tolkien estate

Unpopular opinion I know but I wish the Tolkien Estate would lighten up about the films. The films made a huge impact on my life and it saddens me that the Estate’s attitude towards them is preventing more Tolkien adaptations from being made. The Harry Potter films (while I love them) are considerably worse adaptations when compared to the Jackson films, JK Rowling knew they would not be perfect yet understood that they would not tarnish the original books. I wish the Estate had a similar view.

anonymous asked:

ok so I read through the wikipedia summary for shadow of mordor, since I'm weak for everything involving celebrimbor and knew the general premise from fandom osmosis, and it just sounds... so weird? Like okay, possessed by a wraith, knew that already, Celebrimbor with memory loss, fun, but then we get into like... '"bright lord of mordor'" "celebrimbor's wife and child'' and like. what. this sounds so strange

Look, I think you have to accept that Shadow of Mordor is essentially a professionally made fanfiction piece. The creators took the general concept of Celebrimbor’s Second Age storyline and thought ‘hey, this is alright, but what if we could add to it - make it more complex, twist it in some different directions, avoid an intellectual property dispute with the Tolkien estate, etc.’ They have made choices regarding their portrayal of Celebrimbor, and they have stuck to their guns. Essentially, they have crafted an in-universe alternative timeline to fill in their vision of the rough details about Celebrimbor that Tolkien had left scattered through The Lord of the Rings Appendices, The Silmarillion and the Unfinished Tales. And as with every AU piece of fanfiction, there are going to be lovers and haters of it. Either you think it’s fun, or you don’t, or you’re just kind of ambivalent about it, like me. 

Personally, I don’t care much either way for the tweaks they’ve made to Celebrimbor’s timeline - they’re fine. I don’t love them, but they certainly don’t get in the way of my enjoyment of the game. Besides, the main protagonist of the game is Talion, and I found his story to be of much greater focus and interest than a few flashbacks to an elf-lord whose canon I already know. So… I don’t really know what to tell you. They are very minor components of a very fun game, and I’m not rabidly purist enough to let it ruin my liking of the only truly new piece of LotR/Tolkien media in years! I know that view is not shared by all, but there you have it.   

LOTR: Trick or Treat

Disclaimer: All characters are copyrighted to their respective owners and I do not have any affiliation or hold any ownership rights with Middle-earth Enterprises (The Tolkien Estate),  The Saul Zaentz Company, Warner Brothers and Time Line Cinema. No profit is being made.

Author’s Note: For @sdavid09‘s “What If” challenge prompt: What if Haldir and Legolas teamed up to prank Gimli?. 

PG-Rated. No warning except drunkenness and unruly behavior.

Main Characters: Legolas, Haldir, and Gimli

Trick or Treat

by MoonofMorrigan

For @sdavid09

Lorien’s leaves shimmered about them, and Legolas was in a melancholy state. He sat at the base of a grand tree, and thought over the events since they had left Rivendell. Gandalf was dead, and the quest was as the Lady said hanging upon the edge of a knife. What could be done about it? He had no answers. He wanted his heart to have some cheer. But what cheer could be had. The lament for Gandalf was sung around him. He had seen The Ringbearer leave, following Galadriel. No doubt to look into her famed water mirror.

The snoring in the sleeping area where Gimli was had stopped a couple of minutes ago and he had since been declaring that he there was no way he would be caught off his guard again. Legolas liked the dwarf, but sometimes that misguided bragging about his prowess was a bit agitating. Legolas snickered and tried not to laugh outright when Gimli just then noticed The Ringbearer was gone, and was starting to panic.

When the dwarf began to raise his voice so much that Legolas knew he would wake up the hobbits, and the men, he called out to him from across the way, “Gimli! Be calm!” He stood and made his way to the dwarf.

“Calm? Frodo is gone!” Gimli worried.

“What is this dwarf babbling about now?” They heard a voice say from a hill above them. It was Haldir. He made his way down the hill and  stood next to Legolas.

Gimli gave Haldir a contemptous look. Then exclaimed, “The ringbearer is gone and this pointy earred princling thinks I should calm down!”

Haldir exchanged an exasperated glance with Legolas, then clarified with a look of irritation, “He is with my lady Galadriel.” Legolas and Haldir would have laughed at the look that crossed the dwarf’s features at the Lady of Light’s name had it not been over something so ridiculous.

