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Trivia / Tolkien's Legendarium

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  • Attention Deficit Creator Disorder: Not so much because there were too many projects, but because Tolkien was a perfectionist and had a day job as a university professor. Christopher Tolkien also kept publishing the works never released in his father's lifetime until his own death in 2020.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: With all of the books about Middle-earth out, along with several movies, several games, and tons of merchandise based on films and books, quite a bit of money has been made on Tolkien's world. Most of it not by his family.
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  • Dear Negative Reader: In his introduction to the second edition of The Lord of the Rings:
    “Some who have read the book, or at any rate have reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible, and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works, or of the kinds of writing that they evidently prefer.”
  • Franchise Zombie: The Lord of the Rings came into existence only because the publishers wanted a sequel for the immensely popular Hobbit while Tolkien was more interested in working on his legendarium. Tolkien avoided the negative effects of this trope by incorporating both LOTR and The Hobbit into his mythos that was part of the (then unpublished) Silmarillion.
  • God Never Said That: A common myth is that, as a toddler, Tolkien was bitten by a poisonous spider in South Africa, causing him to develop a phobia for them. Therefore many of his works feature giant, malevolent arachnids, including the spiders of Mirkwood, Shelob, and Ungoliant. However, this article proves the incident was no inspiration whatsoever to the spiders. In fact, Tolkien admitted to having no dislike for spiders at all, even rescuing them if they fell into the bath.
  • Referenced by...:
    • In the Emberverse novel series, Tolkien's legendarium is mistaken for a Holy Book, with some characters using "By the Valar!" in the same way we'd say "Oh my God!" The tribe who worships the Valar also calls themselves the "Dunedain Rangers."
    • The Elw from Wild ARMs are the Elves with bunny ears, and the Elw Dimension is a blatant expy of the Undying Lands.
  • What Could Have Been: Lots and lots of unpublished or alternative material, nearly all of it incomplete. It's hard to keep from feeling wistful when reading the many fragments of unfinished stories and poems collected by his son Christopher in The History of Middle-earth and Unfinished Tales.
    • More conventionally, there are previous incarnations of tales that would be worked around before the "final" version we know today. For example, the character who would become Sauron started out as a giant cat before becoming a werewolf and finally becoming the character we see in Lord of the Rings.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Tolkien Gateway and The One Wiki to Rule Them All.


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