J. R. R. Tolkien's influences
A number of sources influenced the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. Several critics have assumed that Tolkien’s novel The Lord of the Rings was directly derived from Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. Many aspects of Tolkien's work were, as he freely admitted, influenced by other sources, including philology (his academic field), religion (particularly Roman Catholicism), fairy tales, mythology, contemporary fiction, and his personal life.
Tolkien was inspired by early Germanic literature, poetry and mythology, which were his areas of expertise. These sources included Anglo-Saxon literature such as Beowulf, Norse sagas such as the Volsunga saga and the Hervarar saga, the Poetic Edda, the Prose Edda, the Nibelungenlied and other culturally related works.
- 1 The Hobbit
- 2 The Lord of the Rings
- 3 The Silmarillion
- 4 Arthurian influences
- 5 Footnotes
- 6 References
|Author||J. R. R. Tolkien|
|Genre||High fantasy, Adventure novel|
|Publisher||Allen & Unwin|
|Publication date||21 September 1937|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||310 pp (first edition)|
After the publication of The Hobbit, readers noticed Tolkien's fascination with Norse mythology. The names of Gandalf and the dwarves were taken from the "Dvergatal" in the Elder Edda and the "Gylfaginning" in the Prose Edda. Other themes, such as the conversation between Bilbo Baggins and Smaug, the dragon from The Hobbit, as well as the antagonism created by the mere mention of gold and even the concept of riddles, are also reflected in Norse sources such as the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf.
The figure of Gandalf is particularly influenced by the Germanic deity Odin in his incarnation as "The Wanderer", an old man with one eye, a long white beard, a wide brimmed hat, and a staff. Tolkien, in a letter of 1946, nearly a decade after the character was invented, wrote that he thought of Gandalf as an "Odinic wanderer". Much like Odin, Gandalf promotes justice, knowledge, truth, and insight.
The Lord of the Rings
|The Lord of the Rings|
|Author||J. R. R. Tolkien|
|Genre||High fantasy, Adventure novel, Heroic romance|
|Publisher||Allen & Unwin|
|Publication date||1954 and 1955|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||1216 pp (total pages)|
|Preceded by||The Hobbit|
Tolkien once described The Lord of the Rings to his friend, the English Jesuit Father Robert Murray, as "a fundamentally religious and Catholic work, unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision." Many theological themes underlie the narrative, including the battle of good versus evil, the triumph of humility over pride, and the activity of grace, as seen with Frodo's pity toward Gollum. In addition the epic includes the themes of death and immortality, mercy and pity, resurrection, salvation, repentance, self-sacrifice, free will, justice, fellowship, authority and healing. The Lord's Prayer, especially the line "And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil", was reportedly present in Tolkien's mind as he described Frodo's struggles against the power of the One Ring.[page needed] A specifically Christian influence is the notion of the Fall of man, which influenced the Ainulindalë, the Kinslaying at Alqualondë, and the fall of Númenor.
Mythological and historical influences
Non-Christian religious motifs also influenced Tolkien's Middle-earth, going back to Tolkien's adolescence. During his education at King Edward's School in Birmingham, the then young Tolkien read and translated from the Old Norse on his own time. One of his first Nordic purchases was the Völsunga Saga. As an instructor, he co-formed a Viking club called "Kolbitar", whose meetings would stoke his strong interest in the Vikings. His Ainur, a race of angelic beings who are responsible for conceptualising the world, include the Valar, the pantheon of "gods" who are responsible for the maintenance of everything from skies and seas to dreams and doom, and their servants, the Maiar. The concept of the Valar echoes Greek and Norse mythologies, although the Ainur and the world itself are all creations of a monotheistic deity — Ilúvatar or Eru, "The One". The external practice of Middle-earth religion is downplayed in The Lord of the Rings; such practices are discussed only in various versions of Silmarillion material. However, there remain allusions to religion in Tolkien's writings, such as "the Great Enemy" who was Sauron's master and "Elbereth, Queen of Stars" (Morgoth and Varda respectively). Other non-Christian mythological or folkloric elements can be seen, including other sentient non-humans (Dwarves, Elves, Hobbits and Ents), a "Green Man" (Tom Bombadil), and spirits or ghosts (Barrow-wights, Oathbreakers).
