Meet the Makers: The First Anniversary of the #TolkienTribe on Instagram

The Tolkien Tribe Account - logo
The Tolkien Tribe Account - logo

When J.R.R. Tolkien’s 125th birthday was about to be celebrated – in 2017 – a bunch of Tolkienists from all over the world came together on Instagram to do just that: share in their mutual interest in Tolkien’s stories. Very quickly sixteen of us gathered around an Instagram chat started on Jan 1st, 2017, which was soon called “TolkienTribe” and this became our hashtag.

Now, one year later we are celebrating more than 5,000 posts with this hashtag, we celebrated the “Bilbo Baggins Birthday Bash” with an international giveaway supported by such wonderful people as the German Tolkien publishers Hobbitpresse and Weta Workshop and many other events and we have gone from strength to strength. Now, as of today, we are starting the official Tolkien Tribe Instagram account to further interest in the life and works of Professor J.R.R. Tolkien and the people he inspired – and we are going to get just better 🙂

Members of the #TolkienTribe (in alphabetical order)

No longer active: @aliterarypotion

No longer active: @sarahlostbutfound

No longer active: @tomdruil

No longer active: @the.bibliofiles

No longer active: @thetelltaleheart_

No longer active: @thatwhichtheydefend

No longer active: @will_falder

How the group came into being

The Beginning of the #TolkienTribe

What basically happened was that one of us – aka Justin – decided to open up a chat for all of us to join in, very late on January 1st, 2017. 🙂

When the Tolkienist joined the Tolkientribe
When the Tolkienist joined the Tolkientribe

I joined the chat the next day, early in the morning, together with most of the rest of us.

The hashtag is born!
The hashtag is born!

One of our earliest members who left the group as she worked on other projects – Darth Claudia – suggested using #TolkienTribe – and so our common hashtag was born.

History of the Hashtag – some background

We as a group weren’t the first to use this hashtag (we didn’t know back then and never really thought about it.) The first ever usage of the hashtag happened with this charming instagrammer – according to the IG search – on Nov 25, 2014. [The post is no longer accessible].

Another IG user wrote down #TolkienTribe on Nov 21, 2015.

On April 19, 2016 this Instagrammer took up the flag.

Only one more Instagrammer used the hashtag before our “very own first” entry. [The original entry of Dec 4, 2016, is no longer available but @the.memory.of.trees joined us a month later in our festivities and made that her first entry on her IG.]

Our very own Sarah (@sarahlostbutfound) was the first to post using our ‘new’ hashtag and since then many others have taken it up. [The post is no longer available].

Our friends and supporters

We have been incredibly lucky to have found many friends and supporters who are helping us out in our ventures – true Tolkien fellowship style; unfortunately, they are too many to mention of all of them here. However, please do know that we appreciate all of your time and effort in sharing the fun and inspiration we all derive from reading Tolkien’s stories and the work inspired by them!

Update January 21, 2024 The world has changed and Instagram has lost much of its charm years ago. The Internet Archive captured this page first on January 10, 2017, but only in parts. We also decided to change our name to #TolkienFolk for our fifth anniversary, so to speak; however, I am keeping the original post title for posterity’s sake.

Marcel R. Bülles

Marcel R. Bülles is the author of, 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.