Dear Mr. Gamgee, it was very kind of you to write. You can imagine my astonishment when I saw your signature! I can only say, for your comfort, I hope, that the ‘Sam Gamgee’ of my story is a most heroic character, now widely beloved by many readers, even though his origins are rustic. So that perhaps you will not be displeased at the coincidence of the name of this imaginary character of supposedly many centuries ago being the same as yours. —The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien.
I want to thank Christopher Tolkien. The third son of J. R. R. Tolkien has resigned as Tolkien Estate director. Christopher had made a huge contribution into Tolkien’s world.
In my opinion Christopher’s effort is priceless. It is such a hard and attentive work. It’s not only about composing the novels. It’s not getting your own idea and putting it on paper. It’s not just writing what is you.
It’s getting the idea of someone else’s (even if J. R. R. Tolkien was Christopher’s father). It’s making sure that the idea is understood correctly and fully. It’s taking care that you don’t add something from you, that there is nothing that could be your idea. It’s keeping up with the style. It’s trying to connect with someone who is not here.
Christopher did it all. Not only everything I mentioned above, but so much more. Christopher’s Tolkien effort had brought to life 24 books! Again, shall I remind, it’s not about composing your own idea. It’s delivering another person’s mind to us, readers.
What would we, fans, do if Christopher didn’t work on J. R. R. Tolkien’s works?All the ideas left on drafts and letters would lay forgotten, covered with dust. We would be left with little information. We wouldn’t know the rest of the stories. But yet, we have a beautiful writing style. We have detailed history. We have epic events, which stay bright in our minds. We have the world.
As for me, the Silmarillion has affected my life. It changed my way of thinking, my understanding of the world, my mind. The Silmarillion had something that got stuck inside my soul. Therefore, I can claim that thanks to Christopher, my perception of the world has changed.
I really appreciate Christopher’s Tolkien work. It brought me so much feelings, emotions, thoughts… Forever grateful!
To Christopher Bretherton 16 July 1964 76 Sandfield Road, Headington, Oxford
Dear Bretherton, ….I made the acquaintance of languages not usually studied by the modern English, each with a powerfully individual phonetic aesthetic: Welsh, Finnish, and the remnants of fourth-century Gothic. Finnish also provided a glimpse of an entirely different mythological world. The germ of my attempt to write legends of my own to fit my private languages was the tragic tale of the hapless Kullervo in the Finnish Kalevala. It remains a major matter in the legends of the First Age (which I hope to publish as The Silmarillion), though as ‘The Children of Húrin’ it is entirely changed except in the tragic ending…
Tolkien, J.R.R. The Letters of J.R.R.Tolkien. A selection edited by Humphrey Carpenter with the assistance of Christopher Tolkien. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
I, too, liked to shit on stuff other people liked when I was sixteen because let’s face it teenagers are fabulous assholes but honestly I just wanna look at pretty fanart without people busting into the tag like “I HAVE AN OPINION AND I WANT TO HAVE IT AS LOUDLY AS POSSIBLE” like
As you grow, you will begin to understand that not everything is black and white, you can enjoy problematic media, even while acknowledging its problema…nia… Yeah okay problemania, without suddenly becoming problematic yourself, because
(1) you are aware of the line between fiction and reality, (2) you no longer care as much about internet peer pressure (and yes, tumblr’s brand of social justice IS a very toxic form of peer pressure), and (3) you are not an idiot.
Of course you don’t watch The Matrix and think that shooting people is okay because they’re trapped inside a computer simulation. Of course things in the real world don’t turn out like in Disney movies. Of course you don’t read Royal Assassin and then start a letter writing campaign demanding to know who Taylor Swift’s catalyst is. Of course you don’t read a gay romance novel littered with yaoi tropes and then think people act that way in real life.
It’s a story, it’s fiction, and it’s important for you to realize that. YES it’s problematic, but goddamn it so is everything. Ender’s Game is a fantastic book written by a guy who thinks homosexuals should be imprisoned on an island somewhere. J R R Tolkien apparently forgot black people exist. Robin Hobb hates fanfiction. Taylor Swift won’t answer any of my letters!
