Contributor: Michael Martinez

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 […]

There are no hieroglyphs or bas-reliefs in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth.  That’s a curious omission from a pseudo-historical narrative of the ancient world, don’t you think?  And when it comes to statues the Elves do trees and the Gondorians do kings, but how many real examples of statues can you find in The Lord of the […]

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 have always been fascinated with Cerin Amroth, the tree-capped hill in Lothlorien where Haldir removed the blind-folds from the Fellowship.  He led Frodo up to the high flet that (presumably) marked where Amroth had once lived.  Tolkien’s description of the hill, topped with two circles of trees, always struck me as being modeled on […]

Every now and then I stumble across a Web discussion about some fictional world where someone, attempting to explain the inexplicable points of the fiction, sums up their argument with a variation of, “And as always, in a fictional world the author’s logic always works.” That’s an important lesson for people who want to hold […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

I have always been fascinated with Cerin Amroth, the tree-capped hill in Lothlorien where Haldir removed the blind-folds from the Fellowship.  He led Frodo up to the high flet that (presumably) marked where Amroth had once lived.  Tolkien’s description of the hill, topped with two circles of trees, always struck me as being modeled on […]

There are no hieroglyphs or bas-reliefs in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth.  That’s a curious omission from a pseudo-historical narrative of the ancient world, don’t you think?  And when it comes to statues the Elves do trees and the Gondorians do kings, but how many real examples of statues can you find in The Lord of the […]

Every now and then I stumble across a Web discussion about some fictional world where someone, attempting to explain the inexplicable points of the fiction, sums up their argument with a variation of, “And as always, in a fictional world the author’s logic always works.” That’s an important lesson for people who want to hold […]

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.