Tolkien's Elves and Dwarves are by and large based on Norse and related Germanic mythologies and possibly Celtic Mythology. Two sources that contain accounts of elves and dwarves that were of interest to Tolkien were the Prose Edda and the Elder or Poetic Edda. The descriptions of elves and dwarves in these works are ambiguous and contradictory, however. Within the contents of the Völuspá, specifically in stanza 9, the creation of Dwarves predates Man, which is precisely the formula Tolkien uses for Middle-earth.
Tolkien based the people of Rohan, the Rohirrim, on the historical Anglo-Saxons, giving them Anglo-Saxon names, customs, and poetry. This reference may explain how to pronounce Rohirric names, and suggests Tolkien may not have provided guidance, as he did for Elvish names, because he assumed readers would be familiar with Anglo-Saxon.
The concept of kingship and monarchical hierarchy is continually alluded to throughout the history of Middle-Earth, the races and the organization of each society. Kings and rulers appear in most of the Norse sagas, narratives, and historical accounts, such as "The Saga of the Jomsvikings".
An example of Tolkien's use of Norse mythology can be seen in Frodo's journey and entry into Mordor, which echoes Hermod's journey to the entrance of the Nordic underworld in the Prose Edda. Beasts and monsters also parallel Norse myth. The Balrog and the collapse of the Bridge of Khazad-dûm in Moria, for example, is a direct parallel of the fire demon Surt and the destruction of Asgard's bridge.
Tolkien had also been influenced by the Völsunga saga, the Old Norse basis of the later German Nibelungenlied. The latter became the basis for Richard Wagner's opera series, Der Ring des Nibelungen, featuring in particular a magical golden ring and a broken sword reforged. In the Völsungasaga, these items are respectively Andvarinaut and Gram, and they correspond broadly to the One Ring and the sword Narsil (reforged as Andúril). The Volsunga Saga also gives various names found in Tolkien. Tolkien wrote a book entitled The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, in which he discusses the saga in relation to the myth of Sigurd and Gudrún.
Finnish mythology and more specifically the Finnish national epic Kalevala were also acknowledged by Tolkien as an influence on Middle-earth. In a manner similar to The Lord of the Rings, the Kalevala centres around a magical item of great power, the Sampo, which bestows great fortune on its owner, but never makes clear its exact nature. Like the One Ring, the Sampo is fought over by forces of good and evil, and is ultimately lost to the world as it is destroyed towards the end of the story. In another parallel, the latter work's wizard character, Väinämöinen, is similar to Gandalf in his immortal origins and wise nature, and both works end with the wizard character departing on a ship to lands beyond the mortal world. Tolkien also based elements of his Elvish language Quenya on Finnish.
Specific literature influences on The Lord of the Rings from European mythologies include the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, which influenced the figures of the Rohirrim. Another Anglo-Saxon poem, "The Wanderer," is paraphrased by Aragorn as an example of Rohirric verse. Tolkien may have also borrowed elements from the Völsunga saga (the Old Norse basis of the later German Nibelungenlied and Richard Wagner's opera series, Der Ring des Nibelungen, also called the Ring Cycle), specifically a magical golden ring and a broken sword which is reforged. In the Völsungasaga, these items are respectively Andvarinaut and Gram, and very broadly correspond to the One Ring and Narsil/Andúril. It is known that while a student, Tolkien read the only available English translation of the Völsunga saga, that by William Morris of the Victorian Arts and Crafts Movement and Icelandic scholar Eiríkr Magnússon.
Shakespeare's Macbeth also influenced Tolkien in a number of ways. The Ent attack on Isengard was inspired by "Birnam Wood coming to Dunsinane" in the play; Tolkien felt men carrying boughs were not impressive enough, and thus he used actual tree-like creatures.
One of the greatest influences on Tolkien was the Arts and Crafts polymath William Morris. Tolkien wished to imitate Morris's prose and poetry romances, along with the general style and approach; he took elements such as the Dead Marshes in The Lord of the Rings and Mirkwood in The Hobbit from Morris.
Books by the Inkling author Owen Barfield are known to have influenced Tolkien, particularly The Silver Trumpet (1925), History in English Words (1926) and Poetic Diction (1928).
