A ring-forging workshop has opened at the start of a seven-day festival dedicated to legendary UK author J. R. R. Tolkien in south Germany. Organizers say "Tolkien Days" offers more than fun and games.
Fantasy fans gathered in Tübingen on Monday for the opening of the "Tolkien Days" festival, with hundreds of guests expected to visit dozens of events over the next seven days.
"It's not merely about consumption, it's about making something," organizer Wolfgang Wettach said.
In addition to seven-part ring-forging event, visitors can train archery and sword fighting, study creative writing, present their own stories in a "story slam" competition, as well as see stage plays dedicated to various fantasy sagas, including Harry Potter.
The focus of the festival, however, will be on the world of Middle Earth created by J. R. R. Tolkien, as well as its incarnations in "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" movies. Some of the events will also show parody movies targeting the fantasy blockbusters.
On Monday, "Tolkien Days" organizer Wolfgang Wettach said that the festival was not just about escapism.
"I am not trying to escape from this world, I am trying to reshape it," he was quoted in newspaper die Welt as saying.
Going strong since 1987
The Tolkien-themed festival has been held every five years since 1987 in the southern German town.
The British novelist first the children novel "The Hobbit, or There and Back Again" in 1937, with three tomes of "Lord of the Rings" following in the 1950s. While the books remained popular with the readers ever since, Tolkien's characters became much more widely known through the two movie trilogies directed by New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson in 2000s and 2010s.
While the writer passed away in 1973, his son Christopher Tolkien has continued to edit and publish writings based on his father's notes and ideas.