Tolkien wrote yearly letters to his children as if they were from Father Christmas. They started off as simple Happy Christmas letters but grew more complex including a polar bear sidekick, the man on the moon, goblins, snow-elves, pictures, and he even developed an Arktik language.
The correct plural of “dwarf” is “dwarfs”. “Dwarves” is a spelling popularised by J. R. R. Tolkien to make a distinction between his own creations and the “sillier creatures of these latter days”.
J.R.R Tolkien was rejected for a Nobel Prize, in 1961, on the grounds of his poor storytelling.
As a schoolboy, JRR Tolkien felt “bitter disappointment and disgust” that the woods did not actually march on the villain’s castle and Shakespeare’s prophecy was revealed as a rhetorical trick (Macbeth). Later, Tolkien made a point of writing a story where the trees performed as advertised.
There is a mountain in British Columbia, Canada called Tolkien Peak. The nearby mountains are also named Mount Aragorn, Mount Gandalf, and Mount Shadowfax. They were named so in 1972 by those making the first ascents of the mountains, who read the books whilst waiting out stormy weather.
J.R.R. Tolkien was inspired to write LOTR by the discovery of a cursed 4th century Roman gold ring that was discovered when he was a professor at Oxford.
Marquette University bought the original manuscripts and multiple working drafts of “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” from J.R.R. Tolkien for only 1,500 pounds (less than $5,000) in 1956. At the time, no other institution had expressed an interest in Tolkien’s literary manuscripts.
C.S. Lewis nominated J.R.R. Tolkien for the 1961 Nobel Prize for Literature. He was rejected on the grounds that his writing “has not in any way measured up to storytelling of the highest quality.”
J. R. R. Tolkien began work on The Hobbit one day early in the 1930s, when he was marking School papers. He found a blank page. Suddenly inspired, he wrote the words, “In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit.”
J.R.R. Tolkien had been known to (as a practical joke) dress up as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon warrior and chase his neighbor down the street.