Buckle up, fantasy fans, and get ready for some worlds to collide.
Joseph Mawle, the actor who played Jon Snow’s doomed uncle Benjen Stark, is confirmed to be starring in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings prequel series. Rumors from Deadline suggest Mawle will play a villain named Oren. Mawle joins Will Poulter and Markella Kavenagh on what’s shaping up to be a pretty exciting cast. Poulter’s set to play a young hero named Beldor, and Kavenagh will play the female lead opposite Mawle named Tyra.
Though Amazon declined to comment on whether Mawle had actually been cast, we do know a bit about the upcoming series. For starters, Amazon’s spending a staggering $500 million on the project that’s set before the events in any of the previous film adaptations. The series will be written by JD Payne and Patrick McKay who have kept a pretty tight lid on what aspects of Middle Earth their series will explore.
Pre-production has already started, and production is supposed to begin in the coming month in Auckland, New Zealand. Bryan Cogman, a co-executive producer for Game of Thrones, is also involved with the project as a consulting producer. And Bruce Richmond, who’s worked closely with HBO and Game of Thrones in the past, is now working as an executive producer for the show.
Featured image via Entertainment Weekly
You read the title, now let’s get going!
But first, let’s set up one rule: all of the monsters on this list have to be fictional. No non-fiction real people. No, “I read a book on Manson and he was evil so why is he not on this list?” No. All these people are fiction, figments of an author’s imagination.
With that said, let’s start off with:
I have nothing against children (that’s a lie), but she’s just plain EVIL! From the first pages of A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Austere Academy, you know this girl is trouble, and she is. Duncan and Isadora, two orphans already at the academy, are forced to live in a shack due to not having parents or guardians to sign the permission slip for the dorms. Carmelita begins referring to their shack as the Orphans Shack.
And that’s before our trio, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, make their way into the story.
When she and Violet have the same class, Carmelita takes it upon herself to poke Violet with a stick and whisper “orphan” every few minutes. Plus, she takes it upon herself to remind the orphans that, well, they’re orphans. Even worst, she calls them “cakesniffers!”, a confusing but still ultimately insulting jab at their…lack of cake?
Come The Slippery Slope, Carmelita meets Olaf and Esmé Squalor face to face. Without a second thought, she abandons her parents and becomes their child.
Think about it. Her parents sent her to Prufrock Preporatory, a boarding school. I know rich people send most of their kids away for boarding school, but this just stinks that her parents don’t even like Carmelita, and honestly, who could blame them?
When Olaf and Esmé have our trio in their grasp they discuss which Baudelaire to leave alive for the fortune, and Carmelita suggests keeping Violet so they can tie her hair to things.
In the Grim Grotto, Olaf shows his human side with his annoyance at this little monster. Who can blame him? Every moment she’s on the page she just shows off how bratty she is.
Come The Penultimate Peril we’re on Olaf’s side when he abandons her and Esmé, since Esmé refuses to discipline the girl and Carmelita needs to be taken out back and shot Old Yeller-style.
What does Carmelita do next? She submits a book about how wonder she is to be used as evidence in a potential trial against Count Olaf and the Baudelaires.
Disloyal, wicked, and evil, Carmelita is a true monster. Don’t beleive me yet? Here’s the song she sings over and over again in The Grim Grotto:
C is for ‘cute’
A is for ‘adorable’!
R is for ‘ravishing’!
M is for ‘gorgeous’!
E is for ‘excellent’!
L is for ‘lovable’!
I is for ‘I’m the best’!
T is for ‘talented’!
and A is for ‘a tap-dancing ballerina fairy princess veterinarian’!
Now let’s sing my whole wonderful song all over again!
The main antagonist of The Magician’s Nephew and of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Jadis is cold hearted demon. Not only did she murder God (Aslan), she enslaved Narnia to a thousand year winter. That wouldn’t be so bad, trees do annoy me, but she made it so it’s never Christmas but always winter.
To make it worse, she persuaded Edmund to turn against his friends with Turkish delight.
I have the right mind to call Jadis Judas.
This is hard, considering a lot of the characters in A Song of Ice and Fire are terrible people, but I say Tywin takes the cake. Yes, Joffrey is a psychopath, but Tywin is worse. Here’s why:
He emotionally abuses Tyrion
He uses Cersei as a brood mare
He sends The Mountain off and “didn’t know” that the Mountain would rape/kill Elia Martell and bash her two baby children against the wall.
