Apologies for no posts in a bit - its a busy time for Wotan at his workplace!! Yesterday the UK was blessed with one of the warmest days of the year so far and it afforded myself, partner and our Corgi, Charlie, to start the Eowyn Challenge (our cat Meowman was not interested and preferred to do the couch challenge). We have decided this summer to walk to Rivendell from Hobbiton (roughly 450 miles). We travelled to one of the ancient seats of the Bishops of Winchester - Farnham (the ruins of the castle are pictured)- and walked roughly 5 miles which essentially according to the Eowyn Challenge (the "Horse Joy" challenge as it were) got us into Tookland (27 miles to the first encounter with the Black Rider - why am I looking forward to that?).
Farnham Castle is currently managed by The English Heritage Society and as we were passing by the gates I got thinking about what The Middle Earth Heritage Society would look like in the future time of Middle Earth (say the 20th Age) what ruins would exist (Minas Tirith, Isengard, Edoras) - with the passing of the Elves one would think that Elvish buildings would fade as well (although as in the Lord of the Rings Online game - one would still see some remains of Elvish architecture like Edelethion). Would men have set up a society to manage and fund the upkeep of the most famous sites of Middle Earth and as a member of the Middle Earth Heritage Society you could get in free to all these sites. Would there be museum displays of the great battles - and I'm sure to secure government funding from the Elessarion goverment you would have to do some interactive educational elements (try on the armor of a Numenorian soldier, make your own remedy out of Athelas leaves, etc) - would there be a gift shop (purchase your own Lembas bread recipe, palantir snow globes, etc.). What would people be thinking as the walked across the stone ruins of what was Osgiliath or Minas Ithil - would there be a coffee/gift shop and travellers restaurant on top of Weathertop?
Coming back down to earth (middle) - I'm in the middle of reading Elizabeth Whittingham's The Evolution of Tolkien's Mythology which gives an excellent analysis of how Tolkien developed key elements of his mythology and the various phases this development went through in the forty years Tolkien spent weaving his world - the chapter on the Valar alone is worth the book as it charts how Tolkien's concept of the Valar in Book of Lost Tales as being closer to the gods and goddesses of Greek and Norse myths (war like, descriptions of the buildings they built to live in, descriptions of who was married to who) changed over the years to more removed and ethereal powers more in line with the Judeo-Christian concept of the angels. Also an interesting tidbit that alluded me on first (and second) reading is the fact that in the early 1950's texts of the Ainulindale "the reader learns that Varda rejected Melkor prior to the Great Music and that as a result 'he hated her, and feared her more than all others," which helps explain the animosity Melkor feels for the Valar." I'll be blogging on this in the near future.
Great news that Guillermo del Toro is set to direct The Hobbit and the "other movie" (which according to his post on The One Ring.net Del Torro does not want to call "the bridge movie") - there is a lot in Appendix Two and several writings for the writers to draw upon to portray the 50 years between the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings - it will be interesting to see what they come up with and now that Sir Ian Mckellen is on board as Gandalf whether there will be a Grey Book Part 2 on his website.