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Revisiting Tolkien on his 132nd. birthday

Strangers from distant lands! On January 3rd, 1892, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born. He was both a sophisticated writer and a professor of classical and old English literature at Oxford University. Throughout the many years of his life, he developed a fictional world known to fans as Tolkien’s legendarium. He described it in works such as The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion. His works continued to be published post-mortem by his son, Christopher Tolkien, and many companies and writers took it upon themselves to capture Tolkien’s stories in different media, such as film, video games, and TV series. Thus, this article aims to revisit the classic works of Professor Tolkien and review the upcoming media grounded in his world.

2023 can be marked as a year of the resurgence of interest in John Tolkien’s works, and this trend is bound to continue in 2024. Although the initial wave of new media connected to Tolkien’s legendarium invoked mixed feelings in fans, the upcoming one may turn out to be much better.

Why are the works of J.R.R. Tolkien still highly revered today?

Despite the fact that the first story describing the place also known as „Middle-Earth”, The Hobbit, was published over 80 years ago, the fictional world devised by Professor Tolkien to this day still captivates the minds of countless readers. Each and every reader finds different parts of those stories fascinating, and there is no way to enumerate all of them. Some point out that the histories and characters presented in the books hold a lot of relevance in the modern world. Others feel enamoured with the masterfully crafted fictional world.

The fans recognize the three main works that tell the majority of Tolkien’s legendarium’s story to be The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. Those three hide an array of hidden meanings under the guise of fiction. Stories inspired by the Bible play out in a world constructed as a combination of various ancient Germanic myths. This displays the mastery of old English and ancient Germanic mythology, which clearly has its roots in Tolkien’s academic career.

What are the original stories about?

Most people are aware of the adventures of characters like Frodo Baggins or his uncle Bilbo, but there are a load of other stories connected to the fictional world created by Professor Tolkien. The grand story that spans through all the works is one of heroism and virtue. The idea of small things being essential to achieving great deeds is frequently brought up.

The Sillmarilion


The Silmarilion is a combination of various stories that were never published by J.R.R. Tolkien himself. In his stead, his son Christopher took it upon himself to finish his father’s work. The book contains Tolkien’s legendarium’s creation myth, which is based on the one many of us know from the Bible. It also tells many stories, which led to more known narratives like The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings. The narrative is constructed like a myth. It was written in a very specific style. The various stories are sometimes loosely connected to each other. However, there is one chief connecting element to them all, the titular „Silmarils.” Those are three masterfully crafted gems that were stollen by the fallen servant of this world’s divine being.

The Hobbit


The Hobbit, which was originally thought up by Tolkien as a story for his children, is the story of Bilbo Baggins, a fairly insignificant inhabitant of the Shire who joins in on an adventure with a party of Dwarves in order to help them reclaim their home. It is in this story that J.R.R. revealed his fictional world to the world for the first time. Although it is only a single book, it reveals a wide array of creatures, stories, myths, languages, and characters that populate Middle-Earth.

The Lord of the Rings


Finally, there is The Lord of the Rings. A three-book spanning narrative that was originally supposed to be divided into six tomes. It tells the well-known story of „The One Ring.” It is here that Tolkien revealed the huge amount of work he dedicated to creating his world. For this book, the writer developed several new, standalone fictional languages, calendars, maps, and drawings. Moreover, the trilogy is connected to The Hobbit. It frequently mentions the characters and places from the previous publication. In this way, the legendarium was created.

The state of Tolkien’s legendarium in 2024

A controversial TV show

The Lord of the Rings: Ring of Power logo [fot.:]

Recently, fans of Tolkien’s writings have observed an increase in interest in his works. In 2023, Amazon released The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power. This attempt at creating a TV series grounded in Middle-Earth received multiple negative reviews from fans themselves. The show was criticized for its incoherent narrative and being very loose in terms of following the story presented in the books. The fact that it was created solely based on the appendices to the last part of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, whereas the story it tries to tell was mainly written in The Silmarillion, did not help. For better or for worse, the show is going to continue in 2024.

A promising animation

Concept art of the show The Lord of the Rings: War of the Rohhirim [fot.:]

Fortunately, April 2024 will bring about the release of The Lord of the Rings: War of the Rohhirim. The fans have high hopes for this production. New Line Cinema, Warner Brothers Animation, and Sola Digital Arts are the three studios responsible for the production of the show. New Line Cinema is the company that produced the beloved, original The Lord of the Rings movies directed by Peter Jackson.

A cozy game

Tolkien’s universe has a known and grounded tradition in the world of video games. However, there is only one game scheduled for release in 2024. This is Tales of the Shire. Unfortunately, not much is known about this game as of now. The game seems to have a light tone and be focused around Hobbits, the folk living in the titular Shire. The game will be released on both PCs and consoles.

The official teaser of Tales of the


The renewed interest in J.R.R. Tolkien’s works brings a lot of hope for further developments in the audiovisual field. There are still many stories to be adapted. There is even plenty of room for original and new creations. However, the key to success will certainly be the close cooperation with the fans and people that have been engaged in these stories for many years.

Also check out the NCU’s „cuddly psychologist.”

[fot.:Haywood Magee]