tolkien estate

Middle Earth Real Estate

I decided to list the best real estate in Middle Earth and the best places to live in order from 1 to 10. (This is only from the era of The Hobbit through The Lord of the Rings.)

1. Lothlórien! This is the place I would move to right away and where I would live forever. It is a place of beauty and wisdom where Elves are both wise and brave. 

2. The Grey Havens! This is a city full of memory and of sadness and hope. The sea would call but this is a great place for those who cannot decide if they want to actually leave Middle Earth. 

3. Thranduil’s Halls! There would never be a dull moment here among these dangerous Elves who shoot first and ask questions later as they party. I would not recommend living here for the faint of heart. 

4. Rivendell (Imladris)! This is a place of beauty and of rest. Known as the Last Homely House, Imladris is a place for peace and finishing good books. You might get bored after a few thousand years here though.

5. Rohan! If the horse people accept you into their hearts, there you will stay. You will not find a more hardy and hale group of humans elsewhere in Middle Earth. 

6. Erebor! The Dwarves may have fought dearly for this home, but gold and laughter have filled its halls since. If you wish to live among the Dwarves, I would highly recommend this place as there is little chance of you dying from Balrogs. 

7. Gondor! Gondor stands almost as proud and tall as it used to be. Sure you might end up trapped in a city while Mordor bangs on your walls, but at least you are guarding the memories of an ancient civilization. 

8. The Shire! The reason why it is not higher up on this list of most wanted real estate is for the fact that you must be a Hobbit to live here without difficulty. All the houses are built for those who around 3.5 feet tall. If you love gardens, parties, and pipeweed, this is the place to be!

9. Ithilien! This would be a lovely place to live if only it were not for the dozens of Haradrim continuously passing through. However, if you like the more Robin Hood type of lifestyle, this is the place for you. 

10. Dwarrowdelf (Moria)! This used to be a cool city but serious renovation is required to live here now. Basically, you have to rebuild a stairwell that leads to the outside world, remove all the dead bodies, and drive out the thousands of Orcs and Goblins that now live here. Fortunately, the Balrog is now gone so one less thing on your to-do list. If you can do all that, Dwarrowdelf is a stunning underground city that you would love to call home. 

There are many other places to live in Middle Earth as well. Where would you want to call home?

anonymous asked:

Who owns the languages in lotr? I think it was in the art of language invention you mentioned that you couldn't use it in the book. Do the publishers or lotr own them or what? I just assumed that they would be in the public domain by now

The legal status of any conlang—whether just created or created fifty years ago—is in limbo. No one knows the answer. The problem is Penguin told me I had to get permission from everyone whose conlangs I used, and I knew there was no chance in Hell I’d get permission from Tolkien’s estate, because I’ve heard nothing but bad things about them. They’re extremely litigious. And even if I end up being in the right, why would I bother expending the effort to include Tolkien’s languages when they weren’t even relevant?

(Yeah, AoLI reviewers complaining that there isn’t enough talk of Tolkien in my book, I see you. The book is about how to invent a language; it’s not a history book—or even a survey of conlangs. That’s like asking why there isn’t anything about the life and legacy of Les Paul in a book on how to play the guitar. lrn2read)

girion-lord-in-dale-deactivated  asked:

first of all I just want to thank you for running the greatest tumblr blog of all time and for answering all of the questions I didn't realize I had even after I read the books. I know that due to Chris Tolkien despising the movies that more film rights to any other Tolkien books will be sold anytime soon, but what about after he dies? Not all Tolkien's hate the films (like Royd) what would happen if the rights fell into his hands?

Generally, I really don’t know. Part of the problem is that I really have no idea what the future of the Tolkien Estate is after Christopher Tolkien dies - I couldn’t find any really “official” sources for its Board of Directors, so I’m even kind of shaky about who is currently on the board (I know for sure that Christopher Tolkien, his wife Baillie, and George Michael Tolkien are on it, but only some sources also include Priscilla Tolkien or Simon Tolkien.) And I don’t know who would be most likely to join the board after Christopher Tolkien (my experience with “family business”-type situations tells me that such decisions are always complicated and usually personal, so it’s unlikely anyone outside the family could make any accurate guess about that.)

