The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, March 2012

As far as movie announcements went, March wasn't a lot more exciting than February, but we did get a few tid-bits here and there . . . take a look below the break for a complete and up-to-date list.

Fridays at the Mathom-House: Belomlinsky

The Mathom-house it was called; for anything that Hobbits had no immediate use for, but were unwilling to throw away, they called a ‘mathom’.
–The Fellowship of the Ring; Prologue 

Yeah, I started this post like a week in advance to make sure I got it up on time. Cheating? Probably. Necessary? Definitely. 'Course, the good thing is, nobody cares if it's cheating, because today is Friday and that means two things: freedom, and great Hobbit art here at the Mathom-house!

This week we're expanding our horizons a little and looking at some great (and a little goofy) Hobbit art from the Soviet Union, as featured on the blog Real USSR (which is a fascinating blog to browse through, even if you don't consider the Tolkien-related stuff).

These illustrations were included in a Russian translation of the Hobbit (the 1971 edition, if I'm remembering correctly), and were the work of Belomlinsky, who did a bang-up job, IMO. Now, as you look through these images, you'll not that not all of them are strict interpretations of the events in the book; however, I think the artist does a good job of capturing the "feel" or "spirit" of the Hobbit . . . that fantastic element that has captivated so many of us.

So, jump past the break and enjoy a little bit of Middle-Earth, brought straight to you from Mother Russia!

Wanted: Information on a mysterious dwarf

Well folks, make no mistake. There is a mystery afoot. We were all treated to the 6th Hobbit production video a few weeks ago, and towards the end of the ~12 minute video, we catch a glimpse of an unknown dwarf. Before reading any further, take a look for yourself, then jump past the break for a discussion of just who this guy might be.

Friday at the Mathom-House: Julia Alekseeva

The Mathom-house it was called; for anything that Hobbits had no immediate use for, but were unwilling to throw away, they called a ‘mathom’.
–The Fellowship of the Ring; Prologue 

Okay, okay . . . so I'm a little late on this one again. But any Friday is a cause for celebration, right? Even if that celebration has to be a bit, um . . . retroactive. Anyways, this week we'll be checking out the amazing art of Julia Alekseeva, better known as CG-Warrior over at CG-Warrior has shared some amazing Middle-Earth art, both from The Hobbit and from LOTR. She's got other great stuff as well, but we'll try and keep our focus on the Tolkien-related pieces.

What makes Julia's stuff so good? My favorite thing about her art is that it looks like it could have come straight from an illustrated edition of Tolkien's work. I mean, check out Bilbo below . . . hand's down this is my favorite interpretation of the world's greatest hobbit.

So, jump past the break and enjoy the rest of Julia's art:

Bilbo Baggins

The town of Dale

The super-sleuths at the German Lord of the Rings movies fan-site Herr Der Ringe Film have released the first ever photos of the town of Dale! For those of you who might not remember, Dale is the town of Men that was nestled at the foot of the Lonely Mountain. Thorin describes it to Bilbo near the start of the Hobbit:
Anyway they grew immensely rich and famous, and my grandfather was King under the Mountain again and treated with great reverence by the mortal men, who lived to the South, and were gradually spreading up the Running River as far as the valley overshadowed by the Mountain. They built the merry town of Dale there in those days.
––The Hobbit; Ch. 1: An Unexpected Party

 Sadly, Dale was destroyed by Smaug . . . and by the time Bilbo and his crew reach the Lonely Mountain, nothing remains of the once merry town but ruins.

HDRF asked that their images not be posted on other sites (sorry . . .) so I'll just give you the link to the pictures. As a quick note: the buildings all look to be in good condition, so I wonder if what we're seeing is Dale before the arrival of Smaug . . . and that just makes me wonder what the place will look like when Bilbo and the dwarves finally arrive.

For those of you who don't read German, here are the translated photo captions (courtesy of

  • Structure of the set of Dale.
  • The red roof tiles seem almost mediterranean.
  • Archways, doors and arched windows in Romanesque style.
  • Dale extends over several levels.
  • The set is supported by shipping containers.
  • Is this perhaps one of the bell towers of the town?
  • The unfinished battlements of Dale.
  • Plywood is the preferred building material on set.
  • A set bridge or access way is built.
  • A finished piece of wall with round battlements.
  • The set of Dale.
  • In this view one can clearly see the different levels.
  • Back view of Dale and the bridge.
  • A Dale building and a staircase in the building.

Fridays at the Mathom-House: Joona Kujanen

The Mathom-house it was called; for anything that Hobbits had no immediate use for, but were unwilling to throw away, they called a ‘mathom’.
–The Fellowship of the Ring; Prologue 

A little late, but always better than never, it's Friday (almost) at the Mathom-House. Luckily, Blogger let's me set the date and time automatically, so I can cheat and still make this a Friday post.

This week we're be featuring the artwork of Joona Kujanen, better known as  Tulikoura, who maintains a great gallery of his work at The artist has a great sub-gallery dedicated to some fantastic LOTR and Hobbit images.

Just like the artist we featured last week, Tulikoura's work caught my eye for its use of traditional mediums instead of the ever-more-common digital stuff we're seeing all over online. Some of of these images look like the lithographic prints you'd find in an old Dicken's novel or something . . . really good stuff. So, get ready to enjoy a whole lot of good art right after the break:

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again

The Grey Pilgrim: Gandalf's Origins

Gandalf! If you had heard only a quarter of what I have heard about him, and I have only heard very little of all there is to hear, you would be prepared for any sort of remarkable tale. Tales and adventures sprouted up all over the place where he went, in the most extraordinary fashion.
––The Hobbit; Ch. 1: An Unexpected Party

It's impossible to imagine a Middle-Earth without Gandalf. Who would have booted Bilbo out his front door? Or rescued the Thorin & Co. from the clutches of the goblins? More importantly, who would have realized that Bilbo's small ring was actually the One Ring and had the foresight to start one small hobbit on a quest that would eventually lead to the destruction of the Dark Lord? The truth is, Middle-Earth would have been a very dark place without the Grey Pilgrim, yet few people––even among those who'd known the wizard longest––knew the full history of Sauron's greatest foe.

Fridays at the Mathom-House: Anke Eissmann

The Mathom-house it was called; for anything that Hobbits had no immediate use for, but were unwilling to throw away, they called a ‘mathom’.
–The Fellowship of the Ring; Prologue 

Seven days done and now it's time for a batch of amazing Tolkien art. Yes, good reader, it's that time again: Fridays at the Mathom-house. This week we'll be showcasing the art of Anke Eissmann, who's website has an awesome section dedicated to her Tolkien art. Anke's art caught my eye because of her use of traditional mediums like watercolor and pen-and-ink, instead of the digital art you see everywhere nowadays. In fact, her watercolor paintings remind a lot of Tolkien's own watercolors. So, limber up your scroller-finger and sit back to enjoy some great Hobbit art:

Durin's Day