February 14, 2018

Thoughts on "The Fellowship of the Ring" Soundtrack Coming to Vinyl





Given that we are close to a month until The Fellowship of the Ring arrives on vinyl LP (and is re-issued on CD, and potentially debuts on iTunes and Google Play, as well), I've taken some time to mull over a few things.

Now, first of all, I want to address how glad and excited I am for this release. This post, and my thoughts within are in now way a slight against those involved, if it seems that way.

With that out of the way, let me get started.

Were in charge or had a say in designing or (re)releasing the soundtrack, here's what I would do:

- make the entire trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King) available the exact same day. Heck, if it's not too much trouble (nor too high a price tag, nor too "impractical" (too much vinyl or what not)) make a trilogy set. This theoretical trilogy set could even include a copy of the book The Music of the Lord of the Rings. I'd rather wait a tad longer for the whole thing at once, then have it sooner and wait a year for each. 

- offer different formats and 'levels.' It's great that the soundtrack is coming to both vinyl and (reissued) on CD, however I've noticed some special package options available when it comes to other specialty releases that comes as special...deluxe...boxed sets for both CDs and vinyls (just look at the website superdeluxeedition to see what I mean!) 

There could be, for each film:
~ 3 CD
~ 3CD + DVD
~ 3CD + blu-ray
~ 3CD + blu-ray & DVD
~'supreme' offering of 3CD + blu-ray & DVD, with LP vinyl

And, for a "trilogy set"

~ 10 CD
~ 10 CD + 3 DVD
~ 10 CD + 3 blu-ray
~ 10 CD + 3 blu-ray & 3 DVD
~ 'supreme, deluxe offering' of 10 CD, 3 blu-ray, 3 DVD all the LPs, and a copy of The Music of the Lord of the Rings book (with (or instead of?) the liner notes). This could also have the 'Rarities Archive' on both CD and vinyl (I say this because the Rarities Archive comes packaged with the book)
Oh, and maybe include some 'download codes' to get the iTunes or Google Play equal (should they exist)

I understand that it probably costs a ton of money to offer so many different packages, this is just thinking out in an ideal, cost-is-not-an-issue scenario. I like to sometimes imagine different or various packaging options whenever something is coming out.

So those are some of my thoughts! What would you like to see done differently with the vinyl release of the soundtrack??

Again, I'm not saying anything negative about this, nor the people involved, I'm just voicing my internal thoughts aloud in the off-chance they get heard by someone in the industry :) 

February 13, 2018

"The Fellowship of the Ring" Soundtrack Debuts on Vinyl LP & More...


Now this is unexpected and all-together welcomed!!

The Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack will be debuting on vinyl LP for the first time ever, rightfully so, in it's Complete Recordings!

The set will be released on March 30.

It can presently be pre-ordered via Amazon right here: https://www.amazon.com/Lord-Rings-Fellowship-Complete-Recordings/dp/B079PDFGZK/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1518573762&sr=1-2&keywords=lord+of+the+rings .

As you can see in both the picture and the the description, it'll be 5 discs (can they be called 'discs?').

I'm greatly excited for this myself, however, I'm a tad puzzled as to why The Two Towers or The Return of the King aren't out as well - either in a trilogy set, or on their own if cost, packaging etc would be an issue for that much vinyl and what not. Or, possibly, The Hobbit as well.

But it's all good! The Lord of the Rings film music is finally coming to vinyl! I got the Complete Recordings on CD when they initially came out, so for the time being, I'm good! I'll have my eye fixed on the vinyl sets once The Return of the King debuts on vinyl and I can get the entire trilogy. That's just me though. I am definitely beyond delighted that these amazing soundtracks are coming to vinyl LP in their true form. Since I get my favourite music of all time on vinyl, I'll be asking for this set for both my Birthday AND for Christmas. Should I not recieve it for either of those occasions, I'll wait until The Return of the King is out, and hope stock is still good for The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers at that point.

I also feel that multiple editions packages could have also been possible, as well. For instance, there could have been super-set that featured the vinyl LPs AND the CDs with a blu-ray audio disc (and maybe an audio DVD?) all in one set, for those interested. 

But wait....there's more....

