Do you ever wonder to yourself, while watching or reading either Lord of The Rings, or The Hobbit: just why is Gandalf so powerful? Who is he anyway? And what’s the go with the One Ring? Why is it so great yet so terrible?
Once you start questioning the fabric of JRR Tolkien’s world, you’ll find it’s a quick path to hours of your life missing down a Wikipedia or Youtube-hole.
Now, Tolkien’s world is told through The Silmarillion, a very complex book compiled after his death by his son, Christopher. It precedes even The Hobbit, and explains the story of the First Age of Tolkien’s Middle Earth and the general origin of things.
(It’s been noted as being really for Tolkien-junkies only, given the somewhat dry nature – but is fantastic if you have the time to soak in it).
Tolkien’s world is fascinating and one of the richest and deepest fantasy worlds ever. You deserve to know more, even if you don’t have the hours it takes to read, and understand it. (Read this thread on reddit for people talking about how long it took them to get through the book – some say a lifetime!)
CGP Grey is the man for the time-poor. Capable of turning complicated subjects into excellent and short illustrated videos, his explanation of The One Ring is short, accurate, easy to follow and explains so much, very quickly.
Ps. The One Ring explanation is actually Part 2 of Grey’s series on Lord Of The Rings mythology – Part 1 is below and is just as well done and interesting. Who knew Gandalf was the equivalent of giant lava monster Balrog?