Worst of all, Tywin is a perfectly rational person. This isn’t an issue of “bad genes” or anything like that. He was disrespected as a child, and thus he intends to never be disrespected again. Now that he’s an adult with the power he always dreamed of, he hasn’t stopped. He’s not bloodthirsty, he’s apathetic. Family is everything, and he won’t stop until he holds all the power over Westeros, no matter what the cost.
I know he’s a vampire and that might be a good excuse for biting people, but going strictly off the Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Count is kind of a monster. Yes, he has to suck blood, but I’m not going to hold that against him. At his core he’s a predator. There’s no right or wrong that comes into play here because when you need to eat, you need to eat.
So he is even on this list? Well, let’s look at what he does…
He imprisoned Jonathan Harker.
He impersonated Harker so he could commit heinous crimes in his name, despite the fact he can transform and quickly get away, not impersonation required
He slaughtered an entire ship full of men.
He preyed on Mina just to hurt Jonathan and her family
Dracula doesn’t just feed because he needs to feed, he revels in his predator status just to terrify his prey because he finds it amusing. He’s like a shark that tells you, “I’m going to eat you whole and you’re going to want to scream but you’ll be suffocating as you slide down my throat”.
Dracula takes it a one step, and a couple more, from what his nature requires.
Morgoth, Melkor, he’s known by several different names, but either way he’s a monster. We learn that in The Silmarillion that, after falling from glory, Morgoth corrupted all those in his wake. You think Sauron is bad? Sauron works for this monster.
It was only when Morgoth, after declaring war against the Elves and Men and slaughtering much of them during the First Age, that he was bound in chains and thrown into the void, leaving Sauron to trouble the world, as we see in The Hobbit and the Lords of the Ring trilogy.
Worst of all, according to a prophecy, Morgoth will rise again.
Morgoth, Melkor, whatever you want to call him, he’s the OG monster in Tolkien’s leafy universe.
In a world where everyone doesn’t listen to each other and people are routinely mistaken for others, Patrick Bateman fades into the background, and he loves that fact. But, subconsciously or otherwise, he leads a double life as a murderer.
Wealthy, materialistic, this Wall Street investment banker does less time working and more time going to parties. Plus, he tortures women and poor people and gays and children. Or maybe he doesn’t, it’s left very vague whether all his killings are actually happening.
She eats it, calling it minty. Twist! Since he doesn’t like his girlfriend very much, he given her a chocolate covered urinal cake.
Real or imaginary, that’s…uh…ewwwww
Annie Wilkes is the scariest character Stephen King ever created. Obsessive, psychotic, and worst of all…human.
She only appeared in Misery, and she certainly made an impression. The embodiment of every obsessive fan out there, Annie finds popular writer Paul Sheldon after a car crash. So she kidnaps him, ties him to a bed, and refuses to let him go until he writes a book. Paul is forced to indulge her every whim lest there be tragedy consequences.
When he tires to escape, he chops off his foot with an ax and cauterizing his ankle with a blowtorch. When his typewriter breaks down, she cuts off his thumb with an electric knife. When a state trooper comes to her house, she runs him over with her riding law mower.
The titular character of Fifty Shades of Grey, Christian is abusive, emotionally unstable, and an all around prick who the author doesn’t think is problematic any way.
For one, he claims he’s in BDSM but in reality he just likes hurting women who have brown hair. Like his mom “the crack whore”. When Ana tells him she’s a virgin, he stomps around the room before deciding that he has to ‘take care of it’.
Yes, he was abused by an older woman, but he refuses to say she did anything wrong. Not only does he refuse to say she did anything wrong, but you better not tell him he’s wrong or else…
Not the monster, the doctor who created him. This scientist is the true monster of the story.
After creating life itself, Victor looks upon his creation and sees something that is clearly not human. He sees something breathing, thinking, alive, but less than perfect, and so he rejects it, shuns it from the world.
The creature seeks revenge against him, but are we to blame the creature? Forced away from the one who gave it life into an unforgiving world, the creature could not thrive, only survive. His vengeance is not just wrath, it’s justice for the mistakes Victor has created.
While he regrets creating the creature, Victor does not look upon the creature with understanding. Instead he calls the creature ‘fiend’ or ‘demon’ and pursues him to the Arctic, intend to kill it. He falls through the ice and dies, warning other not to meddle with life, but failing to teach them the lesson of empathy.
Cold blooded, Victor Frankenstein is the monster, the only monster, in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.
Humbert Humbert uses language to seduce the readers, and he almost succeeds. But lest we forget: he’s a pedophile, obsessed over a girl he calls Lolita. That’s why the book is called Lolita.
For the record, her real name is Dolores.
