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the story of the lord of the rings the story of middle earth grew over his entire life he really spent his entire life working hi i’m dr corey olson the tolkien professor and this is every race in middle earth we’re going to be looking at the races in middle earth as tolkien created them mapping his creative process over time tolkien professionally was a philologist that is to say he studied the history of languages so what was his hobby his hobby was inventing languages languages have a flavor to me which are i never understand people think the same phrases was awfully dry and double because the new language to me is just like taking a new wine or some new sweet beetle or something the very first stage of tolkien’s creative life was what i call his early mythology when he was writing these ancient myths trying to sort of explain how things came to be then he began in the middle of his life this new little story right he started the hobbit and the lord of the rings and originally those weren’t connected to that first stage but then he decided to marry his new story with his early mythology so put together all of these things span his creative life and we’re going to look at how every race in middle earth developed over the course of that time he loved traditional fairy stories he loved stories about elves there are lots of places in england where a certain river or whale or ruin or something associated with elves from ancient days so one of the things that he really wanted to do he wanted to write a mythology for england england didn’t have a really good fairy tale tradition the kinds of fairy tales that they told were mostly fairy tales from other countries so what he ended up doing then was going back to the languages they form a story because he’s talking about how the languages change over time he wanted to have peoples who were speaking these languages and a history that would lead them to do the things that he was imagining happening the core story of his original mythology is that the elves live off to the west across the sea pretty much inaccessible most of the time but there is a mariner a human sailor who makes it across the sea to elvenhome right to tollaresia and meets the elves and talks with them and they tell him all the stories he writes down the set of stories which talking called the book of lost tales there’s a lot that could be said there but i want to focus on what’s important for tolkien’s creative development the history of the elves as a vehicle for his language creation was the thing that was really central for tolkien in the end the major division between the elves are those who stayed in middle earth and never left it and those who went to valinor the ones who remain in middle earth are the two primary groups called the sindar and the nandor these are basically wood elves the nandor are the ones who will become famous in the uh the hobbit in the lord of the rings the ones who go across the elves who go to valinor who make it to valinor are the high elves the primary thrust of the story is that there’s a rebellion among the high elves some of the high elves return to middle earth rebelling against the valar it banished um from valinor as a consequence but they come back in order to fight the big enemy uh melchor was his name and the elves renamed him morgoth and the wars between the high elves who returned to middle earth and morgoth that is the central drama of the whole early mythologies the elves are very strong and they’re very heroic but they’re fighting against essentially a god and they get beaten down and beaten down and until finally they are almost all destroyed in middle earth and then there is the sudden shift and the valar relent and come to their aid and stomp morgoth in the war of wrath at the end of what will later be called the first stage this early mythological period tolkien in the middle of his life begins to write a new story it began long ago the hobbit was started as a story that he wrote for his kids right which almost accidentally got shared with the publisher who really liked it and wanted to publish it um so this was not like a major creative undertaking that tolkien took it was a thing that kind of happened by chance he’d been trying to get published for years mostly failing anyway with his core major stories and then this funny little story that he had made up for his kids gets published and becomes a massive success but in that story he basically recycles a lot of material he had all this great

material and so we can see the elves in the hobbit both the wood elves of mirkwood and the high elves which we primarily meet in rivendell are very much borrowed from very similar to not identical to but very similar to the elves of his mythology the sequel of course grows into the lord of the rings so even when tolkien enters what i call the integration stage of his career when he’s writing this new story and the sequel the lord of the rings really begins to kind of take off on him and become something bigger and greater than the hobbit was and he decides at that point that it should be part of the world but he’s going to combine it with the early mythology um so that it’s all going to make one big huge story even after he makes that decision the elves don’t really change the elves are a baseline for tolkien they were the core element of his mythology from the very beginning in a lot of ways they were the premise the point of the whole mythology from the beginning now in this mythology that tolkien has invented for his world started with stories about elves but they have to have a world first so how is the world created and how does it work and so he invented a sort of higher mythology which involves a pantheon of gods now the gods that he included are inspired by greek gods norse