BG Image

News Archive

Ben Del Maestro: The Angel’s Hymn by Lady~Eowyn

The young male soprano, Ben Del Maestro (full name, Benedict Del Maestro), made two vocal contributions to the musical score of The Two Towers. He was brought back to sing on the soundtrack of the Return of the King, a move that illustrates the pure genius of Howard Shore, the composer.

Without a doubt, Ben’s strongest and most powerful performance is within the track, “Forth Eorlingas”, in which we get a true glimpse of the power and emotion of his voice. Thematically, a Rohirric track, Shore begins with a soft, dreamy vocalization, but then quickly descends into build-up of tension with the use of loud brass instruments. He continually builds up tension and anticipation for the climax of the song and ultimately, the film, which occurs at about the two minutes and fifteen seconds mark. With the lone seraphic, ethereal vocals of Ben and the images of Gandalf leading the Rohirrim down the steep slope and the vivid, illuminating yellow light streaming down behind them, it is arguably one of the strongest examples of parallel sound in the trilogy.

Throughout the film, Ben’s soft, yet utterly angelic voice is used as a device for hope, goodness and light. His other performances are no exception. In “Minas Tirith”, Ben’s solo comes as Gandalf and Pippin ride out of Minas Tirith to aid Faramir’s troops.

His solo is synchronized with the length of time the light shines forth and repels Sauron’s forces. More focus and attention (more so than in “Forth Eorlingas”) seems to be placed Ben’s vocal in “Minas Tirith”, as there are no other vocals or instruments to accompany him.

Again, another example of how Shore has used Ben’s vocal ability as a symbol for hope and light. Another instance would be in “Isengard Unleashed”; Ben’s vocals go in harmony with the decision of the Ents to retaliate against Saruman – which yet again becomes a symbol for hope and good. However, this time Ben’s voice is blended in with the instruments, and his voice is less distinguishable.

Howard Shore carefully plans when Ben’s solos will arrive (of course, it must be in accordance with the film to evoke maximum emotion and meaning) and is usually characterized by a building up of anticipation with a slower and longer pace of music.

Unfortunately for Ben’s fans, very little is known about him. He performed with the established London Oratory School Scholas (choir) on the Lord of the Rings soundtracks. Whether he still performs with them to this day is unknown. Outside Lord of the Rings, Ben has also lent his vocal ability to the soundtrack of the acclaimed anime series, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. He performs on the series’ theme song, “Inner Universe” along side Origa, and another track, “Fish – Silent Cruise”.



Images from Arwen-Undomiel

Info on Ben Del Maestro from Wikipedia

Varda Member of the Month!

Here’s the Interview with our FIRST Varda Member of the Month: silver_Tinuviel!!!!!! :hug: :love: :cheers: :disco:

1) How did you find CoE?

With Google (bless it!). I remember I was looking for LotR e-cards. *smiling reminiscently* I found this site about half a year before I registered. My patience was hardly tested, because all the names I wanted were already taken. Finally I did it and here I am!

2) How much time do you spend here?

Mmm… Usually several hours a day. Sometimes I’m online all day long, while working at the office, cleaning my house, eating or washing the dishes… I confess myself a CoE addict!

3) What do you like most about it?

I love the people here! I have very dear friends on CoE. *huggles everyone* Also, I really like the entire site and its warm and super civilized atmosphere. It’s a very rare and precious thing!

4) Why did you decide to become a Vardian?

I became a Vardian the same day I became a CoE member, I think. I’ve been always a Vardian! *happy dance*
Like a very sensitive person (and because I love taking tests), I tried, of course, the CoE Realm Test, but I had a pretty cool result: 20% this, 20% this, 20% that… Typical! I finally decided to join Varda, because elves love her and the starlight above all things. And I do love elves! And stars! And Varda!

5) What’s the first word you think of when you think of Varda as one of the Valar?


6) What’s the first word you think of when you think of Varda as a Realm?