Back to Humbert. He marries a woman to get closer to his daughter and, once the woman dies, he kidnaps her.
The worst of it is that Humbert Humber makes himself a sympathetic pedophile. He criticizes the vulgarity of American culture, establishing himself as an intellectual, and considers his sexuality to be a sign of his culture.
A monster, if I ever saw one, but nothing compared to our number one pick…
“The Judge” appears Blood Meridian very early on. We’re following the kid who goes to a revival meeting when a man bursts into the tent and tells the crowd that the preacher up on stage isn’t a real preacher, but a man wanted in three states.
The man who burst into the tent is “The Judge” and you might not know it, but he’s one you have to watch out for.
But compared to the illiterate drunken rapists surrounded you, the Judge is a breath of fresh air. Just look at that first scene! He showed everyone who that ‘preacher’ truly was. He has morals.
If you think about it, that means you’ve put your trust into this monster.
You see, when the Judge burst into that tent he saw the kid. He didn’t just look at him, he saw into his soul. That’s good. Cormac McCarthy never says who the Judge exactly is, if he has gone mad, but if they told me he wasn’t human, if they told me he was the personification of evil, I’d believe it.
Featured Image Via Youtube Channel Men of the West, Texas Hill Country, and Wikipedia
Exciting news for fans of The Lord of the Rings! According to Deadline young British actor Will Poulter, star of franchises such as The Maze Runner, The Chronicles of Narnia, We’re the Millers, and Black Mirror, is poised to take the lead role of Amazon’s upcoming series based on the bestselling, ever popular fantasy novels. The series has no announced plot yet, but is known to take place in Lord of the Ring’s Second Age, after Sauron’s initial defeat in the First Age but before his return that kickstarts the main plot in the books proper in the Third Age.
The series hails from writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay and director Juan Antonio (J.A.) Bayona. Amazon is reportedly putting out all the stops for the show, intent on making it a massive, big budget adaptation of the source material. Although Amazon has not confirmed who Poulter is playing yet, it is widely believed by several sources that he will play the show’s leading man.
Although again not confirmed, it is believed that Poulter and Kavenagh will play the two leads: Beldor and Tyra
The show will be produced and collaborated with HarperCollins, the Tolkien Estate, and New Line Cinema to bring the rich world of Middle-earth to life once again. Are you excited to revisit Middle-earth? Are you also excited to see Will Poulter in the (potential) leading role? Tell us in the comments!
Featured Image Via The Guardian
We at Bookstr do what we do for our love of books, but once you get down to it, the publishing world is heavily competitive. Some writers win acclaim and fortune, while others are gradually forgotten over the ages. Logically, this brought us to imagine some of the world’s most renowned authors and pit them against each other in a Death Battle!
For our first week we have two fantasy writers who have mastered world building and captured the hearts of readers of all ages. Two contemporaries, two friends, two fathers of fantasy, today we have J.R.R. Tolkien versus C.S. Lewis!
Whose literary legacy has stood the test of time best? Let’s find out.
Who has more description? Who’s the wordsmith with the power to transport you to a new world?
On one hand we have C.S. Lewis. We all have a picture of Narnia in our head, but how wide ranging is it?
On the other hand we have J.R.R. Tolkien. Known as the master of world building for a reason. Even in the childish novel The Hobbit, he paints glorious descriptions of not just good, but also evil, so our little dwarves and a certain hobbit have a challenge ahead of them.
My armour is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail is a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath death!
Get the picture?
By the time we get to the The Silmarillion, Tolkien hasn’t leveled down in his powers of description.
Sauron has become now a sorcerer of dreadful power, master of shadows and of phantoms, foul in wisdom, cruel in strength, misshaping what he touched, twisting what he ruled, lord of werewolves; his dominion was torment.
Compare that to Lewis’ description of the most infamous villain in all of Narnia: The White Witch. This description comes from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Her face was white—not merely pale, but white like snow or paper or icing sugar, except for her very red mouth. It was a beautiful face in other respects, but proud and cold and stern.
Where’s the contest? With Tolkien you will know everything about Middle Earth, from the food, the language, and, most importantly, the leaves by the time you’re done.
Score one for Tolkien!
Image Via Tampa Bay
Let’s step back in time. Lewis and Tolkien are writing their books, but which are we going to read? What would you read?
Lewis’ first book in the series was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The next book is Prince Caspian, then The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, then The Silver Chair. So far, so good. A linear story line, easy to understand.
THEN LEWIS JUMPS BACKWARDS! We got The Horse and His Boy, a book which takes place during the last chapter of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Then he writes The Magician’s Nephew, in which he goes back even further with this prequel to the beginning of the whole series. The next book is the last in the series, The Last Battle, and thankfully he’s done.
