In 1937, J. R. R. Tolkien published The Hobbit, or There and Back Again. It was an instant success as a children's book but has captured the hearts of generations ever since.
The story of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who likes to stay home and live a quiet life. One day his world is shaken up by the arrival of Gandalf, a wizard. Gandalf pulls Bilbo into an adventure with thirteen dwarves. They are off to the Lonely Mountain to retrieve a stolen treasure from a dragon.
Their adventure takes them through the land of the elves, Rivendell, where they meet the wise Elrond. And then the company of adventurers goes around the mountain, where they are taken by goblins. After they escape the goblins, Bilbo becomes separated from the dwarves and Gandalf. He comes across Golem while lost in the goblin tunnels. There he finds a gold ring, that makes the wearer invisible.After Bilbo meets up with his companions again, they are treed by the Wargs, a wolf-like creature, and almost captured by the goblins, again. They are saved by
After Bilbo meets up with his companions again, they are treed by the Wargs, a wolf-like creature, and almost captured by the goblins, again. They are saved by Eagles and recuperate in the house of Beorn, a half bear, half man shapeshifter. After leaving him, the troop goes into the dark forest, Mirkwood, but Gandalf has to go off to fight with the wizards against a Necromancer. In Mirkwood, Bilbo saves the dwarves from giant spiders and breaks them out of the wood-elves prison.
Bilbo and the dwarves arrive in Lake town at the base of Lonely Mountain. Then they go on to the castle, where Bilbo finds out Smaug, the dragon's weakness. A small bird hears Bilbo discussing this weakness and relays the information to the lead archer in Lake town, Bard., when Smaug, enraged by Bilbo, attacks the town. Bard uses an arrow to shoot Smaug in the heart, where a protective scale was missing.
With the dragon dead, the dwarves can claim the treasure. When the humans asked for financial help repairing their town, the lead dwarf, Thorin refused. When it looks like Thorin is never going to change his mind, Bilbo enacts a clause in his contract. He gives the Arkenstone, that Thorin values above all the treasure, to Bard to use as a bargaining tool. Thorin agrees to the trade, secretly hoping Dain and his army of dwarves will arrive in time to prevent the deal. But, just as Dain is arriving, the goblins and Wargs choose that time to attack. The dwarves, humans, and elves all join together to fight the goblins and Wargs. Just as the battle seems to be going in favor of the goblins and wargs, the eagles fly in to help along with Beorn. Although the eagles frightened them, it was the giant bear that sent the goblins packing.
Having been knocked unconscious by a rock, Bilbo must hear about the end of the battle from Gandalf. The Eagles were pulling out a victory, but it takes the giant bear, Beorn, to really change the outcome and find a victory for the human, dwarf, and elf.Afterward, Thorin is mortally wounded and dies. He is replaced by Dain, the leader of the dwarf army. He is crowned the King of the Mountain. Bard is named the new Master of Lake Town, and the dwarves and humans live peacefully next to each other.
Afterward, Thorin is mortally wounded and dies. He is replaced by Dain, the leader of the dwarf army. He is crowned the King of the Mountain. Bard is named the new Master of Lake Town, and the dwarves and humans live peacefully next to each other. Bilbo Baggins begins his long trek home after the Battle of the Five Armies is over. He is accompanied by Gandalf and Beorn, with whom they spend the winter with, recuperating. Then Gandalf goes the rest of the way with Bilbo as he returns to his cozy home on the hill and begins his memoirs, "There and Back Again, a Hobbit's Holiday."
The Hobbit begins with a narrator describing the little people called hobbits. They are homebodies. They like their schedules and take meal time very seriously, all seven of them. There is breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper. Hobbits are smaller than dwarves, with big hairy feet and sharp ears and eyes. Although they seldom wear shoes, they like to wear bright colors, and love parties with gifts. They like tilled earth and a quiet home. Bilbo Baggins especially likes his home. Bilbo's home is rather large but cozy. It's in the Shire between River Brandywine and the Far Downs. His home is in The Hill, and rather large. He has whole rooms devoted to clothes, dining rooms, kitchens, etc. Bilbo was very happy in his home until a wizard came to call.
One fine afternoon Bilbo is sitting on his stoop when an old man wanders up. Bilbo knows the man is the wizard, Gandalf, so when he tries to talk Bilbo into going on an adventure, Bilbo says thanks, but no. Even though Bilbo's mother was a Took and that family was known for adventures and travel, he was more like his father, a Baggins, who like to stay home. But, to be polite, he invites Gandalf over for tea the next day.
