Tag: J.R.R.Tolkien

5 Times SNL Hilariously Parodied Classic Books

Books are weird. We have books about children who don’t grow, books about evil jewelry, books about people who really want to sit in uncomfortable chairs, books about cats who wear hats for reasons that are  never explained, and books about orphans. It’s a lot to take in, but you know what makes it so much easier? Humor.

 

SNL boxset

Image Via Amazon

And SNL is funny. It’s had its up and downs, but when your show is over thirty years old, of course there are going to be some duds. But when it’s good, it is amazing.

So, in honor of our love of SNL and our love of books, here are five times SNL paranoid classic books.

 

1. Peter Pan

 

Peter Pan is back and Wendy and the gang are ready to go to Neverland. What could go wrong?

Well, Tinkerbell ain’t around. She was always kind of obnoxious with that I’m-going-to-sell-out-a little girl-to-a-one-handed-pirate thing she had going on, but that was a phase. Luckily, we can avoid bringing out dirty laundry because Peter Pan brought a new fairy.

 

Tonker Bell

Image Via Gifer

Tonker Bell.

She’s gross. And lazy. And a whole other list of negative character traits. At least she’s not cruel though. That goes to Peter Pan himself.

Yes, Tonker Bell may be unpleasant, but in the book Peter was a devil! Really. J. M. Barrie and the Lost Boys: The Real Story Behind Peter Pan notes that when Sir George Frampton sculpted this masterpiece…

 

Peter Pan Statue

Image Via The Second Website of Bob Speel

 

…author Barrie noted, “It doesn’t show the devil in Peter.”

Let’s be honest: Peter Pan cut off a pirate hand and threw it to a crocodile. Why not just kill him? Why throw his hand to a crocodile? Was it because his last name was hook? That’s not funny, that’s just mean.

If you want more examples, pick up J.M. Barrie’s 1911 book Peter and Wendy.

 

2. Oliver Twist

 

Charles Dickens’ classic Oliver Twist follows the titular character who is born into poverty and grows up being forced to toil in the workhouse. It’s dark, it’s depressing, and it’s kind of fun.

It’s a match made in heaven for SNL.

Oliver Twist Cover

Image Via Amazon

 

In this sketch, the cowardly Oliver is told to ask for more food because the poor orphans are hungry. Shaking, Oliver goes up but is…

 

Oliver Twist

Image Via Variety

…interrupted by a full grown woman who comes out of nowhere begging for food she doesn’t need. How selfish!

When Oliver gets the bowl, the woman insults him. Oliver, the pinacle of human goodness, offers to share because of course he does. But unfortunately for him, the woman takes the whole bowl. If you thinks that’s depressing, you should read the book.

 

3. Cat in the Hat

 

Just like the Seuss’ book, this sketch opens up in rhyme. The twist? The Cat comes in just a bit too early. And turns out he knows the children’s mother!

The whole sketch builds from there. Why is the Cat in the Hat cut out from the pictures? The daughter can dance? And who is the children’s father? And will Thing One and Thing Two make an appearance?

This sketch, like the book, is a classic.

2. The Hobbit

 

The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have much of the same characters, and the film adaptations have much of the same cast, so it’s only naturally we’d want to see them together. But how?

The Office is a good place to start. It’s a match made in heaven. Tolkien intended The Hobbit to be a children’s story, and The Office is basically a room full of children.

It might just be the best sketch yet, but that could because of Martin Freeman reprises his role as Bilbo Baggins.

 

Bilbo Baggins on SNL

Image Via Rebloggy

He’s basically Michael Scott. But that’s not the best part.

The best part is this…

Gollum SNL

Image Via Giffer

1. Game of thrones

 

Before the premiere aired, we already knew that more Game of Thrones spin offs than we could count were coming.

In case you wondering, we already know the details of two confirmed spin offs! Two! That’s almost the majority of my fingers on my writing right hand.

