John Paul Jones

LedzepJohn Paul Jones, the bass player with Rock Band Led Zeppelin was born 3rd January 1946. Led Zeppelin are widely considered to be one of the most successful, innovative and influential rock groups in the history of music and were formed in 1968 after former Yardbirds Guitarist Jimmy Page recruited vocalist Robert Plant, drummer John Bonham, and John Paul Jones. The name Led Zeppelin stemmed from an old joke by Keith Moon and John Entwistle, of “The Who”, and Page stuck with that name to use for his new band. The name was subsequently changed to “Led Zeppelin”, to avoid a mispronunciation of “Leed Zeppelin.” Zeppelin’s sound became a marriage of blues, hard rock and acoustic music topped with heavy choruses – a combination that had never been done back in the 1960′s. Led Zeppelin’s sound has since become a prototype for countless rock bands ever since, and was one of the major driving forces behind the rock sound of the 1970′s

imagesLed Zeppelin released relatively few singles, preferring their albums to be viewed as indivisible, whole listening experiences, helping to promote the concept of album-orientated rock. Their first two albums, with their heavy, guitar-driven blues rock sound, led to Led Zeppelin being regularly cited as one of the progenitors of heavy metal and hard rock, even though the band’s individualistic style drew from varied sources and transcends any single music genre. Their next two albums incorporated wider musical influences, particularly from folk music; the tracks “Stairway to Heaven“, and “Kashmir” are among the most popular and influential works in rock music, and cemented the status of the group as “superstars”. Sadly though Led Zeppelin broke up in 1980 following the death of drummer John Bonham, and Page refused to touch a guitar out of sadness for the loss of his friend Bonham, After the break up , Robert Plant briefly considered teaching, He has since had a successful solo career beginning with Pictures at Eleven in 1982, followed by 1983′s The Principle of Moments. Popular tracks from this period include “Big Log” (a Top 20 hit in 1983), “In the Mood” (1983), “Little by Little” (from 1985′s Shaken ‘n’ Stirred), “Far Post” “Tall Cool One” and “I Believe”, another song written for and dedicated to his late son, Karac. Other solo albums released by Robert Plant include Now and Zen, Mighty Rearranger, Raising Sand, Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar and Band of Joy.

Throughout their career, Led Zeppelin also collected many honours and awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006. Among the band’s awards are an American Music Award in 2005, and the Polar Music Prize in 2006. Led Zeppelin were the recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, and four of their recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. They have been awarded five Diamond albums, as well as fourteen Multi-Platinum albums, four Platinum albums and one Gold album in the United States, while in the UK they have five Multi-Platinum albums, six Platinum albums, one Gold album and four Silver albums. The band are ranked number one on VH1′s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock and Classic Rock’s “50 Best Live Acts of All Time”. They were awarded an Ivor Novello Award for “Outstanding Contribution to British Music” in 1977, as well as a “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the 42nd Annual Ivor Novello awards ceremony in 1997. The band were honoured with the “Best Live Act” prize for their one-off reunion at MOJO Awards 2008, where they were described as the “greatest rock and roll band of all time”. They also took the stage in 2010 at London’s O2 Arena to headline a tribute concert for dear friend and Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun and this amazing concert was released as Celebration Day, on CD, DVD and Blu-ray on November 19th 2012.

Michael Schumacher

German Formula One racing driver Michael Schumacher was born 3 January 1969. Schumacher is a seven-time World Champion and is widely regarded as one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time.He holds many of Formula One’s driver records, including most championships, race victories, fastest laps, pole positions, points scored and most races won in a single season – 13 in 2004. In 2002 he became the only driver in Formula One history to finish in the top three in every race of a season and then also broke the record for most consecutive podium finishes. According to the official Formula One website he is “statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen”. A poll of 217 Formula One drivers conducted by the British magazine Autosport in 2009 named Schumacher the second-greatest F1 driver of all time, behind Ayrton Senna.

After beginning with karting, Schumacher won German drivers’ championships in Formula König and Formula Three before joining Mercedes in the World Sportscar Championship. Ffter one Mercedes-funded race for the Jordan Formula One team, Schumacher signed as a driver for the Benetton Formula One team in 1991. After winning consecutive championships with Benetton in 1994/5, Schumacher moved to Ferrari in 1996 and won another five consecutive drivers’ titles with them from 2000 to 2004. Schumacher retired from Formula One driving in 2006 staying with Ferrari as an advisor. Schumacher agreed to return for Ferrari part-way through 2009, as cover for the badly injured Felipe Massa, but was prevented by a neck injury. He later signed a three-year contract to drive for the new Mercedes GP team starting in 2010.His career has not been without controversy, including being twice involved in collisions in the final race of a season that determined the outcome of the world championship, with Damon Hill in 1994 in Adelaide, and with Jacques Villeneuve in 1997 in Jerez. Off the track Schumacher is an ambassador for UNESCO and a spokesman for driver safety. He has been involved in numerous humanitarian efforts throughout his life and donated tens of millions of dollars to charity. Michael and his younger brother Ralf Schumacher are the only brothers to win races in Formula One, and they were the first brothers to finish 1st and 2nd in the same race, in Montreal in 2001. The two brothers repeated this achievement in four more races (the 2001 French Grand Prix, the 2002 Brazilian Grand Prix, the 2003 Canadian Grand Prix and the 2004 Japanese Grand Prix)

