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Lordle of the Rings is a fun Tolkien-inspired take on Wordle

[Furiously Googles ‘five-letter Hobbit names’]

A screenshot from Lordle of the Rings with Bilbo as a guessed word Image: Lordle of the Rings/Evan You
Nicole Clark (she/her) is a culture editor at Polygon, and a critic covering internet culture, video games, books, and TV, with work in the NY Times, Vice, and Catapult.

You might have heard the New York Times purchased Wordle, the viral word-guessing game that has kicked off the year. In the meantime, a handful of free-to-play Wordle fan projects — not ones that aim to copycat the original game in the name of profit — have sprung up. One of these is called “Lordle of the Rings,” a punny title for a Lord of the Rings-themed version of Wordle, where the winning words are all from the iconic series. “Use only five-letter words (including names) in the main text of Lord of the Rings,” say the rules at the bottom of the word puzzle game’s webpage.

Lordle of the Rings was built off of a fan-created interface for Wordle, using Vue.js, an open source JavaScript framework. Vue Wordle, or VVordle as the creator calls it on its Github page, is “just for fun and doesn’t aim to 100% replicate the original,” according to the Github’s README section. Additionally, the “repository is open sourced for learning purposes only.” You can use this interface to build your own themed version of Wordle for fun, should you choose.

There’s a range of words that work in Lordle of the Rings, including names and other proper nouns from J.R.R. Tolkien’s worlds. But it also includes words that are, well, regular words — they just feel special when you think about them in this context (“shire” and “elves,” for example). If it’s in the main text of Lord of the Rings, then it’s fair game. This isn’t the first time I’ve Googled “Hobbit names,” but it is the first time I’ve Googled “5-letter Hobbit names.”