75 reasons: Chris Seeman

The Old Sheldonian (c) Marcel R. Aubron-Bülles
The Old Sheldonian (c) Marcel R. Aubron-Bülles

Unlike the soon-to-be-released Peter Jackson films, Tolkien’s Hobbit is NOT a “prequel” to The Lord of the Rings. By this I mean that Tolkien did not write it to be an introduction to something else. Like many of Tolkien’s early writings, The Hobbit is a stand-alone tale – a light-hearted children’s story that manages to enthrall readers of all ages by its evocation of an archaic world rooted in a mythology that is glimpsed only at its edges. Later on, after writing The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien revised The Hobbit so that it would flow into his magnum opus more smoothly (especially the key chapter, “Riddles in the Dark,” where Bilbo encounters Gollum and acquires the Ring). Tolkien also penned an essay entitled “The Quest for Erebor” (posthumusly published in Unfinished Tales) where he pondered in great detail what must have been going on “behind the scenes” of Bilbo’s adventure that linked it to the darker events of The Lord of the Rings. Much of Jackson’s elaborations on The Hobbit appear to be based on this.

Dr. Christopher Seeman

Dr. Christopher Seeman

Which is cool, but if you watch the films without having first read the book, you’re likely to miss out on a lot of the simple pleasures of the story as it was originally intended. If you read first, you can have your cake and eat it too!

Dr. Chris Seeman

Author biography


2012 Tolkien-Related CV


  • 2002—“Death and Language: The Keysprings of The Lord of the Rings” (http://www.lotrplaza.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=230587)

  • 1995—“Tolkien’s Revision of the Romantic Tradition” 73-83 in P. Reynolds and G. H. GoodKnight (eds). Proceedings of the Tolkien Centenary Conference

  • 1991—“Tolkien and Campbell Compared” Mythlore 67: 43-48


  • 2002-present—The Tolkien Music List (owner/discographer)


  • 1993-2001—Other Hands (editor/publisher/contributor)

  • OH 1: “Rhovanion as the Northern Frontier of Gondor”

  • OH 2: “Religion in Middle-earth”

  • OH 3: “A journey in the dark”

  • OH 5: “Tarma Tar-Calion”

  • OH 6: “Eyes of the blind night”

  • OH 22: “The Balrogs”

  • OH 23: “Dragons of the North”

  • OH 24: “Oathbreakers and Dunlendings”

  • OH 26: “Dark Undead”

  • OH 29/30: “The Realm of Bellakar” [w/Eric Dubourg and Wes Frank]

  • OH 33/34: “Dúnadan Longevity”

  • 1995-1997—Middle-earth Role Playing (author/series editor)

  • 1996-1997—Middle-earth Collectible Card Game (contributor/proofreader)

  • 1996—The Wizards Player Guide

  • 1997—The Lidless Eye Player Guide

  • 2002-2003—Lord of the Rings RPG (author/proofreader)

  • 2003—Fell Beasts and Wondrous Magic (“Armour”)

  • 2003—Moria (“Dwarves of Middle-earth;” “Speak, Friend, and Enter”)

  • 2007-2009—Other Minds (assistant editor/contributor)

  • OM 1: “Magic in Middle-earth”

  • OM 3: “A Game Designer’s Guide to Parma Eldalamberon 17”

  • OM 3: “The Palantíri”

  • OM 5: “Minas Ithil Name Glossary” [w/David Salo]

  • OM 5: “Mithril Miniatures and MERP”

  • OM 6: “Tharbad Map Name Changes” [w/David Salo]


Marcel R. Bülles

Marcel R. Bülles is the author of thetolkienist.com, a specialist blog centering on worldwide Tolkien fandom, geekdom and research. He works as a freelance translator, journalist and writer and is the founder of the German Tolkien Society as well as a co-founder to RingCon, Europe's formerly biggest fantasy film convention. You can find him in cafés all over the world sipping an espresso blogging, writing, reading. At one point he was married to an extremely lovely French lady by the nickname of Sauron. Yes, that Sauron. He is also active with the International Tolkien Fellowship on Facebook and the Tolkien Folk on Instagram.