The beautiful image you see above is just one piece of the incredible tapestry poster that was created to promote the upcoming The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies which opens on December 17th. Instead of releasing a bunch of separate posters, they created one with individual scenes that roll into one another in a way that makes the story feel truly epic. From Nerdist:

From left to right we’ve got Smaug facing off against Bard the Bowman, Gandalf and Galadriel reenacting some weird Shakespearan tragedy scene at what looks to be Dol Guldur with Elrond and Saruman in the background, Thorin looking dramatic on the throne inside Erebor (he’s surrounded by piles of gold, why so sad, Thorin?) with Bilbo in the foreground, Legolas and Tauriel with very serious expressions, Thranduil at the head of an Elven army, Thorin, Fili, and Kili in the middle of battle with Azog standing over them, and then Gandalf and Bilbo again. Whew.

Whew is right. It’s just three more months until we get to see the film, and if you weren’t excited about it before, this poster will likely have you counting down the days.

See the full poster after the break (and make sure to click and enlarge):

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shire nursery 1

Few things say home to me like Bag End. The home of the Baggins is described as comfortable, cozy, and safe. It’s the perfect theme for a nursery, and Britten thought the Shire would be an ideal baby friendly setting. She worked with artists Nicole Shobe and Minda for three months to finish the murals. The images feature Bag End, the rolling hills of the Shire, and cobbled stone paths. I’d love to step into these paintings and go on an adventure.

More photos of the epic room after the break.

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It’s one of the great mysteries of the world. Why didn’t Gandalf just fly the darn eagles all the way to Mordor? Theories abound, but this one, it might be the best. In this Lego-fied explanation, we finally see what would have happened to our heroes had they taken the eagles all the way to their final destination.

See the video after the break.

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These incredibly detailed illustrations by Ukrainian artist Sergei Iukhimov look like they’ve been pulled right from a Medieval manuscript, but they’re actually representations of something much more recent. He’s illustrated the works of J.R.R. Tolkien in beautiful watercolors that you’ll find in the Russian language editions LOTR. I wonder how things would have looked if Peter Jackson had used these images as his inspiration.

See more pictures after the break.

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maximo the croc

Scientists have discovered a new species of crocodile and given it the best name ever: Athracosuchus balrogus after J.R.R. Tolkien’s Balrog:

A. balrogus was found in the Cerrejon mines in Columbia but are thought to have originated in Africa and then migrated to Columbia roughly 75 million years ago. They also estimate that the species survived the extinction event that took out the dinosaurs, so they’re looking to A. balrogus to give them some clues “as to how animals survive extinctions and other catastrophes” according to study co-author Alex Hastings.

Hastings also told LiveScience, “As we face climates that are warmer today, it is important to understand how animals responded in the past. This family of crocodyliforms in Cerrejón adapted and did very well despite incredible obstacles, which could speak to the ability of living crocodiles to adapt and overcome.”

I find it interesting that, in some small way, a Balrog may help humanity survive a little longer. Ironic, huh?

(via Nerdist / Saltwater Croc image from Wikipedia)


Here’s some cool news for J.R.R. Tolkien fans. A recording of Tolkien from a “Hobbit Dinner” he attended in the Netherlands in 1958 has just resurfaced.

Jay Johnstone, co-founder of Legendarium at, discovered the tape’s existence and that it was in the possession of Tolkien fan René van Rossenberg, who owns a Lord of the Rings shop. I don’t doubt there were riddles told and the words “my precious” were used because von Rossberg is allowing the tape to be remastered and we’ll all get to hear it later this year.

The tape contains a recording of Tolkien explaining the meaning of The Lord Of The Rings, reciting a poem in Elvish, and more. Thankfully a preview is avaialble in the video after the break…

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Hobbit Holes look incredibly cozy and now one man has built a Hobbit Hole in his own backyard. It was built by Ashley Yeates of Torii Gardens and it looks like it could easily be Frodo’s new home. It took him over a year to build with roughly four months of solid work to complete. Now they are considering requests for custom builds.

See more pictures after the break…

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Better late than never. We’re finally going to get to see Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf which he completed way back in 1926. It might sound odd that the noted fantasy author took to translating Old English but he was also a gifted linguist who enjoyed the study of language.

The translation wasn’t something lost that’s suddenly been found, but rather it’s been sitting on a shelf collecting dust for all these years and is finally getting a chance at being read. Although many translations exist, reading Tolkien’s version will surely be a thrill for his fans. The publication of his translation will be made available through Harper Collins on May 22nd.

(The Guardian via Geekosystem)

Middle Earth town

“Can you give me directions to the closest grocery store?”
“Yes, go one mile down Saruman, make a right on Palantir, and a left on Elrond.”

That’s a conversation you could actually have if you lived in Geldrop. The Dutch town has a population of 28,000 people and has street names that would be right at home in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. They’ve taken names from the Lord of the Rings as well as The Hobbit. You could live on Fangorn or even Thorin. It’s a fun idea, but I have to wonder how often street signs get stolen.

Explore it after the break…

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Tolkien drew very detailed maps of Middle-Earth so readers could easily see where his characters traveled. Now those maps have been used to create images of what Middle-Earth would look like viewed from space. It’s all part of The Middle Earth Digital Elevation Model Project which used the Outerra graphics engine to make detailed images with every tree, field and stream included. They’ve also made these beautiful renderings of how the world would look from space.

See more pictures after the break…

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