ln 2009 Schumacher returned to Formula One driving for Mercedes & signed a three year contract, with Mercedes who were thought to want 22-year-old German driver Sebastian Vettel as a long term replacement afterwards. Schumacher’s surprise re-entry to the sport was compared to Niki Lauda’s return in 1982 aged 33 and Nigel Mansell’s return in 1994 at age 41. Schumacher turned 41 on 3 January 2010 and his prospects with Mercedes were compared with the record set by the oldest F1 champion Juan Manuel Fangio who was 46 when he won his fifth championship.Schumacher’s finished sixth in the first race of the 2010 season at the Bahrain Grand Prix in the Mercedes MGP W01. A fortnight later at the Australian Grand Prix Schumacher, after running as high as third on the opening lap, was caught up in a tangle between Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button at the start and had to pit for a new front wing. He came from the back to finish in the points in tenth position after spending 20 laps behind Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari. In the Malaysian Grand Prix Schumacher retired early in the race. Schumacher qualified 9th in the Chinese Grand Prix and finished 10th .” Despite this Many respected former Formula One drivers including former rival Damon Hill, warned “you should never write Schumacher off.” Some suggested that Schumacher may be having car trouble. For the first European race of the season, the Spanish Grand Prix, Mercedes upgraded their car with revised aerodynamics and a longer wheelbase. Schumacher finishing fourth after defending his position from reigning world champion Jenson Button. At the Monaco Grand Prix Schumacher qualified seventh and finished sixth after passing Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. However he was penalised 20 seconds after the race by the race stewards dropping him to 12th and thus out of the points. The FIA subsequently outlined plans to clarify the regulations and Mercedes GP dropped their plans to appeal.

Schumacher’s 2010 season ended with a first lap crash at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. In Turkey Schumacher finished fourth which was his best race finish since his return. However 2 races later at the European Grand Prix in Valencia, Schumacher finished a lowly 15th – his lowest recorded finish in his career. In Hungary, Schumacher finished outside the points in eleventh, but was found guilty of dangerous driving at 180 mph (290 km/h) while unsuccessfully defending tenth position against Rubens Barrichello. As a result he was demoted ten places on the grid for the following race, the Belgian Grand Prix, where he finished seventh, despite starting 21st after his grid penalty.In the Italian Grand Prix, Schumacher missed out on the top ten in qualifying but managed to finish ninth. A fortnight later at the Singapore Grand Prix, Schumacher finished 13th after the Sauber of Nick Heidfeld collided with him on Lap 36, knocking Heidfeld out of the race. At the Japanese Grand Prix, Schumacher finished sixth. At the season finale in Abu Dhabi, Schumacher was involved in a major accident on the first lap, which occurred after Schumacher was spun around by his teammate Nico Rosberg. As Schumacher was trying to maneuver his car back around, Vitantonio Liuzzi’s Force India ploughed into his Mercedes head-on,

Nobody was hurt in the crash, but Schumacher said the crash had been “frightening.”It was the first session since his début season in 1991 that Schumacher finished without a win, pole position, podium or fastest lap. He finished the season 9th with 72 points.At a 2011 meeting in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy, Fernando Alonso, the second most successful Formula One driver still racing, said of Schumacher: “He will be always super class; if the car is right, he will be a contender that we will fear most. During the 2011 season Schumacher retired at the Australian Grand Prix, finished ninth place at the Malaysian Grand Prix & finished 8th in China. He added more points with sixth place in Spain, and at the Canadian Grand Prix, Schumacher finished in fourth position after being passed by both Jenson Button, who went on to win the race, and Mark Webber. In Valencia, he crashed into the side of Vitaly Petrov’s Renault eventually finishing 17th. In Britain Schumacher Finished ninth, Schumacher was unhappy with the result and described the Kobayashi incident as his misjudgement. He finished eighth at his home race in Germany, and retired in Hungary with gearbox failure.