Tolkien also cited H. Rider Haggard's novel She in a telephone interview, stating: 'I suppose as a boy She interested me as much as anything—like the Greek shard of Amyntas [Amenartas], which was the kind of machine by which everything got moving.' A supposed facsimile of this potsherd appeared in Haggard's first edition, and the ancient inscription it bore, once translated, led the English characters to She's ancient kingdom. Critics have compared this device to the Testament of Isildur in The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien's efforts to produce as an illustration a realistic page from the Book of Mazarbul. Critics starting with Edwin Muir have found resemblances between Haggard's romances and Tolkien's.
In his biography of Tolkien, Carpenter notes that in the limited amount of time Tolkien could apply to the reading of fiction, he “preferred the lighter contemporary novels,” and the stories of John Buchan are listed as an example in the next sentence. Critics such as Hooker have detailed the resonances between the two authors.
Tolkien scholar Mark T. Hooker has cataloged a series of parallels between The Hobbit and Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth that are so extensive as to rule out their occurrence by pure chance. These include, among other things, a hidden runic message and a celestial alignment that direct the adventurers to the goals of their quests.
Tolkien wrote of being impressed as a boy by Samuel Rutherford Crockett's historical novel The Black Douglas and of basing the Necromancer - Sauron - on its villain, Gilles de Retz. Incidents in both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are similar in narrative and style to the novel, and its overall style and imagery have been suggested as having had an influence on Tolkien.
Due to the common use of the same textual sources employed by Tolkien and Wagner there are several parallels between The Lord of the Rings and Der Ring des Nibelungen. Several observers have suggested that the novel was directly derived from Richard Wagner's operas.
There are similarities of his work to the Volsunga saga and the Nibelungenlied, which were also the basis for Wagner's opera series, but Tolkien sought to dismiss critics' direct comparisons to Wagner, telling his publisher, "Both rings were round, and there the resemblance ceases." According to Humphrey Carpenter's biography of Tolkien, the author claimed to hold Wagner's interpretation of the relevant Germanic myths in contempt, even as a young man before reaching university.
In the contrary sense, some critics hold that Tolkien's work borrows so liberally from Wagner that Tolkien's work exists in the shadow of Wagner's.
Some researchers take an intermediate position: that both the authors used the same source materials but that Tolkien also borrowed some of Wagner's developments, such as the pivotal "concept of the Ring as giving the owner mastery of the world that was Wagner's own contribution to the myth of the Ring". Wagner probably developed this element by combining the ring with a magical wand mentioned in the Nibelungenlied that could give to its wearer the control "over the race of men". Other characteristics of the One Ring, like its corrupting power upon the minds and wills, have a central role in Wagner's opera but were not present in the mythical sources.
This opinion reflects the fact that Wagner gave to the cursed ring's motif a prominence that was absent of his ( and Tolkien's) Norse and Teutonic sources using it in order to "fill-in" the gaps of the mythological narratives in such a way that seems to have influenced Tolkien.
Edward Haymes states, based on reports included in Humphrey Carpenter's books on Tolkien and the Inklings, that "If Tolkien had never heard of Wagner; if the Ring of the Nibelung had not been a part of every young man’s education in the first quarter of the twentieth century; if his best friend (C. S. Lewis) had not been a powerful Wagnerian; then we might believe that Tolkien had derived some, if not all these aspects from other sources, but the evidence is overwhelming."
Consequently, there is evidence that Tolkien's denial of a relationship between his Ring and the Nibelung's Ring was an overreaction to the statements of Åke Ohlmarks, Tolkien's Swedish translator, who in the introduction to his much-criticized translation of The Lord of the Rings "mixed material from various legends, some which mention no ring and one which concerns a totally different ring".
Jim Allan and "Spengler", columnist of the Asian Times, are convinced that Tolkien was infuriated by the translator's remarks and responded with the often-quoted "one sentence rebuttal" that "wasn't strictly accurate".
Spengler argues that "Tolkien well may have written his epic as an 'anti-Ring' to The Ring of the Nibelungs" that "gave resonance to National Socialism during the inter-war years of the last century as well as Tolkien does the same for Anglo-Saxon democracy". This analysis complements the observations made by Dr. Bradley J. Birzer and Christine Chism that put emphasis in Tolkien and Wagner's divergent political and religious ideas and agendas.
