10 Signs You’re a Tolkien Nerd

Happy Hobbit Day, free people of Middle-Earth! I’m so glad that it falls on a Saturday so I can marathon the movies and fulfil my goal of watching the movies every year. I wanted to write a post about how to throw the perfect Hobbit Day party, but I’m not much of a party person and realised I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to write a post like that.  If you’re a fan just like I am, you’re probably nodding along enthusiastically as I outline my plans. But how far does your obsession go? Are you a book purist or do you brag about how you’ve watched the Oscar award-winning movies? I’ve put together a list of book-related and movie-related points to help you quantify your love for all things Tolkien. It mostly centres on The Lord of the Rings series, Tolkien’s most famous work. For every one ‘yes’ you get one point and at the end you can tally up your scores to see measure your fandom score! Please note that this is just for fun and I’m not trying to imply anyone is a lesser fan if they haven’t done any of these.

STRM - Tolkien Nerd Signs

1. You’ve read the appendices

Anyone who has reached the end of the story in The Return of the King knows that the book doesn’t truly end there. The appendices have a ton of background material to explore – lineages, histories, bonus Arwen-Aragorn content, languages, songs and so on. A true fan knows all the little obscure facts found only in the appendices.

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2. You’ve re-read the books entirely at least once

I try to re-read the trilogy at least once a year, but I also want to read new content set in Middle-Earth and I struggle to find a balance. However, I’ve definitely read it cover-to-cover thrice but even then tend to forget the finer details. Every re-read is special as I take away something different each time and lose myself in those pages.

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3. You’ve recommended Tolkien to friends and family

I’ve literally gifted people The Hobbit in the hopes they will read it and go on to The Lord of the Rings. I don’t recommend the books to everyone because I don’t think it’s everyone’s cup of tea. However, I never stop talking about it though in the hopes that someone I know will be encouraged to pick it up!

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4. You’re constantly looking for Tolkien merch

If you’re a part of the bookish social media community, you know that there are quite a lot of merchandise like candles, bookmarks, book sleeves and such based off of books. However, any fantasy fan knows that the majority of the attention goes to Harry Potter or Sarah J. Maas’s books. I really wish there would be more variety, especially with respect to The Lord of the Rings, which is considered a classic. Here are a few shops I love (but haven’t been able to buy from due to international shipping) in case you’re having the same feeling –

Midnight Flame Candle Co.Tookish Candle Co.In the Reads

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5. You know your Elvish name

A good way to spend time online is to take fun quizzes about your personality or whatever pop culture thing is trending at the moment. A good fan has probably already done that and remembers their Elvish name fondly, secretly wishing they could change their name and move to Rivendell. If you’re one of those who are still in the dark, here’s a fun one by Pages UnboundThe Elf Name Generator.

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6. You’ve watched the extended editions of the movies

Once you do, it’s so hard to watch the normal ones because of all the missing bonus content. It really does fill out some gaps in the storyline and adds humour, fleshing out the characters and the world a bit more. The next level would be to watch the cast commentary and one of these days I’m going to get my hands on that!

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7. You want to visit New Zealand

If you’ve noticed the incredible setting of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, chances are it’s on your travel bucket list (unless you happen to live there, in which case I envy you). The Hobbiton set is on the top of the list for me, but I’d also love to look at the snow-capped peaks of the White Mountains, wander through the fields of Rohan and walk through the forests of Lothlorien.

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8. Your go-to GIFs on social media are from The Lord of the Rings

I think the fact that I can represent any reaction I want to with a Lord of the Rings GIF speaks to the versatility of the story. I have to consciously stop myself and use different GIFs each time so that my friends online don’t think I have an unhealthy obsession.

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9. You have a ‘Precious’

It maybe your favourite person in the world or your phone or whatever is the cool thing to have these days, but let’s not pretend you didn’t get influenced by Andy Serkis’s creepy voice of Gollum and try to call someone/something your Precious at least once in your life. I can’t quite get it to sound like how it is in the movies but I do draw out the s’s in my speech if I’m in a particularly ‘Gollum mood’ just for the fun of it.

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10. You know Middle-Earth geography better than that of the real world

This is an embarrassing fact, but a fact nonetheless. My excuse is that world geography is vast and confusing. At one point in my childhood I did have every country’s name, capital and flag memorized but then I grew up and realised I had to put in much less effort to remember the Elvish names of the rivers of Middle-Earth.