FRIENDSHIP! My fellow Vardians are incredibly warm, kind and helpful! Not to mention super clever and *very* funny! I love them all! I can’t imagine myself leaving this Realm!

7) Which forum of the Realm of Varda do you spend most time in?

It is called “Comet Trails” and contains the contests and the games (and we have soooo many!). But, of course, I spend a lot of time in “Heavenly Mists” too – the discussion forum – where my dear and very crazy nephew Mirilien and I have our little family bussiness “Varda’s Name Factory”.

8 ) Outside of CoE, what do you do when you’re behind your computer?

Well, I spend at least 12 hours a day behind computers! First of all, I try to do my job (creating forms for the European Union), then I greatly enjoy visiting and posting on Leaky Cauldron, a great Harry Potter site, and on the Spread-the-Craziness forum. (I used to spend a lot of time on The Unspeakables, the CoE sister site, too, but it’s now closed.) Also, I love reading news and encyclopedia stuff – Tolkien, Rowling, medieval heroes, Hebrew culture, tea and so on –, doing research for the Name Factory, sending emails and talking to my friends on messenger.

9) Which of Tolkien’s books is your favourite?

I really don’t know… LotR and Silmarillion, I think… And The Hobbit!

10) Which kind of food or drink from Middle-Earth would you like to taste?

Anything from Rivendell or Grey Havens and most certainly some of Bilbo’s best receipes!

11) If you could invite any character from Tolkien’s works to accompany you on a long walk throughout Paris, the city of love, which would it be?

*violent heart attack*
Finrod! And… errrrmmm… Aragorn! And Fingolfin! And Gandalf! And… Oh, you said “a character” not a crowd to fill Place de la Concorde! Sorry!

12) Which question would you ask Tolkien, if you would be given the chance?

“What happened to Frodo and Bilbo after sailing into the West?”

13) Which kind of art do you prefer?

Book, movie, theater, music, photography…

14) Which cd is in your cd-player at the moment?

The FotR audio book!

15) If you would have the chance to go see any kind of nature – for instance a desert, a waterfall, mountains etc – what would you choose?

Hmmm… Very hard! Maybe some Rivendell-ish waterfalls, a Lorien-like forest, a beautiful and fruitful land – very much like the Shire – or some Narnian mountains… *dreaming*

16) Imagine that someone brings you to a deserted island, what could you not do without and who would you want to bring with you?

I’d bring tones of books, my LotR and Harry Potter audio books, my sis Lilybeth, Mirilien, my Vardians, my two other crazy nephews, several friends, my parents, my computer, internet, my cat, oranges, died figs, sacks of tea, cinnamon and curry, a camera, Leonard Cohen music, hundreds of movies…
*stops suddenly*
WHAT??? Only ONE person and only ONE thing??? Oh dear! I’m dead! I think I need a priest for the funeral and a nice and cozy coffin.

17) Finally, can you describe the socks you’re wearing right now?

Very *very* orange! 😀
Now, other than the Top Ten list, what do we have left? I’ll get it all put together and post it when we’re all done. 😀

Sam Raimi for The Hobbit?

The Chicago Tribune report that Spiderman director, Sam Raimi, “has been telling associates, as well as his corporate masters at Sony, that he is thinking of directing The Hobbit”

Legend of the Pleades by Bardess_of_Rivendell

Once, In the time of the Search for the Silmarils, there lived a Lord who had seven daughters and one very small son. Now when the Sons of Feanor came in their wrath and caused Elwing the White to hurl herself from a cliff, the lord was slain, leaving his daughters and son, whose given name isn’t remembered; everyone called him ‘Pitya’, meaning ‘little one’ to fend for themselves. So great was their terror at the loss of their beloved father, that they ran heedless of anything, carrying the little one in turns, as he couldn’t keep up. After all seven of the sisters had a turn carrying him, they thought they could go absolutely no further, since they were all too tired to carry tiny Pitya any further. They finally came to a hard decision; they would have to leave him with someone, and make good their own escape. While none were really cruel or evil, each thought of herself a little more than she should. When they reached a household and tried to explain to the little one that they were leaving without him, he would have none of it. Wailing and crying, he begged them to please take him as well. While the eldest six walked away, the youngest couldn’t bear her brother’s tears, and hid him away under her cloak. Eventually, without supplies or warm clothes, they perished in the wilds. Varda, however, took pity on them, and placed them among the stars, ever a reminder of that terrible deed. Although on most nights, you can just see the seven sisters, Varda hadn’t forgotten little Pitya. On a clear