In a later essay, "The Problem of the Rings", Tom Shippey describes how both Wagner and Tolkien approached the narrative difficulties of the Ring legend, and what the latter may have taken from the former’s work, despite perhaps seeing Wagner as "an enthusiastic amateur". Shippey points out that the nature of the Ring, whose story varies significantly among the Germanic sources, was in the 19th century a primary problem in German philology and literature, and that it was not surprising that it attracted Wagner's attention. But Tolkien found Wagner's solution philosophically distasteful, and disapproved as well of the violence it did to the medieval Germanic heroic tradition.
On a more personal level, some locations and characters were inspired by Tolkien's childhood in Birmingham, where he first lived near Sarehole Mill, and later near Edgbaston Reservoir. There are also hints of the Black Country, which is within easy reach of north west Edgbaston. This shows in such names as "Underhill", and the description of Saruman's industrialisation of Isengard and The Shire is explicitly stated by Tolkien to have been based on the industrialisation of England. It has also been suggested that The Shire and its surroundings were influenced by the Iron Age and Roman mineral workings and remains which Tolkien saw in 1929 when working with archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler at Lydney Park in the Forest of Dean; or alternatively were based on the countryside around Stonyhurst College in Lancashire where he frequently stayed during the 1940s. Tolkien's father often told him stories of his time in the South African city of Bloemfontein. It has been speculated that the Shire was influenced by the stories Tolkien's father told him as a young boy. The green hilltops of the Shire bear great resemblance to the green and hilly suburbs of Beinsvlei, Hillsboro and Langenhovenpark. Though he left Bloemfontein at a young age, the residents of the Former Free State of South Africa regard the Shire and Tolkien as sons of the city.
In addition The Lord of the Rings was crucially influenced by Tolkien's experiences during World War I and his son's during World War II. The central action of the books — a climactic, age-ending war between good and evil — is the central event of many mythologies, notably Norse, but it is also a clear reference to the well-known description of World War I, which was commonly referred to as "the war to end all wars".
After the publication of The Lord of the Rings these influences led to speculation that the One Ring was an allegory for the nuclear bomb. Tolkien, however, repeatedly insisted that his works were not an allegory of any kind. He states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one. Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times. Tolkien had already completed most of the book, including the ending in its entirety, before the first nuclear bombs were made known to the world at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.
Nevertheless there is a strong theme of despair in the face of new mechanized warfare that Tolkien himself had experienced in the trenches of World War I. The development of a specially bred Orc army, and the destruction of the environment to aid this, also have modern resonances; and the effects of the Ring on its users evoke the modern literature of drug addiction as much as any historic quest literature.
It is also clear that the Ring has broad applicability to the concept of absolute power and its effects, and that the plot hinges on the view that anyone who seeks to gain absolute worldly power will inevitably be corrupted by it. Some describe the element of the passing of a mythical "Golden Age" as influenced by Tolkien's concerns about the growing encroachment of urbanisation and industrialisation into the "traditional" English lifestyle and countryside. Some aspects of the "ring of power" are also present in Plato's Republic (specifically the story of the Ring of Gyges) and Wagner's Ring Cycle. Some locations and characters were inspired by Tolkien's childhood in Sarehole (then a Worcestershire village, now part of Birmingham) and Birmingham. It has also been suggested that The Shire and its surroundings were based on the countryside around Stonyhurst College in Lancashire where Tolkien frequently stayed during the 1940s.
1977 George Allen & Unwin hardback edition.
|Author||J. R. R. Tolkien|
|Genre||Alternate history, Fantasy|
|Publisher||Allen & Unwin|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
The Silmarillion is a complex work exhibiting the influence of many sources.
A major influence was the Finnish epic Kalevala, especially the tale of Kullervo. Tolkien admitted that he had been "greatly affected" by Finnish mythologies, and even credited Kullervo's story with being the "germ of [his] attempt to write legends". Tolkien attempted to rework the story of Kullervo into a story of his own, and though he never finished, similarities to the story can still be seen in the tale of Túrin Turambar.