What makes the story toxic or not depends solely on how YOU choose to interact with it. When I rec cap prince to people, I tell them “be warned there are some pretty gnarly things going on in these books, but it has a really entertaining story.” Then– and this is pretty important– I DONT go out and subjugate the nearest brown person, because that is not the part of the story I identified most with.
(Okay, I subjugate Sabra a LITTLE. but she likes it.)
Tumblr wants you to reject imperfect stories the same way it encourages you to reject imperfect people. Stick your head up out of the fog and realize how dangerous that is. How long until they come for whatever makes you happy? How long until they come for you?
Don’t read or watch things you don’t like, or that make you feel uncomfortable. But there’s no reason for you to police others, and no reason for them to police you. Let it go. Go find something that makes you happy and hold onto it.
« My political opinions lean more and moreto Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control, not whiskered men with bombs) — or to ‘unconstitutional’ Monarchy.»
J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter to his son Christopher, 29 November 1943
« Mr Eden in the house [of Commons] the other day expressed pain at the occurrences in Greece ‘the home of democracy’. Is he ignorant, or insincere? δημοχρατία was not in Greek a word of approval but was nearly equivalent to ‘mob-rule’; and he neglected to note that Greek Philosophers – and far more is Greece the home of philosophy – did not approve of it.»
J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter to Christopher, 28 December 1944
« I think I know exactly what you mean by the order of Grace; and of course by your references to Our Lady, upon which all my own small perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded.The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision.»
J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter to Robert Murray, SJ., 2 December 1953
« Not that I am a ‘democrat’ in
any of its current uses; except that I suppose, to speak in literary terms, we
are all equal before the Great Author, qui deposuit potentes de sede et exaltavit humiles.»
J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter to W. H. Auden, 7 June 1955
« I am not a ‘democrat’ only because ‘humility’ and equality are spiritual
principles corrupted by the attempt to mechanize and formalize them, with the
result that we get not universal smallness and humility, but universal
greatness and pride, till some Orc gets hold of a ring of power – and then we
get and are getting slavery.»
J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter to Joanna de Bortadano, April 1956
« Or more important, I am a
Christian (which can be deduced from my stories), and in fact a Roman Catholic.»
J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter to Deborah Webster, 25 October
hello! i am still in a reading slump. my reading habits this year continue to suck but soon, i’ll be back reading. as for now, here are the books i’ve read this month along with short stories or poems!
Beowulf by Unknown (Translated by Seamus Heaney) 3/5 stars
Summary:In a world where the last words your soulmate will say to you are written on your wrist, fearful and introverted Phil works in a bookstore. His greatest fear? The words counting down the seconds until he meet his soulmate, someone called ‘Dan.’ But it isn’t until he befriends a university student that he nicknames ‘Bear’ that Phil realizes that surviving through fear isn’t the same as living.
A/N: This is a lot shorter than usual, but for plot reasons I ended it where I did and the next couple of chapters should be a little longer. I’m starting to wrap up some things though, and I think this is starting to near the ending…
walked into Starbucks the next day to find Bear sitting at one of the booths
with two drinks sitting on the table in front of him. He caught Phil’s eye,
waving him over.
you here with Abbie?” Phil asked, sitting in the unoccupied seat.
thought you’d stop by at some point,” Bear shrugged, sliding one of the cups
across the table to Phil with a slight smile. “I know your schedule pretty well
by this point.”
there Edward Cullen.”
glittering,” Phil teased, crossing his legs as he popped the lid off of his
make your mum glitter,” Bear retorted in mock anger. “You follow the same
routine every day. It doesn’t exactly take a brain surgeon to figure it out.”
should be seen and not heard,” Phil said, blowing steam off of the top of his
drink and watching as it dissipated into the air.
whopping four year age gap is really insurmountable isn’t it?” Bear asked
dryly. “We’re both legal adults.”
have a job though,” Phil countered. “Although I still don’t have a social life.
