1 – GOLLUM WAS DIAGNOSED WITH SCHIZOID PERSONALITY DISORDER IN AN ARTICLE IN THE BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL
In 2004, six medical students and a lecturer in old age psychiatry published an article in the British Medical Journal where they attempted to diagnose Gollum’s problems. The article first examines Gollum’s mental state and notes that while “he shows no evidence of clinical depression, although he subjectively feels sad and is anxious to be reunited with his ‘precious’” there are “features of dissociation”. They also note that he suffers from paranoia, especially when it comes to Sauron and Samwise Gamgee. The authors consider several possible diagnoses and begin with possible reasons to his physical symptoms. A brain tumor is seen as unlikely due to his longstanding symptoms. They go on to suggest that due to his limited diet he could suffer from B-12 deficiency, which can cause delusions as well as paranoia, and iron deficiency anaemia, causing loss of hair and weight. Now, if anyone needed motivation for a healthy diet with sufficient amounts of iron and B-12 I think this is it. When diagnosing Gollum’s mental problems, the authors note that Gollum does not fulfill the criteria for schizophrenia but that “he fulfils seven of the nine criteria for schizoid personality disorder (ICD F60.1), and, if we must label Gollum’s problems, we believe that this is the most likely diagnosis
2 – MOUNTAINS ON TITAN ARE NAMED AFTER MOUNTAINS IN TOLKIEN’S WORKS
The astronomers responsible for naming geological features on Saturn’s moon Titan apparently felt inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien. Mountains and hills have been named after mountains and characters from Arda. Some examples are Angmar Montes, Doom Mons, Misty Montes, Bilbo Colles and Arwen Colles. See all of the names here.
3-THERE IS A FAMILY OF SEA SLUGS CALLED SMEAGOL
Smeagol is a genus of sea slugs of the family of mollusks called Smeagolidae. They exist in New Zeeland and Australia. The first of the species was discovered in 1971 and in 1980 it was named Smeagol manneringi in honor(?) of Sméagol. When I first read this I immediately though having a sea slug named after you isn’t much of an honor. However, F. M. Climo, who named the new order, family and species, wrote this in the New Zealand Journal of Zoology in 1980:
“The genus takes its name from the pallid, sometimes subterranean Tolkien character Smeagol (whose alternative name is Gollum), a pitiable humanoid who ultimately played a very important role in saving ‘Middle earth’ from evil forces. The slug described below is far more significant, phylogenetically, than its drab exterior indicates – hence the analogy.”
With that description it suddenly does seem like an honor.
On a similar note, biologist Leigh Van Valen named 20 fossil mammals he discovered after characters from Tolkien’s works. Among them are Bomburia, Mimatuta morgoth and Earendil.
4-TOLKIEN NEVER COMPILED HIS WORKS
Tolkien’s son, Christopher Tolkien, actually compiled all his works, including The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and others such as The Simallarion, The Children of Hurin and Unfinished Tales.
5-ROVERANDOM WAS A ‘SORRY’ TO TOLKIEN’S SON
As a small boy, Michael Tolkien lost his toy dog Rover on a beach. To comfort him, J.R.R Tolkien wrote a story about the very same toy where an irritable wizard turns Rover into a toy, and Rover goes to the moon and under the sea in order to find the wizard again to turn him back into a normal-sized dog.
6-TOLKIEN GOT THE IDEA FOR HIS WORKS FROM THE ANGLO-SAXONS
He served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, from 1925 to 1945. And the Anglo-Saxons wrote in runes. That’s where Elf and Dwarf runes originate from.
7-TOLKIEN LOST A COMPETITION OF WRITING TO CS LEWIS
As a member of the literary circle know as the Inklings, he and CS Lewis set a challange; Lewis was to write on space-travel, while Tolkein was do to time-travel. Lewis completed the novel Out of the Silent Planet, which set off a series of books alongside The Chronicles of Narnia. However, Tolkien never finished his, The Lost Road.
8-WHEN TOLKIEN’S SON JOINED THE ARMY, HE LISTED HIS FATHER’S OCCUPATION AS ‘WIZARD!’
9-TOLKIEN REFUSED TO HAVE THE HOBBIT PUBLISHED IN NAZI GERMANY
When agents from Nazi Germany wished to translate the Hobbit into German, they sent a letter asking to prove he was ‘Aryan’. Tolkien gave a scathing reply, saying amongst other thing that he wished he had Jewish ancestors.
10-HE INVENTED SEVERAL LANGUAGES
From his early teens, Tolkien invented several languages. Quenya became an important aspect of his middle earth Legendarium. In a letter published in Observer, 1981, Tolkien wrote: The stories were made rather to provide a world for the languages than the reverse. To me name comes first and the story follows.’