gods and finnish mythology as well tolkien’s world that he invented was from the beginning fundamentally monotheistic there is one creator god who created all things and his name was eru the one or eluvitar tolkien almost always gives everybody at least two names alouvitar creates all things but eluvitar tolkien’s god is a delegator right the first thing that he does is he creates a group of spiritual beings uh who are his companions and those are called collectively the inur these sort of angelic spirits they help to create the world and the way that tolkien describes this uh is what he calls the music of the inur it is through music that the world is created they sing a song the chorus of the inor and their song is the song of the creation of the world after the world is created some of the inor some of these spiritual beings who are with the louvitar uh in the timeless halls decide to enter into the world itself arda you’ve got the universe that is and you’ve got arda which is which is the little world some of the einor decide that they are going to enter into that right that they’re going to go down and they’re going to shape it and they’re going to guide its history just as they participated in its creation those of the inor who descend in the greatest of them are called the valar these are the the primary gods of tolkien’s mythology they are often called gods by the mortals elves and men and others who live in middle earth there are also a lot of minor spirits which are associated with the valor so there are spirits of the air and there are spirits of the earth and there are spirits of the water the minor spirits are called mayar but of course there was conflict right and the conflict starts at the very beginning the conflict starts during the music the greatest of all of the inor rebelled and he created a discord within the music his name was melkor and many other spirits attuned their song to his instead of to the sort of the greater music that a louvitar had originally propounded to them was tolkien’s word so melchor he is the bad guy right and he also descends into arda as well and claims it for his own thinking that he should rule it and the conflict uh between the valar and melkor and then between the elves and melkor is the primary plotline of tolkien’s early mythology and one of the greatest of his servants is the guy who will later be known as sauron the primary villain of the lord of the rings when tolkien’s story then shifts right when he starts writing his new story the hobbit there are a bunch of ways in which we can see these old mythological concepts of the ainur influencing the story but probably the most famous moment where these spiritual beings appear in tolkien’s new story is tom bombadil and goldberry tom bombadil is a strange character he’s clearly one of the inor um he talks about coming in from the outside he talks about being there in arda you know in in middle earth from the very beginning he is one of these spirits who has taken on physical form and entered into the world and his wife goldberry uh is the daughter of the river the biggest and most dramatic effect of the integration of his new story with his old mythology as far as the inor are concerned is the wizards if you just read the hobbit and focus on nothing but the hobbit

gandalf seems to be a dude who is a professional wizard this idea changes and when it changes most dramatically is when tolkien decides to integrate the old mythology with the news story and so here he decides the wizards are in fact einor powerful but lesser spirits are not valor but they are some of the the more powerful servants of the valar the valar have looked out in this third age as sauron is growing more powerful and the great elf kingdoms of old are gone the great human kingdoms of old are gone who can possibly oppose sauron as he rises to power again the wizards are the help they are incarnated into bodies and they are brought to middle earth and they go about middle-earth trying to help uh the peoples gandalf is the one who is the highest profile he does the most good sauron of course fails right sarman fails and he fails most spectacularly there are of course three other wizards the one who is mentioned in the text is radagast the brown whom we’re told is a particular friend to beasts and birds we’re not told very much at all else about radagast the brown we know even less about the other two wizards whom tolkien later said were blue wizards they went off into the east and tolkien never did tell the story about what happened to them but gandalf as i said becomes the centerpiece he becomes the wizard who succeeds and who is the primary instrument of the valar in helping middle earth in this final stage and his primary role the thing that he does is he goes around and he inspires hope in people that is the primary mission of gandalf the grey who becomes gandalf the white this by the way is why gandalf is able to be resurrected because he’s not just a guy he is one of the mayar who is given a body and that’s why when gandalf comes back he’s different that was what they used to call me but he’s more powerful because he’s been given a new body and been given a new job he’s done his job well and he is empowered to return and finish the job which he does through the end of the word of the rings we have elves and we have men those two together are called the children of a louvitar the primary difference between elves and men is longevity elves do age very very slowly but they don’t die of old age their life is coterminous with the earth humans only live a short time here within arda and then they die and their spirits go somewhere else the primary dimension that differentiates elves and men is their connection with arda humans however when their spirits depart they leave arda behind entirely the humans are called the