The Hobbit Pub, a Southampton, England establishment that has been operating under that name for more than 20 years, was recently asked by The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings rights holder the Saul Zaentz Company to pay annual licensing fees or change its name and Hobbit theme.
Fans of the pub started a Facebook campaign to save it, and now their pleas have been answered by Gandalf himself, Ian McKellen.
McKellen and fellow Hobbit actor Stephen Fry (who plays the Master of Laketown) have agreed to pay the necessary fees, allowing the pub to stay open while keeping Zaentz happy.
McKellen described the company's actions as "unnecessary pettiness," while Fry called them "self-defeating bullying."
According to the owner of The Hobbit, "They've said as soon as they finish filming they would like to come down and visit the pub."