Ian McKellen (far left) plays Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” Photo: Mark Pokorny, Warner Bros.
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Now that Peter Jackson’s first installment in his planned “Hobbit” trilogy – “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” – has opened in theaters, it’s time to test your knowledge about J.R.R. Tolkien’s tale, and about the author himself. Fret not, the questions are multiple choice.
1. What do the initials in J.R.R. Tolkien’s name stand for?
A. Jeremiah Reginald Roth
B. Jessup Reynard Regan
C. Jurgen Ronald Reagan
D. John Ronald Reuel
E. None of the above
2. When and where was Tolkien born?
A. Jan. 3, 1892, in Bloemfontein, South Africa
B. April 16, 1898, in Cambridge, England
C. Aug. 25, 1893, in Swansea, Wales
D. Dec. 3, 1894, Edinburgh, Scotland
3. Which of these writers was not part of the Inklings?
A. J.R.R. Tolkien
B. C.S. Lewis
C. Charles Williams
D. Dorothy Sayers
E. None of the above
4. Where did Tolkien derive the names of the dwarves?
A. Der Ring des Nibelungen
B. The Voluspa
C. The Bildungsroman
D. Germanic mythology
E. The Ikea catalog
5. In what year did “The Hobbit” first appear in Britain?
6. Hobbits are fond of how many meals a day?
7. Who was the first dwarf to arrive at Bilbo’s home?
8. When Bilbo left Bag End, what did he forget to bring?
C. Walking stick
D. All of the above
9. What are the names of the three trolls?
A. Tom, Dick and Harry
B. Moe, Larry and Curly
C. Tinker, Evers and Chance
D. William, Bert and Tom
10. What is Durin’s Day?
A. The Dwarvish Midsummer’s Day
B. The Dwarvish Thanksgiving
C. The first day of the Dwarvish New Year
D. The Dwarvish Creation Day
11. What competition did Bilbo and Gollum have?
A. A ring toss
B. A swimming match
C. A riddle game
D. A sword fight
12. Who chased Bilbo, Gandalf and the dwarves up trees?
C. Human hunters
13. How were they saved?
A. By Gandalf’s magic
B. By a big bear named Beorn
C. By the eagles
D. By elves
14. What is the dwarves’ name for the Lonely Mountain?
15. What gives Bilbo the answer to the riddle on the map?
A. The thrush trilling
B. The thrush knocking it on the stone
C. The setting sun illuminating the bay’s wall
D. The appearance of the keyhole
16. How does one chat with a dragon?
A. Never, if you can help it
B. With riddling talk
C. With straightforward honesty
D. With lies
17. What did the dwarves give Bilbo as the first payment of his reward?
A. The sword Sting
B. The Arkenstone
C. A silver-hafted ax
D. A coat of mail made from mithril
18. Which of these races isn’t part of the 5 Armies?
19. What was the name of Thorin’s sword obtained from the trolls’ cave?
D. All of the above
20. What is the older name for Lake Town?
C. Long Lake Town
Bonus question: What has it got in its pocketses?
C. The One Ring
D. Its handses
1. D. John Ronald Reuel; 2. A. Jan. 3, 1892, in Bloemfontein, South Africa; 3. D. The Inklings were an informal literary discussion group that met in Oxford, England, as many of its members were affiliated with Oxford University; although Sayers graduated from Oxford and wrote detective fiction, she wasn’t part of the group; 4. B. The Voluspa is a poem that tells of the creation of the world and is a primary source of Norse mythology; 5. A. Though “The Hobbit” first appeared in 1937 in Britain, it was published the following year in the United States; 6. A. 6 meals a day (if they can get them), as mentioned in the prologue to “The Fellowship of the Ring”; 7. C. Dwalin is the son of Fundin and younger brother of Balin; 8. D. All of the above; 9. D. William, Bert and Tom; 10. C. The first day of the Dwarvish new year; 11. C. A riddle game; 12. A. Wargs; 13. C. The eagles; 14. C. Erebor; 15. B. The thrush knocking it on the stone; 16. B. With riddling talk; 17. D. The coat of mail made from mithril is also the gift that Bilbo gives to Frodo in “The Lord of the Rings”; 18. C. Orcs and wolves fought on one side; dwarves, men and elves fought on the other; trolls weren’t involved; 19. D. All of the above (Biter, Goblin-cleaver and Orcrist) ; 20. A. Esgroth. Bonus question: C. The One Ring.