75 Ways to Celebrate The Hobbit’s 75th Anniversary

It’s been 75 years since The Hobbit broke into our world and transformed the way we thing of modern storytelling and epic adventure. To help you celebrate Tolkien Week 2012 (and Hobbit Day and Middle Earth weekend), this article will provide you with 75 different ways you can celebrate all things short and hairy-footed.

Looking to find out more about Tolkien Week? Check out my last entry.

75 Ways to Express Your Tolkienthusiasm™ for Tolkien Week 2012

1. Remember why one does not simply walk into Mordor thanks to the image embedded below.

One does not simply walk into Mordor.

Ent Draught Recipe

Think of this as a very Hobbit-esque Long Island Ice Tea.

Honeydew juice, kiwi juice, lime juice, rum (I recommend Bicardi), gin (I recommend Seagrams), vodka (I recommend Absolut), ice, sliced limes, and parsley.

What to do: Mix one part gin, one part rum, and one part vodka with three parts honeydew juice, one part kiwi juice, and two parts lime juice. Add ice and garnish with sliced limes and parsley.

Drink. If possible, grow a couple inches after consuming.

2. Mix a glass of Ent Draught. Check out the recipe to the right.

3. Throw a “Long-expected party” for Frodo, Bilbo, and your friends on September 22nd.

4. Write a haiku about The Hobbit or The Lord of the RingsI’ll go first:

Golden ring shining
as I topple toward the flames.
Don’t leave me, precious.

5. Take a hike. The Hobbit was all about having an adventure on treacherous landscapes, so why not find your own?

7. Put Rogain on your feet.

8. Volunteer to read passages from The Hobbit to children at a local library.

9. Run a LOTR-themed scavenger hunt. Here’s a sample list. To win, you must have: A gold ring; “my bow” (weaponry or hair-tie); “my ax” (weaponry or body spray); a copy of at least one book by J.R.R. Tolkien; brie cheese; and mushrooms.

10. Throw on this Lord of the Rings Music Playlistfeaturing work from Howard Shore, Leonard Nimoy, Flight of the Conchords, and many others. While you’re there, check out and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

11. Go to an archery range and put a print-out of Smaug on your target. I’ve even created a print-out for you, which you’ll find just past the break.

Smaug target from The Hobbit

Right-click and choose “Save as” to snag this image. It’s currently set for print-ready sizes.

12. Play “Lord of the Rings 20 Questions.” The game is simple: It’s just like 20 questions, only you have to choose something from the Tolkien universe.

13. Watch the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Oh yeah. It’s marathon time.

14. Watch the animated movie of The Hobbit, now available on YouTube for your viewing pleasure. The first video is embedded below.

15. See if you might be turning into a hobbit.

16. Gather a group of friends and share some LOTR and other riddles.

17. Listen to the 10-hour loop track of “They’re Taking the Hobbits to Isengard.”

18. Eat second breakfast.

19. Eat elevenses.

20. Have a luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper.

21. Learn all about The Lord of the Rings in 99 seconds. The video is embedded below (and I also recommend the Harry Potter video done by the same artist).

22. See how the narrative of Lord of the Rings compares with other major movies in this XKCD chart-comic.

Lord of the Rings narrative flowchart.

23. Watch the entire, and entirely daunting, extended Lord of the Rings TrilogyFor the record, the total running time of the extended trilogy is 682 minutes.

24. Play one of the many Lord of the Rings drinkings games, like the version pictured below. (Disclaimer: If you do this with the extended version of LOTR, you will die. Not maybe die. You’ll just die.)

LOTR Drinking Game

LOTR Drinking Game: Engage at Your Own Risk

25. Bake some Elven lembas bread.

26. Plan a virtual vacation to The Shire. Thanks to the extensive cartography done by Tolkien, this is totally doable.

27.  When throwing your long-expected party, decorate in LOTR style by putting up banners for Frodo and Bilbo’s birthday, the Riders of Rohan, or the House of Gondor.

