The new Tolkien trailer, starring Nicholas Hoult as the famous author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, plays up the idea that pretty much everything in those great novels was inspired by things in his real life. He and his friends (a fellowship!) were tested by a great war. And... he met a dragon?

Wait, why is there a dragon?

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Fox Searchlight

Did J.R.R. Tolkien actually fight a dragon during World War I?

(Probably this is some kind of dream or a hallucination involving a flame thrower or something. There’s got to be an explanation for it in the actual movie. I have no doubt. Still, I was not expecting to see a dragon in this movie, even if it is about a guy who wrote some famous dragons in his day.)

Here’s the official synopsis:

TOLKIEN explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the “fellowship” apart. All of these experiences would inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-Earth novels.

Tolkien opens in theaters on May 10, 2019.

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