LINKS between Middle Earth and the language and mythology of Wales are now the subject of academic study at Cardiff University.
PhD student Dimitra Fimi, 24, is researching the Welsh influences on the languages which JRR Tolkien created for his characters to speak.
She said, "Tolkien was fascinated by the subject and some of the names are very obviously influenced by it.
"For example Arwen, the Elf princess who marries Aragorn, is very similar to Olwen, the heroine of the Welsh legend of Mabinogion called Culhwch and Olwen."
Tolkien's fascination with Welsh is well-recorded.
As a child, growing up in urban Birmingham, his linguistic imagination was fired by the sight of coal trucks which passed his home on which he read the names of towns such as Nantyglo, Penrhiwceiber and Senghenydd.
He joined other children living on his street in the creation of imaginary languages.
His neighbours had already created "Animalic," to communicate with each other, and Tolkien invented Nevbosh, a "new nonsense."
This childhood fascination never left Tolkien, and he continued to put together "faerie languages" for the rest of his life.
In the film versions of The Lord of the Rings, Liv Tyler can be heard speaking the Welsh-influenced Elf language of Sindarin.
As a student at Exeter College, Oxford, Tolkien immersed himself in the study of Old English, the Germanic languages, Finnish and Welsh.
This was not his first direct contact with Welsh culture. Father Francis Morgan, a half-Spanish half-Welsh Catholic priest, visited the family regularly and, following the death of his already-widowed mother, took responsibility for the children.
Later, as a Professor at Oxford, Tolkien would accomplish ground-breaking studies in the birth of the language of Wales, such as in his essay English and Welsh.
Yet although Tolkien was clearly a brilliant academic, he published infrequently. His passion was in the creation of new languages, often by blending ancient dialects.
Together with his close friend and fellow scholar CS Lewis, the author of the Chronicles of Narnia, Tolkien began writing tales in which the speakers of his imaginary languages engage in struggles inspired by the mythology to which he devoted his studies.
For Tolkien, knowing how his characters would speak was essential to the success of a story.
He said, "The making of language and mythology are related functions. Your language construction will breed a myth-ology."
Tolkien was astonished by his books' success, which became a publishing phenomenon when a pirated paperback 1965 version of Lord of the Rings appeared in the United States. He was plagued by Californians who, unaware of the time-difference, telephoned him in the middle of the night to ask arcane questions about Hobbit lore.
In trying to interpret the success of his literature, Tolkien attributed the persistence of his readers' fascination to the sense
that they are reading tales from a fully-formed world complete with its own languages and myths; a place full of inexhaustible mysteries.
He wrote, "Part of the attraction of the L.R. is, I think due to the glimpses of a large history in the background: an attraction like that of viewing far off an unvisited island, or seeing the towers of a distant city gleaming in a sunlit mist. To go there is to destroy the magic, unless new attainable vistas are again revealed."
In connecting Norse and Celtic myths, Tolkien returned to the syntax of Welsh to create a vocabulary with which he could fashion truly British legends.
He wrote in English and Welsh, "Welsh is of this soil, this island, the senior language of the men of Britain: and Welsh is beautiful."
However, despite such influences, Welsh-speakers will have difficulty understanding the elves.
Professor John Hines of Cardiff University said, "I speak Welsh myself, but it all sounds like gibberish to me."