While reading the forums, I came across a thread asking how many of the original developers for LOTRO are still around. Berephon promptly answered that very few have left and that most are still with the game. The thread kind of got off topic, asking Berephon various other questions. One question really stuck out though: how long had Berephon been a LOTR nut?
As you may or may not know, Berephon is the resident ‘lore-monkey’ for Turbine. He also lately has been doing some content work:
I’ve been a full-on developer since before Mirkwood.
My credits include:
Echad Eregion, Fanuidhol (19+ new quests there, released with Mirkwood), Mirk-eaves, Windfells, Gloomglens, Skirmishes (JWBarry is still the Skirmish lead), to name a few. And also still the copyeditor/lore-monkey.
When asked about his origins as a LOTR fan, we were treated to this very insightful gem:
There’s a story behind that. When I was eight, I saw a set of The Hobbit and LotR on my big sister’s shelves (brightly colored covers) and asked if I could read them (I had, of course, already seen the old Rankin-Bass cartoons). I actually wanted to start with Fellowship, but she said that was a little to old for me, and that she’d let me read The Hobbit . . . but I had to read everything, including the poems and songs.
The next day, I let her know I had finished the book, and she quizzed me on it . . . including the songs and poems. I passed with flying colors and she let me read LotR. I finished that in three days (a book per day), and I’ve read them twice a year every year since, plus the Sil, UT, and Histories, as well as some of his non Middle-earth works.
I went on to help one of my professors (along with my brother) create a class on the literary and historical influences on Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings.
Yes, I have been an extremist Tolkien lore-geek for 30 years. And no, I cannot read the books in a day anymore (nowhere near). Age does something to the brain.
If it hadn’t been for Tolkien, I would never become an author myself, so this IP means a whole lot more to me than just a great work of fantasy, and this game means nearly as much.
Sometimes people question the direction we are taking in-game lore-wise. I think this shows that we need not worry. We are in good hands.
EDIT: For those wondering, the series of books that Berephon has written is called the Milhavior Chronicles.