Questions tagged [j-r-r-tolkien]

For questions about the author, J. R. R. Tolkien. For questions about his works set in his Legendarium use [tolkiens-legendarium] and any other relevant tags. For questions about any of his other works use the appropriate tag/s.

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4
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1answer
312 views

Did Tolkien ever discuss why rings were chosen? [duplicate]

With years of reading the books and watching movies, especially with the success of the Peter Jackson movies, the fact the main magical items of The Lord of the Rings are the rings seems ...
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2answers
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Why are Hobbits so fond of mushrooms?

In both the book and the movie it would seem that Hobbits are especially fond of mushrooms, sometimes braving dangers to harvest them. I have seen somewhere an interview in which Tolkien claimed he ...
2
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2answers
271 views

What was Tolkien shouting in the quad in the eponymous biopic?

In the movie Tolkien, after Tolkien is shouting drunkenly at the stars in the college quad, in one of his constructed languages. Soon after, Professor Wright says to him that he recognised some ...
82
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3answers
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Was Tolkien good at his day job?

Hopefully this is on topic here, since it is about a famous fantasy writer. Tolkien was a professor of the English language and Anglo-Saxon literature. He held two named chairs at Oxford: the ...
40
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1answer
8k views

How can these unlicensed books about Middle Earth get published legally?

Octopus Books publishes a range of books that are set in the Tolkien legendarium, from coloring books through to a range of books by David Day. They are widely available online and through retail ...
15
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1answer
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Where does Tolkien discuss his bafflement at fans wearing One Ring replicas?

I'm certain that I read a passage from Tolkien somewhere expressing how disturbed/confused he was that anyone would want to make or possess a replica of the One Ring, being as it is a symbol of evil. ...
6
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3answers
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Are there any specific examples in Lord of the Rings that are influenced by WWII?

I know that Tolkien is greatly influenced by folklore of many cultures and WWI directly. However, I wonder if there are any specific examples that show influence from WWII? The best conjecture so far ...
14
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2answers
592 views

Was Tolkien explicitly referencing C.S. Forester's “Captain Hornblower”?

In The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien named a couple of Hobbit families (Hornblower and Bracegirdle) with names that also appear in the Hornblower novels by C.S. Forester. Horatio Hornblower is ...
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1answer
415 views

Why does Tolkien not give Aragorn a duel? [closed]

This is kinda more fan service than what makes sense from a literary perspective. Aragorn's position is confirmed as a leader and not necessarily a hero or a slayer, that is true. Yet that doesn't ...
5
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2answers
398 views

Is there a full text search engine for the works of J.R.R. Tolkien?

When answering to another question on this site related to A Song of Ice and Fire by G.R.R. Martin, another user pointed out a site where it is possible to perform searches on the full texts of the ...
15
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1answer
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What did Faramir and Tolkien have in common?

It was mentioned in Faramir's wiki that (emphasis mine): Long after completing The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien would write that of all characters Faramir resembles the author most, and that he had ...
19
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1answer
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Tolkien's reaction and knowledge of Led Zeppelin using references to LOTR

The songs "The Battle Of Evermore" and "Ramble On" by Led Zeppelin have references to Lord Of the Rings. The Battle Of Evermore The pain of war cannot exceed the woe of aftermath, The drums will ...
8
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1answer
371 views

Did Tolkien ever change the meanings of his words? [closed]

Inventing a language is no easy undertaking. I can't imagine Tolkien just plucking words from the air and going with them, so I opine that he must have meticulously chosen and changed his made-up ...
6
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1answer
468 views

Does Tolkien ever speak of himself still living in Middle-Earth? [duplicate]

It has been noted in other questions and answers on this site that Tolkien's conception of Middle-Earth has an imaginative relation to Earth history. Some salient sections of Tolkien quotes from ...
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2answers
604 views

Did Tolkien ever address the translation of poetry in his works?

Background for the Question A common understanding is that translating poetry from one language to another is essentially impossible to accomplish without much compromise. The current Wikipedia ...
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1answer
1k views

Was Tolkien a driver?

J.R.R Tolkien is renowned (and occasionally mocked) for his Lord of the Ring novels in which his characters spend a very considerable time walking (and occasionally flying and riding horses) but never ...
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7answers
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In Tolkien's opinion, does Tom Bombadil (and the concept of pacifism) actually hold any power?

