02 December 2016

NEW Palantir Locket from Badali Jewelry!

Badali Jewelry has just released their newest Lord of the Rings themed creation: the Palantir Locket! This is by far one of the most exciting and unique Tolkien-inspired pieces I've ever seen, and I can't wait to get my hands on one of these babies!


Inspired by the fantasy classic, The Lord of the Rings™ by JRR Tolkien, the Badali Jewelry artists have designed and created The Palantir™ Locket.  The Palantir pendant is carefully handcrafted one at a time in your choice of white bronze, dark bronze, yellow bronze or antiqued bronze.  Each locket is carefully hand finished and inspected for the highest quality by our staff.  The Palantir Locket is officially licensed jewelry design with Middle-earth Enterprises as The Lord of the Rings jewelry.

The locket holds the Palantir, one of the Seeing-stones of Middle-earth™.  Palantiri™ were used by the Dúnedain™ to gather information and to communicate over long distances.  Over time, most of the Palantiri were lost, but the Orthanc-stone™ was found and used by Saruman™ while he resided in the Tower of Orthanc™.  Eventually he made contact with the Ithil-stone™, the Palantir controlled by Sauron™.  Thus began Saruman's descent into the Dark Lord's sway.  The Palantir locket holds the Orthanc-stone, a 20 mm (just over 3/4") transparent black glass sphere.  The locket is hinged so that it can open and close and the Seeing-stone can be removed.

The Badali Jewelry artists were inspired by the Tower of Orthanc when designing the locket.  Orthanc was made of hard, gleaming black stone and was composed of four, many-sided columns of rock joined together.  The columns rose to a height of 500 feet and then forked into four sharp pinnacles.  A platform was built between the pinnacles, the very platform where Gandalf® was held captive while Saruman's prisoner during the War of The Ring™.  The platform was covered by small roof of polished stone carved with astronomical signs.  The Palantir Locket features those symbols representing stars, planets or important constellations of Middle-earth.

For more details/specifications or to order your own Palantir Locket, head on over to BadaliJewelry.com!

16 November 2016

2016 Holiday Gift-Giving Guide

The holidays are fast approaching! Not sure what to get the Tolkien fan in your life? (Or maybe you're looking to treat yourself to something special this year?) Here are some ideas for every budget!


Under $15

Barnes & Noble
$20-40

MillionaireFabric on Etsy

$50-$100 
NobleCollection

$150-$300










$350-$500

EastonPress

  • The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion from Easton Press ($370)
  • The Return of the Shadow, The Treason of Isengard, The War of the Ring, and The End of the Third Age from Easton Press ($396)
  • Middle-earth Limited Collector's Edition Hobbit & Lord of the Rings Blu-ray + DVD, available at Amazon/Target/Walmart ($499.96)

Still feeling stumped? Some online places worth checking out are AbeBooks, HobbitShop, Etsy, and ebay! Other retailers which usually offer some sort of Tolkien-related merchandise include Barnes & Noble, FYE, Books-A-Million, Bullmoose, Borders, Hot Topic, and Newbury Comics!

07 November 2016

Now Available from HarperCollins: 'The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun'

First published in 1945 in The Welsh Review, Tolkien's 506-verse poem 'The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun' is now available in its own volume for just £16.99.

From HarperCollins:
Unavailable for more than 70 years, this early but important work is published for the first time with Tolkien’s ‘Corrigan’ poems and other supporting material, including a prefatory note by Christopher Tolkien.

Set In Britain’s land beyond the seas’ during the Age of Chivalry, The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun tells of a childless Breton Lord and Lady (the Aotrou’ and Itroun’ of the title) and the tragedy that befalls them when Aotrou seeks to remedy their situation with the aid of a magic potion obtained from a corrigan, or malevolent fairy. When the potion succeeds and Itroun bears twins, the corrigan returns seeking her fee, and Aotrou is forced to choose between betraying his marriage and losing his life.

Coming from the darker side of J.R.R. Tolkien’s imagination, The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun, together with the two shorter Corrigan’ poems that lead up to it and which are also included, was the outcome of a comparatively short but intense period in Tolkien's life when he was deeply engaged with Celtic, and particularly Breton, myth and legend.

Originally written in 1930 and long out of print, this early but seminal work is an important addition to the non-Middle-earth portion of his canon and should be set alongside Tolkien’s other retellings of myth and legend, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrn, The Fall of Arthur and The Story of Kullervo. Like these works, it belongs to a small but important corpus of his ventures into real-world’ mythologies, each of which in its own way would be a formative influence on his own legendarium.