When first published, the books were not numbered. The first American publisher, Macmillan, enumerated them according to their original publication order, while some early British editions specified the internal chronological order. When Harper Collins took over the series rights in 1994, they adopted the internal chronological order.
Well, that’s confusing, and it’s not just me saying that. Some scholars note the line in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe where the all powerful narrator says that, “None of the children knew who Aslan was, any more than you do”—which is stupid if one has already read The Magician’s Nephew.
Doris Meyer, author of C.S. Lewis in Context and Bareface: A guide to C.S. Lewis, writes that rearranging the stories chronologically “lessens the impact of the individual stories” and “obscures the literary structures as a whole.”
Let’s face it, that line exists because Lewis didn’t know he would ever write a prequel, but it creates confusion over the order of which this series is suppose to be read. What order should we read these books?
Confusion, confusion, confusion.
Then we have Tolkien, who wrote The Hobbit in 1937, and the famous trilogy in 1954 and 1955. That’s a long wait, Mr. Father-of-Fantasy. Granted he wrote a largely unrevised version of The Silmarillion at the same time, but his publishers didn’t want to publish it. The Silmarillion eventually came out years after his death in 1977 and it’s so big that that book should be registered as a lethal weapon.
So even though I don’t like how The Silmarillion jumps back in time, I can live with it. At least he doesn’t jump back in time again, like a certain man named C.S. Lewis.
Score one for Tolkien!
How are these books for new readers? Well, I’m not going to count the linear timeline of publishing against Lewis (I already did that) because you can put The Chronicles of Narnia and the Middle Earth books in chronological order.
With that out of the way, how do they stack up for new readers?
Well, Narnia stays consistent in tone. Challenging, exciting, but still suitable for kids. But Tolkien’s Middle Earth series doesn’t stay consist. The Hobbit, the book that introduced this hypothetical me to the series, is greatly different from The Lord of the Rings. Yes, I know Tolkien’s kids grew up with the series, but kids today aren’t going to get that. Picture this:
Plus, Lewis’s books are shorter and they are complete stories. There! I said it. Yes, The Hobbit is a complete story, but tonally it’s more similar to this:
Whereas The Lord of the Rings is more like this:
Then imagine if a new reader, who has never heard of The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings gets their tiny hands on The Silmarillion. Describe to me the plot of The Silmarillion in three, two, one…
No, saying ‘it’s a collection of stories’ isn’t a plot summary, it’s an excuse. Yes, the descriptions are beautiful, yes, it fills out Middle Earth, but a new reader, a young reader, isn’t going to fall in love with it the way they did with The Lords of the Rings or The Hobbit, while a new reader can fall in love with The Horse and His Boy just as much as a new reader can fall in love with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
The Silmarillion is for fans of Middle Earth, which can turn a new reader off if they pick it up first—assuming they can manage to pick it up.
Score one for Lewis!
Lord of the Rings brought about a great trilogy that changed the face of movie making (possibly for the worse). More than that, the books have been adapted many times over for radio, video games, animation, and will be brought to television thanks to Amazon. The book series has also made a huge impact on music and pop culture. Several musical artists, including legendary heavy metal band Black Sabbath, are known to have songs inspired by the fantasy epic. A number of parodies were also created such as the VeggiTales children’s cartoon episode, “Lord of the Beans,” showing how much Tolkien’s books have influenced not just fantasy nerds, but everyone who has come across it.
As far as films go, Narnia came to the big screen later on as a Lord of the Rings rip off. However, the book has a number of adaptations as well. Three times, The Chronicles of Narnia was brought to TV screens in the United Kingdom, and there will be a fourth when Netflix releases theirs. Narnia has also made it to the stage and radio a number of times. With music there is a great deal of inspiration from the books, mainly from Christian artists. As far as any pop culture influences, The Chronicles of Narnia was referenced in the adult comedy Epic Movie, aside from that, there are very few if anymore.
Fundamentally, Narnia is more influenced by things than it has influence.
Lord of the Rings draws from plenty of lore but creates an entirely new world, magical systems and all, while Narnia is greatly influenced by Christianity.
See the connection!
You have to hand it to Tolkien, the man created an entirely new language. That’s creative genius taken to a whole new level, and it has impacted the way we think of world-building in any kind of storytelling—ranging from writing novels to creating stories for Dungeons & Dragons.
