Tolkien Reading Day is held every year on March 25 because that is the date of the fall of the Lord of the Rings (Sauron) at Barad-dûr. It’s a day to read your favorite passages or encourage others to read their own! I’ve shared a few quotes and some Tolkien-related trivia here. Feel free to add your favorites in the comments!
Tolkien was a philologist. Along with speaking and reading multiple languages, he also constructed a number of languages and sub-dialects. Quenya and Sindarin, the main two languages featured in the world of Middle-earth, are the most complete of the languages he created. Each has an extensive phonology, grammar, and vocabulary.
Middle-earth and the stories Tolkien wrote about it were composed to fit the languages he had already begun to develop, not the other way around. He once said that he wanted to create a world in which “elen síla lúmenn’ omentielmo” (a star shines on the hour of our meeting)was a common greeting.
The Lord of the Rings is one of the best-selling novels ever written, with over 150 million copies sold. It has been translated into 38 languages, including Yiddish and Esperanto. Tolkien was so upset with the first couple of translations that he wrote an entire book, Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings, to aid future translators.
The grammar and language in Lord of the Rings books have an antiquated feel because Tolkien wrote them as if they were translated into English from Westron, a fictional language of Middle-earth.
When Tolkien’s son enlisted in the army, he listed his father’s occupation as “wizard.”
It is commonly known that Merry and Pippin from Lord of the Ring are cousins. Arwen and Aragorn are also cousins, and Galadriel is Elrond’s mother-in-law.
The story of Beren and Lúthien, told in several forms throughout Tolkien’s works, details the love of a mortal man and an elf maiden. It is thought to be the greatest love story Tolkien ever wrote, and may have been inspired by his wife, Edith. The names Beren and Lúthien are inscribed on the gravestone Tolkien shares with his wife.
Music is integral to Tolkien’s work, and is how the world of Middle-Earth was created. Eru Ilúvatar, often just called Ilúvatar, the Creator, composes the song, and the Auinur, or Holy Ones, manifest his creation in their songs.