J.R.R Tolkien: His 3 Influences That Changed World History

Born3rd of January, 1892
Died2nd of September, 1973
Famous Quote“Not all those who wander are lost.”
Known ForWriting high fantasy, creating national novels, defining entertainment and literature forever
Region of WorldBritain, 20th century.

Once every century an author is born into the world that forever changes history; in the 20th century that author was J.R.R Tolkien and his influences continues to inspire billions to this day.

Today J.R.R Tolkien has influenced world history in 3 major ways. First, Tolkien successfully reinvigorated the world’s interest in high fantasy novels. Second, J.R.R Tolkien created the defining national novel for Britain with his Lord of The Rings. Third, Tolkien’s dedication to detail in his novels has resulted in all high fantasy works of art borrowing from his books.

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Without further ado, here are the 3 influences of J.R.R Tolkien that changed world history.

Tolkien Successfully Reinvigorated The World’s Fascination With High Fantasy

One of the main influences of J.R.R Tolkien that forever changed world history was by reinvigorating the public’s fascination with high literature.

Tolkien was not the first high fantasy writer. Thousands of authors have written about worlds with fantastic beings. However, what Tolkien did differently was combine his contemporary history along with strong attention to detail.

When writing his first major success The Hobbit, Tolkien began to create an entire fantasy world based around English folk tales. Then he decided to create multiple races of elves, dwarfs, orcs, and various other creatures. For each of these races he made a language and history.

Along with this Tolkien based his work on the landscape of Britain. From the shire to the lonely mountain Tolkien drew inspiration from Scotland, England, Whales, and Ireland.

The result captivated and enthralled the general public. Tolkien was surprised to discover that his book was a worldwide success and audiences were craving more.

Then J.R.R Tolkien delivered his genre defining The Lord of The Rings. Much darker than The Hobbit this 3 part epic book series forever changed world history. The Lord of The Rings is one of the best selling books of all time with over 150 million copies sold.

Tolkien’s books have forever changed the history of the world by captivating the world. Today almost every fantasy work has been inspired by Tolkien in some way. As such he is considered the father of fantasy books.

J.R.R Tolkien Created the National Novel for Britain

One of the main influences of J.R.R Tolkien that changed world history was by creating the national novel for Britain.

The Lord of The Rings was written to include references to old folk tales surrounding the creation of the multiple kingdoms of the British isles.

Each one of these kingdoms has their own defining element and style. They have their own culture and are completely different from each other.

However, in The Lord of the Rings each of these kingdoms must work together to defeat the evil of the Dark Lord Sauron.

To do this a small group of adventures set out across Tolkien’s world to make things right. The main characters are taken out of the shire and forced into perilous situations for causes they often don’t understand or agree with.

Here Tolkien is providing a direct allegory to the British Empire’s involvement in World War One. Tolkien himself saw the worst of the combat at the Battle of the Somme. He lost many friends and colleagues.

This profoundly impacted Tolkien’s later years and writings. In The Lord of the Rings Tolkien would provide a story to account for what Britain had suffered through during World War One. This remains one of his primary influences.

Initially Tolkien started out to copy his first famous work The Hobbit however as he began to write it turned into a much darker book. Out of this came Britain’s modern national novel that helped to explain why a nation of different groups of people had to work together.

Because of this Tolkien forever changed world history. Before his books there was little in the way of national novels for the modern nation of Britain. Upon the publication of The Lord of the Rings this changed.

Tolkien’s Dedication to Detail and World Building Has Forever Changed World History

One of the main ways that J.R.R Tolkien forever changed world history was his attention to detail and world building.

When Tolkien set out to build his works he first did so backwards. Most authors would start with a narrative and then build the world around it.

J.R.R Tolkien however would build out an entire world before envisioning a story. Because of this the world of middle earth is the most detailed fantasy world of all time.

Each creature in the world feels alive. Tolkien created languages, history, and myths that served to make each race of creature in the world believable.

Because of this all fantasy works since Tolkien have copied this approach to building their own work. When you see an elf in a game or movie that’s Tolkien’s influence.

Tolkien’s influence stems even further. The world itself that Tolkien created has inspired billions of people worldwide to search for their own version of the peaceful shire, the honor bound halls of Gondor, or the free spirit of Rohan.

It was not Tolkien’s characters that influenced the reader. Rather it was the world and attention to detail that Tolkien provided that forever altered world history.

Today its hard to imagine a world without Tolkien. Movies such as Harry Potter, Spider Man, Avatar, and Dune all draw inspiration from Tolkien’s detailed worlds.

This is because each of these fantasy movies create a detailed world before creating the characters or plot. Tolkien’s influence upon the imagination of people across the world is absolute.

Imagination is a powerful tool that continues to shape our world. As such Tolkien’s influence will continue to grow over time. He remains one of the most influential writers of all time.


There you have it; an entire article that details how J.R.R Tolkien has forever changed world history.

J.R.R Tolkien’s life is fascinating. Potential graduate students looking for a great thesis or dissertation should look into Tolkien’s inspirations and influences from his life events.

I hoped you liked this article. Here at The History Ace I strive to publish the best history articles on the internet. Feel free to sign up for the free newsletter to remain up to date on all things history.

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