Similarly, the Valar also contain elements of Norse mythology. Several of the Valar have characteristics resembling various Æsir, the gods of Asgard. Thor, for example, physically the strongest of the gods, can be seen both in Oromë, who fights the monsters of Melkor, and in Tulkas, the physically strongest of the Valar. Manwё, the head of the Valar, exhibits some similarities to Odin, the "Allfather". Tolkien also said that he saw the maia Olórin (Gandalf) as an "Odinic wanderer".
The division between the Calaquendi (Elves of Light) and Moriquendi (Elves of Darkness) also echoes Norse mythology, which has its own Light elves and Dark elves. The Light elves of Norse mythology are associated with the gods, much as the Calaquendi are associated with the Valar. In addition the name 'Valar' is clearly derived from the group of Norse demi-gods or fertility gods; the 'Vanir'.
There are numerous sources from Slavic mythology found in J. R. R. Tolkien's novels. An example is the Istar (wizard) named Radagast and his home at Rhosgobel; both are usually taken to have Slavic sources from the Slavic god, Rodegast, a god of the Sun, war, hospitality, fertility, and harvest. Rhovanion was, also, a name from Slavic origin. The Anduin River, from which "Anduin" was the Sindarin name for The Great River of Wilderland, is said to have similar sources related to the Danube River, from which the river flows mainly among the Slavic people and played an important role in their folklore.
Influence from Greek mythology is also apparent. The island of Númenor, for example, recalls Atlantis. Tolkien even borrows the name "Atlantis" and reworks it into the Elvish name "Atalantë" for Númenor, thus furthering the illusion that his mythology simply extends the history and mythology of the real world.
Greek mythology also colours the Valar, who borrow many attributes from the Olympian gods. The Valar, like the Olympians, live in the world, but on a high mountain, separated from mortals; Ulmo, Lord of the Waters, owes much to Poseidon, and Manwë, the Lord of the Air and King of the Valar, to Zeus. But the correspondences are only approximate; Tolkien borrows ideas from Greek mythology, but does not model the Valar and Maiar on Greek deities. Note that both the Olympians and the Valar are twelve.
Various parallels to Persian mythology have been found in J.R.R. Tolkien's writings. For example, the Hall of Fire in Elrond’s house at Rivendell, a sanctuary where sacred songs are recited, has a continuously burning fire. Elizabeth Allen notes that this is reminiscent of the Zoroastrian sacred fire temple. Allen also suggests that Elven weaponry, such as the elven blade, cutlass, and a variety of swords, were inspired by Persian design.
The Bible and traditional Christian narrative also influenced The Silmarillion. Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic. The conflict between Melkor and Eru Ilúvatar parallels that between Satan and God. Further, The Silmarillion tells of the creation and fall of the Elves, as Genesis tells of the creation and fall of Man. As with all of Tolkien's works, The Silmarillion allows room for later Christian history, and one version of Tolkien's drafts even has Finrod, a character in The Silmarillion, speculating on the necessity of Eru's (God's) eventual Incarnation to save Mankind.
Though Tolkien wrote of "a certain distaste" for Celtic legends, "largely for their fundamental unreason", The Silmarillion may betray some Celtic influence. The exile of the Noldorin Elves, for example, has parallels with the story of the Tuatha Dé Danann. The Tuatha Dé Danann, semi-divine beings, invaded Ireland from across the sea, burning their ships when they arrived and fighting a fierce battle with the current inhabitants. The Noldor arrived in Middle-earth from Valinor and burned their ships, then turned to fight Melkor. Another parallel can be seen between the loss of a hand by Maedhros, son of Fëanor, and the similar mutilation suffered by Nuada Airgetlám ("Silver Hand/Arm") during the battle with the Firbolg. Nuada received a hand made of silver to replace the lost one, and his later appellation has the same meaning as the Elvish name Celebrimbor: "silver fist" or "Hand of silver" in Sindarin (Telperinquar in Quenya).
Another similarity between the Silmarillion and the Lebor Gabála Érenn can be seen by comparing Nuada and Lugh (who possessed a famed magic spear, the Spear Luin) and the outcome of their respective confrontations against Balor of the Evil Eye with the events surrounding Celebrimbor and Gil-galad (whose weapon is the spear Aeglos) and their conflicts with Sauron of the Lidless Red Eye in the Second Age.
