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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19 votes
2 answers
2k views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
560 views

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: Théoden Denethor Aragorn Elrond Gandalf All of these are 'leaders' of one form or another, but some ...
7 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is there a longer audio clip than this where Tolkien discusses the Eagles?

I was linked to this today: At first, I assumed that it was faked/cut together, but now I think it's real, and that he really did say this while alive. I never knew ...
7 votes
1 answer
681 views

Where has Tolkien's Second Age material been published?

A new Tolkien collection, The Fall of Númenor, is due to be published in a few months. It will contain all of the second age material. I believe this will all be reprints. Aside from The Silmarillion ...
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did Sam really plan to attack the orcs in Shelob's lair in the very end of The Two Towers?

‘He’s going out of harm’s way, I tell you,’ answered Shagrat. ‘See? He’s precious. I don’t trust all my lads, and none of yours; nor you neither, when you’re mad for fun. He’s going where I want him, ...
13 votes
1 answer
254 views

Were there other literary topics that were covered by the Inklings?

I have read that J.R.R. Tolkien's Númenórean legend in the form of The Lost Road and the Out of the Silent Planet series by C.S. Lewis took shape from deciding on topics in their writing group, the ...
-2 votes
1 answer
185 views

What exactly did Galadriel fear/know/assume would happen if she had accepted the Ring? [duplicate]

A frustrating part is where Frodo actually (sort of) offers the Ring to Galadriel. She appears to laugh and find it almost funny, and fight some internal battle against herself, until her "good ...
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

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 list....
3 votes
4 answers
2k views

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 Aulë). What do we know about Tolkien's personal opinion concerning ...
59 votes
12 answers
37k views

Was Elrond, in Tolkien's opinion, more inherently powerful than Galadriel?

I always thought it was the other way around, but then I read this (Letter 246): "Of the others only Gandalf might be expected to master him – being an emissary of the Powers and a creature of ...
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did Bag End have a second door?

This is a map of Bag End from The Atlas of Middle-earth (found here.) There's a door at the end of the tunnel. Is it mentioned in the books? Or is the map not accurate?
56 votes
3 answers
27k views

Is "Lord of the Rings" a trilogy of books in Tolkien's opinion?

Is "Lord of the Rings" a trilogy of books? It was published as 3 separate books, but can it be called a trilogy? Was it intended to be a trilogy by Tolkien himself? The question arose in comment ...
26 votes
3 answers
4k views

How can the bear-man refer to a "Jack-in-the-box" in The Hobbit?

The Hobbit is supposedly set waaay back in our world. Yet, Beorn refers to "jack-in-the-box" as in the toy, when the dwarves show up in pairs. How can this be? How can anyone in that world/...
8 votes
2 answers
863 views

Why did Tolkien hate John Lennon?

I read this old question today and was surprised to learn of this: At the end of 1968 there were reports that the Beatles might be involved with a proposed film of The Lord of the Rings. On 7 January ...
31 votes
9 answers
13k views

Is Tolkien prejudiced against the East?

In Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings series, there are generally two groups of Men. The good ones are coming from the West (Dúnedain, Men of the West), and the bad ones, the Easterlings, mostly fight ...
38 votes
1 answer
6k views

Looking for a picture of the doll that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to invent Tom Bombadil

English Literature Professor Jane Beal, in her article "Who is Tom Bombadil?: Interpreting the Light in Frodo Baggins and Tom Bombadil's Role in the Healing of Traumatic Memory in J.R.R. Tolkien'...
46 votes
2 answers
9k 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 ...
27 votes
3 answers
26k views

In what context did Tolkien say "evil cannot create anything new"?

Evil cannot create anything new, they can only corrupt and ruin what good forces have invented or made. I see this quote a lot in the comments under the new Amazon The Rings of Power teaser trailer. ...
13 votes
6 answers
2k views

What does JRR Tolkien say about the Elves (and other non-Human Races) and Free Will?

The Silmarillion has the following to say about Men and their specialness: Therefore he willed that the hearts of Men should seek beyond the world and should find no rest therein; but they should ...
71 votes
6 answers
11k views

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 ...
9 votes
0 answers
192 views

Did Tolkien actually use asterisms in the Lord of the Rings?

I own a version of The Fellowship of the Ring that I'm enjoying a lot, and now that I'm nearing the end I thought I might as well buy an ebook on Amazon containing all three books so I can go on with ...
11 votes
2 answers
903 views

Why is Bilbo's door and Hobbit house so incredibly oversized in Tolkien's own final illustration in The Hobbit?

Tolkien was a good artist to say the least. He did not have problems with perspective and whatnot in the other illustrations he made for The Hobbit, so that can't really be the explanation. Yet, the ...
5 votes
1 answer
434 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 ...
20 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
779 views

Are elves born in Valinor after the year of the trees Calaquendi?

Calaquendi are the group of elves in Tolkien’s Legendarium that beheld the light of the two trees in Valinor. It consists of the Vanyar, Noldor, Falmari, and Thingol out of all Umanyar. Can the status ...
22 votes
8 answers
13k views

Why is the number of orcs thousands instead of millions in "The Lord of the Rings"?

