Inaugural issue of Silver Leaves

We're very happy to announce that Silver Leaves, The White Tree Fund's
journal, will be released on November 24, 2007. There is a lot of great
content in this inaugural issue including art by Jef Murray and Coralie
Allan, and articles by some amazing folks including Tom Shippey,
Michael Drout, Dimitra Fimi and Janet Brennan Croft. The cost of the journal
is $15.00 CDN (plus shipping and handling for printed copies), and
we'll get your copy out to you ASAP. For further information, please visit
our website at

We're already thinking ahead to the next issue, so if you have ideas,
comments or suggestions, or you'd like to make a submission, please let
us know by sending an email to

Thanks so much.

The White Tree Fund journal team

Lecture Photos

Here's a link to photos taken at TWTF's lecture series:

The White Tree Fund presents White Tree Lectures, a Tolkien lecture series

Place: South Dining Room in Hart House at U of T
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Admission: $10 for TWTF/Wellinghall smial members
                      $15 for non-members

Thursday, September 27:
Dr. John Browne from U of T will be speaking on "Tolkien as Wordsmith: One Reader's Journey Through The Lord of the Rings"

Thursday, October 25:
A panel discussion on The Children of Húrin

Please click here to purchase tickets. We hope to see you there!

Tolkien Reading Day Report

There were some new faces, some old faces there in the Pickle Barrel Grand. But what was important was that there was a smile on every face as we commandeered a corner of the restaurant. They say that thirteen should never dine together, but no one took heed, but ate and celebrated Tolkien and his works with ferocious appetites. Hobbits, elves, nazgûls or humans, everyone enjoyed the food and the delightful atmosphere.

As I sat at the table, I heard a great many “So. When did you start reading Tolkien?” Responses were varied. Some couldn’t remember when they started, but grew up reading the Lord of the Rings series. Some started later in life and fell in love then. Some couldn’t get through the books! Whatever their stories, it was a magical day.

That statement in some eyes can be seen as whimsical and terribly presumptuous, but had you been sitting where I was, listening to the various conversations around me, I believe that you too would believe this gathering magical.

Jo and Lara started off the table, which unfortunately was long and did not see to our needs very well. Having requested a round table, everyone did the best they could, either shouting down the ranks or shushing to hear. At the other end of the table, two newcomers to the gathering sat; new to the table but old hands at Tolkien, Don and Bob. They have each written for the Tolkien encyclopedia, and were happy to share the day and their love for the professor.

Talk did turn to the Professor himself, tales of how someone’s university professor was a student of a student of Tolkien, or even how someone had a professor who had been to Oxford and would see him walk his dog across campus. Envious sighs all over the table, of course.

In the middle, Oliver and Kari sat, both also new to the table, having seen the message posted on Meet-Up and wandered happily into the midst of Tolkien talk.

Unfortunately, Oliver did not stay very long but before he left, as a reading, he recited the One Ring passage in black speech, and there are people who swear that the lights flickered after he was finished.

Kari was an amazing fount of information about all things, Tolkien, Lord of the Rings and fantasy. An avid fantasy reader, she also enlightened us about C.S. Lewis and his works in amazing detail.

Kim, Jo’s daughter, sat beside me, chatting with everyone about all things Tolkien. She had thought to read a passage from The Hobbit, the funny table about the dwarves meeting Beorn two by two, but unfortunately there was no time for that. There were some amazing passages read out that day. Whether long or short, all held the magic of the works that brought us together. It seemed that no matter what passages everyone chose, they all complemented each other. Lara and Don chose to read passages from the Unfinished Tales that were close together, with vivid descriptions of Tolkien’s world. Laura, or fondly known as Frodo, chose three passages, one commemorating the Wellinghall Smial’s birthday with a description of Wellinghall. She also chose a poem with many names, read aloud by Mike and another read by Vicki.

