J. R. R. Tolkien

Little-known sci-fi fact: Gandalf wasn't going to be named Gandalf
Dec 17, 2012

He's one of the most iconic characters in all of fantasy literature, the archetype for hundreds of magical mentor figures that followed him: Gandalf the Grey, J. R. R. Tolkien's legendary wizard of Middle-earth. But according to Tolkien's original notes, the character originally had a different (and much less catchy) name.

Watch a totally weird 1966 Czech animated version of The Hobbit
Dec 16, 2012

Suffering Tolkien withdrawal because it's still almost a year before Peter Jackson's The Hobbit gets released next holiday season? Then trip out on this bizarre, 12-minute rendition of the classic by Prague-based animator Gene Deitch.