Happy Hobbit Day, Have a Quiz

September 22, 2023

Today is the day to celebrate all things Middle-Earth and the vast, fantastical mythology created by J.R.R. Tolkien in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It’s among the best-selling, most beloved book series of all time and a cinematic phenomenon to match. How much do you know about hobbits and their creator?


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Looks like you need to brush up on your Hobbit knowledge! Luckily, Thunder Bay Press has you covered with our 7-book boxed set—The World of Tolkien.

#1. Why is Sept. 22, specifically, Hobbit Day?

C) The Hobbit: There and Back Again was published on Sept. 21, 1937. One day before the birth anniversary of central character Bilbo Baggins. (It’s also the birthday of his younger cousin, Lord of the Rings protagonist Frodo Baggins.)

#2. Which of the following isn’t one of the seven official Hobbit daily meals?

B) When they can get them and all is well, Hobbits dine seven times a day: breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper.

#3. Just how tall is a brave hobbit supposed to be, anyway?

B) According to Tolkien, hobbits can range from two to four feet, with the average about three-and-a-half-feet. Hobbit men are slightly taller than hobbit women, all things considered.

#4. When does The Hobbit take place?

C) According to Tolkien, the fictional, mythical events of The Hobbit  took place in the years 2941 (and 2942), of the Third Age. As contemporary humanity is in the Fifth Age, by Tolkien’s accounting, that means The Hobbit is set about 6,000 years in the past.

#5. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit and most of The Lord of the Rings while working as a professor at the University of Oxford in the U.K. What was his area of expertise?

A) From 1925 to 1959, Tolkien taught, studied, and published at Oxford, first at constituent Pembroke College and then Merton College. He exhaustively researched and taught about the nature and structure of languages, otherwise known as linguistics.

#6. Which major work of the English collection did J.R.R. Tolkien have nothing to do with?

A) Tolkien helped research the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, the definitive record of the language. He worked on the “W” section, from waggle to warlock. The epic poem Beowulf dates to around the 8th century A.D., and it’s a formative text of English, the oldest surviving manuscript in the language. Modern interest in Beowulf, and the notion of its importance, stems from Tolkien’s 1936 lecture (then book), Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics. He never worked on a King Arthur tome, but he was inspired by that collection of British myths while writing his books about Middle-Earth.


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