Newsletter: June 2014

Table of Contents

SWG News

Silmarillion (Re)Reading

The story moves on and so do the discussions in the (re)reading of The Silmarillion hosted on our LiveJournal. Did you miss them? You can find May's discussions at:

Of the Sun and the Moon and the Hiding of Valinor
Of the Sindar

Remember that it's never too late to jump into the discussion and there are no due dates or requirements for participation! New discussions and posts to recommend fanworks related to the featured chapters are posted every fortnight. Everyone is welcome to join. If you want to join us in June, this month's schedule is

June 1: "Of Men"
June 15: "Of the Return of the Noldor"
June 29: "Of Beleriand and its Realms"

July 19th Is the International Day of Femslash!

As we do every year, SWG encourages our writers and artists to produce femslash works in honor of the International Day of Femslash, an annual fandom holiday that seeks to promote the femslash genre by saturating fannish spaces for one day each year. This year's event will take place on July 19, and as always, we invite our members to write and share femslash on our archive on that day. (Art and other media are welcome on our LiveJournal and Dreamwidth communities.) Find out more at the Femslash Day website.

Welcome to Our New Members!

Welcome to our new members who registered during May: Silje, Jessical Eldalie, and Salome Maranya. We hope you enjoy your time at our archive, and would love to hear what brought you here. So why not write a short bio of your fandom persona, to let us know how you discovered The Silmarillion, who your favourite characters are, or what brought you to our site? Also, if you have doubts about posting or reviewing, or other queries, start by browsing our Frequently Asked Questions. If you can’t find what you are looking for, or if you need assistance, email the SWG mods at

(Return to Top)

New at the Archive

Completed Works

Caught in the Running Flames (The Damned Kind Remix) by Elleth [Adult] (1926 words)
Summary: A Remix Redux fic for Astris' Noise of Thunder: The Dagor Bragollach... from the other side, and a brief crossing of paths.

Give Your Heart (The Cold Hard Earth Remix) by Agelast [Adult] (2683 words)
Summary: Five ghost stories about Maedhros.

In His Memory by Elisif [Teens] ( 2124 words)
Summary: After his abdication, Maedhros has one final gift for Fingolfin.

Lift Her Brow Toward Morning by Elleth [Teens] (2578 words)
Summary: In the early years of the First Age, Lalwen, Idril and Aredhel participate in a festival of the Mithrim Sindar and find, unexpectedly, some healing of the griefs of Helcaraxë.

The Halls of Mandos by Silver Trails [Teens] (1336 words)
Summary: Caranthir remembers his previous encounter with Namo. This is an edited part of an old erased fic.

The Importance of Family by zopyrus [General] (7197 words)
Summary: At the Mereth Aderthad, Lalwen wants all her family members to behave. Fingon wants them to actually like each other. Either way, will the House of Finwë ever pull it together enough to impress Doriath? (Pairings: Fingon/Maedhros and Lalwen/OFC)

The Lantern-Maker by Elleth [Teens] (1273 words)
Summary: Spending a spring day with Elenwë reveals a surprising gift for Írissë.

Vengeance From the Void by Alcarin [General] (4499 words)
Summary: Sentenced into the Void for eternity, Melkor now plots his final revenge against the Valar. And as time counts towards the prophesied End, Melkor enters into one last alliance with an ancient entity: a self-serving ally in the distant past ... and an old enemy.

You do not wish to live my life by Silver Trails [Teens](1313 words)
Summary: Maglor meets a man who lives forever. Crossover with Highlander the Series

Works in Progress

A Season to Love by Seren Lyall [General]
Summary: Elrond and Celebrían lived together for many happy years before the tragic incident in the Redhorn Pass. Through all seasons–winter and spring, hardship and ease, dark and light–they were forever side-by-side, to guide and protect, to love and cherish. This is just a small glimpse at their years together; a small window into their lives and their infinite love for one another.
Chapter added this month: Winter's Kiss.

Many Journeys by Elleth [Teens]
Summary: A gathering place for ficlets of varying length centered around the House of Fëanor (and lately, the House of Finwë in general), based on the word of the day from and various other prompts..
Chapter added this month: White Gulls Call (The Light on the Water Remix).

