Category Archives: Tolkien

Apples in Watercolour and Tolkien

This post is about watercolour and apples in the first half, with a connection to the Lord of the Rings in the second half.

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Drawing of Bilbo at Smaug’s Lair

This drawing is the companion to this one. It needs very little explanation, I hope, but it is of course Bilbo Baggins at the entrance of Smaug’s Lair in the Lonely Mountain. It is the exact opposite to the first … Continue reading

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Part 4, Reading and Drawing The Lord of the Rings: On Fear, Knowledge and Power

At last, a new blogpost, to (nearly) coincide with Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday! This is the second and last post on The Shadow of the Past…I’ve narrowed it down to a few themes, but there is so much more that could … Continue reading

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Tolkien’s Art and How it Influenced His Writing: Drawing to Discover

Tolkien’s artwork, rather than his writing, was my first gateway to Middle-earth; so Jeffrey J. MacLeod’s and Anna Smol’s recent article “Visualizing the Word: Tolkien as Artist and Writer” (Tolkien Studies, volume 14) is of particular interest to me.  The … Continue reading

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CS Lewis’ Response to Critics of The Lord of the Rings: The Dethronement of Power

C. S. Lewis’ defence of Tolkien’s work gives insight into the types of criticism it elicited. Chief among those criticisms were its supposed lack of realism, and lack of character development or moral complexity. Lewis robustly argues against both allegations, … Continue reading

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Reading and Drawing the Lord of the Rings Part 3: On Being an Oddity

In his Foreword, Tolkien describes ‘The Shadow of the Past’ as the oldest part of the tale and ‘the crucial chapter’ of the book. One can see why, as it anchors the entire tale in gravitas, thanks in no small … Continue reading

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What Hobbits Knew All Along: Walking Barefoot is Good For You

I came across an interesting piece of health research this week and of course couldn’t help but make the connection with the rather peculiar behaviour unique to hobbits. We are told in The Hobbit that they:

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