Appropriate sustenance

“One does not,” Boromir pointed out, “simply walk into Mordor.” For one thing, it’s a long trip and you’ll need to eat. How much, you ask?

Throughout the series of fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, we are treated to complaints about the lack of food to meet a hobbit’s voracious appetite. Now, thanks to a study by Skye Rosetti and Krisho Manaharan that was published in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Science Topics, we have an idea of just how hungry the hobbits might have realistically been. In order for all 9 members to walk 92 days to Mordor, they’d need to consume exactly 1,780,214.59 calories.

This is not just a one-off study. To calculate the whole caloric need of the trip, Rosetti and Manaharan had to first figure out the individual energy needs of the several different species in the fellowship, which includes four hobbits, one elf, one dwarf, and three humans. A previous work of Rosetti’s and Manaharan’s does this, which is aptly titled Modelling the [Base Metabolic Rate] of Species in Middle Earth]. Hobbits require a daily diet of about 1,800 calories, while elves can survive on just 1,400.

The evil that does not sleep presumably has needs of its own, which may or may not be nutritional in nature.


  1. McGehee »

    4 September 2015 · 9:02 am

    The evil that does not sleep is nourished by the eternal suffering of innocent souls. Much like your local cable television provider.

  2. McGehee »

    4 September 2015 · 9:03 am

    …or, for that matter, Hello Kitty.

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