Having read the Silmarillian, Children of Hurin, The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and Return of the King I was excited to learn that the world premiere of the first part of Peter Jackson’s long-awaited adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s classic novel The Hobbit will be screened in Wellington, New Zealand on Wednesday 28th November. It stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Sir Ian Mckellen as Gandalf, Sylvester McCoy as Radagast, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, Hugo Weaving as Elrond, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel and Barry Humphries as The Goblin King and is Set in a time “Between the Dawn of Færie and the Dominion of Men”,
The Hobbit follows the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting quest of home-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins who joins the Wizard Gandalf and a company of thirteen dwarves led by Thorin Okenshield on a dangerous journey to the Lonely Mountain, to reclaim the kingdom of Erabor and the many treasures which have been stolen by the fearsome dragon Smaug. Along the way they encounter many hazards including Cave Trolls, Giant Spiders, Hordes of Orcs and Imprisonment by the Elves of Mirkwood Forest, as if that wasn’t enough something decidedly dodgy is also stirring in the Fortress of Dol Gulder, to the South-East of Mirkwood. Peter Jackson has also including some of the related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings and Unfinished Tales, in order to tell more of the tale of Bilbo Baggins, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer and the Battle of Dol Guldur. The story reaches its climax during the Battle of Five Armies, where The men of Dale, The Elves of Mirkwood, The Dwarves of Erabor, the Hordes of Orcs and the Eagles all try to reclaim the treasure stolen by Smaug.
Thankfully Howard Shore is once again doing the Film Score for the Hobbit. I also found out recently that J.R.R.Tolkien got the inspiration for some of the landmarks in Middle Earth from Perrotts Folly and the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower, which are prominent landmarks about 600 metres apart in the Ladywood area of Birmingham and it is reputed locally that these towers are the basis of the `Two Towers of Gondor’ – Minas Morgul and Minas Tirith.
In addition J. R. R. Tolkien also lived near Moseley Bog as a child, and this site is acknowledged the site as inspiration for the ancient forests in his books The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit such as Fanghorn, Lothlorien and Mirkwood. Nearby Sarehole Mill and the surrounding area on the River Cole is said to have also been inspiration for Tolkien’s writings. This was once a secondary reservoir to feed the millpond of Sarehole Mill, but has since been turned into a nature reserve in the Moseley area of Birmingham. On 17 July 1991 It was declared a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) by Birmingham City Council & Much of the area comprising Moseley Bog was declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 1980. However, following its LNR declaration and re-evaluation by English Nature the site was denotified as an SSSI on 21 July 1992, but remains a locally designated Site of Importance for NatureConservation (SINC). The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country now leases Moseley Bog from Birmingham City Council.