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:
- A lost generation (text)
- The battle for Middle-earth (video) – Tolkien’s own experience of World War One
- Machines and monsters (text)
- Sam Gamgee and the Tommy (text)
- Allegory of war? (video featuring Dr Dimitra Fimi, author of Tolkien, Race and Cultural History)
- The shell-shocked hobbit (text)
- 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.