Maudits bonus by Dilly [Teens]
Summary: Bonus nawak à "Maudits silmarils". Chapitre 1 : La Soif (bonus au chapitre "Amours secrets")..
Chapter added this month: La Soif.

Maudits silmarils, livre 1 by Dilly [Teens]
Summary: A Gondolin, Turgon déprime... Une parodie crack du Silmarillion façon Kaamelott.
Chapters added this month: La cosmétique, Personne ne l'aime, Les fils de Fëanor, Amours secrets and Le voeu de chasteté.

Middle-earth by Silver Trails [Teens]
Summary: The Elves arrive at Middle-earth.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 14 and Chapter 15.

More about Maglor by Himring [Author Chooses Not to Rate]
Summary: Tales about Maglor.
Chapter added this month: Like the Voice of an Old Friend.

Of Anbor And Azruphel by gamil-zirak [Adult] †
Summary: A tale of romance between a wild man of Middle earth and a lady of Numenor, told with the epic backdrop of the last 2 years of Numenor. A study in the politics and relations of the time. Hope you enjoy it!
Chapter added this month: Broken Chains.

Summer's End by oshun [Teens]
Summary:This is really not a love story, although it is centered upon the relationship of Maedhros and Fingon and told from their points of view. It is more a personal exploration of the politics of the exiled Noldor in the early days of establishing their kingdoms in Middle-earth. For the Noldor, the personal is always political. There is humor, conflict, scandal, and a crazy mixture of discord and affection, which characterize the Finweans. It has plenty of self-indulgent evidence of my rather romanticized obsession with the glorious princes of the Noldor (male and female). This story is set in an amorphous, vague time frame shortly before the founding of Nevrast, before the Mereth Aderthad. Written for Sultry in September fic swap for Burning_Nightingale, who requested Maedhros/Fingon among other characters. The story elements, which I am trying to provide are: "Angst or fluff (or both), either something plot-driven or character study. Optional ideas I would be interested to see include; something to do with horses, a piece of jewellery featured, something incorporating a major canon event, something about a journey in the wilderness, something about the beauty of nature, a battle or fight."
Chapter added this month: Love Is Never Easy.

The Lords that Fell by Taylor17387 †[Adult]
Summary: Tells the story of the rise and fall of the two dark lords, from the collapse of the fortress in Tol-in-Gaurhoth, to the collapse of Barad-dûr, and what came next. Mainly told from Melkor and Sauron's perspective. Continuation of my other fic: "The Burnt God", though it may be read separately. Occasional slash.
Chapter added this month: The Lord on the White Plain.

Short Works

Apotheosis by sithisit [General] (683 words)
Summary: Arien becomes the Sun.

Alfirin by Silver Trails [Teens] (451 words)
Summary: Maglor waits for Daeron and Omar.

Darkness by Silver Trails [General] (663 words)
Summary: Oropher mourns the death of his wife

In Amon Lanc by Silver Trails [Teens] (658 words)
Summary: King Amdir visits King Oropher in Amon Lanc during the Second Age

Memories by Silver Trails [Teens] (883 words)
Summary: A series of double drabbles written for the SWG B2MeM 2011, all in the First Age, featuring Fingon, Maedhros, Caranthir, Lalwen, Finarfin and Eärwen. Old stories, pass by if you have already read them.

Moonlighted Gardens by Silver Trails [Teens] (636 words)
Summary: Oropher doesn't trust the Noldor

On Carven Throne by Innin [Adult] (498 words)
Summary: The court of Menegroth has moved into the forest for the summer, leaving the throne room empty - and just the right place for Lúthien and Galadriel's games.

Peer Review by sithisit [General] (919 words)
Summary: Annatar and Celebrimbor being bad, bad scientists in the name of gene therapy and scientific progress.

Reasons by Silver Trails [Teens] (773 words)
Summary: Maglor tries to convince Daeron to sail to Aman. Third story in The Silmaril Arc.

