1. How did The Ring of Light (TROL) come to be?

It is not impossible if you do not believe and make it so.

Do you believe in fantasy?  If not, then bother to read no further. 

For TROL is a fantasy, and it is, as was its creation, an odyssey of imagination: extravagant and unrestrained.

Forged from the inspiration of the two giant literary works of all time; from J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ (LOTR) and James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’, TROL has arisen in homage, pale in comparison as it is, to that of these masterpieces. 

However, this tribute would not be complete without acknowledging one other - Peter Jackson, whose imagination knew no bounds, and like no other could, brought to the screen the images of LOTR, creating on film the spell-binding world of Middle-earth.

So TROL owes it existence to three towering visionaries:  Tolkien, Joyce and Jackson.

Of my story I should say, though I did not seek the words, they invaded my every moment.  Despite my doubts and lack of gnosis, they flowed as if from a torrent of ‘the great falls of Rauros’*.  With urgency, for fear of their loss, I acted as their scribe as they cascaded from my mind.  I know not what force directed me then, or what drives me now, but I seek life for these words; for them to be read; nothing more.  

Acknowledging the inspiration of the saga and imagery of TROL to Tolkien, of the glory of expression to Joyce, and of the power of transposition to Jackson, I offer the experience of TROL to you, with hope and heart, that you will find pleasure in the journey.

That what should be shall be.


*J.R.R.Tolkien,  LOTR‘The Fellowship of the Ring’, Chapter VIII
2. Where does TROL stand, and stand apart?

Many have come before, fan-fiction as they are called, inscribed with the spirit of their creators, but I believe there lies at the heart of TROL something moreI say this without conceit, for its creation I believe comes from beyond my realm: beyond my imagination and abilities.

I will not dwell on the story here, suffice to say it takes the wondrous mythic world of Tolkien, and places it in a colliding concourse of time; conjoining a past from Middle-earth, the present of LOTR, and an undefined future; the melding of:
... the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.
                                                                                                Joyce, Ulysses

It takes those glorious characters from Tolkien’s pen, embellishing some and providing new life for others that lived in the shadows, and thrusts them into an odyssey to see ‘the Dark’ vanquished forever. Yet, this is not a story of the spear or the sword – but of discovery and revelation in the wonders of the surreal.  For, inspired by Tolkien, TROL abounds with miraculous characters, devices and places.  These propel a Quest to ‘five things to be resolved’ and to uncovering a way to lead to the ultimate defeat of ‘the Dark Lord’.  Its paths are lit by the plight of prophesies and journeys across time, land, sea and sky.  It will rewrite one ending of LOTR, and lead the way to another future for some, that with its being, will come to pass.

However, it is not the tale that will make TROL stand apart, but its words and their expression.  TROL takes its basic form from the classic saga, and its proportions are those of LOTR and Ulysses, spanning some 40 chapters and 250,000 words.  Inspired by Joyce, it finds glory in the magic of words, in their sound and in their meaning.   It exploits the drama of diverse literary styles; each Part speaking in a separate voice; Ù7 some traditional, others of TROL’s making.  The reader will be taken through TROL on a cavalcade of ideas and words, by the familiar and that which they will have never experienced before. This journey will not be without its challenges, but it is hoped that what has been created is entrancing, eloquent and enriching.

3. Of all things in TROL:  what is borrowed; what is new?

TROL is indebted to Tolkien for those of Middle-earth who inhabit its world, for those:

TROL paints a new canvas with these characters, and in so doing, extends their horizons as others of TROL’s creation arise to stand alongside them.  They blazon their way into new lore with miraculous:

Those of ‘the Light’, instilled with its power, face the challenge of ‘five things to be resolved’ for a noble Quest which will see the revelation of:  a rejection of immortality; a Queen’s obliteration; a pact made by a Lord and Dark Wizard; the relinquishment of Five Rings of Power; the possession of one by evil, and its meaning…

In the adornment of Tolkien’s creations, TROL has embraced the language of:

Finally, TROL may well have lost its way were it not for the encouragement of two dear friends, and the enlightenment of the founts of LOTR lore:  ‘The Encyclopedia of Arda’; ‘The Middle-Earth Encyclopedia’; ‘Wikipedia’, and a host of others who will be acknowledged as TROL unfolds.   Deepest thanks are given here for their invaluable contribution.

4. Of what does one need to know?

The saga of TROL stands by itself – it is not necessary to have read LOTR  or Ulysses, or seen the LOTR films,  to undertake its journey. 