28 October 2016

NEW From Easton Press: Tolkien's "Kullervo"

0831b2a6-50ba-43c7-90eb-0e63bbd3b67a_400_0If you're on Facebook and other forms of social media, you've likely seen the advertisements for The Easton Press' gorgeous leather-bound copies of J.R.R. Tolkien's popular books – The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and the Lost Tales of Middle-earth.

Joining their ranks and now available to order is Tolkien's most recent posthumous publication, The Story of Kullervo. For three monthly installments of $33, you can add this gorgeous volume to your Tolkien collection!


You can view all of The Easton Press' available Tolkien titles at EastonPress.com!
Kullervo, son of Kalervo, is perhaps the darkest and most tragic of all J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters. "Hapless Kullervo," as Tolkien called him, is a luckless orphan boy with supernatural powers and a tragic destiny.

Brought up in the homestead of the dark magician Untamo, who killed his father, kidnapped his mother, and tried three times to kill him when he was still a boy, Kullervo is alone save for the love of his twin sister, Wanona, and the magical powers of the black dog Musti, who guards him. When Kullervo is sold into slavery he swears revenge on the magician, but he will learn that even at the point of vengeance there is no escape from the cruelest of fates. 

Tolkien himself said that The Story of Kullervo was "the germ of my attempt to write legends of my own," and was "a major matter in the legends of the First Age." Tolkien’s Kullervo is the clear ancestor of Túrin Turambar, tragic incestuous hero of The Silmarillion. Published here for the first time with the author’s drafts, notes, and lecture essays on its source work, the Kalevala, The Story of Kullervo is a foundation stone in the structure of Tolkien’s invented world.
-You can buy the standard edition from $11.99-$16.00 via Amazon

23 October 2016

'Tolkien – Soldier and Mythmaker' Exhibition to Visit Lichfield Library

As previously posted, an exhibition titled 'Tolkien – Soldier and Mythmaker' is making the rounds across Staffordshire, an area which had an immense influence on the Professor. It will be on display in the Lichfield Library from 18 November to 8 January; from there, it will move on to the Stafford Library from 10 January to 27 February.


According to a spokesperson: “During the Great War, Second Lieutenant JRR Tolkien of the Lancashire Fusiliers was stationed in Staffordshire, first at Whittington Heath, near Lichfield.

“Lichfield plays a particularly important part in the Tolkien in Staffordshire story. A meeting at The George Hotel in the city was the last occasion that Tolkien met with his three greatest school friends in September 1915.”

Admission to the library is free, but for a £2 entry fee, the exhibition will also feature a talk by local historian David Robbie.

22 October 2016

JRR Tolkien's Story of Beren and Lúthien to be Published in 2017


berenluthien-cb230356First published in the 12-volume series The History of Middle-earth, J.R.R. Tolkien's story of Beren and Lúthien is one of the quintessential love stories of our time: Beren, a mortal Man, falls in love with Lúthien, an immortal Elf of noble lineage and unmatched beauty. Tolkien's famous poem "The Lay of Leithian" tells of their quest to reclaim one of the stolen Silmarils from Morgoth's crown, thereby winning the favour of Lúthien's father, King Thingol. Their love story is echoed in The Lord of the Rings, when the mortal Aragorn falls in love with Arwen, daughter of Lord Elrond of Rivendell.

The tale was so important to JRR Tolkien that the characters' names were engraved on the tombstones of him and his wife Edith, the real-life Beren and Lúthien.

In May 2017, a hundred years after its conception, the story of Beren and Lúthien will be released as its own volume by HarperCollins, edited by Tolkien's son Christopher and featuring illustrations by artist Alan Lee.
In this book Christopher Tolkien has attempted to extract the story of Beren and Lthien from the comprehensive work in which it was embedded; but that story was itself changing as it developed new associations within the larger history. To show something of the process whereby this legend of Middle-earth evolved over the years, he has told the story in his father's own words by giving, first, its original form, and then passages in prose and verse from later texts that illustrate the narrative as it changed. Presented together for the first time, they reveal aspects of the story, both in event and in narrative immediacy, that were afterwards lost.
For more information, visit HarperCollins' webpage.

