JRR Tolkien is one of the most popular writers in the world and his books have sold in millions of copies, even after the writer’s death. His most famous works include the fantasy masterpieces “Lord of the Rings” and the “Hobbit”. Both books have been adapted into hugely popular movies by Peter Jackson and managed to become two of the most successful blockbusters of all time. We want to take you for a journey into this fascinating world and reveal some great facts about JRR Tolkien books. These fun facts include details about the writer’s biography, the books and the movie adaptations.
10. Lord of the Rings is Not a Trilogy
The Lord of the Rings books were not intended as a trilogy but as single novel. It came out in 3 volumes because at that time the paper was expensive and the publishers had to cover the expensive of the paper for the other books. So the publishing house released the first book called The Fellowship of the Ring. Then the other two books followed: The Two Towers and The Return of the King. The first book was published in 1954.
9. The Elvish Language Was Not Invented Especially for the Book
Supposedly J.R.R. Tolkien did not invent the famous Elvish language for the Lord of the Rings timeline but rather the other way around. He needed a background story for the languages he created. One of the Elvish languages is called Sindarin and as of 2008 it contained more than 25000 words.
8. Lord of the Rings Beatles Version
On our list of awesome facts about the JRR Tolkien books we had to mention that the Beatles wanted to make adapt the Lord of the Rings in a movie directed by Stanley Kubrick. The band would play the main characters: Paul McCartney would have been Frodo, John Lennon as Gollum, Ringo Starr as Sam and George Harrison as Gandalf. The Beatles actually talked to Tolkien but he didn’t like the idea. Also, Kubrick refused saying that the books cannot really be made into movies.
7. The Only Actor Who Met Tolkien Is Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee played the character of Saruman in the movie adaptations of the Tolkien books and he is the only cast member to have met the writer. Christopher Lee talked about the meeting in an interview:
“I met him with a group of other people in a pub in Oxford he used to go to, The Eagle and Child. I was very much in awe of him, as you can imagine, so I just said, “how do you do?”
6. The Hobbit
One of the very first books by JRR Tolkien, actually The Hobbit was Tolkiens first novel, was published in 1937 by Allen & Unwin. It was printed in 1,500 copies and sold out by December. Supposedly, before publishing it, one of the publishers asked his son to write a review which would help determine if the book would be published or not. The boy wrote a positive review.
5. Tolkien Revised the Hobbit
Tolkien revised The Hobbit in order to make the story work better with his next book, Lord of the Rings. Tolkien had written again some of the scenes between Gollum and Bilbo and the changes could be seen in the second edition of The Hobbit published in 1951.
4. There Are No Women Characters in The Hobbit
In one of the best JRR Tolkien books, The Hobbit, Tolkien hasn’t created any female characters. The only female character mentioned is the mother of Bilbo, Belladonna Took.
3. Tolkien’s Son Doesn’t Like the Movie Adaptations
Christopher Tolkien, the son of one of the most popular writers on earth, JR R Tolkien, said in an interview that he does not like and does not recognize his father’s brilliant books in the commercially successful films made by Peter Jackson. He added that the movies fail to capture the aesthetic and philosophical complexities of his father’s books that are set in the Middle Earth.
2. JRR Tolkien Movie Rights Sold For £100,000
In 1969 J.R.R Tolkien sold the movie rights for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit for £100,000. He sold them to the United Artists. We still wonder what would have happened if he had decided not to sell them.
1. Tolkien Typed The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings With Two Fingers
Both JRR Tolkien books took 14 years to write and publish. Imagine typing more than 1,200 pages with only two fingers, because that’s the only way Tolkien could type. The new technique available would have helped the master write more easily. Anyway, we love the written and the audio versions of his books.