Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Professor Tolkien on languages

C.S. Lewis called him "Tollers" during their lifelong friendship. Bow before this incredible mind that is vast beyond the thoughts of elves and mortals. Class and genius and (dry) humor epitomized, Professor Tolkien compares the learning and crafting of new languages to new, fine wines. Indeed, he invented the world of Arda (Middle-earth & Undying Lands) simply to give his invented tongues a home.
I cannot put my admiration of this man into mere human words.

(This video is from the BBC Archive)

The languages were the first thing Tolkien created for his mythos, starting with what he originally called "Qenya", the first primitive form of Elvish. This was later called Quenya (High-elven) and is one of the two most complete of Tolkien's languages (the other being Sindarin, or Grey-elven). The phonology and grammar of Quenya are strongly influenced by Finnish, Latin, Greek and elements of ancient Germanic languages, and Sindarin is strongly influenced by Welsh.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

I just started The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhill

After reading an old joy it is best to then read something new and unique. Thus I just started The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhill, a single-standing Fantasy that already burns with an ancient yet charming and potent power right out of fairy tales and antiquity.

Thank you Caitlin for suggesting this back in college 🙂 I swiftly bought, never forgot, and am already hooked on this truly unique and clearly heartfelt book.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

I once again finished The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Shadow of Sauron
Thus once again I have and to my joy finished The Return of the King and with it The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. The book to which I owe so much: my love of reading, my interest in myths and legends, the mithril-plating upon my moral backbone.

Thus came Aragorn
The White Tree of Gondor
To this masterwork that is my DNA writ in ink and awe, I quote the illustrator Ted Nasmith, who once flawlessly described the wonder and power of this book that is the Father and Founder of the Fantasy Genre in but a single sentence: "It opened up in me a dormant love of lost and misty times, myth and legend."
Truly and for me as well, as before my father convinced me to let him read it to me aloud I hated reading.

And now, for the first time since before high school, it is done again, and I am filled with awe-anew for now I pick up much that I had missed before and my regard of Tolkien climbs higher still.

Until next time my dearest friends. I would say a longer goodbye save for the fact that if there if one thing in my life that is certain it is that I will see you all again. Maybe next year or ten times that, but it will occur.

"Roads go ever ever on,
Under cloud and under star.
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen,
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green,
And trees and hills they long have known.

The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone.
Let others follow, if they can!
Let them a journey new begin.

The End of the Age

But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.

Still round the corner there may wait  
A new road or a secret gate,  
And though I oft have passed them by,  
A day will come at last when I  
Shall take the hidden paths that run  
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.”

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Fire Emblem: The Three Houses

I have always been a passionate fan of the Fire Emblem video game series, for the stories are book-worthy and full of characters who I truly came to love and care about. Thus I am thrilled to say a new game, Fire Emblem: The Three Houses, is in the works. A whole new would is this, so a toast to friends not yet made and battles only a true master tactician can win!

Friday, June 29, 2018

My father and I just finished The Sorceress and the Cygnet by Patricia A. McKillip

My father and I just finished The Sorceress and the Cygnet by Patricia A. McKillip, the first book of her Cygnet Duology.

I am in awe. Again yet more so. Usually when reading a McKillip book it feels as though Ages of the World pass between pages, so great is per poetic power over atmospheric language. Yet this tale under cygnet and star transcended time in such a fashion that it felt like we have been reading it forever, with Ages passing so swiftly that they became meaningless. 

In this book, stories old as Ro Holding and woven out of stars spring to life, confounding the very grounded and yet beautifully intricate Ro House as Wayfolk man is compelled to aid these powers for the return of his love. Thus an epic tale is born as a realm is threatened, all without marching armies or a trace of civil unrest. A tale which teaches a most important lesson: Some powers are meant to be known and not used, and in some areas it is better to make the choice to stop learning; and with every heart you burn knowingly it is your own you cast into the flames.

May the stars watch over you Corleu of the Wayfolk, Meguet Vervaine, Nyx Ro, the Gatekeeper, Rush Yar, Calyx Ro, Holder Lauro, Iris Ro, and Tiel of the Wayfolk.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

An amusing take on things

Not that I am an avid fan of Twilight either, but in my opinion it was not even true Epic Fantasy; rather it was Dark Fantasy blended with Romantic Fantasy and thus could never have challenged Tolkien.

The original
My rewrite

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

I would live in Dol Amroth

Sometimes I am asked where in Tolkien's Middle-earth, or any Fantasy world for that matter, I would like live. Naturally barring worlds of my own creation, I think the answer would be Dol Amroth in southern Gondor.

As Ted Nasmith's illustration shows, it is a scenic place with both natural and human-made wonders. Human and Elf, that is, for the place is also steeped in the lore and tradition of the Elder Kindred;  indeed, the first people to live the region were the Sindar (Grey Elves) escaping south from the wars against Morgoth that characterized the First Age. As to the inhabitants during the War of the Ring, the people of Dol Amroth are tall, grey-eyed, dark-haired, and the most skilled harp players in all of Gondor (playing at the coronation of Aragorn). Furthermore, and going back to Elf-lore, the inhabitants of Dol Amroth and in the lands nearby are some of the few people of Gondor who speak Sindarin (one of the two primary Elf languages) on a daily basis, and are generally regarded as having Elvish blood in their veins.
The Banner of
Dol Amroth

One may also recall Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth from The Return of the King. Bringing a company of his Swan-Knights and 700 infantry to Minas Tirith, he led the sortie that rode to the aid of his nephew Faramir whose warriors were retreating from Osgiliath when Sauron overran the Pelennor Fields, personally rescuing Faramir himself. He then aided Gandalf commanding the defenses, perceived that the Nazgul-stricken Éowyn still lived, and recognized that Aragorn was the rightful King. Finally, Imrahil led the city for a while himself before Aragorn's crowning, took part in the Battle of the Black Gates, and was recognized by Legolas as being of Elvish descent.

So there it is. I would live in Dol Amroth, the peaceful yet strong and noble, even idyllic, province of Gondor. I have always liked the sea, love music, and cannot think of a place that better blends the beauty of civilization at its best with the wonder of the natural world; all augmented by the lore surrounding the place. Also and on a side note, Prince Imrahil is one of my favorite secondary characters in The Lord of the Rings.