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Front cover of Amon Hen #291
Amon Hen № 291: October, 2021
© 2021 The Tolkien Society

№ 291∶ October, 2021

23 October 2021

In this issue: 3 articles, 1 editorial, 7 notes, 1 review.


From the editor’s desk

Mathew Suta, p. 2

… Welcome to Amon Hen 291, the first October issue of Amon Hen in a spookily long time! When we first decided to push the publication schedule back a month, we didn’t realise we were going to be able to publish issues in the months with all the fun holidays; Halloween for October, a Father Christmassy December, and perhaps even a love-filled Valentine’s issue in February! …


Melkor: Free will and redemption

Steven Gibb, p. 6

The Silmarillion explores Melkor’s initial rebellion and his fall into darkness, but what do we know of his redeemability? How do Eru, the Valar, and free will change what happened to Melkor? Was he given an opportunity to repent and return to a righteous path?

People often wonder why the Valar, or even Eru Ilúvatar Himself left Melkor to his own devices for extended periods of time, darkening the world and poisoning the hearts of the Children of Ilúvatar. Why didn’t Eru or the combined might of the Valar not just strike Melkor down after every one of his evil deeds? …

Tol Fuin: Sanctuary for evil and the final resting place of Sauron’s broken spirit

Cameron Kenneth Miller, p. 10

Tol Fuin, a small island North-East of the Grey Havens, is the last remaining piece of Morgoth’s realm to stay above the ocean through the Second Age and beyond. Tol Fuin is alone but for two small neighbours, the likely desolate Tol Morwen where lies the Stone of the Hapless^1, and Himling, the mountain island where Maedhros once ruled form his fortress on Himring before the Nirnaeth Arnoediad^2. Together the three are known as the Western Isles. When Morgoth fell, the forces of evil, the forces of good, the forces of nature, and those that are other, were all forced to flee the land around Utumno as the sea crept in, forever changing the coast of Middle-earth.…

The rabbit’s revenge

Kristine Larsen, p. 14

In a 1944 letter to his son Christopher, J.R.R. Tolkien noted that on April 26 he had struggled with recalcitrant passage in The Ring’. At this point I require to know how much later the moon gets up each night when nearing full, and how to stew a rabbit!” (Carpenter, 74).

Christopher later explained in The War of the Ring (131) that this comment (and others of his father’s in letters and personal notes) referred to difficulties in synchronizing the motions of the disparate parties in the broken Fellowship and tying them to the phases of the moon, beginning around the time when Sam made his infamous (to this devoted lagomorph-lover) rabbit stew.…


Tolkien tabletop № 4

David Means, p. 22

I first discovered The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings in my high school library in 1973 in my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and have continued to collect and read Tolkien and his works ever since. In the early 1980s I helped found the Tactical Simulation Society (a wargame club) in Tulsa, which later sponsored an annual board gaming convention. My wife and I now live in Kansas City, Missouri, and have a personal collection of over five hundred board games, including over a dozen Tolkien-inspired games, some dating back to the 1970s. I also own what is possibly the world’s largest collection of Scottish-themed board games, and am a member of the Kansas City Game Designers Group.…

Ring Quest: 20 years of a Tolkien event

Alan Baxter, p. 24

It was February 2002 when the first Ring Quest event took place at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village in the very heart of East Anglia near Bury St Edmunds. With little else concerning Tolkien in this part of the country, Ring Quest has been the East Anglian standard bearer for our favourite author. There is little wonder of that since this archaeological site traces back through layers of history — something which appealed to Tolkien himself.…

Tolkien tabletop ... literally

Scott Ismail, p. 26

I first discovered The Lord of the Rings back in the mid 1980s when I was twelve or thirteen years old and it began a lifelong love of Tolkien’s works. I find incredible inspiration in the richness of the world, the great beauty of Tolkien’s prose, and the depth of the history of Middle-earth…after reading the LotR probably twenty-five times in the years since, I never fail to find something new, significant, or interesting that I missed previously. It’s just a remarkable achievement.…


Tolkien’s Switzerland

Liz Stephen, p. 20

Tolkien’s Switzerland is the latest book from the joint pens of Alex Lewis and Elizabeth Currie. Even for authors with such a large and diverse portfolio of published material under their belts, this is a unique work following a completely different format to anything we have seen from them previously.

Lewis and Currie have set out to demonstrate how a real landscape became an essential part of the DNA of Middle-earth.…

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