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The Lord of the Rings Expert Answers More Tolkien Questions From Twitter | Tech Support | WIRED

The Tolkien Professor, Cory Olsen, once again uses the power of Twitter to answer the internet’s burning questions about J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, and all the associated lore. Why can’t Frodo ride an eagle all the way to Mount Doom? Would the battle at Helm’s Deep gone differently if it hadn’t rained?…

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The Tolkien Professor, Cory Olsen, once again uses the power of Twitter to answer the internet’s burning questions about J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, and all the associated lore. Why can’t Frodo ride an eagle all the way to Mount Doom? Would the battle at Helm’s Deep gone differently if it hadn’t rained? How much time passes between “The Fellowship of the Ring” and “The Return of the King”? Cory answers all these questions and much more.

Corey Olsen, also known as The Tolkien Professor, is the Founder and President of Signum University, a nonprofit higher education institution dedicated to affordable and accessible online learning with a special focus on promoting the humanities. Through the Mythgard Academy, a Signum institution, Corey offers weekly explorations of The Lord of the Rings and other opportunities to discuss speculative literature and adaptations. Follow Corey on Twitter at

Learn more:
* Signum University:
* Exploring The Lord of the Rings:
* The Tolkien Professor:

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The Lord of the Rings Expert Answers More Tolkien Questions From Twitter | Tech Support | WIRED

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242 Comments

242 Comments

  1. Marco Panzironi

    June 10, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    What would happen if you randomly called Gandalf “Olòrin”

    • Ray W

      June 10, 2021 at 11:45 pm

      He’d be like, “Wha bruh?!”

    • Marco Panzironi

      June 10, 2021 at 11:47 pm

      @Ray W cause imagine realising that a mortal knows your true nature

    • Ray W

      June 10, 2021 at 11:51 pm

      @Marco Panzironi
      Oh, wizards don’t like that stuff at ALL. They hate “being made.”

  2. Lewis Massie

    June 10, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    In the scifi series Babylon 5, we come across a character much like Tom Bombadil. An ancient alien, far older than even the First Ones of the galaxy, since the beginning of the universe he has simply been there

  3. Forsythe Jones

    June 10, 2021 at 11:35 pm

    I bet Stephen Colbert would love talking to this guy.

  4. Organon

    June 10, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    The ring is literally seen changing size in the movie, when is Isildor picks it up.

  5. Richard Aguirre

    June 10, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    I view Tom Bombadil and Ungoliant as the same. Tom Bombadil being born of the harmony of the Music of the Ainur and Ungoliant being born of the discord woven in by Melkor….in that way, Ungoliant was the only being created by Melkor though unintentionally.

  6. Fusel

    June 10, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    but… but asking why god just dosent smite all the badies is a good point…

  7. NightAngelx1

    June 10, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    Not a huge LOTR fan, but this guy actually gets me very invested in the lore and world Tolkien created.

  8. Ray W

    June 10, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    Would you comment on what your opinion would be if a movie based on National Lampoon’s ‘Bored of the Rings’ book (a hysterical laugher parody) was made into a movie?!

  9. Ash Hill

    June 10, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    EXCELLNT answers! As a sort of amateur scholar myself, I could not have answered anything better!

  10. Ravenpoe121

    June 11, 2021 at 12:03 am

    I feel like my highschool guidance counselor did me a grave disservice by never mentioning “Lord of the Rings expert” as a possible job choice

  11. Dan Stark

    June 11, 2021 at 12:10 am

    I’d love to see you and Stephen Colbert having a discussion on LOTR.

  12. Big Boss

    June 11, 2021 at 12:12 am

    Uhh, lord of the rings is already boring. I mean seriously. BORING

  13. Morteih Morteih

    June 11, 2021 at 12:24 am

    Tom is the music

  14. Nathan Thomas

    June 11, 2021 at 12:28 am

    this guy is our worlds version of Arthur Weasley

  15. Mark Maurer

    June 11, 2021 at 12:31 am

    Here’s a real question why in 2000 years are they unable to advance past swords and shields? Shouldn’t sauron have been the target of a thermonuclear warhead? Better yet shouldn’t he have been the target of some sort of space-based weapon seen as how he exists at a level of technology it’s about 500 years behind us so shouldn’t they have weapons roughly 1,500 years advanced of us? Why are all the elves and humans and wizards too stupid to figure out physics but not too stupid to figure out how to make high-quality swords and shields and armor

  16. Warriorsfan540

    June 11, 2021 at 12:35 am

    Thank you Professor. I cant seem to get enough of listening to all things Tolkien.

  17. aq_acefan

    June 11, 2021 at 12:41 am

    A gentle reminder to everyone who points out that The One Ring changes size in PJ’s Fellowship movie: that’s his artistic license, not the canon of Prof. Tolkien’s written word that is being discussed in this video.

  18. Charles

    June 11, 2021 at 12:42 am

    Imagine being a LOTR expert LOOLLLLL

  19. sabalos

    June 11, 2021 at 12:43 am

    Is he saying that an immortal god-demon that relishes striking fear into people’s hearts wouldn’t give itself wings precisely because they look cool?

    Having wings isn’t synonymous with being able to fly.

  20. Cecilia Fidela

    June 11, 2021 at 12:44 am

    More of these again please please 😍😍 i can listen to this all day

  21. Alexander G

    June 11, 2021 at 12:48 am

    I was wandering the wastes of YouTube, re-watching forgotten memes and feeling sorry for myself. Then by chance a LOTR video appeared and I remembered how great this guy was. Searched and bam! New video not 8 hours old. I’m going to find his podcasts now

  22. Kris tian

    June 11, 2021 at 12:49 am

    The eagles owe Gandalf a favor for something he did in the past, so they promised to help them in his most dire of moments, as a very last resort.