After all, if Frodo had been in danger did Gimli really believe that Legolas and the Galadrium would just sit around and let it happen?

Gimli let the subject drop with an “Oh” and then asked, “Is there anything to eat and drink in this place besides food fit for deer and drink only the trees will want?”

Haldir’s eyebrow lifted at that, and Legolas pursed his lips trying to avoid telling the dwarf to mind his manners.

“Of course.” Haldir replied through a tight smile.

Haldir turned to leave and Legolas, after giving Gimli a sharp look, followed him. Haldir stopped and let him catch up.

“How do you even cope?” Haldir commented with visible agitation. They began to walk again and made their way to the area where food was prepared.

Legolas swallowed and decided to go mid-ground. “He isn’t all that bad. To be honest he reminds me of a very gritty version of my father.”

Haldir let out a bark of laughter at that. “That creature! Your father has more class than that. Definitely a better taste in clothes.”

Legolas gave him a swift nod of acknowledgement before he said, “The clothes yes, and in speech yes. But the temper and the pride, trust me it’s very much the same.”

Haldir laughed again. “Well, in that case what would your father do?”

Legolas cocked his head to the side and smirked, “Drink a whole barrel of wine and eat himself full probably. Then complain of a headache in the morning just before he ravishes my mother for two hours straight.”

“How do you know your father beds your mother that long?”

“They are not exactly quiet.” Legolas said with a knowing smile.

Haldir nodded and having pointed out what should go on the plate. Lembas, some rice and various other things, he then turned his attention to the drink.

“Well, if that is what your father does to get into a better spirit then we must try it with your travel companion. Though I can honestly say I do not think any of our maidens or matrons will desire to be ravished by a dwarf.” Haldir said as he poured the mug half full and began to reach for the water to dilute it.

Legolas smirked. An idea had come to him that could get Gimli singing happily in a drunken daze and without draining the supply of the local wine. Plus it would be a good joke to be had in the morning that the dwarf had not been able to hold his own with Elvish wine.

“Leave it be Haldir. Give it to him just is.”

“What?!” Haldir asked in surprise then cocked his head to the side as he listened to Legolas reasons.

“You’re either very cruel or very gifted.” Haldir replied and filled the goblet full of wine, then filled a nearby wine pitcher with the undiluted wine.

They made their way back and handed the plate to the grimace of the dwarf. He downed the food in record time nonetheless, and then reached for the wine. The two elves did their best to not smirk. The dwarf took a small sip and then held it away. “Your food is something to be desired, but your wine the highest marks!”

The elves nodded and sat down across from him on an uprooted tree root. The dwarf downed the goblet in a few gulps and then blinked his eyes. The alcohol was already starting to get to him.

“More?” Haldir offered holding the pitcher aloft.

“Aye.” Gimli held his goblet out to be filled. “Yer wines must have been sitting for a long while to gather this strength.”
When the goblet was full again, Gimli turned it up to his lips and began downing it, albeit more slowly. Afterwards he let out a loud belch, and tried to stand.

“More?” Haldir asked holding the pitcher out to him.

Gimli shook his head and approached the two, and stood swaying slightly, “Normally I would say aye. But no… I think I need to go over here and have a conversation with this fellow.”

The two looked over to where Gimli was staring with a stern expression. All that was there was a tree trunk and some branches that hung low. “Which fellow would that be sir?” Haldir asked with an amused smile.

“That one right there. Standing there swaying and making unfriendly gestures with his hands at me, he is.” Gimli said and started over to the offending area. Legolas snorted and got up intending to guide Gimli back and to his bed to sleep it off. However Gimli had already managed to make it to the tree trunk and was very heatedly throwing threats and insults at it.

Haldir stayed where he was for a moment laughing at the statements the dwarf was making, from the “I’ll show ye who can cross his eyes like that!” to “Yer hands are going to be pencils if ya don’t stop yer insults!” followed by “Got nothing to say huh? Or are ya just that cocky? I’ll show ya!” He then stood and sprinted up to the two as Legolas stood behind the dwarf as he continued to spout off and both stopped him just before he threw a punch at the tree trunk.

“I think it is time for bed!” Legolas declared, and the two had to literally drag a wriggling and squirming dwarf back to the bed area. Aragorn had awakened along with Pippin who stood back watching. Aragorn was shaking his head with a hand over his mouth to keep from laughing and Pippin who had not really known what was going on looked confused.

