May 23, 2018

Thoughts and Musing on Recent Tolkien News

While working on a draft or two for what I plan to write for my 'update post' (about me, primarily) there's been quite a few Tolkien announcements in a variety of fields, and medium. Considering this sort of a 'Tolkien re-cap' post, as well some speculation about various things on my end.


The oldest piece of news which I'll address here is the surprise publication of The Fall of Gondolin! This came literally out of the blue. It will follow the same approach in structure and layout that Beren and Luthien did.

Christopher Tolkien has put the book together, and it'll be illustrated throughout by Alan Lee. It will be out in hardback, special edition (slipcased hardback) and ebook formats all on publication day.

My thoughts: at last we get separate books for all three of 'The Three Great Tales!' The others being The Children of Hurin and Beren Luthien.

Will The Fall of Gondolin be the final Middle-earth book, not counting future deluxe editions, anniversary editions, or illustrated editions of what's already out??


It's yet to be officially confirmed as everything's still quite early, but it appears that the forthcoming Amazon Middle-earth series (the first season, anyway...) will focus on a younger Aragorn. To brush up on the tale of Aragorn, check out this entry in Robert Foster's The Complete Guide to Middle-earth. Or, his page on What I'll be doing to read up about everyone's favourite ranger, is check out Andrea P. Nicholl's book Aragorn. It's available as both paperback and ebook.

I'm quite looking forward to the Amazon series. Granted, it's still far ahead to form any kind of opinion. What I mean to say is, I'm looking forward to when the trailer launches, casting news, what the story for the show will be. Who will do the music? Will Peter Jackson be involved? (I'm not expecting him to be showrunner). Will there be merchandise exclusively available through Prime, or can anyone get the goodies?? So, I look forward to knowing more about this one.


Coming out in time for Hobbit Day 2018 is the special boxed set edition of The Hobbit facsimile by Harper Collins. If you're interested in this, be sure to get it from a source that sells the UK editions of the Tolkien books. As you may have seen my post earlier today, the contents (aside from the book itself) have been unveiled and we've gotten a small glimpse at them. I gotta say, I'm more interested in the extra content than I am the book itself. Not that I don't like The Hobbit or anything, but I'm referring to the package. I could care less about the original edition of the book, and am quite satisfied with Tolkien's 1951 revisions, as it ties into the great mythos of Middle-earth.

The extra goodies on the other hand are what I'm excited about. Now, I don't need another edition of the book known as The Hobbit, however in the box you get a special version of the map (moon-runes!), a CD of Tolkien reading from The Hobbit with extra readings on there (I'm expecting it to be somehow different than the Hobbit content found in the CD set called The Tolkien Audio Collection), a book about The Hobbit (which features extracts from Hammond + Scull's Tolkien Companion & Guide, as well as the expanded edition of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil - which can be found on its own as well in a set called 'The Tolkien Treasury.' It will also feature some extra content about dragons....) Oh, and of course you get a facsimile edition of the first printing of the book.

My thoughts: as much as I love the Harper Collins Tolkien publications, some things in the past few years have rubbed me the wrong way. I'm talking about printers goofs, delayed publication dates, lack of stock near publication time....I get that printing books has its kinks and flaws sometimes, but their QA really needs work. Does type of thing only happen with their Tolkien titles? I mean, it's not like the company is brand new...they've been printing and publishing books for decades now - so why the hiccups with Tolkien related materials? In fact, this Hobbit boxed set is what the facsimile set sometime ago was supposed to be - but a few months before publication, Harper Collins decided to publish just the book instead of this elaborate set which is now just coming out. I remember that the product description has change don some retailers sites, as well their own I believe. Despite the occasional shortcomings here and there, they've done a bang up job in presenting Tolkien's works. 


Last, but certainly not least, a few hours ago, The Two Towers soundtrack went up for pre-order on It'll replicate the original CD+ DVD Audio release, which will feature blue as the colour, as well the vinyls themselves will be blue (making The Return of the King green). Just like with The Fellowship of the Ring, it'll also be re-issued on CD (and most likely digitally, as well: iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Sptify...) with a blu-ray audio disc replacing the DVD-audio disc from the original set. The vinyl will be 5 LPs, and the CD set will be 4 discs (3 CDs, and the blu-ray disc).