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Comments

What is your nerd score? Which is your all-time favourite fandom? What’s the nerdiest thing you’ve ever done? Let me know in the comments section below.

27 thoughts on “10 Signs You’re a Tolkien Nerd

  1. I love LOTR so much I’ve watched the movies a thousand times and I’ve read the hobbit. But I hust can’t get past that long intro in Fellowship 😦 I’m hoping to go back soon and try again. You’re post makes me want to try even sooner!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, that’s awesome! I love meeting fellow Tolkien nerds. 😊 The books are very much on the slower side and I feel like one has to be in the right mood to get past the initial few chapters. Once you get used to the rhythm of the writing, it’s much more easier from then on, I promise. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ohh Nandini this is such a super cute fun post… I’m definitely not as much Tolkien obsessed as you are but I definitely adore my extended edition movie box set… that’s the only way to watch the movies.. and I would love to visit New Zealand too.. I want to go to the Shire 😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Sahitya! 😊 Oh wow I’m jealous that you own the box set! 😂 I have to borrow from people to watch it. I’ll need to remedy this soon. Yes, we should have a bloggers retreat in New Zealand or something where all of us nerds can meet up and do a tour of all the Middle-Earth locations. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I always want to throw a cool book-themed party, but then I realize I’m not sure I know enough people who would come. :/ (That sounds sad, but really I mean I don’t live near most of my family, college friends, etc.) But I would totally want to do a Tolkien party!

    Also count me in for visiting New Zealand.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 6!!! I actually wrote an essay about Tolkien for Linguistics in my first year and received an A so my dad was very happy about 😁
    My sister gave me the One Ring but it’s the black limited edition so it’s super cool. I’ve had people take a second look and then take it off my neck. The one guy actually asked me what the writing meant and I literally looked him straight in the eye and in total Tolkienite fashion, recite the words 😂😂😂 As for other merch, I wrote ‘Speak Friend and Enter’ on a post it note and stuck it on my door. Does that count?
    We don’t even watch the theatrical verison anymore it’s extended movies or nothing 😂
    WE ACTUALLY LENT THE COMMENTARY FROM MY DAD’S WORK FRIEND AND 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😍😍😍😍😍😍 IT’S LITERALLY THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING IN THE WORLD.
    I’m taking my copy of The Hobbit so I can pose with it in front of a hobbit hole (and I’ll probably fit just right 😁).
    Our family group (or well the one with just my parents, my sister, and I) is named My Preciouses 😂

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    1. Wow, you’re the coolest nerd ever! 😱 I’d love to have a One Ring replica. I only have Arwen’s necklace so far. I’d also like the Elven rings too and possibly the Ring of Barahir for my future husband. 😂
      It’s great that you recited the verse! If the soundtrack were surreptitiously playing in the background, it would be perfect. “The language is that of Mordor, which I’ll not utter here.” 😂
      I never thought of using that for my door. This is such a great idea! Of course that counts! 😍
      Haha yeah, the theatrical version just doesn’t cut it for me anymore either. For beginners I have to watch those though but the excitement of introducing them to it makes it alright for me. 😂 Okay, that’s all I needed to hear – I’m getting the cast commentary one for myself! I’ve heard everyone say it’s the best thing ever and as a fangirl I feel obligated to have watched it at least once. 😅
      I’m sure you’ll have a magical trip to New Zealand whenever you go. I’d love to see pictures! Aww your family is the best! ❤

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      1. I mean, sure, knowing all the lines to the movies (aka literally being able to look at a scene and know which movie it is, which scene it is, who’s speaking, who spoke, who’s about to speak and of course hearing like one or two seconds of the soundtrack and knowing which movie it’s from – I blame my dad 😁😁). You have to get the commentary dvds!! And also the one where it shows you what went behind the scenes – all the set designs and everything 😍😍😍😍😄😄 thanks! I’m also planning to just hide away so no one can find me and then live in Hobbiton 😂

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      2. Yeah, I do know the dialogues and soundtrack pretty well although I’m sure you’d get an A+ in that! 😂 Oh wow sounds great, I’ll surely get that! 😍 Haha, that’s every Tolkien nerd’s secret dream, isn’t it? 😂