Pippin came over and helped tuck Gimli in who was still declaring he was going to ‘fight that bastard til he dropped a bloody mess’. Then all broke out in laughter, surprise when Gimli grabbed Pippin by the nape of the neck, declared with a smile, “You’re a pretty lass!” and planted a big, wet kiss on Pippin’s lips. Pippin pulled back shocked and with that Gimli laughed and fell asleep.

With scrunched up eyes Haldir fetched a wet cloth for Pippin who was frantically wiping his mouth off and asked “What on earth was wrong with Gimli.”

“Just a little food.” Legolas commented.

“And a whole lot of undiluted wine.” Haldir smirked and exchanged a look with Legolas.

“Well, I never want to be around when he does that again. His breath tastes like berry flavored chalk and leaves.” Pippin said and went over to Aragorn who gave him a look of mirth.

“I wonder where he got the undiluted wine from.” Aragorn said with raised eyebrows. Legolas gave him an innocent look. He merely nodded, and sat back down from where he had been standing the doorway to Gimli’s sleeping area. “I would have liked to see how far he would have gotten in that contest with that tree though.” Aragorn commented with a snicker.

Haldir and Legolas exchanged looks.

“Come to think of it, I would have to.” Haldir commented and strode off back into the forest throwing a hand up saying goodnight.

“You’re in charge of hangover Gimli tomorrow Legolas.” Aragorn replied as he caught the amused look on Legolas face.

Legolas rolled his eyes. Of course. “Should we tell him about it, you think?” Legolas asked in a whisper before Aragorn went back to lay down.

“Not right away. But I understand we’ll be taking boats. It should be an amusing conversation topic for the two of you out on open water.” Aragorn said and sat down on his bed and lay down.

Legolas shook his head, “Well, I am a good swimmer at least.”

Addition Author’s Note: A note about why two filled goblets of wine could intoxicate Gimli so: Back in the days when people kept their wine in beeswax lined pitchers and vases and barrels, the wine was stronger. It was 100% proof. People would generally dilute it and their ales with water, and when sugar was available add it. Hence, Legolas and Haldir are giving Gimli 100% proof wine here, and is why it made him so drunk so fast. (Don’t ask me why I am such a wealth of useless facts like this. lol)

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?

my TBB fic is turning into “I want Thranduil to be der erlkoenig and there’s nothing you can do to stop me”

theres not even a plot or a romance or anything it’s just “spooky erlking and spooky woods and spooky mythology where is your god now Tolkien estate”

((Basically, back when the fellowship of the ring was first published, an american printing company asked Tolkien if they could publish his book. He said no because he never wanted his books to be published in paperback format, which was the only type the company made, but they did it anyway. This is known as the Ace edition, after the company. Tolkien threatened legal action, but international copyright laws had not yet come to America so he couldn’t really do anything. Although, Tolkien said once that he liked the cover art for the ace edition better then the later authorized ballentine paperback edition. Additionally, the ace editions contain a ton of print errors and just straight out messed up sentences. Every single copy of the lord of the rings trilogy after the ace editions talks about the copyright issues and makes a statement that the book was approved by Tolkien himself. (Later editions of course are approved by the Tolkien estate.)
The whole trilogy exists in ace editions, with only 100,000 copies of the fellowship of the ring printed. Ive heard stories about ace book burnings, but i dont know how true they are.
Anyways, that’s the story of the pirated ace books. For reference, I was lucky enough to find mine at a local goodwill at the normal used paperback price of $1.99, which is quite the price compared to its original of $.75.))


I just got a message on Facebook about my book. They wanted to know about The Kingdom of the Woodland Realm Trilogy. They wanted to read about their favorite character Thranduil. I explained it to them and sent the Tumblr links. They told me they sent a message to the TOLKIEN ESTATE asking about this book as a new Middle Earth Novel, @fortunatelyclevercandy ….the actual Tolkien Estate…😳😳😳

Originally posted by imaginepace

worldflower  asked:

If you're still taking theories how about Elves don't exist in Middle Earth. Elves have never existed in Middle Earth

Okay guys, I might lose some followers over this but time for a conspiracy theory. I know Tolkien claims that he translated the Red Book of Westermarch into modern English and, yes, we all respect him for the great scholar and linguist that he was. And I know that the idea that a single person could just ‘make up’ such a rich history, plus multiple languages is patently absurd. What man would dedicate his entire life - and that of his son! - to such an elaborate, pointless hoax?

