Stephen Colbert is a well-adjusted nerd. He has such advanced social skills that he’s the host of a late-night talk show, but he also knows a lot about “The Lord of the Rings.” He demonstrated his “LOTR” knowledge on his Tuesday night broadcast, when “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy Hobbits Dominic Monaghan (Merry Brandybuck) and Billy Boyd (Pippin Took) stopped by to promote their new “LOTR” podcast “The Friendship Onion” and give the “Late Show” host a trivia quiz.
Monaghan and Boyd told Colbert that they had some questions for him, and a very special prize if he got them right.
Monaghan asked the first question: “Who is Shelob’s mother, and how did she die?”
Colbert didn’t even have to think about it: “Shelob’s mother is Ungoliant, and she died by consuming herself in her own webs of darkness.” Correct! Colbert stood up and flexed his muscles to show off.
Boyd had the next question, which started with a description of Treebeard, a sort of sentient tree known as an Ent. “The Ents have a meeting with Merry and Pippin, which is called an Entmoot.”
“I’m familiar,” Colbert said.
“They have this Entmoot in Fangorn Forest,” Boyd continued. “But where in Fangorn Forest?”
This one, Colbert wasn’t sure. He took his glasses off to think better.
In the silence, somebody in the studio audience shouted “New Jersey!”
Finally, Colbert had to admit he didn’t know. “Stumped by Pippin!” Boyd said, before revealing the answer: Derndingle. In the Fangorn Forest at Derndingle.
There was still a prize whose fate needed to be determined, so Colbert proposed that he would win it if Monaghan and Boyd got a very special trivia question wrong and he got it right. The question was special because it was sent in by “The Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson.
“Very little known fact, that a Hobbit invented the game of golf,” Jackson said. “What I want to know is Merry or Pippin descended directly from the Hobbit who invented golf, and what was the name of that Hobbit who invented the game of golf?”
Again, Colbert didn’t even have to think about it: “Pippin, and his name is Bullroarer Took.” Boyd said he knew it was Pippin, but he didn’t know the name. Jackson confirmed it was Bullroarer Took, but said it was kind of a trick question, as both Merry and Pippin were technically descendants of Bullroarer.
Colbert won the prize, which was “a genuine pair of Merry ears from the movie.” They looked great!
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