See Stephen Colbert school James Franco on Tolkien mythology

Contributed by
Mar 6, 2013, 3:37 PM EST

Haven't we learned yet not to test Stephen Colbert's Tolkien knowledge?

The Comedy Central host has trotted out his love of MIddle-earth many times at this point, even hosting an entire week of shows dedicated to the cast and crew of The Hobbit last year. He knows Tolkien so well he can fire off obscure Middle-earth trivia at will, and often has when challenged by guests on his show.

Well, last night James Franco was on The Colbert Report to promote Oz The Great and Powerful, and he decided to thrown down with Colbert on Tolkien. What happened next wasn't pretty.

Franco asked if they could have "another Tolkien showdown" (they've discussed Middle-earth together on the show before) and mentioned that he'd been reading The Silmarillion recently. Then he asked Colbert to name two of the Valar (godlike beings that were among the first created in Tolkien's world) depicted in the book. As you'll see in the video below, Colbert did much, much more than that.

The whole interview is fun if you're into Oz, but the Tolkien bit starts at about the 5:23 mark. So again we've learned this lesson: Don't cross Colbert on Tolkien.

(Via YouTube)