Tolkien News

Gollum would suffer from vitamin D deficiency says study

Now, with the Yuletide season approaching, even the most stressful schedule is about to resolve. If you’re not sure what to do with your time, or you just want to give yourself a little treat, there are two amusing studies you may like. One paper analysed the living conditions, habits, and diets of characters in The Hobbit from a medical point of view, while the other paper examined the climate of Middle-earth.

In the Christmas edition of the Medical Journal of Australia, Joseph A Hopkinson and Nicholas S Hopkinson come to an unusual conclusion as to why good always defeats evil. In their unique approach, Nicholas Hopkinson and his son Joseph analysed characters’ living conditions, habits, and diet and came to the conclusion that a vitamin D deficiency, as a consequence of an aversion to sunlight and a poor diet, seems to be a contributing factor. Whether it’s the Trolls, Gollum, or the Spiders, many evil characters in The Hobbit live predominantly in the dark. While Bilbo and the Dwarves tend to reside underground, they are exposed to the sun often and enjoy a balanced diet. Well, when not occupied with burglary and “dark business”:

Beer and Music Festival - Hobbit

The hobbit diet is clearly varied as he is able to offer cake, tea, seed cake, ale, porter, red wine, raspberry jam, mince pies, cheese, pork pie, salad, cold chicken, pickles and apple tart to the dwarves who visit to engage him in the business of burglary.

Earlier this month, another non-literary analysis of the Tolkien’s Middle-earth has been published, examining the climate of Middle-earth. Climate scientists from the University of Bristol, UK have used a climate model to simulate and investigate the climate of Middle-earth:

Because climate models are based on fundamental scientific processes, they are able not only to simulate the climate of the modern Earth, but can also be easily adapted to simulate any planet, real or imagined, so long as the underlying continental positions and heights, and ocean depths are known.

The results show that the Shire has a climate similar to that of Lincolnshire and Leicestershire in the UK. Moreover, instead of choosing Matamata on the North Island of New Zealand, based on the climate model, Dunedin on the South Island of New Zealand would have been better. Penned by the wizard Radagast the Brown, the paper further concludes that Mordor has a climate similar to that of Los Angeles and western Texas.

Now, before you leave to enjoy a  balanced Hobbit meal, you can read the amusing analysis on the vitamin D deficiency here, explaining what happens to you if you don’t enjoy a balanced meal!  You can read the paper on the Middle-earth climate in english, elvish, and dwarfish!

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