An Inside Look at an Amateur Tolkien Collection (Guest Post by Nicole @ Thoughts Stained with Ink)

Every year on March 25, the anniversary of the Downfall of Sauron, the Tolkien Society hosts Tolkien Reading Day. This year’s theme selected by the Tolkien Society is Love and Friendship. The primary goal is to promote the reading of the works of J.R R. Tolkien! To celebrate, Pages Unbound will be hosting two weeks of Tolkien-related posts. In addition to our own thoughts, we will be featuring a number of guest posts!

Tolkien Collection

I am so excited to guest post today at Pages Unbound! Thank you so much for having me, Briana and Krysta!

For those who might not know me, my name is Nicole and I blog at Thoughts Stained With Ink. I’m a queer SFF writer, blogger, reader and editor who owes my lifelong love of the fantastic, in great part, due to the contributions Tolkien made in my childhood. I grew up with the films as they were released, which caused me to fall in love with the books. It created an obsession that I still love to this day, as you can see with what I’m going to share with you all: my amateur Tolkien collection.

One quick caveat: you do not need to own a lot of collectibles to consider yourself a fan, no matter the fandom. It is also okay to collect things, while also recognizing that not everyone has the means to (and, most of my own collection has been gifts given by my family for over a decade). So, please be kind.

For my collection, it’s split into a couple of different areas: books, art and figurines, memorabilia and other miscellaneous artwork.

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As an arguably life-long fan of Tolkien’s work, it might not surprise you that I own a lot of books written by him. But, thanks to the worldwide fame that Tolkien’s work gathered, there is also plenty of other works: whether it’s books diving into his world and writing process, scholarship or the History of Middle-earth series, continued by his son, the late Christopher Tolkien; well, there’s plenty to choose from. Hence, the entire bookcase’s worth of books.

Some of the favorites that I own include:

  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy, illustrated by Alan Lee
  • Four book set I got while visiting Oxford, where Tolkien was a professor
  • An omnibus edition of LOTR that a friend gave me in college


So, I may rip away my status as a Tolkien fan as soon as I’ve declared it, but I love the films more than the books. (I said what I said.) So, when Weta started making memorabilia for the films, these became very coveted items in my mind, many which I couldn’t afford (and still can’t). To the Christmas list they went and my parents (i.e., my Mom) very kindly try to get me one thing a year. Some of the most affordable things were the art prints, which I am so thankful for. They are gorgeous and some of my

favorite things I’ve ever owned. They feature artwork from both the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogies.

My favorite has to be my Smaug and Balrog prints.


As you can see, I also have a smattering of random collectibles! Some are precious beyond gold, like the two different cross stitches two different friends made me—one of a hobbit hole and one of the sigil of Gondor. Not to mention the homemade hobbit door my sister made me!! Others are more common, like Funko Pops (I didn’t think I’d like Funko Pops at first, but I’m into them!), the One Ring replicas or really cool random artwork from small creators I’ve collected from places like the Renaissance Festival or Etsy. No matter their rarity, however, they all mean the world.

But my favorites, once again, are from Weta Workshop (and courtesy of my Mom). I saved up a lot of money to get a display cabinet for the most “collector-y” of the bunch, but it brings me nothing but absolute joy every time I’m in my office.

In Sum

I hope you enjoyed this very brief glance into some of the things that make me an absolute nerd, while also highlighting my love for Tolkien. He’s by no means an unproblematic author. His racism and his lack of female or queer characters stain his legacy and his character. Yet, his stories and their messages of hope are foundational to me and will always hold a place in my heart, helping me fall in love with stories and choose to (attempt) to break into an industry where we work to create more inclusive stories than the father of fantasy himself ever did.

Thank you so much for reading and thank you, Briana and Krysta, for hosting me once more. Namárië!

7 thoughts on “An Inside Look at an Amateur Tolkien Collection (Guest Post by Nicole @ Thoughts Stained with Ink)

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