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BBC launches online guide on Tolkien and the Great War

The BBC has launched an online ‘iWonder’ guide called “How was The Lord of the Rings influenced by World War One?“.

Hosted by John Rhys-Davies, who played Gimli in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, the guide features the following headings and themes:

  1. A lost generation (text)
  2. The battle for Middle-earth (video) – Tolkien’s own experience of World War One
  3. Machines and monsters (text)
  4. Sam Gamgee and the Tommy (text)
  5. Allegory of war? (video featuring Dr Dimitra Fimi, author of Tolkien, Race and Cultural History)
  6. The shell-shocked hobbit (text)
  7. Face or falsehood? (a quiz)

This is a great introductory tool to learn about the profound impact of World War One on Tolkien and his writing.

To find out more about Tolkien’s experiences during the First World War and how they shaped his mythology, read John Garth‘s Tolkien and the Great War.

About the Author: Daniel Helen
Daniel is an Officer without Portfolio and Trustee of The Tolkien Society. Elected in 2014, he is mainly responsible for the Society's digital operations, including this website.