Anglo-Saxon-Centric Middle-earth Tour Comes to West Stow, Combining Two Pop Culture Favourites

If there are two themes in contemporary pop culture that remain huge draws, its Vikings with their Norse mythology and high-fantasy, namely that created by J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Naturally, Anglo-Saxon and Viking histories are intertwined, but so too is this part of British history with Middle-earth, as it served as inspiration for some of Tolkien’s works.

Both of these are heavily entrenched in the public consciousness right now, with new and masterful uses of the works making Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Middle-earth perpetually popular. This year, capitalising on the crossover of these two themes, the West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village will stage several ‘Real Middle-earth Tours,’ and given the content out there, it’s easy to see why it should prove to be a popular attraction.

Vikings and Anglo-Saxons of peak interest

If there’s one place that you can use as a reference point on what themes are popular at any given moment, it’s the world of online casinos. If something becomes popular, you can bet that a developer will make a slot in its theme. This is why the casino at Paddy Power Games is teeming with Viking-themed slots. Viking Hoard, Gates of Valhalla, Vikings: Empire Treasures, Skadi’s Hunt, and the more native-themed Gaelic Luck reflect this.

Each of these slots seeks to encapsulate a distinct element of Viking culture, with the exception of Gaelic Luck. Viking Hoard delves into the infamous raids that pushed the Saxons to the west, while Gates of Valhalla draws on the mythology’s belief of Valhalla being the afterlife home to fallen warriors. Skadi’s Hunt has the user join the bow-wielding huntress jötunn Skaði on an adventure into the winter wilderness.

Beyond online casino games, the popular theme continues to create classy content. One of the best comes by way of artistic director Robert Eggers, with the brutal tale of revenge that is The Northman getting five stars from The Guardian. We’ve also recently seen the conclusion to the BBC-Netflix series The Last Kingdom, which begins with Alfred earning his title of ‘The Great’ and is based on the novels of Bernard Cornwell.

Tour seeks to combine two very popular settings

On the surface, The Lord of the Rings and the Anglo-Saxons only have the link of being a part of British history, but as is often the case with authors, Tolkien drew from the world around him, including the Anglo-Saxons. In West Stow, The Real Middle-earth Tour hosted by Anglo-Saxon Village will take people on a guided tour that explores the origins of Tolkien’s magnum opus and how he used the Anglo-Saxon era as inspiration.

While The Hobbit was published all the way back in 1937, The Lord of the Rings in 1954, The Silmarillion in 1977, and the blockbuster movies came out in 2001, 2002, and 2003, all are still extremely prominent in pop culture. The films have been cemented as masterpiece epics of cinema and hold up incredibly well to this day, even with the advancements in film tech since. It’s why a limited edition from The Folio Society for £1,000 sold out quickly earlier this year.

There’ll also be a new wave of interest from people who maybe haven’t experienced the world of Middle-earth before later this year. On 2 September, The Rings of Power series hits online streaming, and it just so happens that it falls with two dates left on the Anglo-Saxon Village’s The Real Middle-earth Tour, with 9 September and 15 October dates available after the new show debuts.

The timing is perfect for The Real Middle-earth Tour to be a hit, particularly because it combines the popular themes of the Anglo-Saxon era and Middle-earth.