And I still don’t know how to do trigonometry.”
often do you really even need that shit once you graduate anyway?” Bear asked.
“Because I never use it except to pass tests. Maybe if I was going to be an
architect or something that required math I would actually need to know how to
solve for the value of x, but I doubt as a lawyer my client is going to tell me
that the only way to win the case is to solve an equation using the quadratic
never know,” Phil said fairly. “Elle Woods won the case because she knew how
laughed. “Really? You’re bringing Legally Blonde into this?”
Fandom: The Hobbit Trilogy Pairing(s): Bofur x Human!Reader Summary: A strange man awakes you in the morning. After welcoming him into your home he introduces himself to you and tells you everything you need to know is the letter. Your life is about to change entirely. He takes you to an Estate that you are about to inherit. Little does he know that there is an Enchanted Mirror. This is where things begin to spiral for you. This mirror takes you into Middle Earth. During your stay Gandalf tries to find a way to send you back home. When the times comes you’re face with a difficult choice. Stay or leave? Which will you choose? Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters mentioned in this fanfic. They are owned by J.R.R. Tolkien, the writers, producers, and directors of The Hobbit films. I am simply borrowing them for this fanfic I am writing. A/N: Everyone lives AU. Thorin gets away with a terrible limp. Fili and Kili recover with battle scars instead of death. This is an idea I came up with and for the sake of the story line I needed everyone to be alive. F/N-First Name L/N-Last Name Warning(s): None that I can think.
“I’m coming, hang on!” You yelled as someone continued to knock on your door. Frankly you were slightly irritated and hoped they had a good reason to bug you at seven o’clock in the morning. “Can I help you?” You asked when you opened the door. “Hello, my name is David O’Hare, I hope you’re F/N L/N.” David spoke professionally. You looked him up and down with a raised brow.
“I might be.” You replied. “I sense sarcasm.” David pointed out. “Look, it’s early and I want to know why a Men In Black looking man is waking me from a deep slumber.” You told him sternly. “I get that reference. But yes I should have opened with that. It’s about an estate that you are to inherit.” David replied. He held out an envelope to you. You rolled your eyes, stepping aside to let him inside. “This couldn’t wait, until later in the day?” You asked him as you lead him to your kitchen.
“I’m afraid not.” David replied in a matter of fact tone. “Take a seat, I will start a pot of coffee.” You stated before a yawn took over. “I’m afraid I don’t drink coffee.” David told you proudly. You turned to him after grabbing the coffee pot. “Tea?” You asked politely. “Please?” David asked with a smile. You nodded and filled the pot with water. “I can just run the water through the machine without coffee.” You told him. After pouring the water into the machine you set the coffee pot on it and pressed brew. You noticed the filter was already empty when you poured the water so you didn’t worry about that. You walked over to the cabinet to grab the tea bags and two mugs. You gently set one in front of him and took a seat across from him.
He slowly passed the envelope to you. “This is addressed to me, but I am afraid I do not know the sender. Who is Abagail Loraine O’Connor?” You asked him. “That is your grandmother. She has recently passed away.” David said in a matter of fact tone. “Both of my grandmother’s have been dead for decades.” You told him, narrowing your eyes at him. “I must advise you to look at what is inside the envelope.” He said gulping. You looked at him before opening the envelope. The first thing you unfolded was your father’s birth certificate. You looked at it curiously. You noticed that Abagail Loraine O’Connor was listed under Mother.
“But, he told me that his mother died while birthing him.” You looked up to David when you spoke. David sat silently. He got up when you looked away, to grab the coffee pot with hot water. Pouring the water into boths cups. “There’s cream in the fridge and sugar in the container next to the coffee machine. It’s silver.” You said without looking at him.