The CD set of The Fellowship of the Ring (in its complete recordings format) will also be RE-ISSUED on CD with a blu-ray audio disc (which sounds weird to me, but there you have it) that same day! You can pre-order that set here: https://www.amazon.com/Lord-Rings-Fellowship-Complete-Recordings/dp/B079PTDW74/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518619892&sr=8-1&keywords=B079PTDW74 . One would also think that The Fellowship of the Ring (Complete Recordings) would also be available on iTunes and / or Google Play, as well. I mention that because I feel, if you want physical music, go for vinyl. If you want digital music, go for iTunes / Google Play (plus, you won't have to worry about stock running low *IF* this release also goes to iTunes / Google Play, that is)

Before I close out the post, here is the tracklisting:

VINYL LP

Disc: 1
1. Prologue: One Ring To Rule Them All
2. The Shire
3. Bag End
4. Very Old Friends
5. Flaming Red Hair

Disc: 2
1. Farewell Dear Bilbo
2. Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe
3. A Conspiracy Unmasked
4. Three Is Company

Disc: 3
1. The Passing Of The Elves
2. Saruman The White
3. A Shortcut To Mushrooms
4. Strider
5. The Nazgûl

Disc: 4
1. Weathertop
2. The Caverns Of Isengard
3. Give Up The Halfling
4. Orthanc
5. Rivendell
6. The Sword That Was Broken

Disc: 5
1. The Council Of Elrond Assembles
2. The Great Eye
3. Gilraen's Memorial
4. The Pass Of Caradhras

Disc: 6
1. The Doors Of Durin
2. Moria
3. Gollum
4. Balin's Tomb

Disc: 7
1. Khazad-dûm
2. Caras Galadhon

Disc: 8
1. The Mirror Of Galadriel
2. The Fighting Uruk-hai

Disc: 9
1. Parth Galen
2. The Departure Of Boromir

Disc: 10
1. The Road Goes Ever On...Pt. 1
2. May It Be
3. The Road Goes Ever On...Pt. 2

CD + BLU-RAY AUDIO (please note, that discs 1-3 are the CDs, whereas disc 4 is the blu-ray audio disc)

Disc: 1
  1. Prologue: One Ring To Rule Them All
  2. The Shire
  3. Bag End
  4. Very Old Friends
  5. Flaming Red Hair
  6. Farewell Dear Bilbo
  7. Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe
  8. A Conspiracy Unmasked
  9. Three Is Company
  10. The Passing Of The Elves
  11. Saruman The White
  12. A Shortcut To Mushrooms
  13. Strider
  14. The Nazgûl

Disc: 2
  1. Weathertop
  2. The Caverns Of Isengard
  3. Give Up The Halfling
  4. Orthanc
  5. Rivendell
  6. The Sword That Was Broken
  7. The Council Of Elrond Assembles
  8. The Great Eye
  9. Gilraen's Memorial
  10. The Pass Of Caradhras
  11. The Doors Of Durin
  12. Moria
  13. Gollum
  14. Balin's Tomb

Disc: 3
  1. Khazad-dûm
  2. Caras Galadhon
  3. The Mirror Of Galadriel
  4. The Fighting Uruk-hai
  5. Parth Galen
  6. The Departure Of Boromir
  7. The Road Goes Ever On...Pt. 1
  8. May It Be
  9. The Road Goes Ever On...Pt. 2

