The Lord of the Rings franchise is coming back into the spotlight thanks to a new television series being developed by Amazon. But that isn’t the only Tolkien project that the streaming service is developing.
Amazon Game Studios announced that they will be making a Lord of the Rings video game that will exist separately from the upcoming series. The game will be a massive multiplayer online role-playing game that will be free to play. It will be developed by the same team that made popular games like Destiny and Warframe.
The news about a new LOTR game comes at a time when video games centered around the Tolkien universe already exist. In addition to the Middle Earth series of games, a LOTR mmorpg titled The Lord of the Rings Online is still receiving updates to this day after being released in 2007. It is unclear how Amazon’s new game will impact the already existing ones.
Amazon Game Studios didn’t go in length about what features the game will have, but they did talk up the developers in a statement:
“Tolkien’s Middle-earth is one of the richest fictional worlds in history, and it gives our team of experienced MMO developers — from the same studio developing New World — tremendous opportunity to play and create.”
Are you excited for the new Lord of the Rings game?
Weapons are often iconic in literature, creating a bond between the hero and the object in question, crafting a relationship that often feels as real as those between actual people. In the wrong hands, a weapon can be horrifying, a destructive tool that is used for evil. But in the right hands, a sword becomes a tool to defend and inspires hope in its user even in the darkest chapters. Most literary weapons are swords, for good reason but there are also some out there that break the mould. Here are five of the best!
5. The Subtle Knife-His Dark Materials
Image Via His Dark materials wiki
A powerful weapon in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, this knife has the power to carve through the fabrics of worlds, creating pathways into different realms. Stolen by the series’ main characters, Lyra and Will in the second book of the trilogy (named after the knife itself), who use it to travel between worlds for a long time before the knife breaks. Luckily, it is later reforged. The knife is extremely cool because it looks so mundane yet is extremely powerful, literally slicing through reality to carve paths across the multiverse. This is one cool little dagger, that’s for sure.
4. Stormbringer- Moorcock’s Multiverse
Image via Moorcock’s Multiverse Wiki
A magic sword featured in numerous fantasy tales by Michael Moorcock, Stormbringer is a demon forged into the form of a sword that corrupts its wielder, drinks souls, and can cut through anything. Wielded by the brooding anti-hero Elric of Melnibone, he loathes Stormbringer but is forced to rely on it, as without its magic he is helpless. However, Stormbringer shares no love for Elric either and constantly tries to corrupt him, hungering for blood and souls. The relationship between man and sword is at the heart of the numerous tales, with Elric constantly battling the demon’s desires while conquering other threats.
3. Sandalwood guns- The Dark Tower
Image via The Dark Tower Wiki
In TheDark Tower, Stephen KIng uses a mishmash of fantasy tropes to bring together a more unique vision and this is reflected in the chosen weapons of protagonist Roland Deschain. He is a gunslinger of the strange world he inhabits and wields a pair of sandalwood six shooters that have been passed down through the generations before he claimed them as a young man. It is revealed later that the guns were forged from the steel of Excalibur, explaining their significance. The guns are Roland’s weapons throughout the series, constantly showcasing his prowess with them as he is an excellent shot, always ready for this lone wanderer to draw at a moment’s notice.
2. Callandor- The Wheel of Time
Image via A Wheel of Time wiki
An artefact so powerful that an entire fortress was constructed to protect it, Callandor is a crystal sword that may look fragile but has immense power behind it. Claimed and wielded by Rand al’Thor, the protagonist of The Wheel of Time. It augments his own Power, allowing him to tap into reserves of strength and force that go beyond mortal men. Too much power can be lethal but Callandor also allows for infinite possibilities, allowing its user to do almost anything he wishes. But the evil force of the Dark One is behind the sword and the more Rand al’Thor taps into it, the more he risks corruption, creating a necessary roadblock to prevent him from abusing Callandor’s power.
1. Anduril- The Lord of the Rings
Image via Lord of the Rings wiki
Formerly Narsil, the sword that stopped Sauron at the end of the Second Age, Anduril was reforged from Narsil’s shards into its current form. Given to Aragorn, the blade is enchanted to never be stained or broken, even in defeat. Aragorn wielded the sword throughout the remainder of the war against the forces of Sauron, using it as proof of his heritage throughout places like Rohan and slaying many Orcs with it. Its name means the Flame of the West and its one badass blade wielded by one badass hero.
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…
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.
Since 2013, a Tolkien biopic has been dubiously ‘in the works,’ a phrase fans both love and love to dread. For years, fans didn’t know much about the film. As a result, many speculated on the film’s tone and style: many felt it could be similar to Goodbye Christopher Robin, an A.A. Milne biopic including darker aspects of Milne’s military service. Fortunately, the biopic is officially free from development purgatory—and we no longer have to speculate. It may have been in the works for nearly six years, but, by May 2019, it’ll be on our screens.
Image Via JoBlo Movie Network
Exploring Tolkien’s formative years, the author’s upcoming biopic examines the influence of love and tragedy on the young writer’s art. Take a look at the official synopsis:
Tolkien explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the “Fellowship” apart. All of these experiences would inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-earth novels.
The film will be directed by Dome Karukoski, and it will be written by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford. Among its cast are accomplished stars Nicholas Hoult as Tolkien himself and Lily Collins as Edith Bratt, Tolkien’s longtime lover and eventual wife. Bratt served as an inspiration for many of Tolkien’s beloved characters, making her a significant figure in the story of both Tolkien’s life and creative work. Craig Roberts will play Sam, who served with Tolkien in World War I.
