November 11, 2010

The Hobbit & Game of Thrones - What Do They Have in Common?...Would You Believe - Wolves!

GRR Martin the author of the upcoming HBO series Game of Thrones is finally home after an extended tour.  He has started to resume somewhat regular posts to his journal.  The first upon his return mentioned that two characters from GoT had squabbled on location in Belfast.  Well, naturally his readers gave him no peace until the writer explained.  It seems two of the thespian dogs, that represent a number of wolves in the production, discovered they didn't have the best of working relationships:)  No serious injury to either canine.  It appeared another one of those unbelievable coincidences,  when shortly after reading Mr Martin's post, I'd stumbled upon the article below explaining how important wolves are in The Hobbit.

'THE Hobbit' seeks one filming location to rule them all
By Randy Boswell, Postmedia News October 5, 2010

We've got forbidding forests and majestic mountains. There are mighty rivers galore, as well as sweeping plains and quaint country villages where humble folk work THE land.

We've got more bears and wolves than anywhere else in THE world, plus foggy marshes, towering waterfalls and just about every other natural phenomenon with THE exceptions, perhaps, of goblin-filled caves and cliff-dwelling dragons that novelist J.R.R. Tolkien or filmmaker Peter Jackson could have ever imagined.
A quick reading of THE HOBBIT does yield plenty of descriptive passages showing Tolkien's imagination fired by Canada-like landscapes.

THE book recounts THE epic quest of HOBBIT Bilbo Baggins as he gives up THE pastoral comforts of THE Shire to endure THE unknown dangers of Wilderland, including THE perilous Misty Mountains and THE spookily dark Mirkwood Forest.

In one scene, THE adventurous HOBBIT is chilled by THE shuddering howl of wolves gathering in a dense forest, a common occurrence for Canadians visiting Quebec's Laurentians or Ontario's Algonquin Provincial Park, but an impossibility in THE virtually mammal-less New Zealand.

"Gaze as much as he might," Tolkien writes of Bilbo, in another scene that could be straight out of New Brunswick, "he could see no end to THE trees and THE leaves in any direction."

And elsewhere in THE novel, at a place where Mirkwood seems to give way to southern Manitoba or Saskatchewan, Bilbo and his companions "travelled for days and all THE while they saw nothing save grass and flowers and birds and scattered trees."

If Canada is keen to snag THE HOBBIT from New Zealand, it appears likely to face a stiff challenge from Scotland, where wolves are absent but craggy landscapes abound and, just maybe, a mysterious loch is home to a Tolkienesque monster.

"Scotland is an attractive and highly competitive film location with stunning scenery and a skilled workforce," a Scottish government spokesman said this week, amid growing concerns in New Zealand over THE fate of THE film. "If there are any opportunities regarding THE HOBBIT, we would want to see Scotland benefit."

Scenes from THE HOBBIT with distinctly Canada-like settings:

Foothills of THE Rockies?
"One morning they forded a river at a wide shallow place full of THE noise of stones and foam. THE far bank was steep and slippery. When they got to THE top of it, leading their ponies, they saw that THE great mountains had marched down very near to them."

Quebec's Laurentians?
"All of a sudden they heard a howl away down hill, a long shuddering howl. It was answered by another away to THE right and a good deal nearer to them; then by another not far away to THE left. It was wolves howling at THE moon, wolves gathering together!"
Somewhere in Saskatchewan?
"They rode now for two more days, and all THE while they saw nothing save grass and flowers and birds and scattered trees, and occasionally small herds of red deer browsing or sitting at noon in THE shade. Sometimes Bilbo saw THE horns of THE harts sticking up out of THE long grass."

High Park, Toronto?
"There were black squirrels in THE wood. As Bilbo's sharp inquisitive eyes got used to seeing things, he could catch glimpses of them whisking off THE path and scuttling behind tree-trunks."

New Brunswick?
"It was no good. Gaze as much as he might, he could see no end to THE trees and THE leaves in any direction."

"There, far away, was THE Lonely Mountain on THE edge of eyesight. On its highest peak snow yet unmelted was gleaming pale."

p.s.  Not insinuating RA is a wolf by inserting his photos here and there;)  Rather, I realize how very much readers appreciate them.
Artwork inspired by the series A Song of Ice and Fire..Vol 1 is Game of Thrones.  It includes pet wolves and a 700ft wall of ice protecting the 7 kingdoms of Westeros.  The author has stated the story is based on the War of Roses...
Gobble-gobble day is almost here...

Followed one of those Twitter mazes and surfaced at the following website - where you'll find luscious looking desserts - including one that could be used alternatively for Bonfire Night(UK) - or cover the pretzel sticks with dark chocolate icing to make a Halloween(US) witches hat cupcake.
The webmistress explains her history w/bonfire night(she's Canadian) and the reason she this year invented a cupcake in honor of the event.  She neglected to add the reason why Guy Fawkes had planned to set explosives under houses of parliament in 1605.  It occurred during the aftermath of the English Civil War - Mr Fawkes supported the last Catholic king of England.  The plot was discovered and forever after he was burned in effigy. 

OMG - the iron lady, Maggie Thatcher, has also been burned in effigy..difficult to believe..better extract myself from this particular rabbit warren of information...who is Paul Kruger?..need to follow that trail..maybe he was the MD who literally brought his patients suffering to an abrupt end...(Update: haha..No, was in the wrong century--Kruger was the face of resistance to the British during the Boer War)

Wikipedia excerpt:  >Effigies of other notable figures who have become targets for the public's ire, such as Paul Kruger and Margaret Thatcher, have also found their way onto the bonfires, although most modern effigies are of Fawkes.<

Fawkes's signature a feint scrawl after feeling the wrath of his captors...
Found a reason to file this document along side the one above (and the Maggie Thatcher info) in order to help put things in their proper perspective.  Following pic is a photo of the 'Magna Carta.'  The first historical glimmering of individual rights...


Sue said...

Actually England may soon be getting an offical Bank Holiday (day off work) to celebrate the signing of the Magna Carta. (Not another bl*ody Bank Holiday, England has so many of them these days!)

Ricrar said...

I'm surprised it hasn't been a national holiday for centuries, Sue. Our July 4th celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence on a hot, muggy summer day in Philadelphia. The Magna Carta was the forerunner to it, of course.

I was searching some other bit of history and stumbled upon the photo - couldn't believe my eyes. Had the same feeling upon viewing in person the over 1000yr old 'Book of Kells'.

Schools here from the start identified your ancient document as the very first acknowledgement of individual human rights. Hence, the Declaration's words, written by Thos Jefferson - "endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights - among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

I've always found your Civil War history fascinating(Guy Fawkes) because if not for that event the US might be a very different place indeed today. Lord Calvert was a Catholic who fled the turmoil and founded the state of Maryland. I believe Lord Fairfax founded Virginia...not certain if he was Catholic. Believe he emigrated around the same time as Calvert. It was usually members of the younger generation that were looking for somewhere to stake their claim - rarely the oldest sons, since they would inherit their father's land in England, unless it had already been confiscated.

A point was made in official documents(State Constitutions) to say there would be 'freedom OF religion' in the new world. Those espousing liberal politics here today make the mistake of assuming that term meant 'freedom FROM religion', which of course it did not. It meant you were free to worship or not as you pleased, without the state (or liberals) trying to arrogantly impose their beliefs on everyone else:)