Disc: 4
  1. Prologue: One Ring To Rule Them All (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  2. The Shire (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  3. Bag End (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  4. Very Old Friends (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  5. Flaming Red Hair (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  6. Farewell Dear Bilbo (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  7. Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  8. A Conspiracy Unmasked (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  9. Three Is Company (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  10. The Passing Of The Elves (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  11. Saruman The White (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  12. A Shortcut To Mushrooms (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  13. Strider (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  14. The Nazgûl (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  15. Weathertop (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  16. The Caverns Of Isengard (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  17. Give Up The Halfling (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  18. Orthanc (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  19. Rivendell (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  20. The Sword That Was Broken (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  21. The Council Of Elrond Assembles (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  22. The Great Eye (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  23. Gilraen's Memorial (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  24. The Pass Of Caradhras (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  25. The Doors Of Durin (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  26. Moria (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  27. Gollum (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  28. Balin's Tomb (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  29. Khazad-dûm (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  30. Caras Galadhon (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  31. The Mirror Of Galadriel (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  32. The Fighting Uruk-hai (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  33. Parth Galen (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  34. The Departure Of Boromir (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  35. The Road Goes Ever On...Pt. 1 (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  36. May It Be (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  37. The Road Goes Ever On...Pt. 2 (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  38. Prologue: One Ring To Rule Them All
  39. The Shire
  40. Bag End
  41. Very Old Friends
  42. Flaming Red Hair
  43. Farewell Dear Bilbo
  44. Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe
  45. A Conspiracy Unmasked
  46. Three Is Company
  47. The Passing Of The Elves
  48. Saruman The White
  49. A Shortcut To Mushrooms
  50. Strider
  51. The Nazgûl
  52. Weathertop
  53. The Caverns Of Isengard
  54. Give Up The Halfling
  55. Orthanc
  56. Rivendell
  57. The Sword That Was Broken
  58. The Council Of Elrond Assembles
  59. The Great Eye
  60. Gilraen's Memorial
  61. The Pass Of Caradhras
  62. The Doors Of Durin
  63. Moria
  64. Gollum
  65. Balin's Tomb
  66. Khazad-dûm
  67. Caras Galadhon
  68. The Mirror Of Galadriel
  69. The Fighting Uruk-hai
  70. Parth Galen
  71. The Departure Of Boromir
  72. The Road Goes Ever On...Pt. 1
  73. May It Be
  74. The Road Goes Ever On...Pt. 2
  75. Prologue: One Ring To Rule Them All (Dolby Surround)
  76. The Shire (Dolby Surround)
  77. Bag End (Dolby Surround)
  78. Very Old Friends (Dolby Surround)
  79. Flaming Red Hair (Dolby Surround)
  80. Farewell Dear Bilbo (Dolby Surround)
  81. Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe (Dolby Surround)
  82. A Conspiracy Unmasked (Dolby Surround)
  83. Three Is Company (Dolby Surround)
  84. The Passing Of The Elves (Dolby Surround)
  85. Saruman The White (Dolby Surround)
  86. A Shortcut To Mushrooms (Dolby Surround)
  87. Strider (Dolby Surround)
  88. The Nazgûl (Dolby Surround)
  89. Weathertop (Dolby Surround)
  90. The Caverns Of Isengard (Dolby Surround)
  91. Give Up The Halfling (Dolby Surround)
  92. Orthanc (Dolby Surround)
  93. Rivendell (Dolby Surround)
  94. The Sword That Was Broken (Dolby Surround)
  95. The Council Of Elrond Assembles (Dolby Surround)
  96. The Great Eye (Dolby Surround)
  97. Gilraen's Memorial (Dolby Surround)
  98. The Pass Of Caradhras (Dolby Surround)
  99. The Doors Of Durin (Dolby Surround)
  100. Moria (Dolby Surround)
  101. Gollum (Dolby Surround)
  102. Balin's Tomb (Dolby Surround)
  103. Khazad-dûm (Dolby Surround)
  104. Caras Galadhon (Dolby Surround)
  105. The Mirror Of Galadriel (Dolby Surround)
  106. The Fighting Uruk-hai (Dolby Surround)
  107. Parth Galen (Dolby Surround)
  108. The Departure Of Boromir (Dolby Surround)
  109. The Road Goes Ever On...Pt. 1 (Dolby Surround)
  110. May It Be (Dolby Surround)
  111. The Road Goes Ever On...Pt. 2 (Dolby Surround)
  112. Prologue: One Ring To Rule Them All (Dolby Stereo)
  113. The Shire (Dolby Stereo)
  114. Bag End (Dolby Stereo)
  115. Very Old Friends (Dolby Stereo)
  116. Flaming Red Hair (Dolby Stereo)
  117. Farewell Dear Bilbo (Dolby Stereo)
  118. Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe (Dolby Stereo)
  119. A Conspiracy Unmasked (Dolby Stereo)
  120. Three Is Company (Dolby Stereo)
  121. The Passing Of The Elves (Dolby Stereo)
  122. Saruman The White (Dolby Stereo)
  123. A Shortcut To Mushrooms (Dolby Stereo)
  124. Strider (Dolby Stereo)
  125. The Nazgûl (Dolby Stereo)
  126. Weathertop (Dolby Stereo)
  127. The Caverns Of Isengard (Dolby Stereo)
  128. Give Up The Halfling (Dolby Stereo)
  129. Orthanc (Dolby Stereo)
  130. Rivendell (Dolby Stereo)
  131. The Sword That Was Broken (Dolby Stereo)
  132. The Council Of Elrond Assembles (Dolby Stereo)
  133. The Great Eye (Dolby Stereo)
  134. Gilraen's Memorial (Dolby Stereo)
  135. The Pass Of Caradhras (Dolby Stereo)
  136. The Doors Of Durin (Dolby Stereo)
  137. Moria (Dolby Stereo)
  138. Gollum (Dolby Stereo)
  139. Balin's Tomb (Dolby Stereo)
  140. Khazad-dûm (Dolby Stereo)
  141. Caras Galadhon (Dolby Stereo)
  142. The Mirror Of Galadriel (Dolby Stereo)
  143. The Fighting Uruk-hai (Dolby Stereo)
  144. Parth Galen (Dolby Stereo)
  145. The Departure Of Boromir (Dolby Stereo)
  146. The Road Goes Ever On...Pt. 1 (Dolby Stereo)
  147. May It Be (Dolby Stereo)
  148. The Road Goes Ever On...Pt. 2 (Dolby Stereo)

