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mythology

JRR Tolkien’s Unfinished First Novel, Kullervo, Lays Seeds for Middle Earth

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Even legends have to get their start somewhere. Long before The Lord of the Rings became a worldwide phenomenon, JRR Tolkien started his fantasy career with a dark retelling of a Finnish poem called, “The Story of Kullervo.” This unfinished story, written in 1915 when Tolkien was only 23 years old, was published for the first time internationally on October 13. The Story of Kullervo (Harper Collins, August 27) is significantly darker than Tolkien’s later work. It focuses on the “Hapless” Kullervo, an orphan with unexplained powers. He grows up in the home of an evil magician who killed his father, kidnaps his mother, and tries to kill Kullervo three separate times. When he’s eventually sold into slavery, Kullervo vows revenge. But…

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Superhero movies reach Olympian heights with Hercules

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In this new era of superhero movies, has telling one champion from another become a Herculean task? If so, here are a few tips to help you remember the name of the latest hero to smash his way onto the big screen: he’s big, he’s brawny, he’s got a bad attitude, and he very well may have been the first superhero to ever capture the imagination of the public at large, having made his debut, oh, about 2,300 years ago. If that isn’t enough to help you remember his name, may we refer you to the trailer of his new movie, in which you may have heard him bellow, “I—AM—HERCULES!” That’s right, after a parade of movie super-characters that’s included…

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