09 October 2016

REVIEW: Smaug the Golden Necklace from Badali Jewelry

I am delighted to have the chance to review another beautiful item from Badali Jewelry! Following the same theme as my last review (the Smaug/Arkenstone set, which you can read here), this new necklace features the mighty dragon Smaug resting atop his bed of gold, the Arkenstone at the centre of his hoard.
 

The necklace is absolutely gorgeous – Smaug is reminiscent of Tolkien's own design, and the details on the tiny dragon are stunning. The jewel catches and reflects all light that hits it, truly capturing the essence of the Arkenstone and making this an eye-catching piece. I love that this necklace is not just a representation of a character or a theme, but that it actually depicts an important part of the story.


It was hard to get a good quality picture of me wearing the necklace, but this at least shows you the size of the necklace. I love that it's a bit on the smaller side, and I love how well the gold stands out (I wear a lot of black, so I'll be wearing this necklace a lot to make my outfits pop!).

  
The necklace, I'm told, should be available in a few more weeks; be sure to follow Badali Jewelry on all social media platforms so you can grab yours as soon as they become available! If you're a Tolkien fan who wants to show off your love of Middle-earth, Badali is the way to go! I've been an extremely happy customer since 2004 and I know you will love their products and their customer service as much as I have.


I also want to add a few words about another item I had purchased during the September Hobbit Birthday sale – two Nenya tracer bands, which are stunning. They add even more vintage elegance to the ring, and I can't wait to see how many additional compliments I start getting!


You can get your own officially licensed Hobbit and Lord of the Rings jewelry at BadaliJewelry.com! You can also find Badali Jewelry on:


For more pictures of my Badali purchases, follow me on Instagram!

30 September 2016

Tolkien-Inspired Fashion/Closet Cosplay

I was recently inspired by the lovely folks over at LootCrate to come up with a post inspired by geeky fashion. LootCrate offers a variety of subscription boxes filled with geeky collectibles for a low monthly rate – boxes range from several categories, including an increasingly popular "Loot for Her" box. There's something for every type of collector, so be sure to check them out and see for yourself!

---

Gandalf is my absolute favourite Tolkien character. I feel our personalities are very similar: I am a good observer who often knows more than I am willing to reveal, I am a good judge of character and seeing the potential in every person, and I certainly love a good adventure! And since most of my wardrobe is black or grey, it wasn't hard to come up with an outfit inspired by him!

When most of us think of Gandalf, we think of flowing grey robes, a pointy hat, bushy eyebrows, and a grey beard. Now unfortunately, I don't own any hats, nor do I have a beard or bushy brows; but I like to think I have the flowing grey garb down. I threw in the scarf just because it's fall and I like to pair different shades of grey together every now and then.



My favourite part about this outfit, and the accessory which everything else centres around, is the knitted handwarmers. They were given to me last winter as a gift, and my very first thought upon receiving them was "I can totally see Gandalf wearing these!" Needless to say, I wear them all season long, until it's too warm.


Additionally, I was able to pair some of my favourite jewellery: Thror's key necklace and the ring of Narya from Badali Jewelry. I wear the ring every single day and get countless compliments on it. 



As an added bonus, I decided to throw in another look, more on the casual side. I own a lot of Tolkien-themed t-shirts, but I am not a t-shirt person at all so I hardly ever wear them! This is how I would have dressed in middle & high school, though, so it was kind of nostalgic to "dress up". I simply paired my "Hobbit Nightmare" t-shirt (from PopUpTee) with a map of Middle-earth infinity scarf I was gifted (from Etsy) and Hobbit messenger bag/backpack (also a gift; from HobbitShop).



What's your favourite geeky look? Leave a comment below, Tweet me your photos, or tag me on Instagram! I want to see your picks!

29 September 2016

New Exhibition Showcases Tolkien's Links to Staffordshire

From 25 October to 16 November, residents of Staffordshire will be able to view the 'Tolkien – Soldier and Mythmaker' exhibition at the Shire Hall Gallery, which offers more insight into the author's time in the county. Some highlights of the exhibition include original sketches by the Professor himself, on loan from The Tolkien Estate and Bodleian Library. The exhibition, which has been on tour since March, has been viewed by more than 40,000 individuals.

“This is a fascinating exhibition with thousands of people already getting the chance to see it," said Gill Heath, libraries chief at Staffordshire County Council. "It’s clear that Staffordshire had a profound effect on this famous writer’s formative years, and we’re very proud of this connection. This exhibition offers visitors a rare chance to learn more about the author’s stay in Staffordshire."


