Anne Marie Gazzolo – Author of Middle-earth https://www.annemariegazzolo.com All You Need to Know About Life You Can Learn from Middle-earth Tue, 03 Apr 2018 20:18:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Interview with Benita J. Prins! https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/interview-benita-j-prins/ https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/interview-benita-j-prins/#respond Tue, 03 Apr 2018 20:18:28 +0000 http://www.annemariegazzolo.com/?p=1960 I am happy to post this interview with author Benita J. Prins, fellow lover of all things Tolkien and a great writer in her own right too! I read her fantasy, Sea of Crystal, Sea of Glass recently and recommend … Continue reading

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I am happy to post this interview with author Benita J. Prins, fellow lover of all things Tolkien and a great writer in her own right too! I read her fantasy, Sea of Crystal, Sea of Glass recently and recommend it to all. Read my review here. I look forward to reading her other, Starscape, and also any other books she will write!

Describe your guiding values in four words.

Faith, truth, goodness, and beauty.

What are your main themes or concerns?

One of the most prominent themes that I try to portray in my writing is sacrifice – sacrifice for the greater good of mankind. The characters in my books always have to make the choice to give up something dear to them. Another aspect that always makes it in is the presence of a higher power. Although each of my fantasy worlds has a different way of functioning, God is always there controlling it all.

Where do you get your ideas?

I get ideas from other stories, my own fractious imagination, and day-to-day incidents (real life is so extremely interesting). Often I’ll be reading a book or watching a movie, especially fantasy, and some aspect of the story will take root in my mind. I’ll start wondering about various other ways the author could’ve developed it rather than the one he chose, and eventually I end up with a completely new idea. Sometimes entire books spring from that process.

Who or what are your biggest inspirations in writing?

My greatest inspiration is the Catholic Faith. That sounds trite, but the Faith is so deep that you can dig forever and never find the bottom. Just reading the Catechism brings up so many questions that I can explore beneath the surface of a story! In the end, each of my stories finds its root in the story of salvation. I think it was C.S. Lewis or someone similar who said that, ultimately, that story is the only story that really exists. Every other story is merely an extension of it.

What are you reading now?

Mainly required reading – college is insane. When I can find spare time, I’ve been picking my way through some P.G. Wodehouse novels that I finally was able to get my hands on. (Project Gutenberg is a blessing.) Wodehouse was a twentieth-century English humour novelist; his books are hilarious, largely because of his mastery of the English language. If you’ve never heard of him, you may be familiar with the Jeeves and Wooster TV show from the 1990’s, with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. If you’ve never even heard of that, I would likely to heartily recommend you search out some books by Wodehouse. The Jeeves stories are arguably his best.

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I’m on BookLikes! https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/im-on-booklikes/ https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/im-on-booklikes/#respond Tue, 20 Feb 2018 20:00:18 +0000 http://www.annemariegazzolo.com/?p=1957 I’ve joined BookLikes. Hope you can join me there too! I love the layout of this book review site. Book worm heaven! http://authorannemarie.booklikes.com/ … Continue reading

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I’ve joined BookLikes. Hope you can join me there too! I love the layout of this book review site. Book worm heaven! http://authorannemarie.booklikes.com/

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Guest Blog Post: A Light to the World https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/guest-blog-post-light-world/ https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/guest-blog-post-light-world/#respond Thu, 21 Dec 2017 20:07:59 +0000 http://www.annemariegazzolo.com/?p=1946 An essay I wrote about the desire of Tolkien and the TCBS to be a light to their darkening world. A century later, he still provides light. Thank you, Professor and God bless! Art by Justin Gerard  … Continue reading

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An essay I wrote about the desire of Tolkien and the TCBS to be a light to their darkening world. A century later, he still provides light. Thank you, Professor and God bless!

Art by Justin Gerard 

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Guest Blog Post: The Ring Claims Frodo https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/guest-blog-post/ https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/guest-blog-post/#respond Mon, 06 Nov 2017 02:38:24 +0000 http://www.annemariegazzolo.com/?p=1935 A little writing update: Busy with the third draft of my next book, Chosen: The Journeys of Bilbo and Frodo of the Shire, due out on their birthday, 2018. Also had the honor of a guest blog post, “The Ring … Continue reading

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A little writing update:

Busy with the third draft of my next book, Chosen: The Journeys of Bilbo and Frodo of the Shire, due out on their birthday, 2018.

Also had the honor of a guest blog post, “The Ring Claims Frodo,” on Stephen C. Winter’s wonderful site, Wisdom from The Lord of the Rings. Enjoy!

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The History of The Lord of the Rings: The Epilogue https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/history-lord-rings-epilogue/ https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/history-lord-rings-epilogue/#comments Sat, 01 Jul 2017 14:04:21 +0000 http://www.annemariegazzolo.com/?p=1925 This wonderful chapter takes place 15 years after Frodo fled West and concerns Sam and his children. Eight of the thirteen are born, and the elder ones love stories of the Elves and their father’s part in the fabulous adventures … Continue reading

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This wonderful chapter takes place 15 years after Frodo fled West and concerns Sam and his children. Eight of the thirteen are born, and the elder ones love stories of the Elves and their father’s part in the fabulous adventures in the Red Book.