  23. Ve9a Centauri

    June 11, 2021 at 12:58 am

    Really? Lol

  24. Kris tian

    June 11, 2021 at 1:09 am

    Do Frodo and Bilbo essentially get a free pass into heaven, when they depart in the last chapter??

    A lot of artist use the great sea at a metaphor for either a life ending, or a new beginning,
    It would seem they are granted instant access to heaven as they saved the entire world.

  25. Timothy Rice

    June 11, 2021 at 1:14 am

    If this guy read the Bible like he reads Tolkien, he’d be the Pope.

  26. Kally Dalla Stella

    June 12, 2021 at 12:36 am

    I found this video today… The day i had planned to do another marathon… It must be a sign!!!

  27. Matt Strauchon

    June 12, 2021 at 12:37 am

    The Eagles didn’t help destroy the ring because they are susceptible to it. They are mighty and wise like Gandalf and refuse the temptation. Imagine a dark Lord of the skies.

  28. othmane hanaf

    June 12, 2021 at 12:37 am

    What about Marvin Vittori

  29. Blitzkrieg Discord

    June 12, 2021 at 12:39 am

    This is amazing, could listen to these all day

  30. Swishy Blue

    June 12, 2021 at 12:40 am

    Oh my god they brought him back.

  31. Stephan Watson

    June 12, 2021 at 12:42 am

    6:58 Sam also wielded its power in a way, when he had the necklace on and he put it on to turn invisible, a couple times or so

  32. Dallas Hill

    June 12, 2021 at 12:43 am

    There is a much better answer to the question of why the 3agles didn’t fly frodo the whole way. It’s pretty simple.

    It was a surreptitious mission sneaking around a guy who literally is only seen as a giant eye atop a giant tower.

    The question should really be put to rest.

  33. Darcy Noel

    June 12, 2021 at 12:43 am

    I had no idea that balrog wings were so controversial

  34. Victor Becker

    June 12, 2021 at 12:44 am

    I think Tom Bombadil might be one of thr Nameless Things that Gandalf saw in the deep after fighting the balrog. The same Nameless Things that were around before anyone entered Arda.

  35. Fortnite Gamer

    June 12, 2021 at 12:51 am

    The gullible gusty united kingdom formerly curve because vein resultspreviously unfasten failing a salty freeze. nostalgic, null glove

  36. kchorro2012

    June 12, 2021 at 12:55 am

    What if the Balrogs did have wings but they couldn’t fly with them, like chickens 🤣

  37. GreatRatLord KrisVlad

    June 12, 2021 at 12:57 am

    Elves had racist weapons ha

    • Paulafan5

      June 12, 2021 at 1:16 am

      Orcs were once Elves before Morgoth turned them into Orcs (at least, the first Orcs. Then they breed like any other creature, which is disturbing).

  38. Tyler Phillips

    June 12, 2021 at 1:01 am

    The ring can change size because it’s alive. It wants to be found and used. So it itself resizes to better merge/bond with whoever or whatever picks it up. This is not a feature built on by Sauron it’s a trait of the living ring. It’s it’s own entity with its own language and it has its own desires.

  39. Jimnesstar Lyngdoh Nonglait

    June 12, 2021 at 1:02 am

    👽👍🏻🎬🎞️🎥📽️📹📼📺

  40. MJ Daniel

    June 12, 2021 at 1:06 am

    Orcs know all about Biter and Beater

  41. Alex Fernández

    June 12, 2021 at 1:09 am

    Oh look a professional virgin

  42. Emekhonas

    June 12, 2021 at 1:09 am

    Wasn’t Sam a ring bearer in the book?
    I remember a passage about how it was giving him visions and translating the Orcs language.
    And he also got to the Undying Lands because of it i think?

  43. helen paul09

    June 12, 2021 at 1:11 am

    Depending on one stream of income have never made anyone an earning check don’t put your hope on Forbes.

    • Michael John

      June 12, 2021 at 1:15 am

      Despite all the economic crisis this is the right time to start up an investment.

    • Michael John

      June 12, 2021 at 1:15 am

      Stock are good but crypto is more profitable.

    • Veronica

      June 12, 2021 at 1:17 am

      I wanted to trade crypto but got confused by the fluctuation in price.

    • Joy Limica

      June 12, 2021 at 1:21 am

      I heard that her strategies are really good.

  44. Forsythe McSquiddington The Third, Esq.

    June 12, 2021 at 1:11 am

    So, if the Ring’s powers are more based in the user’s understanding of it, what happens during that variable time-frame where you do carry the Ring as a common Man and haven’t yet fallen for its allure? Is it just behaving like a normal piece of jewellery or does it just come up with some sort of tiny bonus to make the wearer think it’s nifty and needs to be held onto for a bit?

    I mean, I’m asking this in the assumption that there’s a way to briefly hold onto the Ring without immediately reacting like Isildur, Boromir or Gollum.

  45. Brinstar Media

    June 12, 2021 at 1:11 am

    Could Farmer Maggot carry the one ring into Mordor?

  46. Bob Dylan

    June 12, 2021 at 1:12 am

    Have you read the books closely? I assume so. There’s balrogs that are described as having wings of fire and cloaks of shadow and fire. A cloak of fire would be just as much of an “aesthetic” choice.

    Not all balrogs look the same. That’s confirmed

    • Paulafan5

      June 12, 2021 at 1:16 am

      Durin’s Bane most certainly did not have wings. If he did, it would have been mentioned in the book.

  47. Riley Kirchner

    June 12, 2021 at 1:15 am

    Could Tom Bombadill be Tolkiens self insert?

