The Battles of Tolkien - David Day

The Battles Of Tolkien By David Day

The Battles of Tolkien was sent to me a couple of weeks back by Thunder Bay Press. I will say right up front that reviewing David Day’s book on The Battles of Tolkien has been a joy. Day is well known for his previous books on the literary works of J. R. R. Tolkien. Including Tolkien: the Illustrated Encyclopedia, Tolkien’s Ring, as well as The Hobbit Companion.

The subject of that last books is exactly how I was introduced to the works of Tolkien. All thanks to the 1977 Rankin and Bass animated adaptation in fact. The Hobbit was the perfect television special, it certainly helped to fuel my interest in fantasy. To say nothing of ingraining a love in me of all thing regarding Dwarves!

[Via] kierst love

Of course I would have to wait a couple of more years before I actually dived into the books of Tolkien. However thanks yet again to adaptations such as 1978’s The Lord of the Ring and 1980’s Return of the King. I at the very least had a basic understanding of the highlights of the books themselves.
The Battles of Tolkien - The Lord of the Rings Poster

Naturally my love for the tales of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings grew after I had the chance to read the actual books. I dived into them headfirst and spent a month of my youth reading them cover to cover. Although I would certainly have to wait quite a bit longer before tackling The Silmarillion.
The Battles of Tolkien

What author David Day has done with The Battles of Tolkien is create a companion book. A 256 page guide to the battles between the forces of light and darkness in the Middle-Earth. Exploring the real world history as well as other mythology that influenced his writing. Through the 37,000 years of Arda, the name the author chose to represent Earth in his works. You will learn of that tactics of the armies of Middle-Earth and of course the outcomes of those famous battles.
The Battles of Tolkien - The Battle of the Five Armies

I will add these are of course divided up into their proper ages. Beginning with the Valarian Age and through the First, Second, and Third Ages. In Day’s The Battle of Tolkien you will learn of The First War, The Battle of Unnumbered Tears, The War of Sauron and the Elves, and the Disaster at Gladden Fields. To name a few. In addition to the history that Day has included are an artist’s rendition of the maps to these epic battles.

The Battles of Tolkien - Comics Grinder

Image courtesy of Comics Grinder

Furthermore throughout the book are some incredible pieces of artwork from the most memorable moments in the Tolkien books. I realize it is rather odd to point out the beauty of the book itself. But in this case I must. The Battles of Tolkien is beautifully binded in a faux-leather cover. It is much a joy to hold as it was to read.

The Battles of Tolkien is the perfect gift for any fan of the author’s work. David Day presents the useful information plainly and clearly. I would add you don’t have to worry about it being stuffy or the like. It is available for purchase right this second by following the link to Thunder Bay Press or you can as well just head over to Amazon. It would certainly make a great Father’s Day gift!

In closing I should add that in it’s favor. The Battles of Tolkien doesn’t skimp on the battles of the majestic Dwarves!

For a little more fun with Tolkien’s The Hobbit you might want to check out This 1966 animated version by Gene Deitch!

Where's Barb

Have You Ordered Your Copy Of Stranger Things “Where’s Barb”?

Most fans of Netflix’s Stranger Things would naturally agree that Millie Bobby Brown was the breakout star. Her performance as Eleven certainly blew us fans away and that is fact. In addition however I will claim that Shannon Purser’s role of Barb is Stranger Things most memorable character.
Where's Barb

I would say that in addition to a great character, it was Purser’s bittersweet performance, that has garnered such fans. So much so that I am quite excited to announce that those geniuses at ThinkGeek have released a new book. Patterned after the global phenomenon of Where’s Waldo line of object-finding puzzle books. Where’s Barb? gives us a Stranger Thing’s twist!

Where's Barb

Where’s Barb? images courtesy of ThinkGeek.

Here is what ThinkGeek has to say about Where’s Barb?:
“The 1980s hold a lot of great childhood memories for us. It was a time when phones were still tethered to our wood-paneled walls. A time of Choose Your Own Adventure books. Of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Of Cabbage Patch Kids and Trivial Pursuit. And in the late 80s, we were introduced to a phenomenon known as “Where’s Waldo?”

It seems only right that a series which so effectively evoked the atmosphere of the 80s, Netflix’s Stranger Things, would team up with the creators of Where’s Waldo to produce this crossover, Where’s Barb? Search the little town of Hawkins for Barbara Holland. Maybe she’s studying with Nancy. Wait. Why’s her car a couple of blocks from Steve’s house? The police are pretty sure she just ran away. But is that her Trapper Keeper peeking out from under that bush? We promise searching for Barb will be hours of fun for the whole family!

I direct you to any of the ThinkGeek links if you too feel like ordering a copy of Where’s Barb?