Lady of the Stars by ~Mirilien~Undómiel~

“With Manwë dwells Varda, Lady of the Stars, who knows all the regions of Ëa. Too great is her beauty to be declared in the words of Men or of Elves; for the light of Ilúvatar still lives in her face.”

Valaquenta, JRR Tolkien


A beautiful appearance, with light in her eyes. From the top of the Taniquetil this Queen watches over the world. As Manwë’s spouse, she ist the most powerful of all Valier.

Like all Ainur, Varda had taken part in creating the Music. But Varda’s story begins even before that. The mighty Ainu Melkor had approached her, and had wanted Varda to become his wife. However, wise and pure as she was, she foresaw the torment he’d bring. Therefore Varda rejected him, and Melkor still fears her more than any other Valar.

Instead of Melkor, Varda chose Manwë to become her spouse. With him on her side, she became the mightiest of all Valier. For it’s not just their individual strength that supplied them with their esteem; their dedication and love for each other made them stronger, and when they are together, Manwë sees further than any eye can see, and Varda hears every whisper in every corner of Arda. So strong is their love, and they are not seperated often. Together they sit on their throne and nurture the world.

But Varda’s light reaches further than just among the Ainur. As Mandos predicted, Varda became the most loved by the Elves. For when the time of the Firstborn had almost come, Varda went to Telperion, and with it’s dew she created the most beautiful stars. High into the sky she went, and there she carefully placed them among the others. And when the Elves awoke at the lake of Cuiviénen, the first thing they saw were these. Bright shone Elemmíre and Alcarinquë and many others as well, and the Firstborn were filled with joy and loved Varda more than any other Valar.

Though Varda did more than creating the Stars. After the Two Trees had died and Yavanna had gathered their last blossom, Varda took the flowers and placed them, after they had been manufactured into two vessels, in the sky as well, but this time closer to Arda. Telperion’s flower she called the Moon, and Laurelin’s became known as the Sun. Bright they shone, but never at the same time.

And for Varda has been known for so many things, and has been loved by so many, she goes by several names. From the moment she kindled the stars, she was known as Tintallë , meaning “the Star-Kindler”. When the Elves first saw her light, they invoked her by the name of Elbereth , for they saw her as the Queen of the Stars. For the same reason she is called Gilthoniel and Elentári . Besides these names and their translations, she also goes by “The Lofty” and “The Exalted”, because both Ainur and Elves hold her so high in their esteem.

More beautiful than any other, Varda did not simply create the Stars, the Moon and the Sun; Varda Elentári, Lady of the Stars, embodies the Light.


CoE’s Encyclopedia
The Silmarillion – JRR Tolkien

Varda’s Name Factory by ~Mirilien~Undómiel~

Ever seen those crazy names most Vardians have got in their signature? Ever wondered where they come from and what they mean? The answer is very simple; they’re being produced in the Name Factory. The what?! Don’t worry, many react that way. Therefore, let me tell you the story of this miraculous part of the Realm of Varda.

