Five Favourite Middle English Romances

Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Arthur's Tomb: The Last Meeting of Lancelot and Guinevere (1860).

Danièle Cybulskie, the 5MinMedievalist, shares her five favourite Middle English romances – what are yours?

Why Tolkien’s Beowulf is an ‘amazing book but a terrible translation’

tolkien beowulf middle earth

In the spring of 2014 a translation of Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien was published. Last week, Andy Orchard, one of the leading scholars of Old English, offered his thoughts about the book and revealed that he will be writing his own translation of the famous medieval poem.

Teaching Tolkien’s Translations of Medieval Literature: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sir Orfeo and Pearl

Gawain and the Green Knight tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien, the medievalist who became the father of modern fantasy literature, translated many poems out of Old English, Old Norse and Middle English into carefully versified modern English

Simply Walking into Mordor: How Much Lembas Would The Fellowship Need?

fellowship of the ring

The Fellowship of the Ring were supposed to travel from Imraldis to the forges of Mt. Doom in order to destroy the One Ring of Sauron.

Tolkien and the Viking Heritage


Much has already been written about the influence of Norse mythology on The Lord of the Rings. Less research has so far been done about how other aspects of the culture and history of the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons influenced Tolkien’s writing.

Riddles in the Dark Ages


Latin riddles depended on knowledge of a specific subject in order to be deciphered, while English riddles were often about common things like the weather.

The Anglo-Saxon War-Culture and The Lord of the Rings: Legacy and Reappraisal

The Lord of the Rings - Aragorn

The literature of war in English claims its origin from the Homeric epics, and the medieval accounts of chivalry and the crusades.

Trolls in the Middle Ages


Where did trolls come from? What did medieval and early modern people think of trolls? How did the concept of the modern day troll evolve?

J.R.R. Tolkien and the morality of monstrosity

tolkien beowulf middle earth

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth is Beowulf for the twentieth century.

Which Member Of The Fellowship Are You?

Which Member Of The Fellowship Are You

Happy twelvety-third birthday to J.R.R. Tolkien! Let’s go back to the Lord of the Rings and find out which of the brave companions are you?

Can you answer the Riddles of The Hobbit?

hobbit riddles

One of the most famous scenes in the story of The Hobbit is when Bilbo meets up with Gollum in the caves under the Misty Mountains. The two engage in a game of riddles, and Bilbo is able to escape with his life and a magical ring. Here are eight of the riddles they told each other – can you solve them?

Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Hobbit Battle of Five armies movie review

That was one long battle scene – however, The Hobbit trilogy ends with a relatively good movie.

‘In the hilt is fame’: resonances of medieval swords and sword-lore in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings

The shards of Narsil in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Note that in the book, it is broken into only two pieces.

This paper seeks to illuminate resonances of medieval swords and sword-lore in Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, where swords and the lore associated with them play important, if largely neglected, roles.

The Hobbit: Which Member of Thorin’s Company Are You?

hobbit character

Are you ready to journey into Middle-earth one last time? Come celebrate the final film in Peter Jackson’s epic film series, The Hobbit, with us and find out which member of Thorin’s Company you’re most like!

Norse Elements in the work of J.R.R. Tolkien


The books of J.R.R. Tolkien contain multiple Characters, Places and Plots that remind the reader of Old Norse Poetry. This essay gives a short and incomplete overview on the most obvious elements.

What Is Your Middle Earth IQ?

middle earth

Are you an expert on the vast and timeless worlds crafted by Tolkien?

How to Read J.R.R. Tolkien

How to Read J.R.R. Tolkien

Michael Drout, a professor of English and director of the Center for the Study of the Medieval at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts believes that Tolkien’s immense and lasting popularity can be explained by a ‘perfect storm hypothesis.’

The Anglo-Saxon War-Culture and The Lord of the Rings: Legacy and Reappraisal

The saints and missionaries of the Anglo-Saxon era (1897)

Considering the scarcity of the Anglo-Saxon influence in modern war-literature in general, one may wonder and stop by a work like The Lord of the Rings or Silmarillion, which few would be willing to categorise as serious war-literature.

Which Lord of the Rings character are you?


Some Tolkien fun – Which one of the nine members of the fellowship are you?

How Well Do You Know Gandalf?

How Well Do You Know Gandalf

Let’s see how well you know Middle Earth’s most powerful wizard.

A Song of Fantasy Traditions: How A Song of Ice and Fire Subverts Traditions of Women in Tolkienesque Fantasy

Game of Thrones 3 - photo courtesy HBO Canada

I will show how Martin is working against the tradition of marginalized female characters in the fantasy genre.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Beowulf published today

tolkien beowulf

Nearly 90 years after he first made the translation, J.R.R. Tolkien’s version of Beowulf arrives at bookstores around the world today.

Returning the King: The Medieval King in Modern Fantasy

game of thrones

Tales of kingship in modern fiction, specifically in the work of Neil Gaiman (The Sandman) and George R. R. Martin (A Game of Thrones), are similar to the medieval models, as kingship and the requirements of kingship were popular themes in medieval texts, including Beowulf and King Horn.

Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf coming out this spring

tolkien beowulf

In 1926, J.R.R. Tolkien, who would later go on to write The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, completed his own translation of the Old English poem Beowulf. Eighty-eight years later that work is going to be published for the first time

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