Soulmates by Silver Trails [Teens] (354 words)
Summary: Amdir and Oropher spend some time together after they leave the Halls

The Stars by Silver Trails [Teens] (457 words)
Summary: The Elves in Doriath watching the stars after the Sun and the Moon stop riding at the same time in the sky

Warriors by Silver Trails [Teens] (631 words)
Summary: Oropher worries for Amdir while they fight Morgoth's creatures outside Doriath

You have a life to live by Silver Trails [Teens] (705 words)
Summary: Methos helps Maglor to focus on the present. CRossover with HIghlander the Series

Winter Solstice by Silver Trails [Adult] (471 words)
Summary: Oropher and Amdir celebrate the Winter Solstice together


Sauron Applies For His Job by Himring [Author Chooses Not to Rate] (146 words)
Summary: Before the throne of Angband, Sauron makes his application for the job of lieutenant to Morgoth, the Dark Lord. For reasons unknown and unexplained (possibly just to make things appropriately hellishly difficult) the application has to be made in rhyme...

The Death of Fëanáro by Dawn Felagund [Teens] (882 words)
Summary: Fëanor's death and its aftermath, as told by the Fëanorian bards and as it truly happened. A free-verse poem.

(Return to Top)

Character of the Month Biography

Nellas of Doriath


One finds no mention in The Silmarillion of Nellas, a Sindarin Elf-maid of Doriath, despite her significant presence in the childhood of Túrin. Her connections to the young son of Húrin encompass those of companion, quasi-nursemaid, and teacher. The first mention of Nellas is in the Narn i Hîn Húrin in the Unfinished Tales and, as part of that narrative, her involvement in the story carries over into the pages of the later compilation The Children of Húrin, where she is described in the index of names as an “Elf of Doriath, friend of Túrin in his boyhood.”1

Nellas is advised by Melian, who took a particular interest in Túrin’s welfare, to keep close watch on the boy.2

In the years of his childhood in the kingdom of Doriath Túrin was watched over by Melian, though he saw her seldom. But there was a maiden named Nellas, who lived in the woods; and at Melian’s bidding she would follow Túrin if he strayed in the forest, and often she met him there, as it were by chance.3

The next mention of the companionship of Nellas and Túrin could lead a reader to believe that she is quite young: “Then they played together, or walked hand in hand; for he grew swiftly, whereas she seemed no more than a maiden of his own age, and was so in heart for all her elven-years.”4 Clearly, however, she must have been an adult, as the phrase “for all her elven-years” implies, and further, a responsible one to have been entrusted by Melian with the welfare of this precious child of the Edain, who bears the liability of the fragility of his short-lived breed.

There is in these passages a hint of a certain childlike quality in Nellas--although one must argue it is not childishness--which separates her from many of the more sophisticated inhabitants of the stone city of Menegroth. She lives among the trees, attuned to the forest, nature, and the wildlife of the territory encompassed by the protective Girdle of Melian, but never resides within the Thousand Caves. She apparently rejects the political complications she would have found in the city of Menegroth, as well as turning her back on the marvels of Sindarin technological development and cleaving instead to the forest.

But Nellas imparts two unique types of wisdom to the boy, both of which carry a weighty significance for Tolkien. She teaches him of the natural world around him, a knowledge which will be of enormous use to him in his future adventures and misadventures. And it is Nellas who imprints upon Túrin, for life, the particular form of Sindarin that is used within the boundaries of Doriath.

From Nellas Túrin learned much concerning the ways and the wild things of Doriath, and she taught him to speak the Sindarin tongue after the manner of the ancient realm, older, and more courteous, and richer in beautiful words.5

Through Nellas, Túrin masters Doriathrin, what Tolkien refers to in The Peoples of Middle-earth as "the Sindarin of Doriath,"6 or that the Norwegian linguist Helge Fauskanger calls “the mother-tongue of Lúthien.”7

All that is known of the language of Doriath is some eighty words found in The Etymologies in LR:347-400 [The Lost Road and Other Writings (The History of Middle-Earth, Vol. 5)], plus one or two words from the Silmarillion chapter 21. Yet this was once the language spoken at the court of King Thingol, who ruled Beleriand for four thousand years of the Sun and sired "the fairest of all the Children of Ilúvatar that was or shall ever be" (Silm. ch. 4 [The Silmarillion, “Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"]). Doriathrin must have been the mother-tongue of Lúthien Tinúviel. When she later learnt Beren's native Mannish tongue, he indeed asked her why she bothered, "since her own tongue was richer and more beautiful" (PM:369 [The Peoples of Middle-earth, “The Problem of Ros”]).8

