while reading a much more serious article on food-labeling practices. […]

I Need to Rant

I am preaching to the converted here, I know, but I need to indulge in a moment’s rant and hope my kind readers and commenters will forgive me a post for once without footnotes. Saying “I don’t understand the need for slash in Tolkien’s world” is patently ridiculous. Tolkien’s world is our world. Tolkien’s characters […]