The Wonderfully Hideous Orcs Of Shadow Of Mordor

It's so easy to resort to lazy and hurtful stereotypes whenever we talk about orcs. If nothing else, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor shows us how disrespectful this is. These monsters may be hideous, but they're also individuals with hopes and dreams—unique and precious like snowflakes. Let's celebrate them as such. » 10/02/14 1:40pm 10/02/14 1:40pm

Why good bests evil in Middle Earth: Evil has a Vitamin D deficiency

Why is it that the plucky Hobbit Bilbo Baggins triumph again and again over the likes of Gollum, the goblins, spiders, and Smaug? A cheeky medical paper suggests that good characters have an advantage over evil ones in Tolkien's world because good characters spend more time in the sun and absorb more Vitamin D. » 12/22/13 2:00pm 12/22/13 2:00pm

First scientific paper to be released in Elvish, Dwarvish and English

University of Bristol climate scientist Dan Lunt, writing under the name Radagast the Brown, released a paper today where he used powerful supercomputers to model the climate of Middle Earth. So of course he had to release it in Dwarvish, Elvish and English. He made some fascinating scientific observations, too. » 12/06/13 4:24pm 12/06/13 4:24pm

An incredibly thorough analysis of how frequently words and characters…

It's terribly easy to get lost in Emil Johansson's Lord of the Rings Project, an extensive series of charts, maps, and genealogies analyzing J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth. His latest update to the project is a real treat: a statistical analysis of the appearance of words and characters in The Lord of the Rings, The… » 2/17/13 9:30am 2/17/13 9:30am

Haunting photograph turns Earth into Middle Earth

Polish photographer and artist Michal Karcz uses digital tools to create fantastical landscapes out of photographs he's taken. Here he's created a seemingly-impossible bridge between our world and Sauron's. Karcz writes, "Most of my work is like a journey to the places which don't exist." You can see a lot more where… » 2/11/13 4:53pm 2/11/13 4:53pm

The Middle Earth Illustrators J.R.R. Tolkien Loved—and the Ones He…

While Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, and now The Hobbit movie may be how many modern folks see Middle Earth, it's important to remember that the first person to illustrate J.R.R. Tolkien's world was Tolkien himself. Tolkien had a very clear sense of how Middle Earth should and should not look, and while he… » 12/16/12 7:00am 12/16/12 7:00am

Middle Earth map dress outfits you for an unexpected journey

Should the wearer of this dress suddenly find herself in Middle Earth, she'll at least have a map handy. This piece of Tolkien-inspire couture was spotted at Dragon*Con 2012, and we love all the small touches: the traveling cloak collar, the Tengwar script along the belt and hem, and the matching clutch. » 12/01/12 2:00pm 12/01/12 2:00pm

This transcendent time-lapse of New Zealand is a journey to Middle-earth

For his short film Aotearoa — a.k.a. the Māori name for New Zealand — photographer Nathan Kaso captured the Tolkienesque views of South Island. He explains of this video, "Locations include Queenstown, Arrowtown, Wanaka, Kinloch, Glenorchy, Fox Glacier, Mount Cook National Park, Twizel, Lindis Pass and Haast Pass."… » 6/14/12 8:45am 6/14/12 8:45am