  48. matty O

    June 12, 2021 at 1:19 am

    I thought invisibility was a nice way to force someone to reveal the rings location such as when put in danger. It drives most users to mad and they use it more often. The hobbits were rather resisted to its effects.

  49. Agustin Rizzo

    June 12, 2021 at 1:21 am

    Wait so Frodo has wings??!? “Fly you fools”

  50. Something Mildly Homophobic

    June 12, 2021 at 1:27 am

    NEVER CLICKED SO FAST

  51. Clay Porter

    June 12, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    More of this gentleman please and thank you

  52. Grant Ellifrits

    June 12, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    HANG ON, with the knowledge that balrogs are on par with sauron himself as far as the hierarchy of malkar goes, does that mean that gandalf the white can take him? If the grey can beat a balrog, and was then returned even stronger….

    • Sameeh kins

      June 13, 2021 at 12:13 am

      In a letter 246 Tolkien wrote that if Gandalf obtained the ring then he could possible overpower Sauron. Without it though Gandalf would lose. While Gandalf, the Balrog and Sauron are all of the same kind (Maiar), Maiar’s all range in power.

  53. Race

    June 12, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    Can we have Craig Federighi do Apple Support next?:)

  54. hodgdog

    June 12, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    Cory is the best

  55. Jules Woods

    June 12, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    Please, let’s protect this professor at ALL costs.

  56. adam sawyer

    June 12, 2021 at 11:08 pm

    This is uhh… Not very good

  57. Eli

    June 12, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    Am I the only one who thinks the balrog doesn’t look cooler with wings?

  58. The Real Alfalfa Male

    June 12, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    Nobody asked the most important question. How does an orc know what a menu is?

  59. Quinn McCarthy

    June 12, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    2:30 so eagles don’t exist? Huh cool

  60. Some Guy From The Internet

    June 12, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    Walter White put his spirit in that meth.

  61. Jessie

    June 12, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    this guy is so funny and smart

  62. CrazyPangolinLady

    June 12, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    The balrog had wings in the 70’s movie too. But that balrog in that movie looks terrible.

  63. Nazgul Lord

    June 12, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    I know the texts pretty much point to Balrogs not having wings, but I find winged Balrogs much more appealing conceptually. It kind of references their nature as fallen angels, and even if they can’t fly, I find that’s a nice nod to Tolkien’s themes of evil being self-defeating and wasteful. Their wings serve them to show off, to terrify and intimidate, but they can’t use them to fly.

  64. CrazyPangolinLady

    June 12, 2021 at 11:52 pm

    Maybe the point of a balrog’s “vestigial” wings is to look scary.

  65. Eric Synchrona

    June 13, 2021 at 12:14 am

    Let me correct you here: Tolkien himself wrote into the Hobbit that the Eagles could be shot down by arrows… because they’re a metaphor for Jet Airplanes.
    “The Lord of the Eagles would not take them anywhere near where men lived. ‘They would shoot at us with their great bows of yew'”

  66. William Tran

    June 13, 2021 at 12:30 am

    I think Tom Bombadil is just Tolkien asserting himself into his own story. He’s not GOD God, but he is the God of his story.

  67. Jed

    June 13, 2021 at 12:36 am

    What exactly qualifies him to be an expert rather the just an superfan?

  68. Jens h

    June 13, 2021 at 12:47 am

    It’s 3 AM I don’t need sleep, I need more answers

  69. ドキドキ文芸部!

    June 13, 2021 at 12:52 am

  70. LIFO the party

    June 13, 2021 at 12:53 am

    In defense of the Vestigial Winged Balrog’s is that we know all Valar and Mairar are all about Style. Like classical style brand and theme. You can’t tell me that there isn’t at least ONE Emo-Balrog.

  71. RehanRC

    June 13, 2021 at 12:58 am

    dID fRODO aCTUALLY DIE AT THE END OF THE MOVIE? cAUSE IT WAS VERY GLOWY.

  72. TheGau

    June 13, 2021 at 1:00 am

    I think that, to use the eagles to take Frodo all the way to Mordor, or the dwarves to Erabor, would have been taking advantage of their help. They seem to be there only in extreme times of desperation, & when there is no other way out of a situation. The rest of the journey is for them to complete.

  73. Josh Brown

    June 13, 2021 at 1:21 am

    I like to think Tom
    Bombadil is just a weird spirit, almost an embodiment of vibes

  74. NPSWM

    June 13, 2021 at 1:27 am

    The flag/banner behind him. What is it and where can i find it.

  75. midnightlightthevamp

    June 13, 2021 at 1:27 am

    I want to buy this guy a drink (or many drinks!) and just talk LOTR with him.

  76. Jack Straw

    June 13, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    I totally want to see this guy go up against Stephen Colbert. TOLKIENOFF TWO!!!

  77. TheAngryDanishViking

    June 13, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    I think the whole ‘who can defeat the witchking’ is more about being a man of gender. Hence why Merry can’t really defeat said ringwriath either, even though not ‘a human’.

    • Steve Smith

      June 14, 2021 at 1:15 am

      merry is the one who actually deals the more important blow

  78. SlipperyJimmy

    June 13, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    “God has reasons he doesn’t just smite all the bad guys, and some of those apply to the Eagles.”

    Thank you professor now that’s two things I don’t understand.

  79. Yan Soleto

    June 13, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    well, god doesnt exist so..

  80. WITCH_KING

    June 13, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    Someone explaining Christianity in 5 AD

  81. Chekatana

    June 13, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    I can watch 10 hour version of this Q&A session.

