As you’ve no doubt heard, The Hobbit (first published in 1937) will soon be coming to a theater near you. Not once, but three times.
Then how will they get three movies out of it?
Look at the end of the final LoTR volume, The Return of the King – there are six appendices that could furnish a lot of material:
- Appendix A: Annals of the Kings and Rulers — More about Aragorn, and kings and heirs of Gondor, Isildur, and other realms
- Appendix B: The Tale of Years — Marvelous details about the First, Second, and Third Ages (the last of which ended with the defeat of Sauron)
- Appendix C: Family Trees — Including those of Baggins, Took, and Brandybuck
- Appendix D: Shire Calendar — First of all, every year begins on the first day of the week, which is Saturday
- Appendix E: Writing and Spelling — Includes pronunciation
- Appendix F: The Languages and the Peoples of the Third Age — Background about elvish, dwarvish, and other tongues, including the Black Speech of the Orcs
Amazing! This man was obviously very devoted to this world he created.
He was indeed. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) loved languages, literature, and mythology; he even wrote a book about the legend of Beowulf. Since about 1915, he had been constructing the story which would eventually become The Silmarillion, as well as the languages used by the people in those tales. This book was finally published in 1977 by Tolkien’s son Christopher. (By the way, you can’t beat the excellent Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for information about anyone who “shaped British history and culture…from the Romans to the 21st century.”)
Several of the elder Tolkien’s friends, including C.S. Lewis (perhaps best known for his Chronicles of Narnia), encouraged him to complete the Lord of the Rings epic, which Tolkien began writing at age 44.
In addition to the aforementioned appendices, there are rumors about other material that may be used in the movies, such as events mentioned in The Hobbit but not elaborated upon, and some of The Silmarillion. We’ll just have to wait and see.
What materials does JHU have about Tolkien and his works?
We have a lot! Put the single word tolkien(remember that the library catalog is not case-sensitive) into the search box, and you get 147 results.
Wow, did he write that much?
No, he didn’t – the results include 134 books that are mostly *about* Tolkien and/or his works (11 of which are e-books), as well as 5 non-musical recordings (including J.R.R. reading and singing his works, and his son Christopher reading one), 3 films, 3 serials, and even a musical score.
To see the list of languages, authors, topics, and other information about our Tolkien holdings, use the list of filters on the left.
How soon should I review The Hobbit, the appendices to The Return of the King, and The Silmarillion, so that I’m prepared for the movies?
Start now! The first one, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will be out this December (2012)! In December 2013 will come The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug; and finally in July 2014, The Hobbit: There and Back Again.