As already declared, of LOTR there are many characters, places, events and things in TROL.  Understanding the essence of these from Tolkien’s words would enhance the enjoyment of the reading of TROL, for it captures and interweaves shadowy events of LOTR, some of which are the subject of heated dispute.  In any case, LOTR is the greatest fantasy ever written, so if you have not read it, you are strongly encouraged to do so.  However, if you want to launch into TROL without this, then you can use the following two wonderful web-references to illuminate your way:

Of Ulysses, it is the nature of the innovation in writing that TROL takes from this epic, so its storyline is of no direct import to the unfolding of TROL’s tale.  However, as it is one of the greatest books ever written, you are also encouraged to read it, despite it being considered one of the most challenging of all reading experiences.  If you choose this path, TROLwishes you well.

Of the films, it is not necessary to have seen them.  TROL attempts to follow the book faithfully in every way, although with the intermingling of reading and seeing, on occasion the words of the films meld in with those of the book.    However, while the films are undoubtedly masterpieces in the own right, there are occasions when the spirit expressed by Tolkien was not captured in the films.  Of this no more will be spoken, for it is the films’ transposition of boundless imagination that TROL attempts to replicate, and no reproach can be made of this.

Thus, even if the sources are unread or unseen, this will not exclude a reader for sharing the thrill of the odyssey of TROL; may this bring you much pleasure and a desire to read LOTR and Ulysses, if not for the first time, then at least once more.

To guide and inspire the reader, some links to insights on Tolkien, Joyce, Jackson and their creations, are provided within 'About Others':  ‘The Visionaries’.

5. Of TROL:  its past, present and future.

In twelve glorious weeks, TROL was created. 

Eighty days of inundating words and relentless writing, saw a first thought evolve into an exuberant entity.  Not that it was in consummate form, but the kernel of each character and purpose, the intricate intertwining of LOTR and TROL, had been transcribed from thought to page.

In secret, for no-one knew of its conception, it had journeyed from the classics in words to that in film, seeking the spirit of LOTR and transposing this into TROL.  Wherever an impasse loomed, a breakthrough miraculously materialised; such was the nature of its revelation and ripening.  In twelve weeks and 150,000 words, it had spirit and soul, frame and formation – but veiled, it lingered without full flesh and feeling, striving for an existence beyond ‘a shadow in shadow’ * Reflecting the words of Tolkien: ‘a shadow into shadow’, LOTR, ‘The Two Towers’, Book Four, Chapter VIII .

Mid-way through this evolution, the knowledge of the embargo against any sequel to LOTR became known.  Not for a single breath did this stop the chronicling – for ‘commercial exploitation’ was not what TROL’s being was about.  And after the onslaught of the twelve weeks, not a soul knowing of its existence, TROL lay dormant for a year; never looked at or read. 

Then, like a passing thought, a mention was made of it to one on the other side of the world – a Tolkien scholar and disciple, and with his encouragement and insistence, he read a chapter, then another…and the impetus for TROL’s thirst for life was renewed.  For a further year, with the seeds of what already had been sown, TROL was revisited and embellished, and blossomed like a flowering field. 

With this came the thought of giving TROL life on the web; free for whoever wished to read it.  However other journeys beckoned and life intervened, so this creation lay waiting for this life for more than a decade.

And for what lays beyond – TROL has spawned a second issue, but whether this sees a dawn lies with the nature of the life of its first being.   May wherever you be, may your reading of TROL enlighten and endorse its way to a noble future, as Tolkien once wished:

I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to the majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama.
6. Of TROL : a dedication

Inspired by three of great renown, TROL is dedicated to kin of little acclaim to those outside family, who have passed without knowing of TROL, but enabled the fabric of life for it to come into being.  To her TROL gives its heartfelt thanks, and for one whose life ended so tragically, but whose spirit ever endures, it offers its all in loving memory:  may there be peace where you now rest.


7. Disclaimer

TROL is an unaffiliated site, created solely in homage to Tolkien, James and Jackson, for the enjoyment of their devotees.

All characters, places and things of Middle-earth are the intellectual property of J.R.R. Tolkien, the copyright residing with the Tolkien Estate, and in relation to that of the LOTR films, to Jackson and New Line Cinema.  These rights are fully acknowledged. No profit from TROL is sought or planned; no disrespect is intended. 

Of original material, TROL retains its rights, and of this, nothing should be reproduced without permission.