Schumacher marked the 20th anniversary of his Formula One début at the 2011 Belgian Grand Prix. He set the fastest time in the first free practice session, & put in a very strong performance, ending the race in fifth place and ahead of team mate Rosberg. Schumacher finished fifth at the Italian Grand Prix after a duel with Lewis Hamilton for fourth place. Schumacher retired in Singapore after colliding with Sergio Pérez, And finished sixth place at the Japanese Grand Prix, having led three laps during the race, the first time he had led a race since the 2006 Japanese Grand Prix and became the oldest driver to lead a race since Jack Brabham in 1970. In Korea, Schumacher started the race from twelfth, But was hit from behind by Vitaly Petrov, forcing both drivers to retire. In India, Schumacher struggled in qualifying and qualified twelfth, although he moved up to eleventh after Petrov was given a five-place grid penalty for the incident in Korea; Schumacher blamed his lack of pace on tyre vibrations he experienced on his final run. After making up three places on the opening lap, Schumacher remained in the top ten for the entire race, eventually finishing fifth, ahead of team-mate Rosberg after overtaking him during the final round of pit-stops. At the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Schumacher qualified eighth and had moved up to sixth after a few corners. He was ahead of Rosberg, and the pair battled over the position for the remainder of the first lap. Rosberg’s overtake eventually meant that he finished in sixth and Schumacher in seventh. Schumacher finished the season with a fifteenth place at the season finale at the Brazilian Grand Prix, following a collision early in the race with Bruno Senna which had forced him to pit for repairs. Schumacher finished the season in eighth place in the Drivers’ Championship standings with 76 points; his best result was fourth place at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Schumacher drove for Mercedes AMG in the 2012 Formula One season, alongside Nico Rosberg.At the Australian Grand Prix, Schumacher suffered a terminal gearbox failure on lap 11. In Malaysia, SchumacherWas hit from behind on the first lap of the race by Romain Grosjean in wet conditions. Schumacher started on the front row in China but retire after 13 laps due to a loose wheel. Schumacher 23rd on the grid, and finished in 10th position In Bahrain, Schumacher had his third retirement of the season in Barcelona, receiving a five-place grid penalty for Monaco after causing a collision with Bruno Senna. chumacher started sixth on the gridat Monaco At the start of the race, Schumacher was hit by Romain Grosjean as he attempted to move down the outside, dropping to eighth, before retiring from seventh position late in the race due to falling fuel pressure He retired from the Canadian Grand Prix, race after his second pit stop because of a jammed DRS flap. In the European Grand Prix, Schumacher finished third in the race, gaining his first podium finish since his comeback.

At the age of 43 years and 173 days, he became the oldest driver to achieve a podium since Jack Brabham’s second place finish at the 1970 British Grand Prix.He set the fastest lap in a Grand Prix for the 77th time in his career at Hockenheim on 22 July. At the Belgian Grand Prix Schumacher became the second Formula One driver to race in his 300th Grand Prix after his ex-Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello achieved this feat. He wore a commemorative platinum leaf helmet on track during the weekend and was seen donning a special platinum-coloured cap during media appearances. He finished the race in 7th place. On 28 September 2012, it was announced that Lewis Hamilton would replace Schumacher at Mercedes for the 2013 season onwards, having signed a three-year deal to partner Nico Rosberg at the team. It was reported by Ross Brawn and other sources within Mercedes that Schumacher’s indecision about his future led the team to pursue Hamilton. On 4 October 2012, Schumacher announced he would retire for a second time at the conclusion of the season. The following week he was quoted as saying: “There were times in the past few months in which I didn’t want to deal with Formula One or prepare for the next Grand Prix.”On 25 November 2012 he competed in his last Grand Prix in Brazil. After a hard race he managed to finish 7th therefore ending up in 13th place in the drivers’ championship.

On 29 December 2013, Schumacher was skiing with his son on the Dent de Burgin near Méribel in the French Alps when he fell and hit his head on a rock, sustaining a head injury despite wearing a ski helmet. Schumacher was skiing on an unsecured area between two marked pistes at that time. He was attended by two ski patrollers and airlifted within fifteen minutes to the local hospital inMoûtiers and then to Centre hospitalier universitaire de Grenoble, a regional hospital that specialises in the treatment of brain injuries. On 30 December, it was announced that Schumacher was in critical condition and in a medically induced coma due to suffering atraumatic brain injury and had undergone urgent neurosurgery to relieve pressure on his brain after a scan showed he had suffered cerebral contusion. The following day, Schumacher underwent a second surgery and his condition improved slightly, although he was still “not out of danger” and the condition remains critical, three days after his accident, it was reported that Schumacher’s condition was “critical but stable”, and that he was improving.

Sergio Leone

Legendary Italian film director, producer and screenwriter Sergio Leone Was born 3 January 1929. He started out In film After watching his father work on film sets, and began his own career in the film industry at the age of 18 after dropping out of law studies at the university.Working in Italian cinematography, he began as an assistant to Vittorio de Sica during the movie Bicycle Thieves in 1948. Leone began writing screenplays during the 1950s, primarily for the ‘sword and sandal’ (a.k.a. ‘peplum’) historical epics, popular at the time. He also worked as an assistant director on several large-scale international productions shot at the Cinecittà Studios in Rome, notably Quo Vadis (1951) and Ben-Hur (1959), financially backed by the American studios.When director Mario Bonnard fell ill during the production of the 1959 Italian epic The Last Days of Pompeii (Gli Ultimi Giorni di Pompei), starring Steve Reeves, Leone was asked to step in and complete the film. As a result, when the time came to make his solo directorial debut with The Colossus of Rhodes (Il Colosso di Rodi, 1961), Leone was well-equipped to produce low-budget films which looked like larger budget Hollywood movies ln the early 1960s, sadly historical epics fell out of favor with audiences.

