éala éarendel engla beorhtast
ofer middangeard monnum sended
Hail Earendel, brightest of angels
over middle-earth to mankind sent
– from the Old English poem “Crist I”
It has become something of a tradition that every year with the coming of Advent I start a series of short entries at this blog, and this format was inspired by the traditional Advent calendar. There were two previous editions, the original one in 2017 and its 2018 sequel… and thus, there was an Advent calendar ever since I’ve set up this blog – with the initial name of “The Amber Compendium”, subsequently changed to “The Tolkienic Song of Ice and Fire”, as such was the direction in which my thoughts and then my essays turned. It stands reason that this emergent tradition should be maintained. Another consistent characteristic of my December series is the inconsistency of form between those yearly editions.
My first Calendar – of 2017 – consisted of 22 daily posts, each devoted to a distinct topic. The topics themselves varied greatly. A significant portion of them concerned parallels between George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Legendarium. Other posts focused solely on aspects of Tolkien’s mythology, such as the final Christmas Eve entry in which I discussed – rather briefly – the impact of the Old English poem “Crist I” (also known as The Advent Lyrics, and thus quite apt for my calendar series itself) on Tolkien’s mythopoeic endeavors. It should be noted that I later followed up on many leads merely hinted in the 2017 Advent calendar – for example, my Polish essay Tom Bombadil i Zimnoręki published at FSGK PL this July expands on ideas discussed in the opening post of the Advent calendar from 2017. Another such case is W(r)enly from October 2019, which was developed from the final section of the 9 December 2017 entry.
This way of presenting ideas – one post released every Advent day – proved perhaps too strenuous to the reader. Keeping in mind that many people simply don’t have that much free time to spare, the following year – in December 2018 – I made the decision to change the format. Thus, there were only four long posts, released one by one on the four Advent Sundays – The Return of the Queen, Eärendil, Bearer of Light, The Jade Empire and finally, Aenar’s Aeneid. There were also daily “posts” – but this time in the shape of tweets such as the following ones:
This year the format changes again – there will be short entries added to one post pinned at the top of this blog’s homepage, and the same short tidbits will be also released at my Twitter profile (@lordbluetiger). As for the topics, this year I will share with you those ideas I’ve been exploring in the past year. Almost all of my 2019 writings related to ASOIAF and Tolkien were in Polish – you can find them at the Polish fan-site FSGK.PL – most easily by looking at https://fsgk.pl/wordpress/author/bluetiger/. Of those only one was later released in English (The Fate of Frey). As not that many people know my native language, Polish, this Advent calendar series might be the perfect way to share those theories and ideas with a wider audience language-wise.
Since the series’ format is a reference to a calendar, I thought that it would be fitting to also explore how two calendars created by Tolkien – the Shire Calendar and the Bree Calendar – correspond with the Old English calendar, as described by Saint Bede the Venerable in “De temporum ratione”. Therefore, there will be actually two daily tweets (and corresponding entries added to the post pinned at the top of this blog) – one with a short tidbit from one of my ASOIAF or JRRT essays, and one with trivia about one of the months from those two calendars used in Tolkien’s Middle-earth.
With that said, the 2019 Advent calendar begins,
Link to the post in which daily tidbits will be collected: https://theambercompendium.wordpress.com/2019/12/01/advent-calendar-2019-entries/
For the previous editions of my Advent Calendar please check out:
The Advent Calendar 2017 – Introduction
The Advent Calendar 2017 – List of Episodes
Kalendarz adwentowy 2017 – Wstęp (The Advent Calendar 2017 – Introduction in Polish)
Kalendarz adwentowy 2017 – Lista odcinków (The Advent Calendar 2017 – List of Episodes in Polish
The Advent Calendar 2018 – Introduction
Four Weekly Essays published on Advent Sundays:
- The Advent Calendar 2018 – The Return of the Queen
- The Advent Calendar 2018 – Eärendil, Bearer of Light
- The Advent Calendar 2018 – The Jade Empire
- The Advent Calendar 2018 – Aenar’s Aeneid