The day was made twice as special for Kim and I. We had celebrated our birthdays the weekend before – our birthdays were a day apart – and everyone surprised us by bringing cake and cards and gifts. It was truly wonderful and extraordinary, and I would like to thank everyone for making it so.

The afternoon ended a little abruptly when the waiters at Pickle Barrel announced that they had to set up the table for the next party. By then, the group’s numbers had dwindled down, so we left to chat for a while more in the mall, but as wonderful as the day was, everyone had to go home, and reluctantly we did, though the love, laughter and words will remain until the next meeting.

Report by: Charity Y. (tenth_nazgul)

Tolkien Reading Day, 2007

The Wellinghall Smial invites you to our Tolkien Reading Day on Saturday, March 24 at 1 p.m. All Ents and Entings are welcome. We will gather in a cozy, informal setting at the Pickle Barrel at Yorkdale Mall in Toronto to share some of our favourite Tolkien passages. We look forward to an afternoon of good conversation, lots of laughter, delicious food, and reading/listening to some of the most special writings ever penned. Yorkdale Mall is at the corner of Dufferin and Hwy. 401. The phone # is 416-785-8881. Reservations will be under the name 'Johobbit'. Please leave a comment on this post if you are planning to attend. Until then, Namárië.

February 3rd Report

Hello! My name is Laura and I'm a member of the Wellinghall smial. I was lucky enough to be able to attend our lunch on the 3rd and thought I'd give those who weren't able to go, a glimpse of the afternoon's festivities. Enjoy!

Wonderful things can happen at a gathering of Ents (and Entings). Wellinghall's February 3rd get-together was, like all other moots, featured great friends, yummy food, and big laughs.
Unfortunately, the day was bitterly cold and stepping outdoors required putting on at least 3 layers of clothing. But it was going to take a lot more than chattering teeth and a threat of frostbite to prevent me making this moot!

In normal Laura fashion, I decided to be hasty little hobbit and meandered on the way to the Old Spaghetti Factory. Needless to say, I got lost. With much backtracking and mental mapping, I, thankfully, eventually make it to the restaurant, only slightly perspiring and out of breath. As always, I was greeted warmly by the rest of the Ents, all of whom where already seated and settled. It was like a Middle-Earthen bar where everybody knows your name heehee.

I hope our waitress wasn't too frustrated with us! She tried to take our orders but it was difficult to get everyone's attention at the same time or maintain an Ent's attention for long. It took some effort but she did managed to get everyone's order, and did it with a smile. I like to think our atmosphere was so infectious!
There were quite a number of Ents and Entings at this moot, and trying to have a conversation with those at the other end of the table was a challenge. But, always up for a challenge, we realized this set up was perfect for more intimate interactions. We had mini-moots and had no trouble moving from mini-moot to mini-moot. The Enting's moot consisted of games, both card and video, and other activites to which us older ents weren't privy.

We had some great discussions about Tolkien's works, including its many adaptations. I even found another fan of the Ralph Bashki film! Through our discussions, we decided that we had to invent the Flaming Denethor drink/dessert and the perfect time to try it out would be during a movie marathon. I'll leave out the details of the proposed drinking game to protect the dignity of my beloved Frodo Baggins.

After dessert was served, some members of the group began to leave but there were still a good number of Ents left. When the restaurant dimmed the lights and told us they need to start setting up for dinner, the remaining Ents decided to head, somewhat reluctantly, to our respective homes.

I smiled and chuckled all the way home. I mentally replayed the special moments of the lunch as I watched the darkening Toronto skyline pass by. I'm eagerly awaiting our next get-together, be it Tolkien Reading Day or a flaming movie marathon!