January 23, 2018

Sad Day For Fantasy



Today is a sad day for the field of fantasy - legendary author Ursula K. Le Guin has passed away at age 88.

Le Guin has a staggering bibliography, with novels, novellas, short stories...you name it, in various areas of fiction. However, I think it safe to say that she is best known for her Earthsea books.

In publication order (novels and short stories), they are:

~ The Word of Unbinding (1964)
~ The Rule of Names (1964)
~ A Wizard of Earthsea (1968)
~ The Tombs of Atuan (1971)
~ The Farthest Shore (1972)
~ Tehanu (1990)
~ The Other Wind (2001)
~ Tales From Earthsea (2003 for the collected edition under that title)
It contains the novella "The Finder," and the short stories "The Bones of the Earth," "Darkrose and Diamond," "On the High Marsh," and "Dragonfly." Concluding with with an account of Earthsea's history, people, languages, literature, and magic.
~ The Daughter of Odren (2014)

It was initially a trilogy, then a quartet...and it kept going from there. As you saw from the publication dates, this year marks the first book's 50th anniversary. I must confess I have not read the books - yet. There's no better time for me, now that it's celebrating it's 50th anniversary, and to honor the author.

So I will read all Earthsea material by the end of 2018.

Tolkien has greatly inspired her. However, not in the usual sense (Shannara, The Wheel of Time, etc...) more so in that Tolkien opened the doors to her to what can be done in fantasy. The world isn't the typical fantasy setting. She doesn't adhere to the usual fantasy tropes. Indeed, her Earth material is vastly different from usual fantasy, or what one would think of.

I look forward to reading Earthsea. It was something I had been hoping to do in 2018, due to the fact that the first novel turns 50th this year. Le Guin's passing, however, cements my plans.

Here is the blurb for the first novel:
Ged was the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea,  but once he was called Sparrowhawk, a reckless  youth, hungry for power and knowledge, who tampered  with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow  upon the world. This is the tale of his testing,  how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an  ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to  restore the balance. 

January 19, 2018

Book Review: "The Story of King Arthur and His Knights" by Howard Pyle


As of this writing, I have not read some of the other more "traditional" KING Arthur stories (Le Morte d'Arthur by Malory, the one by Roger Lancelyn Green, etc) however I quite enjoyed it. 


It is a traditional Arthurian story (no Saxons, etc here) that is all "flowery" style (thou, hast, etc) that goes into the adventures of King Arthur (and how he became King), Merlin, and some of his Knights. 

You can definitely tell that both Tolkien and Martin must have read (and enjoyed) this book, as there different types of echoes from it that 'ripple' into their writings; which you can pick up if you knew what Tolkien enjoyed, and read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings; for instance. The different lords, kings, knights etc definitely appealed to Marin, which you can detect if you've read some of his Ice and Fire books. 

Going onto this edition - the book paired well with the ACTUAL book itself: I enjoyed that it was a hardcover of slightly different dimensions, great font, good paper quality, it even had a ribbon-marker, and the artwork both on the dustjacket and the illustrations that appear from time to time was quite nice as well. I hope to get a few more of the classics in this format; availability permitting. 

