Contributor: Michael Martinez

We use trivia to prove our depth of knowledge in a given topic but also to introduce people to new ideas or to revive interest in old things.  How many people do trivia contests motivate to read books or perform Internet searches?  But what we choose to include in our trivia lists suggests our priorities or […]

Some years ago I was presented with the opportunity to participate in a special project in which someone wanted me to translate a number of texts into Elvish, a task for which I am singularly unqualified.  Visions of con artists streamed through my head as I thought what it would take to do the work […]

I can’t possibly read all the defenses of Tolkien’s works against racism.  Too many people have been drawn into this neverending story of racist bias in The Lord of the Rings.  The accusations of racism resonate strongly with all of us, and I have even read a scholarly paper that attempts to break down the […]

I don’t remember where or when I first heard that I was banned from participating in Tolkien trivia contests at conventions.  This has been a running joke for decades, now, but it was going strong when I handed the Tolkien fan programming track at Dragon*Con over to Jincey from TheOneRing.net.  She sent me an email […]

I am still amazed at the ill logic people resort to when throwing down the gauntlet at Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy.  I am on record as trashing the second movie and barely acknowledging the third, so I feel like I have earned my spurs in this charade of film criticism that has dominated many fannish […]

Years ago when the first attempt to launch a licensed massively multiplayer game based on Middle-earth was still in process there was much debate among waiting players about whether they should be permitted to play Noldorin warriors.  Some people wanted the ability to swashbuckle their way across the landscape of Middle-earth and others feared the […]

About the Author: Michael Martinez
Michael Martinez is a graduate of Kennesaw State University and author of Parma Endorion: Essays on Middle-earth, Visualizing Middle-earth, Understanding Middle-earth: Essays on J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, and Mindfaring through Middle-earth.