This isn’t my first time putting a web site online which is concerned with the works of English author and philology professor J.R.R. Tolkien. Starting some time in 2000 and continuing on until around 2010 I owned Valaquenta.com. It was born in the heady days of excitement leading up to the release of the film version of The Fellowship of the Ring and continued on through the releases of the next two films. Throughout its lifetime my site was home to a wide array of information and a small but vibrant forum. Eventually the purpose of the site had run its course and I let it slip away.
I suppose, therefore, that with the release of the first release of the film version of The Hobbit it was inevitable that I would return to the online world of Tolkien—for lack of a better term—scholarship. I did my best to stay away from this newest movie. I really did. I didn’t want to hear anything about it, I didn’t want to know anything about, and I certainly didn’t want to see it. What happened? I saw it. Too many people kept saying that I should because they wanted to know what I would think, especially knowing my feelings on the previous movies.
In addition to the circumstances surrounding the The Hobbit film I also found myself answering a slew of questions for several people who were engaged in watching the previous movies, reading the books, or both. This activity served to reenergize my sleeping passion for Tolkien’s works and I found myself simultaneously rereading The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as working on a really interesting project related to Letters. Naturally all of this combined was not enough.
I found myself missing owning my own little Tolkien-place on the web. I suppose I could have just put the contents of Valaquenta.com back online, despite not owning that domain any longer, but the information was dated and I would have to put a huge amount of effort into making it relevant once more. On top of that my interest was in creating something new, researching answers to questions, and doing some writing. Which brings us to Gondolindrim.com and what you’ve just finished reading.
Aaron G. Peabody is a native of Northern Ohio who has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 2004. He currently works for Apple Inc. as a Lead Creative in Seattle. He has two dogs and a cat, loves practicing photography, and has been learning late-Medieval Italian longsword.