If this pattern holds, then expect The Return of the King to come out Oct or Nov. The vinyl will likely be 6 LPs, and the the CD set could still sit at 4 discs. I say this because blu-ray discs can hold a lot more content than DVDs can. Due to the size of the score for The Return of the King, the original CD release had a double-sided DVD-Audio disc. Will the blu-ray disc have enough room for everything, or would it be a double-sided blu-ray audio disc, or two instead of one, making it a 5 disc set?Wwe will have to see.... But anyway!

Once The Return of the King is out on vinyl LP, I'm very curious of a few things:

- will these soundtracks be available on regular black vinyl, and not limited, for much less after?
- will they put out the theatrical / original (not 'complete') soundtracks on vinyl? If yes, and not too pricey, and if not too limited, I may grab those as well. I consider the complete recordings (the edition that's out on vinyl, CD + B-R A etc to be the 'definitive' editions, much how the extended editions are seen as likewise for the films themselves. But the more Middle-earth music I can get the better ;)). It could be individual releases, or a box set with all three soundtracks in it. I'm expecting 2 LPs per film, maybe...?
- will The Hobbit soundtracks be released on vinyl? [even if they aren't, that's OK. I would get them if yes] It would be neat to have all the Middle-earth movie soundtracks on vinyl
- depending on how things go with the Amazon series, I wonder if those soundtracks will also be available on vinyl....  

So that basically sums up my thoughts on the Tolkien stuff that's been happening lately. Great time to be a Tolkien fan!   

"The Two Towers" LP Vinyl & CD + blu-ray Audio Up For Pre-Order

The second Lord of the Rings soundtrack is making its debut on LP vinyl, and getting reissued on CD. There will be a blu-ray disc replacing the DVD from the original set.

As of now, is the only place to have pre-orders. The above image is from the initial CD set. With the vinyl release of The Fellowship of the Ring replicating the design and style from the CD set, it's safe to assume that this will likely be the case for The Two Towers.

Here is the pre-order link for the vinyl (which will be coloured blue, meaning that The Return of the King will be green). There will be 5 LPs : .

And here's the link for CD + blu-ray Audio. There will be 3CDs, and one blu-ray disc. set: .

Both sets are set to arrive July 27. Expect it to arrive on digital formats, as well. I'll do another post once pictures etc are revealed. 

Here is the tracklisting for the vinyl release:

Side 1

  1. Glamdring
  2. Elven Rope
  3. Lost In Emyn Muil
  4. My Precious
  5. Uglúk's Warriors
  6. The Three Hunters

Side 2

  1. The Banishment of Éomer
  2. Night Camp
  3. The Plains Of Rohan
  4. Fangorn
  5. The Dead Marshes

Side 3

  1. "Wraiths On Wings"
  2. Gandalf the White
  3. The Dreams Of Trees
  4. The Heir of Númenor

Side 4

  1. Ent-draught
  2. Edoras
  3. The Court Of Meduseld
  4. Théoden King / "The Funeral of Théodred" (feat. Miranda Otto)
  5. The King's Decision

Side 5

  1. Exodus From Edoras
  2. The Forests Of Ithilien
  3. One of the Dúnedain / "Evenstar" (feat. Isabel Bayrakdarian)

Side 6

  1. The Wolves of Isengard
  2. Refuge At Helm's Deep
  3. The Voice Of Saruman
  4. Arwen's Fate / "The Grace of the Valar" (feat. Sheila Chandra)
  5. The Story Foretold

Side 7

  1. Sons Of The Steward
  2. Rock And Pool
  3. Faramir's Good Council
  4. Aragorn's Return
  5. War Is Upon Us

Side 8

  1. "Where Is The Horse And The Rider?"
  2. The Host Of The Eldar
  3. The Battle Of The Hornburg
  4. The Breach Of The Deeping Wall
  5. The Entmoot Decides

