The epic “Lord of the Rings” battle scenes, which captivated both fans of the books and the films, were inspired by the horrors author J.R.R. Tolkien experienced during World War I.
A BBC radio documentary that’s set to air on Tuesday explains how the famous author was affected by the war, which took the lives of several of his childhood friends.
According to the Birmingham Mail, Tolkien and his three best friends all went off to fight in the war, but by 1916 two of the four buddies were dead.
The four friends, who all shared Tolkien’s love for literature, were inseparable before the war and they called themselves the Tea Club Barrovian Society and promised they’d become authors and poets.
During the war, Tolkien spent his time “among the rats, the lice, the mud, the dying and the dead,” according to the site, and he recalled those experiences when crafting the battle scenes in his beloved series.
BBC is featuring the special about Tolkien as part of 1,400 stories being put together to commemorate WWI.
Presenter Pete Morgan told the Birmingham Mail the documentary will focus on how Tolkien’s friendships affected him.
“I have always had a great fascination with Tolkien and jumped at the opportunity to delve into what he was like in his earlier years. He had this wonderful relationship with these three other friends who were all destined to be great literary men,” he said. “But the First World War was to destroy this unique bond.”