 

Game of Thrones-SVU poster

Image Via Deadline

But this sketch is a gem. It’s big, it’s long, it goes everywhere and does everything we want. The best part? We got SVU stars Mariska Hargitay and Ice-T investing the death of Oberyn Martell. Who could have crushed his death?

If you want to look at my thoughts when this sketch came out, you can read it here! And if you want more Game of Thrones parodies (and I know you do!), you can see my list here!

 

The great things about books is there are no commercials

Image Via Funny Jokes. Funny Quotes. Funny Sayings.com

Overall, these classic sketches based on classic works will make you laugh, cry, and then you’ll realize you’re crying because you’re laughing so much.

 

Featured Image Via SNL

Nicholas Hoult and Lilly Collins in Tolkein

Tolkien Estate Disavows Film Based on The Father of Fantasy

Ouch!

The film based on the life of J.R.R. Tolkien, writer of The Lord of the Rings, won’t be released until May 10th, but the Tolkien estate has already disavowed the film.

 

Tolkien Film Poster

Image Via Reddit

 

As per the Irish Examiner, the family released a statement  saying:

The family of JRR Tolkien and the Tolkien Estate are aware of the Fox Searchlight motion picture entitled Tolkien that is due for release in May 2019.

The family and the Estate wish to make clear that they did not approve of, authorise or participate in the making of this film.

They do not endorse it or its content in any way.

 

The film stars Nicholas Hoult, known for playing Beast in X-Men: First Class and Nux in Max Max: Fury Road. According to The Guardian, the film is follows “the formative years of the renowned author’s life as he finds friendship, courage and inspiration among a fellow group of writers and artists at school…until the outbreak of the first world war which threatens to tear their fellowship apart”.

 

J R R Tolkien, Nicholas Hoult, and Lilly Collins

Image Via Entertainment Weekly

 

It’s another biopic but instead of being based on a rock n’roll star a la Bohemian Rhapsody or the new Elton John film, Rocketman, this film is about a writer. Given that Lilly Collins plays Edith, Tolkien’s romantic interest and later wife, you probably already know what this film is about.

But let’s keep an open mind: Just because the film doesn’t have the family’s approval doesn’t mean it’s bad—or even inaccurate. The Tolkien estate isn’t known for their love of The Lord of the Rings, either. Christopher Tolkien, son of the writer, told Cinema Blend that, “They gutted the book, making an action movie for fifteen-twenty-five year olds. And it seems that The Hobbit will be of the same ilk.”

At least the filmmakers—from the actors to the cast and crew to the producers—can sit easily with this quote from The Independent: “The family of Tolkien are understood to consistently turn down approaches to make biopics, and wished to clarify their position.”

Meanwhile, the Tolkien estate sold the rights for a Lord of the Rings television series to Amazon back in 2017, and a series based on the trilogy is currently in development. Meanwhile, the film, produced by Fox Searchlight (which is now owned by Disney!) will still be released come May 10th.

Check out the trailer before!

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Youtube

7 Fictional Book Worlds to Inspire Your Own World-Building

World-building is hard. Designing an entirely different world may look easy on screen, but any up and coming writer who has actually sat down to design a fantasy world has found it much harder than it seems. Of course, the mere fact that they are dozens of fictional worlds out there showcases that it can be done… it just requires a lot of time and work. To get your creative juices flowing, here are 7 books with worlds you just get lost in. Maybe you can get inspired to design some of your own!

 

The cover to Neverwhere, showcasing the London cityscape and a subway tunnel beneath

Image Via Amazon

7. London Below – ‘Neverwhere’ by Neil Gaiman

Anyone’s who ever read Neil Gaiman’s many and varied works knows he’s a master of imagination, characterization, and storytelling. But the most intriguing and developed world comes from Neverwhere: the world called London Below. Sitting beneath London in this novel is a fictional underground that bridges the line between the reality of London and the other side of its own surreal culture. Subway stations become full kingdoms, and the tunnels are full of all manner of strangeness. Things you take for granted in the real world (like minding the gap stepping off the platform) become infused with terror, as monsters dwell in the dark space in the gap and can snatch you off your feet. Neil Gaiman creates a fictional universe that places London in an alternate reality full of intrigue, monsters, and strange concepts, making for a grand location that we wished to see more of.

