From the moment J.R.R. Tolkien first introduced readers to Middle-earth with The Hobbit, fans have been blown away by the scope of his fantasy world. With its detailed history, constructed languages and well-established geography, Middle-earth is arguably the most fully-realized imaginary environment in all of literature.
Indeed, the unmatched immersive quality of Tolkien’s life’s work has had such a profound effect on the genre that it’s spawned countless imitators over the years. Although some of these – like A Song of Ice and Fire – have made a worthwhile attempt at capturing a similar sense of reality to the one Tolkien was able to infuse into his own magical realm, none have so far surpassed the bar set by Middle-earth.
In recent years, more people than ever have become familiar with Tolkien’s world of Hobbits, Wizards and Orcs, thanks to the huge success of Peter Jackson’s blockbuster film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, more casual fans – particularly those who haven’t read Tolkien’s wider body of work – probably don’t know as much about Middle-earth as they might think.
That’s why we’ve pulled together this list highlighting 15 Things You Never Knew About Middle-Earth, in order to bring you fully up to speed on the greatest place that never was!