Tolkien News

Top 9 Shopping-free Tolkien Activities for Black Friday

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States, a day of fellowship when family and friends come together to remember the things they are thankful for. We also tend to behave like hobbits, at least when it comes to a shared love of food–and lots of it! The following day, however, has notoriously been designated “Black Friday,” when stores offer deep discounts, and honestly, a lot of people turn downright orcish in an effort to snag a deal.

If you’re like us, you might want to steer clear of the mobs and madness, and instead, use the opportunity to delve deeper in to the world Tolkien created. So to give you some ideas, we’ve come up with our Top 9 Shopping-free Tolkien Activities for Black Friday!

In no particular order…

Search out and read some of Tolkien’s works that you haven’t read.

Silmarillion_TedNasmithIf you’ve only read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Today is a great chance to pick up Farmer Giles of Ham, Smith of Wootton Major, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, The Silmarillion, or any of the others. If you want to get into a holiday spirit, you could always start with Tolkien’s Letters From Father Christmas!


Try out a Lembas recipe


Lembas, otherwise known as elven way bread, was given to the Fellowship when they departed Lothlorien. According to the elves, “It is more strengthening than any food made by Men,” and “One will keep a traveller on his feet for a day of long labour, even if it be one of the tall Men of Minas Tirith.”

Here are a few recipes to try:

Middle-earth Recipes

The Geeky Chef

The Wasted Lands


Have a Lord of the Rings marathon

LOTR_EE_BluRayIf you don’t have to work or go to school, why not indulge yourself? There are bound to be leftovers from your Thanksgiving meal, so make yourself a yummy second breakfast and watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy (Extended Edition!) from start to finish. You can enjoy it by yourself or invite a few friends over so you’re not the only one humming along to the soundtrack.


Learn to write your name in dwarvish runes


Impress your friends at the midnight show of the next Hobbit movie by your knowledge of dwarf runes! The scholarly among you would do well to visit The Tolkien Society’s Rune Study Pack and the Tolkien Discussion Group’s dwarf rune page, but if you want instant gratification, try this Rune Generator. Once you get your name down, try “Thank you” next; it’s a useful phrase to know in any language!


LordoftheRingsIII-150x150Catch up on Mythgard Academy’s latest free course: The Return of the King

Corey Olsen, The Tolkien Professor, began a FREE two-month course on The Return of the King in October. There are still three weeks left, and the week six class will air live on Friday, November 29 at 9:30 p.m. EST. That’s plenty of time to catch up on weeks 1-5, right?

If you want to participate in the live class discussion on Friday, make sure you register!


Work on your Middle-earth Cosplay


Whether you’re getting ready for The Hobbit premiere, are a cosplay enthusiast, or just want to have some fun, Friday would be a great day to spend working on your costume. That cloak isn’t going to sew itself, and plaster takes some time to set. Or why not work on perfecting your makeup technique? While you’re at it, grab a few friends and a camera and make it a photoshoot!


Go on an adventure!


Depending on where you live, you may need to bundle up, but Friday would be a perfect day to go on a hike, a bike ride, or a walk around the neighborhood. Just stay away from the malls! Use Bilbo Baggins’ song, “The Road Goes Ever On,” as your motto for the day:

Still round the corner there may wait

A new road or a secret gate


Write that fanfiction you’re always thinking about

Bilbo_writingFanfic tends to get a bad rap, but it can be a great way to immerse yourself in the world that Tolkien created. You’ll probably find that the more you write, the more you’ll want to closely examine the books and pore over maps to make your story as accurate to Middle-earth as possible.

Or not. You could just be silly. There’s something to be said for just putting pen to paper (or fingers to computer keys) and writing, even if only for your own enjoyment.


Write to Middle-earth News telling us why you’re thankful for Tolkien


Artwork by Middle-earth News Reporter Myla Malinalda

Just because Thanksgiving has passed, it doesn’t mean we have to quit remembering why were thankful. It’s a love of Tolkien and Middle-earth that brings us all together as a fan community, so it’s safe to say that without him, none of us would be who were are today!

Tell us why you’re thankful for Tolkien in the comments of this article, or use the hashtag #TolkienThanks on Twitter and tag @MiddleEarthNews so we can share your thankful tweets!


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One Comment

  1. Sydney Duprey says:

    I’m thankful for Tolkien reminding me of the beauty in small things and simple pleasures: a pot of tea, good food and company. In this world of instant gratification, noise, and cell phones and constantly being plugged in, it’s nice to take after our favorite author and sit quietly with a book, enjoy the warm sunshine and a comfortable chair or garden.