I think J.R.R. Tolkien was that man.

Do we have any evidence at all, from a source other than the Tolkien family, that the Eldar existed? We have sketchy myths and legends describing elves but the same is true of zombies and mermaids, and few of the mentions we do have don’t align with Tolkien’s descriptions. No archaeological finds, no reliable encounters with living elves that eschewed Valinor, nothing beyond his word. Has anyone even seen this supposed Red Book? Tolkien, as a scholar, would have been well familiar with the Red Book of Hergest, a collection of ancient Welsh poetry and lore, and I would bet that that was his inspiration for the fraud - it’s not even that subtle! 

So why would he do it? I imagine, in part, it was scholarly interest - surely he would not have put in the sheer amount of work that he did otherwise! But there is a less innocent motivation too. Do you know how much money the Tolkien estate has reaped from its ‘translations’ over the years? The legacy of the estate was estimated to be more than £10 million in book sales in Britain alone in 2001, closer to £50 million worldwide. 

J.R.R Tolkien was a liar and elves aren’t real. 

There. I said it. Come at me.

Okay, so Asoiaf puts so much importance on people’s names. The series harps on about this point again and again and again—we see it with Sansa, with Arya, with Theon and Asha and Brienne and Jaime and Cersei and… You get the point. Names have power; names are power. To be stripped of your name is to be stripped of your identity, of a piece of your soul, and to hold onto you name in secret (as Sansa and, less successfully as regards to the ‘secret’ thing, Arya) means still having a grasp on your identity. Another theme in Asoiaf is the importance of peoples’ lives. Everyone’s life has some intrinsic value, no matter what they’ve done with it, and there is nothing that can take that away because everyone has this value.

But for years, GRRM couldn’t be bothered to give a name to Ned Stark’s mother. She’s the mother of Ned and his siblings, the grandmother of their children and grandmother to four of the main characters, Sansa, Jon, Bran and Arya. But we know nothing about her. The kind of relationship she had with her children could provide great insight into both her and them; we know nothing. The point in the timeline at which she died could provide great insight into why her children developed the way they did; we know nothing. Just knowing what house she originally came from, what her name was, could provide insight into what kind of life she led at Winterfell; we know nothing, GRRM.

A fan asks GRRM what Ned’s mother’s name was. He replies “Lady Stark. She died.”

Which is remarkably tone deaf, all things considered.

Fans pester GRRM about Ned’s mother, and he makes this comment which, coming from someone who has claimed to be a big Tolkien fan, is just bewildering in its ignorance, wondering in irritation if people ever wrote Tolkien letters about who Aragorn’s mother was. Well, no, GRRM, they didn’t, because they didn’t have to. Tolkien told us plenty about Aragorn’s mother, whose name is Gilraen, by the way. In fact, Tolkien told us so much about both of Aragorn’s parents, unprompted, that the fans were able to make a film about them, though the Tolkien estate put a stop to that. But I digress.

Anyways, the fans pester GRRM some more, and he finally tells us what Ned’s mother’s name was: Lyarra Stark, and she was by birth a member of House Stark (her father being a Stark and her mother a Flint), being Rickard Stark’s first cousin once removed. And pretty much nothing else.

Meanwhile, we have the as of yet still unnamed previous Ruling Princess of Dorne. Mother to Doran, Elia and Oberyn, grandmother to a slew of grandchildren. Besides the same arguments I make with Lyarra, that she undoubtedly had an impact on her children and grandchildren (if she lived long enough to meet any of them, and who knows if she did?), and that her life and death have value in and of themselves. This Princess of Dorne is one of the few women we know of in the canon who ruled lands in her own name, successfully and uncontested, and one of the very few women we know of who did this in recent memory. Already, she is a unique, interesting character who we would definitely like to know more about, because she led what is by Westerosi standards an unusual life, and her actions must certainly have had some kind of impact on the political climate of Westeros.

And yet, we know next to nothing about her, and we don’t know her name. Oh, we know more about this Princess than we do about Lyarra, certainly, but the fact that we don’t know her name is rather glaring. It’s hard to record someone’s history when you don’t know their name.