Recommended if you are looking for another fantasy read.

(this edition is published by Sterling) 

January 14, 2018

Opinion: Should "The Annotated Hobbit" Receive A Deluxe Edition?



One item that sometimes, in my experience, that gets overlooked in the field of Tolkien scholarship, as well as overall importance, is The Annotated Hobbit by Douglas A. Anderson. The book was published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Hobbit.

That is, of course, nothing ill against Anderson, The Hobbit or what he has done. In a field so varied and vast as Tolkien scholarship, it oft gets overlooked, I mean to say. In a sense, I consider it to be "an underrated piece of genius." Of course, in terms of thinking it could be overlooked, I could be completely off the mark.

I remember when the revised edition of the book was brand new. I was getting into Tolkien, and checking out various titles by and about him. I saw the book and thought it was a bit unnecessary for my needs at the time. Plus, it didn't match any of the other books in terms of size dimensions etc. More on that later.

I thought it was a neat concept, but at the time, I was casual normal reader, getting exposed to Tolkien. While not exclusively for "seasoned Tolkien fans" the fact remained that I thought it was a bit much for my current needs.

Fast forward to quite a few years later when I was knowledgeable enough, and my interest in Tolkien was high enough, to consider myself to be a 'Tolkien fan.'

While it had interested me (Anderson did, in fact, provide a note on the text for most editions of The Hobbit from the early '90s onward. That fact alone had caught my interest, by the way) something about the book still stood out:
a) it didn't "match" my other editions
b) (sort of b) there wasn't an "Annotated Lord of the Rings" or other Tolkien titles to receive similar treatment. So, I thought, while a great idea, it would 'stick out' from the rest of my Tolkien and Middle-earth books, for reasons listed previously.

It wasn't until not along ago (I believe about two years this summer) that I had received the book as a gift for my Birthday from my lovely lady.

And you know what? That was truly the best way to get this item. I had never considered asking for it (I already had The Hobbit, after, all). Again, not to downplay my interest of the book, or its importance, but it's something I had never considered doing.

So, a bit of background info about the book: it was first published in 1988 by Houghton Mifflin. That's right - nothing against Harper Collins (despite my complaints against them on and off with regards to QA for Tolkien titles, stock, etc) they have generally done a very decent job in presenting and publishing Tolkien (and related material) over the years. I was a little surprised to learn that Houghton Mifflin had published the book before, not vice-versa. Anyway, so it was published in 1988 initially, and then again as recently (depending on who published it) in 2002 and 2003.  The new edition was completely re-designed and updated in every way possible. I haven't seen the original edition in either pictures, videos, my own eyes etc, (side from the cover) but it sounds like a completely different book compared to the original.

 



So here we are, in 2018, and the book will turn 30 in October. I myself would like to see a deluxe edition of it presented by Harper Collins. Or, possibly by Houghton as well (as they haven't a deluxe edition similar to Harper Collins' since 2009, with The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun).

Here is what it could possibly look like and contain:

- quarter-bound (as per usual with the other deluxe edition titles)
- matching slipcase. Possible colours: green, or that yellow / orange that is featured for the inside endpapers of the revised edition.
- the book itself could feature a small circular version of Smaug (as seen in "Conversion with Smaug") while the slipcase could feature addition artwork, so when the book slides into the slipcase it creates a 'whole picture'. Much like using a combination of cut-out design, as seen in The Maps of Middle-earth or the deluxe editions of The Hobbit and / or The Lord of the Rings respectively.
- green or yellow / orange silk ribbon-marker
- in terms of content, maybe a 'reprint' of the most recently updated version of the book. "New" content could include a new, or additional forward (by Anderson himself...?0, as well as a frontispiece (fold-out?). my nomination for the frontispiece would be Tolkien's Mirkwood, just to change things up. 
- possibly a section in which Anderson 'compares' or 'breaks down' what is new between the original and revised editions. As well as his reasoning for providing the update etc. You know, some extra content.

The fact that it exists in deluxe edition format could prove attractive enough in its own right, however; there also exists possibility to include further new material. A similar situation somewhat exists when Harper Collins re-issued The Complete History of Middle-earth recently. It was all 12 books (presented in 3 larger books and a slipcase) yet the design was that of the deluxe editions, as opposed to 'regular' hardback. Such could be the case for The Annotated Hobbit, should a deluxe edition come to fruition.