Sam tells them a letter from Aragorn has come, which tells them he will come to the Brandywine Bridge and wants to meet them all. Sam says the king wrote it “‘in Elvish and in Plain Language’” (Sauron Defeated 117) and names each child individually in both tongues. 

Two years later, Rose tells Sam she had no hope to see him again after he went off with Frodo until the day was destroyed and then she knew he would come back. Sam considers himself whole, but even so, as he closes the door to Bag End, “Sam heard suddenly the sigh and murmur of the sea on the shores of Middle-earth” (119). Christopher Tolkien notes this is how his father meant to end the epic tale.

The second version of the epilogue is much different and tells of a talk Sam and Elanor have on her 15th birthday after everyone else is asleep. Elanor calls Frodo Sam’s treasure and wishes she could remember him. She is at first the only one who knows of the King’s letter. Within it, Aragorn address Sam as “Master Perhael who should be called Panthael” which Sam explains means “‘Samwise who ought to be called Fullwise’” (126).

Everyone should read this chapter for a delightful look into Sam’s family life. It also contains two marvelous facsimiles of Aragorn’s letter in Elvish.

The last chapter of the book is a small appendix showing drawings of Orthanc and Dunharrow.

Here ends The History of The Lord of the Rings. I hope you have enjoyed the journey!

I will take a break now from blogging. I am deep within my next two books. One will focus on the journeys of Bilbo and Frodo (mostly Frodo, being the Frodoholic I am) 🙂 The other is a series of poems about a hero’s arduous quest and its aftermath. Those who have eyes to see that can will recognize it comes from the POV of one of the Little Folk. Stay tuned!!

Photo from The Lord of the Rings Framecap Library

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The History of The Lord of the Rings: The Grey Havens https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/history-lord-rings-grey-havens/ https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/history-lord-rings-grey-havens/#respond Sat, 17 Jun 2017 14:56:36 +0000 http://www.annemariegazzolo.com/?p=1923 This was originally part of the same chapter that started with the hobbits’ journey home from Rivendell. The first draft is opposite to the published version as to Frodo’s fame in his home country. There is no mention of the … Continue reading

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This was originally part of the same chapter that started with the hobbits’ journey home from Rivendell. The first draft is opposite to the published version as to Frodo’s fame in his home country. There is no mention of the Ring-bearer’s two March illnesses, though one appears later on with Frodo being glad Sam is not there because he would have had trouble keeping it from him. “…he was in pain and weighed down with a great sense of darkness, and could do little more than walk about clasping the jewel of Queen Arwen. But after a while the fit passed” (Sauron Defeated 110).

In answer to Bilbo’s question whether Frodo will accompany him, the younger Baggins says he will “before the wound returns” (ibid.).

Art: Departure at the Grey Havens by Ted Nasmith

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The History of The Lord of the Rings: The Scouring of the Shire https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/history-lord-rings-scouring-shire/ https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/history-lord-rings-scouring-shire/#comments Sat, 03 Jun 2017 14:30:55 +0000 http://www.annemariegazzolo.com/?p=1919 As noted in the last post, this was originally part of the last chapter of the book called “Homecoming.” Gandalf announces to the guards at the gate who he is and gives the last names of the hobbits. They learn … Continue reading

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As noted in the last post, this was originally part of the last chapter of the book called “Homecoming.” Gandalf announces to the guards at the gate who he is and gives the last names of the hobbits. They learn Cosmo Sackville (later Lotho S-B) is Mayor and Chief Shirriff. Gandalf tears down the notices on the gate. Tolkien later thought the wizard should remain at Bree, rather than come to the Shire. There is no mention yet of his leaving to see Tom Bombadil.

The original version of the Scouring of the Shire is far different than the truth Tolkien later discovered, especially concerning Frodo’s much more aggressive role in it. Sharkey is the name of the leader of the ruffians from Isengard who trades words with Frodo. The Ring-bearer updates the man about the fall of Sauron and Saruman and the return of the King. Frodo tells the man, “You are the fingers of a hand that has been cut off, and arm and body too are dead” (Sauron Defeated 83). 

After Sharkey and some of his men come to the farm of Jeremy Cotton where the hobbits stay the night, Frodo kills Sharkey and another, while his companions and Farmer Cotton kill others.

In another version, Frodo kills Sharkey at Bag End. Sam is glad his master wielded the last stroke of the war.

Frodo and Sam have a lovely little argument about who is the greatest hero, a theme I’ve had fun using several times in my fanfic. Sam says he doesn’t think Frodo has received as much praise as he should. Frodo replies, 

‘You’ve been far more neglected yourself. There’s never only one hero in any true tale, Sam, and all the good folk are in others’ debt. But if one had to choose one and one only, I’d choose Samwise.’