Names are important. Names have value. People’s lives have value. These are the messages told to us repeatedly in these books. But such messages are inevitably undercut by the author himself expressing confusion that anyone could be curious about the names and lives of certain of his characters, because it reminds us that even if we are supposed to view names and lives as valuable, the author doesn’t view all of his characters as equally worth a history. Some of these characters are people, and some of them are just plot devices, names on a genealogical chart, walking incubators for their more interesting children, even when they have the potential to be much more than that. That’s the sort of thing that really takes you out of the novel. It’s the sort of thing that can ruin your reading experience, when you are so starkly reminded that certain characters are less valued than others.

Screw water–give me Vodka.

I’m getting invited to Facebook Pages about Thranduil. I wonder if it’s going to be a competition to see who gets the most activity from the King? Not that it bothers me but you don’t see anyone from my immediate family being remotely helpful. Oh, my stepmother “let my Dad” buy me a new computer because he wouldn’t shut up about it–not because they have any idea what the heck I’ve been doing for that past 21 months.

Facebook keeps sending me messages about promotion–oh, like I really need to have more attention–the Tolkien Estate isn’t enough: why not send alerts to Peter Jackson’s Official Facebook Page–he really needs to know what I’m doing so he can beat the studio in London to the punch. The only thing keeping that from happening is the studio in London is dealing with Weinstein.

Everyone is waiting for the release date of Book II: The Saga of Thranduil–Extended Version in December and I haven’t even decided how long it will be available for download yet–oh, wait: 

December 22-26, 2017. I’m such a mess I didn’t even know that…

I have no idea who the secret person or persons on Twitter are, and at this point, I don’t care. I hope it is Lee Pace–I need to hide out in his barn for sanctuary so I can finish this book before I wake up to find a news truck outside my house–oh, right, I forgot–we can’t have the two Thranduils in the same place. All hell would break loose. Can’t have our iPhones and hats within a 10 yard radius of each other; that would be scandalous

Oh look, Trump did something stupid (again)–I get to have time to myself for another 24-48 hour news cycle so I can finish this chapter and post something before Friday.

…The “Aran” is having a moment…

…go do something…

…The king is going back to work–I’m done here…

angelikamariepickles  asked:

So I recently learned that hobbits are a real thing. BBC has an article on their site-"Why are we the only human species still alive?"-that says our species of human appeared 200,000 yrs ago & there were other human species around at the time, including hobbits. So when we talk about early human history, does that also include hobbit history? If I go to a museum & they have a scrap of paper that's 100,000 years old, is that strictly from a homo sapien, or do all hominins count as early humans?






I was all but ready to say something rather funny until I got a mention on Twitter from someone that I was suggested to follow. I had forgotten I hit the follow button–mostly because today has been extraordinarily busy. When I posted about writing Thranduil, several websites were going all at once–I even had a hit on Reddit. But this person I had followed (and forgot) was a book editor from Australia. Normally, I get a message in my mailbox but he decided to say something direct on my page hours after I had followed him.

“All the best with your fantasy series. Best Wishes for the Holiday Season.” I was caught off guard again. I have had an upset stomach for about a week I don’t know why and a headache this morning but was still working on an excerpt (another hard one) and all the horrible news mixed in with some good news, I was feeling rather stoic and empty until I read that.

There are times I can get so lost in writing, I forget what I am doing from the outside point of view. I forgot that another author asked people to post what writing accomplishments they made this year and I said I reached 500 pages, but I was more proud of learning what NaNoWriMo meant.

For what most people would find ridiculous, I take seriously. Like deciding who to send to the funerals of Dáin II Ironfoot of Erebor and King Brand of Dale because I can’t leave the throne of Mirkwood unattended.

It hasn’t been a year for me, it has been 3000 years. I have created a world within a world and both are tied to one another yet are profoundly different I know some find it hard to believe I could have done this in a year. With each of the four elves that will tell their story, there is a whole world everyone knows but has never seen. Since the first words, I couldn’t tell this story in any other way than through Thranduil’s eyes. To see the Battle of the Five Armies from Thranduil’s point of view I think is the best, though, some say it was the Battle of Dagorlad during the War of the Last Alliance.