So, at long last, in closing, The Annotated Hobbit is a book that I've come to appreciate (and receive) quite by accident, however, not for a lack of interest. With The Hobbit now just 80 years old, and the annotated edition's anniversary coming up much later this year, I highly suggest it to Tolkien fans.

As I mentioned earlier, it's not "exclusively for" the hardcore Tolkien fans, however they will enjoy and appreciate it the most. That's not to say that nobody else will, of course.

Due to the age of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, it goes without saying that there are some parts of the book where the annotations may spoil the 'grand-er scheme of things', plot-wise.   

Even though I own The Hobbit (70th Anniversary Edition) I don't consider The Annotated Hobbit to be my primary reading copy, but rather, the tip of the iceberg in regards to supplemental material to Tolkien. I keep it with my 'supplementary' Tolkien books as opposed to the main ones for the simple reason of uniformity. I love the fact that Anderson created the annotated edition, and assisted with the correctness of the text for the book itself (being, The Hobbit) much in the same way that Wayne G. Hammond + Christina Scull did for The Lord of the Rings Reader's Companion; and helped edit and revise The Lord of the Rings for it's 50th an 60th anniversaries.  

So, yes, to answer the question proposed in the title of this entry - I do believe that The Annotated Hobbit should receive a deluxe edition, or some kind of celebration, later this year once the original edition celebrates its 30th anniversary.    

January 10, 2018

Update On "The Hobbit Complete Recordings" and "The Music of the Hobbit Films" Book



Good day all!

Yesterday evening, TheOneRing.Net hosted a live session with Doug Adams, 'musical scholar' for Howard shore's Middle-earth movie scores. He has assisted Howard tremendously with The Complete Recordings (even going so far to do the liner notes, which were expanded into its own book called The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films).

Last night, I asked my question (twice - once at the beginning of the session and properly during question time). I had asked: "Doug - can you provide any updates on either 'The Music of the Hobbit Films' book *OR* 'The Hobbit Complete Recordings?'

His answer, to paraphrase is this:

The Book:

- it is already completed in some form. (My guess is rough version, first draft etc.) He said "I'm looking at it right now, actually." This was during a live video session, so it most likely only exists digitally at this point. Either way, this is great news - the book is underway to some degree, and will be out....sometime! In my opinion, what he shared about the book was the better answer he provided.

The Complete Recordings:

- as of now, there are no current plans underway. That's not to say that it won't happen, however, it's not a garuntee that it will happen. There is interest, though. He also stated that most of The Hobbit music had been released already, so a need to justify a 'complete recordings' project isn't as "justified" as with The Lord of the Rings. He also stated that that was sort of one of the reasons why The Hobbit soundtracks were 2-discs each (if one bought them as CDs, that is.) So, the '2 disc editions' were sort of a 'middle ground' should there never be a Complete Recordings of The Hobbit music.

Again, I'm paraphrasing, and I do not intend to put words into Doug's mouth - I'm going off what he said, while adding my own commentary.

So that's the latest official word, as of now, in regards to both "The Hobbit Complete Recordings" and "The Music of the Hobbit Films" book!

Big shout-out and thanks to TheOneRing.Net for hosting, and relaying my questions during the session. 

January 5, 2018

The Long Night Begins: "Game of Thrones: Season 8" Arriving in 2019



Well, it's now official - Game of Thrones: Season 8 will be coming in 2019.

I had been hoping for later this year (2018) but alas....

I admit to being curious for what that will mean for the publication of Book 6, if anything. Will we get it before or after Season 8 (which will be the final season) in 2019? Oh - I'd love to get Book 6 sometime this year....but I'm not sure that's likely. It's pretty much a garuntee it should be out next year. Of course, there's always the wait between Book 6 and Book 7, the final one.....

As I stated previously, regardless of when Book 6 will be published, I am going to re-read the books the day after the final episode of Thrones. If Book 6 is not out by that point, it is my hopes that it will be very close to when I finish reading Book 5 of that re-read.   

January 2, 2018

Holiday & Winter Update



Hey all,

Another long-awaited update!

Things have been busy - went away for most of the holidays (so there was packing, travelling, merry-making and then travelling back home and more merry-making), finishing up some work, etc.