There is a striking similarity between Tolkien's description of Gil-galad (and the origin of his name):
It is recorded that Ereinion was given the name Gil-galad "Star of Radiance" "because his helm and mail, and his shield overlaid with silver and set with a device of white stars, shone from afar like a star in sunlight or moonlight, and could be seen by Elvish eyes at a great distance if they stood upon a height. — Unfinished Tales, Note 24 of Aldarion and Erendis
and T.W. Rolleston's description of Lugh in Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race (1911):
"So equipped, he appeared one day before an assembly Of the Danaan chiefs who were met to pay their tribute to the envoys of the Formorian oppressors; and when the Danaans saw him, they felt, it is said, as if they beheld the rising of the sun on a dry summer's day".
Tolkien wrote that he gave the Elvish language Sindarin "a linguistic character very like (though not identical with) British-Welsh ... because it seems to fit the rather 'Celtic' type of legends and stories told of its speakers". Hooker explores the Welsh origins of the names of a number of characters and places in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, demonstrating that some of them are indeed identical.
Other authors, such as Donald O'Brien, Patrick Wynne and Carl Hostetter, Tom Shippey, David Day have pointed out the similarities between Beren and Lúthien, one of the main storylines of the Silmarillion, and Culhwch and Olwen, one the tales collected in the Welsh Mabinogion.
In both, the male heroes make rash promises after having been stricken by the beauty of non-mortal maidens; both enlist the aid of great kings, Arthur and Finrod; both show rings that prove their identities; both are set impossible tasks that include, directly or indirectly, the hunting and killing of ferocious beasts (the wild boars, Twrch Trwyth and Ysgithrywyn, and the wolf Carcharoth) with the help of a supernatural hound (Cafall and Huan). Both maidens possess such beauty that flowers grow beneath their feet when they come to meet the heroes for the first time, as if they were living embodiments of spring.
The Mabinogion itself was part of the Red Book of Hergest, which the Red Book of Westmarch probably imitates. This fact suggests that The Silmarillion might have been conceived using the Mabinogion as one of its inspirations, a source of both its name and its structure.
The Arthurian legends are part of the cultural heritage that is comprised by the Celtic and Welsh mythologies. Though Tolkien denied the influence, as well he had already done with the Celtic myths properly said, several parallels have been found between the legends and have been well researched by numerous specialists. There are similarities between Gandalf and Merlin, though many find a greater parallel with the Anglo-Saxon god Woden, comparisons of Frodo and Aragorn with Arthur, Galadriel with Lady of the Lake, and, very importantly, relevant visible correspondences such as Avalon and Avallónë and Broceliande and Broceliand, the original name of Beleriand. Another parallel is the tale of Sir Balin in the Arthurian Legend with that of Túrin Turambar. Though he knows he wields an accursed sword, Balin nevertheless continues his quest to regain King Arthur's favour, yet he unintentionally causes misery wherever he goes. Fate eventually catches up with him when he unwittingly kills his own brother, who in turn mortally wounds him.
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- Carpenter, Humphrey (1977), Tolkien: A Biography, New York: Ballantine Books, ISBN 0-04-928037-6
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- St. Clair, Gloriana. "Tolkien's Cauldron: Northern Literature and The Lord of The Rings". CMU Libraries. Carnegie Mellon University.
- Brown, Larry A. (January 2009). "An Introduction, Notes, and Musical Examples. Part 1: Rhinegold". Richard Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung. Retrieved 23 October 2003.
- Harvey, David (1995). "Tolkien's Ring and Der Ring des Nibelungen". Retrieved 23 October 2003.
- Byock 1990. "The source for this quality seems to have been a relatively insignificant line from the Nibelungenlied, which says that the Nibelung treasure included a tiny golden wand that could make its possessor the lord of all mankind. "
- Needler, George Henry (ed.). "Nineteenth Adventure - How the Nibelungen Hoard was Brought to Worms". authorama.com. "The wish-rod lay among them, / of gold a little wand.
Whosoe’er its powers / full might understand,
The same might make him master / o’er all the race of men."
