Posts from the Shire


My uncle, Fortinbras Proudfoot:

I recall that when I was young, I would sit with other children and listen to my uncle’s stories, and at night I would lie in my warm bed and imagine myself adventuring to strange places with him. When sleep finally came to me I would dream of his adventures as though I was my uncle himself.

My uncle, Fortinbras Proudfoot, is a scholarly person. In his humble home he has many bookcases filled with books from all over. There are books in Elvish, and Dwarvish, books from far away lands and some from closer to home. There are books of poetry, and others of history, some on geography and some on cooking. There are many on the old tales of family heroes, and all their friends and their adventures! For they are his favourite tales of all.

In his youth he was a teacher, and many of the people in his village and the nearby towns knew Mr Proudfoot from their days at school. As such, wherever he went there was always someone keen to catch up, to share a meal and a chat with their wonderful friend Fortinbras.

He has, unlike many people of his village, travelled quite far from his home. He has been on journeys in his own land and has even travelled across the encircling seas to visit many places of legend and history.

My uncle is now quite old but he still entertains us with many tales from his adventures of long ago to strange exotic lands. He has kept a journal of his adventures and within there are many stories in poetic verse form.

This book contains a collection of many of his writings. They include tales of heroic people, wizards, dragons, elves, and dwarves. There are also some tales of the smallest of people, who lived in a peaceful far away land of pastures, small villages, and green rolling hills.

I hope you enjoy reading these tales as much as I have enjoyed revisiting them once more to collate them for publication.

This collection of my uncle’s work I have called “Dreams of Another Land”.

11. Uncle Proudfoot - Copy



The date of the 25th of March is known to many Tolkien fans as the day of victory, the day the Dark Lord Sauron was vanquished, however this date has taken an alternate significance; International Tolkien Reading Day.

Since 2003, enthusiasts from around the globe have gathered to share their passion for the works of Tolkien; Year after year, flocking to events to cultivate the public’s interest in the world of Middle Earth.

Since the publication of The Hobbit in 1937, the wonders of Middle Earth have brought joy to generations of children and adults alike. A unique creation unlike any the world of literature had seen, Tolkien’s universe breathed new life into the fantasy genre, captivating readers with a sense of wonder and intrigue. The lore of his universe spans over decades of writings, from the widely recognised Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, to works such as The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and the collective writings of the History of Middle Earth.

With such a wide breadth of accounts, enthusiasts of Tolkien, however, often find the origins of certain characters and traditions to be shrouded in mystery. These mysterious topics of debate often form the basis of Tolkien reading discussions, thus was apparent in the 2016 Tolkien Reading Day theme of Life, Death and Immortality.

Among the many stories relating to this topic, the focus of the Brisbane Tolkien Fellowship’s reading days on the 19th and 20th of March, centred around questions of Gandalf’s ‘resurrection’ and Arwen’s choice, among many readings involving characters such as Beren and Luthien, Idril and Tuor and the descendants of Numenor.

Our own Peter Kenny led this discussion, using his extensive knowledge and research to bring light to some of these more controversial topics. Opening with the origins and genesis of the world, Peter led the audience on a thrilling account of the First Age of Middle Earth, from the creation of Arda (the Earth) through the song of the Valar, to the feuds between the elven kindreds and the Dark Lord Morgoth. Accompanied by stunning visuals by renowned artists such as John Howe, Ted Nasmith and others, the intricate web of Tolkien lore was woven.

Within this account of the ages of Middle Earth, questions concerning mortality and immortality as well as life and death arose. Referring to The Letters of Tolkien, extracts from the Return of the King Appendices and the unfinished chronicles of the History of Middle Earth, these questions were answered.

From writings to publications, from publications to the screen, no stone was left unturned. The complex lineage of Arwen and the Half-Elven was explored, as well as her relation to the Line of Kings and the choices granted to the descendants of Earendil.

The origins of Gandalf were examined in full, from his life as the Maiar Olroin, to his doings as Gandalf the Grey and finally his ‘resurrection’ into Gandalf the White. Further, the tragic recount of the Luthien’s Choice was told and the true price of immortality revealed.