When Bilbo hears a knock on his little round door the next day, he assumes it's Gandalf. But, instead, it's a dwarf by the name of Dwalin. Pushing past Bilbo, Dwalin promptly sits down at his table and begins to eat. Just as Bilbo is busy serving one dwarf, more begin to file in. Soon he has 12 dwarves. Then, just as his temper and patience have reached the breaking point, in walks Gandalf and the head dwarf, Thorin. He now has 13 dwarves and a wizard cleaning out his pantry.
Soon, it becomes clear that Gandalf has volunteered Bilbo to be the "thief" on the adventure with the dwarves. Gandalf pulls out an ancient map with a mountain on it and a door in the mountain. Bilbo is still not interested in going on this adventure, so he asks them why they think it is so important. Thorin explains that his grandfather mined all the gold in that mountain and was happily living as the King of The Mountain when a dragon named Smaug attacked. The dragon killed and scattered all the dwarves and has been hording the treasure ever since. The dwarves want to reclaim the treasure but aren't sure what to do about the dragon.
Bilbo thinks that they probably want him to slay the dragon when the time comes, but, after looking at the map he begins to become intrigued. Finally, he makes up beds for all his guests while he tosses and turns with dreams about the adventure. The next morning Bilbo wakes up late to find his house empty. He's a little disappointed, but mostly relieved. Just as Bilbo is about to sit down to a nice breakfast, in rushes Gandalf. He hurries Bilbo off to meet the dwarves, who are waiting for him to join their adventure. Before he even has time to properly prepare, Bilbo finds himself walking through the woods with thirteen dwarves. Soon, they notice a campfire and want Bilbo to earn his keep as a burglar.
Bilbo finds three huge trolls at the fire, eating mutton. He proceeds to try and steal their money, only to be caught by the trolls. Unfortunately, trolls will eat anything, and Bilbo fears he might be on the menu. Trolls are also dim witted, so they begin to argue with each other of the best way to get answers from Bilbo. The dwarves hear the commotion and wonder what happened to Bilbo, so the dwarves come upon the trolls one at a time, who proceed to capture them in bags. Bilbo is hiding and unsure how to help his comrades when they hear a voice coming from the woods. Each troll thinks the voice is coming from one of his friends and is an insult. The trolls begin to fight with each other again. This time they fight till the sun comes up. Trolls turn to stone when the sun rises. Bilbo discovers the voice from the woods is Gandalf and the two of them free the dwarves so they can get on with their adventure. Before they leave, though, they find the hidden cache of weapons the trolls had stored. These the group appropriates as payment from the trolls for the damage done on the dwarves.
The next morning the group head for Rivendell, a safe place where elves live. Rivendell is located beyond the Edge of the Wild and near the foothills of Misty Mountain. There they meet Elrond, the chief elf. "He was as noble and as fair in face as an elf-lord, as strong as a warrior, as wise as a wizard, as venerable as a king of dwarves, and as kind as summer." Bilbo loved elves, though he hardly ever met any, but, by nature, dwarves and elves don't get along. But, as guests, the dwarves would be on their best behavior.
Elrond can read runes and the markings on the map and on the new swords the group took from the trolls, (who make the best weapons). He tells them that the swords are famous goblin killers. They were used in the war between the elves and the goblins. Elrond can also read the writing on the map. It is moon-letters, visible only when the moon is in a certain phase. It tells how to find the secret entrance to the Lonely Mountain. The dwarves, hobbit, and wizard leave the next morning, well rested and ready for adventure.
Following the instructions of Gandalf and Elrond, the group finds a good trail over Misty Mountain. While resting in a cave overnight, Bilbo wakes up to find their horses disappearing through a crack in the wall. They are being stolen by goblins! After hearing Bilbo's scream, the goblins attack. They promptly capture Bilbo and the dwarves, but Gandalf gets away.
Just as Thorin is about to convince the goblins to let them go, one of them points out that is his sword is the great goblin killer. This infuriates the Great Goblin who tries to eat Thorin. All of a sudden the torches all go out and a great fire in the middle of the chamber begins to throw sparks onto the goblins. In all the confusion a great sword beheads the Great Goblin, and the dwarves and Bilbo are led to safety by a mysterious voice. As they are leaving the cave, the adventurers discover the voice was Gandalf. The dwarf, Dori is carrying Bilbo on his back when they are caught by a goblin. Bilbo falls off and gets knocked out.