The other part of the problem is that the Tolkien’s relationship with the movies is also quite complicated. While some of them have made their feelings (positive or negative) publicly known, most have kept quiet as far as I can tell. And it’s not just a matter of whether or not they like the movies, or agree with their interpretation of JRR Tolkien’s books. The Tolkien Estate has had a rocky relationship with Warner Bros (and by “rocky” I mean a string of lawsuits and counter-lawsuits concerning breach of contract and, ultimately, money money money.) So even the ones who like the movies might, in the end, decide that they don’t want to sell any more movie rights because of these legal/financial concerns.

And, just because I love visual aids, here’s a simple Tolkien Family Tree. Dotted lines represent marriages, solid lines represent parentage. Boxes outlined in gold are those family members who are (or might be) actually on the Tolkien Estate board. Red boxes are definitely anti-movies, blue boxes are definitely pro-movies (at least as far as a few Google searches could tell me.)

JRR Tolkien’s Estate Tries To Stop Novel About Him

The estate of JRR Tolkien is embroiled in a fierce legal battle over an American novel that uses the author of The Lord of the Rings as a central character.

The dispute comes only months after Tolkien’s heirs settled a multimillion-pound lawsuit over royalties from the Lord of the Rings films. Tolkien’s family claimed that the New Line studio behind the $3bn-grossing trilogy failed to pass on any money to the estate, showing “insatiable greed”.

Now the estate, registered in Oxford, where Tolkien was a university professor, is demanding the destruction of all copies of Steve Hillard’s Mirkwood: A Novel About JRR Tolkien. The 450-page work recounts a young woman’s quest to find her grandfather after discovering documents given to him by Tolkien. The estate is demanding an immediate halt to further sales, and threatens legal action to obtain damages.

In a letter to Hillard, the estate’s lawyers, Manches, said: “At no time have our clients granted permission to use the name and personality of JRR Tolkien in the novel, nor would they in any foreseeable circumstances.” It claims “unlawful commercial advantage” has been taken of the estate’s “valuable rights”, and argues that Hillard’s book “trivialises the name, personality and reputation of the late professor”.

Hillard admits to using a quote from a published Tolkien letter, but says other conversations are imaginary and that he has produced a respectful portrait. He also claims that the author of The Hobbit, who died in 1973, would have been on his side in the argument. “His stories were unearthed from his research,” said Hillard. “He would be somewhat concerned about attempts to stifle works that borrow from history.”

Intellectual property rights and the powers of an estate to control names and reputations are now set to be challenged in the US courts. Hillard is in turn suing the Tolkien estate in what looks set to be a test case. In his lawsuit, filed in a Texas district court, Hillard argues that the novel is one of “innumerous fictional works that contain fictional accounts involving real people”.

He cites Joyce Carol Oates’s Blonde, which features Marilyn Monroe; Michael Cunningham’s The Hours, with Virginia Woolf; and Don DeLillo’s Underworld, in which Frank Sinatra appears.

Hillard, 62, from Austin, Texas, said: “Imagine if you couldn’t use Winston Churchill as a character in a book about the second world war. How many movies have used a fictional treatment of Churchill? The implications of this assertion by the estate would be that you couldn’t do that.”

His lawyer, Daniel Scardino, said: “Just imagine a world where you can’t talk about celebrities, where you can’t put celebrities in works of authorship, whether fiction, non-fiction, literary criticism or otherwise, where somehow their celebrity status insulates them from criticism … That’s the real concern.” The estate’s demands were “wholly without legal basis”, he added

Hillard’s legal papers state that Mirkwood “has not in any way … violated the rights of the estate under UK or US law”, and that “Hillard is within his rights to author a fictional novel with a celebrity as a character”.

Mirkwood is Hillard’s first novel. He self-published it and Amazon has been selling it worldwide since January. About 900 copies have been sold. In his day job, he heads a private equity fund assisting minority groups and women in the acquisition and running of radio and TV companies. Having studied philosophy and law he has studied Tolkien over two decades, inspired by his two daughters’ love of Tolkien’s classics.