A DVD review: The Legacy of the Lord of the Rings by Daniel Timmons

Wondering what great gift to buy a Tolkien fan, whether that be yourself or a friend? I recommend Daniel Timmons' documentary The Legacy of The Lord of the Rings. With inspiring paintings by Ted Nasmith and music that blended with the words seamlessly by Wes Prince, The Legacy of The Lord of the Rings is a well thought-out script with input and thoughts from scholars and writers on J.R.R. Tolkien's magnificent 'fairy-tale epic'. This interesting line-up includes:

*George Clark from Queen's University, department of English with a focus on "comparative studies in the early Middle Ages, especially Old English and Old Norse", and Dan Timmons co-editor on J.R.R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances: Views of Middle-earth.
*Tom Shippey, St. Louis University, department of Humanities, Tolkien scholar and author, specialist in "medieval literature, especially the earliest literature of Anglo-Saxon England, and modern fantasy and science fiction".
*Verlyn Flieger, the University of Maryland, department of English, Tolkien scholar and author, "specialist in myth studies and comparative mythology with a focus on modern fantasy novels".
*Ted Nasmith, well-known Tolkien artist based in Ontario
*Joseph Pearce, Ave Maria University (Florida), "author of numerous acclaimed biographies of major Catholic literary "figures.
*Peter Beagle, fantasy author, based in California
*David Hartwell, Senior Editor for Tor books, New York
*Patrick Curry, Canadian-born writer and scholar
*Bill Welden, Tolkien linguist, used as a consultant in the films
*Robert J. Sawyer, science fiction author, based in Ontario
*Michael Coren, Canadian broadcaster and columnist based in Toronto
*Philippa Boyens, screenplay writer for all three The Lord of the Rings movies.
*Daniel Timmons, writer, director, producer of The Legacy of The Lord of the Rings

The documentary is divided into four sections:
Part 1, Sub-Creation
Tolkien felt strongly that we, as humans, are made in the image of God, the Creator, who has given us a deep desire to create. Since we are not God, though, we are incapable of creating, only 'subcreating'. We need to wisely use these creative juices to produce beautiful works such as art, music, literature. In that light, Tolkien wrote his epic tale, his 'mythology for England'. Joseph Pearce speaks directly and clearly to this subject of sub-creation.

George Clark gives a brief background of some of the names Tolkien used. Tom Shippey expresses his interest in Tolkien's fascination with language, and analyzing the impact of this on his creative work. (For an in-depth coverage of this subject, read Shippey's The Road to Middle-earth, 1982). And we learn that Verlyn Flieger's focus in regards to Tolkien has been the study of ancient mythology in its relation to the Professor's works.

Part 2, The Masterpiece
What makes The Lord of the Rings a masterpiece? What gives it its universal appeal? A few ideas are presented:
*the special qualities of Frodo, and the fact that he is more like an 'anti-romance hero', rather than a typical 'hero', for he doesn't care for wealth and limelight. He would prefer not to take the Ring, but understands in his innermost being that it is his responsibility. While most heroes seek a treasure on their quest, Frodo ventures to throw one away, to destroy it forever.
*Gandalf's uniqueness: he is the Servant of the Secret Fire, which belongs only to the One, Tolkien's monotheistic being, Eru. Only Eru has the ability to bring forth sentient life. Therefore, it is suggested that Gandalf is, in fact, figured as an angel of the Most High.
*the timeless theme of the ongoing battle between darkness and light
*Gollum: representation of the great pull of good and evil in every human life
*the degrees of corruption displayed in different characters' lives
*war: the devastation and loss
*the environment: our desire to keep it natural and simple, maintaining and treasuring its glorious beauty. Special mention goes to the Ents and Elves in this regard.
*the poignant beauty of Tolkien's tale: the sorrow, the joy, the deep beauty, the 'eucatastrophe' (unexpected happy ending)

Patrick Curry talks about three aspects which Tolkien combined to bring this masterpiece to fruition: his love of the natural world + his profound scholarship + his ability to tell a story = a magnificent epic tale.

