Bored of the Rings

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Bored of the Rings
First edition
AuthorHenry N. Beard, Douglas C. Kenney
IllustratorWilliam S. Donnell (map)
Cover artistMichael K. Frith (1969 ed.)
Douglas Carrel (2001 ed.)
CountryUnited States
GenreFantasy satire
Publication date

Bored of the Rings is a parody of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. This short novel was written by Henry N. Beard and Douglas C. Kenney, who later founded National Lampoon. It was published in 1969 by Signet for the Harvard Lampoon. In 2013, an audio version was produced by Orion Audiobooks, narrated by Rupert Degas.


The parody generally follows the outline of The Lord of the Rings, including the preface, the prologue, poetry, and songs, while making light of what Tolkien made serious (e.g., "He would have finished him off then and there, but pity stayed his hand. It's a pity I've run out of bullets, he thought, as he went back up the tunnel..."). Names and words in the various languages are parodied with brand names that mimic their sounds (for example, Moxie and Pepsi replace Merry and Pippin). There are many topical references, including once-popular brand names, it has the distinction for a parody of having been continuously in print since it was first published.[citation needed]

Aside from the text itself, the book includes five elements that parody common features of mass-market books:[citation needed]

  • A laudatory back cover review, written at Harvard, possibly by the authors themselves.
  • Inside cover reviews which are entirely contrived, concluding with a quotation by someone affiliated with the publication Our Loosely Enforced Libel Laws.
  • A list of other books in the "series," none of which exists.
  • A double-page map which has almost nothing to do with the events in the text.
  • The first text a browsing reader is liable to see purports to be a salacious sample from the book, but the episode never happens in the main text, nor does anything else of that tone; the book has no explicit sexual content.

The Signet first edition cover, a parody of the 1965 Ballantine paperback cover by Barbara Remington,[1] was drawn by Muppets designer Michael K. Frith.[2][3] Current publications have different artwork by Douglas Carrel,[4] since the paperback cover art[5] for Lord of the Rings prevalent in the 1960s, then famous, is now obscure.[6] William S. Donnell drew the "parody map"[7] of Lower Middle Earth.[8][9]


Notable characters from Lower Middle Earth
BOTR Allusion LOTR
Goodgulf Greyteeth, the good wizard Good Gulf, a dated reference to Gulf Oil's premium-grade gasoline.

He is described as a "discredited Rosicrucian", "32nd Degree Mason", and "Honorary Shriner".

Gandalf Greyhame, also called Gandalf the Grey
Boggies From bog or boggart or bogey/bogie or booger or boogie. Hobbits
Dildo Bugger of Bag Eye Dildo; bugger. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End
Frito Bugger Fritos, a brand of corn chips. Frodo Baggins
Spam Gangree Spam, a brand of processed, canned meat; gangrene. Samwise Gamgee
Moxie Dingleberry Moxie, a soft drink brand; dingleberry. Merry
Pepsi Dingleberry Pepsi, a soft drink; dingleberry. Pippin
Stomper, or Arrowroot, son of Arrowshirt, heir of Barbasol and king of Minas Troney. Stomp; compare with Thumper, the rabbit from Disney's Bambi; arrowroot, a kind of starch notably used in bland biscuits for babies and the elderly; Arrow,[10] a mid-range brand of men's dress shirts; minestrone; Barbasol shaving cream. Strider or Aragorn, son of Arathorn, heir of Isildur.
Gimlet, son of Groin A tool or cocktail gimlet; groin. Gimli, son of Glóin
Legolam Leg of lamb. Legolas
Orlon Orlon, a brand of acrylic fiber. Elrond
Garfinkel Garfinckel's, a department store chain. Glorfindel
Bromosel Bromo-Seltzer, an indigestion-relief product. Boromir
Farahslax Farah, the company making "action slacks". Faramir
Benelux, steward of Twodor. Benelux, the union of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg; two door, describing a type of car (contrasted with Fordor). Denethor, steward of Gondor.
Eörache, daughter of Eörlobe "Earache"; Earlobe. Combining Éowyn, daughter of Éomund, with aspects of Arwen.
Tim Benzedrine Benzedrine, a stimulant drug popular during the 1950s, and a reference to Timothy Leary. Tom Bombadil
Hashberry, wife of Tim Benzedrine "Hashbury", the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, or hash(ish)-berry. Goldberry
Goddam God damn, a common oath. Gollum
Karsh, Narc of the fighting Otto-wah

Goulash, Narc of the Ohma-hah

Yousuf Karsh, Canadian portrait photographer, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Goulash, Omaha (tribe), Narc (Narcotics).