Side 9

  1. Retreat / "Haldir's Lament" (feat. Elizabeth Fraser)
  2. Master Peregrin's Plan
  3. The Last March of the Ents (feat. Ben Del Maestro)
  4. The Nazgûl Attack
  5. Théoden Rides Forth (feat. Ben Del Maestro)

Side 10

  1. The Tales That Really Matter
  2. "Long Ways to Go Yet" / "Gollum's Song" (feat. Emiliana Torrini)

"The Hobbit" Facsimile Boxed Set - Update

Hey all, hope you're well! I'm going to give that long-overdo update later this week, but before the weekend.

However, I've got another post, and it's Tolkien related.

The last thing I need is another copy of The Hobbit.....but look at these goodies!!
Here is the official description of the facsimile boxed set coming out in time for Hobbit Day 2018:
"This sumptuous gift set includes a replica of the very rare first edition of The Hobbit, the only edition where one can now read the original version of the story before Tolkien re-edited it to become the one enjoyed by readers since 1951.
The Hobbit was published on 21 September 1937, with a print run of 1,500 copies. With a beautiful cover design, nearly a dozen black & white illustrations and two black & red maps by the author himself, the book proved to be popular and was reprinted shortly afterwards. History was already being made.
The scarcity of the first edition has resulted in copies commanding huge prices, way beyond the reach of most Tolkien fans. In addition, subsequent changes to the text – particularly those to chapter 5, when Tolkien decided in 1947 to revise the text to bring it better into accord with events as they were developing in its ‘sequel’, The Lord of the Rings – mean that the opportunity to read the book in its original form and format has become quite difficult.
This special commemorative gift set includes the first edition, so that readers of all ages – not just ‘children between the ages of 5 and 9’, as Rayner Unwin famously declared in his report on the original submission – can finally enjoy Tolkien’s story as it originally appeared. It also includes an exclusive CD of archive recordings that capture Tolkien reading from The Hobbit, a special copy of Thror’s map which reveals the secret moon-runes when held to the light, and an accompanying booklet that relates the history of The Hobbit, and includes connected writings by JRR Tolkien."
And here's what you get inside:
- A replica of the first edition containing the original version of the story before Tolkien re-edited it in 1947 (original editions are rare and pricey so few have had the chance to read this, until now)
- A special copy of Thror’s map which reveals the secret moon-runes when held to the light, as Tolkien first intended (but never enjoyed, as the map became endpapers instead)
- A CD of archive recordings that capture Tolkien reading from The Hobbit, including three previously unreleased excerpts
- A colour illustrated booklet that recounts the history of The Hobbit, plus connected writings by JRR Tolkien, including the never-before-published lecture ‘Dragons’ that he gave to children in Oxford on New Year’s Day 1938 to promote The Hobbit.
- A 3D lenticular cover based on Tolkien's own original book jacket design.

You can get it here: . Wherver you do decide to get it (make sure they sell UK editions of Tolkien books, though!) the ISBN is: 9780008259549

Here are some photos of what the contents look like:


May 2, 2018

My Journey of Tolkien Book Buying Nears Its End

Apologies if the title of this post is "awkward." I'm fairly certain I'm nearing the end of getting Tolkien (or Tolkien related) books.

This is a journey that begun as far back as late 2001, when I obtained my original reading copies; and has grown, steadily, over time ever since. Now, however, it feels as if I am truly near the end of the journey.

The thing with Tolkien books is, you never know what can, or could come out. I certainly never expected titles such as The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, The Fall of Arthur, Beowulf, The Story of Kullervo, Beren and Luthien and now the upcoming The Fall of Gondolin.

Given the titles I have, the titles that exist, and what my interests are - it's safe to say that I feel the time is coming.

Now, I won't list everything that I own, but rather the next titles coming up that I want to get - regardless of how 'new' they are.

