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Posted at 1:11 PM ET, 02/ 9/2011

Quiz: Test your 'Lord of the Rings' knowledge

By Washington Post Editors

Corey Olsen had a lot to say about J.R.R. Tolkien. But it seemed a pity to consign his thoughts to a scholarly journal, to be read by a few hundred fellow academics who already knew more than enough about the author of "The Lord of the Rings."

So in spring 2007, the Washington College professor took his scholarship public, with a podcast called "How to Read Tolkien and Why" and a Web site called The Tolkien Professor.

A million downloads later, Olsen is one of the most popular medievalists in America. His unusual path to success - a smartly branded Web site and a legion of iTunes listeners - marks an alternative to the publish-or-perish tradition of scholarship on the tenure track.

Olsen has gathered some of the most common questions he receives about "Lord of the Rings" -- try your hand at fielding these Tolkien puzzlers.

By Washington Post Editors  | February 9, 2011; 1:11 PM ET
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Some comments:

There are strong hints that the entwives are in the shire, but the ents will never find them. See the opening were the Gaffer is talking about strange things happening, someone mentions a "walking tree". Also, Treebeard suggests that the Shire is a place the entwives would like. I will admit that if the entwives are in the shire, it doen't explain why the ents couldn't find them (they searched for a long time, long even to the ents).

It should also be pointed out that while the areas covered in The Lord of the Rings are part of our world, much of the areas covered in the Silmarillion and where the elves were going when they left is not. My understanding is that elves lived on a flat planet (Legolas could see further than the curvature of Middle Earth should allow), while Men (and hobbits) lived on our newer, rounder world.

Posted by: the_other_wumpus | February 13, 2011 5:08 AM | Report abuse

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