‘Then you’d be wrong, Mr. Frodo,’ said Sam. ‘For without you, I’m nothing. But you and me together, Mr Frodo: well, that’s more than either alone.’ (Sauron Defeated 102)

Earlier drafts of the Battle of Bywater have no hobbit casualties. Only in the third draft, do some hobbits die, with many more ruffians. Also here Frodo completely takes the role he does in Return of the King. The revelation of Saruman as Sharkey and his death at Bag End occurs in the second draft.

So, what do you think? Who is right about who is the greatest hero?

Picture of both heroes from LOTR Framecap Library

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The History of The Lord of the Rings: Homeward Bound https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/history-lord-rings-homeward-bound/ https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/history-lord-rings-homeward-bound/#respond Sat, 20 May 2017 14:12:44 +0000 http://www.annemariegazzolo.com/?p=1912 Christopher Tolkien notes in this short chapter the original title was “Homecoming” and ran through to the end of the tale, including the abandoned Epilogue. Frodo, not Gandalf, speaks of wounds incurable in Middle-earth. The hobbit does not name them … Continue reading

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Christopher Tolkien notes in this short chapter the original title was “Homecoming” and ran through to the end of the tale, including the abandoned Epilogue.

Frodo, not Gandalf, speaks of wounds incurable in Middle-earth. The hobbit does not name them as he does in the published version, and he adds one later dropped: pain where his finger once was.

Gandalf remains with the hobbits until they come to the newly built gate guarding the Brandywine Bridge. 

Picture from The Lord of the Rings Framecap Library

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The History of The Lord of the Rings: Many Partings https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/history-lord-rings-many-partings/ https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/history-lord-rings-many-partings/#respond Sun, 07 May 2017 01:25:56 +0000 http://www.annemariegazzolo.com/?p=1910 Unlike the previous two chapters so alike from first draft to final, this one has many changes. Gandalf makes special note of Frodo and Sam at the feast following Theoden’s funeral. The wizard does not want anyone to forget them … Continue reading

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Unlike the previous two chapters so alike from first draft to final, this one has many changes.

Gandalf makes special note of Frodo and Sam at the feast following Theoden’s funeral. The wizard does not want anyone to forget them or their bravery without which all else would have come to naught. “And the bards and the minstrels should give them new names: Bronwe athan Harthad and Harthad Uluithiad, Endurance beyond Hope and Hope unquenchable” (Sauron Defeated 62). Sam does not think these names suit because they are so fancy and unpronounceable. I love them though because they describe them perfectly.

Other changes from the published version include no mention of Treebeard’s release of Saruman. The way Aragorn parts with Galadriel and Celeborn is different, as are the gifts Bilbo gives to the hobbits upon their return to Rivendell. Elrond’s words to Frodo to look for Bilbo later in the Shire are heard by others as well, but they do not understand what he means. Saruman’s response to Merry’s generous offer of pipeweed as they meet the corrupt wizard on their way home is much different. There is also no mention of the fallen Maia coming to the Shire. After a long struggle, Tolkien discovers Arwen’s name in the second draft. The two mighty gifts she gives to Frodo receive their first mention here also, though not yet in their final form.

Art: Saruman is Overtaken by Ted Nasmith

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The History of The Lord of the Rings: The Steward and the King https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/history-lord-rings-steward-king/ https://www.annemariegazzolo.com/history-lord-rings-steward-king/#respond Sat, 22 Apr 2017 14:47:40 +0000 http://www.annemariegazzolo.com/?p=1905 Christopher Tolkien again notes this chapter came almost fully formed from the first. But there were also significant differences as well. Faramir surrenders the Stewardship, which in the final version Aragorn refuses to allow him to do. In the first … Continue reading

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Christopher Tolkien again notes this chapter came almost fully formed from the first. But there were also significant differences as well.

Faramir surrenders the Stewardship, which in the final version Aragorn refuses to allow him to do. In the first draft, Aragorn does not return the staff of the Stewards to Faramir or say anything at all. After the younger man announces the Stewardship is over, he and Prince Imrahil crown the new king. Faramir then breaks the staff. It soon changes to what we know happened.

Another notable difference is Ghan-buri-Ghan and two of his people come to pay their respects and receive the king’s blessing.

After Gandalf and Aragorn ascend Mindolluin, the wizard tells the king the time has come for Men to dominate and Aragorn to rule them, while the other races will leave and lessen. Of the tree they find, Gandalf says, “But who shall say how it comes here in the hour that is appointed?” (Sauron Defeated 58). Maybe down through the ages it hid, “even as Elendil’s race lay hid in the wastes of the North” ready to sprout at the right time (ibid).

Another big change was the name of Aragorn’s bride, who was still the daughter of Elrond and Celebrian and granddaughter of Galadriel, but named Findulias. After the name of the mother of Boromir and Faramir was changed to this from Rothinel, Arwen became the one who shared Aragorn’s wedded bliss.

Art: Aragorn and Arwen by Jef Murray.

 

 

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