The language, taught to Túrin by Nellas, as well as his demeanor, contribute to the image that Túrin will present to the world throughout his short life. In The Silmarillion it is noted that, when Túrin came to Nargothrond, his “speech and bearing were that of the ancient kingdom of Doriath.”9 Despite recent rough living and his usual bad luck, Túrin still resembles nothing so much as an Elf-lord of a noble house.

Returning to that early period in Doriath, however, Nellas serves as a comfort for the lonely young boy.

Thus for a little while his mood was lightened, until he fell again under shadow, and that friendship passed like a morning of spring. For Nellas did not go to Menegroth, and was unwilling ever to walk under roofs of stone; so that as Túrin’s boyhood passed and he turned his thoughts to deeds of men, he saw her less and less often, and at last called for her no more. But she watched over him still, though now she remained hidden.10

When Túrin grows into a man and, like most youth, longs for independence and, uniquely, suffers from the preoccupations of his personal burdens, he forgets his friend and the companion of his childhood. For her part, Nellas never loses interest in him; rather, she watches him from a greater distance. The affective attachment she feels for Túrin will shortly play a dramatic part in his tale.

To summarize a complicated story, Túrin has made an enemy of a certain Saeros of Doriath through a series of prejudices and misunderstandings. Nellas is an unknown witness to their final confrontation, which ends in the more or less accidental death of Saeros, who slips and bashes his skull on a rock in the River Esgalduin. Túrin flees and is banished from Doriath by Thingol, in light of the appearance of guilt and the absence of any explanation. Beleg, having returned to Doriath after an absence, hears of Túrin’s troubles and immediately seeks out Nellas, knowing of her proclivity for watching over Túrin.11

Predictably, Nellas has observed the encounter between Saeros and Túrin and is without difficulty persuaded by Beleg to appear before Thingol and testify on behalf of Túrin. There is an awkward moment when the reclusive and unpretentious Nellas is brought in before the king. Her stance and Thingol’s response to it reveal a lot about both the Elf-maid and her king. She has determined to brave the courtly setting and the uncomfortable-for-her stone walls in order to defend her friend. Thingol appears to understand this and strives to encourage her to speak so that he may learn the truth.

Then Beleg went out, and led in by the hand the maiden Nellas, who dwelt in the woods, and came never into Menegroth; and she was afraid, as much of the great pillared hall and the roof of stone as of the company of many eyes that watched her.

And when Thingol bade her speak, she said: ‘Lord, I was sitting in a tree’; but then she faltered in awe of the King, and could say no more.

At that the King smiled, and said: ‘Others have done this also, but have felt no need to tell me of it.’

‘Others indeed,’ said she, taking courage from his smile.’12

With her tongue loosened, she recovers herself well and is able to convince Thingol that Túrin had no intent to kill Saeros and to persuade the king to lift Túrin’s banishment.

‘Lord King!’ she cried then. ‘Bear with me, and let me speak first. I sat in a tree to look on Túrin as he went away; and I saw Saeros come out from the wood with sword and shield, and spring on Túrin at unawares.’

At that there was a murmur in the hall; and the King lifted his hand, saying: ‘You bring graver news to my ear than seemed likely. Take heed now to all that you say; for this is a court of doom.’

‘So Beleg has told me,’ she answered, ‘and only for that have I dared to come here, so that Túrin shall not be ill judged. He is valiant, but he is merciful. They fought, lord, these two, until Túrin had bereft Saeros of both shield and sword; but he did not slay him. Therefore I do not believe that he willed his death in the end. If Saeros were put to shame, it was shame that he had earned.’13

Despite Thingol’s express desire for Túrin to then be welcomed back into Doriath, Nellas remains devastated by all that has come to pass and worried for the future of her friend. Beleg tries to reassure her.