So Leone shifted his attention to a sub-genre which came to be known as the “Spaghetti Western”, owing its origin to the American Western. His film A Fistful of Dollars (Per un Pugno di Dollari, 1964) was based upon Akira Kurosawa’s Edo-era samurai adventure Yojimbo (1961). Leone’s film elicited a legal challenge from the Japanese director, though Kurosawa’s film was in turn probably based on the 1929 Dashiell Hammett novel, Red Harvest. A Fistful of Dollars was also notable for establishing Clint Eastwood as a star. Until that time Eastwood had been an American television actor with few credited film roles.The look of A Fistful of Dollars was established by its Spanish locations, which presented a violent and morally complex vision of theAmerican Old West. The film paid tribute to traditional American western films, but significantly departed from them in storyline, plot, characterization and mood. As a child the American Old West fascinated him , which carried into his adulthood and his films.Leone’s next two films – For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) – completed what has come to be known as the Man with No Name trilogy (a.k.a. the Dollars Trilogy), with each film being more financially successful and more technically accomplished than its predecessor.

The films featured innovative music scores by Ennio Morricone, who worked closely with Leone in devising the themes. Sergio Leone’s next film Was Once upon a time in the west, Which was shot mostly in Almería, Spain Cinecittà in Rome & Monument Valley, Utah & starred Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards and Claudia Cardinale. Once Upon a Time in the West emerged as a long, violent, dreamlike meditation upon the mythology of the American Old West, with many stylistic references to iconic western films. The film’s script was written by Leone and his longtime friend and collaborator Sergio Donati, from a story by Bernardo Bertolucci and Dario Argento, it was a huge hit in Europe, grossing nearly three times its $5 million budget among French audiences, and highly praised amongst North American film students. It has come to be regarded by many as Leone’s best film.

After Once Upon a Time in the West, Leone directed Duck, You Sucker! (Giù la Testa, 1971). Leone was intending merely to produce the film, but due to artistic differences with then-director Peter Bogdanovich, Leone was asked to direct the film instead. Duck, You Sucker! is a Mexican Revolution action drama, starring James Coburn, as an Irish revolutionary and Rod Steiger, as a Mexican bandit who is conned into becoming a revolutionary.Leone continued to produce, and on occasion, step in to reshoot scenes in other films. One of these films was My Name is Nobody(1973) by Tonino Valerii ] a comedy western film that poked fun at the spaghetti western genre. It starred Henry Fonda as an old gunslinger facing a final confrontation after the death of his brother. Terence Hill also starred in the film as the young stranger who helps Fonda leave the dying West with style.Leone’s other productions included A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe (1975, another western comedy starring Terence Hill); The Cat (Il Gatto; 1977, starring Ugo Tognazzi), and A Dangerous Toy (Il Giocattolo; 1979, starring Nino Manfredi). Leone also produced three comedies by actor/director Carlo Verdone, which were Fun Is Beautiful (Un Sacco Bello, 1980), Bianco, Rosso e Verdone(White, Red and Verdone – Verdone means “strong green” – a pun referring to the three colours of the Italian flag, the star and to director Verdone, 1981) and Troppo Forte (Great!, 1986). During this period, Leone also directed various award-winning TV commercials for European television.In 1978, he was a member of the jury at the 28th Berlin International Film Festival.

Leone turned down the opportunity to direct The Godfather, in favor of working on another gangster story he had conceived earlier. He devoted ten years to this project, based on the novel The Hoods by former mobster Harry Grey, which focused on a quartet of New York City Jewish gangsters of the 1920s and 1930s who had been friends since childhood. The four-hour finished film, Once Upon a Time in America (1984), featured Robert De Niro and James Woods. It was a meditation on another aspect of popular American mythology, the role of greed and violence and their uneasy coexistence with the meaning of ethnicity and friendship. Unfortunately Warner Bros. Edited it drastically for the American market, abandoning its flashback structure for a linear narrative. Lasting over just two hours, the recut version received much criticism and flopped. However The original version, was released in the rest of the world, and achieved major critical acclaim, with some critics hailing the film as a masterpiece.

Leone tragically died on 30 April 1989, of a heart attack aged 60. He had been planning a film on the Siege of Leningrad, set in the Eastern Front during World War II. He was survived by his wife and three children. Clint Eastwood won Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture  for his film Unforgiven and dedicated his awards to Sergio Leone And Don Siegel who directed Eastwood in Dirty Harry. (Which Is dedicated “To Sergio & Don”).

