The Historical Inspirations Behind J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy

Tom Blank of Weird History looks back at the historical inspiration behind the classic J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy The Lord of the Rings, noting how early Norse and Roman mythology influenced a great deal of his writing. Other influences included the Finnish language, the rise of fascism in Europe, Tolkien’s fascination with artifacts, his desire for a distinctly British mythological history, and his experience fighting in World War I.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit adventure that preceded it are full-fledged mythologies and histories unto themselves…But the list of historical references in The Lord of the Rings is long and the impact of influences on his writings, including Norse mythology and Tolkien’s own WWI experiences, is undeniable.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.