The Inklings was an informal literary discussion group associated with the University of Oxford. Its members included J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, and Charles Williams. A number of books have been written about this group and its members, including one by Tolkien’s biographer, Humphrey Carpenter. There is even an organization in the United States, The Mythopoeic Society, dedicated to studying their works. The Inklings met at several different locations over the years, but the best known spot was an Oxford pub called The Eagle and Child, known colloquially as ‘The Bird and Baby’.
Did you know that prominent members of the Inklings, as well as the landmark pub they dined, are featured in LOTRO? They are found, appropriately enough, in The Shire. So where are they? In area known as the Bullroarer’s Sword in the North Farthing one may find a grey-haired pipe-smoking hobbit named Ronald Dwale. This is John Ronald Reuel Tolkien himself! (Tolkien was known by the first of this two middle names.)
Ronald offers quest entitled Lost Dog. For those acquainted with the children’s story Roverandum, the storyline of this quest will be very familiar. Tolkien wrote this story in the mid-1920s for his son Michael, the same son who owned a Dutch doll that inspired the stories about an enigmatic character named Tom Bombadil.
After completing 'Lost Dog' and the follow-up quest, Recovering the Lost Leaf, Ronald will offer you a quest, Missing the Meeting, that requires you to travel to a pub in Michel Delving known as 'The Bird and Baby'. (Sound familiar?)
There you will find other members of The Inklings: Owen Farfield (Owen Barfield), Carlo Williams (Charles Williams), and Jack Lewisdown (C.S. Lewis, whose nickname was ‘Jack’).