- Haymes, Edward (18 March 2004). "Tolkien and Wagner". Retrieved 23 October 2011.
- Jim Allan,author of Tolkien Language Notes, published in 1974
- Spengler (11 January 2003). "The 'Ring' and the remnants of the West". Asia Times. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
- Spengler (24 April 2007). "Tolkien's Christianity and the pagan tragedy". Asia Times. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
- Birzer, Bradley J. (3 August 2001). "'Both rings were round, and there the resemblance eases': Tolkien, Wagner, Nationalism, and Modernity". ISI Conference on "Modernists and Mist Dwellers". Seattle: The Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
- Chance, Jane, ed. (2002). "Middle-Earth, the Middle Ages, and the Aryan Nation: Myth and History during World War II". Tolkien the Medievalist. Routledge Studies in Medieval Religion and Culture 3. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-28944-0.
- Shippey 2007, pp. 97–114
- Shippey 2007, p. 98
- Manni, Franco (8 December 2004). "Roots and Branches, A Book Review". The Valar Guild. "Shippey criticizes Tolkien’s remark concerning the German composer ('the only resemblance between my Ring and that of Wagner is that both are round'): not only was Tolkien most interested in the central problem of 19th century philology, the relationship between the various texts which contain the Nibelung Sagas, but he also took characters from these (such as Mîm the Petty-dwarf) and above all the Wagnerian characteristics of the Ring, central and maleficent throughout the saga. The real great difference between Tolkien and Wagner is in the moral evaluation of the Ring: Wagner sympathizes with the desire for it, though with 'ifs' and 'buts', whilst Tolkien rejects this without qualification. Between the two there had been two world wars and all that was associated with these."
- Carpenter 1981, #178303
- The Lord of the Rings, Foreword: "The country in which I lived in childhood was being shabbily destroyed before I was ten"
- "Tolkien's tales from Lydney Park". Retrieved 22 August 2008.
- "In the Valley of the Hobbits". Retrieved 5 October 2006.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Mythology of Power, (Revised Edition, by Jane Chance, copyright 2001). University Press of Kentucky, cited in "INFLUENCES ON "THE LORD OF THE RINGS"". National Geographic Society.
- Tolkien, J. R. R. from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. Macmillan Reference USA. Cited in "J. R. R. Tolkien Summary". BookRags.
- Tolkien, J.R.R. (1991). The Lord of the Rings. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-261-10238-9.
- Carpenter 1981, #257
- Carpenter 1981, #1, footnote 6
- Chance 2004, pp. 288–292
- Garth, John (2003). Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 86. ISBN 0-618-33129-8.
- Carpenter 1981, #107
- Flieger 2002, p. 83
- Burns 2005, pp. 23–25
- Orr, Robert. Some Slavic Echos in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, Germano-Slavica 8 (1994): p. 23–34.
- Carpenter 1981, #154, 227
- Silmarillion 1977, p. 281
- Tolkien, J. R. R. (1954), The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 1987), "Note on the Shire Records", ISBN 0-395-08254-4
- Purtill, Richard L. (2003). J. R. R. Tolkien: Myth, Morality, and Religion. San Francisco: Harper & Row. pp. 52, 131. ISBN 0-89870-948-2.
- Stanton, Michael (2001). Hobbits, Elves, and Wizards: Exploring the Wonders and Worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 18. ISBN 1-4039-6025-9.
- Allen, Elizabeth M. (1985). "Persian Influences in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings" in The Transcendent Adventure: Studies of Religion in Science Fiction/Fantasy, ed. Robert Reilly. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 189–206. ISBN 0-313-23062-5.
- Chance 2001, p. 192
- Bramlett, Perry (2003). I Am in Fact a Hobbit: An Introduction to the Life and Works of J. R. R. Tolkien. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press. p. 86. ISBN 0-86554-851-X.
- Morgoth's Ring, Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth, pp. 322, 335
- Fimi, Dimitra (August 2006). ""Mad" Elves and "Elusive Beauty": Some Celtic Strands of Tolkien's Mythology". Folklore. pp. 6–8. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
- Encyclopedia of Arda: Aeglos (Aiglos)
- Rolleston's Myths and Legends of the Celts
- Carpenter 1981, #144
- Hooker, Mark (2012). Tolkien and Welsh (Tolkien a Chymraeg). Llyfrawr. ISBN 1477667733.
