Tag: lord of the rings

The Top 5 Best Wizards in Fantasy Literature

Wizards are a classic staple of fantasy literature and it’s easy to see why these characters have been fascinating readers forever. From the classic image of the wizard as an old man in a pointy hat to more modern interpretations, wizards endure thanks to their varied abilities, cool characterizations, and usage to explore the fantasy realms they inhabit. But who are some of the best?

 

Here are top five of the coolest and best wizards (in our opinion) of fantasy literature.

 

5. The Crimson King from The Dark Tower

 

The Crimson King, a figure in a red robe, features hidden, sits on a throne of skulls with a crumpled form sitting before him
IMAGE VIA STEPHEN KING WIKI

Not all wizards are good. Many throughout literature have been downright evil, with the classic image of an evil sorcerer becoming a well known fixture of various novels. No villains of this caliber have become as far reaching as The Crimson King, the main villain of The Dark Tower and indeed, Stephen King’s literary universe. Introduced as a powerful and mysterious embodiment of evil, the Crimson King’s influence is felt across multiple universes, where he controls others to do his bidding. He appears as the dark force setting in motion the novels Insomnia and Black Housebefore he is properly revealed to behind the destruction of the Beams in The Dark Tower universe which holds reality together, plotting to rule the chaos that will follow.

The Crimson King takes many forms throughout Stephen King’s novels, appearing as Satan, a handsome young man, and withered old man with crimson eyes. He is the ultimate evil and although his powers are not explicit, it is known that he uses mind control to keep his men in line, as well as probably being a shapeshifter.

 

4. Rastilin Majere from Dragonlance

 

Rastilin, a wizard, stands before an open window as lightning flashes behind him
IMAGE VIA TOPTENZ

Dragonlance by Tracey and Margaret Hickman is basically a Dungeons and Dragons campaign chronicled in novel form. Rastilin Majere fulfills the common characteristics of a classic wizard but he’s much more dark and ambiguous in his loyalties than his fellow party members. Although physically extremely weak owing to a traumatic upbringing and his magical usage, Rastilin is extremely intelligent and adept with his extensive knowledge of sorcery.

He’s ruthless in his pursuit of power, viewing others as mere tools and is characterized as arrogant, egoistical, yet possessing his own strange code of honor. He’s a fascinating character, instantly hatable yet strangely complex. This status as a fan favorite earned him the starring role of Dragonlance Legendsfollowing him from his own twisted point of view.

 

3. Harry Potter from The Harry Potter Series

 

Harry Potter stands in front of a blank background, glasses on

Image Via Harry Potter wiki

Harry Potter is one of the most enduring protagonists of young adult literature, made famous by the books and the movies to become a pop culture icon. Harry Potter himself is a great character, at once being a relatable POV character while also giving way to more nuanced characterization as the series goes on. We get to grow up with Harry, showcasing his uneasy steps into adulthood as he deals with mundane terrors such as schoolwork, girls, and bullies while the looming threat of Voldemort, who he is destined to destroy, looms ever on the horizon.

Harry Potter has flaws despite his Chosen One status, such as his temper and impulsive behavior, not helped by the pressure he’s under almost constantly. It makes him a hero for a generation, being just a regular kid thrust into the wizarding world to destroy the Dark Lord.

 

2. Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings

 

Gandalf, the robed wizard with a staff, stands with a fierce expression
IMAGE VIA LORD OF THE RINGS WIKI

The Lord of the Rings set the standard for fantasy literature in many ways and it provided the classic image of a wizard whom many draw inspiration from: Gandalf. Gandalf himself was inspired by Merlin, the iconic wizard of King Arthur’s round table. Gandalf is in truth (secretly) more akin to an angel than a wizard, he is a Maiar, servants of the universe’s counterpart to God, sent to Middle-earth in human form to aid the mortal races. Gandalf is forbidden to use his true power, so he nudges everyone forward in more subtle ways, getting them to work together and using his wisdom as their guide. Gandalf perishes in the first book of the The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but returns to life and is sent back to help the heroes as Gandalf the White, reborn with greater power and given permission to use (some) of his magic more explicitly. Gandalf, despite his wisdom, is often short tempered, mischievous, and sarcastic but considering all the Hobbits he has to put off, it makes sense that he’s a little stressed.

 

1. Harry Dresden from The Dresden Files

 

The wizard Harry Dresden clutches a staff covered in runes before a raging storm
IMAGE VIA PININTEREST

The Dresden Files chronicles the adventures of Harry Dresden, a modern day detective based out of Chicago, only he’s both a wizard and tackles supernatural cases. Working as a consultant for the Chicago PD, Harry tackles everything from werewolves to vampires to evil fairies to skin walkers. Harry’s life is a bit of a mess, as he’s generally anti-social, has bad luck with women, and suffers more and more with each book. Yet, he’s a hilarious protagonist, commenting on everything from a very meta point of view and making references to comic books to movies throughout his intense fights. Wielding all sorts of spells that he conjures with Latin words, not to mention magical items and allies, Harry builds up an impressive resume as he solves case after case, each one tougher than the last.

