“For thus is it spoken: Oft hope is born when all is forlorn.”

—Legolas, The Return of the King

“Every day that passes is a precious day lost.”

– Frodo, The Two Towers

“You must either go through or give up your quest. And I am not going to allow you to back out now, Mr. Baggins.”

– Gandalf

“Dangerous or not, a real sunrise is mighty welcome.”

– Frodo

“The hands of the King are the hands of healing.”

– Gandalf

“Despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt.”

– Gandalf

The word eucatastrophe (good catastrophe) was coined by J.R.R. Tolkien to describe what he believed was the essence and highest function of fairy-stories.

It is the sudden, unexpected joyous turn.

Tolkien explains, “In such stories when the sudden ‘turn’ comes we get a piercing glimpse of joy, and heart’s desire, that for a moment passes outside the frame, rends indeed the very web of story, and lets a gleam come through” (‘On Fairy-Stories’, 61).

Our latest content:

Interview with Dr. Devin Brown

Interview with Dr. Devin Brown

Devin Brown Dr. Devin Brown is a Lilly Scholar and Professor of English at Asbury University where, in addition to other literature classes, he teaches a course on Lewis and Tolkien. He is also the Director of Asbury’s First-Year Honors Seminar. He has a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina and a Master’s degree…

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Blancmange Puffs

Blancmange Puffs

Since it is “Back to School” time, in whatever capacity that means for all of us during this pandemic, I thought I would wax a bit academic. Being the casual linguist I am, I see the word blancmange and I assume it means “white food.” Being the Monty Python fanatic I am, I also picture…

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Call for entries – October 2020

Call for entries – October 2020

October’s theme is: Deep with the Balrogs in Khazad-dûm In anticipation of our October content, the essay question is: Imagine you are part of the Company, experiencing those harrowing moments on “The Bridge of Khazad-dûm.” In your own words, briefly describe what you see and how you feel. What most impresses you about the Balrog,…

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Ten facts about Professor Tolkien at School (part 1)

Ten facts about Professor Tolkien at School (part 1)

Our favorite portions of the Professor’s legendarium did not just magically appear. It’s marvelously fascinating to explore (or revisit) Tolkien’s own journey in academia. Enjoy these five fast facts. Yes, he was brilliant and writing stories at a very early age. In a letter to W.H. Auden, the Professor explained his own childhood fascination with…

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Back to School with the Professor

Back to School with the Professor

Hello friends of the Eucatastrophe fellowship! Our September theme is Back to School with the Professor. We will enjoy a recipe, essay reflections, a “top ten” article, and interview with Devin Brown, as well as submissions from YOU, our readers! Feel free to join us in the comments!  

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The Worlds of JRR Tolkien – Book Discussion

The Worlds of JRR Tolkien – Book Discussion

John Garth As a freelance writer, researcher and reader I’m particularly interested in how personal lives intersect with the big shocks and surges in history – one of the threads in Tolkien and the Great War. The challenge of unearthing the past is a major spur. I want to discover not just the facts, but…

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Spotlighting Tolkien Resources – The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien: The Places that Inspired Middle-earth

Spotlighting Tolkien Resources – The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien: The Places that Inspired Middle-earth

The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien: The Places that Inspired Middle-earth  by John Garth Reflections by Dan Cruver and John PletcherFor many years, fans and scholars alike have enjoyed conjecturing about those places—the regions, locales, and situations—that might have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterful creation of Middle-earth. John Garth’s recent book aims to make a significant contribution…

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Splendor in the Darkest Place

Splendor in the Darkest Place

It’s dark. There’s ash and smoke heavy in the air. My eyes are burning. Lifting my head from the hard, rocky ground and squinting, I see them in the distance.  The pivotal battle, the long-awaited conclusion; the destiny of Middle Earth in the literal balance. I see the hobbit, the battle with darkness consuming him,…

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Call for entries – September 2020

Call for entries – September 2020

September’s theme is: Back to School with the Professor In anticipation of our September content, the essay question is: With the Professor’s academic experience in mind, describe a Tolkien scene from The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings that displays his literary prowess in extra-special ways. Explain the special connections you see. We look forward…

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As an author, Tolkien was a creator—or, as he would put it, a “sub-creator.”

 
Tolkien created a fully-imagined world. Middle-earth has a depth of diverse cultures, histories, geography, peoples, characters, family trees, languages, and calendars unrivaled in 20th- and 21st-century literature. Although Tolkien stated that The Lord of the Rings is not an allegory, he did say there’s always an abundance of applicability available for readers to use in their Present-earth lives and historical context.
 

Eucatastrophe.com strives to suggest new vistas of potential applicability for Tolkien fans to explore and enjoy, taking you deeper into Tolkien’s Middle-earth mythology.