after comers the ones who are born second the most important human story that tolkien wrote was the story of numenor there are some surviving men who have survived the wars and who have been faithful who have been the allies of the elves and the valar say we’re going to make you a special land so they create them an island called numenor in the island of numenor the men grow to be wiser greater they are longer lived they live like 200 250 300 years they become taller they’re just blessed in every way the numenoreans and they become the most amazing group of men ever in the history of the world but they become discontented they long for immortal life they don’t want to die they don’t want to leave the world and so they try to find ways to make themselves immortal so increasingly the numenoreans become discontent and then they meet sauron the last numenorean king sets out to conquer him and he takes sauron captive and he’s brought back to numenor and when sauron is in numenor he swiftly becomes the chief counselor of the king and convinces him to attack the valar themselves and to take the immortal land by force where they have become convinced that they will live immortally if they manage to conquer the undying lands and the louvitar smites the island of numenor and it sinks beneath the sea almost all of the numenoreans died but a few of them survive there are a few numenoreans a subset of the population who are still faithful to their old friendship with the elves and the valar and they established themselves the last exiled remnants of numenor in middle earth itself the survivor of numenor was named alendo and he gets together with the last king of the high elves remaining in middle earth and the two of them formed the last alliance of elves and men and they go and they attack sauron and they throw him down for good and all isildur elendil’s son cuts the ring from his hand the overthrow of sauron is the end of the early mythology but as he’s writing the lord of the rings things

start to come together and in particular that story of numenor which was so important to tolkien frodo and the hobbits as they’re leaving the shire encounter strider the ranger in bree strider becomes their guide and takes them to rivendell and this is how we meet the character of aragorn who is the uh the heir of isildur and the future king of gondor the heir of numenor he becomes the dunadine now dunadine is the word that’s used in the lord of the rings for the descendants of numenor the descendants of numenor are still among us in middle earth their descendants are lesser it’s been a long time since numenor but there are there are still descendants of the great people among us gondor in particular is where the people of middle earth joined together with the descendants of the numenoreans and together they made a kingdom which in middle earth recalled the splendor of numenor that was the eagles are really important characters in tolkien’s stories from the beginning in the early mythology the eagles are spirits they are einor they are some of the servants of manway some of the chief servants of manway manway of course was the leader of the pantheon right he was essentially the king of middle earth and he was the god of the air and when the eagles come rolling in it means that manway is taking a hand directly in events they are also one of the elements where we can see most clearly that tolkien was not just imagining the hobbit as part of his old mythology world from the beginning even in the hobbit the eagles come by the end of the story to recall the eagles of manway in some ways the high point of the whole hobbit story is bilbo crying out the eagles are coming which is not only this miraculous rescue there but again there’s an almost supernatural element there in the lord of the rings as the story develops and as he integrates the new story with the old mythology the eagles become the mechanisms by which the valar are still taking a hand and helping the people of middle earth this of course bears on the question which many people have asked why don’t they just fly on eagles uh to take the ring to mordor one reason why they don’t do that is that that would be a really bad story the second reason they would be really easy to see coming and sauron has an air force too the third reason the eagles are not mounts right it’s thinking of them completely wrong they are not just birds they are certainly not just mounts and so when they come in they are allies who might be able to intervene as they do intervene again at the very end of the lord of the rings at the battle of the black gate they are allies and they seem by implication to be allies sent even by the valar to help in extreme times of need you know what they awoke in the darkness shadow one of the most dramatic characters in the lord of the rings is the balrog of moria right and everybody loves the confrontation between gandalf and the balrog on the bridge of khazadu the balrogs are really old characters they are there almost from the beginning in tolkien’s mythology melkor of course the big bad guy when he comes into arda at the beginning he brings with him many spirits the balrogs are the chief of those the balrogs and sauron served together under morgoth so when gandalf is confronting the balrog on the bridge of kazadoom it is a big big deal they are associated with shadows and darkness but mostly with flame and especially their whips of flame if this is some clotted idea of a joke i can only say foretaste dwarves have perhaps the most dramatic evolution of any of the races in tolkien’s world in the original mythology dwarves are bad guys they’re servants of morgoth they’re like right alongside the orcs tolkien not only does not emphasize that they’re very skilled craftsmen he says explicitly that they’re not skilled craftsmen all they care about is the bottom line when tolkien is writing his new story his hobbit story he wants to include dwarfs heavily influenced by the dwarves of his mythology and remember the dwarves in his mythology are not anything to brag about they are not heroes but here’s the thing as he’s writing the story the dwarves transform the dwarves change a lot over the course of the hobbit itself in chapter one when they show up on bilbo’s doorstep and they’re explaining to bilbo what happened thorin

