British author J.R.R. Tolkien famously populated an entire fictional world -- commonly known as Middle-earth -- and now a small town in the Netherlands has repaid the favor, though with real people rather than fictional characters. Geldrop has a name that already sounds like it belongs in Tolkien's universe, and a quarter of the provincial town now has streets named after the author and his characters, including Tolkien Lane and roads called Arwen, Lorien, and Galadriel. The designations date to the original planning of the quarter, when a big Tolkien fan suggested the honor, and the townsfolk agreed. And the planning wasn't any half-measure, either, with different sections of the neighborhood sorted by type. For example, one section devotes street names to elves and another honors dwarfs. Even the local preschool pays homage to Tolkien: It's known as De Hobbit.
The man behind the rings::
- J.R.R. Tolkien married the love of his life, Edith Bratt, and their shared tombstone carries the names of two fictional lovers he created: Beren and Luthien.
- Tolkien famously created new languages, but he also wrote in extinct ones, including Lombardic and Medieval Welsh.
- Tolkien took 10 years to write The Lord of the Rings and was disappointed that it was published as a trilogy rather than a single novel.