28. Discover 50 reasons why Lord of the Rings sucks.

29. Play the Lord of the Rings Wiki game. Here’s how it works:

Rules for the LOTR Wiki Game

You’ll need two players and a judge.

To start the game, the judge loads a random page on  The Lord of the Rings Wiki. The judge announces this as the “target page.”

The two players open up the home page of The Lord of the Rings Wiki in their web browser of choice. When the judge shouts “go,” the two players hit the “random page” link on the main page. Each player must then attempt to navigate to the target page by using embedded links inside each wiki page. No navigation besides clicking on embedded links is allowed. The first player to the target page wins.

30. Watch the Lord of the Rings edition of “How It Should Have Ended,” embedded below.

31.  Buy or bake a birthday cake for Bilbo and Frodo.

32. Watch the animated (and slightly less-than-canon) version of Lord of the Rings, which is also available on YouTube.

33. Learn how to make LOTR-inspired Origami, like the killer sample pictured below. If you’re looking for a party activity, a cooperative or competitive version of the fancy folding works wonderfully.

Origami: LOTR's Nazgul

34. Go around introducing yourself to everyone as Mr or Mrs Underhill.

35. Play the official Lord of the Rings board game, card game, Risk game, version of Monopoly, Stratego, Trivial Pursuit, or one of the majillion other money-grabbing  entrepreneurial products from the series.

36. Check out a biography on Tolkien himself, such as the one found here.

37. Read The Very Secret Diaries of the Lord of the Rings. Warning: These are intended for a “mature audience”—by which we mean a technically grownup but complete immature audience.

38. Hear the story of the Fresh King of Gondor, embedded below. If you’re doing this at a party, have everyone sing along by using a Fresh Prince karaoke track.

Fresh King of Gondor (animated gif meme)

39. Take pictures with a Lord of the Rings cardboard cutout.

40. Rent the movie Precious. Return to the movie store an hour later, complaining that you were looking for “that one movie with the ring in it.”

41. Bake some Mirkwood Cookies.

42. Read the politically correct rendition of The Lord of the Rings.

43. Do some boffer-sword reenactment of LOTR battle sequences.

44. Write about your dream adventure. What would you be trying to do? Who would your adventuring companions be? What types of places would you see?  

45. Re-tell the story of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings using legos or puppets.

46. Use “my precious” as your pet name for your spouse or partner for the entire week. If you don’t have a spouse or partner, try out the pet name on random strangers.

47. Eat fish that’s raw and wriggly (in sushi or whatever other non-cooked form you prefer).

48. Listen to J.R.R. Tolkien read from The Hobbit.

49. Have a fireworks show. Well, assuming it’s legal and/or you’re a wizard.

50. Write Hobbit-inspired descriptions of our favorite meals and feasts.

51. See how Sauron got the entire ring idea. The image, courtesy of XKCD, is embedded below.

XKCD comic - Sauron ring idea

52. Book a seat or grab a bootleg for The Lord of the Rings musical.

53. Read some of Tolkien’s less-known work, like his various published poems.

54. Take a “which character are you” Lord of the Rings quiz. If you’re doing this at a party, have everyone take a quiz and share their results.

55. Turn your house into a hobbit hole.

56. Play some Lord of the Rings madlibs.

57. Have a Tolkien costume contest. Some samples of LOTR and Hobbit cosplay can be found in the images below.

Hobbit group cosplay

Image courtesy of Gears of Halo

Nazgul - ring wraith - cosplay

Image courtesy of Phil Anime

58. Play the Middle Earth quote game by having a selected player give a quote from a Lord of the Rings film or book. Whoever guesses who is being quoted and what the source is gets to provide the next quote.

59. Give Middle Earth-themed gifts as party favors or game prizes. This can include replica rings, elfin calligraphy, book and DVD copies, strands of golden hair (such as the ones given by Galadriel to Gimli in Lothlórien), wizard-worthy fireworks, or one of many other fantastic options.