 

A young woman clad in desert attire backlit by flames

Image Via Amazon

6. Miraji – ‘Rebel of the Sands’ by Alwyn Hamilton

A fusion between the Wild West and classic Arabian fantasy tropes, Miraji is the titular world of Rebel of the Sandsa desert nation constantly at war. Magic is held in check through the backwater towns that populate the desert sands, as they spew black dust that keeps the power of the god-like First Beings from being gifted to normal folk. Scheming sultans, colorful Djinn, and a religious war are many of the elements in this fully-realized world, a harsh but imaginative one.

 

A bug-like humanoid stands beneath a twisted cityscape crisscrossed by wires and flying airships

Image Via Amazon

5. Bas-lung – ‘Perdido Street Station’ by China Meiville

Weird doesn’t even begin to describe this novel, but it’s a strong place to start. Author China Meiville decided to chuck seemingly everything and the kitchen sink into his world, a city called Bas-Lung, in his famous novel Perdido Street StationBas-Lung is self-described as a fantasy version of Victorian England, dirty and full of crude, steampunk-esque technology. Magic, robots, insect people, bird people, monsters, giant killer moths, and so much more inhabit Bas-Lung; it almost reaches the point of being overstuffed. (Almost.) But China Meiville’s skillful writing keeps everything in balance and, despite the madness of the concept, grounds it enough in reality that Bas-Lung becomes a developed world rather than just a crazed place of ideas. Of course, it nearly reaches that point as well.

 

A black robed man in a menacing mask stands against the back drop of a full moon

Image Via Goodreads

4. Urth – ‘The Book of the New Sun’ by Gene Wolfe

Urth of The Book of the New Sun is actually our world (say ‘urth’ out loud), but so far into the future that it has become a nearly unrecognizable, alien world. The sun is dying, and the remaining population has exhausted all its resources, meaning the planet is on the verge of a slow death. There is some advanced technology, but the story reads more as a sword-and-sorcery tale, humanity having regressed to a more primitive state of mind. Although strangely written, akin to a waking dream, the world this novel creates is at once beautiful, haunting, and certainly uniquely crafted.

 

The cover to Jade City, featuring glimpses of green chunks of jade

Image Via Amazon

 

3. Kekon – ‘Jade City’ by Fonda Lee

Kekon of Jade City is a sprawling island metropolis much like our own, possessing modern conveniences such as televisions, phones, cars, the works. But it diverges in one very important point: the existence of jade. Jade is a substance that is found off of Kekon’s waters and, properly harvested, can be used to grant supernatural abilities to its wielders. Kekon is ruled by four rival crime families, all with jade at their disposal, and, as the novel unfolds, the families descend into war. Kekon is inspired by Asian mythology, complete with jade-given powers that you might see in kung-fu action films. The island itself becomes a memorable character all on its own, with jungle hills beyond the bustling, rain-soaked cityscapes and fisheries lining the slimy docks at the island’s coasts. It’s a unique location and certainly one you could see yourself wandering about under stormy skies, listening to the sea and seeking your next piece of jade.

 

The covers to the Song of Ice and Fire series, featuring a sword, a crown, a helmet, a goblet, and a shield

Image Via A Wiki of Ice and Fire

2. The Known World – ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ by George R.R. Martin

One of the most developed worlds in recent memory, the Known World of A Song of Ice and Fire feels like a living, breathing culture. Martin’s ability to make it feel incredibly real, even when introducing elements such as the dragons, the white walkers, and blood magic, is a huge part of the series’ massive success. From the mega continent of Westeros with its freezing Northlands, swamp-like Riverlands, and the sheer beauty of places such as King’s Landing, to the most barren regions of Essos, every part of the world feels carefully constructed; no amount of detail is spared. Although more grounded in reality than most fantasy, Martin’s world still feels incredibly imaginative and lived-in. Just watch your back: everyone plays the Game of Thrones for keeps…

