It’s been one century and nearly three decades since the birth of J. R. R. Tolkien. A man who would become known as the “father of modern fantasy” and creator of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. It seems almost unbelievable that it took him 12 years to write what would become one of the bestselling fantasy novels of all time. Complete with made-up languages, new worlds, and creatures unheard of, The Lord of the Rings inspires writers, poets, directors, and artists. Some of the best pop culture references are derived from this world and I guarantee that everyone will recognize at least one of the images/scenes below even if you’ve never seen the trilogy.

 The Eye of Sauron

Also known as the Evil Eye, this image has been used in Family Guy as well as Robot Chicken. Both shows play upon the fact that this giant evil eye in the sky is still just an eye. In Family Guy the eye is shown frantically looking for its contact and in Robot Chicken the eye is in agony over an eyelash stuck in its eye.

You Shall Not Pass

I believe this is probably one of the most quoted lines from the trilogy. It happens when the great wizard Gandalf is on the bridge holding back the Balrog from attacking them as the hobbits flee. This phrase is used in several animated series and tv shows. The family guy used it with Herbert in their episode called “Petergeist” (Season 4 Episode 26).

My Precious

Each one of these moments, though only seconds compared to the entire length of the series are moments/scenes we can all identify. Even if you’ve never seen the movies you recognized at least one of the images above. That is truly phenomenal! A man born 128 years ago, took 12 years to create a world that we will be referencing, appreciating, memeing (that’s not even a word… yet) and loving for years to come.

Happy Birthday, J.R.R. Tolkien, Thank you for taking 12 years to inspire generations to come.

Are there any moments that you think we should have added? Please let us know in the comments below!