I know that Tolkien served in World War I, in which more than 20 million died. And he also witnessed World War II, in which more than 70 million people died. So why did Tolkien limit the number on ...
5 votes
3 answers
4k views

What meaning(s) or message(s), if any, was Tolkien trying to convey with his books?

What overall meaning or message, if any, was Tolkien trying to convey with each of his books (The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, LOTR)?
211 votes
5 answers
243k views

Did Tolkien really explicitly consider Sam the true hero of The Lord of the Rings?

Quoting from Crouching Moron Hidden Badass: Literature on TVTropes (TVTropes link alert!!! Don't tell me I didn't warn you!): Perhaps even more aptly: Samwise Gamgee. His name roughly translates to ...
26 votes
2 answers
5k views

Did Tolkien give Thranduil his name?

I am aware that during the writing of The Hobbit, Tolkien must not have had much in mind for a large universe, as he was simply writing a children's book. Therefore, Thranduil was simply named 'the ...
19 votes
2 answers
3k views

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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
517 views

Does The Nature of Middle-Earth contain new stories or just lore?

Recently a new book containing material by J. R. R. Tolkien was published, edited by Carl F. Hostetter. From looking at the table of contents in the Amazon preview, it seems the book contains mostly ...
8 votes
1 answer
448 views

Has Tolkien ever commented on the similarity between the name "Baggins" and the French word for "ring"?

There is some discussion on the origins of the name Baggins in this question. However, it only revolves around whether or not it is related to Bilbo being a thief, and I am interested in something ...
7 votes
1 answer
968 views

What did Tolkien really mean by "we being in 1960 of the 7th Age"?

The quote is from the Nature of Middle Earth p39. since that is only - we being in 1960 of the 7th Age - 16000 years ago: total about 80,000 It appears the editor dates the text from 1960 A.D. ...
3 votes
1 answer
272 views

When does Tolkien use "is come" and when does he use "has come"?

I've noticed that sometimes Tolkien uses the older version "is come" (i.e. replacing the auxiliary verb "to have" with the auxiliary verb "to be", as was the custom for ...
-7 votes
3 answers
394 views

J. R. R. Tolkien's name: What is the meaning of "Ronald" and "Reuel"? [closed]

Could somebody explain how the words "Ronald" and "Reuel" in Tolkien's name are classified? John Ronald Reuel Tolkien John - given name aka first name Tolkien - surname aka ...
0 votes
1 answer
566 views

Is there a Tolkien "church"?

I once remember, long ago, finding a "church" that believes Tolkien wasn't writing fiction, but history, as archangel Gabriel dictated it to him. This "church" believes that everything Tolkien wrote ...
18 votes
2 answers
966 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 ...
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

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 ...
38 votes
1 answer
10k views

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. ...
59 votes
7 answers
8k views

Was Tolkien the first to invent languages purely for fictional works?

Imaginary languages are now par for the course in fantasy literature: sometimes called something like 'the old tongue' or 'the ancient language', sometimes the languages of different types of being or ...
11 votes
1 answer
567 views

Why did Tolkien italicise ‘cram’?

In The Hobbit (or at least in my edition, HarperCollins 2011), the word ‘cram’ is italicised wherever it appears. Cram is (as according to Chapter XIII, Not at Home) biscuitish, keeps good ...
46 votes
2 answers
5k views

Who wrote Tolkien's riddles?

In The Hobbit chapter 5, Riddles in the Dark, were the riddles composed by Tolkien himself? I always assumed either that they were, since he seemed to have a knack for writing poetry, or that they ...
2 votes
0 answers
82 views

Did J. R. R. Tolkien actually use to say that "Middle-earth was really the ancient history of the real planet Earth"? [duplicate]

There was the also the fact that Tolkien, in later years, apparently gave up the conceit that Middle-earth was really the ancient history of the real planet Earth. This was said in a comment/answer ...
22 votes
1 answer
5k views

Are Hobbits related (distant or no) to Elves?

I have read the LOTR trilogy more than once. I feel (from many nuances and some plain text of Tolkien's) that halflings are distantly related to Elves, perhaps descending from common lineage. Whether ...
5 votes
0 answers
112 views

How clear is it that Tolkien chose the 25th of March for the downfall of Sauron because of its Christian significance? [duplicate]

The downfall of Sauron and the end of the War of the Ring occurred on the 25th of March in the year 3019 of the Third Age. Many scholars and critics have speculated that Tolkien chose this date ...
44 votes
1 answer
15k views

Did Tolkien ever state that The Hobbit was a children's book? [duplicate]

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 ...
86 votes
3 answers
18k views

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 ...
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the meaning of Tolkien regarding the legend of King Arthur?

In the letter J.R.R. Tolkien wrote to Milton Waldan, he wrote: Also – and here I hope I shall not sound absurd – I was from early days grieved by the poverty of my own beloved country: it had no ...
19 votes
1 answer
4k views

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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
606 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 ...