From 7 to 8 pm on 26 October, historian David Robbie will be discussing Tolkien's experiences in Staffordshire, including the effects the Great War had on his writing.

On the 27th, families are invited to join a dragon craft workshop from 10 am to noon with artist Hannah Reynolds. (The workshop is £2 per child and booking is essential. For more information, contact the gallery on 01785 278345 or via email: shirehallgallery@staffordshire.gov.uk.)

The exhibition will move to Stafford Library from 10 January to 27 February.

For more information, visit www.staffordshiregreatwar.com or www.staffordshire.gov.uk.

08 September 2016

Coming Soon: David Day's 'The Battles of Tolkien'

Scheduled for release on 14 March 2017, The Battles of Tolkien is another encyclopedic work from Canadian author David Day, which matches the aesthetic of previous releases such as Tolkien: An Illustrated Atlas and Tolkien: A Dictionary

"The history of J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional world of Middle-earth is filled with epic battles in an ongoing struggle between good and evil. The Battles of Tolkien recounts many of the greatest conflicts over thousands of years, from the earliest skirmishes of the Valarian Ages to the defining battles in the War of the Ring. Insightful commentary by Tolkien scholar David Day discusses how the people, tactics, and weapons influenced the outcome of each battle, and also how the legends of Middle-earth relate to the real-world mythology on which Tolkien based his famous literary creation. Maps and full-color illustrations help bring this rich universe to life, making it an invaluable reference book for Tolkien fans of all ages.

This work is unofficial and is not authorized by the Tolkien Estate or HarperCollins Publishers."



The Battles of Tolkien, published by Thunder Bay Press, can be pre-ordered on Amazon for $15.99.

David Day has written numerous books on poetry, literature, and more; but he is perhaps most widely known for his writings on J.R.R. Tolkien, including:

A Tolkien Bestiary (1978)
Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopedia (1992)
A to Z of Tolkien (1993)
Tolkien's Ring (1994)
The Hobbit Companion (1997)
Tolkien's World (2002)

You can also read my review of The Hobbit Companion here.

07 September 2016

Celebrate Bilbo's & Frodo's Birthday with Badali Jewelry!

For the entire month of September, Badali Jewelry has discounted all of their Hobbit and Lord of the Rings merchandise in celebration of the birthdays of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins! If you've been thinking about buying any of their items, now is certainly the time!


If you follow me on other forms of social media – particularly Instagram – you'll notice I post about them A LOT! That's because I have been a loyal fan since my first purchase back in 2004. I cannot recommend their products enough. Before I discovered Badali's products, I purchased a number of rings from the official movie sites; and now, having bought most of Badali's Middle-earth rings, I can tell you that the latter is far superior. You can just feel the love and attention to detail that goes into each individual item; not to mention it's nice to own some bling that is inspired by the books and not the films. I really like their interpretations of the Elven Rings of Power.

I've posted about some of their items here on my blog; feel free to read up on some of my entries if you need a little help deciding what item(s) to get!

My Badali Jewelry Collection
Smaug Ring and Arkenstone Necklace/Earring Set
Thrór's Key Necklace
Gollum Gold One Ring Necklace

I'm currently trying to decide what I want to buy next; I'm torn between the Dwarven Axe necklace and adding two tracer bands to my Nenya ring. But then I also want the Elfstone... and the Arkenstone... and obviously everything else...

Be sure to follow Badali Jewelery on all of their social media platforms:

Facebook: Badali Jewelry Specialties, Inc.
Instagram: @BadaliJewelry
Twitter: @BadaliJewelry
Website: BadaliJewelry.com
YouTube: Badali Jewelry

3 New Helms from Weta Workshop

Weta Workshop has three new helms from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films available for pre-order this month. Two have already been announced, with the third set to be revealed sometime in "late September".

The Trophy Helm of the Orc Lieutenant – $79.99
"Orc war commander Gothmog’s chief lieutenant was a lean, straight-backed Gorgoroth Orc with a face rent by a savage wound. Determined to stand out amongst his troops during the Siege of Minas Tirith, the Lieutenant wore a distinctive helm of his own fashioning."

The War Helm of Dáin Ironfoot – $79.99
"Fashioned after a boar, a crest rose high above the bowl of Dain’s helm, maned with red and black quills that shone beneath the sun. From its cheeks curled bladed tusks. Of great weight was the king’s helm, but Dwarves made light of such burdens, and in truth the bone of Dain’s skull was every bit as thick. Even helmetless he could render senseless Orcs twice his size with a swift head butt."

