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The merged Pantheon of J.R.R. Tolkien

25 Apr 2022 | Norse, Personal View, Tales and Folklore

It’s hard to find someone that loves mythology and dislikes Lord of the Rings. J.R.R. Tolkien was a visionary and, like us, loved the old myths. He never stopped learning in his quest to create a British Pantheon. Tolkien wanted to create a set of stories that could inhabit our imagination forever.


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Listen the original soundtrack of “The Lord of the Rings” to increase your experience while you read.


For all that I know, I can say for us – and legions of fans – that he succeeded.

Walking through Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, one of the characters that we can find stronger references borrowed by Tolkien from the Norse myths is the wizard Gandalf.

I’m pretty sure that, if you are into the Old Norse religion, you noticed some similarities between our grey wanderer and the all father, Odin.

Yes, Gandalf was inspired by the king of the Norse gods to be a wise, mysterious and tough old man walking through the land, ever watching.

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These are not the only references to the Allfather. Odin had the horse Sleipnir, and Gandalf, Shadowfax. The two are also associated with birds as Odin had his gossipers Huginn and Muninn, Gandalf had help from the giant eagles during some critical moments.

In one of the most interesting passages of both characters is the assimilation of a greater knowledge through sacrifice. Besides the differences, they both became wiser after dying one time.

At this point, Odin got the knowledge of the runes and Gandalf the Grey becomes Gandalf the White, surpassing the former leader of his order, Saruman.

Lord of the Rings is an unprecedented piece and we can find many other references inside Tolkien’s work, mythological or from his life experiences during World War I and how he overcame the trauma through some characters’ speeches.

Have you found more mythical references in the LOTR? 


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