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      3. 😂 😂 I’ll try a few to see and see which one works. I’ll probably use a Gollum quote. My favourite one to try on is his ‘Thieves, they’re thieves, they’re filthy little thieves’ speech from Two Towers. And of course his call to Frodo when they’re in Shelob’s cave – ‘are you juicy, are you scrumptious?’ mostly because you can go up at the end of scrumptious 😂😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. 7 points for me! I don’t use GIFs (of any kind), or know my Elvish name, or look for Tolkien merch (if I don’t look, I won’t find anything to spend my money on :P). Can I have a bonus point for actually having traveled around NZ because of the LotR movies? 😂

    On a more serious note, re: #10 – I think the fact that we can remember so many place names in Middle-earth is testament to Tolkien’s work of creating stories to go with his languages. Because of the stories, we are able to understand and connect with the names. (Thankfully Middle-earth is smaller than our entire world, haha).

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  6. OK… I’ve only done 5 of the above, so I guess I’m not a big Tolkien nerd? XD Here are the ones that apply.

    #1: OH YES I HAVE DONE THIS. Do we also get gold stars if we’ve made our own appendices for worldbuilding and stories??”

    #6: Of course I’ve watched the extended editions! Of all six movies, might I add. (Yes, I own the Extended Editions of the Hobbit films, and I’m glad I did. The Battle of the Five Armies EE actually fixes some of the issues I had with the theatrical version.)

    #7: I would absolutely love to go to New Zealand someday. In fact, I know a couple people who live there…

    #8: Actually, I tend to be openminded about what GIFs I use. But if what I want to express in a GIF occurs in LOTR, you bet I’ll grab that in a flash.

    #9: I have many Preciouses. XD And, um, I have also imitated Gollum saying “My Precious.” Many times. In real life, obviously. Gosh, that was embarrassing to admit…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, of course you are, Sara! This was just some points I threw together. 🙈
      You get an additional point for having your own appendices, of course! 😊 Oh, I haven’t watched the extended edition of The Battle of Five Armies but after your comment I definitely want to! 😅 Krysta was suggesting a bloggers trip to New Zealand in the comments. I really hope that happens! 😍 I’m sure everyone who has seen Gollum on screen has tried that at some point in their lives. I personally find it adorable, Sara! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Bloggers trip to NZ? Sounds like an adventure to me . . .

    I scored a 10 – which would embarrass me if I wasn’t such a big Tolkienite (Tolkienhead, Tolkien geek . . .?)
    I combed through the appendices as a kid, just looking for new info, and they actually made me cry (HEY I WAS A KID). I think I’ve read the whole trilogy about 12 times through (and the hobbit somewhere under 20).
    I never watch the theatrical versions. Can’t do it. Also, I’ve watched the whole commentary (summer break a few years ago), and it is fantastic! All of the extra material is super interesting.
    While Tolkien gifs aren’t the only ones I use on my blog, I have a whole Pinterest board full of them, and they are a regular on everything from posts to Twitter.
    Since I’ve been in Korea, I actually bought the Korean language edition of The Hobbit – it will probably take me like 10 years to get to the level where I can read it (lol), but it’s happening. Someday.
    For a funny bonus – after I saw Fellowship, I braided my hair like the elves every day for several months. That is the highest level of dedication my hair and my appearance have ever been given – sad but true. Also, my siblings and I played “Lord of the Rings” (basically RPG level, with backstories and Elvish names) for years.
    So – I think it’s safe to say that I’m a crazy nerd.
    This post was fun and cute, and made me immediately want to go rewatch AND reread, but I have a mountain of homework I’m already avoiding (sigh).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It warms my heart to hear about all your experiences. Wow, braiding your hair like the Elves is so cool! 🙂 I really hope that you someday get to read the Korean version of The Hobbit! Thank you so much! 🙂 I have a ton of work too, so when I re-watched the movies on Hobbit Day, I only could finish two. Sigh.
      Anyway, it’s so nice to meet a fellow Tolkien nerd! Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Braiding hair like an elf looks really cool but it takes FOREVER!! That’s why it didn’t last too long!
        The think with the Korean edition of the Hobbit is that while I can technically read it (Korean is really easy to read) – understanding that complicated of a book is quite the commitment! We’ll see 🙂 I’m working through “The Little Prince” -bilingual edition, and that’s still a challenge.
        Only two – so sad – but someday!
        Yes – always wonderful to meet Tolkien people – and I love your blog, by the way 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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