It’s turning out to be a great year to be a Lord of the Rings fan. With Amazon Prime Video‘s long-awaited The Rings of Power prequel series just months away and a host of trailers, teasers and speculation still expected to follow, the battle for Middle Earth is heating up and this week, The Tolkien Estate added fuel to the fire. The official caretakers for the late author’s works unveiled a new website littered with never-before-seen drawings, sketches, maps and illustrations of some of the most memorable scenes in modern literature.
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Acting as a proverbial home for Tolkien’s creations, the new site showcases the multi-talented, mixed medium artist’s extensive collection of works. Best remembered as the author of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Tolkien was also an accomplished writer, artist and linguist. In fact, later in life, the Englishmen served as a professor of Old and Middle English as well as Old Norse at the University of Oxford, sharing his incredible gift of language with the world.
Often described and deeply researched, Tolkien’s life story was a varied one, but this latest chapter marks an unexpected twist in the plot. In giving unprecedented access to his paintings and illustrations, The Tolkien Estate’s new website reveals more about the man behind the ring than ever before. Images such as ‘The Misty Mountains’ give rare insights into the original settings for some of the author’s most established works. In particular, the many illustrations produced for The Hobbit showcase the incredible legacy in design Tolkien left behind.
“The Hobbit was not meant to be an illustrated book but when the publisher saw Tolkien’s drawings and paintings, they were deemed the perfect accompaniment to the text and were quickly added to the book,” The Tolkien Estate wrote.
Remarkably, many of the images, illustrations and paintings now open to view on the website have never been made available for public viewing before. Weaving through the new virtual museum, you’ll find a number of rarely seen photographs of the author and his family, along with a few interesting quips for the traditionally quick-witted legend. Perhaps best of all, The Tolkein Estate chose its timing wisely. The new website launched strategically on February 26, the same date the Fellowship of the Ring was broken, forcing Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee into their perilous journey to save Middle Earth. You can check out the new Tolkien Estate website via the link below.