Best Ways To Bring Middle Earth To Minnesota

December 10, 2012 7:26 AM

Tolkienites are organizing and meeting throughout the Twin Cities as “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” the first of a trilogy, comes out Dec. 14. First, there were two theater productions of “The Hobbit” earlier this year. Then on Sept. 22, Common Good Books reported that “The Rivendell Group, the Minnesota Tolkien Society and Common Good Books hosted a party to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of ‘The Hobbit’ by J.R.R. Tolkien.”

Now, Tolkien fans can show their enthusiasm for the event in several ways.

www.commongoodbooks.comcommon good books Best Ways To Bring Middle Earth To Minnesota

Common Good Books
38 S. Snelling Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105
(651) 225-8989

Get a copy of “The Hobbit” and relive the adventure as Bilbo and his band of dwarves reclaim Lonely Mountain from Smaug the dragon. Your local library or any good bookstore will have plenty of Tolkien literature. However, Common Good Books’ staff recently built a hobbit mountain and filled the store with trivia during the 75th anniversary of “The Hobbit.” The store is located conveniently on the corner of Grand Avenue and Snelling in St Paul. Stop by to immerse yourself in the Middle Earth fun.

The Rivendell Discussion Group of the Mythopoeic Society

The Rivendell Group meets on or near the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus to “study, discuss and enjoy myth, fantasy and imaginative literature” in the traditions of J.R.R. Tolkien and others. While the group has not updated its webpage recently, it co-hosted the 75th anniversary Tolkien event in September. Check out current events on the group’s Facebook page.

Minnesota Tolkien Society

Connect with the Minnesota Tolkien Society on Facebook for the latest information and pictures of what’s happening in Middle Earth Minnesota. This group expresses its openness to all Tolkien fandom and is dedicated to the enjoyment of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Related: The Lowdown: ‘Hobbit’ Trailer Causing Major Buzz

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(credit: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Norcostco – Northwestern Costume
825 Rhode Island Ave. S.
Golden Valley, MN 55426
(763) 544-0601

Get your hobbit costume ready for the movie premiere. Bilbo Baggins lives again after the decade-long hiatus since Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. All it takes is a white billowy shirt, a vest, knickers (some old dress pants cut off at mid-calf will do) and a long pipe. Don’t forget that hobbits are half the size of humans with round bellies and thick hair on their feet. Costume stores have gorilla feet or just gluing faux fur on some sandals may do the trick. Lady hobbits have a head of curls crowned with roses and full skirts. Gandalf is a wizard carrying his staff and is dressed in a long cloak and hat. Impersonating Gollum may be a bit more tricky.

Host a Hobbit costume party before the movie with beer, cider or tea with cakes. Hobbits are said to eat six meals a day of simple English food found in the Oxfordshire countryside. Hobbits spent most of their time growing their own food and they love wild mushrooms. A meal may consist of meat and potatoes such as roasted chicken or pork pie with edible roots such as carrots and onions. Deserts might consist of apple tarts, raspberry jam or blackberries.

Most movie houses will be showing “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in standard 2-D format. Minnesota fans are awaiting news for which local theaters will be premier the movie at midnight on Dec. 14 in 3-D or IMAX with Dolby’s new Atmos platform. In this setting, the sound surrounds the audience from all sides and even overhead.

Hobbit Hollow Bed and Breakfast & Antique Store
34487 County Road 11
Clarissa, MN 56440
(218) 756-2407

A short trip northwest on I-94 and north of Sauk Center brings you to Clarissa and the heart of Amish country. Dorothy (Dot) Ennis will welcome you to her large house with vintage rooms upstairs. Duck your head as you enter hobbit-like rooms to shop antiques in the lower level. After a light breakfast of waffles and fruit, you can view the beautiful gardens or just sit and relax on the front porch of the Hobbit Hollow Bed and Breakfast & Antique Store. If you can’t find what you like in its quaint antique shop, visit the barn filled with primitives and treasures.

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(credit: Thinkstock)

Related: Best Movie Theaters In The Twin Cities

Several Minnesota theaters will be showing “The Hobbit” in digital technology at twice the frame rate to make the 3D effect more real and to eliminate the flicker that movie goers have tolerated for more than a century. See “The Hobbit” the way Peter Jackson intended at Marcus 16 in Oakdale, Odyssey 15 in Burnsville, Rosedale 14 with IMAX, ShowPlace ICON 14 in St. Louis Park and Southdale Center 16 with IMAX.

Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at

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