Tolkien trivia night engages Middle-earth fans

Francesco Pinque

“Lord of the Rings” fans gathered in Pugliese Auditorium Thursday night to participate in a J.R.R. Tolkien trivia competition.

Music from “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” movies played over speakers as participants entered their nicknames on the Kahoot game screen, which was displayed on a projector. Some nicknames included “Sean Bean,” “And My Axe,” “Fingolfin” and “Kinslaerzzzzz.”

The competition was divided into two parts with an intermission in between. There was a prize for the winner of each part: a gift card to the BookMarx store in Steubenville for the first part and a replica of the One Ring from “The Lord of the Rings” for the second part.

Questions in the trivia covered “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” books, parts of “The Silmarillion” and some of J.R.R. Tolkien’s life. Some questions could be answered with a cursory knowledge of the movie adaptations, such as identifying quotes, but most required a deeper knowledge of the books and more obscure sections of Middle-earth lore.

Some of the more obscure and tricky trivia questions included: “Who is the son of Beren and Luthien?” which could only be answered by having read “The Silmarillion,” and “Which towers are represented by the title ‘The Two Towers’?” which required background knowledge of Tolkien’s letters and inference from the book to answer.

Participants’ reactions varied throughout the night depending on the questions that were asked. Those who had a deeper knowledge of Tolkien lore let out cheers whenever a more obscure question popped up on the screen, and the more popular quote identifications caused excited murmuring among all students.

At the end of the first part, the participant with the nickname “Fingolfin” won the BookMarx prize, and the team under the collective nickname “Felagang” won the replica of the ring at the end of the second part.

Julianne Leighter, president of the English Honor Society at Franciscan University of Steubenville and one of the trivia hosts, was happy with how the night went.

“I didn’t know how it would go just because this is the first that we’ve had this semester,” said Leighter. “But I was pleased at the turnout and the enthusiasm here. It made me very happy.”

The event was sponsored by the English Honor Society, which is a part of the international organization Sigma Tau Delta.