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The Influences of J.R.R. Tolkien

            "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit," as J. How did Tolkien conceive such an unlikely and unique creature? This creature resembles all the good of man, without his evil vices. One should never discount hobbits for their stature or peaceful nature for they are quite capable of herculean tasks when they set their minds to it. In other words, hobbits are the perfect creatures for Tolkien's epic series, The Lord of The Rings, which is set in the ethereal realm of Middle Earth. Hobbits, among many characters, places, and peoples, are based on many outside influences. In the epic, The Lord of the Rings, Norse mythology, English literature, and Tolkien's own experiences, contributed to the development of one of the most significant and unique fantasy stories in Western culture. .
             Tolkien was always interested in Norse mythology, which is one the reasons why Tolkien got many of his ideas from the mythology. Many characters in The Lord of the Rings are similar to those of Norse mythology. For example, the god Odin greatly resembles the dark lord Sauron (Day 33). Both are powerful beings who possess a ring of power which controls weaker rings (Day 32). Their goals of domination are even similar-Odin trying to conquer the nine worlds, and Sauron trying to conquer Middle-earth (Day 33). They both have control over birds and wolves as well (Day 33). However, Sauron is not the only character with similarities with those of Norse mythology. The dark, fiery beast that dwells deep in the chasms of Moria called the Balrog has a correlation with the fire spirits of Norse mythology (Day 36). Some events involving the Balrog are even alike to those in Nordic folklore. In The Lord of the Rings, there is a great battle between Gandalf the Grey and the Balrog. This is much like the battle between Surt and Freyr, on the Rainbow bridge. In this battle Surt is most like the Balrog. Surt is a giant who possess a fire sword.

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