Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings

Tolkien Reading Day: We wish these magical objects from Middle-Earth existed on real-life Earth

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Mar 25, 2018, 3:46 PM EDT

What if you could know exactly when you were being stalked just by checking on a piece of jewelry? Communicate via crystal ball without a monthly phone or internet bill? Make creeps disappear with a bottle of starlight? Come up with energy bars that ensured you never had to cook or reload the dishwasher ever again?

It sounds kind of like an as-seen-on-TV commercial, but don’t say you wouldn’t smuggle mithril or lembas or the phial of Galadriel over from Middle-earth if you went there and back again. The magic of elves and wizards and whatever other unreal forces is what makes Tolkien’s imaginary realm a place many of us wish we could take a permanent vacation to. Who wouldn’t want to be able to have access to supernatural objects that are hundreds, if not thousands, of years ahead of our existing technology?

Tell me you’ve heard of a device that can pick up your boss approaching on its radar and you’ll prove me wrong. These 9 magical objects from Arda will make you want get rid of all your i-gadgets that constantly need charging and just run your life on magic.

The Lord of the Rings

Gandalf’s fireworks

There are fireworks, and there are fireworks that swoop through an entire party and breathe neon fire that sends all the hobbits at Bilbo’s eleventy-first birthday bash running through the Shire even though they know it’s only magic. Sure, we’ve been able to light up the sky with our own rainbow explosions, but there has been no magician who has been able to figure out how to animate them into the flaming ghost of Smaug. You kind of need supernatural powers to do that. Nobody knows what he uses to make them, but a wizard who can conjure a ship out of pipe smoke can pretty much do anything.

The Lord of the Rings

Lembas bread

Love carbs? Hate cooking? Take a few bites of this Elvish bread and you won’t even be hungry for the rest of the day. What ingredients actually go into the secret recipe are never disclosed, and it must be really calorie-dense, but something that powers you through grueling orc fights and running from spies of the Eye sure makes for a magical energy bar. If it keeps even the hobbits from wanting second breakfast and elevenses and craving for mushrooms and bacon in the middle of the night (which already tipped off the Nazgul once), that’s saying something. Like everything else Elvish, it also never goes bad. That might be a lie. Feanor went bad. But you know what I mean.

The Lord of the Rings

Magical doors that open with a password

Forget locks, keys, and iCloud keychains when you’ve got a door that will light up and open the moment you utter an Elvish password none of your friends ever heard of before (and will forget about half a second after hearing it). Just imagine never having to live with the paranoia of someone breaking into your house or your embarrassing secret stash of Funko Pops ever again. However the door to Moria was spelled to stay not just locked but hidden in a wall of stone until someone solved the riddle and consequently uttered the magic word, that sorcery needs to materialize in this realm, because otherwise, anyone rifling through my stuff might just end up on the wrong side of Mount Doom.

The Lord of the Rings

Mithril and spelled weapons

Whatever sorcery allows metal to glow in the dark to tell you when orcs are creeping up by turning an eerie ice blue, it could solve so many problems. Your defense doesn’t even need to take sword form. Having a magical Elven ring or necklace on you at all times would be the ultimate way to give yourself instant boss over shoulder alerts. The fact that Frodo first sees blue when those orcish croaks are still rather far away also means it’s capable of long-distance detection. Take a chance on that singles mixer, because a deceptive piece of jewelry steeped in Elven magic will tell you— from the other side of the room—exactly who you’d be wasting your time with.


In case you do get attacked by someone (or something), Mithril weighs almost nothing but won't let a blade or arrow or orc-axe so much as scratch you. No one would even know you had a chain mail shirt on under your LOTR meme tee. 

The Lord of the Rings

The Mirror of Galadriel

Who needs those psychic 800 numbers when all you need to do is gaze into a mystical bowl of water that tells you your future? Of course, there are a few catches. You have to be willing to creep out in the middle of the night and face a terrifying Elven queen who is thousands of years old and could probably vaporize you in three seconds. Also, do not by any circumstances wear any rings of power, especially the One Ring, because she’ll flash in the dark like an electrocuted ghost and scare the you all the way to Mordor. That aside, wouldn’t it be worth the sheer horror just to have a bowl of water tell you whether or not you’re going to win the lottery?  

The Lord of the Rings

Gandalf’s staff

This is a wizard’s staff we’re talking about here—what doesn’t it do? It can be a giant flashlight to guide you though impenetrable woods without ever needing its batteries replaced. It can send objects and even people flying. It can even conjure up huge blasts of light from the Flame of Anor. If a blaze like that can ward off a Balrog, you could eradicate a roach infestation with no problem and no exterminator bill. By the way, if you do happen to fight Balrog and somehow get revived, you level up to White and get an even cooler staff. Of course, it can also function as the coolest walking stick ever, but who would want to use it just for that?

The Lord of the Rings


Meaning “farsighted” or “one who sees from afar”, these crystal balls are pretty much the smartphones of Middle-Earth, except only wizards like Gandalf (who swiped one from Saruman) and men of power like Aragorn and Denethor can get access to a Palantír because you know, that fool of a Took could end up communicating with the wrong entities. You can’t exactly adjust apps on this thing, so be careful if someone on the other end wants to mess with your head by giving you cataclysmic visions. This is also how you spy on people without installing creepy surveillance cameras. Sure, you might end up getting stalked by the dark forces, but who cares?

The Lord of the Rings

The Phial of Galadriel

This isn’t one of those bottles of glitter labeled with “starlight” or “fairy dust” that you can get from Etsy. This is starlight. No, really. Someone actually managed to bottle light from the star of Eärendil in a convenient bottle that you can slip in your pocket and take out when you need to ward off giant spiders. If it works on mutant arachnids, it should work on just about anything, so next time you’re in a dark alley and you see some shadowy figure coming after you, shout some weird phrase in Elvish and hold it up to the stalker’s face. This would be the answer to total darkness during power outages. While it is a light for when all other lights go out, when it comes to internet, you’re on your own.

The Lord of the Rings

Rings of power not associated with Sauron

Three rings for the Elven-kings…sound familiar? While what exactly the other two do in the Tolkienverse is kind of nebulous, Nenya is pretty much bulletproof. There’s a reason “there is a secret power here that holds evil from the land.” Lothlorien remained shrouded from evil so long as this ring stayed on Galadriel’s finger, so Nenya is basically like a cloaking system that hides you from people you can’t deal with. Imagine if you could just slip a ring that would make in-laws or a chronically hovering boss oblivious to your presence. Just be sure to have a couple Elven archers and blindfolds on hand in case they try to find you.