Tolkien News

Middle-earth News Toasts J.R.R. Tolkien – To The Professor!


On January 3, 1892, the John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, to Arthur and Mabel Tolkien. Known to fans the world over for his novels The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien created the world of Middle-earth that we have come to love and cherish.

It has become tradition to toast Tolkien, also known as “The Professor,” on the day of his birth. I remember when I first heard about the Tolkien Birthday Toast. I planned ahead of time, pulling out the special glasses and roping in my bemused family members. “We have to! It would have been Tolkien’s 111th birthday! You know, eleventy-first! This day is important and it will never happen again!” They must have thought I was crazy, but they played along amiably.

The best thing about the day for me was that I was joining thousands of other fans across to world to celebrate something that we all shared. And continuing the tradition, the Middle-earth News team would like to share how we plan to celebrate. Wherever you are, know that we are all together in spirit!


Tolkien’s birthday is upon us once again! I prefer to celebrate the Professor’s birthday much like I celebrate Hobbit Day (Sept. 22, the start of Tolkien/Feast week annually). Since he can be quoted as saying, “I am in fact a hobbit in all but size,” I can’t think of a better way to honour our hero than to partake in all things “Hobbity” on this day! I will begin with something I do not find myself doing very often. I will leave my hair to it’s naturally curly “Hobbit-like” state. Do not bother asking for a picture. Just know that if I were to play Merry or Pippin, I would not need a wig!

Next, and most importantly, breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, and dinner (or supper). Every meal must be accounted for on this special day! Perhaps there will even be some mushrooms and po-ta-toes, precious.

I believe that no celebration of Tolkien is truly complete without an activity that shows appreciation for the organic beauty of natural things. If weather permits, I will go for a walk and take time to appreciate all things that grow.

And of course, this must all conclude with a birthday toast to the man who made all this possible! So I raise a glass to you, Mr. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, for envisioning and bringing to life the world that we each hold so close to our hearts, Middle-earth!


Once again, it is the day where Tolkien fans around the world celebrate a special day. Tolkien’s 122nd birthday. Every year I think of how much the imagination of one person changed my life and many others as well. My intent is to spend the day like a Hobbit. Consequently, just like many others, I will begin the day with a second breakfast. Then, after fighting some Goblins at work (well, don’t we all sometimes feel as if we’re off to fight some Goblins when heading to work?), with an occasional interruption for some afternoon tea, I plan to eat some more. Preferably a big and extensive dinner. Of course I will not forget to raise a glass to Tolkien!

The rest of the day I plan to explore Middle-earth by playing LOTRO, fighting Goblins once again. Then, before going to bed, I will sit down and continue to read The Silmarillion, pretending to be in Middle-earth once again.


One of the things I most love about the Tolkien fanbase is it’s vast amount of talented artists. The Tolkien-inspired illustrations, paintings, and sketches I run across on a daily basis never cease to amaze me.

With that in mind, in honor of this year’s Tolkien Birthday Toast, I’ll be sitting down with my own sketchbook and pencil to have a go at how I envision Tolkien’s two Blue Wizards, Morinehtar and Rómestámo. There is not much known about them, and yet they played a vital part in The War of the Ring. Because they were not included in Peter Jackson’s LOTR films, there have been very few illustrations done of them, giving me a wider sense of freedom when creating details of my own.

Of course, without Tolkien’s books and the years of work he poured into them, none of us would be able to enjoy creating the art they have come inspire. This January 3, 2014, I’ll raise my glass to the man who made Middle-earth come alive, “To the Professor!” <clink>


In honor of the Professor, I will spend my day in a not-so-different way from the usual. I’m not going to list all the meals of the day, because I eat regularly like a hobbit (maybe not the same amount of food, but the frequency is the same)!

I will study not too pleasant things for University and I will continue my reading of The Unfinished Tales during the breaks. At 5 o’clock, I’ll sip a tea accompanied by a slice of cake and I will devote my snack to J.R.R. Tolkien. Then, I will continue to work on the family trees of my LOTRO characters that are slowly taking shape.

Finally, if I won’t be too tired, I’ll watch a bit of The Fellowship of the Ring to breathe the air of the Shire and pretend to be a Hobbit once again.

Artwork by Middle-earth News Reporter Myla Malinalda

Artwork by Middle-earth News Reporter Myla Malinalda


Today on January 3rd, I will celebrate the life of the Professor by immersing myself in Middle-earth as much as I can! I’ll be spending my day reading some of my favorite scenes from The Lord of the Rings (basically all of the Faramir and Eowyn moments), listening to the LOTR musical soundtrack during my commute, and further expanding on my LOTRO characters. Oh and of course I plan on eating lots and lots of food, like a true hobbit!

Happy Birthday, Professor!


“Tolkien once said “I am in fact a hobbit in all but size.” While Tolkien was referring to himself, I have held those words near to my heart since the moment I first learned of hobbits and Middle-earth.

Because Tolkien himself was quite fond of the simpler things in life, I am going to spend his birthday taking it slow. I plan to bake muffins and spend some time knitting with The Lord of the Rings audiobook playing in the background. I am so grateful to have this world to escape within. Thank you professor, I’ll save a muffin or two for you.”


On January 3, I will join legions of Tolkien fans in recognizing the Professor’s birthday. I can’t even imagine my world without the Professor’s world in it. My personal tribute to Tolkien will begin with re-readings of some of my favorite chapters (difficult as it is to single them out) — “An Unexpected Party” from The Hobbit, and “Mount Doom” from The Return of the King). I’ll also listen to the wonderful recording of the Professor himself reading another favorite chapter, “Riddles in the Dark” (you can find it here: At last, I’ll raise my glass with the traditional toast of “To the Professor!” and thank J. R. R. Tolkien for giving us the wonders of Middle-earth.


On this January the 3rd, I will enjoy a quiet evening stroll outside and some fresh mountain air tickling my head with wonders. Tolkien was a big fan of trees, so perhaps I shall also take the pleasure or reclining to one and hear it whisper tales of old into my ears. Naturally, the meal will be prepared outside on a cracking fire (The meat is already cubed in my fridge). And perhaps a soft rustle of some of my favorite pages will run through the living room later this night.

Whatever it is I shall do, today is about celebrating our Professor, our mentor, our inspiration. However
improbable this generally sounds, I think we do fall in love with some fictional characters. And that’s a good thing, for they bring us hope. I’m glad I can say there’s a whole fictional world (or world of
fiction) that I love. And whatever happens, because of it, I always know how to dig a true smile out and let it fill me with warmth from within. That warm light of satisfaction that is the magic of words. I’m proud to say that among many other things, Tolkien has taught me this. So “Hear, hear!”


This January 3, I will cozy up by my fireplace with a hot cup of tea and begin my annual re-reading of The Lord of the Rings, reflecting throughout on each of the wonderful friendships I’ve made as a result of these books. I may even let my creative side take over for a bit and sketch some of my favourite Middle-earth locations or write some Middle-earth poetry. (Realistically, there will probably be some LOTRO thrown in as well!)

Whatever I end up doing, one thing is certain: I wouldn’t be doing any of it, were it not for Professor Tolkien. And for his passion and dedication, I am most grateful!

To the Professor!


Please share with us how you will toast The Professor today! You can learn more about Tolkien on our About J.R.R. Tolkien page.

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  1. Jacqueline says:

    Slainte! Moran taing, Professor!

  2. Thank You, Professor!