sings a song all of a sudden the dwarves are craftsmen and they talk about their works of hand and all of the beautiful things that they made that idea emerges there in the hobbit and becomes this dominant part of the story so that when the dwarves get back to their treasure it’s no longer just about the money it’s now about recovering the work of their fathers and their homeland of old and it becomes a really moving story and thorin becomes a really interesting character he has his really bad moment where he’s threatening to throw bilbo off the wall victim of the dragon sickness and becoming overwhelmed by his desire for the treasure and his greediness but he turns away from it and in the end thorin oakenshield dies as sacrificial death dwarves kind of become heroes over the course of the hobbit the new story changes the old mythology so when he brings the two things together in his later career he ends up having to change stuff about dwarves but over the course of the lord of the rings in particular we can see him beginning to develop further this idea of who the dwarves are and what they’re like they become clearly one of the free people and now dwarves elves and men together become the core of what tolkien calls the free peoples of middle earth there are several places in the lord of the rings that allude to the fact that the origins of the dwarves are uncertain right that nobody’s really sure about where the dwarves came from well one of the reasons for this was that tolkien was unsure where dwarfs came from he invented some stories and he eventually decided that they were made by the god aole the valo who is in charge of the earth of stone but also of craftsmanship he was the smithing god and he makes dwarves to be his helpers but he doesn’t really have the authority but a louvitar has pity on them and spares them and he infuses them the dwarves uh with some of his own will so we still have the two children of iluvatar elves and men and the dwarves become the stepchildren of the louvitar retconning in tolkien’s mythology now the orcs are the primary bad guys if you’re fighting the armies of evil on the fields of middle earth it’s probably orcs that you’re fighting orcs were part of the original mythology the word orc was derived from tolkien’s elvish languages orcs were basically constructs they were manufactured by morgoth these were not independent races tolkien says that morgoth made them in mockery of elves morgoth filled the orcs with his spirit of hatred and cruelty that’s the role of orcs in tolkien’s early mythology and this is a really important idea this mythic concept of this embodied evil is an important element that we can see running through the lord of the rings when tolkien starts writing his new story in his hobbit story he included goblins now he calls them goblins instead of orcs orc and goblin are in tolkien’s world really synonyms goblins of fairy tale tradition have a lot of similarities with the orcs of uh of tolkien’s mythology however the orcs create what is probably the single biggest problem in tolkien’s world he decided in writing the lord of the rings that his old mythology wouldn’t work in this new context at the end of the day he decided morgoth could not actually create creatures of his own right it becomes part of his mythology that only a louvitar only god has the ability to create a sentient race owlette made the dwarves but a louvitar helps them along and adopts them well if that’s true if only a louvitar can create sentient races then morgoth couldn’t have made the orcs as simple constructs so tolkien develops a second story a second version for where orcs came from and he goes back and he changes the mythology if all sentient creatures can only be created by a louvitar then logically orcs have to be not a new species but a corruption of an old species morgoth back in the very early days right after the elves awoke by the shores of queven morgoth captured some of them and he brought them back to his dark domain and he tortured them and he twisted them and the result was the orcs the orcs are corrupted twisted elves now there are several different breeds of orcs we know that the orcs of the misty mountains uh are sort of one way and the orcs of mordor are bigger and stronger but there’s one major innovation that we see in the lord of the rings and that is the group called the urukhai and the urukhai are the orcs of sariman we are not told definitively within the narrative exactly where the urukai came from the speculation that we are given

