Drinking in the REAL Green Dragon inn, and how it led to the Gods in Twilight

Years ago I spent a lot of time with friends playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons™. You know, the game where you rolled dice and looked up a table in a hardback book to find out what happened. After a hard day’s adventuring, slaying orcs, trolls, goblins and so forth the characters would retire for a … More Drinking in the REAL Green Dragon inn, and how it led to the Gods in Twilight

Pastoral folk or Wagnerian metal – which music best suits Tolkien?

In the last few posts I’ve been exploring the way J R R Tolkien subverted twentieth century literature, creating a whole new form of fantasy – and why The Lord Of The Rings in particular was such a runaway success. Today I’m wrapping the series up with a few thoughts on the way people reacted … More Pastoral folk or Wagnerian metal – which music best suits Tolkien?

Deep magic from the dawn of humanity: the real appeal of Tolkien

In the past few posts I’ve been explaining why Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings struck such chords with the western world, despite breaking all the rules of the twentieth century novel. We’ve seen how, on one level, it ‘broke through’ a decade after being published, on the back of the way the counter-culture identified with … More Deep magic from the dawn of humanity: the real appeal of Tolkien

Beyond epic – how Tolkien broke the rules and wrote a winner

I’ve been posting about why J R R Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings broke all the rules – yet, ten years after publication, took off commercially to become a defining icon of twentieth century fantasy literature. As a huge Tolkien fan who used to read The Lord Of The Rings multiple times a year, … More Beyond epic – how Tolkien broke the rules and wrote a winner

How J R R Tolkien became a best-selling author

I posted the other day about how J R R Tolkien’s  The Lord Of The Rings broke the rules of writing – yet, eventually, became an icon, and justly so. But it shouldn’t have, all things being equal. By usual standards, Tolkien’s characters  were cyphers. He broke his narrative in ways that obscured dramatic tension. … More How J R R Tolkien became a best-selling author