 

The covers to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, featuring the flaming Eye of Sauron

Image Via Amazon

1. Middle-Earth – ‘The Lord of the Rings’ by J.R.R. Tolkien 

The first is often the best for a reason. Middle-Earth is the standard by which all other fantasy works are judged, a truth so obvious it hardly requires explanation. (But don’t worry; we’ll explain.) Tolkien’s world is so vibrant, so detailed, and so full of life you’ll swear it was real even just by the words he chooses to describe each part of it. Tolkien’s craft is so meticulous fandom is still finding new details about his world today from the expansive timeline, to the lore behind the smallest of locations, to the origins of the various races, to the rich history of various character’s own family trees.

(Not to mention the beautiful natural world Tolkien creates, from the towering peaks of the Misty Mountain inhabited by swarming hordes of orcs, to the great grasslands of Rohan where the horse-riders race across the hills, and the humble countryside of the Shrine home to the isolated, yet happy hobbits. Except I have no choice but to mention it.)

It’s a world that set the standard and in some ways, can never be topped.

What are some of your favorite fantasy worlds that you draw inspiration from? Tell us in the comments!

 

Featured Image Via Goodreads 

Frodo on a balcony in Rivendell with Rivendell and waterfall behind him

Top 5 Best Locations in ‘Lord of the Rings’

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is one of the most well respected pieces of fantasy literature for a reason. Not only do its characters, themes, and wonderful prose continue to resonate with readers decades after its first publication but the world Tolkien created, Middle-earth, feels so real that many readers have desperately wanted to be there since being drawn in through the first lines of The Fellowship of the Ring. Here are some of the best locations throughout Middle-earth, each breathtaking in its imagined beauty.

 

1. The Shire

 

The great hills of the Shire, a unspoiled paradise of trees and green
IMAGE VIA TOKIENGATEWAY

A loosely organized set of territories nestled in northwest Middle-earth, the Shire is home to the hobbits and the place where Frodo Baggins, Bilbo Baggins, and Samwise Gamgee call home. Defined by lush wilderness and agriculture, the Shire is isolated from the rest of Middle-earth but it is that determination to keep it safe which motivates Frodo and Sam to keep it safe throughout their long quest to destroy the One Ring. The Shire begins our introduction to the world of Middle-earth and its a place that we, much like Frodo and Bilbo, always wish to return to.

 

2. Rivendell

 

The great elf city of Rivendell, sitting atop a waterfall as cascades of water spill around it

Image Via Lord of the Rings wiki

A haven for the elves in the midst of the Misty Mountains, this place is where the Fellowship of the Ring is formed during the Council of Elrond. Rivendell is a valley, surrounded by pine-trees and maintained as a hidden place. Rivendell features a cool, temperate climate. Uniquely, Rivendell is not affected by time, allowing Elrond and his people to live free of the vestiges of time, in peace but at the same time, somewhat stagnant. Playing an important role throughout the books, Rivendell’s time comes to an end when the One Ring is destroyed, the elves leaving Rivendell and heading to the Grey Havens across the seas.

3. Isengard

 

The great fortress of Isengard, burning with the fires of trees hurled into the forges

Image Via Lord of the Rings wiki

The great fortress of Isengard plays a pivotal role in the books, being the residence of Saruman and his orc army. Saruman defiles the valley around Isengard, cutting down trees and burning the land. Within Isengard, the fortress burns with the smolders of war, as countless Orcs are bred, given armor and weapons to conquer the land of Rohan. The Ents, angered at Saruman’s contempt for nature, storm the fortress in the famous March of the Ents, routing Saruman’s army and stopping his dreams of conquest in their tracks. Isengard remains a pivotal symbol of evil, being one of the titular Two Towers. 

