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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As of now, who determines what is canon in the Tolkien universe? [duplicate]

With the debut of “Rings of Power,” I want to know whether the idea of “canon” exists in the Tolkien universe, and if so, who determines canon at this point in time?
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7 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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9 votes
2 answers
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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, ...
7 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
-2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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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?
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26 votes
3 answers
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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/...
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38 votes
1 answer
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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'...
28 votes
3 answers
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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. ...
9 votes
0 answers
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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 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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8 answers
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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 ...
8 votes
2 answers
914 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 ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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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. ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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3 answers
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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 ...
11 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
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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 ...
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1 answer
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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
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
36 votes
2 answers
12k views

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 votes
2 answers
414 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 ...
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 ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
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1 answer
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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. ...
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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 ...
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18 votes
2 answers
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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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1 answer
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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 ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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16 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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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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2 answers
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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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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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7 answers
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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 ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
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2 answers
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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 ...
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Did Tolkien invent enough Dwarvish to carry on a conversation? [duplicate]

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