But when the doom was pronounced, suddenly Nellas wept. ‘Where can he be found?’ she said. ‘He has left our land, and the world is wide.’

‘He shall be sought,’ said Thingol. Then he rose, and Beleg led Nellas forth from Menegroth; and he said to her: ‘Do not weep; for if Túrin lives or walks still abroad, I shall find him, though all others fail.’14

There are no further accounts in the texts to what happens to Nellas, whether she lives or dies, and if she survives the sacking of Doriath by the Dwarves and the destruction of Menegroth by the sons of Fëanor.15 It is entirely possible that she might have been able to slip away unscathed, given that her home was the forest surrounding Menegroth and not the halls of the city itself.

The last reference to Nellas in the texts is a sad and poignant one, which points out that she has cared much more for Túrin than he was able to care for her. (This is not at all an uncommon denouement for those who love Túrin best.) When Beleg catches up with Túrin again, he explains what has passed in Doriath in his absence, the details of Túrin’s trial in absentia for the murder of Saeros, and his acquittal due to the testimony of Nellas.

Túrin remembers nothing of Nellas, who had succored him when he was most in need of a friend and instructed him in wood lore and language.

Coming suddenly out of thought he looked at Beleg, and said: ‘The elf-maiden that you named, though I forget how: I owe her well for her timely witness; yet I cannot recall her. Why did she watch my ways?’ Then Beleg looked strangely at him. ‘Why indeed?’ he said. ‘Túrin, have you lived always with your heart and half your mind far away? As a boy you used to walk with Nellas in the woods.’

‘That must have been long ago,’ said Túrin. ‘Or so my childhood now seems, and a mist is over it – save only the memory of my father’s house in Dor-lómin. Why would I walk with an elf-maiden?’

‘To learn what she could teach, maybe,’ said Beleg, ‘if no more than a few elven-words of the names of woodland flowers. Their names at least you have not forgotten. Alas! child of Men, there are other griefs in Middle-earth than yours, and wounds made by no weapon. Indeed I begin to think that Elves and Men should not meet or meddle.’ 16

Different interpretations have been posited by readers of what Beleg might have meant by his remark, “Indeed I begin to think that Elves and Men should not meet or meddle.”

The questions raised include whether he refers to the upshot of the relationship between Nellas and Túrin, or even perhaps to his own dedication to Túrin’s welfare and his affection for him, which is returned in a measure unequal to that which Beleg offers time after time. Others have interpreted the sentence as a reference to the fact that Nellas has indeed harbored deep feelings for Túrin, which are fated to never be returned, since even the friendship they had shared had been dismissed and long forgotten by Túrin.

One is left feeling that Nellas’ affection, friendship, and positive contributions to Túrin’s education and welfare has been sadly underappreciated by the doomed youth.

Works Cited

  1. The Children of Húrin, “List of Names in the Tale of the Children of Húrin.”
  2. The Children of Húrin, “Túrin in Doriath.”
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. The Peoples of Middle-earth, “The Problem of Ros.”
  7. Helge K. Fauskanger, from his Ardalambion web page.
  8. Ibid.
  9. The Silmarillion, “Of Túrin Turambar.”
  10. The Children of Húrin, “Túrin in Doriath.”
  11. Unfinished Tales, Narn i Hîn Húrin; and The Children of Húrin, “Túrin in Doriath.”
  12. The Children of Húrin, “Túrin in Doriath.”
  13. Ibid.
  14. Ibid.
  15. The Silmarillion, “Of the Ruin of Doriath.”
  16. The Children of Húrin, “Túrin among the Outlaws.”

Read comments on this essay | Leave a comment on this essay
(You must have an account on the SWG archive to comment on essays. Click here to register for an account.)

View past character profiles.
View all archived stories about Nellas.

(Return to Top)

Current Challenge

The Living Land

"Most of the trees are just trees, of course; but many are half awake. Some are quite wide awake ..."
~Treebeard, The Two Towers

One of the most attractive aspects of Tolkien's Middle-earth is its realistic geography, with its descriptions that bring names on a map to vivid life for readers. Many of the memorable places in Middle-earth literally or figuratively come to life, becoming almost characters themselves. This challenge asks writers to choose a place in Middle-earth that is particularly evocative and write a story where that location itself acts as a character, interacting with and shaping the lives of the people who live in or pass through its boundaries.

