Thanks to Peter Jackson, fans of J.R.R. Tolkien can travel to New Zealand to visit sets and locations from The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. But if one of those fans really wanted to learn about Tolkien himself, and see the actual location where Middle-earth was created, they can’t. But that might be changing.
Tolkien wrote most of those books during the 17 years he lived in Oxford, England, and his former home there is about to go up for sale. In response, stars of the films including Sir Ian McKellen, John Rhys-Davies, and Martin Freeman have teamed up to launch Project Northmoor. It’s a fundraising campaign aiming to buy the house located at 20 Northmoor Road and turn it into a full-on literary centre and museum dedicated to Tolkien and his work.
It’s counted as one of the biggest debates among Lord of the Rings fans: Who can grow a beard? Well, J.R.R. Tolkien himself has the answer in a previously unpublished essay expanding the world of Middle-earth, part of a new collection of works that’s set to come out next year.Read more
“This is just an opportunity that can’t be ignored,” Rhys-Davies told People, which broke the story. “If people are still reading in 1,000 years, Tolkien will be regarded as one of the great myth-makers of Britain and it will be evident within a matter of years that not to secure this place would have been such an act of arrogance and ignorance and folly on our part.”
Making this happen is no simple task, though. It’ll cost a minimum of $US4 ($5) million just to purchase the house and land. From there, any additional goals the campaign hits will trigger upgrades to the centre such as renovating it to look as it did in Tolkien’s time, adding a real-life Hobbit house, and more. You can see those stretch goals at this link.
The stars also did a video about the project, which you can watch below.
For all the information, including how and where to donate, visit ProjectNorthmoor.org. Any donor over $US25 ($34) will have their name in a book that’ll be kept in Tolkien’s study. But, of course, the more you donate, the more you can get. And if the project is successful, we all get a dream location for a future geeky vacation.
If you’ve ever tried to tackle the monumental task of learning Quenya or Sindarin, then rejoice: The man who created them agrees with you that they’re bloody hard to get your head around. Yes, The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien never expected people to be able to speak...Read more