Page 405. " He is surer of finding the way home than the cats of Queen Berúthiel. "
Black Cat
Creative Commons AttributionBlack Cat - Credit: rachdian at Flickr

 Queen Berúthiel’s cats is one of only two references in The Lord of the Rings that had no pre-written backstory or existence outside of the book, according to a letter that Tolkien wrote in 1956.

However, the story of the Queen and her cats was finally given in Unfinished Tales, published by Christopher Tolkien in 1980. The story tells how Queen Berúthiel of Gondor used ten cats as her spies. She was feared and hated by the people, and finally the king banished her. She boarded a ship with all her cats, and sailed out into the southern seas never to be seen again.


Page 411. " The world was young, the mountains green "

Darkness Dwells Upon Durin's Tomb is a Black Metal version of Gimli's song by a band called Ringwraith:

The same song by a band called Rivendell, whose music is described as "Epic Black Metal with Folk influences":

Page 416. " On the slab runes were deeply graven: "

Public DomainRunes - Credit: wikimedia commons
Tolkien’s dwarvish runic script is called Cirth.

The word rune comes from ‘runa’, a Proto-Norse word meaning ‘secret’ or ‘whisper.’ Runes are letters used in runic alphabets of Germanic languages, before the Latin alphabet was introduced in the early Middle Ages. The term runes might also be applied to some other unrelated historical alphabets.

Page 424. " But even as the orc flung down the truncheon and swept out his scimitar, Andúril came down upon his helm. "

GNU Free Documentation LicenseScimitar - Credit: Nazanian/Wikimedia Commons
A truncheon is a heavy club used as a blunt weapon.

A scimitar is a sword with a curved blade. Scimitars were used in the Middle East as slashing weapons, often wielded by warriors on horseback. Scimitars appear on the coat of arms of Saudi Arabia. In Tolkien’s books curved blades are usually used by orcs, with straight swords more common amongst men and elves. In Peter Jackson’s film trilogy, elves are mainly shown using curved weapons.

Helm is another word for helmet.