A long, long time ago, there was a wizard. For many years, she – no that’s not a mistake, she isn’t a witch but a she-wizard – had been living in the dark. This had turned the wizard into a crazy old lady, for as long as she hadn’t found the light, the wizard was unable to think. Then suddenly, after all hope had gone, the stupid wizard met a troll. A troll! An ugly, filthy young troll. The wizard was stunned, for when she looked into the troll’s eyes, she was able to reach out to the sun again. The sun! Finally, after all those long years of darkness, she saw light! The wizard was so happy, that she took the troll by her hands and danced with her around the fire. Now, the old lady was able to think again. To think! After all these long years of nothingness! So grateful was she, that she bewitched the troll, and turned her into a cat. A cat! A little black cat, just as crazy as the wizard. And the cat bowed, and jumped on the wizard’s shoulder. She mewed and the old lady laughed, and the two of them went away on many crazy adventures.
Eventually, after long, long years of wandering, the little cat and the stupid wizard had reached the stars. The stars! Little, twinkling lights high up in the sky! And between the stars of Varda, they found many, many Vardians. Vardians! Floating among the stars, playing, talking, laughing. The wizard looked at the cat, and the cat stared back into the old lady’s eyes, and without having to say another word, the two of them decided to hop in and join the party. And with every single one of them, the two crazy little things became friends. Friends! They joined them in their plays, talks, laughter! Now the wizard and the cat lived happily among those stars, and after a while they decided to do something special. The stupid wizard and the black cat had both been given a beautiful name from one of those dancing amidst the crowd of wonderful Vardians, and therefore they wanted to name her as well. Long, long hours of thinking – which was very hard, for the wizard had only just been able to think, and the cat had only got tiny brains – had passed, and then they had come to a conclusion. Not only were they to create a name for her, but also for every other dancer interested! And so the old lady and the cat started working on names. Names! Crazy, personal names! Requests kept coming, and the crazy creatures kept working, and then suddenly, there was a big, blue light. A light! A giant bulb from which Varda’s Name Factory arose. And the cat and the wizard jumped on it and there they are still sitting. Staring at the stars, nudging each other awake, and, of course, always working on new, crazy names.

And so Varda’s Name Factory had been created, and it’s open to every Vardian who wants to have a crazy name! So, if you ever decide to join our Realm, don’t forget to check out our little family business .

* I proudly present the wizard as my dearest uncle silver_Tinuviel

Admin of the Month

1) How did you find CoE?
Oh geeze, I don’t even remember. It was so long ago…

2) How did you become a Games Admin?
Basically I saw that there was an opening and I applied for the position, and I got it (much to my surprise!)

3) Are you much of a gamer yourself? Which is your favourite, both on CoE as concerning plain old bord games?
I don’t play the forum threads on CoE as much as I did in the past (before I became Games Assistant), but I enjoy The Songs Game and The Question Game. I don’t really play much in the way of board games; I’m more of a console/PC player. Usually I play The Sims 2 and Dead or Alive.

4) What do you like mostly about CoE?
Definately the community, it’s always a great feeling to meet people from all over the globe with the same interests as you. I’ve met some interesting people on this site.

5) How much time do you spend here?
An hour or two a day.

6) Which of Tolkien’s books do you like the most?
Definitely The Silmarillion.

7) If you could ask Tolkien one question, which would it be?
I’d really like to know what happens to the human race after death…

8) Who from the world of Middle-Earth would you like to meet?
Fëanor, not exactly a good guy, but that’s what makes him so intruiging.

9) Which character do you relate the most to?
I don’t really know, I mean, from the way my life has been laid out, I don’t think I can really relate to any of Tolkien’s characters.

10) Since the new year has just started; have you done anything special on New Year’s Eve?
Haha, no. I worked, but that was pretty much it.

11) What of the things you’ve done in 2006 are you most proud of?
Hmm, getting my Driver’s license, plus learning a stick shift (mostly – whether I could drive standard myself and not kill anyone might be another story ). Getting the mark I did in Social.

12) Have you made any resolutions?
No, I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions. But one of my goals for the year is to bring up all my marks in school, and find out what I want to do in life.

13) Finally; have you got any valuable life lesson you’d like to share with us?
I guess that you’re going to meet alot of people with different ideas, values and upbringings. Unfortunately some of those people are going to be close-minded, rude or intolerant of any ideas or opinions that go against theirs. You can’t really let those people get to you, no matter how rude they can be.

