It’s no secret that Stephen Colbert is a huge Tolkien nerd, and he’s pulled out his freakily expansive knowledge of lore on his show several times now, to the delight (and slight terror) of guests. James Franco, erstwhile HQ host Scott Rogowsky, and Donna Gosling (mother of Ryan) have all faced off against the comedian in battles of LOTR trivia, with only the last one famously coming out on top.
Now, Colbert has engaged in yet another Tolkien-off, and his latest target is none other than Lee Pace, aka Thranduil, son of Oropher, the Elvenking himself.
This one happened right off the bat during the actor’s appearance on Thursday’s episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Pace tried to say hi with a famous Elvish greeting—Elen síla lúmenn’ omentielvo (A star shines on the hour of our meeting)—only to immediately (but ever-adorably) screw up.
To which Colbert responded: “It’s not surprising that you might have trouble saying that, because your character Thranduil is Sindar, and that sentence is actually Quenya, which is the Noldorin Elves’ language, not the Sindar Elves’ language. So you speak Sindarin, not Quenya, so it’s totally understandable.”
(The Sindarin elf-king could only slide down the sofa as his mind was blown to smithereens.)
Here are more of Colbert’s infamous Tolkien-offs, for your viewing pleasure:
[via The A.V. Club]