Yesterday, Fox released the official trailer, available below. Ready for a film that’ll surely have fans screaming “my precious?”
Sometimes, we look to our friends to be better people. Since you probably just rang in the New Year watching all of your friends sing badly and injure themselves while intoxicated, maybe you’re looking for a role model who’s a little more respectable. Here’s a list of ten literary characters who can inspire us to be better people in the year 2019—as long as we emulate only their positive qualities. (Katniss Everdeen did kill dozens of people.)
1. Atticus Finch
Gif Via Tumblr.com
A more inspirational lawyer than most actual lawyers, Harper Lee‘s beloved character Atticus Finch is a role model in the poor Southern town of Maycomb during the Great Depression. He’s empathetic, forgiving, respectful, an excellent parent… and he puts everything on the line to defend a black man in court in the 1930s, even when the racists in town don’t understand why. His rigid commitment to what’s right has served as an inspiration for many practicing lawyers, and his commitment to his beliefs is particularly relevant in times of division, violence, and injustice. (Yes, we’re ignoring the fact that he becomes a crotchety old racist in Go Set a Watchman—as are all of the parents who named their kids after him.)
2. Hermione Granger
Gif Via Huffingtonpost.com
Listen-Harry might be brave and bold, but he’s no Ravenclaw. We all know Hermione is smart and loyal, constantly staying all night in the library to get the goods for her friends. And we would never forget how socially aware she can be, standing up for the rights of house elves and shutting down slurs left and right. But you might’ve forgotten how she deals with snitches and bitches: when Cho Chang’s friend leaks the details of Dumbledore’s Army, Hermoine finds out it was her via the sign-up sheet’s enchanted paper. Anyone who betrays the trust of the group will have the word SNEAK appear across their face in boils—which honestly would leave a pretty gross scar. This 2019, let’s all learn from Hermione not to mess around.
3. Nancy Drew
Image Via Variety.com
Some people never land their dream jobs. Some people do it when they’re sixteen years old. Nancy Drew is big time goals for a number of reasons, not the least of which the fact that she’s a female detective originally from the 1930s—not a time big on respecting girls or children. She also graduated high school at the age of sixteen, meaning she must have remained pretty focused despite catching criminals. She also had more hobbies than books written about her, which is pretty impressive given her multi-decade run. Nancy is hardly the only genius detective out there, but she’s never been accused of blazing it 24/7 (Shaggy from Scooby Doo) or injecting cocaine (Sherlock Holmes).
Image Via Tabletmag.com
So maybe Eloise is just a wildly overprivileged six-year-old who roller-skates down the hallways of the Plaza Hotel. Eloise is at once extremely wealthy and a child, meaning she doesn’t have to pay for anything and has no responsibilities. While it’s unlikely we’ll shirk off all debt in the year 2019 and eat solely hotel room service, there’s nothing wrong with childlike enthusiasm in adult circumstances. (But there is something wrong with pouring champagne down mail chutes.)
5. Lady Macbeth
Image Via Pinterest.com
2019 should definitely not be the year you kill someone. (2018 also should not have been the year you killed someone, though we’d understand if you considered it.) But this is a year for going after your dreams will all the wrath of this Shakespearean heroine. Want a better job? Get one! Want a healthier relationship? You go! Want the King of Scotland dead? You know what to do.
6. Jay Gatsby
Gif Via Gfycat.com
Maybe he does end up dead in a swimming pool. But listen—have you ever wanted something so badly you moved across the country, changed your name, broke the law, and became a mysterious billionaire celebrity to almost get it? This year, go after your goals with all the obsession and straight-up panache of Jay Gatsby. Just do your best not to be an accomplice to a hit-and-run.
7. Samwise Gamgee
Gif Via Giphy.com
Following a year of political unpleasantness (and likely entering another year of political unpleasantness), let’s all take inspiration from a loyal friend who has never done anything wrong. If Lord of the Rings‘ Samwise Gamgee can become the only person to ever willingly give up the Ring, you can probably, like, eat a salad every now and then.
8. Janie Crawford
Image Via Essence.com
Zora Neale Hurston‘s Their Eyes Were Watching Goddetails the life story of Janie Crawford, who escapes abusive and unsatisfying relationships to find love, respect, freedom, and financial independence. (Goals!) Janie Crawford rejects her role as the trophy wife of a violent husband to run far away with a kindhearted drifter. (Oh, and when her abusive husband dies, she gets all his money.) Enduring onslaughts of both nature and man, Janie survives a hurricane to become a stronger person and returns to her hometown in possession of a fascinating, well-lived life. While it would be best not to almost drown, be put on trial for murder, and have multiple of your loved ones die this 2019, we can (probably) become better versions of ourselves without the terrible bits.
Image Via Blogspot.com
In Alice Walker‘s The Color Purple, Sofia defies gender roles and existing power struggles with her physical and mental strength. Is your goal for 2019 to work out? Maybe you’ll get so jacked you can punch abusers. Sofia’s physical strength allows her to take over as the head of the household, performing labor traditionally reserved for men, and negate her husband’s attempts at physical control. Not only can Sofia defy those in her life who want to hurt her, but she can also leave them. It’s never too early in the year to cut toxic people from your life—just don’t get arrested while doing it.
10. Katniss Everdeen
Image Via Giphy.com
If you’ve ever wanted to change the world, then guess what? Real life is a dystopia, and what you do in your day-to-day existence is probably exactly what you’d do as a fictional character. If you’d rather be a hero, try considering the ways in which you can better the world without killing dozens of children.