Is The Lord of the Rings Based on a True Story?

Before the world was taken by storm by HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’, the style of fantasy was below the monopoly of JRR Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings‘. Directed by Peter Jackson, the trilogy was not solely a large business hit but additionally turned a important success story, with ‘The Return of the King’ changing into one of the solely movies with the most Academy Award wins. Tolkien’s tales not solely profited from its bestselling books and films that made billions of {dollars}, however in addition they impressed different writers like George R.R. Martin and J.Ok Rowling, who went on the create profitable franchises of their very own.

Even in spite of everything this time, Tolkien’s tales are learn by folks worldwide, and a new chapter has been added to them with the arrival of Amazon’s ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’. Created by Patrick McKay and John D. Payne, the sequence creates a utterly new world for the viewers, separate from the films and the books however linked to them. With one thing that has proved to be so influential, you may surprise the place Tolkien’s world originated. What influenced him to put in writing ‘The Lord of the Rings’? Is it based mostly on true occasions? Here’s what you must learn about it.

Is The Lord of the Rings a True Story?

No, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is just not based mostly on a true story. It is a fantastical story about elves and dwarves and dragons and was concocted by J.R.R Tolkien. It is evident that the occasions in his tales should not historic in nature, and so, should not based mostly on any true occasions. However, each storyteller wants inspiration, particularly relating to creating such a sprawling universe, and Tolkien discovered his supply in numerous mythologies and literature that got here earlier than him.

The Inspirations for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings

The story of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ begins with ‘The Hobbit’ and the concept for the story got here to Tolkien one high quality day when he was marking papers. A sudden inspiration struck him, and on a clean paper, he wrote the first line of the novel that may flip into a masterpiece in the fantasy style. It took him a couple of years, however he completed the story, which discovered important and business success on its launch. Some of the clear influences on Tolkien, which he additionally admitted, have been the likes of ‘Beowulf’, ‘The Black Douglas’ and ‘The Princess and the Goblin’. He was additionally notably impacted by the works of William Morris and The Brothers Grimm.

Is The Lord of the Rings Based on a True Story?
Image Credits: James Fisher/Warner Brothers Pictures

The world of ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘LOTR’ has all types of magical beings, most of whom have been already obtainable to the creator. He drew issues from Norse mythology, Germanic legends, Slavic, Celtic, and Greek mythology. Being a linguist additionally allowed him to make use of his data of diverse languages to create distinct voices for each species that seems in his tales, which additionally discover their roots in Christianity and Judaism. It is believed that Tolkien’s data of Jewish historical past knowledgeable the traits in addition to the backstory of the dwarves in ‘The Hobbit’.

Apart from this, Tolkien additionally tied some of his personal experiences into the story. He had fought in the First World War and his expertise in the trenches allowed him to create a higher image of the wars that happen in the LOTR universe. The urbanization of Worcestershire, the place he’d spent his childhood, is mirrored in the change that Sauron brings to his personal world. The themes of militarisation and industrialization are additionally thrown into the combine.

After the success of ‘The Hobbit’, the publishers have been very eager for Tolkien to put in writing a sequel. It took a while for him to determine the place he needed to select up the story for ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’, however as soon as the concept shaped in his thoughts relating to the Ring and its powers, issues progressed on their very own. On the facet, Tolkien had additionally been writing another tales, associated to however impartial of ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘LOTR’, compiled in ‘The Silmarillion’ which serves as a prequel to ‘The Hobbit’.

What is Amazon’s The Rings of Power Based On?

Is The Lord of the Rings Based on a True Story?
Image Credits: Ben Rothstein/Prime Video

When Amazon gained a bidding battle for Tolkien’s tales, it obtained the rights to the ‘LOTR’ trilogy, ‘The Hobbit’, and the appendices, which function a roadmap to the historical past of its universe. It didn’t safe the rights to different works in the shared universe, like ‘The Silmarillion’, ‘Unfinished Tales’, and ‘The History of Middle-Earth’. This meant that the writers had little or no to sketch new tales from as they couldn’t take one thing from the different books that weren’t obtainable to them. On prime of that, in line with Indie Wire, Amazon solely has permission to create a story in the Second Age, versus The Third Age, the place ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘LOTR’ are set.

