Lord of the ringlets

January 3, 2013

To everything there is a Jewish question: and here’s one about the newly released film, The Hobbit, the prequel to Lord of the Rings.

According to my son Joshua, devotees of the fantasy wonder how far J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the books which inspired the films, based his dwarf characters on Jews.

Tolkien did see a resemblance, dwarves having been exiled from their homeland. They were, he wrote in a letter, “at once native and alien in their habitations, speaking the languages of the country, but with an accent due to their own private tongue”. And in one interview, he said the dwarf tongue he created had “semitic” features.

Last updated: 11:19am, January 7 2013