From Tolkien Gateway

Leprawns (or leprechauns[1]) were creatures only appearing in some of the earliest versions of the legendarium. In one passage, the leprawns are seemingly described as a subgroup among the sprites.[2] In early poems, the mysterious character Tinfang Warble is said to have been a leprawn.[3][1]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

It has been suggested that the name leprawn is "Tolkien's own peculiar adaptation of leprechaun".[4]

Other writings[edit | edit source]

The poem Goblin Feet speak of "tiny horns" played by "enchanted leprechauns".

Real-life[edit | edit source]

Authors Philip and Carol Zaleski recount that:[5][note 1]

Tolkien, in response to an undergraduate's query about the truth of dragons and other legends, declared that behind such tales invariably lies something real; he then dug into his pockets and pulled out, along with a ball of string and other detritus, a small green shoe, thin and pointed in the toe, made of leathery substance that felt like reptile skin, and declared it, "stoutly and with apparent sincerity", to be a leprechaun's shoe.

External links[edit | edit source]


  1. According to Bradley J. Birzer, the source for this reminiscence is a letter from Norman Power to Clyde S. Kilby, kept at the Wade Collection, Marion Wade Center at Wheaton College: "Excerpt from a letter about JRRT, from Norman S. Power, Ladywood, Birmingham, England, author of THE FIRLAND SAGA," WCWC, Kilby Files, 3-8, "Tolkien the Man" from TOLKIEN AND THE SILMARILLION'". Cf. discussion at the Tolkien Society Facebook group (dated 13 August 2019).