J.R.R. Tolkien

hobbitBest known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. the English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was Born on 3 January 1892 in Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State (now Free State Province in South Africa . As a child Tolkien was bitten by a large baboon spider in the garden, which may have inspired events in his stories. When he was three, Tolkien went to England with his mother and brother to Kings Heath, Birmingham. in 1896, they moved to Sarehole. He enjoyed exploring Sarehole Mill and Moseley Bog and the Clent, Lickey and Malvern Hills, which would later inspire scenes in his books, along with places such as his aunt Jane’s farm of Bag End. Taught at home, Tolkien learnt a great deal about plants he also liked to draw landscapes and trees, and also enjoyed languages, so his mother taught him the rudiments of Latin very early and encouraged him to read many books. He liked stories about “Red Indians”, the fantasy works by George MacDonald and the “Fairy Books” of Andrew Lang. Tolkien moved to Edgbaston where Perrott’s Folly and the Victorian tower of Edgbaston Waterworks, which would influence his novels. He attended King Edward’s School, Birmingham, and later St. Philip’s School, before winning a Foundation Scholarship and returning to King Edward’s School.

In 1911, Tolkien went to Switzerland, this journey inspired events in Bilbo’s journey across the Misty Mountains (“including the glissade down the slithering stones into the pine woods”) on this event and Tolkien describes Jungfrau and Silberhorn as (“ the Silvertine (Celebdil) of my dreams”). They went across the Kleine Scheidegg to Grindelwald, crossed the Grosse Scheidegg to Meiringen, the Grimsel Pass, through the upper Valais to Brig and on to the Aletsch glacier and Zermatt. In 1911 Tolkien began studying at Exeter College, Oxford. Studying Classics but changed to English Language and Literature, graduating in 1915 with first-class honours. In 1914, Tolkien did not volunteer to fight in World War I, completing his degree first, then in 1915 he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers. He trained with the 13th (Reserve) Battalion on Cannock Chase, Staffordshire.Tolkien served as a signals officer at the Somme, participating in the Battle of Thiepval Ridge and the subsequent assault on the Schwaben Redoubt.Tolkien was invalided to England in November 1916. Many of his dearest school friends, including Gilson and Smith of the T.C.B.S., were killed in the war.

Tolkien spent the remainder of the war alternating between hospitals and garrison duties, being deemed medically unfit for general service. During his recovery he began to work on The Book of Lost Tales, beginning with The Fall of Gondolin. Throughout 1917 and 1918 his illness kept recurring, but he had recovered enough to do home service at various camps and was promoted to Lieutenant.Tolkien’s first civilian job after World War I was at the Oxford English Dictionary, In 1920, he took up a post as Reader in English Language at the University of Leeds.While at Leeds, he produced A Middle English Vocabulary and a definitive edition of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight with E. V. Gordon. He also translated Sir Gawain, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo. In 1925, he returned to Oxford with a fellowship at Pembroke College.During his time at Pembroke College Tolkien wrote The Hobbit and the first two volumes of The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien was Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College, Oxford, from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature there from 1945 to 1959. He was a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien’s 1936 lecture, “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics,” had a lasting influence on Beowulf research, Tolkien argued firmly against reading in fantastic elements. In 2003, Tolkien’s handwritten translation of and commentary on Beowulf, running to roughly 2000 pages, was discovered in the archives of the Bodleian Library. In the run-up to World War II, Tolkien was earmarked as a codebreaker.In January 1939, he agreed to serve in the cryptographic department of the Foreign Office in the event of national emergency

The Hobbit

Tolkien wrote The Hobbbit which was Published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim. The Hobbit is Set in a time “Between the Dawn of Færie and the Dominion of Men”, and follows the adventures of home-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins who joins the Wizard Gandalf and a company of thirteen dwarfes including Thorin Okenshield, Nori, Ori, Dori, Oin, Gloin, Fili, Kili, Bifur, Bofur and Bombur, on a dangerous quest to the Lonely Mountain, to reclaim treasures which have been stolen by the dragon, Smaug. Along the way they encounter many dangers including Cave Trolls, Wargs, Giant Spiders, Hordes of Orcs and Imprisonment by the Woodland Elves of Mirkwood, who are led by Thranduil. The story reaches its climax in the Battle of Five Armies, where Bard a resident of Laketown, confronts Smaug, while many of the characters and creatures including The Men of Dale, The Elves of Mirkwood, the Dwarfs of Erabor and the Orcs of Dol Guldur battle for the treasure stolen by Smaug the Magnificent. After the success of The Hobbit, and prior to the publication of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s publisher requested a sequel to The Hobbit, and Tolkien sent them an early draft of The Silmarillion. This comprises five parts Ainulindale, Valaquenta, Quenta Silmarilliom, Akallabeth and The Rings of Power.