60. Take Lord of the Rings quizzes, grab trivia questions, or arrange a Tolkien knowledge competition.

61. Learn a not-quite-secret truth about Legolas and Aragorn, embedded below.

Aragorn and Legolas condom gif

Miruvar Recipe

A fruity, flowery beverage worthy of the elf folk.

Ingredients: A bottle of Boone’s snow creek berry (or a light berry flavor of your choice), 1/2 cup honey, and two teaspoons of elderflower extract.

What to do:  Warm the honey until it’s semi-liquid. Pour the Boone’s into a separate container and mix in the honey and elderflower extract.

This elf-made festival drink helps invigorate the drinker. If this drink does not invigorate you, please contact Elfin Customer Service at 555-WE-R-PRTTY.

62. Mix a glass of Miruvor. The recipe is on your right.

63. Compare and contrast your favorite fantasy book with The Lord of the RingsThis is a great way to get a sense of how Tolkien changed the face of the genre.

64. Play Tolkien Scrabble. This is just like traditional Scrabble, except that all words must relate to the Tolkien universe.

65. Have each member of a group share a story about finding heroism in surprising places. The theme of the Tolkien universe often calls back to how heroic strength often comes in strange, small packages, and you can honor that message by sharing your own story.

66. Set aside time to read from The Hobbit. Even if you’ve read the book before, it may have been years back, so another reading of this fairly short classic can be refreshing in multiple ways.

67. Play Orc, Elf, Hobbit. This is a highly mobile game designed for the theatrically inclined. Here’s how you play.

Rules for Orc, Elf, Hobbit

You’ll need three players, a shouter, and an audience.

The three players take position in an open space. The shouter yells “start,” and the players must become an elf, orc, and hobbit: Elves must have a serene look on their face and stand tall, orcs must have an angry look on their face and be hunched, and hobbits must walk around on their knees. At any given time, there must be one and exactly one of each “creature type.”

Whenever the shouter yells “switch,” everyone must choose a different creature. It can’t be the same one they were before and they’re not allowed to say aloud which one they’re switching to. Instead, by looking at the posture and facial expression of the other players, they must adopt a role that is new for them and not taken by another player. (They can “re-switch” to fix any duplications, etc.)

If desired, the players can act a scene. If the audience decides that one or more players aren’t switching to a new role correctly, they can oust that player and have someone from the audience take to the stage instead. Play continues until people feel like stopping.

68. Use the structure and key elements of Tolkien’s work to dissect other stories. For example, ask yourself or your group, What character in Harry Potter is Gandalf? Which one is Frodo? Which is Sam? What is the “one ring”? What force or person is Sauron? The practice exposes the archetypal nature and the nuance of The Lord of the Rings.

Orc Vitality Drink Recipe

An energizing yet unsatisfying beverage that almost certainly comes from evil sources.

Ingredients: Sugar-free Red Bull.

What to do:  Open the Red Bull. Consume if you dare.

69. Down an Orc Vitality Drink. The recipe is on the right.

70. Learn 100 interesting facts about the The Lord of the Rings.

71. Learn the risky side-effects of The Lord of the RingsIt turns out, the books and films may be hobbit-forming.

72. Walk to the top of a very tall mountain or volcano in a distant country and chuck a ring (preferably into lava) once you’ve reached the summit.

73. Learn how to write your name in ElfishIf you do this at the start of the party, this can be how you fill out any “Hello, my name is” tags.

Hello my name is: In Elfin

74. Listen to an interview with J.R.R. Tolkien about his work.

75. Add to a list of ways you can celebrate The Hobbit‘s 75th anniversary. Use the comments to post your ideas on spreading the Tolkienthusiasm™.

Once you’ve done some of the items from this list, send images of your exploits to LOTR -at- rdymail dot com.

Write on,

Rob D

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