20 Tolkien References in Buffy, Avengers, and Joss Whedon's Works

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are more than inspirations...

20 Tolkien References in Buffy, Avengers, and Joss Whedon's Works

* In Whedon’s Tales of the Vampires comic, he describes a geek girl named Stacy who falls in love with the Lord of the Rings movie and longs to be an elf and battle ravening orcs. “I wanted to live in that world so hard, to feel that light, to battle with that darkness,” she thinks. Instead, she’s turned into a vampire, and discovers the joy in becoming an orc, the force of evil.

* Somehow, the villains of Buffy always find themselves chasing a talisman. The heroic Scoobies only seek these items to keep them safe

* Willow’s reference to Olaf as “Lord of the Hammers” in “Triangle” (B5.11) seems like a tribute to Lord of the Rings.

* In “Intervention” (B5.18), Xander calls Glory’s minions “hobbits with leprosy.” Glory calls Spike “precious.” Joyce refers to Dawn as “precious” in “Listening to Fear” (B5.9), and Quentin tells Buffy to protect the dummy “as if it were precious” in “Checkpoint” (B5.12). The object everyone seeks is a key, not a ring, but still…

* Warren calls Jonathan “Frodo” in “Gone” (B6.11).

* The demon Gnarl in “Same Time, Same Place” (B7.3), echoes Gollum. Writer Jane Espenson confirmed that this was intentional in a post at the Bronze Beta: “Collect the money on the bet. There was some Gollum in the history of Gnarl.”

* The Turok-han, appearing in Buffy’s season seven, appear to be named for the Uruk-hai. They swarm in a similar manner. The scenes of the thousands of CGI Turok-Han in “Chosen” (B7.22) was filmed similarly to the scenes in the Mines of Moria in The Fellowship of the Ring movie.

* Lorelahn the tree person is probably from Lothlorien (Time of Your Life, B8.4).

* Buffy sarcastically worries that orcs will attack any minute (Twilight, B8.7).

* Xander says the Master’s “had too much time around his preciousss” (Last Gleaming, B8.8).

* Buffy mentions they’re going to see a white dwarf star and puns, “Pretty sure I slayed that guy in the Enchanted Forest” (“In Space No One Can Hear You Slay,” B9.1).

* Willow is named Willow the Red in Willow: Wonderland, like Gandalf the Grey. They have a gathering of magical people to decide how to save the world.

* Xander calls one of the council a Gandalf-wannabe in The Core (B9.5).

* JASMINE: I sound like the prologue to one of those movies about dwarf people... GUNN: Hobbits. (“The Magic Bullet,” A4.19)

* In “Damage” (A5.11), Andrew sees Spike is back and says, “You’re like, you’re like Gandolf the White resurrected from the pit of the Balrog, more beautiful than ever,” and whispers, “Frodo, he’s alive.” He adds, “I see your senses seem to be as well-honed as your Viggo Mortensen pectorals.”

* In “Power Play” (A5.21), Gunn calls Drogyn “Aragorn” for his long hair.

* When Gunn hears there’s ogres and dragons about, he notes that there’s probably hobbits too (Angel: After the Fall 2: First Night).

* GOSSEN: It’s “Chaucer.” It’s Middle English... ECHO/KIKI: Right, like Hobbits or something. (“Belle Chose,” D2.3)

* Tony Stark calls Hawkeye “Legolas” because of his bow and arrow.

* For Avengers 2, Mark Ruffalo has revealed that he is working with CGI expert Andy Serkis - Gollum in Lord of the Rings - on Hulk’s advanced facial effects. In his Twitter account, Ruffalo confirmed: “I have been working with the great @andyserkis on the big green boy and he is going to be even better than A1.”

Valerie Estelle Frankel
Valerie Estelle Frankel
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Valerie Estelle Frankel
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