  82. Anthony B.

    June 13, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    11:41 to ad that Saruman rushed his move against Rohan and had no real siege weapons.

  83. rufus Goatman

    June 13, 2021 at 10:25 pm

    So when Tom Bombadill puts on the ring, and does not go invisible and then also makes the ring go invisible.. He is basically just saying “No I’m not going into the wraith world ring. How about YOU go into the wraith world?”

  84. James Brown

    June 13, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    Wait, I thought balrogs didn’t have wings and that the movies got that wrong. The books use simile and metaphor when discussing the balrogs wings, they never ever state that the best actually does have them.

  85. Riley K

    June 13, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    *ahem*

    NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERD!!!!!!

  86. Mathieu

    June 13, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    the place where elfs are immortal, is it a place out of time ? or do they somehow become themselves immortal ? how do they get there with a boat ? do they actually use a spell to teleport ? i need to know …

  87. Alex Cross

    June 13, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    We really need to apply the logic followed with Beorn and identity to the real world gender dysphoria issue . Problem solved

  88. Cyan_

    June 13, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    Part three plz, make it happen

  89. Quinn Griffiths

    June 13, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    Me 2 min into the video: omg the eagle question ALREADY!?!?

  90. Leo de Garius

    June 13, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    Interesting answer regarding the eagles and mentioning a god. Funnily, that god, just as giant flying super intelligent eagles, doesn’t exist. That’s why he doesn’t smite all bad people. Also, no human is in the full knowledge to dictate someone being evil and deserving death.

  91. Vincente Sanchez

    June 14, 2021 at 12:12 am

    So if Balrogs were stronger in combat than Sauron, that means Gandolf could have beaten up Sauron lol!

  92. long-term denial

    June 14, 2021 at 12:18 am

    What god

  93. Sam B

    June 14, 2021 at 12:33 am

    Can listen to this guy talking about LOTR for hours

  94. Gnarlow

    June 14, 2021 at 12:48 am

    I kind of like the idea that Tom Bombadil is Tolkien himself.

  95. Bai Su Zhen

    June 14, 2021 at 12:49 am

    1:50 the actual answer is they would immediately get spotted by the Eye, the Nazgul would take them down and the Ring would be lost. The whole point of Frodo’s journey was for him to sneak in there, that’s why Aragorn lead the suicidal charge at the end, to distract the eye. Have you watched the movies?

  96. Saito26

    June 14, 2021 at 12:52 am

    I like to think Ulmo used his power to keep the Ring hidden in the river until it was found by someone he thought would bring about its destruction. He did seem to interfere where other Valar were less likely too

  97. jackkoffin1

    June 14, 2021 at 1:01 am

    One thing Mr Olsen missed in his answer Re: the Witch King is that, the “no man” thing isn’t like a rule or a special weakness in the Witch King’s power. It was a prophecy. Glorfindel in the Second Age predicted (or foresaw) that no “mortal man” was going to kill the Witch King. That’s all it was. His prophesy was proven correct when it happened that a human woman and a hobbit destroyed him. So, if the question is if Beorn could’ve killed him, the answer is, maybe, under the right circumstances. But Glorfindel predicted it wouldn’t be “a man,” simple as that.

  98. Caesar ino

    June 14, 2021 at 1:06 am

    My take on the Balrogs having wings thing.
    Personally, the implication I got, is that they had, well, shadows that looked something like wings, but simply weren’t wings. Like how the “eye” of Sauron isn’t a literal eye, but it very much looks like one. They couldn’t fly, as the “wings” weren’t actual wings, but merely shadows having the loose shape of wings, if that makes any sense.

  99. Steve Smith

    June 14, 2021 at 1:10 am

    I like to think Tom is the avatar/manifestation of the Earth….or Middle Earth I guess. He’s basically Gaia and Captain Planet fused into one

  100. Dr Doofenshmirtz

    June 14, 2021 at 1:20 am

    Could Tom be an self insert for tolkien as a narrorator?

  101. trouncerrredits

    June 14, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    Frodo was chosen bc he neither desired nor possessed power. The eagles have power therefore they could be corrupted by the ring.

  102. Mimi 78

    June 14, 2021 at 5:32 pm

    I just love that Tolkien was so in depth that he gets a whole professor to just his works. Like Shakespeare but readable.

  103. Chegg Account

    June 14, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    The loving softdrink descriptively question because tadpole concurringly murder of a gorgeous equipment. condemned, steep family

  104. TheGPFilmMaker

    June 14, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    This is so fantastic! It’s absolutely amazing to listen to someone who’s so knowledgeable he legitimately sounds like he’s talking about actual history instead of a fantasy world!!

  105. Lee

    June 14, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    Love it

  106. Clockwork Kirlia

    June 14, 2021 at 6:16 pm

    Always wonderful to hear passionate knowhow!

  107. bi0ha2ard

    June 14, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    NUUUUUUUUUURD

  108. Dennis Duran

    June 14, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    I know nothing about LOTR but I watched this whole thing.

  109. Steve

    June 14, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    So you’re saying Gandalf doesn’t have an appendix, coccyx or little toe?

  110. Tondeck

    June 14, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    Has anyone ever asked him who would’ve came out victorious in a battle between Gandalf and the Witch King when they faced off on Minas Tirith’s wall ?

    • Sameeh kins

      June 14, 2021 at 8:16 pm

      If they did fight Gandalf would have won easily. Witch King is just a human that’s become a wraith. Gandalf is like some divine like being (quite literally).

