About eighteen years ago, when I first began reading J.R.R. Tolkien, I could never imagine that I would be one of the many enthusiasts spread around the world with serious objectives of analysing the Professor’s works, not only as entertainment but as a key to our modern culture.
This is such a common question at the moment, I think it deserves its own blog post. The short answer is no – or, at least, not any time soon.
[in honour of Tolkien’s birthday, a reprint of a classic blog post]
And this was what the letter said:
I read that you were a Tolkien scholar so I was hoping you might be able to answer a question regarding the LOTR story.
First of all, I hope you have all had a very happy Yule, and I wish you all a prosperous, happy, and Tolkienian New Year!
Next, I will remind you of the 2015 birthday toast on Saturday, January 3rd, when you are supposed to toast to “The Professor” at 21:00 (9 PM) local time. For much more information, see the Tolkien Society’s 2015 birthday toast pages – and don’t forget that you can join the Tolkien Society …
In his review of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, David Bratman makes the astute observation that the title of the film goes unexplained. Unless the extended edition changes this when it’s released – presumably in November 2015 – viewers will have to decide for themselves which groups Peter Jackson considered one of the five armies.1