Everything I need to know about romance, I learned from Tolkien (part I): Introduction

While We're Paused...

Map of Lothlorien Looking for love? Consider a visit to fair Lothlórien. With undying grass, and elanor, and niphredil about the feet, who knows what fancies may arise in the heart?

When I was a boy I spent absurd amounts of time devouring the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. In those happy hours I learned much about Northern courage, eucatastrophe, the value of mercy, woodcraft, how to talk to dragons (riddling talk, don’t reveal your proper name, don’t make fun until you’re out of the dragon’s fire-breathing range) and the handiness of Elf-swords in tight spots. And, though I was too young to appreciate it, in the process I also imbibed much – everything I needed to know, in fact – about romance.

Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. Tolkien’s surface may have appeared curmudgeon-ish, but at heart he was a hopeless romantic. And Arda, Tolkien’s sub-creation, reflects the character of her…

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