What do you think the next one might be?

Folks who pre-order all three by 11:59 pm September 30 (NZT) will be entered for a chance to win this classic helm (1/500 edition):


Visit Weta's official website to pre-order these helms! 
And stay tuned for the final reveal later this month!

30 August 2016

Two New Products Hit the Official Tolkien Online Book Shop!

Two new items have been added to the Official Tolkien Book Shop – the 2017 Tolkien Calendar and The Hobbit 80th Anniversary Facsimile Edition!

The 2017 Tolkien Calendar £9.99

"This year’s calendar features 13 paintings and illustrations by J.R.R. Tolkien himself, which were drawn by Tolkien when writing his beloved children’s classic, The Hobbit. They provide a fascinating insight into how Tolkien imagined the world of Middle-earth would look.

The images are accompanied by extracts from Tolkien’s letters, providing exquisite insight into both the writing process, and the illustrations themselves."



The Hobbit Facsimile First Edition – £25

"The Hobbit was published on 21 September 1937, with a print run of 1,500 copies. With a beautiful cover design, nearly a dozen black & white illustrations and two black & red maps by the author himself, the book proved to be popular and was reprinted shortly afterwards. History was already being made.

The scarcity of the first edition has resulted in copies commanding huge prices, way beyond the reach of most Tolkien fans. In addition, subsequent changes to the text particularly those to chapter 5, when Tolkien decided in 1947 to revise the text to bring it better into accord with events as they were developing in its sequel’, The Lord of the Rings - mean that the opportunity to read the book in its original form and format has become quite difficult.

This special printing reprints the first edition, so that readers of all ages not just children between the ages of 5 and 9’, as Rayner Unwin famously declared in his report on the original submission can finally enjoy Tolkien’s story as it originally appeared."


I can't wait to get my hands on both of these! 
You can pre-order the calendar here and The Hobbit here.

28 August 2016

New from Weta Workshop: 1:30 Scale Dol Guldur Diorama

Weta Workshop is offering fans a new way to collect their popular statues and dioramas: piece by piece!

Weta Workshop has developed its 1:30 scale range with accessibility for the collector in mind. Rather than one large bespoke piece, each scene fits together as a series of modular elements that can be built up over time. Collectors can then place miniature characters within the scene in limitless configurations.


Created by the same artists and technicians who have worked on The Hobbit motion picture trilogy, Weta Workshop’s 1:30 Scale Collection is only just beginning. Keep an eye out for new figures and environments coming soon.
The Dol Guldur series will consist of:
 
The Palantír Courtyard $99
Deep within the ruins of Dol Guldur, spells of concealment hide a dark secret. Within the maze of gloom and thorns a grim courtyard lies, where the shadowy Necromancer summons forth the mightiest of his fell servants. Set the scene of your Dol Guldur battle, starting with its centrepiece: The Palantír Courtyard.

Galadriel at Gandalf's Side $49.99
Amid the thorns and spells of Dol Guldur, the Lady Galadriel of Lothlorien cradles Gandalf the Grey, barely alive after his mistreatment at the hands of the Necromancer’s minions. Immortalise this pivotal moment with Galadriel at Gandalf's Side: the first figure released from Weta Workshop's 1:30 Scale Collection.

Lord Elrond of Rivendell $49.99
Resplendent in shining maille and plate, Lord Elrond of Rivendell swings his blade Hadhafang against the shadowy servants of the Necromancer. Add Lord Elrond, and his fearsome blade, to your Dol Guldur 1:30 scale diorama.

Witch-King of Angmar $49.99
Greatest of the Nazgûl, Sauron’s terrible Ringwraith servants, the Witch-king was once lord of the realm of Angmar. Now he haunts the ruins of Dol Guldur, leading his fellow Wraiths against the united Elves and Istari. Display the Witch-king in your Dol Guldur diorama, surrounded by the servants of Sauron.

Ringwraith of Forod $49.99
Once mortal, the Nazgûl had been lords among Men; rulers, sorcerers and kings. Ensnared by the Rings of Power they wore, their earthly bodies had fallen away, leaving spectral Wraith-forms, bound for all eternity to the will of their master, Sauron, the Necromancer of Dol Guldur.


For more information, or to pre-order any of these pieces, visit the Dol Guldur collection on Weta Workshop's website!

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