Tolkien developed a secret code with his wife in WW1, strictly illegal, so that she could track his progress on the map.
J. R. R. Tolkien might have gotten the idea for a ring that makes its wearer invisible from an ancient, Greek story told by one of Plato’s students about a shepherd discovering such a ring on a cadaver in a cave, and then using it to kill his king.
The word “hobbit” has been found exactly once in texts predating Tolkien, in a list of magical creatures with no explanation or context.
While attending Oxford, J.R.R. Tolkien once stole a city bus and took his friends on a joy ride.
J.R.R. Tolkien opposed holding Catholic mass in English – to the extent that he loudly responded in Latin whenever priests spoke the liturgy in English.
Christopher Lee received Tolkien’s blessing to play the role of Gandalf, if a movie was ever released, but he played Saruman instead. He was also the only person involved with the Lord of the Rings films to have actually met Tolkien himself.
While J.R.R Tolkien was at Oxford, he stole a city bus as a prank and took his classmates for a joyride around London.
Almost all of The Hobbit’s character names were taken out of an old Icelandic poem “Dvergatal”.
J.R.R. Tolkien created the words “dwarvish” and “dwarves”, countering the spelling at the time of the books publication which was “dwarfish” and “dwarfs”, and many dictionaries now consider this the proper way to spell the words.