Who are some of your favorite wizards? Let us know in the comments!

 

Featured Image Via Lord of the Rings Wiki

 

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Illustrator of Tolkien Books Dies at 90

Barbara Remington, the illustrator for J.R.R. Tolkien`s beloved fantasy novels has passed away at the age of 90. She designed the covers for “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” in 1965. Remington died on January the 23rd in Susquehanna, Pa from breast cancer. This information was given from her friend John Bromberg.

An interesting fact about Remington is that when she designed the covers she had not read the books at the time. Remington confirmed that she designed the covers even though she did not know what Tolkien`s books were about.

The covers Remington illustrated were for the paperback editions published by Ballantine Books. You can see some of Barbara Remingtons marvelous illustrations down below.

 

image via the daily cartoonist

image via heritage auctions comics

Other works by Barbara Remington include illustrations for children’s books and a cookbook by Susan Wyler called “Cooking From a Country Farmhouse.”

 

Featured Image via Access NEPA


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Iconic Places in Literature You Can Visit

Ever wanted to visit places you’ve literally only read about? Well you are in luck my friend. This is a list of iconic literary places you can actually visit.

 

Tom Riddle’s Grave

We first learn about Tom Riddle’s grave stone in the fifth book in the series, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

Image via Off Exploring

The grave is in an actual cemetery in Greyfriars Kirk, Scotland. Obviously the cemetery exactly like it is in the book but JK was rumored to have walked the cemetery and got inspiration for other character names. Many Harry Potter come to the cemetery and Riddle’s grave is the most popular to visit.

 

Image via Flicker

 

The Kingdom of Arendelle

Arendelle is the fiction kingdom in Frozen and Frozen 2. The architecture and landscape was modeled after a real village in Hallstatt, Austria. It’s a small community of only a little more than 700 hundred people but the town is lively with up to 10,000 tourists a day.  The artists also got Arendelle’s name from an actual  city in Norway named Arendal.

Image via Earth Trekkers 

 

Image via Visit Norway

 

 

Bath

Jane Austen had written her most famous novel after her time in Bath, England. And the city inspired two of her books directly. Bath is famous for its ancient roman built baths that were mentioned by Austen. Tourism is large in Bath, thanks to The Jane Austen Centre, an exhibition that tells stories of her time there.

 

Image via The Crazy Tourist

 

Image via Visit Bath

 

Hobbiton

The Lord of the Rings has too many cool places we wish we could actually visit but thank goodness we can go here! The Hobbiton set was built in Matamata, New Zealand and 98′ Peter Jackson’s team came across Alexander Farm when they were location scouting. After nine months of building 39 nine hobbit holes were ready. Guided tours of Hobbiton started in 2002 and fans still can visit the hobbit homes.

 

Image via Hobbitontours

 

 

Green Gables

The Anne of Green Gables book series was inspired by real land and farm house that you can visit. Green Gables in a 19th century farm in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, Canada. It is an national historic site for its importance to literature and is on the most visited sites in the country. The author LL Montgomery visited the farm when she was young and got romantic inspiration form the house and surrounding areas for places i her books like The Haunted Woods, Lovers’ Lane and Balsam Hollow.

 

Image via Short Excursions 

 

 

Featured Image Superpower Wiki

 


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Christopher Tolkien dead at 95

Christopher Tolkien, son of JRR Tolkien has died aged 95, the Tolkien Society reports. In a recent statement on twitter, they had this to say: “Christopher Tolkien has died at the age of 95. The Tolkien Society sends its deepest condolences to Baillie, Simon, Adam, Rachel and the whole Tolkien family.”

image via tolkien society on twitter

Christopher continued the legacy of his father, author of Lord of the Ringsafter his death in 1973, and was an author of his own work. Having grown up listening to his father’s stories, fantasy was deeply ingrained in his life from an early age. He was the first scholar of Middle Earth, even making a map of the fantasy space – which you can see firsthand in the British Library. He dedicated much of his life to editing and publishing his father’s writing.

Christopher was critical of the film adaption Lord of the Rings in an interview with Le Monde in France, stating that his father’s work had been gutted in order to market an action movie to young people. Tolkien initially sold the rights to his work for £100,000 – an amount that seems small in consideration of the legacy of the series today.

 

 

Many fans of Lord of the Rings have reached out on Twitter to express their sadness at this loss.

Christopher will be remembered fondly for ensuring that his father’s legacy lived on after his death and expanding on a world so cherished by fantasy lovers all over the world.


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