I sat at night by the waters of Anduin, in the grey dark under the young pale moon, watching the ever-moving stream; and the sad reeds were rustling. So do we ever watch the shores nigh Osgiliath, which our enemies now partly hold, and issue from it to harry our lands. But that night all the world slept at the midnight hour. Then I saw, or it seemed that I saw, a boat floating on the water, glimmering grey, a small boat of a strange fashion with a high prow, and there was none to row or steer it.
An awe fell on me, for a pale light was round it. But I rose and went to the bank, and began to walk out into the stream, for I was drawn towards it. Then the boat turned towards me, and stayed its pace, and floated slowly by within my hand’s reach, yet I durst not handle it.
A broken sword was on his knee. I saw many wounds on him. It was Boromir, my brother, dead.
Cait Coker is an Associate Editor for Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction. Her research focuses on the depictions of women and sexuality in science fiction and fantasy; her essays and reviews have appeared in The SFRA Review, The Journal of Transformative Works, and The Future Fire.
Cait Coker will be presenting “Looking for Lothiriel: The Presence of Women in Tolkien Fandom”, examining the depiction of of J. R. R. Tolkien’s and Peter Jackson’s female characters in The Lord of the Rings through the lens of fan fiction.
“Scholars of fan studies believe that fan fiction can be seen as an interpretive and analytical act that gives insight into the reception of a text by its audience. Peter Jackson’s films of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are in many ways a fan text themselves, drawing on both Tolkien’s work and adding and adapting elements for new audiences. Of particular interest are Jackson’s choices about re-interpreting and even adding women, such as Tauriel, to his adaptations–and how fandom, in its turn, rewrites and adapts them. This presentation will examine the depiction of Tolkien’s and Jackson’s female characters in The Lord of the Rings and related works through the lens of fan fiction: How do Tolkien’s most loving and devoted readers, his fans, view the women of Middle-Earth? How do fans read Jackson’s works in light of this? In the case of significant characters like Éowyn and Arwen, quite a bit is known and thus fan-writers have various resources to work with as source references, including the texts as well as the earlier drafts of the novels as published in The History of The Lord of the Rings. In the case of other characters, such as Lothíriel, their presence is little more than (quite literally) a footnote. Reading the poems, short stories, and even novels that fans have written inspired by these characters yields a new picture of the women of Middle Earth: one in which women aren’t always fabulously beautiful or amazingly brave, but take their place alongside the male denizens of Tolkien’s universe all the same.”
Late March is the time in which we mark the end of the Third Age of Middle-earth and celebrate the defeat of Sauron. In this age, we honor the date with an event known as International Tolkien Reading Day. In the past, Reading Day has been quite an elaborate affair for the Grey Havens Group. This year, however, we have a number of projects in the works, including our upcoming Real Myth and Mithril Symposium, so we will be keeping things simple. The party will be hosted by Roger Echo-Hawk in our Hobbit Hole. All will be invited to read their favorite passages from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and works inspired by or in the tradition of Tolkien but our Reading Day would not be complete if we neglected the limerick challenge issued by Katy Colby each year. This year, she issued the Call to Rhyme in a verse of her own composition. Who can resist?
On our very next meet-up
You’re in for a treat-up
As we celebrate our favorite bits
Of our great author’s works.
And if your talent lurks
In twisting words round with your wits,
Each year we have shared,
And all those who dared
Were rewarded with praise and much fun.
This time, for a change
Just to add to our game
There is a sweet prize to be won.
Now, here are the rules:
Your words are your tools,
Create a new limerick verse
Draw your inspiration
From fantasy creation;
The Professor’s most fair Middle Earth
Or from George R.R. Martin,
If that’s where your heart’s in.
Who knows what your talent is worth?
Keep it five lines, no more
With rhymes by the score.
For our young folks, we keep it PG.
The winner decided
By vote of those present.
It’s bound to be fun, don’t you see.