Thanks, Lady~Eowyn, and a Happy New Year! 😀

Moderator of the Month

Lets start with some regular questions 😉

1) How did you find CoE?
I was randomly searching the web for LOTR images. I happened onto CoE from another link on another site. I checked out the gallery, peeked into the forum and was hooked! Been here ever since.

2) What do you like mostly about it?
It doesn’t matter if your a book fancier or a movie fan because there is something here for everyone. We have members from all over the world and we all come together here. But I think my favorite is the realms. Within them you have smaller communities so it’s easier to get to know people.

3) How much time do you spend here?
I am here every day. Some days I will spend several hours here depending on what I am doing. The multimedia section, the realms (including Ulmo which I am part of) and the Palantir keep me busy. But it’s a good busy and I enjoy it very much.

4) Which forums do you visit the most?
I am in Ulmo the most. And although I am a Palantir mod I am in there a lot as well just because I like reading about new movies and books and what others think of them. The Prancing Pony is fun too because there are all kinds of topics in there. Also Many Meetings. Elrond’s Adventure has begun again as well so that will be a lot of fun to read about the people and places.

5) Which of Tolkiens books do you prefer?
Return of the King is my favorite. I have another book called Tolkiens World from A to Z. Although not written by Tolkien it contains people, places and objects that he created. It’s about who they are, where they are and what they are. It is a dictionary of sorts but I have spent many enjoyable hours reading it and have used it plenty of times for rpg’s and other games.

6) Is there any character you can relate to?
Sure. Sam! He’s a homebody just like I am. Family, friends and home are most important to him. And to me. He travels far and wide but going home is what he wants the most. I like traveling and seeing new things but the best part of my trip is going home. I’m happiest at home with family and my friends just like Sam.

7) If you could ask Tolkien one question, which would it be?
Who his favorite character was and why.

We can’t, of course, forget the fact that you’re the Palantír Mod, so here are some questions related to that 😀

8) How did you become a Palantír-Mod?
I guess because I was around so much they decided to give me something to do…LOL

9) Do you watch a lot of television yourself? What is your favorite program?
I don’t watch a lot of TV. I like to read more but I do watch LOST, Hero’s, American Idol and Survivor. Sometimes I just record 2 or 3 episodes and then spend an afternoon watching them all at once.

10) Have you got any film, besides the LotR Trilogy, which you would really recommend?
I really like Kingdom of Heaven. I just recently watched the director’s cut and loved it. One of my all time favorites is a movie called ‘Rudy’. It stars Sean Astin. It’s about a young man who is always told he’s not good enough or big enough but he never gives up and fights for his dream. No matter how many times I’ve seen it I always get a bit mushy at the end.

And since the New Year has just started, the last part of this interview will about that 🙂

11) Have you done anything special on New Year’s Eve?
Unfortunately this time I didn’t. This was the first time I ever had to work but my co-workers and I had a small party anyway at work which was fun. Lots of cake and chocolate which is always a good thing.

12) Have you made any resolutions?
I stopped making resolutions a long time ago. I never kept them and then I would feel guilty for not keeping them so I decided that I would do better and try harder in whatever I did.

13) Finally, is there any life lesson you’d like to share with us?
The older I get the more I realize just how short life is and that we all tend to waste so much time worrying about stuff that we can’t change or go back and do over. Father Time does not stop for anyone! So I say live life as if it were your last day, love with all your heart and laugh often!

Thank you, LadyCeleborn, and a Happy New Year!

Server Downtime

Sorry about the downtime, folks. The server’s hard drive crashed, and they had to move us over to a new hard drive, which took over several hours. Thanks for your patience!

Happy birthday Elijah Wood

Elijah Wood was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA, on 28th January 1981 and celebrates his 26th birthday today. You can see pictures of Elijah here, pictures of him in the role of Frodo here and read his cast bio here.

Happy birthday Elijah!