the hobbit

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George R.R. Martin made a very special donation of a rare first edition of The Hobbit to Texas A&M marking the five millionth volume received by the university. It will join the first American edition (1938) and the second British edition (1951) in the Cushing Library collection at the Southern University which houses one of the largest collections of science fiction and fantasy literature in the world.

Only 1,500 of this edition, which features art designed by Tolkien himself, were ever published. Martin chose the university because he became connected to it after attending AggieCon back in the 1970s. He notes:

During one of those visits, I was given a tour of the special collections and saw not only the books and manuscripts and other items that were on deposit there but also the physical facility itself which was very impressive

Martin’s donated book will be on display for a short time before it is placed with the rest of the Tolkien collection.

See another picture and video of the presentation after the break.

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There are times when Tolkien is ridiculously verbose and provides every last detail about a scene, but there are times when he doesn’t quite tell the whole story. Were you confused by the One Ring when you finished reading The Lord of the Rings? This video by CGP Grey explains it all along with great artwork by Knut J Håland which you can own by supporting the project on Patreon.

See Also: The LOTR Mythology Explained In Less Than 5 Minutes

See the video after the break.

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hobbit explanation

Ah, the holidays. Families gather, exchange gifts, eat meals, and try to explain The Hobbit to each other. I’m not sure if this epic moment happened during Redditor Daniel379ba’s holiday family gathering or not, but I bet it did. This is the Redditor’s uncle trying to explain The Hobbit to grandpa.

He’s using a whiteboard to list the cast of key characters, and there’s an illustration of the Lonely Mountain. I bet the whiteboard got completely covered by the end of the explanation, and if he was covering the movies rather than the book, well, he would have to erase and start over on a clean surface repeatedly.

Be sure to enlarge the picture to read the list of characters on the whiteboard.

(via Reddit)

hobbit honest trailer

The Hobbit was one slim book that’s been stretched way out into three films. Now we’ve got an Honest Trailer for Desolation of Smaug that tells it like it really is, from a vault that looks like it belongs to Scrooge McDuck to a bunch of Dwarves that are captured by everyone and everything.

See the video after the break.

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The Hobbit is not an overly long book, but that didn’t stop Peter Jackson from dividing it up into three movies. Many have wondered how it would have been as one film, but Los Angeles-based editor Joel Walden has gone a step further by giving us a trailer for The Hobbit: The Complete Journey.

He uses clips from the existing movies to create his trailer and, in the process, does a darn fine job of telling what needs to be told in about 4 minutes. Now this is the movie that I really wanted to see.

See the video after the break.

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Billy Boyd, a.k.a. Pippin, is singing the moving song that will play during the end credits of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. We heard a clip of the song that will mark the end of Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth stories, but the full song and video has now been released. Ladies and gents, get ready for tears.

Boyd’s voice is beautiful, and “The Last Goodbye” plays over scenes from both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films. Regardless of how you feel about the fact that The Hobbit has been ripped apart into three movies, this video will make you feel sad that we’re once again saying goodbye to Middle-earth.

Watch and listen after the break.

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billy boyd pippin

A few weeks ago we learned that Billy Boyd would be lending his vocal talents to Middle-earth once again. He sang as Pippin in The Return of the King, and he’ll be performing “The Last Goodbye” in the end credits of The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies. Unless Peter Jackson adapts The Silmarillion, this will be the last of his interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth stories to hit the big screen.

WaterTower Music (Warner Bros. music label) has posted a clip of the song, and I can already tell I’m going to need tissues. It’s haunting.

Listen to a minute and a half of “The Last Goodbye” after the break.

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Being an airport in Middle-earth means you have some oddball visitors. New Zealand’s Wellington Airport has been home to Gollum and now Smaug the dragon. The detailed sculpture measures 13 feet deep and was made by the Weta Workshop. The fierce beast was installed to promote the final installment of The Hobbit trilogy, The Battle of the Five Armies. Smaug greets passengers as they check-in to their flights (and probably thinks about how to steal all their treasures).

Check out a couple more photos of the dragon after the break.

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hobbit safety video

It’s been awhile since Air New Zealand released it’s fantastic Hobbit-themed in-flight safety video. With the release of the final film in The Hobbit trilogy, the time was ripe to make a new one so they’ve created what they’re billing as, “The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made.” It features all the usual safety tips, but it also has cameos by the actors from the film in one of the few safety videos that everyone will actually watch and enjoy.

See the video after the break.

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billy boyd

Warner Bros. Pictures has set up a special site called For Your Consideration designed to promote its films to Academy Awards voters. One of the things they think voters should consider nominating is a Best Original Song contender from The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. The song is The Last Goodbye which is written by screenwriters Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh, and actor Billy Boyd who also sings the tune.

You might remember him singing All Shall Fade in the original trilogy which may have brought tears to your eyes. Expect the same this time around, and have a box of tissues at the ready.

(Warner Bros. Pictures via The Mary Sue)