The Silmarillion

The first part of the Silmarrilion. Ainulindale (“The Music of the Ainur”), tells how the Earth was created. Eru (“The One”, also called Ilúvatar (“Father of All”), first created the Ainur, a group of eternal spirits or demiurges, called “the offspring of his thought”. Ilúvatar brought the Ainur together and showed them a theme, from which he bade them make a great music. Melkor — whom Ilúvatar had given the “greatest power and knowledge” of all the Ainur — broke from the harmony of the music to develop his own song. Some Ainur joined him, while others continued to follow Ilúvatar, causing discord in the music. This happened thrice, with Eru Ilúvatar successfully overpowering his rebellious subordinate with a new theme each time. Ilúvatar then stopped the music and showed them a vision of Arda and its peoples. The vision disappeared after a while, and Ilúvatar offered the Ainur a chance to enter into Arda and govern over the new world. Many Ainur descended, taking physical form and becoming bound to that world. The greater Ainur became known as Valar, while the lesser Ainur were called Maiar. The Valar attempted to prepare the world for the coming inhabitants (Elves and Men), while Melkor, who wanted Arda for himself, repeatedly destroyed their work; this went on for thousands of years until, through waves of destruction and creation, the world took shape. Valaquenta “Account of the Valar” describes Melkor and each of the 14 Valar in detail, as well as a few of the Maiar. It also reveals how Melkor seduced many Maiar — including Sauron and the Balrogs — into his service.

Quenta Silmarillion,

Quenta Silmarillion is a series, of interconnected tales which chronicles the history of the First Age including the wars over the three jewel like Silmarils which gave the book its title. In the beginning the Valar attempted to fashion the world for Elves and Men, however the renegade Valer Melkor continually destroyed their handiwork. After he destroyed the two lights that illuminated the world, the Valar moved to Aman, a continent to the west of Middle-earth, where they established their home called Valinor, illuminated by Two Trees, and left Middle-earth to darkness and Melkor. When stars began to shine and the Elves awoke, the Valar defeated and captured Melkor and then invited the Elves to live in Aman. Many Elves travelled to Aman, while others refused and still others stopped along the way, including the Sindar, ruled by the Elf King Thingol and Melian, a Maia. Of the three Elf Tribes that set out, all of the Vanyar and Noldor, and many of the Teleri reached Aman. In Aman, Fëanor, son of Finwë, King of the Noldor, created the Silmarils, jewels which glowed with the light of the Two Trees. However Melkor was released and destroyed the Two Trees with the help of Ungoliant the giant Spider he then killed Finwë, stole the Silmarils, and fled to Middle-earth, where he attacked the Elvish kingdom of Doriath. He was defeated in the first of five battles of Beleriand, however, and barricaded himself in his northern fortress of Angband. Fëanor and his sons swore an oath of vengeance against Melkor and persuaded most of the Noldor to pursue Melkor, whom Fëanor renamed as Morgoth, into Middle-earth. Fëanor’s sons seized ships from the Teleri, attacking and killing many of them, while other Noldor walked. Upon arriving in Middle-earth, the Noldor under Fëanor’s army attacked and defeated Melkor forces though Fëanor was slain by a Balrog when Melkor attacked the Noldor they besieged him for Nearly 400 years later, until he broke the siege and drove the Noldor back.

After the destruction of the Trees and the theft of the Silmaril, the Valar created moon and sun, which awoke Mankind who arrived in Beleriand and allied themselves to the Elves. A man named Baren falls in love with an elf Lúthien, the king’s daughter. To prove his worthiness Beren must complete an impossible task: retrieving one of the Silmarils from Melkor, Beren and Lúthien embark on the quest together however they are imprisoned by Sauron, a powerful servant of Melkor but they manage to escape, creep into Melkor’s fortress, and steal a Siilmaril from Melkor’s crown. Having achieved the task, the first union of man and elf was formed, though Beren was soon mortally wounded and Lúthien also died of grief. The Noldor, attacked Angband again by an alliance of Elves, Dwarves and Men. But they were deceived by Melkor, who had secretly darkened the hearts of many of the men who fled. However, many Men remained loyal to the Elves and were honoured thereafter.None received more honour than the brothers Húrin and Huor. However Melkor captured Húrin, and cursed him to watch the downfall of his kin. Húrin’s son, Túrin Turambar, was sent to Doriath, leaving his mother and unborn sister behind in his father’s kingdom (which had been overrun by the enemy). Túrin achieved many great deeds of valor, the greatest being the defeat of the dragon Glaurung. Despite his heroism, however, Túrin was plagued by the curse of Melkor, which led him unwittingly to murder his friend Beleg and to marry and impregnate his sister Nienor, whom he had never met before, and who had lost her memory through Glaurung’s enchantment. Before their child was born, the bewitchment was lifted as the dragon lay dying. Nienor, realizing what grew within her, took her own life. Upon learning the truth, Túrin threw himself on his sword.