Regaining consciousness, Bilbo discovers he is in a cave surrounded by nothing but darkness. When he feels around on the floor, Bilbo finds a ring and drops it in his pocket. Bilbo is alone, so he tries to find a path that looks vaguely familiar. He comes across a lake in the mountain with a strange creature named Gollum. A small, slimy creature with big eyes and long fingers. He rode around on the lake in a small boat that he quietly rowed with his big feet. He liked to eat meat, especially goblins when he could sneak up on them. He got his name because when he swallowed that was the sound he made, but he always called himself "my precious".
Gollum thinks he might like to eat Bilbo, but doesn't like Bilbo's sword. Gollum proposes a riddle game, if he can stump Bilbo, then he will eat him, if Bilbo can stump Gollum then he will show Bilbo the exit from the cave. After a few riddles, Bilbo asks him to guess what he has in his pocket. Gollum can't possibly guess the answer so he rows out to his little island to retrieve his ring that will make him invisible. The very ring Bilbo has in his pocket. Gollum suspects Bilbo has stolen his ring and is furious. When he runs after Bilbo to kill him, Bilbo accidentally slips the ring on his finger and disappears. Gollum runs right past him, so Bilbo follows him as Gollum makes his way to the entrance of the cave looking for Bilbo. They come across a group of goblins at the cave entrance and Bilbo sneaks past them while he is invisible into the fresh air and freedom.Bilbo is surprised to discover he has come out on the other side of the Misty Mountain. He comes across the dwarves and Gandalf while they are trying to decide whether to go on without him.
Bilbo is surprised to discover he has come out on the other side of the Misty Mountain. He comes across the dwarves and Gandalf while they are trying to decide whether to go on without him. Bilbo surprises them by appearing but chooses to keep the ring a secret. Gandalf insists that they get going, the sunlight is the only thing preventing the goblins from chasing them.
Soon, the adventurers come to a forest, it's getting dusk, so they must hurry. But, they are stopped by Wargs. Wolf-like men who are friends of the goblins. The band climb up trees to get away from the Wargs, but now they are trapped. When the goblins arrive, things look desperate. Especially when the goblins start fires under the trees. As Gandalf is planning on how to take as many of the goblins with him as possible, they are rescued by the Lord of the Eagles and his men. They are friends of Gandalf's and enemies of the goblins. The eagles take the weary dwarves, wizard and hobbit back to their nests so they can recover before they continue on their journey. After letting the group know he will be leaving them soon, Gandalf leads them to the house of Beorn. Living in a huge wooden house in the middle of the woods and outside of Mirkwood, Beorn is half man and half bear.
Beorn is an enemy of the goblins, so he loves the tale of their escape and how they killed the Great Goblin. But, he warns them the path they had planned to take to the Lonely Mountain may not be a good plan as the goblins and Warfs are hunting them. He knows of another path, the elf path, through Mirkwood, that will lead them right to the base of the mountain. Beorn warns them that the path is very dangerous and they must not stray from it no matter what. He then provides them with food and ponies. Gandalf goes one way, the dwarves and Bilbo go the other way. When the men reach the gate, they must let the ponies go and continue on foot.
Mirkwood is terrifying. There are eyes staring out of the darkness at them. Soon they come to a lake. They were warned not to touch the water, so they use a boat to cross. But, the dwarf, Bombur, falls in and goes into a sleep that lasts for days. The dwarves must carry him. Beginning to despair, they think they see lights flickering in the trees and decide to check it out, against the warnings of Gandalf and Beorn. Thinking they hear elves dancing and singing, they dash into a small clearing, but the elves aren't there and it is really dark. This happens three times and on the third time, they become disoriented.
Soon Bilbo stops hearing the voices and is too exhausted to go on. He sits down under a tree and falls asleep. When Bilbo wakes he is face to face with a huge spider who is trying to bind his legs with a sticky thread. Bilbo whips out his sword, cuts the binding and kills the spider. He decides to name his sword Sting. When he finds the dwarves they are drugged, wrapped up in cocoons and hanging upside down from trees.