- the four titles by Veryln Flieger: Splintered Light, Interrupted Music, Green Suns and Faerie and There Would Always Be a Fairy Tale

- The Fall of Gondolin (coming August 2018)

- A Secret Vice (coming February 2019)

- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

- Finn and Hengest

- The Monsters and the Critics

Once I get all those, that will essentially mark the end of my Tolkien book buying. Of course, one never knows what could come on the horizon....

May 1, 2018

Why I'm Voting for the Green Party

Hey all,

Not quite the update that I had been planning (big-ger post coming this week!) but I wanted to do a note slightly on politics.

Now, I don't usually talk about them much, even less on this blog (as that's not the nature of it).

In June, the province that I live in (Ontario) will be having an election for the premiere of the province. In general, for both provincial and federal, it's always a see-saw between the Liberal and Conservative parties. Which makes sense, given that they are the two 'biggest' or 'main' parties of Canada, as well as the provinces.

But you know what? I'm tired of it always being between those two. It's time to break the cycle.

Now I'm not saying this for the mere sake of wanting a change between who the Liberals and the Cons have up their sleeves for the Ontario Provincial election, or even the Federal one. That's a big part, but the other part is this - the environment. Sorry NDP, but you couldn't get your head on straight, as well. 

Having recently seen Infinity War at the cinema, there is one line that expresses my feelings towards the "politics and environment" topic: "There can't be a friendly neighborhood Spider-man if there's no neighborhood." Climate change, global's real. Now, I'm not saying that mankind is 100% to blame. There are weather patterns, etc, after all. But we are definitely not helping. So, if humankind's footprint on the planet is such a big deal, and super important, and must be minimized to save the planet....wouldn't it make sense to have somebody who is able to do that? Or at least seems to want to?

People are worried about the next generation inheriting debt, or being poor because of how things are going now....but me, I'm more concerned about the shape of the planet when my future kids get to be in their 20s and 30s.

I don't want to see or hear about young kids developing more allergies - or worse - due to the changing climate. I want my four seasons back. I want the planet to get a chance to heal. I don't want any more animals (or anything isn't human) to become endangered. I also realize that 'every day aver Joe' can only do so much, no matter how hard you try. The change has to come from somewhere higher.

So when it's time to vote; I won't be voting "for me", or voting to get Person X out, I'll be voting for the next generation, and for the planet, no matter what the chances of them winning are. I'll be voting for the future of our home. Break the cycle, save the planet.

April 25, 2018

"Fire & Blood" Announcement

It's not Book 6.....but it's the next-best thing.

Before I provide links, here's the relevant really important info:

"No, winter is not coming… not in 2018, at least. You’re going to have to keep waiting for THE WINDS OF WINTER."

"This first volume covers all the Targaryen kings from Aegon I (the Conquerer) to the regency of Aegon III (the Dragonbane), along with their wives, wars, siblings, children, friends, rivals, laws, travels, and sundry other matters. For those not up on your Westerosi history, that’s Aegon I, Aenys, Maegor the Cruel, Jaehaerys I (the Conciliator), Viserys I, Aegon II (and Rhaenyra), and Aegon III (the regency). Oh, and there are dragons too."

"Portions of the book have previously appeared here and there. The chapter about Aegon’s Conquest was published, pretty much as written, in THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE. The section about the reigns of Aegon’s sons Aenys and Maegor came out last year as “Sons of the Dragon,” in Gardner Dozois’s anthology THE BOOK OF SWORDS, and an abridged version of same was in THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE. Material from the chapters about the struggle for succession after Jaehaerys I and the Dance of the Dragons after Viserys I was published in an abridged form as “The Rogue Prince” (in ROGUES) and “The Princess and the Queen” (in DANGEROUS WOMEN), and in a much more severely abridged form in THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE… but FIRE & BLOOD will mark the first time that full, unabridged texts of Archmaester Gyldayn’s histories have been published."

April 21, 2018

Spotify Update

Bit by bit, I'm getting around to doing my updates!

I've been active on Spotfiy lately. I greatly enjoy the ability to make and share playlists. I get enjoyment out of this because it benefits me, as well as others may discover new music. You never know!

