Sir Ian McKellen, John Rhys-Davies & Martin Freeman joined a campaign to buy, refresh & preserve Lord of the Rings writer JRR Tolkien's Oxford home.
The Fellowship of the Ring is reuniting for a new quest – to save and preserve the former home of J.R.R Tolkien, where he wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The highly acclaimed and influential writer often referred to as the father of modern fantasy, is most famous for his stories, poems, and fictional languages of the mythical land of Middle-earth. Given Tolkien’s immense contributions to literature as a whole, it seems only right that his history is preserved.
Tolkien is most remembered for his extensive works of fantastical fiction, but that’s not all there was to the man. He was a scholar of medieval European literature and mythology (which greatly influenced his original works), an Oxford University professor for decades, a soldier in the First World War (another significant influence), and a father of four. During his Oxford years, Tolkien lived in a stately home at 20 Northmoor Road – a house that’s now being put up for sale.
Unless the former cast of Tolkien’s film adaptations has anything to say about it, that is. Per People, Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf), John Rhys-Davies (Gimli), and Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins) have joined a campaign to purchase and preserve the home where Tolkien wrote his most famous works. “Project Northmoor” is hoping to raise $6 million to buy the house, repair and rejuvenate it and the garden, and establish a proper Tolkien literary center, complete with tours, classes, and both in-person and virtual programming.
While The Lord of the Rings has been massively popular since the 1960s, it’s seen something of a resurgence over the past two decades, in large part due to the hit films directed by Peter Jackson. The first trilogy effectively redefined what fantasy films could achieve with modern technology, taking Tolkien’s immense influence into another medium. His work has also continued to be released even since his death, with his son Christopher having edited several previously unpublished writings like The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, The Children of Húrin, and Beren and Lúthien, the last of which released in 2017. Christopher Tolkien passed away in January of this year.
The level of continued impact Tolkien has had on the world of literature, both in life and in the 50 years since his death, certainly justifies some preservation of his contributions. Per Project Northmoor’s website, “there is no centre devoted to Tolkien anywhere in the world.” The campaign to save the author’s old home would establish such a place, and it’s encouraging to see past stars of The Lord of the Rings join in the effort.