believes that they are a blending of the races of orc and men that the orc hire the results of cross breeding between orcs and men the interbreeding of orcs and men does not bear thinking about because that could only have happened in one of several truly horrifying ways dragons are a really important part of tolkien’s world in tolkien’s mythology in the early stages of the wars between morgoth and the elves morgoth decides he’s got to do something to tip the scales and so dragons are his answers he designs the first dragon in the first dragon the father of dragons was named glaurung and the dragons were originally wingless glaurung comes out and he does the job glaurung becomes one of morgoth’s chief captains and he’ll deal some devastating blows uh to the elves in the wars with morgoth and he releases the winged dragon during the war of wrath at the end the bad guys almost win so the dragons have a major major role in the early mythology now when tolkien begins his new story his hobbit story ultimately it’s going to be a dragon story one minor but really interesting bad guy in tolkien’s world are werewolves now these are not werewolves uh in the like european tradition who are human beings who get infected and transform into wolves at the full moon but these are just especially evil wolves they’re sort of more products of morgoth’s research and development department they are the bodies of large wolves combined with fell spirits and it’s interesting because sauron is actually the one who spearheads the werewolf project the werewolves don’t come in for a whole lot of stories however in the new story um he brings the wolves back in the hobbit uh the wargs are encountered of course right near the goblins and they’re the allies of the goblins they’re kind of borrowed from the old werewolves of the old mythology tradition they’re intelligent they speak their own language and they are the mounts of the goblins but they’re the allies when tolkien begins to integrate these things the wargs stay but he kind of downplays the wolves the wolves get really kind of put aside some orcs still ride uh wolves but the the wolves themselves become a lesser character hobbits really are amazing creatures you may be interested by the fact that we’re only now getting to hobbits hobbits are really the iconic tolkien race he might have thought about elves first and foremost but for the modern reader in the modern audience it’s all about the hobbits hobbits emerged when he started writing his new story in fact tolkien was so poor that he signed up to grade exams so there was one essay he was in the middle of grading it right and he flips over the page and they left a page blank and so on this blank page he takes his pen and he writes in a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit and he had no idea what a hobbit was so the first story of the hobbit story was him figuring out what a hobbit was and he decided that hobbits were these funny little people and he developed the whole hobbit culture which has become absolutely beloved by modern readers the world of the hobbits really kind of took over the original seed of the lord of the rings story was the long expected party bilbo’s farewell party where he brings in all of his relatives uh and then insults them and shocks them all and beca and vanishes and hands things off to frodo but tolkien didn’t know what frodo was gonna do or where he was gonna go as the story of the lord of the rings develop the hobbits don’t really change very fundamentally their culture remains very much the same their role of course becomes really important and them as the the representative of the little people of small people who are not themselves very important yet accomplishing big things becomes one of the major themes of the word of the rings now tolkien never really explains so it seems the most likely explanation within tolkien’s mythology of hobbits is that they are somehow a subspecies of men that at some point and for some reason became small there are other sub-races of men that he introduced kind of like hobbits in this way humans in tolkien’s world are kind of malleable where that came from one of the other bad guy races are trolls in tolkien’s world and they’re weird they’re funny they speak in cockney accents the trolls are really just kind of fun characters fun villains that he invents on his own the chief characteristic of the trolls apart from you know being large strong not very intelligent and man-eating is that they turn into stone when the sun shines on them because they in fact permanently turn into stone statues

if sunlight falls upon them that’s of course the story in the hobbit it’s how they escape from the trolls look furto it’s mr bilbo’s trolls now tree beard the ant tells us in the lord of the rings that the trolls are made by the enemy in mockery of ants as the orcs were of elves trolls were sort of animated stone just as ants are kind of animated trees right um that they are creatures who are fundamentally made out of stone and who are enslaved to the will of sauron it’s talking mary the tree is talking tree i am no tree giants have an interesting history in tolkien’s world giants are of course a staple of traditional fairy tales stories in the early mythology there are some references to giants it seems like giants kind of exist but he never really told any stories about giants tree beard originally in tolkien’s idea was one was a jack and the beanstalk style giant but at the same time this other idea was beginning to grow in tolkien’s mind and to begin to become an element of the story and that is the idea of sentient trees which can communicate even in a way and which can move and act against the hobbits and these trees they’re not evil per se but they’re hostile very hostile to the hobbits and they’re hostile because from a tree’s perspective these little bipeds right they come in with their axes and they want to clear land for farming right and other useless things like that from the tree perspective they’re not servants of sauron they’re not creatures of morgoth or anything like that they’re just territorial and they don’t like bipeds much at all the moment comes when the hobbits come mary and pippen of course are coming to fangorn forest another ancient forest down in the southern part of the world in that moment tolkien has one of these flashes of inspiration which just transformed things and he realizes wait a second this is a giant who is a tree and he becomes treebeard the ant as soon as he makes this decision as soon as he realizes no this is not a jack and the beanstalk style giant we’re talking about here the entire chapter the entire tribute chapter chapter 