If you have seen the 11-hour extended cut of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, you might assume you have a pretty good grasp of Middle-Earth's mythos. Like Bilbo outsmarting Gollum in a game of riddles, you may think you have all the answers when it comes to Tolkien's work.
You may know the difference between the Narsil blade and the Anduril sword. You might understand what Gandalf is talking about when he refers to the Balrog as the "Flame of Udun". You may even know the real name for those Oliphaunt creatures. But unless you've read the books (and a couple of the appendices), there are some crucial elements of the story that may have alluded you.
Did you know the book never explains how Sauron was defeated? Do you know where the other Rings of Power came from? Did you know the Elves are described dramatically different in the original novels?
In this list, we will be uncovering some mysteries and misconceptions about The Lord of the Rings including the palantir, the Eagles, and of course, the mysterious Tom Bombadil character.
10. Gandalf Researched The One Ring For 17 Years
When Bilbo Baggins leaves The Shire, he entrusts his magical ring to his nephew, Frodo. The wizard, Gandalf the Grey, suspects that the ring may harness dark magic and tells Frodo he must leave to research it.
After reading scrolls in Minis Tirith's library in Gondor, Gandalf's suspicions are confirmed that Frodo is in possession of The One Ring to Rule Them All. When the wizard returns to The Shire, he tells Frodo of the ring's history and begs him to leave his home before he is hunted and killed by Sauron's henchmen, the Nazgul.
In the film, it appears that Gandalf left The Shire for only a few months. According to the novel, Gandalf was researching The One Ring for a whopping 17 years!
In the film, Frodo leaves The Shire immediately after Gandalf warns him. In the book, he doesn't leave for several months since it takes a long time for Gandalf to explain the history of Sauron, and the other Rings of Power.
Of course, this little detail was left out of the movie for the sake of pacing.