You noticed that your father took his father’s last name. It now made sense of why you never heard the last name O’Connor in your household. You set that down and unfolded the next sheet of paper. It was Abagail’s death certificate. It stated that she was born January 18th of 1947 and passed away September 21st of 2017. “Wait a minute. If she died on the 21st, why am I just now hearing of this?” You asked David. He was sitting down with the sugar and cream when you asked. He set the items down gently before replying.
“It is because I had to get a warrant to locate you. Which took a few days to obtain.” David replied simply. “A warrant? Why?” You asked curiously. “It is because on the day of your birth. Your parents had you put on a witness protection type deal. They have been trying to hide you from this side of the family since then. When the judge realized that I only wanted to locate you because you are to inherit the estate he granted the warrant to your birth records and your current home address.” David replied stirring sugar and cream into his tea. “Who are you to this family?” You asked. “I am the lawyer of the family. Not the first lawyer though. My father passed the position to me, seeing that he was becoming ill.” David replied sadly.
“Why did my parents want to hide me?” You asked him. “It’s in your letter, which you haven’t opened yet.” David said pointing to the letter that lay on the table. You nodded and unfolded the letter. Abigail’s handwritting was beautiful. Slowly you began to read.
Dear Y/N, If you are reading this letter it means that I have passed away. It is unfortunate that I never had the chance to meet you before my passing. You must know the truth of your family. This may be a lot to take in but you must know. You were born into the long line of O’connor. That is the name that is in the books, if you know which one to read. Our family comes from a long line of Witchcraft. Magic runs within your blood my dear. In fact your father has magic running through his also. Though when he discovered this he fled the very day he turned eighteen. Unfortunately your father was like the city folk. They shunned us and were very cruel. Your father’s parting words to me were unkind and I shall not repeat them. For I know when he had you he became a kind man. I know this because your grandfather would contact me in secret. Not once did he give up your location to me but he let me know of your well being. You also have an aunt that lives in the estate with me. She has been practicing her magic for some time now. Though she was given the choice to leave and never look back. She chose to stay. She still resides in the estate to this day. She is only five years younger than your father. I am reaching out to you now because she has decided that the estate is rightfully yours. She believes that it is time that you learn who you truly are. David, the man sitting with you, also resides in the estate. He is a kind man and will guide you through all the legal things. He will also bring you to the estate. He and your aunt, Sara will give you a tour of the place. Please don’t be thrown off by the wall or the front gate. It is intimidating for a reason. Also understand you are not obligated to any of this, you have a choice. You always have a choice. Though no matter what you choose the estate will always be there for you. As will David and Sara. Love forever, Your Grandmother Abigail Loraine O’Connor
You looked up to David when you finished reading. He was sipping on his tea silently looking down. “Is this for real?” You asked him quietly. He set his cup down gently and nodded. “Both my parents are still alive. How do I explain this move to them?” You asked covering your face with your hands. You sighed in frustration. This was a lot to take in at once. First you find out about two family members you weren’t even aware you had. Then you find out you had been kept hidden your entire life because your father didn’t believe in Witchcraft. Which made sense seeing that he had went off to become one of the most world wide known scientists. Your mother went of to be a highschool teacher.
“Does that mean you want to see the estate?” David asked gently. You nodded. “I have a cover story you can use to just see the state.” David told you. “And that would be?” You asked with an eyebrow raised. Your tea had been long forgotten at this point. “Say you’re going to take some time for yourself. You’ll be out of town for a little while.” David replied. You thought for a moment. “That does sound like something I would tell them.” You said. You stood up to grab your cellphone. You sat back down and dialed their home number. You were sent straight to voice mail, because they weren’t home at the time.
“Hey guys, it’s me. I’m going to take some time for myself. I’ll be out of town for a little while. I’ll call when I come back. Love you both.” You said before hanging up. You set the phone down and looked to David. He had been sitting quietly and looking around your kitchen. “I’m going to get dressed.” You told him. He hummed in response to let you know he acknowledged what you said.
You walked into your room and sat on your bed. David was right, this was a lot to process. After a few moments you decided you should change and possibly pack a bag. You had decided that maybe you should stay at the estate before deiciding what to do next. After you changed and packed your bag you walked into your kitchen to see David still sitting at the table quietly. He smiled when he noticed your presence. “I would like to be taken to the estate now.” You told him politely.