I had intended to post this before going away, but now it seems that it needs to be posted at the end of the holidays, as opposed to before.

I hope Santa was good to you, and you got lots of goodies plus had some great time with friends and family etc.

Once again, the holidays have come and gone so crazy-fast, I could hardly believe it. I vividly recall typing up my previous blog post - and then the first 2-3 weeks of December just disappeared.

So, some highlights of my haul include:

- PJ Pants
- Mario Kart 7 for 3DS
- assorted booze and beer
- chocolates and sweets
- some books
- much more....

So now that I've finished reminiscing about the holidays, it's time to look forward to this year - 2018 - for what I'm looking forward to in terms of geeky things.....

BOOKS

For as long as I can remember, I always what Tolkien books are coming up in the New Year. So, I shall begin this subject with the same train of thought. Let's start with the items I know will be coming....

- Beren and Luthien in paperback
- The Story of Kullervo in paperback
- Tolkien Calendar 2019 (apparently, it will also be illustrated by Alan Lee. Unconfirmed at this point).
- A Middle-earth Traveler by John Howe
- The Hobbit Facsimile Gift Edition [my guess is it'll contain later / corrected printings of the Facsimile Slipcased First Edition from Sept, plus other goodies in the set as well, though it's too early to tell at this juncture.]

I think that's pretty much it for Tolkien books that I'm aware of. Now for other ones. Some of which are guesses:

- A Column of Fire by Ken Follett in paperback
- A Song of Ice and Fire Book 6 by George R.R. Martin [guess]
- The Book of Dust: Volume 2 by Philip Pullman [guess]
- The Skaar Invasion by Terry Brooks 
- Kingkiller Book 3 by Patrick Rothfuss [guess]
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard Illustrated Edition


MOVIES

This list applies to only intended cinematic viewings only.

- Black Panther
- Infinity War
- Deadpool 2
- Incredibles 2
- Mission Impossible 6

- Ant-Man 2
- Fantastic Beasts: Part 2

.

So those are some of the geek-y things I'm looking forward to in the coming year! Should be a good one.

December 16, 2017

Recommended Geek Goodies for Christmas



Hard to believe that that time of year is nearly upon us again. Where has the rest of December gone??

Anyway, I'll share with you some suggested items that I believe are essential to any geek.

Though it may be late, here are some ideas (last minute it seems) for the geek on your list - even if it's you. 





The Hobbit
by J.R.R. TolkienISBN: 9780007458424

The beginning of the re-invention of the fantasy genre as we know it. I highly suggest this paperback edition of The Hobbit if you need a replacement copy, or are starting someone on Tolkien. 

Here are the other books that will match this one:

Middle-earth:

~ The Fellowship of the Ring: ISBN 9780261103573
~ The Two Towers: ISBN: 
9780261103580
~ The Return of the King: ISBN 
9780261103597
~ The Silmarillion: ISBN 
9780007523221
~ Unfinished Tales: ISBN 
9780261102163
~ The Children of Hurin: ISBN 
9780007252268
~ Beren and Luthien: ISBN 
9780008214227 [coming 2018]


Non-Middle-earth:

~ Tales From the Perilous Realm: ISBN 
9780007280599
~ The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun: ISBN 
9780007317240
~ The Fall of Arthur: ISBN 
9780007557301
~ Beowulf: ISBN 
9780007590094
~ The Story of Kullervo: ISBN 
9780008131388 [coming 2018]







The Complete Harry Potter Collection by J.K. Rowling
ISBN: 
9781408856772

If you, or someone you know, hasn't read the Harry Potter books yet, needs their own set etc....then this is the item to get. You get the entire series in one shot. Boom - done. 







A Game of Thrones
by George R.R. Martin (and the other books in the series)
ISBN: 
9780007448036
Definitely one of, if not the greatest post-Tolkien (and "Tolkien-style") fantasy series there is. The first book is pretty close to the HBO series, but from then it gradually gets different. At the point of the Red Wedding (don't look that up - spoilers) onwards, both the books and the HBO series are completely different.