So, without further ado, I'm going to provide a bunch of links in the post to playlists I've got - some I made, and some I 'have'. I hope you enjoy. This post includes all my playlist links thus far, howeve,r in the future I'll make a post each time I make a playlist.

Hell on Wheels : . This one was not made by me. If you enjoyed the music to the show (which is mostly bluegrass) give this a listen. It also features music from the soundtrack mixed in, as well)

The Hobbit : . This one is made by me. It is all three Hobbit soundtracks back-to-back in one spot.

The Lord of the Rings : . Made by me. This is all three soundtracks to The Lord of the Rings back-to-back. [I'll either re-edit it, or make a new one, once all three Complete Recordings editions of all three soundtracks are Uploaded. I'll even a MEGA Middle-earth playlist, which will start with The Hobbit, and end with The Return of the King.]

Distant Worlds : . This is all of the Distant Worlds albums compiled together in one spot, created by me. This one can be shuffled!

The Dubliners St Patrick's Celebration : . This one wasn't made by me. Followed it for ease come St Paddy's Day, year after year!

Great Big Sea : . This one is made by me. It's my fav tunes from great Big Sea, mostly off of XX, as well as a few other great ones that weren't included in that set.

Scotland Love : . This is my ode to the homeland, so it's definitely made by me. Includes all the Scottish-related music off Outlander, as well as a few tracks off Brave.

Skyrim: Jun/Vul : . This is the tracklisting for the up-coming vinyl set by iam8bit, which is limited to 3000 copies. It is a compilation made from the 'full' Skyrim soundtrack. I figured I'd make a playlist so people would know which tracks are included in the set - whether or not they want to buy it.

Fantasy Mix: . This is made me, and features some great fantasy tracks. It is mostly completed, but not quite yet.

Star Wars: By Year of Release : .  This is made by me, and features all of the Star Wars soundtracks (the 'Episode' movies) grouped together, going by the year they came out. So, the soundtrack from 1977 is first up.

Star Wars Trilogy : . Made by me, this groups the soundtracks for the original trilogy together.

Star Wars Prequel Trilogy : . Made by me, this groups the soundtracks for the prequel trilogy together.

Star Wars Sequel Trilogy : Made by me, this groups the soundtracks for the sequel trilogy together. It will be completed once Episode IX gets added to it. 

The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited :  . Made by me. this is the soundtrack to The Elder Scrolls Online. the game got 'revamped' sometime ago into "Tamriel Unlimited" and the music in this playlist reflects the added content in that release.

Cape Breton Classics :  Not made by me. Some tunes from The Island!

John Williams Greatest Hits II : . Made by me, this is a fan-made follow-up to his Greatest Hits 69 - 99 compilation. This isn't complete yet.

Some Favs : . This is made by me, and is my favourite "normal" music.Lots of different genres here. Shuffl away!


Ocarina of Time 20th Anniversary

Hard to believe that later this year one of the best video games of all time, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, will celebrate it’s 20th anniversary!

I still remember getting the gold cartridge edition for Christmas the year it came out.

To celebrate leading up to the game’s anniversary, bit by bit, I’ll be counting down my favourite moments.

Before I begin, why not check out Hero of Time? It was performed by those responsible that did the Symphony of the Goddess music tour, as well as the The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary music CD. It exists on vinyl, as well as Spotfy, iTunes and Google Play. Definitely worth checking out.

So without further ado, let’s begin this series of posts!

The Beginning of the Game

Well, it makes sense to start at the beginning, doesn’t it? I remember getting the Kokiri Sword, then the Kokiri Shield, all the while collecting as many Rupees as I can. I think I also bought Deku Nuts from the store as well…. Anyway, once I was all geared up, it was onto the Deku Tree, which would turn out to be the game’s first dungeon. I remember the dungeon pretty well, as well as some of the puzzles and game mechanics, and the boss bottle.

That’s it for this post. To be continued….

April 16, 2018

Thoughts About the Amazon Middle-earth Series

I wanted to do a write up of my thoughts about the upcoming Amazon Lord of the Rings (or, rather, “Middle-earth”) series.