However, Lewis also continues to have a great effect in people’s lives. As a man of Christian faith, his writing speaks to the religion and therefore those who follow it. In fact, Lewis’s name has become so big in the Christian community there is an entire foundation in his name. The C.S. Lewis Foundation is a nonprofit aiming to restore vital Christian presence throughout higher education, the arts, and the culture at large—they also have an annual retreat, where members meet to engage mind, spirit, and imagination in the tradition of C.S. Lewis.
Now, how would this death battle play out in their fantasy world turfs, you ask? Hold my Turkish delight.
An invitation started the whole farce. If it weren’t for the fact that they were such close friends, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien would not have answered to the call.
“My old friend, there is much that I have to discuss with you,” says Clive Staples Lewis.
They meet in an open field of green. A lush forest just beyond the two men approaching each other on horseback with awkward smiles.
After all the formalities and “How are you”s are through, out comes the truth.
Lewis sighs as he slowly reaches into his greatly oversized red, satin bag, “I’m afraid that, friendships aside, I’m going to have to put an end to things. To you I mean.” Swinging out a thin but piercing gold sword, Lewis attacks Tolkien in a flash. It is the sword, Rhindon.
Tolkien, with his army training coming back to him, jumps back in shock, and just barely misses being grazed by the sharp point. Upon realization that pleading with Lewis is futile, Tolkien leaps onto his steed, making way into the forest. Lewis follows on his horse, carrying Rhindon as well as a shield to protect him from harm.
Through a thicket in the forest, Lewis loses sight of Tolkien. Only a horse remains at the bottom of a large, rock incline. Lewis dismounts his horse, eyes shifting left and right for his foe, when all of a sudden an arrow flies swiftly into his sword bearing arm.
Tolkien rushes out from beyond the trees carrying a bow and several arrows, firing with great speed and intensity. Lewis, though in great pain, moves toward Tolkien, blocking every arrow with his shield. To Tolkien’s dismay, Lewis’ advances succeed, and standing before him stabs Tolkien with Rhindon.
Tolkien falls to the ground. Lewis relieved, falls himself to rest his weary body, dropping his sword and shield before him.
After pulling the arrow out of his arm, Lewis grabs from his petticoat Queen Lucy’s Cordial, and lets out a relieved sigh. However, that relief fades as soon as he sees Tolkien rising from his assumed fallen state. Tolkien makes his way towards Lewis, intensity in his eyes and a golden ring in his hand.
Shocked cold Lewis shouts, “But how? I stabbed you with Rhindon!”
Tolkien scoffs, “What can I say, I was thinking ahead.” The man opens his shirt, revealing a Mithril shirt. “I’m always about the smallest details after all.”
As Tolkien charges at Lewis, Lewis haphazardly pours the healing solution onto his wounded arm. With fervor, he reaches for his sword to strike at Tolkien, but when he finally reaches towards it, Tolkien vanishes yet again.
Using the corruptible power of the One Ring to Rule them all, Tolkien vanishes, sneaking behind Lewis for a sneak attack punch and then vanishes. Lewis catches onto where the ring-bearer is, following his footprints. Slashing Tolkien indiscriminately he knocks him down again. Knowing that the ring won’t fool him any more, Tolkien takes off the ring, returning back to visibility. In pain, Tolkien crawls up the rock incline. Heaving in his breath, Lewis follows.
Preparing his sword for one final blow, Lewis follows Tolkien to the very top of the rock.
Tolkien cries, “Why you? We have been friends for so many years! What is it that you hope to achieve?”
“You have it right in your hand”, Lewis grins.
Tolkien looks to the Ring. Possessed by its call. Gripping it tighter, he shakes his head. “The Ring is mine to bear.”
“Then here you will die,” Lewis exclaims.
As he pulls back his sword, the Earth begins to shake beneath the two men. From far into the forest, a glowing green light moves steadfast toward Tolkien and Lewis.
The Dead Men of Dunharrow come charging to protect their creator, Tolkien. From the other end of the forest comes Aslan to protect Lewis from harm. But alas, the Dead Men of Dunharrow are ghosts and can flow through anything at will. Aslan is left useless in protecting his creator, and Lewis is knocked down the rock and plummets with a painful landing.
While Aslan battles the Dead Men, some of the others help Tolkien up, giving him Elvish bread to retain his strength.
Tolkien makes his way to Lewis, who is still on the ground in pain. The Dead Men provide Tolkien with the Legendary sword, Andúril, as Aslan reaches his end against the Dead Men. Tolkien raises Andúril, and ends Lewis with one final blow.
Nominate which literary juggernauts should go at it next in the comments!
Featured Image via Collage Maker