Bilbo puts on his ring and disappears. Then he throws some stones and lures the spiders away. Once the spiders are gone, he doubles back and releases the dwarves. They are groggy from the poison the spiders injected them with, and have trouble fighting the spiders off when they return. Just when it looks like the dwarves and Bilbo might be about to lose, they realize they have retreated into a clearing used by wood elves and the spiders won't follow there. When they stop to regroup after getting away from the spiders, they notice that Thorin is missing. Thorin was taken prisoner by the elves, he had wandered into a clearing before the spider attack. Although, the wood elves are good people, they are very suspicious. So, when Thorin won't tell them where they are going, the elves throw him into prison.
After Bilbo and company are finished with the spiders, they are captured by the elves, too. Since, Bilbo is still invisible, he is able to follow the elves when they take the dwarves to prison with Thorin. He walks around the elves home and talks to the dwarves in their cells helping to plan an escape. Bilbo sees the elves trading with the people of Lake Town by sending barrels floating down the river, and plans on putting the dwarves in the barrels where they will speed along the river. Still invisible, Bilbo hops on one of the barrels and rides it down the river.
When they reach Lake Town, Thorin goes to the Master of Lake Town to declare that he is a decedent of the King of the Mountain and plans on taking it back from the dragon. The people are all thrilled, they look forward to the gold getting back into circulation. After a fortnight of rest and food, the dwarves and hobbit are off again. As they near Lonely Mountain, they notice a lack of vegetation. It has all been killed off by Smaug's fire. Realizing they can't go in the front door, the troop goes around to find the secret door on the map. When they reach it, though, they discern they can't open the door and have forgotten the riddle Elrond read to them.
After trying to beat at the door, they are all discouraged. While Bilbo is thinking he notices a thrush knock against a stone with his beak, and he suddenly remembers the riddle. He quickly gathers them all together, and as the sun is setting, it's the last ray of light hits the door just right a key hole appears. Thorin uses the key that came with the map to open the door. Since Bilbo is their burglar, Thorin sends him in to investigate. Bilbo puts his ring on and enters the dragon's den.
Smaug is a huge creature. He is red and gold with fiery breath and long claws. His body is as tough as diamonds. Even though Bilbo is terrified, he takes a gold cup to show the dwarves. Unfortunately, Smaug notices the cup is missing when he wakes up and is enraged. He flies around the mountain breathing out streams of fire. When he sees the ponies belonging to the dwarves and Bilbo, he eats them.Later, believing the dragon is asleep, Bilbo enters his den again. But, the dragon is just faking sleep. Since Bilbo is wearing the ring, Smaug can smell him, but not see him. The two engage in conversation. Bilbo entertains Smaug with riddles and with flattery gets Smaug to reveal his weak spot, a small place on his left breast without armor. Bilbo rushes out to tell Thorin what he learned. What he doesn't notice is a small thrush listening.
Later, believing the dragon is asleep, Bilbo enters his den again. But, the dragon is just faking sleep. Since Bilbo is wearing the ring, Smaug can smell him, but not see him. The two engage in conversation. Bilbo entertains Smaug with riddles and with flattery gets Smaug to reveal his weak spot, a small place on his left breast without armor. Bilbo rushes out to tell Thorin what he learned. What he doesn't notice is a small thrush listening. When Smaug realizes Bilbo escaped he chases him down the passageway, and with his roars causes an avalanche trapping the dwarves and Bilbo inside the mountain. Smaug deduces, from Bilbo's riddles, that somehow the men of Lake town are involved and flies down wreak vengeance.
Meanwhile, realizing the dragon is gone, the dwarves and hobbit make their way into the treasure room. There they rejoice in the riches, and Bilbo chooses a few things for himself. He takes the Arkenstone, an amazing gem that Thorin wants, but Bilbo keeps for himself, and a coat of mail made of mithrill. The metal is very strong, but a light metal, and rare. After a while, the company goes out a side door and follows the river down to an old guard-post cavern where they can eat, rest and plan. They still don't know how what to do about Smaug.
Now we leave Bilbo and the dwarves and follow Smaug on his destructive path to Lake Town. As he is attacking the town, the men are fighting back. They notch their arrows and prepare to defend their homes. A young archer, Bard, is just getting ready to let his arrow fly when a thrush lands on his shoulder, speaks into his ear, in a language he can understand, and tells him where to aim. He lets his arrow fly straight into the soft spot and into the dragon's heart, killing him. Smaug lands on the town further destroying it, but most of the people, including Bard, are saved because they jumped into the lake.