Before you read and reply to my musings, please bear in mind as I want to make clear, I am not trying to debate whether pacifism is good or bad in the real world, I am just putting out my ...
5
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1answer
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Did Tolkien abandon his goal to make an English mythology?

I know that at least at one point, Tolkien wanted his tales about Arda to be a sort of English mythology. However, I think that in Return of the Shadow it suggested that he eventually gave up trying ...
19
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2answers
10k views

Did C.S. Lewis create the lamp-post in response to a comment by J.R.R. Tolkien?

J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis had a pretty legendary rivalry/friendship. In particular, it's fairly well known that Tolkien aimed for "higher" fantasy, compared to Lewis. I've heard some people ...
10
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1answer
852 views

Did Tolkien invent enough Dwarvish to carry on a conversation?

I read the glossaries of the Lord of the Rings books and it said that the language spoken by the Dwarves was not spoken to others except for a few words. That got me wondering if Tolkien had ever even ...
44
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1answer
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Did Tolkien ever state that The Hobbit was a children's book?

Many people just assume that simply because The Hobbit is a lighter story than LOTR and the Silmarillion, it's a children's story, but I don't believe Tolkien himself ever said it was made for ...
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Is Eru intended as a literal representation of the Christian God?

Given that ... Tolkien is on record as saying he envisioned Middle-Earth as being a literal precusor to modern day earth "in a different stage of imagination". As a Christian, a major theme of his ...
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1answer
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Has Tolkien ever commented on the relative leadership skills of prominent Middle-Earth figures?

If we look at some of the prominent figures in Middle-Earth at the time of the War of the Ring: Theoden Denethor Aragorn Elrond Gandalf All of these are 'leaders' of one form or another, but some ...
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1answer
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What did Christopher Tolkien mean by “Tolkien's fifteenth invented language”?

I know this question would usually raise other questions as to what is considered a separate language (e.g. Qenya/Quenya, Gnomish/Sindarin, etc.). The thing is that somewhere there is an official ...
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363 views

Could Tolkien write in his languages without using a wordlist?

Were any of his languages developed enough that he could just write or even talk with them without using any kind of dictionary, wordlist, or grammar helper? In other words, did he actually know them?...
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1answer
431 views

Did Tolkien paint or sketch any artwork for the scrapped sequel to LOTR: 'The New Shadow'?

I've always liked the art that Tolkien himself produced and having only recently learned of the existence of The New Shadow, I'm wondering did he get around to painting anything for it? Obviously at ...
43
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1answer
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How many fictional languages did Tolkien create?

Tolkien created many languages. Is there any list of all the languages he invented? How many fictional languages did Tolkien create?
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Looking for a specific Tolkien quote about the benefit of allowing suffering in the world

I remember reading something in Tolkien's writings that perfectly summarized his response to the Problem of Evil (in the context of his imagined world, anyway): if God (or Eru) is perfectly good, why ...
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3answers
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How did Tolkien's personal opinion concerning evolution affect his work?

In Tolkien's universe there are examples of evolution (e.g. hobbits originate from humans) as well as creation (e.g. dwarves made by Aule). What do we know about Tolkien's personal opinion ...
48
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2answers
4k views

Did Tolkien think about language evolution when the speakers are immortal?

Tolkien, being a linguist, designed his fictional languages rather carefully. Quenya and Sindarin were closely related, having both descended from the primordial speech of the elves. Tolkien, of ...
3
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1answer
319 views

Did Tolkien liken Aragorn to a wolf?

I seem to recall from somewhere that Tolkien likened Aragorn to a type of animal, I think a wolf, but I can't for the life of me remember where he may have said this. Did Tolkien actually make a ...
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6answers
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Did Tolkien create any characters based on people he knew?

Tolkien had a lot of influence from religion, mythology and geography as mentioned here to create what seems like an entire literary universe. It's also not uncommon for authors to be influenced by ...
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2answers
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What was the first story set in or about Middle Earth that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote?

Many books and stories were written by Tolkien and later edited by his son Christopher, but which one was the very first of all of his Middle Earth stories?
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Did Tolkien ever explain why he mentioned Gondolin in The Hobbit?

