Something Funny Happened on the Way to Mount Doom


All shall wonder and despair, for the One Ring has been found!

The ring is believed to be linked to a curse tablet found separately at the site of a Roman temple dedicated to a god named Nodens in Gloucestershire, western England. The tablet says a man called Silvianus had lost a ring, and it asks Nodens to place a curse of ill health on Senicianus until he returned it to the temple.

An archaeologist who looked into the connection between the ring and the curse tablet asked Tolkien, who was an Anglo-Saxon professor at Oxford University, to work on the etymology of the name Nodens in 1929.

Since I’m not nearly as smart as Tolkien was, I simply Googled “Nodens” to see what turned up. It had also attracted the attention of seminal horror writer H.P. Lovecraft:
And upon dolphins’ backs was balanced a vast crenelate shell wherein rode the grey and awful form of primal Nodens, Lord of the Great Abyss… Then hoary Nodens reached forth a wizened hand and helped Olney and his host into the vast shell.
—H. P. Lovecraft, “The Strange High House in the Mist”
More interesting linkage here.
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