I tend to get lost in this world–I don’t apologize for it, but I forget the outside world and those reading my world. I nearly forgot what task I was undertaking until an author pointed it out. 61years it has been since The Lord of the Rings. To write a new ME novel would be a history making event–especially if the Tolkien Estate approves it. I don’t think about it. I think about the story–as I should. But when someone says something like this man tonight, I am brought back into the reality of it all.

I don’t like to think about it. They never forget to remind me of what it means to do this. To be called an Inkling (an honor bestowed on men writers in Tolkien’s day) or being thought of as the next generation of that legacy is something I don’t like to think about. I don’t like to think of myself as anything more than just a writer doing what I love.

If I succeed, I will have more enemies than friends. I know there are people that already don’t like me. How could a little girl outside of England write 500 pages of a story about the most elusive of Tolkien’s characters that takes place in Tolkien’s Middle-Earth in a year? Unlike the Fellowship, I have no one by my side talk to. It’s a lonely place to be.

I’m not special or anything. I just wanted to do something for my dad to show him I could do something while he was alive that he could be proud of. I chose to keep it close to Tolkien because I felt it was the right thing to do. I didn’t write it to be popular, I wanted it to be right. I didn’t expect more than one or two readers. In a sea of fan fictions about Thranduil, I thought I’d only have a handful because I thought I was writing something boring because I didn’t put any modern things in it. No gratuitous violence or explicit sex. I learned Tolkien’s languages on his terms. Today, I don’t have a handful of readers.

@bellevox, @leepacesweetfantasy, @elven-nicknacks, @babschwi, @earrinde-lancaeriel, @lasimo74allmyworld, @storytimeteller1, @fortunatelyclevercandy, @peonies-and-poppies, @elvenprinces, @elvenrealm, @theothermegnolia, @mrseinsteingrooving, @indomitablemegnolia, @miresgaleth, @kelcipher, @emitis17, @kerstin1864, @glendathegoodone, @moonofmorrigan, I don’t have a handful of readers anymore. I just learned The Kingdom of the Woodland Realm Trilogy has a lot of them now…how to put this some of you don’t have a panic attack…

It has close to, uh…well…

Over 3000….and the founder of Scriggler put me on a list of Powerful Readers and I’m on a list called Must-Read Writers and someone on Pinterest put excerpts on a board called Books Worth Reading….I don’t know what to say. Thranduil has done it. He has broken through. He could actually be published…I need to lie down…

Good luck with that. Well, I guess Thranduil has a chance to do more than I thought. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. With that readership, Lee Pace might get interested. I wouldn’t hold my breath on that, but it could happen.😳 He did pick up a publisher on Instagram or something. I can’t keep up these days. I just got the attention of another publisher on Twitter. No where to run to, Baby. No where to hide. Thranduil is going somewhere. it’s only a matter of time.

help-me-im-a-cat  asked:

In my story my character is transported to a fantasy world and there she learns about magic. Coming from this world and being a gamer, she remarks that some of the magic is like Skyrim. But I said Skyr*m, do you think I'd get sued? Or is that okay?

Just using the term as a one off line would probably be De Minimis, though I’m not a Intellectual Property Rights attorney, so take this with a grain of salt or twenty.

There’s three parts to Intellectual Property Law; copyright, trademark, and patent. Copyright is the intellectual property law that protects what you create artistically. “I wrote/painted/created this piece of art, it is mine.” Trakemark protects what you sell, at market. “I’m selling this product, you don’t get to sell your own product while pretending to be me.” Patent is the protection of inventions and innovation. “I made this thing, it does something unique, it’s mine, you can’t take my work and leave me with nothing.” None of these work exactly that smoothly, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

Incidentally, censoring out a random vowel does nothing, legally. If you’re going to say “Skyrim,” then just say it. There’s two ways this can go, copyright or trademark.

It’s worth pointing out that, yes, you can be sued, even without naming your setting. Fair use is an “affirmative defense.” This is the legal equivalent of saying, “yes, I did what they’re accusing me of, but the law they’re using don’t apply because of this.”

In copyright, Fair Use is usually examined through four (five) tests. Is the work transformative? What is the nature of the original work? How much did you take? What effect does the alleged infringement on the market for the original work? And, sometimes, what is “the character” of your use?

The transformative test is basically asking if you’re simply lifting copyrighted material wholesale. For a work to be transformative, it needs to alter the copyrighted material in some way fundamentally alter the nature or context of it. The best example of this are reviews and critique, which will take a copyrighted work, and then discuss it in detail.

