Cover illustrations

These covers I have painted for my late father who was very disappointed with the contemporary illustrations of the German editions by Klett Publishing. I have used gouache colours throughout and, in places, drawn lines with a black felt-tip pen. I call this my "historising" style because the sceneries were mostly inspired by real-world objects rather than fantasy worlds. 

The Fellowship of the Ring
Gandalf walking by the Prancing Pony. His face is clearly lacking depth, but I had a lot of fun with drawing the walls of the inn. I had wavered a bit between rendering the Pony like an English pub made of grey stone or like a Frankish woodframe house; in the end, I decided for the latter just because I like our German woodframes so much.

The Two Towers
There was only one option here: The Ents attacking Isengard. The foreground was adapted from a photography of dead wood in some old National Geographics. Orthanc is loosely based on Tolkien's sketch, though I gave it a more "industrial" look.

The Return of the King
A guardsman (Beregond?) looking out from the high walls of Minas Tirith towards the Ered Lithui (possibly too close). I perceive the Gondorians as the Byzantinians of Middle-earth; but since Gondor is lacking that profound switch to Christianity, I assumed a more conservative tradition for their armour and their architecture: they have maintained the classical style of the Roman Principate. An exception is Ecthelion's Tower, upper left, that is much younger than the rest of the fortress or "acropolis" and, hence, has a markedly different style. I used a reconstruction of the Pharos of Alexandria as a model.
The Silmarillion
The gatebridge of Menegroth at night. This was my first attempt of cover-painting and certainly it has its flaws. The treetops look rather awkward. But my father liked the nocturnal setting with the stars and the silver linings of the moon (outside the image) very much.
Unfinished Tales
Tuor looking out from Vinyamar before his meeting with Ulmo. This is the most ambitious of my cover paintings. I imagined the Elves in a position like the Spanish Moors: a much higher culture inmidst a sea of medieval barbarians. Therefore, I had based their architecture on the Arab cities in Andalusia (there is also a painting of Gondolin which I had purposefully modelled on the Alhambra of Granada) while I chose a design sketch of a fancy Renaissance parade helmet to place on Tuor's head as his Elvish gear.
I realised too late that I had made the sun set in the north-west. 

Essays collected in printed or electronic books:


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Middle-earth seen by the barbarians: A compilation of Tolkien's references to the Middle Men of Eriador and Gondor: the pre-Númenóreans and the Dunlendings; the concealed history of Dorwinion, the fate of king Bladorthin and the origin of the Lossoth, the culture and history of the peoples in the east and far south of Middle-earth, with special consideration of the Wainriders, the Black Númenóreans and the Corsairs of Umbar. The appendix discusses the name Bladorthin and gives a new interpretation of this enigmatic king, shows how to apply a grid of latitudes and longitudes to the map of Middle-earth and in a previously unpublished essay discusses various comments by Tolkien on Pauline Baynes' recently recovered LotR map. This volume includes updated versions of “The Indigenous Peoples of Eriador and Gondor”, “The Lossoth and the Forodwaith”, “The Men of Darkness”, “The Third Realm in Exile”, “The mysterious King Bladorthin” and “A meridional grid on the map of Middle-earth” from these Science Pages.

The Moon in ‘The Hobbit’: A discussion and digital simulation of the lunar phases stated in ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The History of The Hobbit’ and their astronomical background, with special regard to the identification of Durin's Day and the threshold of winter; including an analysis of the various calendar systems in ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Many hints are given on how to use the moon and the seasons as plot elements in your own stories. This book has updated versions of the essays “The Moon and Durin’s Day, 2941 TA”, “Midsummer’s eve and the Moon-letters“, “The Reckoning of Time”, “An ephemeris for Bilbo Baggins” and “(Flawed) Astronomy in the History of the Hobbit” from these Science Pages.

Words of Westernesse: A light-hearted introduction into the grammar of Adûnaic, based on Arthur Lowdham's spiritual research in HoMe IX, and (tentative) etymologies of Adûnaic and Westron as far as the corpus of vocabulary has been established. This volumes includes updated versions of the essays “Lalaith’s Guide to Adûnaic grammar” and “Etymologies of the Atani Languages” from these Science Pages.

Dynasties of Middle-earth: Genealogical tables and comments on the lines of the kings of Númenor, Arnor, Gondor, Rohan, Dale and the Princes of Dol Amroth. A shorter version of this volume had been previously presented here as “Genealogies of the noble Mannish houses”.