  111. Caleb Mullan

    June 14, 2021 at 7:57 pm

    Gee, Mark Ruffalo may have lost his hair, but he sure knows a lot about Tolkien…

  112. 박준호

    June 14, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    I like this guy. Who answers all the questions politely. And the final question he admit something could maybe been improved or better if this happen. So he is not close minded

  113. Christopher viggiano

    June 14, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    How do u become a Tolkien professor
    Is it a legit job or just a hobby/ honorable title

  114. Killsaurus

    June 14, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    In defense of the eagles, I feel like they were incredibly poorly portrayed in the movies for their importance and level of power they had. Turned into a cheap taxi service and I hated it 😞

  115. Shona - SoF

    June 14, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    I’d love to see you answering questions with Steven Colbert because I can imagine you both bouncing off each other and going into deep dives on the topics. I would watch that for hours.

  116. Andres Ortiz

    June 14, 2021 at 10:33 pm

    Peter Kreeft has a good answer on who Tom is, unfallen Adam as Tom is not affected by the ring of power.

  117. Kylee Frantik

    June 14, 2021 at 10:58 pm

    “He is” sounds more like Darkseid’s tagline. “Darkseid is.”

  118. J Gamble

    June 14, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    “A change of shape, not a change of essence” Oh my Gosh, are you a Thomist by any chance? haha. Anyway, I’m sure enjoying these conversations. It’s been decades since I delved into these books.

  119. Steven Theo

    June 14, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    Actually, the hand of the Witch-King with his ring was cut off, intrerrupting its connection with Sauron, thus leaving it powerless, despite the prophecy. As long as the Witch-King was linked to Sauron, he could be defeated by “men”, which reffers to the species, not a particular gender. But nevertheless, the first explanation fits too.

  120. J D.

    June 14, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    This guy is the man

  121. Nerrickk

    June 15, 2021 at 12:16 am

    For a while I thought the ring enhanced the “powers” (read: traits) of the wearer. For example, when Hobbits wear it, it makes them invisible since they were small and quiet.

  122. ViciousOS

    June 15, 2021 at 12:38 am

    Chabelo is Tom Bombadil

  123. Michael Schepis

    June 15, 2021 at 1:12 am

    Always excited to see more of these!! 🙂

  124. c0i9z

    June 15, 2021 at 1:20 am

    There is some evidence that Sauron can detect at least the bearer of the ring, both when Frodo sat on the chair thing and when Sam nearly claimed the ring for his own.

  125. Felix Caruzo

    June 15, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    Doesn’t he slightly miss the point here about Beorn possibly killing the Witch King? I think the Tolkien Geek put it best in one of his videos (his channel is called Tolkien Lore, check it out). I rely completely on his words, since i don’t know nearly as much about Tolkien and his writings as others, including Mr. Olsen, but:

    As far as i know, it isn’t stated that no man CAN kill him, but that no man WILL kill him. The fact that Eowyn (not a MALE man / human) would kill him, with the help of Merry (a Hobbit, not a MAN, altough the Hobbits are kind of men) was just meant to be.

    Edit: I love, though, how Mr. Olsen is talking about labels when adressing Bombadil. Just wanted to make it clear that i don’t think of him as incompetent or anything.

  126. Sonicdude551

    June 15, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    Tom Bombadil is Tolkien’s self-insert character, he just didn’t want to own up to it

  127. Nicholas Ward

    June 15, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    His exploring middle east series is fantastic

  128. Chymmoro

    June 15, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    So if Sauron is an immortal spirit, what exactly did destroying his ring do to him? Did he imbue his entire being into it, so that casting it into the lava and destroying it would of actually killed him? Or did he just lose his tether to the physical world?

  129. Sunset sky

    June 15, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    The whole point of the Frodo taking the ring to Mordor is that it needs to be secrets, the eagles would probably be killed by fell beasts or just arrows and Sauron would get the Ring.

  130. lvl 1 Slime

    June 15, 2021 at 10:25 pm

    They couldn’t fly the ring to mordor cause the witch king and his fellbeast died only 10 days before sauron so if they started the journey by flying there the dragon monsters would’ve easily killed the birds and given the ring to sauron who probably would’ve seen them flying because he’s a giant floating eye in the sky

  131. Super Kami Guru

    June 15, 2021 at 10:27 pm

    I love that the One Ring, the big thing in this story, is something my D&D party would look at and say “Oh cool, a ring of invisibility! Oh, but wait, it says here that you’ll be hunted by spectres and it’s a sentient and malicious magic item. REMOVE CURSE!”

  132. NedBark

    June 15, 2021 at 10:55 pm

    Could they give the ring to an ant and have it shrink to be tiny and make it easier to hide?

  133. Bazingahh

    June 15, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    Im no expert but In my headcannon, Gwahir (the king of the ealges) was basically like nah we ain’t getting directly involved.

  134. Paulo Fernandes Roberto

    June 15, 2021 at 10:59 pm

    This and part 1 are amazing to watch for any Tolkien fan! But the most pressing question of all, the memest of them all, remains unanswered:

    “Where was Gondor when the Westfold fell?!”

  135. NedBark

    June 15, 2021 at 10:59 pm

    An elf is not a man, how come elves dont kill witch kings?

  136. tally8877

    June 15, 2021 at 11:08 pm

    Semi-serious theory: Tom is Tolkien, predates all because he made it all

  137. NedBark

    June 15, 2021 at 11:17 pm

    Cory Olsen is awesome. I want to see a whole youtube series dedicated to him and these questions!

  138. avenderiel

    June 15, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    Also Gandalf “flew” down the stairs in Moria as well. Probably everyone in ME can fly then. Why use the eagles to fly to Mordor? Just fly there yourself.

