Tolkien’s color pencil sketch of Smaug means a lot to me, not least that it was the cover of my first Hobbit book and I was convinced, pre-reading, that that twisty flying thing was The Hobbit. With feathery red plumes on its head and a little smiley face where Smaug’s chin is.

But I digress. Check out Tolkien’s notes on the margins. “Bard the Bowman should be standing after release of arrow at extreme left point of the piles”, “Dragon should have a white naked spot where the arrow enters”, and best of all, “The moon should be a crescent: it was only a few nights after the New Moon on Durin’s Day”. Oh Tolkien you wonderful nerd.

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