Here are the other books in the series, from Book 2 onwards, in a 'readable' format:

~ Book 2: A Clash of Kings: ISBN 
9780007447831
.
~ Book 3 (Part A): Steel and Snow (A Storm of Swords Part A) ISBN 9780007447848
.
~ Book 3 (Part B) Blood and Gold (A storm of Swords Part B) ISBN 9780007447855
.
~ Book 4: A Feast For Crows ISBN: 9780007447862
.
~ Book 5 (Part A) Dreams and Dust (A Dance With Dragons Part A) ISBN 9780007466061

.
~ Book 5 (Part B) After the Feast (A Dance With Dragons Part B) ISBN 9780007466078

. If you (or 'they') are waiting for either the final season of the show, or the next installment of the book series, there's a prequel to tide you over....

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, ISBN 
9780008238094. 


His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman
ISBN: 
 9781407131184

Another terrific fantasy series! Philip Pullman is working on an 'equel' trilogy (not a 'sequel' nor a 'prequel' but one that runs with the original trilogy) called The Book of Dust. The first book just came out this past fall, with Book 2 and Book 3 to follow sometime hopefully soon. So get up to date with the original trilogy! Or, if you (or 'they') are looking for something new to read.

 The Lord of the Rings Special Edition blu-ray Trilogy

Without a doubt, the best way to watch these films. In the boxed set, you get the special editions of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King PLUS all supplementary material. They may be over 15 years old, however they still hold up, and remain among the best films of all time.   





 

The Lord of the Rings
 Trilogy Soundtrack
 CD

You get all three soundtracks from Howard Shore: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King.


Dragon Bookends

https://www.amazon.com/Design-Toscano-Dragons-Sculptural-Bookends/dp/B003M0DQTC/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1513457944&sr=1-1&keywords=B003M0DQTC Pretty neat looking way to hold up your books (or other items) on your shelf. Attractive yet functional! 



December 14, 2017

Some Thoughts on the Middle-earth Amazon Series



 


Since the announcement of the Amazon Middle-earth series (which will take place after The Hobbit: Part 3 but before The Fellowship of the Ring) I’ve been mulling things over.

First off, all the major news announcements etc have said “Lord of the Rings”. In terms of plot, that is simply not true – we are not going from Hobbiton to Mount Doom with Frodo etc. HOWEVER, the material in which the Amazon series will be based on is found within the pages of the book known as The Lord of the Rings, or to be more precise, The Return of the King. It will be based on what is found within the Appendices, most likely.

A re-boot or remake of the Peter Jackson films to me would be a terrible idea. Any adaptation has changes from its source material from one medium into another. The films have been very well received by both critics and fans. The Hobbit films, is another manner. Opinion on them is a bit more more…divided. Since the Amazon series will most likely ‘supplement’ both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings film trilogies.

“Now…where to begin?”

It would be great if the Amazon series strove for the same look and feel as the Jackson films. Moreso Rings than Hobbit (due to CGI, mostly). The series doesn’t need to be ‘mature’ (here’s no explicit or graphic nudity and / or violence in Tolkien. It’s there but it’s not a focus.). Because of that, I can see the show being violence-heavy. Say, a late-night prime-time network show, or ‘tame’ for HBO /AMZ / Starz type of premium cable. My point is, it doesn’t need to be graphic in any sense of the word, but if it were to be, it would most likely be due to the violence.

Now with that out of the way, let’s have a look at specifically what the show can be about.

There was a video game that came out a few years ago called War in the North. The plot was that it occurred during The Lord of the Rings, but it wasn’t a re-telling of the books. In fact, the story somewhat “supplements” The Lord of the Rings, because of the fact it takes during the same time, but in other areas of Middle-earth, and focusing on other aspects of the lore. It would be neat if the series wasn’t based on the game exactly, per se, but taking a similar approach – showing us events and locations that have only been mentioned in passing, and showing us other locations and how they connect to the main story and the overall picture.

Also, one of the bigger questions will be whether or not this Amazon series will be connected the 'Jackson-verse' of Middle-earth. Because it's not a "re-telling" of The Lord of the Rings (Hobbiton - Mordor) or The Hobbit, it would make sense that it would. However, would WETA etc still be involved? There is a lot more "unknown" than "known" at this point. Chronicling the events in the North of Middle-earth between The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring would be interesting, indeed.

Either way, we will have to see closer to its release. Synopsis, trailer etc have yet to be revealed and that will give us a better understanding of what to expect.