This meant that they couldn’t use the characters that may not be current in the Second Age. They did, nevertheless, have the liberty to create new characters and construct upon the questions that hadn’t already been answered in Tolkien’s works. “What has Sauron executed in the meantime? Where was he after Morgoth was defeated? Theoretically, Amazon can reply these questions by inventing the solutions, since Tolkien didn’t describe it. But it should not contradict something which Tolkien did say. That’s what Amazon has to be careful for. It should be canonical, it’s not possible to vary the boundaries which Tolkien has created. It is important to stay ‘Tolkienian’,” mentioned Tom Shippey, a Tolkien scholar and ‘LOTR’ marketing consultant.

While this restriction might need created issues for any common Tolkien fan, for J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, there was already sufficient materials obtainable inside the authorized limits on which to create a new story set in the Second Age. “There’s a model of every little thing we’d like for the Second Age in the books now we have the rights to. As lengthy as we’re portray inside these traces and never egregiously contradicting one thing we don’t have the rights to, there’s a lot of leeway and room to dramatize and inform some of the finest tales that [Tolkien] ever got here up with,” McKay informed Vanity Fair.

The duo used every little thing from songs about Second Age characters in ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘LOTR’ to prologues or another supply in the books that delved considerably into the historical past of Tolkien’s world. Every element and each identify, irrespective of how minor or inconsequential, was vital. “We took all these little clues and thought of them as stars in the sky that we then linked to put in writing the novel that Tolkien by no means wrote about the Second Age. We labored along side world-renowned Tolkien students and the Tolkien property to ensure that the methods we linked the dots have been Tolkienian and gelled with the consultants’ and the property’s understanding of the materials,” Payne mentioned.

Is The Lord of the Rings Based on a True Story?
Image Credits: Ben Rothstein/Prime Video

What finally turned out was the storyline that takes place hundreds of years earlier than the occasions of ‘The Hobbit’, which is about round the finish of The Third Age. This was the time that centered on the formation of the rings in addition to the rise of Sauron. “‘The Rings of Power’ unites all the main tales of Middle-earth’s Second Age: the forging of the rings, the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the epic story of Númenor, and the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. Until now, audiences have solely seen on-screen the story of the One Ring, however earlier than there was one, there have been many,” mentioned the creators.

In conserving with the spirit of Tolkien’s writing, McKay and Payne knew that language would turn into an vital device in telling the tales in ‘The Rings of Power’. They knew that Tolkien was closely influenced by a number of languages, which confirmed in the manner his characters talked. So they made certain that the elves and the dwarves, the people and the harfoots, everybody had their very own tone and method of talking, a distinct accent if you’ll. “We even got here up with hero meters for every totally different race in Tolkien. Some of them will communicate in iambs. Some of them will communicate in dactyls. Some of them will communicate in trochees,” Payne mentioned.

The proven fact that each the writers come from spiritual backgrounds additionally helped their trigger. “I spent a lot of time simply studying these sacred texts. I used to be an English main at Yale and liked Shakespeare at the time and nonetheless return and reread the numerous performs. I’ve additionally spent a lot of time learning Hebrew poetry and parallelism and inverted parallelism and chiasmus and all these cool rhetorical methods that poets and prophets from hundreds of years in the past would use to speak sacred materials. And Tolkien, typically, will play in that sort of a sandbox,” Payne added.

Considering all of this, we will say that whereas ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and its universe may not be based mostly on actual occasions, a lot of analysis and work has gone into it to make it look as actual and grounded as potential, one thing that the viewers can relate to and love, though it’s clearly set in a fantasy world.

Read More: All Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Movies, Ranked

Leave a Comment