Tolkien

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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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Who knew the Witch King of Angmar could make such a fantastic wood burner? This was made by doddieszoomer from an old gas bottle and some scrap steel. The spikes on the helmet are old pipes and high temp black paint finishes the look. You can read his step-by-step guide to build this yourself or contact the builder to buy this one or even commission him for a creation of your own design.

See more pictures 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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There has been much grumbling about The Hobbit being released as three films. So, it was only a matter of time before someone attempted to condense the trilogy. A diehard Tolkien fan, aptly named “TolkienEditor,” stepped up to the plate and created “The Tolkien Edit,” which runs for roughly four hours and 21 minutes (as compared to over nine hours for the original trilogy).

Learn more after the break…

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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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In case you missed it over the weekend, Saturday Night Live did a mashup of The Office with everyone from Middle-Earth and it’s simply brilliant. It’s a spin on the UK version of course, and the impressions are spot on, especially with Martin Freeman returning to The Office as Bilbo. Hey, they had to do something once all the epic battles were over, why not work in an office selling paper?

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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There are Lord of the Rings fans, and then there are Lord of the Rings fans that really deserve a a good slap in the face. This guy falls in the later category, constantly rattling off quotes to his girlfriend and recording them for snapchat videos (in portrait mode no less!). It doesn’t matter where she is or what she’s doing, he has a quote ready—even if it means scaring the daylights out of her on a dark stairway. Seriously, this woman is probably going to kill him in his sleep.

See the video after the break.

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This unbelievably detailed map of Minas Tirith was posted on reddit to support a Middle-Earth RPG by ICE. It is incredibly complex with a key that has over 50 different items that are represented in exacting detail on the full map. There’s so much here, you’ll lose half your day just staring at it all.

Click on the image to do just that.

(Just Maps via io9)

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J.R.R. Tolkien provided beautifully sketched maps of the world he created for his stories. Slippery Rock University geography professor Stentor Danielson has taken that drawing style and applied it to modern cities creating maps that look like they were torn from the pages of Tolkien’s books. He’s already got Boston, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Washington, DC, and more, all available as prints to decorate your home.

See more maps after the break.

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