The townspeople are saddened by their losses, angry at the dwarves for waking the dragon and happy that they can go to the mountain to claim some of the gold to rebuild their town. As news of the death of Smaug makes it's way around the middle earth, the elf king finds out and goes to Lake Town to lend aid. The humans and elves join together to claim the treasure.
Meanwhile, a thrush lands on Bilbo's shoulder and tries to speak to him. Bilbo can't understand, so the thrush brings in a raven to translate. The bird tells them that Smaug is dead. The raven informs them, also, that a huge group of elves and humans are coming toward them.
When the townspeople get there, they are met by the dwarves. Bard tell them of the human's desperate times. And, Thorin doesn't care. The treasure belonged to his family first so he should keep it.
The humans and elves put the castle under siege. No one can come in and no one can go out. Bilbo is not pleased with this turn of events. He would have gladly share the treasure, there is so much, but no one questions Thorin's decisions. Thorin is still looking for the Arkenstone, so Bilbo comes up with an idea that might bring peace. He dons his invisibility ring and goes into the camp of the humans and elves. When he reveals himself, Bilbo is taken to Bard and the Elvenking. He gives them to Arkenstone to bargain with Thorin. The two are amazed that a small hobbit would take the chance to anger the dwarves just to stop a war. Declining their offer to stay in the camp for his safety, Bilbo heads back to the mountain. Along the way he meets Gandalf who commends him on his bravery. Gandalf has just arrived to see to the end of this matter.
Feeling more confident, Bilbo sneaks back into the mountain. The next morning two messengers arrive at the mountain to reason with Thorin. When he still refuses, Bard shows the Arkenstone and tries to trade it. Thorin is furious with Bilbo when he realizes his part in this. Just as he's about to attack Bilbo, Gandalf reveals that he is the other messenger and insists that Thorin listen to Bilbo's explanation. Bilbo explains that the Arkenstone was part of his share, agreed upon on his contract and therefore he could dispose of it how he saw fit. Thorin is forced to agree and will pay a fourteenth of the treasure for the stone. Secretly, he hopes that before he has to give up any of his treasure, his dwarf kin that are on the way, will take the stone by force. But, just as the dwarf army arrives, a new threat shows itself.
Gandalf informs them that the goblins and Wargs are on the way to claim the treasure for themselves. The dwarves are forced to join with the elves and humans to fight the oncoming threat. This becomes known as the Battle of The Five Armies. At first the battle is going to the side of the good guys, but just when it looks like the goblins are being beaten, the Wargs attack viciously. While Bilbo is not involved directly in the battle, he is forced to retreat into the elves' camp and is almost surrounded. The outcome looks dire for the good guys, until Bilbo's keen eyes see the Eagles coming. Just as it looks like the good guys might have a chance, Bilbo is knocked unconscious by a rock.
When Bilbo regains consciousness he is laying on the side of the mountain. The man searching for him can't find him because he is invisible. After Bilbo removes his ring, the man carries him down to get aid. There, Bilbo meets up with Gandalf who is overjoyed to see the hobbit alive. The battle was won by the good guys, but with the loss. Thorin is dying. He asks to see Bilbo so he can apologize for the way he treated him.
Gandalf tells Bilbo about the end of the battle. The Eagles came in to help, but the true tipping point of the battle was the arrival of Beorn in the shape of a bear. The goblins fled, and are either dead or hiding.
Afterward, Dain is crowned the new King under the Mountain, Bard is the new Master of Lake Town, and the dwarves and humans are at peace. Bilbo is given a good sum of treasure and leaves with Gandalf and Beorn to take a long way back home. Bilbo refuses to go through the Mirkwood. So, they spend a pleasant winter in Beorn's home. In the Spring, Gandalf and Bilbo continue on to Rivendell, where Gandalf and Elrond exchange tales of their exploits and Bilbo finishes healing from his wounds. Bilbo learns that the reason Gandalf left the troop was because he had to fight with the wizards to expel a Necromancer from the forest.
After he is fully rested and recovered, Bilbo and Gandalf take the long road back to The Shire. But, when Bilbo returns home, he sees that he was presumed dead and his belongings are being auctioned off. He quickly stops the auction and recovers most of his things, but is never actually accepted by the rest of the hobbits again. The aren't very comfortable around a hobbit that has tales of gold, dragons and war. They don't like adventures or adventurers.