Huor’s other son, Tuor, became involved in the fate of the hidden Noldorin kingdom of Gondolin. He married the elf Idril, daughter of Turgon, Lord of Gondolin (the second union between Elves and Men). When Gondolin fell, betrayed from within by Maeglin, Tuor saved many inhabitants. All of the Elvish kingdoms in Beleriand eventually fell, and the refugees fled to a haven by the sea created by Tuor. The son of Tuor and Idril, Eärendil the Half-elven, was betrothed to Elwing, herself descended from Beren and Lúthien. Elwing brought Eärendil the Silmaril of Beren and Lúthien, and using its light Eärendil travelled across the sea to Aman to seek help from the Valar. The Valar obliged; they attacked and defeated Melkor, completely destroying his fortress Angband and sinking most of Beleriand; and they expelled Melkor from Arda. This ended the First Age of Middle-earth. Eärendil and Elwing had two children: Elrond and Elros. As descendants of immortal elves and mortal men, they were given the choice of which lineage to belong to: Elrond chose to belong to the Elves, his brother to Men. Elros became the first king of Númenor.

Akallabêth,

This recounts the rise and fall of the island kingdom of Númenor, inhabited by the Dúnedain. After the defeat of Melkor, the Valar gave the island to the three loyal houses of Men who had aided the Elves in the war against him. Through the favor with the Valar, the Dúnedain were granted wisdom and power and life more enduring than any other of mortal race had possessed, making them comparable to the High-Elves of Aman. Indeed, the isle of Númenor lay closer to Aman than to Middle-earth. But their power lay in their bliss and their acceptance of mortality. The fall of Númenor came about in large measure through the influence of the corrupted Maia Sauron (formerly a chief servant of Melkor), who arose during the Second Age and tried to conquer Middle-earth.The Númenóreans moved against Sauron, who saw that he could not defeat them with force and allowed himself to be taken as a prisoner to Númenor. There he quickly enthralled the king, Ar-Pharazôn, urging him to seek out the immortality that the Valar had apparently denied him, thus nurturing the seeds of envy that the Númenóreans had begun to hold against the Elves of the West and the Valar. So it was that all the knowledge and power of Númenor was turned towards seeking an avoidance of death; but this only weakened them and sped the gradual waning of the lifespans to something more similar to that of other Men.

Sauron urged them to wage war against the Valar themselves to win immortality, and to worship his old master Melkur, whom he said could grant them their wish. Ar-Pharazôn created the mightiest army and fleet Númenor had seen, and sailed against Aman. The Valar and Elves of Aman, stricken with grief over their betrayal, called on Ilúvatar for help. When Ar-Pharazôn landed, Ilúvatar destroyed his fleet and drowned Númenor itself as punishment for the rebellion against the rightful rule of the Valar. Ilúvatar created a great wave, such as had never before been seen, which utterly destroyed and submerged the isle of Númenor, killing all but those Dúnedain who had already sailed east, and changing the shape of all the lands of Middle-earth. Sauron’s physical manifestation was also destroyed in the ruin of Númenor, but as a Maia his spirit returned to Middle-earth, now robbed of the fair form he once had. Some Númenóreans who had remained loyal to the Valar were spared and were washed up on the shores of Middle-earth, where they founded the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor. Among these survivors were Elendil their leader, and his two sons Isildur and Anárion who had also saved a seedling from Númenor´s white tree, the ancestor of that of Gondor. They founded the Númenórean Kingdoms in Exile: Arnor in the north and Gondor in the south. Elendil reigned as High-king of both kingdoms, but committed the rule of Gondor jointly to Isildur and Anárion. The power of the kingdoms in exile was greatly diminished from that of Númenor, “yet very great it seemed To the Wild Men of Mddle Earth.

The Lord of the Rings

LotrThe Lord of the Rings was Published as three volumes between 1954 and 1955, thus creating the now familiar Lord of the Rings trilogy – The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. The story’s main antagonist, is the Dark Lord Sauron, who Long before the events of the novel sought to control all of Middle Earth and created the One Ring to rule the other Rings of Power as the ultimate weapon in his campaign to conquer and rule all of Middle-earth and corrupt everyone. He is defeated in battle, and Isildur cuts the One Ring from Sauron’s finger, claiming it as an heirloom for his line. Sadly Isildur is later ambushed and killed by Orcs in the Gladden Fields, and the Ring is lost in the River Anduin. Over two thousand years later, the Ring is found by a river-dwelling stoor called Déagol. His friend Sméagol immediately falls under the Ring’s spell and strangles Deagol to acquire it. Sméagol is banished and hides under the Misty Mountains, where the Ring extends his lifespan and transforms him over the course of hundreds of years into a twisted, corrupted creature called Gollum. Unfortunately He loses the Ring and Bilbo Baggins finds it. Meanwhile, Sauron takes a new physical form and reoccupies his old realm of Mordor. Gollum sets out in search of the Ring, but is captured by Sauron, who learns from him that Bilbo Baggins now has it. Gollum is set loose, and Sauron, who needs the Ring to regain his full power, sends forth his powerful servants, the Nazgûl, to seize it.

