11 Jul 2009

"It was about a dragon."


So the story goes that Professor Tolkien wrote his very first story before his eighth birthday. "It was about a dragon." Sadly he could not recall more about it but he remembered his mother explaining to him that it was wrong to write 'green great dragon' , instead he had to use' a great green dragon.' she explained to him. Thirty years later, he would begin to write an other story about a dragon, not very green this time. This was of course, The Hobbit (1937).

The 'Great Green Dragon' story was however, never forgotten by Tolkien, so much so that he will use the name for a very important place in the Shire, The Greeen Dragon Inn in Hobbiton Bywater. It is here that Bilbo meets with the Dwarves on the morning their adventure begins. It will remain an important meeting-place and a centre of gossip long after Bilbo returned from his first adventure, and at the time of the famous Birthday Party, Sam Gamgee will be among its regular visitors. For all its proud history, The Green Dragon Inn will not survive the coming of Men to the Shire during the War of the Ring, and it will be a desolate and empty place by the time Sam returned with Frodo after the One Ring was destroyed on Mount Doom.

"you can search far an wide
you can drink the whole town dry
but you'll never find a beer so brown
but you'll never find a beer so brown
as the one we drink in our home town
as the one we drink in our home town
you can drink your fancy ales
you can drink em by the flagon
but the only brew for the brave and true...
comes form the green dragon"
(J.R.Tolkien)


So it all began with one Green Dragon a little boy invented many years ago. This little chap was to grow up and become the greatest and influential Fantasy Writer, and yet in his heart he was a true tiny Hobbit in all but size!