The Science of Middle-earth
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More by Henry Gee
This page-turning, fun and accessible book by Henry Gee, a senior editor at Nature, gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the science behind the magic in J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy classics THE HOBBIT and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Learn how dragons breathe fire, the hidden high-tech of the elves, how orcs reproduce, why seeing-stones work, whether balrogs have wings, and much much more about the magic found throughout Middle Earth. Gee's writing style is accessible and delightful, and he makes a great case that "Tolkien's own worldview was closer to the true spirit of science than that held by many who propose to promote the public understanding of science."
Review from Scientific American:
How did Frodo's mithril coat ward off the fatal blow of an orc? How was Legolas able to count the number of riders crossing the plains of Rohan from five leagues away? Could Balrogs fly? Gee, a senior editor at Nature (who says he read The Lord of the Rings about once a year between the ages of 10 and 25), elucidates and expands on the scientific aspects of J.R.R. Tolkien's world in this fascinating book. Many commentators have noted Tolkien's use of philology and cultural history to create believable languages for his elves and orcs. Now Gee shows how scientific precepts can make the wonders of Middle-earth even richer.
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