Bilbo comes to the Huts of the Raft-elves, a watercolor Tolkien
painted for the first edition of The Hobbit, published in 1937.
Bilbo is seen sitting astride a barrel floating down the forest river,
having helped the dwarves (who are hidden inside the wine barrels) to
escape from the dungeons of the Elvenking. This was Tolkien’s favorite
watercolor and he was disappointed to find that it had been omitted from
the first American edition. Credit: © The Tolkien Estate Limited 1937.
The University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library has launched the largest exhibition on J.R.R. Tolkien in a generation.
Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth showcases the library’s extensive collection of Tolkien’s papers, manuscripts, letters, and artwork, the largest of its kind in the world. The exhibition, which includes some 200 items, also brings together items from private collections and Marquette University’s Tolkien Collection.
J.R.R. Tolkien (1892–1973) spent most of his adult life in Oxford. He came to Oxford University in 1911, aged nineteen, to study Classics at Exeter College, but later switched to English. After serving in France during World War One, he returned to Oxford to work on the New English Dictionary (later the Oxford English Dictionary), while tutoring in English. After five years at Leeds University as Reader and then Professor of English Language, he returned to Oxford in 1925 and remained there for the rest of his working life, first as Professor of Anglo-Saxon from 1925 to 1945, and later as Professor of English Language and Literature from 1945 to 1959. He is buried with his wife, Edith, in Wolvercote Cemetery in Oxford.
Read More Read More
I wasn’t sure what to expect upon opening The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Deck Building Game (Amazon) from Cryptozoic. I was familiar with the basic concept of deck building games and had played both Ascension and Marvel Legendary, but the only deck building game I actually owned was the science fiction game Eminent Domain. Fortunately, LOTR: The Two Towers contains some engaging variations on basic deck-building strategy, resulting in a fun competitive game that is sure to entertain fans of the series for endless variations of play, especially when combined with other deck-building games in the series.
If you’ve never played one, here’s the basic mechanic behind deck-building games: Each player begins with a small default deck of cards (10 starting out in all of the above games) and goes through rounds in which they play cards from their hands to buy more cards into their discard pile. When they run through all their cards, the player shuffles it back into the deck. Many of the cards have a secondary ability, such as letting the player draw more cards out of the deck, take cards from the discard pile, or eliminate useless cards from their hand or discard pile. The goal is to gain effective cards and streamline your deck to get as many effective cards into your hand as quickly as possible.
The first thing that makes The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers stand out is that each player gets to assume the role of one of the characters from the film: Samwise, Frodo, Legolas, Aragorn, Merry & Pippin, Gimli, or King Theoden. By drawing from a selection of oversized Hero cards, the player randomly determine which character they are (or you can just choose). Each different character gets a unique card that goes into their starting deck. For example, Frodo’s card (called “It’s Getting Heavier”) allows him to gain control of The One Ring card while Samwise’s card (“There’s Some Good in This World”) protects from possible negative results from cards and allows you to draw another card.
Read More Read More