Part 3, The Response
To put it plainly, the response to The Lord of the Rings has been phenomenal. It has inspired in people to enrich the world further by pouring out their creative endeavours in music, drama, dance, art, and writing. The love of this book is limited not to a particular group/race/vocation/faith. People all over the world have fallen in love with Tolkien's writing. David Harwell at Tor Books discussed fantasy before and after publication of The Lord of the Rings, in which there was a highly noticeable difference in fantasy publication in general.

Part 4, The Legacy
The themes of The Lord of the Rings are far-reaching and for every human on this planet. Fifty years after its publication, the world is convinced that it is not 'just a fad'! Ted Nasmith, in his thoughtful way, talks about the need for us to be accountable for our own behaviour, evident throughout Tolkien's tale, and another example of the timeless themes in this book whose popularity shows no sign of abating.

A few key comments come close to the end of the documentary:
Tom Shippey: "[The Lord of the Rings] is capable of continuous political interpretation in completely unexpected circumstances."
Narrator Jo Hutchings: "And so The Lord of the Rings stands like a beacon or permeates like wholesome air in the drabness and gloom of modern life."
And Verlyn Flieger resounds Samwise's famous question: " 'Don't the great tales never end?' They never end as tales but the people in them come and go."

And this is the legacy Daniel Timmons left for us. Dan, sadly, passed away in December, 2005, after a lengthy battle with ALS. Wellinghall Smial is supporting an effort by a group of Tolkien fans who have set up a live journal page on which you can post comments to encourage his dear wife, Sunny, and their young son. On this page is also the opportunity for donations. See .
The following is the contact information from where you can purchase The Legacy of The Lord of the Rings.

Carla Bruce
Director of Acquisitions and Sales
TV, Canada
Filmoption International
3401 St-Antoine
Montréal (Québec) H3Z 1X1
Tel. : 514-931-6180 ext. 257
Fax : 514-939-2034

From Dr. Dimitra Fimi to Wellinghall

Please let me introduce myself. My name is Dimitra Fimi and I am teaching and researching Tolkien's fiction at Cardiff University, Wales, UK.

I write with regard to my online course on Tolkien, which I believe will be of interest to the members of Wellinghall. The course is entitled "Exploring Tolkien: There and Back Again", it is taught exclusively online in 10 weekly units and can be taken by students and adult learners all over the world. It is a revised and expanded version of my earlier course "The Foundations of Middle-earth: Myth, Language and Ideology in J. R .R. Tolkien’s Literature" (which ran in the academic year 2005-2006). The course has already run once this academic year, and will run on two more occasions, starting on 12 February 2007 and 23 April 2007 respectively. Enrolments are now open for both courses.

More detailed information about the course can be found on this website:

Some Frequently Asked Questions about the course are answered here:

The course covers a great range of topics on Tolkien’s sources in myth and contemporary intellectual history. A detailed overview of the 10 Units of the course can be found here:

I would be very grateful if you would pass this information to the members of the Toronto Tolkien Society that might be interested.

Thank you in advance for considering my request.
Best Wishes for a Happy and Creative New Year,
Dr. Dimitra Fimi

A cozy gathering in February/07

We are planning another get-together, which proves to be fun and full of camaraderie, as is usual with Wellinghall. :)
Set aside Saturday, February 3 for the afternoon (1 p.m. on) at the Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown Toronto. Please let us know either here or on TWTF's forum ( under the Wellinghall thread.
And stay tuned for our March Tolkien Reading Day, at which we'll enjoy good company, good food, and hearing some favourite excerpts read from Tolkien's works. Trouble is, how does one choose one favourite passage?!! ;)


Toast to the Professor 2007

Wellinghall is proud to join all Tolkien fans around the world as we pause for a few moments and raise a toast to the Professor. So many of us have been affected and influenced by his writing and his vision.

Thank you Professor for all that you have given us! We hope we're worthy of your legacy, sir!

Please visit the Tolkien Society's site to view toasts from fans around the world and leave a toast of your own!

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