In The Hobbit, the most obvious reference Tolkien included to his already-extant legendarium was to the story of the fall of Gondolin. The swords Orcrist and Glamdring were identified (by Elrond) as ...
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3answers
9k views

How did J.R.R. Tolkien learn about the events of his books? (In-Universe)

So, according to Tolkien, all his Middle-earth novels take place in the real world, about 6,000 years before they were released. So my question is, did he ever state how he learned of the history of ...
34
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1answer
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Did Tolkien have Pippin die originally?

According to the movie mistakes website for Return of the King, it is mentioned that Tolkien had Pippin originally killed off at the Battle of the Black Gates. He was persuaded by his dear friend C.S. ...
36
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2answers
5k views

Which of his races did Tolkien draw?

This question isn't as broad as it might appear at first glance. I've seen drawings of dragons, Dwarves, Trolls, and Hobbits by Tolkien, and I'm primarily interested in only a few other races. He ...
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2answers
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Did Tolkien create Gandalf the White out of regret for killing off Gandalf the Grey?

Are there any notes from Tolkien hinting at the possibility that Gandalf the Grey being killed was in fact the end of Gandalf, but was brought back out of regret (or even necessity)? I'm particularly ...
17
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2answers
5k views

What do Orcs and Trolls actually look like, or rather how did Tolkien imagine them?

Bear with me, while the question seems sort of ridiculous because the movie of Jackson and fantasy-role playing games presented them in detail, in fact the original Tolkien does not describe their ...
17
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1answer
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What does Tolkien say about Ancalagon's physical appearance, especially his size?

Questions like this one dealing with Ancalagon in particular, and Middle-earth's dragons in general, clearly show that Ancalagon was ridiculously, absurdly, unimaginably enormous. The non-canonical ...
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1answer
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What is Tolkien trying to say in this letter?

In a draft of a letter, later recorded as #246, Tolkien makes a strange statement. I am interested in the first few sentences of the letter, but I will include the remainder for the sake of context. ...
6
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1answer
376 views

Does a transcription of Tolkien's handwriting in this image exist? (Part 3)

I wasn't going to do this, but the first two questions were so popular that I think we can go for the hat trick. The full size image is available here. Note: Once again, I can't ask you to ...
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2answers
5k views

Does a transcription of Tolkien's handwriting in this image exist? (Part 2)

Following on the success we had transcribing the text in the image on this question, I am hoping that lightning will strike twice. This image contains far more text, and is even less legible. It ...
17
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1answer
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Does a transcription of Tolkien's handwriting in this image exist?

In his answer to another question I asked here, Jason Baker included the following image, taken from a page of Tolkien's "Synoptic Time Scheme for The Lord of the Rings". We had some difficulty ...
16
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1answer
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Did Tolkien ever write that Sauron killed Shagrat?

Many wiki entries, as well as many other sources about Shagrat (one of the Orc captains who captured Frodo outside Shelob's lair) say he was killed by Sauron shortly after Frodo's escape. In the ...
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1answer
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Did Tolkien ever discuss his views of heroism?

Reading The Lord of the Rings, and reading about it (especially here), I get the impression that Tolkien perceived heroism to be inextricably intertwined with several other virtues, including mercy, ...
5
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1answer
561 views

Did Tolkien deliberately place the Battle of the Pelennor Fields on the Ides of March?

I just realized that the Battle of the Pelennor Fields (aka the Battle of Minas Tirith) occurs on March 15th, or the infamous "Ides of March". The Ides of March was originally nothing more than a day ...
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2answers
2k views

Do we know what Tolkien meant when he used the word “weapontake”?

In the book The Return of the King, Tolkien uses a word that is obscure and archaic, even for a philologist who reveled in obscure and archaic words. The context is that King Theoden and his Rohirrim ...
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5answers
4k views

Did Tolkien originally intend to write a very different Lord of the Rings?

Lord of the Rings is a big story with a dramatic buildup. At first it seems like the quest would unfold in a The Hobbit-like manner, with an eclectic band on a journey of adventure, but the story gets ...
27
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3answers
7k views

Why did Tolkien reverse the more common traditional genders assigned to the sun and moon?

In most cultures throughout history, from ancient Rome to China, from the Americas to Africa, there has been a general trend (although there have been plenty of exceptions) in assigning a gender to ...