December 16, 2017

Recommended Geek Goodies for Christmas

Hard to believe that that time of year is nearly upon us again. Where has the rest of December gone??

Anyway, I'll share with you some suggested items that I believe are essential to any geek.

Though it may be late, here are some ideas (last minute it seems) for the geek on your list - even if it's you. 

The Hobbit
by J.R.R. TolkienISBN: 9780007458424

The beginning of the re-invention of the fantasy genre as we know it. I highly suggest this paperback edition of The Hobbit if you need a replacement copy, or are starting someone on Tolkien. 

Here are the other books that will match this one:


~ The Fellowship of the Ring: ISBN 9780261103573
~ The Two Towers: ISBN: 
~ The Return of the King: ISBN 
~ The Silmarillion: ISBN 
~ Unfinished Tales: ISBN 
~ The Children of Hurin: ISBN 
~ Beren and Luthien: ISBN 
9780008214227 [coming 2018]


~ Tales From the Perilous Realm: ISBN 
~ The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun: ISBN 
~ The Fall of Arthur: ISBN 
~ Beowulf: ISBN 
~ The Story of Kullervo: ISBN 
9780008131388 [coming 2018]

The Complete Harry Potter Collection by J.K. Rowling

If you, or someone you know, hasn't read the Harry Potter books yet, needs their own set etc....then this is the item to get. You get the entire series in one shot. Boom - done. 

A Game of Thrones
by George R.R. Martin (and the other books in the series)
Definitely one of, if not the greatest post-Tolkien (and "Tolkien-style") fantasy series there is. The first book is pretty close to the HBO series, but from then it gradually gets different. At the point of the Red Wedding (don't look that up - spoilers) onwards, both the books and the HBO series are completely different.

Here are the other books in the series, from Book 2 onwards, in a 'readable' format:

~ Book 2: A Clash of Kings: ISBN 
~ Book 3 (Part A): Steel and Snow (A Storm of Swords Part A) ISBN 9780007447848
~ Book 3 (Part B) Blood and Gold (A storm of Swords Part B) ISBN 9780007447855
~ Book 4: A Feast For Crows ISBN: 9780007447862
~ Book 5 (Part A) Dreams and Dust (A Dance With Dragons Part A) ISBN 9780007466061

~ Book 5 (Part B) After the Feast (A Dance With Dragons Part B) ISBN 9780007466078

. If you (or 'they') are waiting for either the final season of the show, or the next installment of the book series, there's a prequel to tide you over....

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, ISBN 

His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman

Another terrific fantasy series! Philip Pullman is working on an 'equel' trilogy (not a 'sequel' nor a 'prequel' but one that runs with the original trilogy) called The Book of Dust. The first book just came out this past fall, with Book 2 and Book 3 to follow sometime hopefully soon. So get up to date with the original trilogy! Or, if you (or 'they') are looking for something new to read.

 The Lord of the Rings Special Edition blu-ray Trilogy

Without a doubt, the best way to watch these films. In the boxed set, you get the special editions of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King PLUS all supplementary material. They may be over 15 years old, however they still hold up, and remain among the best films of all time.   


The Lord of the Rings
 Trilogy Soundtrack

You get all three soundtracks from Howard Shore: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King.

Dragon Bookends Pretty neat looking way to hold up your books (or other items) on your shelf. Attractive yet functional! 

December 14, 2017

Some Thoughts on the Middle-earth Amazon Series


Since the announcement of the Amazon Middle-earth series (which will take place after The Hobbit: Part 3 but before The Fellowship of the Ring) I’ve been mulling things over.

First off, all the major news announcements etc have said “Lord of the Rings”. In terms of plot, that is simply not true – we are not going from Hobbiton to Mount Doom with Frodo etc. HOWEVER, the material in which the Amazon series will be based on is found within the pages of the book known as The Lord of the Rings, or to be more precise, The Return of the King. It will be based on what is found within the Appendices, most likely.

A re-boot or remake of the Peter Jackson films to me would be a terrible idea. Any adaptation has changes from its source material from one medium into another. The films have been very well received by both critics and fans. The Hobbit films, is another manner. Opinion on them is a bit more more…divided. Since the Amazon series will most likely ‘supplement’ both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings film trilogies.

“Now…where to begin?”

It would be great if the Amazon series strove for the same look and feel as the Jackson films. Moreso Rings than Hobbit (due to CGI, mostly). The series doesn’t need to be ‘mature’ (here’s no explicit or graphic nudity and / or violence in Tolkien. It’s there but it’s not a focus.). Because of that, I can see the show being violence-heavy. Say, a late-night prime-time network show, or ‘tame’ for HBO /AMZ / Starz type of premium cable. My point is, it doesn’t need to be graphic in any sense of the word, but if it were to be, it would most likely be due to the violence.

Now with that out of the way, let’s have a look at specifically what the show can be about.

There was a video game that came out a few years ago called War in the North. The plot was that it occurred during The Lord of the Rings, but it wasn’t a re-telling of the books. In fact, the story somewhat “supplements” The Lord of the Rings, because of the fact it takes during the same time, but in other areas of Middle-earth, and focusing on other aspects of the lore. It would be neat if the series wasn’t based on the game exactly, per se, but taking a similar approach – showing us events and locations that have only been mentioned in passing, and showing us other locations and how they connect to the main story and the overall picture.

Also, one of the bigger questions will be whether or not this Amazon series will be connected the 'Jackson-verse' of Middle-earth. Because it's not a "re-telling" of The Lord of the Rings (Hobbiton - Mordor) or The Hobbit, it would make sense that it would. However, would WETA etc still be involved? There is a lot more "unknown" than "known" at this point. Chronicling the events in the North of Middle-earth between The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring would be interesting, indeed.

Either way, we will have to see closer to its release. Synopsis, trailer etc have yet to be revealed and that will give us a better understanding of what to expect.