Of course you crafty folks already know this is but an April Fool’s Day joke. However, this is ThinkGeek, so you can in fact hop on over and vote for it to become a real product. Not only that but also you might want to check out the Bicycle Horn of Gondor first…of course you can vote for both! In other words, share this with your friends so we can get Where’s Barb? actually made!

Lord of the Rings Trilogy on Blu-Ray

I read the Lord of the Rings books and grew up watching the Rankin Bass versions of the trilogy on worn out VHS. When I heard that Peter Jackson was doing the trilogy, I got my hopes up. I mean this guy seemed to respect the subject. I had no idea he would make something so wonderful. Is the film a perfect telling the Lord of the Rings? Not exactly, but it is more then any of geeks could have hoped for. I was very lucky to be working with a great group of people when the movies came out. The movies were such a big deal to them, that the company actually closed so that we could all go see the films together. How many workplaces have you worked at that have done that?

When the Lord of the Rings mania finally settled down (and I didn’t expect it to ever to). I went out and picked up the collectors editions extended DVDs even though I knew full well that eventually a higher definition version would come out. Let me tell you something about those extended versions of the movies. They are really interesting, but they are also exhausting. To me, brevity improved the trilogy, so when it was announced that Lord of the Rings was coming out on Blu-Ray and it would not be the extended version, I didn’t mind one bit. If this is a hang up you have. If you really need to log more time, then you might want to hold out because I am sure another version will eventually come out. But then you might as well for a 3D version or maybe a Smell-O-Visions version (what does Orc smell like?)

I decided to watch the films over the course of 3 nights, instead of a marathon. I wanted to enjoy each one and really get into the Tolkein world. I was not disappointed. The films are all in wonderful 1080p and I might not have the best sound in the world, but the audio was crisp and powerful. Oh and it was a good thing I didn’t try to marathon these films, because even though these might not be extended films, there is over 7 hours of of special features. Not counting the bonus disc with digital copies of the movies you get:

Disc 1

  • The Fellowship of the Ring Feature Edition
  • Trailers: “The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest” Game Trailer, “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy Supertrailer

Disc 2

  • Welcome to Middle-Earth: Houghton Mifflin In-Store Special
  • Quest for the Ring: FOX TV Special
  • A Passage to Middle-Earth: SCI-FI Channel Special
  • Finding Hobbiton
  • Hobbiton Comes Alive
  • Believing the World of Bree
  • Ringwraiths: The Fallen Kings
  • Rivendell: The Elven Refuge
  • Languages of Middle-Earth
  • Two Wizards
  • Music of Middle-Earth
  • Enya “May it Be” Music Video
  • Special Extended DVD Edition Preview
  • Behind the Scenes Preview of “The Two Towers”

Disc 3

  • The Two Towers Feature
  • Trailers; “The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest” Game Trailer, “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy Supertrailer

Disc 4

  • On the Set “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” – Starz Encore Special
  • Return to Middle-Earth: WB Special
  • “The Long and Short of It” A Short Film Directed by Sean Astin
  • The Making of “The Long and Short of It”
  • Forces of Darkness
  • Designing the Sounds of Middle-Earth
  • Edoras: The Rohan Capital
  • Creatures of Middle-Earth
  • Gandalf the White
  • Arms and Armor
  • The Battle of Helm’s Deep
  • Emiliana Torrini “Gollum’s Song” Music Video
  • Special Extended DVD Edition Preview
  • Behind the Scenes Preview of “The Return of the King”

Disc 5

  • The Return of the King Feature
  • Trailers: “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy Supertrailer, “The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest” Game Trailer

Disc 6

  • The Quest Fulfilled: A Director’s Vision
  • A Filmaker’s journey: Making “The Return of the King”
  • National Geographic Special – “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
  • Aragorn’s Destiny, Minas Tirith: Captial of Gondor
  • The Battle of Pelennor Fields, Samwise the Brave
  • Eowyn: White Lady of Rohan, Digital Horse Doubles
  • Heart/Frodo, Every Path, Test, Aragorn, Time, Every Step, Sword, Decided
  • Special Extended DVD Edition Preview

Pretty cool huh? And discs 7-9 contain digital editions of the films, so that if you have a portable device you can take them on the go (love).

So if you are a Lord of the Rings fan you have to ask yourself what you want before buying this. Do you want the extended version? Wait a bit longer then, but of course they have not mentioned whether the theatrical version will be included on those discs or if their will be an even large set of discs. Me, I wanted these great movies in high quality, as I saw them in the theater. The extras, which are plentiful are just gravy for this release.

Digital Release
on demand for download
I really like the digital copies as well, especially since I am turning towards more of a digital collections. If you are going the same way, you might want to check out various options at The Lord of the Rings Movie Release site or you could go standard def (blah) and hit up iTunes or another Download service.

The Lord of the Ring Blu-Ray trilogy is also available at Amazon and all retailers on April 6th. I will be watching mine for years to come or at least until they perfect that Smell-O-Vision.

my precious