According to the book’s jacket: “Mirkwood reinvents JRR Tolkien as a man haunted by the very myths he rewove into his famous works … In 1970, [he] sets in motion elvish powers embodied in a cache of archaic documents.”

The estate claims that the book jacket’s design – a tree illuminated by rays of light above three figures – is “strikingly similar” to Tolkien publications.

The Tolkien estate is headed by the author’s son, Christopher, as literary executor. Its lawyer, Steven Maier, said: “I can’t comment on the present case in too much detail … However, the Tolkien estate will always take action to protect its intellectual property rights.

"The estate understands that there is a balance … between freedom of expression and the protection of legal interests… This particular use of Tolkien’s name has crossed the line of what is fair.”

So, what are your thoughts on that?

Tolkien Estate sues Warner Bros and Saul Zaentz Company for unauthorised merchandising

In an $80 million lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, the Tolkien estate and its book publisher HarperCollins claim Warner Bros., its New Line subsidiary and Rings/Hobbit rightsholder Saul Zaentz Co. have infringed the copyright in the famous books and breached a contract. The crux of the suit is the estate’s contention that a decades-old rights agreement entitles the studio to create only “tangible” merchandise based on the books, not an “online slot machine” or other digital exploitations that the estate calls highly offensive.

“The original contracting parties thus contemplated a limited grant of the right to sell consumer products of the type regularly merchandised at the time (such as figurines, tableware, stationery items, clothing and the like,” the complaint states. “They did not include any grant of exploitations such as electronic or digital rights, rights in media yet to be devised or other intangibles such as rights in services.”

Hence, the Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring: Online Slot Game, which the estate claims it learned about via a spam e-mail to its atttorney in Sept. 2010, caused it to investigate the scope of its rights agreement. The estate says it then learned that Warner Bros. is planning traditional slot machines with Rings characters, as well as other products outside the limited scope of its original rights deal.

About time too I say. The way Warner Bros have put Lord of the Rings on anything that stay still long enough in the past couple of years has been awful. I can only hope slot machines have been a gamble too far for them. I strongly believe the estate has a case.

The way Saul Zaentz Company has behaved, with its land grab of trademark filings and its bullying lawyers, is even worse. Orcs through and through.

I’ll be watching this one with interest. The full lawsuit filing is here

anonymous asked:

When would Tolkien's work be in the public domain? Has there been any interest on the part of the estate to allow any writer to write any sort of sequels etc. with the estate's permission, as there clearly would be an audience for more Tolkienana. Or have there been any writings that the estate has suppressed for not having a write to publish?

I think the Tolkien Estate is pretty strongly against anybody else writing in Tolkien’s world. I don’t have specific examples, but I’m pretty sure they’ve suppressed a few unauthorized sequels (or at least argued against them.)

Now, as for the public domain: Actually, Lord of the Rings was technically in the public domain in the US from 1965-1996, due to a failure to comply with manufacturing restrictions (more details in this article, if interested). But as for entering the public domain for good, that depends largely on the country. A few google searches have told me this:

  • In the US, Tolkien’s works will enter the public domain 95 years after they were published. So, 2032 for The Hobbit, and 2050 for LotR?
  • In the UK and other “life+70” countries, Tolkien’s works will enter the public domain 70 years after his death. So, 2043?
  • In Canada and other “life+50” countries, Tolkien’s works will enter the public domain 50 years after his death. So, 2023?
  • There’s also a chance that any of these laws could be changed, and the dates pushed further into the future, just a heads up.

Notice that I am not sure about any of this, as I literally just did about a dozen google searches on copyright laws. If you’re knowledgable in this area, and noticed a mistake, please let me know!

Movie Adaptations of Smaller Tolkien Works

As far as I know, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were the only stories whose rights have been sold to anyone outside of the Tolkien Estate. So, unless I missed something, Tolkien’s other stories (like Farmer Giles of Ham or The Adventures of Tom Bombadil) fall under the same category as The Silmarillion in terms of the likelihood of a movie adaptation (see this post, and this one too, for more information on that.)

However, I think that these shorter stories have a better chance at getting adapted than the Silmarillion, mainly because they’d be easier to adapt, and Christopher Tolkien might not feel quite so protective of them as he does the Silmarillion. But that’s just my opinion.