Meanwhile back in the Shire, the hobbit Frodo Baggins inherits the Ring from his cousin Bilbo. Neither is aware of its origin, however Gandalf the Grey, a wizard and old friend of Bilbo, suspects the Ring’s identity. When he becomes certain, he advises Frodo to take it away from the Shire. So Frodo leaves, accompanied by his gardener and friend, Samwise (“Sam”) Gamgee, and two cousins, Meriadoc (“Merry”) Brandybuck and Peregrin (“Pippin”) Took. They are aided by the enigmatic Tom Bombadil, who seems unaffected by the Ring’s corrupting influence. After leaving the forest, they stop in the town of Bree where they meet Aragorn, Isildur’s heir, who joins them. They flee from Bree, but the Nazgûl attack them at Weathertop, wounding Frodo with a Morgul blade. Aragorn leads the hobbits toward the Elven refuge of Rivendell, where they can heal Frodo’s wound. The Ringwraiths nearly overtake Frodo at the Ford of Bruinen, but are overwhelmed by flood waters. Frodo recovers in Rivendell under the care of Elrond. The Council of Elrond decide to destroy the Ring, this can only be done in Mount Doom in Mordor, where it was forged. So the hobbits Frodo Baggins, Samwise “Sam” Gamgee, Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck and Peregrin “Pippin” Took, aided by Aragorn, a Human Ranger and heir to the throne of Gondor; Boromir, son of Denethor, the Ruling Steward of Gondor; Gimli, a Dwarf warrior; Legolas, an Elven prince from Mirkwood; and Gandalf, a Wizard set off on a perilous quest across Middle Earth to destroy the Ring in the Fires of Mount Doom. Along the way they Encounter many dangers including The Machinations of corrupted wizard Saruman, The Nazgul, Hordes of vicious orcs and goblins, and The Ancient Demonic and fiery Balrog and the devious schemes of Gollum who wants the ring back.

The Two Towers

LotrThey are helped along by the Elves Galadriel and Celeborn in the Elven forest of Lothlórien and Merry & Pippin are befriended by Treebeard, the oldest of the tree-like Ents. who are roused from their customarily peaceful ways by Merry and Pippin,and attack Isengard, Saruman’s stronghold, and trap the wizard in the tower of Orthanc. Meanwhile The rest of the company ride to Edoras, the capital of Rohan, where they meet Théoden, King of Rohan, whom Gandalf convinces to ride to the ancient fortress of Helm’s Deep to engage Saruman’s forces, and are joined by company of the Rohirrim. Gandalf then convinces Treebeard to send an army of Huorns to the aid of Théoden at Helm’s Deep, and the Huorns destroy Saruman’s army. Frodo and Sam capture Gollum, who had been following them from Moria, and force him to guide them to Mordor. Finding Mordor’s Black Gate too dangerous to attempt, they travel instead to a secret passage Gollum knows.Torn between his loyalty to Frodo and his desire for the Ring, Gollum eventually betrays Frodo by leading him to the great spider Shelob in the tunnels of Cirith Ungol. Frodo is felled by Shelob’s bite, but Sam fights her off. Sam takes the Ring and leaves Frodo, believing him to be dead. When orcs find Frodo, Sam overhears them say that Frodo is only unconscious, so Sam rescues him.

The Return of the King

Having been defeated at Helm’s Deep Sauron unleashes a heavy assault upon Gondor. Gandalf arrives with Pippin at Minas Tirith to alert Denethor of the impending attack. The city is besieged, and Denethor, under the influence of Sauron through another palantír, despairs and commits suicide, nearly taking his remaining son Faramir with him. With time running out, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli take the Paths of the Dead, where Aragorn raises an undead army of oath-breakers bound by an ancient curse made by Isildur. The ghostly army help them to defeat the Corsairs of Umbar invading southern Gondor in return for having the Curse lifted by Aragorn (who is Isildur’s heir to the Throne of Gondor). Eventually The combined forces of Gondor and Rohan break the siege of Minas Tirith. Sam rescues Frodo from the tower of Cirith Ungol, and they cross Mordor. Meanwhile, in order to distract Sauron, Aragorn leads the the armies of Gondor and Rohan in a march on the Black Gate of Mordor. His vastly outnumbered troops fight desperately against Sauron’s armies. Elsewhere At the edge of the Cracks of Doom, Frodo is unable to resist the Ring any longer, and claims it for himself, then With the fate of Middle Earth and the Ring at stake Gollum suddenly reappears, and struggles with Frodo to get the ring back…