But, Bilbo is fine with his new position. He gets plenty of visitors from dwarves, elves, and a wizard, and doesn't much care for the companionship of respectable hobbits, anyway. Mostly, Bilbo is happy with his kettle, pipe, and his cozy home while he writes his memoir, "There and Back Again, a Hobbit's Holiday."
Bilbo Baggins - Bilbo is a hobbit. A very well-to-do hobbit of the Baggins hobbits. His mother was a Took, the adventurer clan, but Bilbo is more like his father, a stay-at-home-by-the-hearth hobbit. Hobbits are smaller than dwarves and about half the size of humans. They don't have beards, have fat stomachs, and dress in bright colors. Hobbits don't wear shoes because the soles of their feet are leathery and have thick warm fur on them. They have curly hair, clever brown fingers, happy faces and deep fruity laughs. They can be quiet and sneaky. They would make great burglars, at least Bilbo does. Although, he is not excited about going on an adventure, he goes along and grows as a character. He finds courage he never knew he possessed and a quick wit to find solutions. He starts out as a timid burglar, but becomes more daring as the story progresses. Bilbo is very self-reliant and brave.
Gandalf - a wise and crafty wizard. He is very secretive. He aids the dwarves in their journey to reclaim Lonely Mountain and the gold, but, his real agenda is not revealed. Following a prophesy, he persuades Bilbo to accompany the dwarves as a burglar. Gandalf has strong magic but uses his abilities in concealment mostly. He wears robes to hide his face sometimes and throws his voice to cause confusion. A wanderer, Gandalf used to visit the hobbit village, bringing tales of adventure that would make the young hobbits head out looking for their own adventures. Sailing ships to far off shores, climbing trees, etc. Although Bilbo was not keen on adventures, he did like the fireworks made by Gandalf.
Thorin Oakenshield and the Dwarves - dwarves are short and sturdy. They are stubborn,greedy and tricky. They are miners, bringing up gold and metals from the earth. This is what leads Thorin and his company, Fili, Kili, Dwalin, Balin, Oin, Gloin', Ori, Dori, Nori, Bilfur, Bofur and Bombur on their quest. Thorin's grandfather, Thror, was the King Under the Mountain. He had his kingdom at Lonely Mountain until Smaug, the fire-breathing dragon, attacked and laid claim to all the king's gold. Thorin plans on reclaiming his inheritance. As the story progresses he relies on Bilbo more and more. He can't make plans that succeed, letting his greed and stubbornness lead him into situations that Bilbo must rescue him from.
Gollum - a small, slimy creature. He lives on a rock in the middle of the underground lake in the tunnels beneath the Misty Mountains. Living off fish from the lake, and the occasional goblin, he is a creepy character. He has big eyes, hands and feet. His speech is snake-like with hisses. Speaking to his gold ring, that he calls My Precious, he seems to be speaking to himself. When he loses the ring, and Bilbo finds it, Gollum is enraged. After the reader learns the ring is magical and can make the wearer invisible, we understand why he wants it so desperately. But, we have yet to learn the full elements of the ring, that comes in later books in the series.
J.R.R. Tolkien Biography
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892 – 1973) is born in South Africa and a professor at Oxford in Britain. A brilliant linguist and fantasy writer. The Hobbit was just one of the stories he created. Originally written for his children, it came to the attention of a publisher and was an instant hit with young and old. He was soon commissioned to continue the story in the "Lord of the Rings" Trilogy. Tolkien created an entire world for his stories, Arda, where Middle Earth is located. He also made an entire language for them called "Elvenlatin".
Tolkien was home schooled until he was 12. That was when his mother died and he was sent to live with a Catholic priest, Fr. Francis Xavier Morgan. He did well in school until he was 16 when he fell in love. Father Francis noticing how love was affecting his school work, forbid Tolkien from contacting her until he turned 21.
On the evening of his 21st birthday, Tolkien contacted Edith Mary Bratt. She was 3 years older than him, and not surprisingly, engaged to another man. As soon as she realized Tolkien still loved her, she broke off the engagement and agreed to marry him. They were married 3 years later in 1916 and lived happily together until her death in 1971. He followed her in death 22 months later. They were devoted to each other and their children and grandchildren. Buried in the same grave at Wolvercote Cemetery, Oxford, he had the name "Luthien" under her name and "Beren" under his name, after two romantic characters in his story, Of Beren and Luthien from the collection of short stories in his book, "The Silmarillion".