- Tom Shippey, The Road to Middle Earth, pp. 193–194: "The hunting of the great wolf recalls the chase of the boar Twrch Trwyth in the Welsh Mabinogion, while the motif of 'the hand in the wolf's mouth' is one of the most famous parts of the Prose Edda, told of Fenris Wolf and the god Tyr; Huan recalls several faithful hounds of legend, Garm, Gelert, Cafall."
- Day 2002, p. 82. "In the Celtic tradition, when these radiant beings — these 'ladies in white' — take on mortal heroes as lovers, there are always obstacles to overcome. These obstacles usually take the form of an almost impossible quest. This is most clearly comparable to Tolkien in the Welsh legend of the wooing of Olwyn. Olwyn was the most beautiful woman of her age; her eyes shone with light, and her skin was white as snow. Olwyn's name means 'she of the white track', so bestowed because four white trefoils sprang up with her every step on the forest floor, and the winning of her hand required the near-impossible gathering of the 'Treasures of Britain'". "In Tolkien, we have two almost identical 'ladies in white': Lúthien in The Silmarillion, and Arwen in The Lord of the Rings".
- Day 2002, p. 79. "Besides those elements already mentioned, Celtic mythology has played a fundamental part in the shaping of Tolkien's world. When we learn that the most important source of Welsh Celtic lore was preserved in the fourteenth-century Red Book of Hergest, we realize that Tolkien is making a small scholarly joke in naming his 'source' of Elf-lore the Red Book of Westmarch"
- Hooker 2002, pp. 176–177, "The Feigned-manuscript Topos": "The 1849 translation of The Red Book of Hergest by Lady Charlotte Guest (1812-1895), which is more widely known as The Mabinogion, is likewise of undoubted authenticity (...) It is now housed in the library at Jesus College, Oxford. Tolkien's well-known love of Welsh suggests that he would have likewise been well-acquainted with the source of Lady Guest's translation. For the Tolkiennymist, the coincidence of the names of the sources of Lady Charlotte Guest's and Tolkien's translations is striking: The Red Book of Hergest and The Red Book of Westmarch. Tolkien wanted to write (translate) a mythology for England, and Lady Charlotte Guest's work can easily be said to be a 'mythology for Wales.' The implication of this coincidence is intriguing".
- Jardillier, Claire (2003). "Tolkien under the influence: Arthurian Legends in The Lord of the Rings". Bulletin des Anglicistes Médiévistes, Bulletin de l'Association des Médiévistes Anglicistes de l'Enseignement Supérieur (63): 57–78.
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- Carter, Susan (22 March 2007). "Galadriel and Morgan le Fey: Tolkien's redemption of the lady of the lacuna". Mythlore.
- Flieger 2005, pp. 33–44
- Dunstall, Eadmund. "Orthodoxy in the Shire - A Tribute to J R R Tolkien". Orthodox England. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
- Burns, Marjorie (2005). Perilous Realms: Celtic and Norse in Tolkien's Middle-earth. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-3806-9.
- Byock, Jesse L. (1990). The Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer. Los Angeles: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-06904-8.
- Carpenter, Humphrey, ed. (1981), The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 0-395-31555-7
- Chance, Jane (2001). Tolkien's Art: A Mythology for England. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-9020-7.
- Chance, Jane (2004). Tolkien and the Invention of Myth: A Reader. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-2301-1.
- Clark, George; Timmons, Daniel, eds. (2000). J. R. R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances: Views of Middle-Earth. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-30845-4.
- Day, David (2002). Tolkien's Ring. New York: Barnes and Noble. ISBN 1-58663-527-1.
- Flieger, Verlyn (2002). Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press. ISBN 0-87338-744-9.
- Flieger, Verlyn (2005). Interrupted Music: The Making Of Tolkien's Mythology. Kent State University Press. ISBN 9780873388245. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
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- Shippey, Tom (2007). Roots and Branches: Selected Papers on Tolkien. Cormarë Series 11. Zurich and Berne: Walking Tree Publishers. ISBN 978-3-905703-05-4.
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