Stephen Colbert Smaug Interview

An unexpected journey to discover Stephen Colbert’s Lord of the Rings collection.


Celebrities. We all know they have more money than we can ever imagine, and they have the inside scoops to get just about any luxury they could ever want. That said, have you ever wondered what exactly celebrities collect? We’re looking to answer this question on Celebrity Inventory, and today we’re unpacking what we imagine must be a pretty massive collection.

That’s right, we’re talking about Stephen Colbert’s Lord of the Rings collection.

Stephen Colbert is a comedian best known for hosting CBS’ The Late Show and Comedy Central’s satirical The Colbert Report. As many fans know, he’s also a massive fan of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. It’s one of the few subjects he allowed himself to break character on during the run of The Colbert Report, which ironically led to some of the show’s best known moments. In particular, his “Tolkien showdowns” with James Franco show that Colbert isn’t merely a fan of Lord of the Rings, he’s a scholar.

Now, we could go on and on about the literal hours of Lord of the Rings moments that have happened during Stephen Colbert’s career. But the question is, how much Lord of the Rings swag is this guy hiding? Unfortunately, we can’t seem to find the episode of MTV Cribs that went inside Colbert’s million dollar Washington mansion, but we’re still 99.99% sure Colbert’s Lord of the Rings collection is probably massive. Okay, fine, let’s make it an even 98%.

We know for a fact that he has at least two movie props that we’d be dying to have. The first and most famous of these is Aragorn’s sword, “Andúril” which was given to him directly by Viggo Mortensen in 2007. Colbert asks for a sign to answer whether or not he should run for president, and instead he gets what would become one of his most prized possessions.

Believe it or not, that wouldn’t be the only blade he’s received from the Lord of the Rings set. In 2011, Colbert interviewed Elijah Wood to promote Happy Feet 2, but of course they eventually got on the subject of Lord of the Rings. It was during this conversation that Colbert brandished the legendary hobbit blade, “Sting,” which he says he received from Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson. This video, which shoes Jackson giving Colbert the weapon, corroborates his story.

That said, the real smoking gun that proves Colbert’s hardcore Lord of the Rings collection is this clip, also from 2011. What starts as a riff on politicians using negative Lord of the Rings metaphors quickly devolves – nay, evolves – into Colbert gleefully playing with a large assortment of Lord of the Rings figures from under his desk. We’re talking miniatures of the hobbits, a massive Sauron figure, and even a cameo appearance from a Lord of the Rings pinball table. If we know anything about Colbert at this point, it’s that his utter delight at showing these figures on national television is definitely not an act.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, “how do we know that Colbert owns all the stuff he shows off during this segment?” Well, which scenario is more likely: A: Colbert capitalizes on Lord of the Rings being in the news as an excuse to show off some beloved figures, or B: Comedy Central buys an absolutely random assortment of Lord of the Rings stuff to use for a 3 minute bit, which Colbert then proceeds to not keep. You tell me.

To top it all off, here’s Colbert pulling out a framed map of Middle Earth during a video question he recorded for Peter Jackson.

So as you can see, Colbert has got to be a Lord of the Rings collector. This isn’t even counting the copies of the books themselves he owns, because, let’s face it, he’s got to have those within arms reach of his bed. Either way, Colbert’s enthusiasm for Lord of the Rings is an inspiration. If all of us were even half as passionate about our jobs and studies as Colbert is about Lord of the Rings, the world would be a better place.

Colbert, if you happen to be reading this, you should really let us see what amazing Lord of the Rings collectibles you have. I’m not saying you have to, but I am saying you should. But, hey, you earned your Lord of the Rings cred, so do what you want with your collection. Even though I hope you don’t keep your collection secret, I do hope you keep your collection safe.

Share:
Written by TimM
Tim is a video game aficionado who is fascinated by pop culture. He built his first collection in 1999 by catching all 151 monsters in Pokemon Red, and he hasn't stopped collecting since. His work has been featured multiple times on Destructoid.com.