Challenges Revisited: Of All That Remains

Many characters in The Silmarillion leave behind their childhood to face daunting challenges and endless journeys. What is left in them of their childhood innocence? What would they remember? Would they cherish these memories of the past or would they rather forget it? This challenge is to write about a childhood memory of a character. Let him or her relive that memory in their heads, and write about as much as they can recall. Here are some ideas to get your started:

Quote of the Month

What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly--that is the first law of nature.

Want more challenges? Check out our complete challenge listing for more than three years' worth of challenges to inspire your writing!

Have an idea for a challenge? Some of our most popular challenges have been created by you, the members of SWG! If you have a plotbunny gnawing at your ankle, a favorite quote, or a favorite character that you think might inspire others as well, please send an email to and we'll try to include your challenge in our next newsletter!

(Return to Top)

Around the World and Web

Articles of Interest

Each month, the SWG newsletter features links to articles that our members might find interesting. Do you have something you'd like to suggest? An interesting essay or discussion going on in your journal or blog? Drop us a line at and we'll add your article, essay, or post to our next newsletter!

It should go without saying, but just in case it bears repeating, any opinions expressed in these links are not necessarily that of the SWG and its moderators.

The Long Hwaet! Is Over – A Review of Tolkien’s Beowulf

The latest addition to the Tolkien canon is a work of scholarship that has lain unloved in the archives since it was completed in 1926. His recently published translation of Beowulf differs considerably from Seamus Heaney’s version. More details about Tolkien’s translation and about how it’s been received can be found on Channel 4, from the New Statesman, and on the New York Times, and British academic Andy Orchard discusses it in an interview for the BBC.

I Want More Terrible Female Characters

Double standards extend to character archetypes. The Damsel in Distress trope is automatically associated to women but, the Jerk With a Heart of Gold archetype, of which Walter White" in Breaking Bad is a recent example, seem to be exclusively reserved for men, which limits the number of storylines in which woman characters can participate. Read more at the LadyGeekGirl Blog.

Gondolin Is Not Sustainable

A city with no trade outside its borders, set in a hidden valley surrounded by impassable mountains. Had Arda not been a fantasy world, would Gondolin have survived as long as it did? Read the arguments regarding the unlikely long-term sustainability of Turgon’s city in the essay "Gondolin Is Not Sustainable" in "The Drawing Room".

Tolkien’s Explains LOTR at "Hobbits Dinner"

In 1938, J.R.R. Tolkien stood in front of a Dutch audience who had gathered together in Rotterdam to attend a "Hobbit Dinner" in his honour, organised by his Dutch publisher and a bookseller. The menu included Egg-salad à la Barliman Butterbur, Vegetables of Goldberry, and Maggot-soup; there was also a supply of Old Toby and Longbottom Leaf, as well as clay pipes so that guests could indulge the art of smoking pipeweed. Like Bilbo Baggins before him, Tolkien made a speech, cracked jokes, spoke Elvish ... and a great time was had by all. An unearthed audio recording of the event has now been unveiled, and funding is being procured to remaster the tape and made it available to Tolkien fans. Read all the details in this article by the Huffington Post and listen to a teaser snipper on YouTube.

Woman's Car Attacked by Self-Identified 'High Elf' Battling Evil

The last thing the woman from Northeast Portland probably expected when she got up Tuesday morning was that she would be attacked by a sword-wielding elf. A man dressed in chain-mail with a helmet, shield and carrying a sword and staff ran into traffic and started attacking her car. Bass told officers that he wasn’t a pirate but a "high-elf engaged in battle with the evil Morgoth." Read the full article here and weigh in on the very important question: Was he a Fëanorian or Fingolfian?


Proclamation: June of Doom & Gloom

Our SWG member Huinárë throws at our feet "a laid-back challenge to produce Tolkien fanfic (or fanart) of a doomy and/or gloomy flavor during the month of June". Read the rules (are there any beyond what this sentence already says?) and pop round to express your interest here!.

