Every year on 22nd September, the world celebrates the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. The infamous British author wrote the novel series The Lord of the Rings and the prequel book The Hobbit.
He built an entire universe of mythical characters who must go on brave adventures and fight for good over evil, and his stories have since been adapted into television series and huge blockbuster movies.
The day is named after his characters named ‘hobbits’, a species of short human-like creatures who don’t wear shoes and live in underground holes, and is celebrated on the shared birthday of two of Tolkien’s most famous hobbit characters, Bilbo Baggins and his cousin Frodo Baggins.
J. R. R. Tolkien was born in 1892. His first book, The Hobbit, was published in 1937, and he went on to write many other novels, short stories and poems until his death in 1973. An estimated 150 million copies of his most successful, The Lord of the Rings, have been sold worldwide.
In 2001, the film The Fellowship of the Ring was released, a The Lord of the Rings adaption featuring an all-star cast. In consecutive years, The Two Towers and The Return of the King followed, each being watched by millions of people in cinemas globally and each winning countless prestigious awards.
Next year, Amazon Studios will release a television series adaptation of the books, and it is reported to become the most expensive show ever made.
Tolkien’s works have had a huge influence on the fantasy genre, having expanded its popularity everywhere. Franchises such as The Sword of Shannara, The Legend of Zelda, Dungeons & Dragons, Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls and more have taken inspiration from his stories, world-building and characters.
Learn English with Think English and read Tolkien’s stories in their original language.