Uglúk, Grishnákh, Orcs, Uruk-hai
Cellophane and Lavalier Cellophane, an inexpensive cellulose product; Lavalier, a jewelled pendant. Celeborn and Galadriel
Birdseye of the Vee-Ates Birds Eye, a company selling frozen vegetables (also obliquely references their competitor's trademark the jolly Green Giant).

V8 (beverage), a vegetable drink.

Treebeard of the Ents
Sorhed, the evil wizard, ruler of Fordor "Sorehead", a slang term for an unsportsmanlike loser; four door, describing a style of car. Sauron, ruler of Mordor
Serutan the wizard of Isinglass Serutan is a laxative ("Natures" spelled backward);

Isinglass, collagen from the dried swim bladders of fish. Used as finings in the brewing process, and in confectionery before gelatin became widely available.

Saruman, the wizard of Isengard
Gwahno the Windlord, an eagle Guano, bird or bat droppings. Gwaihir
Wormcast Worm castings. Gríma Wormtongue
Schlob Slob or schlub. Shelob
Ballhog Ball hog, a team member who consistently and inappropriately keeps the ball during play; bears the dread runes "VILLANOVA". Balrog
Narc Narc, an undercover narcotics agent; by extension, a sycophant of the establishment. Orcs
Nozdrul "Nostril" or "nose drool". Nazgûl


Notable places from Lower Middle Earth
BOTR Allusion LOTR
the Nattily Wood
the Evilyn Wood
Natalie Wood, an American actress
Evelyn Wood, popularizer of speed reading
The Old Forest
Whee an English interjection: see wikt:whee Bree
the Ngaio Marsh Ngaio Marsh, a New Zealand crime writer and theatre director the Dead Marshes
Twodor Two-door (car) Gondor
Fordor Four-door (car) and the Fordor Mordor
Roi-Tan, a brand of cigars Rohan
The Zazu Pits, a big trash-burning area in Fordor ZaSu Pitts, an American film actress The crater of Orodruin
Sol Hurok, a mountain range on the edge of Fordor Sol Hurok, a 20th-century American impresario. The Ephel Dúath mountain range
Minas Troney Minestrone Minas Tirith
Chikken Noodul Chicken noodle (soup) Minas Morgul
Gallowine E & J Gallo Winery Brandywine
the Islets of Langerhans (small offshore islands) Islets of Langerhans in anatomy

Places which are only in the map[edit]

Some places which are only in the map of Lower Middle Earth, not in the story
BOTR Allusion
The Legendary Drillingrigs (a long way out to sea in the west) drilling rig for petroleum
The Bay of Milhous (an inlet in the shape of a profile of Richard Milhous Nixon's head; after the Bay of Belfalas in Tolkien's map) 37th US President from 1969 to 1974
Cantinflas (a shore in the Northeastern coast of the Bay of Milhous.) Professional name of Mexican comedian Mario Moreno Reyes