Before I do so, however, there are some points that need to be made:

1) They are only using (and only allowed to use) material found within the pages of the books known as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, or from any of the six Peter Jackson films. (More on that to follow.) That means, anything found within the pages of The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, or the History of Middle-earth is off-limits.

2) In terms of Middle-earth’s timeline, it will take place between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. If it takes place in the First or Second Age, it’ll be based on what Jackson has shown us in Rings, or what was written in The Lord of the Rings that references those eras. Where it might get tricky is Beren and Luthien: Aragorn sang a song about them in The Fellowship of the Ring, and even named them. But they appear in The Silmarillion. We don’t know the exact details of the contract.  

3) It is not a “remake” of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (this makes sense, given that is set in the “Jacksonverse.”)

4) It will based in Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth. This means, that if we see any locations we did before in any of his six Middle-earth films, that’s how they’ll look (example: Rivendell would like the same as it did in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films)

5) Going with #4 above, it seems that if Peter Jackson or anyone of high importance in regards to The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit trilogies is involved, it will likely be as a consultant of some kind. At the most, I can see them help get things ‘moving.’ 

Ok, I think that’s everything out of the way before I begin talking or speculating.

Since this will happen after the third film in The Hobbit trilogy, let’s take a look at some things left un-answered if you’re going only by the films. The questions I ask give opportunity to have the events covered by the series. The books may answer some of these, but I’m going only by “the Jacksonverse”  for the next section:


- What happened to Radagast?

- What happened to Tauriel?

- What happened to Thranduil?

- What happened to the surviving dwarves?

- What happened to Bard and the people of Esgaroth? 

- What happened to Gundabad?

- What happened to Beorn?


- When and how did Saurman fall? (may not work with Christopher Lee having passed away, though he could be referenced - especially if the series about Rohan)

- What did this ‘Strider’ get up to before he met Frodo?

- what was Rohan like before Theoden’s…ah… “possession?”

- Was Denethor always loopy, and what did he mean by “The eyes of the White Tower?”

- Was Osgiliath always in ruins?


Now, to think of events that have occurred in the books that we haven’t seen yet. The first two sections of this entry were going only by the films (whether or not you’ve read the books, we haven’t seen, or don’t know, what happens within the “Jacksonverse”). Here are some things from the books that can be the basis (to some degree) for the Amazon series:

-  The Rings of Power

- Heirs of Isildur and Anarion, and why there is no King of Gondor, but Stewards instead

- Aragorn in the wild

- The House of Eorl

- how Minas Morgul became Minas Morgul

- Arnor

- Rise of the Nazgul, and Angmar


This is sort of a ‘bonus section’, in that I’m listing the names of Peter Jackson-verse Middle-earth related video games, in case any story points can be culled from those:

The Battle for Middle-earth

The Battle for Middle-earth II (expansion: Rise of the Witch-King) 

The Third Age (has a ‘secondary’ / ‘supporting’ Fellowship)

The White Council * canceled

War in the North (has a ‘secondary’ / ‘supporting’ Fellowship. Takes place during the main story but in other regions and with other characters)

Aragorn’s Quest

Guardians of Middle-earth

Shadow of Mordor

- Shadow of War

As you can see, there’s quite a few avenues Amazon can explore, without re-making (or re-adapting, rather) The Lord of the Rings. It also depends on heavily Peter Jackson and his crew are involved, as well.

At this point, we really don’t know what to expect. There have been a few things ruled out, though we’re no closer to knowing more than we were some time ago.

In the coming months, I look forward to following this some more: to see how it develops, what the cast is, when and where within Middle-earth it’s set, trailer and poster, etc…. Here’s hoping that it turns out to be good. There are some fans of The Lord of the Rings (book and film) that were not satisfied with The Hobbit film trilogy; and they don’t miss out anything by “ignoring” that series. I’m guessing that if this Amazon turns out to be disappointing, it can be treated as likewise. Only time will tell.

What would you like to see???