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Before

Kayleigh, age 11

King Arthur and the Sword

             Arthur was a young boy living in London town with his father, Sir Ector, and his brother, Sir Kay. On this day everyone was heading to the church because it was Christmas, which was a very important event. As they walked they murmured among themselves about Merlin the wizard’s prediction. He had proclaimed that one person might be known as the rightful king of England in the church that day.

Of course everyone had come because they wanted to be crowned king. They all went into the church but in the middle of the sermon a brilliant, blinding light flashed outside. As they rushed outside, they wondered aloud “What could that be?!” There in the snow was a pure white stone, and in it was a jeweled sword. On the stone it said  “Whoever may remove this sword is born the rightful King.” Everyone eagerly tugged at the sword but it remained firmly embedded in the stone. Everyone tried to remove it that is, except  Arthur.

It was decided to have a joust the next day. Afterward, they would all try to pull out the sword again. Arthur served as Kay’s assistant, as Kay wanted to be king too. But Arthur soon realized that he had forgotten Kay’s sword. He was sent back to get it but on his way he grabbed the sword from the stone instead. He rushed back and gave it to Kay, who realized where it was from. Everyone quickly went to the church to see if Arthur really had pulled the sword from the stone. They all tried again to pull it out but only Arthur could do it.  Arthur was then crowned king that very day and was loved by all as the best king of England.

After

Kayleigh, age 14

Brilliant Throughout Time

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. Joanne Kathleen Rowling. Titled as two of the greatest authors of all time. J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth and J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter have held a certain fascination in readers for many years. After being featured in phenomenal, award-winning movie series, both of which became masterpieces of the film world, they became unforgettable. Seemingly, the two places have nothing in common, yet manage to have a few similar characteristics in geography, inhabitants, and magic. While Middle Earth and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter have similar qualities, they are also quite different.

Geographically speaking, both worlds are comparable. Middle-earth’s geography consists of several countries. Lying to the south is the great Dunedain kingdom of Gondor, ruled by Denethor, the steward, until the absent king comes again, and is bordered by Mordor to the east. Uncharted, wild places are the northern lands. To the east lies the great sea, over which the elves came, and will one day cross again to return to their homelands of Valinor and Numenor. The heart of the great continent is filled by the Lost Kingdom of Arnor, the Shire, and the sprawling kingdom of Rohan, ruled by Theoden, King. The Wizarding World is hidden within our own, but the story of Harry Potter takes place mainly in England and Scotland. Both stories have separate countries, some real, some fictional. This is why Middle-Earth’s and the Wizarding World’s geography is similar, but their inhabitants are also comparable.

The inhabitants, in addition to geography, of Middle-Earth and the Wizarding World are interestingly comparable. Inhabiting Middle-Earth, you will find elves, who are noble forest-dwellers, dwarves, preferring to stay hidden within the depths of their mines, orcs, which are creatures of elven descent, goblins, which are evil creatures of the earth, Uruk-hai, strange, cross-bred mixes of orcs and goblins, trolls, hobbits, which are short elf-like beings, giant spiders, men, and a single eye, the form of Sauron the Dark Lord. Interestingly enough, the Wizarding World is actually home to a wider variety of races, including wizards and witches, house-elves, vampires, werewolves, banshees, ghosts, and giant spiders, just to name a few. The inhabitants of the two locations have similarities as well. As an example, both worlds have giant spiders, though different types, and elves, though Middle-Earthian lore tells us that the elves who dwell in it’s forests are peaceful yet strong warriors should the need arise. In the world of magic, house-elves are another story entirely, as they are creatures who, along with their descendants, are bound to the family they serve forever, or until they are given clothes by their master. Clothes, even the prospect of them, are feared by most house-elves, as they enjoy being enslaved. The inhabitants and magic of Middle-Earth and the Wizarding World are interestingly similar.

A third comparable topic of Middle-Earth and the Wizarding World is the magic used in each, by the inhabitants, or otherwise. The main source of magic and power in Middle-Earth is a group of 5 wizards, a race known as the Istari, of which only three are named. Within the hidden realms of the elves, there lies a similar magic, used to make elves immortal beings, touched by neither age nor time. Unfortunately, a dark force is rising from the land of Mordor, threatening to plunge Middle-Earth into eternal darkness from which there is no escape. Using the One Ring of power, the Dark Lord Sauron is that force, in the form of a single eye, suspended over Barad-dur in Mordor. Filled with a magic used by all witches and wizards, the Wizarding World is facing a similar threat; the Dark Lord Voldemort is attempting to take over the world, using his vast army of Death Eaters, with none to oppose him. Or almost none. The hidden and elusive Order of the Phoenix is doing their best to bring down Lord Voldemort, with Harry Potter destroying his precious, broken soul piece by piece. Magical in ways that none can truly understand, each world has similar powers.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendary Middle-Earth and J.K. Rowling’s fantastical Wizarding World both hold a certain power in the hearts and minds of readers. In each place is the setting for the classic story of a battle for freedom between good and evil, and is similar in geography, inhabitants, and magic. Penned by fabulous authors, each world and story, though places of fantasy, legend, and lore, also holds similarities to our own world, and that is the most important thing to realize. Unsurprisingly, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, along with The Hobbit, and the Harry Potter series are truly incredible works of art, and will be remembered throughout the generations as two of the most brilliant stories of all time.

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