  • Estonian: Sõrmuste lisand ("Addition of the Rings"), was translated by Janno Buschmann and published in 2002.[11]
  • Finnish: Loru sorbusten herrasta ("A rhyme about the lord of Sorbus", a brand of rowan-flavored wine manufactured by Altia with reputation as a bum wine; resembles "sormus", which means "ring" in Finnish) was translated by Pekka Markkula and published in 1983. Following the release of the Peter Jackson film trilogy, it was republished in 2002.[12]
  • French: Lord of the Ringards ("Lord of the Has-beens") was issued in 2002.[13]
  • German: Der Herr der Augenringe ("Lord of the Eye Rings" or "Lord of the Eye Circles"), was translated by Margaret Carroux [de], who also did the 1969-70 translations for Lord of the Rings.[14]
  • Hungarian: Gyűrűkúra ("Ring course," as in rejuvenation course; "Lord of the Rings" translates to the similar, Gyűrűk Ura). This version was published first in 1991.[15]
  • Italian: Il signore dei tranelli ("Lord of the cobweb") was issued by Fanucci Editore in 2002. The cover was drawn by Piero Crida, the same person who designed the covers of the "Lord of the ring" translations issued by Rusconi Libri s.p.a. in 1977.[16]
  • Polish: Nuda Pierścieni ("Boredom of the Rings") was translated by Zbigniew A. Królicki and issued by Zysk i S-ka in 1997 and republished in 2001.[17]
  • Portuguese (Brazil): O Fedor dos Anéis ("The Stink of the Rings") was published in 2004.[18]
  • Russian: Published in 1993 as Тошнит от колец ("Feeling Sick from the Rings"), and in 2002 published again with the translation credited to Andrey Khitrov; another translation by Sergey Ilyin entitled Пластилин Колец ("Plasticine of the Rings") published in 2002.[19]
  • Spanish: El Sopor de los Anillos ("The doze of the rings") was translated by Jordi Zamarreño Rodea and Salvador Tintoré Fernández and published in 2001.[20]
  • Swedish: Härsken på ringen ("Angry at the Ring") was translated by Lena Karlin and published in 2003.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Overview of fantasy from the period, including the Ballantine edition of Rings.
  2. ^ The World Wide Walrus. "Bored of the Rings". Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Bibliography: Cover: Bored of the Rings". The Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  4. ^ "Bibliography: Cover: Bored of the Rings". The Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  5. ^
  6. ^ LOTR Scrapbook Critical review of Ballantine cover art for the three books.
  7. ^ Bored of the Rings Parody Map, on Internet Archive
  8. ^ The World Wide Walrus. "Bored of the Rings". Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  9. ^ "Bibliography: Bored of the Rings (Map)". The Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Beard, Henry N.; Douglas C. Kenney (2002). Sõrmuste (l)isand (in Estonian). Pegasus. ISBN 9985-9424-6-9..
  12. ^ Beard, Henry N.; Douglas C. Kenney (1983). Loru sorbusten herrasta (in Finnish). Kustannusosakeyhtiö Nemo. ISBN 951-9287-01-9. 2002 republication: ISBN 952-5180-57-3.
  13. ^ Beard, Henry N.; Douglas C. Kenney (2002). Lord of the Ringards (in French). Bragelonne. ISBN 2-914370-69-5.
  14. ^ Beard, Henry N.; Douglas C. Kenney (1983). Dschey Ar Tollkühn, der Herr der Augenringe (in German). Munich: Goldmann. ISBN 3-442-23835-8.
  15. ^ Bears, Henry N.; Douglas C. Kenney (1991). Gyurukúra (in Hungarian). Walhalla Páholy. ISBN 963-7632-00-X.
  16. ^ Il Signore dei Ratti (in Italian).
  17. ^ Beard, Henry N.; Douglas C. Kenney (2001). Nuda Pierscieni (in Polish). Zysk i S-ka. ISBN 83-7150-202-8.
  18. ^ Beard, Henry N.; Douglas C. Kenney (2004). O Fedor dos Anéis (in Portuguese). Ver Curiosidades. ISBN 85-88210-52-5.
  19. ^ Bears, Henry N.; Douglas C. Kenney (2002). Пластилин Колец (in Russian). Симпозиум. ISBN 5-89091-193-7.
  20. ^ Bears, Henry N.; Douglas C. Kenney (2001). El Sopor de los Anillos (in Spanish). Devir Iberia. ISBN 978-84-9571-255-4.
  21. ^ Bears, Henry N.; Douglas C. Kenney (2003). Härsken på ringen (in Swedish). Alfabeta Bokförlag. ISBN 91-501-0283-4.

External links[edit]