Fun Facts about J.R.R. Tolkien
1. He translated Catholic prayers such as the Hail Mary, Our Father, and the Litany of Loreto into Quenya.
2. Tolkien was disappointed that in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a real forest does not come to fight the titular character. This disappointment may have been part of the inspiration for Tolkien’s own living, marching trees, the Ents.
3. Ursula K. Le Guin once wrote that she was initially wary of reading The Lord of the Rings, but once she did, the only authors she cannot count her rereads for became Dickens, Tolstoy, and Tolkien.
4. Tolkien wrote in a letter that, “as far as any character is ‘like me’ it is Faramir.”
5. Tolkien’s friends and wife called him Ronald.
6. He served as captain of the rugby team at school and once broke his nose during a game.
7. The first edition of The Hobbit (1937) featured cover art by Tolkien himself.
8. Tolkien’s fiction works published during his lifetime included: The Hobbit, Farmer Giles of Ham, The Lord of the Rings, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, Tree and Leaf, Smith of Wooton Major, The Road Goes Ever On, and The Tolkien Reader. The rest were published posthumously.
9. Tolkien himself did not have a dog, but he liked them enough (and more than cats) to feature them in multiple stories.
10. He was not considered a good speaker when he lectured, but his students thought he shone when he quoted texts and declared that he could make a lecture room feel like a mead hall.
- The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings, page 20. ISBN: 978-0-374-53625-1.
- The Magical Words of the Lord of the Rings, page 39. ISBN: 0-425-18771-3.
- A Reader’s Companion to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, page 115.
- The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, page 232. ISBN: 0-395-31555-7.
- Tolkien: A Biography by Michael White, page 14. ISBN:0-451-21242-8.
- Tolkien: A Biography by Michael White, page 41. ISBN:0-451-21242-8.
- Paste Magazine: “The Hobbit Book Covers.”
- Meditations on Middle-Earth edited by Karen Haber, page 132. ISBN: 0-312-27536-6.
- The Bark: “Tolkien’s Dogs” by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.
- J. R. R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth by Bradley J. Birzer.