Do you have any suggestions for good Christmas / winter books?
Lovely Christmas books: - “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens (of course!) - “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott (While not technically a ‘Christmas book’ it is so endearing, heartwarming and homely that it is hard to resist) - “Letters from Father Christmas” by J. R. R. Tolkien (especially in the illustrated edition!) - ”Nutcracker and Mouse King” by E. T. A. Hoffmann (but also the later version called “The Tale of the Nutcracker” by Alexandre Dumas!) - “The Night Before Christmas” by Nikolai Gogol (absurd, surreal and fun!) … And of course the new Penguin Christmas classics series, which includes short stories by Louisa May Alcott and Antony Trollope.
Beautiful winter books: - “The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey. Atmospheric, fragile and unforgettable. - “Deathless” by Catherynne M. Valente. Lyrical, intricate, and oh so cold. You’ll actually feel the snowflakes on your skin while you read it. - “Peter Pan” by J. M. Barrie. For no particular reason this simply reminds me of a long, cold and nostalgic winter. - “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C. S. Lewis. Filled with snow, wonder and adventures. - “The Golden Compass” by Philip Pullman. Polar bears, ice castles and beautiful writing! (also written as a protest against the before-mentioned C. S. Lewis) - “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy. A classic filled with snowflakes, love and scandals. - And, oh, of course. We must not forget the very underrated “Doctor Zhivago” by Boris Pasternak. It is majestic.
But Lewis was a very impressionable, man, and this was abetted by his great generosity and capacity for friendship. The unpayable debt that I owe to him was not influence as it is ordinarily understood, but sheer encouragement. He was for long my only audience. Only from him did I ever get the idea that my ‘stuff’ could be more than a private hobby. But for his interest and unceasing eagerness for more I should never have brought The L. of the R. to a conclusion…
Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien #276, to Dick Plotz, 12 September 1965
In honour of the Edain Party’s Narnia AU, Tolkien on Lewis.
“Still, I wonder if we shall ever be put into songs or tales. We’re in one, of course; but I mean: put into words, you know, told by the fireside, or read out loud of a great big book with red and black letters, years and years afterwards. And people will say: ‘Let’s hear about Frodo and the Ring’ and they’ll say 'Oh yes, that’s one of my favorite stories.”
AO3 tag wranglers have changed the character tags for all the Noldorin characters. For instance, this means that Maedhros is now tagged as Maedhros | Maitimo. The tag for the most popular pairing is now Fingon | Findekáno/Maedhros | Maitimo.
If you are unhappy with this change, please let Support know how you feel. I personally find the changes unwieldy and highly unwelcoming to newer fans who are not familiar with the Quenya versions of character names. Autocomplete only does so much! You can reach AO3 support here. Indicate that your feedback is regarding tags, then indicate the fandom, The Silmarillion and other histories of Middle-earth - J. R. R. Tolkien in the required brief summary box.
While a customized complaint is always best, I have written up a form letter which you can copy and paste if needed. If you do send a complaint, please do it from your logged in AO3 account so that Support will know how many people are negatively affected by this change.
Hi, I’m [username.] Recently, many of the character tags for The Silmarillion and other histories of Middle-earth - J. R. R. Tolkien were changed to include two different forms of the character name. For example, the ‘Maedhros’ character tag is now ‘Maedhros | Maitimo.’ The first part of this tag uses the in-universe language of Sindarin, and the second uses the in-universe language of Quenya. In the published version of The Silmarillion, only the Sindarin names are used, and have been standard in fandom for many years. AO3 has relied on Sindarin names alone for tagging prior to this change, and many fans are only familiar with the Sindarin names. The Quenya names are only found in a few sources which are not widely read, and any fans familiar with the Quenya names would also be fully aware of the Sindarin names. Please reverse this change so that AO3 remains an inclusive database for all fans.