Historically, simply lifting characters or settings, and using them in your own material, without substantially reworking them is not transformative, and as a result is copyright infringement. So, if you land your character in The Land of Skyr!m, and do nothing to differentiate it from the Tamerilic province, that’s going to be infringement. If you have a vaguely viking themed setting, and your character from the outside world wanders in, looks at the architecture, mountains, or whatever, and says it “reminds them of Eastmarch in Skyrim,” that’s probably not going to be infringing.

The nature of the original work is tested to determine if there’s a compelling interest to protect it. This one’s actually fairly complex, but what it basically means is that copyright law is more protective of art than non-fiction.

The amount of the work taken tests to see, exactly that. Did you simply copy down the bulk of the copyrighted work. This gets a little more complex in that you can potentially take “the heart” of the work, in a fairly concise excerpt, and actually commit copyright infringement.

Amusingly enough, if Pride and Prejudice wasn’t in the public domain (meaning the copyright has expired) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies would be an excellent example of a situation where the work passes the transformative test, but completely fails the substantiality test, because it copies the entire text. Similarly, if I’m remembering correctly, most annotated texts face the same issue, even though they substantially expand the work’s context.

The effect of your work on the copyrighted work’s market is tested to determine if you’re actually harming the copyright. Either by not licensing the work, or by offering an alternative to the copyrighted work. If you’re playing a song at a commercial venue without paying the rightsholders, that’s infringement, because it should have been licensed, even if you’re not making money off of it. In cases where you’re providing an alternative to the original material, that’s still potentially infringing. The example above would be annotated works, where they function as an effective alternate option to reading the original material. A heavily cut down version of the text could also function as an alternative.

The example that comes to mind are film remixes, where an entire film is condensed into 10 to 15 minutes without fundamentally loosing the substance of the film. This is slightly different from taking the heart of the work, which, in theory, can be achieved by taking a single line or scene.

The final test, is the character of use, this is examining what you’re doing, in a larger sense. If you’re using excerpts of copyrighted material for educational purposes, then it is less likely you’ll be found infringing. Similarly, if you’re engaging in non-commercial use, such as fanfiction, then this is the test where it applies. It’s worth stressing, simply engaging in non-commercial use, does not automatically exempt you from copyright infringement.

So, that’s copyright. Simply using the name Skyrim, and saying, “yeah, this reminds me of Skyrim,” without actually attempting to copy or emulate the setting should be fine. Just like you can have character say they enjoyed watching Star Wars, or Star Trek. You can also, certainly, have characters talking about about copyrighted settings without an issue. The thing you can’t do is actually use those settings for your own work. (Again, remembering that fanfiction exists in a sort of legal limbo. Without a prior agreement from the rightsholders, it is technically infringement, but there’s no value to be had from litigating. Though that’s never stopped the Tolkien Estate from going after everyone that looked at them funny.)

Trademark also has its own fair use defense, and it operates under completely different rules. Again, it’s an affirmative defense, so it only comes into play after you’ve been sued, but it’s the same basic idea, “I did something that looks like infringement, but it’s not.” Also, fair warning, I’m a lot less versed in trademark law, so there’s probably going to be some errors here.

As mentioned above, Trademark law is primarily concerned with ensuring that brand confusion does not occur between two products. Fair use usually operates off the idea that you did use another company’s trademark, for the purposes of referencing their mark specifically.

That means you can’t sell products under that name, and you can’t claim to be endorsed by the trademark. You can still say something reminds your character of Skyrim, just like you can say they wanted McDonalds, a Coke, or any number of other consumer products. That’s not what Trademark is designed to prevent. What you can’t do is sell your book as Skyrim, or even as “a Skyrim story.” Not that it matters, but the part where you also wouldn’t be using the font from Skyrim’s logo is actually relevant to trademark fair use.

I’m actually conflating normative and traditional fair use in Trademark law. Strictly speaking, normative fair use is when you reference someone else’s mark, while traditional fair use is when you’re referencing your own product, and it could be mistaken for the registered trademark. So the tests are slightly different between these two situations.

Again, if you’re just having a character say that the world they’ve found themselves in reminds them of Skryim, that would be normative fair use. If you were trying to market your book under the name Skyrim, or the “a Skyrim story” mentioned above, then that would be traditional trademark infringement.


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