Received by an enthusiastic audience of all ages, through the means of this Tolkien Reading Day, the flame of passion was passed into the hearts of all in attendance, marking the month of March, as an essential and joyous period for enthusiasts of the renowned author’s works, once again.

Contributor: Brianna Merriman

TOLKIEN READING DAY – 2016: Life, Death and Immortality. 5

Earendil and Elwing  – The third union of elves and men.

Following is a brief outline for fans of Middle-earth

Tuor and Idril became the leaders of the exiles at the Havens of Sirion where they welcomed the refugees of Doriath led by Elwing, the granddaughter of Beren and Luthien. Elwing had with her the Silmaril which Beren and Luthien had taken from Morgoth.

In the same year that Tuor and Idril departed, Eärendil married Elwing, the third union of Elves and Men. To them were born two twin sons, Elrond and Elros.

When no news came of Tuor and idril, Earendil prepared a ship, Vingilot, and set out to seek them.

News of the existence of the Silmaril came to the sons of Fëanor that were still living, and they attacked the people living in Arvernien, and slew most of them. Their sons Elrond and Elros became captives of the sons of Feanor.

But Elwing, rather than be captured, threw herself with the Silmaril into the sea. The Silmaril was not lost, however:

For Ulmo bore up Elwing out of the waves, and he gave her the likeness of a great white bird, and upon her breast there shone as a star the Silmaril, as she flew over the water to seek Eärendil her beloved.”

The Silmarillion, “Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath”

Elwing flew to her beloved Earendil and brought the news of the tragedy that had befallen in Arvernien. Eärendil then sought after Valinor, and he and Elwing found their way there at last.

Eärendil then went before the Valar, and asked them for aid for Men and Elves in Middle-earth, to fight against Morgoth; and the Valar accepted his plea. The following War of Wrath saw the final overthrow of Morgoth.

Because Eärendil had undertaken this errand on behalf of Men and Elves, and not for his own sake, Manwë forbore to deal out the punishment of death that was due; and because both Eärendil and Elwing were descended from a union of Elves and Men, Manwë granted to them and their sons the gift to choose to which race they would be joined (a gift that was further passed to the children of Elrond, who became known as the Half-elven). Elwing chose to be one of the Elves. Eärendil for the sake of his wife also chose to be one of the Elves.

*For more information go to Tolkien Gateway…

* Read: The Silmarillion, “Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath”

Brisbane Tolkien Fellowship will be celebrating Tolkien Reading Day at the following

  • March 19, Saturday – Logan North Library, commences at 11:00 am (Southside)
  • March 20, Sunday – Chermside Library, commences at 1:00 pm. (Northside)

TOLKIEN READING DAY – 2016: Life, Death and Immortality. 4

Tuor and Idril  – The second union of elves and men.

The following notes are for Fans of Middle-earth.

Tuor was the son of Huor, the brother of Hurin whose son was Turin. Tuor and his cousin Turin would never meet. Tuor’s father and mother, Rian, both perished during the time of the Battle of Unnumbered Tears in which Morgoth’s forces decimated the forces of elves and men. Tuor was fostered by Elves and spent most of his youth as an outlaw and fugitive.

Tuor was chosen by the Vala Ulmo, Lord of Waters to go to the Elf King Turgon in the hidden City of Gondolin and warn him of the inevitable doom to come. Turgon believed his city was secret and well hidden from Morgoth and would never fall.

Tuor became favoured by the king and his people and during his time in Gondolin, Idril, the king’s daughter fell in love with him, and with the Turgon’s blessings they were married. Soon after, they had a son, whose name was Earendil.

Finally Morgoth’s forces came in great numbers and sacked the city and most elves, including Turgon perished.

Tuor and Idril led the survivors by secret ways to The Havens at the mouth of the Sirion River. There Tuor and Idril abided until Earendil reached manhood.

Finally Tuor felt the yearning for the sea and built a great ship. With Idril, they sailed from Middle-earth into the sunset and the West. It is said, that Tuor alone of mortal men was accepted as one of the Elder and lived an immortal life in Valinor.