  139. hoon tae

    June 15, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    The substantial close isely attach because red immunochemically separate inside a teeny-tiny customer. illegal, damp baseball

  140. Paolo Recenti

    June 15, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    i like to think Tom Bombadil is England’s genius loci

  141. Ty Connolly

    June 15, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    They also point to his whistling he whistled the song of Arda or at least a piece of it

  142. Ville Lotjonen

    June 15, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    The wings make sense to me bc they’d be kickass

  143. Nathan Keel

    June 15, 2021 at 11:56 pm

    About Tom bombadil I like the idea that he is the music that shaped the world or at least an essence of it

  144. Flea Taxi

    June 15, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    isnt the bigger reason the eagles didnt carry them to mordor because, as we’ve seen, the valar-blessed beings arent exactly a good match for the one ring

  145. John

    June 16, 2021 at 12:12 am

    I have a question. Were there other Dúnedains depicted in the movies or the books?

  146. Andy Arken

    June 16, 2021 at 12:21 am

    As for Sauron detecting the ring, I always thought Sauron could see (or feel) the ring while it was being worn, although even then only if the eye was just looking into this direction. Like a shiny thing popping up into your field of vision.

  147. Hans Flaschentrager

    June 16, 2021 at 12:41 am

    Someone explain the 17 years thing to me please

  148. Bob Dole

    June 16, 2021 at 1:05 am

    How the heck did Isildur have the power to curse an entire people into becoming undead spirits??

  149. Doctor Grandma

    June 16, 2021 at 1:16 am

    Gandalf asking his eagle friends for help is NOT the same as asking God to come down and solve a war. I understand that it would have been a boring story, but these eagles aren’t agents of God. They’re just big, smart eagles.

    Also, they already distracted the Nazgúl for Frodo and Sam, they could have done that at the very beginning so the eagles could fly over. Many avoidable sacrifices were made.

  150. Bad Horse

    June 16, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    If you had to choose three stories of the Silmarillion to convert onto movies, what would you choose?

  151. Ee Wolfs

    June 16, 2021 at 10:53 pm

    The eagles wouldve been seen by the eye of sauron and shot down imo. Only reason they were able to save sam n frodo was bc the ring was already destroyed n everyones freaking out

  152. GabePlays

    June 16, 2021 at 10:55 pm

    I always saw Tom Bombadil as Tolkien’s deliberate attempt at adding an unexplained mystery. Theres so much lore and mythology in LOTR and most everything has an answer — and then theres Tom who appears briefly, heavily implies he’s not like anything that’s ever been or will be again, and then we never see him again. That’s the fun of his character: he helps give this world a sense of vastness and wonder because for all the texts and world building that anyone in or out of Middle Earth can sink their teeth into, you’ll never know when you’ll meet a Tom.

  153. Sanne Berg

    June 16, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    The reason God doesn’t reach out and just solve all the problems of the world with no effort is that he a story character just like the eagles.

  154. Diana Lawnder

    June 16, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    “a man isnt determinded by his shape but by identity”
    TRANS RIGHTS!

  155. Thomas Walsh

    June 16, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    So many offhand comments that contradict what is explicitly written

  156. latronqui

    June 16, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    I love these

  157. Alexander Loncar

    June 16, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    I could have sworn I remember something about the servants of Morgoth assailing the Maiar carrying/with the moon vessel. Perhaps there could be more to the vestigial wings theory because of this, but… would a Maiar even need wings to fly? I do not think so. Nor was the moon necessarily in the same physical plane as the mortals in the world below. So who knows?

    Also. Balrogs I find are far cooler as described in the book. Wings are neat, but I’ve grown to appreciate their lack.

  158. Inquisitor Thomas

    June 16, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    I mean if Balrogs can’t have vestigial wings because they weren’t a product of evolution does that mean that Humans in Middle Earth don’t have Tail Bones or Appendixes?

  159. wesmatron

    June 16, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    Orcs are twisted Elves

  160. wesmatron

    June 16, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    The Eagles and Mount Doom question… It mentions in the text that Sauron may not notice the tiny patter of Hobbit’s feet sneaking into Mordor. Like this guy said, he’d definitely notice a massive Eagle.

  161. Jez Cameron

    June 16, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    These two vids were awesome! Thanks so much for posting. I think that if I were asked these questions I would give similar answers to yours, but I would never be able to put them as eloquently and comprehensively as you have. Thanks again!

  162. Randomly Free

    June 16, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    some say tom bombadil is personification of time itself

  163. Left Leanin'

    June 16, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    I think another aspect of the “why does the ring make some invisible but sauron not?” question is, that the ring itself has power and a kind of own will. Weak beings like Frodo, Bilbo and Gollum were influeced by the ring and the invisibility is some kind of side effect or symptom of that, but stronger beings as sauron can controll the ring, influence it and use its powers and therefore also don’t get invisible.

  164. Slowowned51

    June 17, 2021 at 12:04 am

    Lord of the rings is like fine wine. It gets better with age 🙂

  165. John Hatchell

    June 17, 2021 at 12:13 am

    When you beat all the reddit neck bearded dweebs this guy is the final boss.

  166. gatfatf

    June 17, 2021 at 12:27 am

    “What I really need for my form is decorative non functional wings”
    *nervous laughter of over a million MMO players*

  167. Zeus King

    June 17, 2021 at 12:29 am

    I can’t want for Amazon LOTR series hope it perfect and I hope we can get a first age series with Morgoth.

  168. Zeus King

    June 17, 2021 at 12:29 am

    We need a first Age Morgoth series.

  169. Jacob West

    June 17, 2021 at 12:33 am

    Aren’t the eagle also like semi divine so wouldn’t giving them the ring do the same thing it would do to Gandalf and corrupt him.

