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When a regular FLASH...

Grey Havens

Aug 11 2008, 3:50am

Post #1 of 14 (5146 views)
When a regular FLASH... Can't Post

... back just doesn't cut it...

Forget the Flasher... I need a body double!

Here's your FLASHBACK for...

August 3 to August 9


c. August 4 – Christopher Tolkien completes a typescript copy of the fair copy of the “Galadriel” chapter of LOTR, along with copies of “Farewell to Lórien” and “The Scattering of the Company” (which was later split into two chapters, “The Great River” and “The Breaking of the Fellowship”).


August 9 – In reaction to the atomic bombs being dropped on Nagasaki on this day and one on Hiroshima three days earlier, Tolkien expresses his horror to Christopher in a letter (#102):

The news today about ‘Atomic bombs’ is so horrifying one is stunned. The utter folly of these lunatic physicists to consent to do such work for war-purposes: calmly plotting the destruction of the world! Such explosives in men’s hands, while their moral and intellectual status is declining, is about as useful as giving out firearms to all inmates of a gaol and then saying that you hope ‘this will ensure peace’.


August 7 – In a letter to George Sayer and his wife, Moira Casey, he informs them that Allen & Unwin have reconsidered publishing LOTR (the typescript of the first half of which he has lent them, at C.S. Lewis’ urging). The sooner they read it, the better, and he would like to hear their opinions of the whole book.

August 8 or 9 – Having obliged Tolkien by finishing the first half of LOTR, George Sayer drives to Oxford, returns it and leaves with the second half.


August 4 – Tolkien complains to Christopher (Letter #138) that the galley-proofs of the first volume of LOTR “are proving rather a bore! There seem such an endless lot of them; and they have put me very much out of conceit with parts of the Great Work, which seems I must confess, in print very long-winded in parts.” He also mentions the letter he wrote to Allen & Unwin on July 22 regarding the “corrections” that were made by the compositors to certain words, such as dwarves being changed to dwarfs, elvish to elfish, and elven to elfin. Meanwhile, W.N. Beard sends him the proofs of the Foreword, contents page and galley proofs 120-132

August 6 – In reply to Rayner Unwin’s suggestion that each volume of LOTR have a separate sub-titles, Tolkien, although averse to the idea, does not object to…

The Lord of the Rings I The Return of the Shadow
The Lord of the Rings II The Shadow Lengthens
The Lord of the Rings III The Return of the King

… as long as each volume has the over-all title to avoid confusion. He goes on to discuss several other matters pertaining to LOTR, including the inclusion of the reproduction of the burned pages of the Book of Mazarbul, the re-drawing of the doors of Moria, as well as maps for the first volume.


August 5 – In a formal letter of acceptance, Tolkien expresses his gratitude to Jerome W. Archer for the invitation to visit Marquette University. However, in a second letter, Tolkien is uncertain as to whether he will be able to attend. “Continuous over-work since 1951 has begun to tell on me; and I am feeling rather exhausted. I have recently been ill; and I am obliged to cancel plans for travel this vacation…” (Special Collections and University Archives, Marquette University)


August 9 – Tolkien is slowly recovering from fibrositis. Although his arm is still painful, he is allowed to write and type again.


August 4 – In response to a query by W.H. Auden on whether he knew that a “New York Tolkien Society” had been formed and his fears that they may be comprised mostly of lunatics, Tolkien admits that he has heard of it. “Real lunatics don’t join them, I think. But still such things fill me too with alarm and despondency.”

c. August 6-9 – Tolkien sends a short note to Austin Olney regarding the cover of the first authorized American paperback of The Hobbit by Ballantine Books, expressing his distaste, which he later summarizes in a letter to Rayner Unwin (#277):

I think the cover ugly; but I recognize that a main object of a paperback cover is to attract purchasers, and I suppose that you are better judges of what is attractive in USA than I am. I therefore will not enter into a debate about taste – (meaning though I did not say so: horrible colours and foul lettering) – but I must ask this about the vignette: what has it got to do with the story? Where is this place? Why a lion and emus? And what is the thing in the foreground with pink bulbs? I do not understand how anybody who has read the tale (I hope you are one) could think such a picture would please the author.


August 7 – Pamela Chandler photographs Tolkien and his wife, Edith, in the garden and in his garage-study of his home at Sandfield Road.