 

4. Moria

 

Gandalf, the wizard, sits before the door into Moria, trying to figure out the password as the hobbits linger nearby

Image Via Ted Nasmith 

Home to the dwarves, Moria, otherwise known as Khazad-dûm, lies deep in the Misty Mountains. There, the dwarves mined the rare material minthril but they dug too deep and free an ancient, powerful monster known as a Balrog. The dwarves are forced to abandon their home and consider the tunnels cursed. The Fellowship is forced to pass through Moria during their travels and here, they meet the Balrog. Gandalf duels the monster on the bridge of Khazad-dûm but the Balrog drags him down into the abyss when he destroys the bridge, forcing the quest to continue without the wise wizard.

 

5. Barad-dûr

 

The sky is blotted out by mounds of fire and ash from the volcanic Mount Doom, as the great black tower of Barad-dur sits in the foreground, blazing with the hellish Eye of Sauron

Image Via Lord of the Rings wiki

Barad-dûr, otherwise known as the Dark Tower, is the second of the titular Two Towers. It is the fortress of the Dark Lord Sauron, acting as his stronghold in the barren wasteland of Mordor. Sauron keeps watch over his land via his great eye, the Eye of Sauron, acting as a symbol of his evil. The fortress itself is described as huge and utterly impenetrable. Held together via Sauron’s magic, it falls to ruin when the One Ring is destroyed, again symbolizing Sauron’s own fall.

What are some of your favorite Lord of the Rings locations? Tell us in the comments!

 

Featured Image Via Tolkien Gateway 

Amazon ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Series Setting Revealed

Remember the montage at the beginning of Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring? We were introduced to the world of Middle Earth, the forging of the rings, and the then embodied dark lord, Sauron kicking everyone’s ass before being de-fingered by Isildur. What followed were three hours, forty-three minutes and thirty seconds of malnourished Middle Earth magic. The release of the subsequent sequels fulfilled the cinematic dreams of all Tolkienites everywhere; no more subpar animations…

 

IMAGE VIA NERDIST.COM

When Peter Jackson trolled us by ending The Return of the King multiple times within the same movie our exhaustion gave way to satisfaction. We never thought we would see Middle Earth of the screen again, or at least for quite some time…kidding, of course, those movies made way too much money. The Hobbit’s charming little tale was turned into a colossal trilogy and now Amazon is adapting the best-selling novels by J.R.R. Tolkien into an online series; a deal that includes the potential for any additional spinoff series hobbit enthusiasts may desire($). It is being produced in-house at Amazon Studios with the help of the Tolkien Estate, and New Line Cinema. JD Payne and Patrick McKay are developing the series—-a somewhat unknown writing duo that has previously been attached to an upcoming Star Trek film (which is probably not happening now due to negotiation issues with Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth). In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the pair expressed their excitement for the series.

“The rich world that J.R.R. Tolkien created is filled with majesty and heart, wisdom and complexity,” longtime friends and writing partners Payne and McKay said in a joint statement. “We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Amazon to bring it to life anew. We feel like Frodo, setting out from the Shire, with a great responsibility in our care — it is the beginning of the adventure of a lifetime.”

 

The pending series twitter account has dropped hints to the show’s setting in the last month via maps and quotes from its source material:

The Twitter account’s focus on the Second Age and the opening minutes of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring lead the logic police to deduce the setting of Amazon’s upcoming series (or at least the first season). The Second Age/Timeline of Arda spans 3441 years and ends with the downfall of Sauron’s army. The people involved with the show’s development have spent hours talking to Tolkien’s son and are fully prepared to embrace the mythology of the world Sr. has created. One can only hope the show’s storyline will be fresh and rich with the kind of detail we expect from master worldbuilders—for which Tolkien set the standard. I for one hope the show includes more of the impulsive songs/singing/poems from the novel that has been overlooked in previous adaptations. For example, this lyrical nugget from The Fellowship of the Ring Book 1:

 

Ho! Ho! Ho! to the bottle I go
To heal my heart and drown my woe.
Rain may fall and wind may blow,
And many miles be still to go,
But under a tall tree, I will lie,
And let the clouds go sailing by.

 

Production begins this year and we can hope to see Middle Earth once again by 2021. The future looks very bing-able.

 

Featured Image Via Ign.com