  170. LegoGuy 1010-1

    June 17, 2021 at 12:48 am

    0:34 WAAAAAAAGH!

  171. Strongside

    June 17, 2021 at 12:49 am

    Is there anything in the text about someone at some point ever legitimately killing a balrog, rather than just running it off a cliff?

  172. FrigolitBAWS

    June 17, 2021 at 1:02 am

    this might be a stupid question but, what does he mean by “tolkien thinks that gandalf is probably right about that”? i mean tolkien created/wrote gandalf so surely tolkien knows or am i missing something?

  173. MC H

    June 17, 2021 at 1:06 am

    MOOOREEEEEEEEEE PLEASE

  174. Andrew Taylor

    June 17, 2021 at 1:27 am

    “It’s like saying why doesn’t God reach down and smite all the bad guys right away? He could do that but there are reasons he doesn’t”

    Yeah man I’m sure there are some good reasons…. like uhh…. what were those again

    • Andrew Taylor

      June 17, 2021 at 1:27 am

      Love this guy though haha

  175. RAMBIT

    June 17, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    Deeply disturbed by the lack of Stephen Colbert here

  176. dododooooo

    June 17, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    Isn’t the point of the prophecy more incidental than literal? As in, the Witch King only fell because of Merry’s dagger and that is the real reason she was able to kill him? So the saying/prophecy while technical correct, is only correct because of how it happened, and in a literal sense, anyone COULD have killed him had they also had Merry’s dagger (the Barrow-blade) which was forged in Arthedain almost specifically for the purpose of harming the Wraiths?

    • Ray W

      June 17, 2021 at 11:33 pm

      Correct

  177. jdsim9173

    June 17, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    J.R.R. Tolkien is the only Lord of the Rings expert, everyone else just thinks they know what he wanted/meant.

    • Richard Head

      June 17, 2021 at 10:49 pm

      He’s also [checks notes] dead

  178. Nat l

    June 17, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    I feel like he’s explaining history to me

  179. Thomas Schrank

    June 17, 2021 at 10:27 pm

    Maybe Tom bombadil is like a physical manifestation of an aspect of nature

  180. Nicholas Jones

    June 17, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    This is stupid

  181. Asilomar

    June 17, 2021 at 10:49 pm

    No living man may hinder the lich-king – but a Hobbit (an offshoot of humans), Merry, did just that, right? Merry stabbed the lich-king, distracting him long enough for Eonwyn to strike the killing blow. If Merry had not stabbed the lich-king, it would have easily killed Eonwyn as easily as it had shattered her arm, right?

  182. John Knobeloch

    June 17, 2021 at 10:49 pm

    Lmao

  183. Redspeciality

    June 17, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    Sam had the ring a lot longer than the movie shows, and he even wore it for several days while sneaking around the goblins and orcs

  184. Ken Hallaron

    June 17, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    Wouldn’t the Eagles have been tempted and potentially corrupted by the Ring? The same way Gandalf and Galadrial were.

  185. Timeyy

    June 17, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    If the Balrog of Moria could fly it wouldnt have fallen off the bridge with Gandalf to begin with

  186. Viktor Gabriel

    June 17, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    Tom is the Song its quite simple to figure that out he was before everything in Middle Earth and the song creates everything so he can before and yet not be the gods

  187. Kryptnyt

    June 17, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    Tom Bombadil is Tolkien’s cringey self-insert character

  188. My Dude

    June 17, 2021 at 11:18 pm

    The best answer I’ve heard to the *just fly the eagles to the mountain next time stupid* idea is that Sauron would obviously see the eagles flying through the air immediately, and absolutely smite the life out of them, immediately. Sauron would then recover the one ring and doom middle earth to a thousand years of darkness.

    I don’t like the common answer. That being, the eagles aren’t taxis and they didn’t feel like it. That doesn’t add up. Obviously the eagles care about the light and peace of middle earth. If they could’ve taxied the ring to the mountain they would’ve. If the eagles didn’t care about what was going on then they’d never had played any meaningful role in the series.

    The eagles can fly and toss a few orcs around but you’d have to assume that they’re just as susceptible to magic and arrows as all other life in middle earth. None could stand (or fly) before Sauron’s might.

    Remember, hobbits make great burglars. Frodo snuck the ring to the mountain. It was the only way. And the only ones that saw him do it were two other hobbits.

  189. lolmao500

    June 17, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    Heres the reason god doesnt smite the bad guys… because god never existed.

  190. Célio Novais

    June 17, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    Is the reason why Sauron didn’t become invisible when he puts the ring the same reason why Tom Bombadil also didn’t become invisible in the LOTR books?!

  191. Célio Novais

    June 17, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    The way the Nazgul interact in both worlds (the material and the wraith one) are the same as the spirits the With-King of Angmar summoned at the Barrow-Downs? And the same applies to the “Army of the Dead” in Dunharrow?

  192. Kryptnyt

    June 17, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    If a Balrog and a Balor got in a fight, would the Balor win because it can fly? Or would it be because a +1 Vorpal Longsword is pretty good and stuff?

  193. Brittany Garrison

    June 17, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    Instead of writing “Lord of the Rings Expert” just write “Virgin”. Saves time and space.

  194. Josso

    June 17, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    Maybe Tom Bombadil is some kind of personification of Middle Earth itself, something like Nature itself, given the fact that he exists since it was created. What do you all think?

  195. Charles Ratliff

    June 17, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    Really good! Love the Tolkien content.

  196. KickYouInTheThroat

    June 17, 2021 at 11:54 pm

    sam didnt always have the ring, but he was always the sure plan.