August 8 – Tolkien writes to Joy Hill, asking her if it would be possible to patent the word Hobbit, which would “at least prevent people sticking this label on disgusting objects, or on any objects, without some compensation”* (HarperCollins archives). Two days later, Joy Hill replies that, although it is not possible to copyright or patent the phrase The Hobbit, it could be registered as a trademark.

* According to Clyde S. Kilby, this dislike for the commercialization of his beloved Hobbit came about through his involvement with “an American manufacturer who proposed to exploit the Hobbit image by making dolls, T-shirts and the like. This manufacturer declared his intention of going ahead with or without permission but offered some remuneration for the privilege.” (Tolkien & The Silmarillion).


c. August 8 or 9 – In response to a letter from Tolkien a day or so earlier, a Mrs. Ogden Nuffield, presumably of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, informs him that he will need to say in hospital for two weeks to restore strength to his leg, which has been in plaster, and for a fitting of a new support for his leg.


August 4 – In a letter to Joy Hill, Tolkien confides that he is feeling tired. “I am beginning to feel anxious, waning. I begin to feel that when at last, if ever, I break from the endless entanglements and delays that prevent me from returning to my ‘work’, I shall finally be exhausted.” (René van Rossenberg collection).


August 7 – AICN posts a review of the original Miramax script of LOTR that was originally intended to be split into two movies instead of Newline’s three.


August 3Pulp, a New Zealand pop culture magazine, boasts to have inside information on the LOTR trilogy, which could , if one does not perceive the tongue-in-cheek humor, send unsuspecting fans into a tizzy.

August 4 – More satire, this time for the folks at Suck.com

… who offer some insight on Tolkien and how Peter Jackson should transition LOTR from book to the screen.

August 5 – A TORn spy reports on the Wingate set being flooded, which sparks a four-year debate about the “spikey wheel”.

August 7Stuff.co.nz reports on the filming of that “spikey wheel” scene with a pic for visual aid…

--> Another TORn spy report from the Wingate set reveals what looks like the scene where Gandalf confronts Saruman in his tower.

August 8 – In the latest entry in his Grey Book, Sir Ian McKellen reflects on his time in New Zealand filming scenes with “Bilbo” (Ian Holm), doing a little sight-seeing and trying not to get blown up. H also tries to put to rest rumors about him being the victim of that “spikey wheel”.

August 9Scoop.co.nz posts a new pic of the ruins of Amon Hen.


August 8 – In a Q&A session with Entertainment Weekly’s website, Sam Neill confirms that he had indeed been offered a role in LOTR, but that he was unable to accept due to prior commitments.


August 4 – Lawrence Makoare informs TORn that he will be returning in ROTK in the role of the Witch-King of Angmar.

August 7 – The Dork Tower gang seem to be obsessed with obtaining the preciousss, namely the FOTR DVD.


August 6 – It seems Tolkien spoiled things for all wizards and monstrous creatures, that is, according to John Deering and his Strange Brew.

August 7 – TORn posts a multitude of pics for Ringers’ perusal, including posters of TTT

… some hi-res pics of pivotal scenes in TTT

… and an Entmoot…


August 4 – In a new E-post, Sir Ian McKellen offers up advice to a chiropractor student and some behind-the-scenes info.

All info has been collected from Hammond & Scull's "J.R.R. Tolkien Companion & Guide"; "The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien", TORn and various sites on the web.

(This post was edited by diedye on Aug 11 2008, 3:54am)


Aug 11 2008, 4:29am

Post #2 of 14 (2977 views)
You made my day. Thanks so much diedye, for all your time.... just for us. // [In reply to] Can't Post


Fear is a bad habit. Despair is lazy. Evil is boring.
The universe is friendly. Life is on your side.

Superuser / Moderator

Aug 11 2008, 9:12am

Post #3 of 14 (2902 views)
Thank you dd! [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't think I'd ever see that Wizard Kebab photo again. What a great moment from LOTR-movie history!

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Ataahua's stories

Peredhil lover

Aug 11 2008, 10:19am

Post #4 of 14 (2901 views)
Thank you again [In reply to] Can't Post

for all the time you're putting into these posts! *hugs*

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.

Forum Admin / Moderator

Aug 11 2008, 11:46am

Post #5 of 14 (2875 views)
Where ARE you finding [In reply to] Can't Post

all those great old jokes and spoofs! Laugh

Thanks again, diedye!