4 of book 3 of the two towers emerges almost word for word in one draft the story of treebeard and the ants how they were woken up and taught language by the elves all comes together in one shot in the two towers we have tree beard in the ends but we also have this middle class of creatures called who horns and as they are related to trees some of the trees wake up and learn to talk back so who horns are in fact a sort of middle stage they’re wakeful trees or they’re sleepy ants so when the who worns come in and armies of horns take out the army of orcs after the battle of helm’s deep and invade eisenguard that’s what tolkien’s talking about one of tolkien’s favorite villains from the beginning were giant spiders from the very beginning of his mythology one of his big villains was named unguliant the gloom weaver and she’s a gigantic spider she is like the embodiment of darkness itself and her role in the early stories in the early mythologies she is an ally of morgoth now angolia did have children she had a brood of giant spider uh offspring uh which then go on to trouble the land and to become characters and other stories we have of course the giant spiders of mirkwood that mirkwood is a dark place where light is choked off and in the midst of this dark and gloomy forest is the spider colony we’re also told that they’re bitter enemies of the wood elves so when tolkien came to write the lord of the rings he decided early on when frodo and sam were going to get into mordor one of the last obstacles they were going to have to pass was giant spiders sauron is with morgoth from the beginning sauron was originally one of the servants of aole the god of craftsmanship this is why he becomes the one who forges the rings of power the story of the forging of the rings of power however comes a good deal later and in fact that does not originate in the early mythology at all it originates from the new story when tolkien is writing the hobbit he includes the necromancer at the end of the hobbit we are told that gandalf went to meet with all the other wizards and kicked the necromancer out of southern mirkwood when tolkien sits down to write the sequel he quickly fixes on the necromancer as a very likely antagonist for the sequel he decided to send his hobbit protagonists on an adventure and they hear the sound of hoof beats coming up the road from behind them now

they think this is probably gandalf in the very first draft when tolkie wrote this a horse comes around the corner and it is gandalf uh he goes back to where he had said it was a white horse he decided it was a wraith and it was a wraith in the service of the necromancer and that it is hunting for frodo why would it be hunting for frodo and as he begins to work this out the whole story of sauron and the rings of power begins to emerge he puts his own will to dominate the wills of others into the ring of power he convinces kelebrimbor one of the old high elves to stay in middle earth after the war of wrath he convinces him to forge other rings of power and his idea is to use those lesser rings of power to ensnare the leaders of all of the good races but it doesn’t work because the elves figure out what he’s up to um he ends it with the survivors of the numenoreans and the last of the high elves joining together in the last alliance of elves and men to take down sauron he inserts the ring of power now into that story and says that at that time they cut the ring of power from salons and is eventually found by bilbo in the hobbit and comes to frodo here in the lord of the rings so one of the things that sauron made were these nine rings he tried to ensnare all of the races it didn’t work out he gives his nine rings of power to nine kings among the different human cultures of the time and he ensnared them by the promise of immortality that he delivers on that promise in a warped and twisted way their wills become enslaved to him and they are in fact stretched out but they don’t even have bodies anymore right they become tormented spirits who are chained to this world so the ring raids as we see them they are his most terrible servants they are themselves enslaved in a way that is uh that goes beyond uh the power of their own lives and keeps them here in this world there are two other categories of tormented spirits that i would mention in particular the hobbits and as they’re traveling out of the shire very early on in their journey have to go through the barrow downs in these barrows there seem to be unquiet dead who are called barrow whites and they are sent into the graves and they animate these corpses the other group of tormented spirits that we meet are the oath breakers these ghosts are not like barowhites these are actually the lingering spirits of people who used to be alive they were a tribe of people who lived in gondor and who swore their allegiance to isildur but when isildor comes to them and calls them up and says hey we’re going to war time for the battle of the last alliance join us they didn’t come isildur cursed them and said you shall never rest again until you fulfill your oath so when aragorn comes he is the heir of isildor so he has the authority and says i’m going to give you a second chance guys it’s now time to fulfill your oath again and they do and aragorn uses the army of the dead he deploys the army of the dead to save the day at the battle of pelenor field but after the oath breakers help them with that initial battle aragorn releases them and that was each and every race in tolkien’s middle earth i hope this helps you to understand a little bit better about how tolkien’s ideas developed and i think it’s a really fascinating study in the growth of a modern mythology and of course you can see how much of modern fantasy ideas emerged from tolkien’s world

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