  197. Ray W

    June 18, 2021 at 12:37 am

    ‘LOTR’ trivia:
    In the movie ‘LOTR,’ there are TWO Frodos. Explain.
    The one with the correct answer gets a signed document by the Mayor of the Shire.

  198. Slade Valentine

    June 18, 2021 at 12:48 am

    i thought that the reason, the great eagles didnt fly frodo to mordor was because they where basicly half-gods and therefore in much greater threat to the influence of the one ring, much like gandalf is. this is most likely also a reason, why bilbo could hold onto the ring for so long because he is most insignificant, compared to gandalf or the eagles of manwë who impose a much, much more greater will and presance. this is why i also believed that the ring functioned differently on frodo and bilbo, and instead of enhancing their strength basicly made them invisable. most likely due to their low presance.

    but, i guess i could be wrong, idk

  199. Caleb Rohrer

    June 18, 2021 at 12:50 am

    How many of these are there going to be, and how do I get in on asking a question? Love these.

  200. SuperSpeedySnail

    June 18, 2021 at 2:46 pm

    This guy should make his own channel and do like a thousand of these. I’d watch them all.

  201. Tom Franco

    June 18, 2021 at 3:11 pm

    I think Tom is the child of 2 Maiar.

  202. Ray W

    June 18, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    Gandalf: “Fly, you fools!”
    Perhaps a biting fly was on poor Gandalf’s neck or nose, distracting him so much, he lost his grip and fell.
    No reason to get so angry and take it out on the Fellowship.

  203. whitestork

    June 18, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    Tolkien professor? Is this satire?

  204. Ziggy Mandarr

    June 18, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    Beorn is a Manbear, get it right.

  205. SentientToaster

    June 18, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    Yes, I couldn’t think of any other reason why people could think balrogs had wings… there isn’t like a certain film adaptation of the books that is seemingly decidedly being ignored in this video 😀 maybe just for copyright reasons or not to open that can of worms

    • Sameeh kins

      June 18, 2021 at 6:23 pm

      A lot of the stuff in the movies isn’t accurate to the books. Probably why he dismissed it.

    • SentientToaster

      June 18, 2021 at 9:47 pm

      @Sameeh kins Yeah, you’re right about that. still feels weird that he doesn’t directly mention the movies at all. At times it feels like hes about to but it gets cut off.

  206. BusyBasaz

    June 18, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    I have a question. After the third movie, did Aragon commit orc genocide?

    • Sameeh kins

      June 18, 2021 at 6:22 pm

      No, all the orcs went into hiding and without one leader to unite them they eventually died out.

  207. Sept77

    June 18, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    Tolkien probably didn’t have an answer to “what is Tom Bombadil” when he raised the question, much like how there is no definitive answer for “is Childs a Thing” or “is Decker a Replicant.” As the SBFP podcast put it, the question itself _is_ the answer.

  208. Nic K

    June 18, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    5:32 If you look carfefully, you can actually see the One Ring shrink to fit Isildur’s hand in the Fellowship of the Ring movie.

  209. ober zen

    June 18, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    Tom, I think, is a representation of Tolkien himself within the world.

  210. David Perez Rodriguez

    June 18, 2021 at 8:50 pm

    Regarding the writing in elven in the doors of Moria, I would add another point (for me more important)
    Dwarves never, ever wrote in their language, not even in their tombs, so Khuzdul was not an option, next best option is Sinda.

  211. Til_What?

    June 18, 2021 at 9:07 pm

    Hope to see more of these videos. Tolkien’s universe is expansive enough to talk about it for hours and if this man does it, I’ll listen to all of it.

  212. helikos1

    June 18, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    2:26 “there are reasons that he doesn’t and those same reasons apply” Yes, both giant great eagles and god do not exist. That’s why :/

  213. Dark Agent 7

    June 18, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    Sauron doesn’t have a body? What?

  214. Sarah Ruiz

    June 18, 2021 at 10:07 pm

    Tom Bombadil isn’t like other girls.

  215. Eli Burry-Schnepp

    June 18, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    When it comes to “vestigial” wings they could have plenty of other purposes. Some flightless birds use them as weapons, or to assist in balance.

  216. Weaboo Avatar

    June 18, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    La Wren will never be a woman.

  217. SierraSierraFoxtrot

    June 18, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    Vestigial wings make no sense, but purely decorative wings, why not?

    Annoying analogy: does Gandalf have balls?
    Surely as a Maia he doesn’t need balls… neither as a spirit nor for his tasks on Middle Earth…
    If he has balls, they are purely for show, so maybe the Balrog has wings to look cooler?

  218. Joseph Legacy

    June 18, 2021 at 10:41 pm

    Just gonna say that the ring doesn’t turn people invisible who are older than it. This is why Tom Bombadil doesn’t turn invis when he puts the ring on in The Fellowship Of the Ring

  219. Mephostopheles

    June 18, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    This is going to become my favorite series if y’all keep making more. I could watch this dude talk about Tolkien for hours (and I actually have, I’ve seen a lot of his own personal stuff). Keep giving him this platform, he deserves it!

  220. tiestofalljays

    June 18, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    I could listen to this for hours

  221. Phabio Host

    June 18, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    Off that beginning argument about wings… does Gandalf have a tail bone?

  222. Graham Parker

    June 19, 2021 at 12:14 am

    I never made the connection that Sauron being based in mirkwood in part to find the ring in mirkwood rivers (it’s definitely a stretch but it would make sense why he picked there)

  223. Atom Punk55

    June 19, 2021 at 12:36 am

    Wasn’t Tolkien a WW1 vet?
    How much of ‘Lord of the Rings’ was inspired by his experience of the Great War

  224. Kuma

    June 19, 2021 at 1:12 am

    Have they done anything with LOTR lately?

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