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915

Tol Eressea

Aug 11 2008, 3:10pm

Post #6 of 14 (2896 views)
Does anyone know what role was offered to Sam Neill? [In reply to] Can't Post

You appeared in director Peter Jackson's 1996 mockumentary ''Forgotten Silver.'' Why couldn't you convince your old pal to cast you in his latest movie, ''The Lord of the Rings''?
He did offer me a role in ''Lord of the Rings,'' but unfortunately I was unable to do it because I had other commitments. I'm very fond of Peter and I'm very keen to work with him. When he makes ''Lord of the Rings 7,'' I'm up for it.

Was it Elrond by any chance? It seems as if he could have been a good Elrond. Which leads us to another question... could Sam Neill be asked to play anyone in The Hobbit?

Thranduil, perhaps?

Here's to Del Toro becoming the Irvin Kershner of Middle Earth!

Essay winner of the Show us your Hobbit Pride Giveway!


Aug 11 2008, 3:43pm

Post #7 of 14 (2867 views)
I think Gandalf? [In reply to] Can't Post

Vague memories from way back when make me think he was offered Gandalf. I have no proof of it, but I think I saw a 'behind the scenes' email along those lines.

But yea, he'd make a good Elrond too!

The Mysterious Calisuri

The Shire

Aug 11 2008, 8:12pm

Post #8 of 14 (2867 views)
Thanx! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you, Diedye, for taking the time and trouble to write & post the Flashbacks every week!

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." --Gandalf the Grey


Aug 11 2008, 11:35pm

Post #9 of 14 (2872 views)
are these all saved in one place, somewhere? [In reply to] Can't Post

I love these threads! I know they are linked from the home page, but I'm wondering if they are also all in one place, so for instance one can just go to the "flashbacks" page and read in date order.

These are great, diedye. Thanks for doing them.


"an seileachan"

Pooh began to feel a little more comfortable, because when you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.


Aug 12 2008, 1:31am

Post #10 of 14 (2846 views)
I had not read the two-script review before... [In reply to] Can't Post

Theoden taken prisoner by Saruman?

Eowyn rescuing Gandalf? (Did I read that right?)

Kind of makes Go Home seem pretty tame by comparison. I can see what the scriptwriters meant when they said they got closer to the books as they went along, after this kind of info....loved the whole build-up the AICN guys did by having Gandalf show up with the script. Priceless!

I was not here when that kind of stuff was being talked about, but I imagine that kind of thing generated a lot of comments.

This was one of your best, thanks!



Aug 12 2008, 11:35am

Post #11 of 14 (2844 views)
You've done it again! [In reply to] Can't Post

Another fantastic flash! ... back Wink

I just love the letter Tolkien spits out! He is precious about his work, and so he needed to be. I think he must have sent himself into an anxiety period just with the feedback of what people were doing with his characters! ..

and the legendary spikey wheel pic LOL!! Oiye!

I thought Sam Neil was for Elrond ... Sam and Hugh are so often mistaken for each other here ... though they are alike, they are so different ... amazing though, Sam would make a fantastic Middle-Earth character ... loved his comment about LOTR 7!! EEEKKK!! Crazy

Thankyou for a great stroll down Memory Lane diedye!

Elven x

Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!


Aug 12 2008, 12:03pm

Post #12 of 14 (2875 views)
Ah-ha! The "Spikey Wheel"!! [In reply to] Can't Post

That still cracks me up every time I see it. What a flurry it caused!

Can you imagine what Tolkien would have gone through if he hadn't had Christopher Tolkien or Joy Hill to confide in? Bless them both.

Oh diedye! This is fabulous! I've never seen the other script before. What a fascination... and what a lot of work they did to convert to the 3-film screenplay.

YOU'RE AWESOME for doing these for us. They're amazing!



"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."

TORn's Observations Lists


Aug 12 2008, 3:57pm

Post #13 of 14 (2828 views)
I was thinking that myself, Compa... [In reply to] Can't Post

maybe he will voice Smaug. I think he could come up with just the right menacing voice for it.

Hanging out with the Lonely Isle elves.


Aug 12 2008, 4:30pm

Post #14 of 14 (2859 views)
This was wonderful, diedye... [In reply to] Can't Post

I loved the picture of Tolkien and his wife. Throughout my long fanship (fandom?) and my many years on TORn, I don't think I've ever seen it before.

What I had seen before, but didn't have pictures of, are those high res TTT pics. New computure wallpapers!

I hadn't realized it was C.S. Lewis that urged that this project be sent to the publisher. There's so much information here!

You're right, Weaver. What we could have had does make "Sam go home", and for me especially "Arwen is dying" look pretty tame.

Hanging out with the Lonely Isle elves.


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