June 8th-14th Is I Survived First Age Beleriand Week!

The tumblr Silmarillion Appreciation Weeks is hosting an appreciation week in honor of the characters who survived the First Age in Beleriand. Beginning on June 8, participants are encouraged to post fic, art, closet cosplay, headcanons and meta, photosets, and anything else to do with the featured character for each day. The schedule runs as follows:

June 8: Maglor
June 9: Celeborn & Galadriel
June 10: Ereinion Gil-galad
June 11: Elrond & Elros
June 12: Oropher & Thranduil
June 13: Círdan
June 14: Celebrimbor

Middle-earth POC Design Challenge

The Middle-earth POC Design Challenge stems from lots of things, some of them namely being the lack of representation of persons of color among Tolkien character design, and the abundance of people solely drawing movie versions of the characters from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. We want to see more middle-earth poc! and that’s where you come in!

All throughout the month of June this challenge will ensue and hopefully spread across the fandom and produce some great stuff from the incredibly talented people we have working within it! Character design is the main initial point, but I hope that in designing, people will start to use those designs regularly to represent all of our beloved characters. The challenge is not limited to drawings! Photo edits, gifsets, cosplays, even writing and meta--anything is fair game!

The Middle-earth POC Design Challenge tumblr has more information on how to get involved. The official tumblr tag is #mepocdc2014. If you make a post in participation, please tag it with mepocdc2014 within the first five tags.

Help Needed in Making a Silmarillion Fan Film

Lokismun on Tumblr is seeking out interested parties to help with making a short fan film of one or two chapters of The Silmarillion. The project seeks everything from headcanons on appearance and fans with Tolkien expertise to actors, costumers, makeup artists, and possibly donators. This post has more information about the project and how to be added to the discussion on the film.

Mythgard Institute: Free Online Course on The Book of Lost Tales, Book 1

Have you ever wondered how J.R.R. Tolkien’s compelling and detailed fictional world developed? Would you like to study how stories and mythologies grow? Are you interested to read Tolkien’s early works published in The History of Middle-earth series, but you’ve been a little intimidated about beginning? Do you find that The Silmarillion just doesn’t contain enough names to suit you?

Join Corey Olsen, the Tolkien Professor and the president of the Mythgard Institute, for an in-depth nine-week study of The Book of Lost Tales, Part I, the first volume in Christopher Tolkien’s priceless History of Middle-earth series. As part of the Mythgard Academy series, the class is tuition-free and open to the public. The first 100 participants for each session are able to participate in the discussion live, and both video and audio recordings of the classes will be available on this web page, through the Mythgard podcast feed, and on our iTunes U course. Courses run on Tuesdays, beginning at 9:30 PM EDT. Visit the course page to download past lectures and join upcoming classes.

The Tolkien Society - Calling the 40th Oxonmoot

Oxonmoot is the annual conference hosted by the Tolkien Society. It brings together Tolkien scholars and students of all genres. Held in Oxford, the venue this year will be the Lady Margaret Hall. In 2014, Oxonmoot will last an extra day, running from 11th-14th September. For more information, and to book a place, visit the Tolkien Society’s Oxonmoot webpage.

Call for Proposals: The Mithril Turtle

2014 is the sixtieth anniversary of Lord of the Rings. The Mithril Turtle is the University of Maryland College Park’s commemoration of this important literary and cultural milestone. A variety of events are planned for September 1 – October 17, 2014.

Among these is an interdisciplinary discussion series. Tolkien’s created world is realistically and compellingly realized, making it ideal for creative exploration of a wide range of disciplines. We invite proposals that use the lens of Lord of the Rings and Middle-earth to focus attention upon cutting edge research and scholarship. More information, including contact information and a list of possible topics, can be found at the Mithril Turtle webpage.

Around the World and Web is provided for our members to inform them of events in the larger Tolkien community. SWG is not affiliated with and does not endorse the groups that we feature in Around the World and Web, and we are not responsible for content on sites outside of our own. Please use discretion and caution when visiting unfamiliar sites on the Internet.

Would you like to see your group or event featured on Around the World and Web? See our Promotions Page for more details or email us at

(Return to Top)

View Newsletter Archive