Events that occurred on 17 December.
 On Earth
- 1910 – J.R.R. Tolkien is awarded an Open Classical Exhibition for classical languages to Exeter College.
- 1937 - Charles Furth writes a letter to J.R.R. Tolkien.
- 1944 - Actor Bernard Hill is born.
- 1972 - J.R.R. Tolkien writes Letter 347.
- 2003 – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is released in cinemas.
- 2003 - Actor Alan Tilvern dies.
- 2014 - The Hobbit: There and Back Again is due for release.