There are two locations that appear in both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings that play central roles in both stories, and that can themselves be described fairly as “characters.” One of them is Rivendell, the sanctuary and fortress of Elrond Halfelven.
The other is the Shire, the homeland of that prosperous and agrarian race, the Hobbits…
Although Tolkien’s fantasy novels are tales told by Hobbits, and tell the adventures of Hobbits, a case can be made that the real protagonist of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings is the wizard Gandalf. Except for Elrond Half-elven, Gandalf is the only character who plays a key part in the events of both those novels and The Silmarillion.
The Mythopoeic Society has announced its 2009 finalists for the The Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies. The award is given to books on J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, or Charles Williams that make significant contributions to Inklings scholarship. The Inklings was an informal literary discussion group at the University of Oxford in the 1930s and 40s.
…Likewise, we know for a fact that Tolkien’s balrogs did not have wings, for the same reason we know ents did not have wings – because Tolkien never said that they did. Let me repeat that – TOLKIEN NEVER SAID BALROGS HAD WINGS….