* For more information go to Tolkien Gateway… …                  *  Reading: The Silmarillion  - “Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin”.                                                        * Unfinished Tales –  “Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin”.

Brisbane Tolkien Fellowship will be celebrating Tolkien Reading Day at the following Libraries:

  • March 19, Saturday – Logan North Library, commences at 11:00 am (Southside)
  • March 20, Sunday – Chermside Library, commences at 1:00 pm. (Northside)





TOLKIEN READING DAY 2016: Life, Death and Immortality 3

Beren and Luthien

The following is a brief outline for Middle-earth fans.

Luthien was the daughter of Thingol, Elven king of Doriath and Melian the Maia. Luthien was revered as the most beautiful of elven maidens.

Beren, a mortal man, son of Barahir, fell in love with Luthien, and she with him.

Together, after many dangerous journeys and incidents they wrested a Silmaril from Morgoth.

However as they were leaving Morgoth’s fortress, Angband, their way was barred by the great wolf, Carcharoth, The Red Maw. Beren held up the Silmaril to protect them, but the wolf bit off his hand and thus consumed the Silmaril. The Silmaril burnt the innards of Carcharoth and drove him crazy with pain and he ran south and went on to terrorise all Beleriand.

Luthien healed Beren and they returned to her father’s kingdom in Doriath. Soon the great wolf came to Doriath and Beren, Thingol, Huan the Hound of Valinor and others went to seek and destroy Carcharoth.

In the ensuing encounter Carcharoth was destroyed by Huan the Hound, but he also died of wounds received. Beren had been mortally wounded as well. The Silmaril was removed from Carcharoth and became an heirloom of Thingol.

Shortly after returning to Thingol’s halls, Beren died and soon after Lúthien too wasted of grief.

Beren’s and Luthien’s spirits were gathered in the Halls of Mandos, and there Lúthien sang a song of such extraordinary power and beauty that it moved even the heart of Mandos.

Luthien was granted a unique fate, to become mortal and return to Middle-earth with Beren, where they dwelt for a time in happiness on the green island of Tol Galen in the River Adurant.

*Read Luthien’s and Beren’s full story and their Quest for the Silmaril in “The Silmarillion” – Chapter “Of Beren and Luthien”

*For more information go to Tolkien Gateway…

Brisbane Tolkien Fellowship will be celebrating Tolkien Reading Day at the following Libraries:

  • March 19, Saturday – Logan North Library, commences at 11:00 am (Southside)
  • March 20, Sunday – Chermside Library, commences at 1:00 pm. (Northside)

TOLKIEN READING DAY – 2016: Life, Death and Immortality 2.

THE FATES OF ELVES AND MEN: Following are brief notes for Tolkien fans.

In the First Age there was a debate between Andreth, a wise woman from the House of Beor, and Finrod Felagund an Elven King. They debated the fates of Elves and Men, of their (hröar and fëar) Body and Soul.

Andreth said the “death was imposed on us” and we live in fear of it, for no matter how strong we are in body and mind it will eventually overtake us.

Fingon pointed out their belief was, that although Elves are immortal, they will only exist to the end of Time. Beyond Time they do not know of their fate.

Although Elves are Immortal their Body can die by accident (e.g. in war) and their Soul goes to The Halls of Mandos, where they live out the rest of Time.

The Gift of Men is death. Among the Elves it is believed that when men die their Soul lives on beyond Time itself and they are not bound to the burdens of Arda and its sorrows, as all other beings are. Thus The Gift of Men was envied, for their fate was to exist beyond Time whereas the Elves knew not of their destinies beyond Time’s ending.

Men with the greatest understanding of their fates treated death as the Gift it was originally intended to be, and when their time came, gladly gave themselves up to it,accepting the Gift at the natural end of their lives and dying peacefully at their own bidding. One such man was Aragorn in the Fourth Age.

To learn more visit Tolkien Gateway…

Join Brisbane Tolkien Fellowship for Tolkien Reading Day at Logan North Library, Saturday, March 19, 11:00 am and/or Chermside Library, Sunday, March 20, 1:00 pm.