Gnomon - Miscellaneous Tolkien

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Links to some other bits and pieces I'm working on:

Versions of The Hobbit

Tolkien was never satisfied with anything he'd written. He was always changing it, and as he changed it his conception of earlier works changed too, so he wanted to rewrite them. This meant that he never finished The Silmarillion.

His work The Hobbit went through a number of versions before it was published as the "First Edition". When LR was ready to be published, Tolkien decided that he needed to change The Hobbit to match - this Second Edition of the Hobbit had some fairly major changes. It is the Second Edition that is the one published nowadays. First Editions are worth tens of thousands so it is unlikely you'll ever come across one.

The Tolkien estate are now republishing the text of the First Edition and it will be available on 31-May-2018. Mine is on order already. While this won't have the extreme rarity and value of the genuine first editions, it will allow the interested reader to see the differences.

As far I can tell, the biggest difference is in the role of Gollum. In the original book, Gollum challenged Bilbo to a riddle match. As in the later book, if Gollum won, he would get to eat Bilbo. But if Bilbo won, Gollum would reward him by giving him his magic ring. Bilbo did in fact win, and Gollum went back to his island to get the ring to give to Bilbo. When he got there, he was very upset because the ring was missing (Bilbo already had found it and had it in his pocket). Gollum was decent enough and respected the rules of the riddle game enough not to cheat so he fully intended to honour his promise and give Bilbo the ring, and this is why he was upset.

This of course didn't match with the view of Gollum Tolkien intended for The Lord of the Rings. Gollum had to be totally corrupted by the Ring, so he could never have considered giving it away.

Another difference seems to be the story Bilbo told to the Dwarves to explain how he got the ring. I haven't read this bit, but I believe it explains a comment Bilbo made at the Council of Elrond, where he apologised to Gloin that he had previously told him a different story. The Council of Elrond seems to be referring to the version in the First Edition of The Hobbit rather than the Second. All will be revealed when I get my copy.

Tolkien started working on a Third Edition which changed Bilbo's role considerably, from small but formidable proponent relying on his wits, to bumbling ignoramus who survived completely by chance, never knowing what was going on. Tolkien was discouraged from pursuing this by his publishers. Part of it, the meeting between Gandalf and Thorin that started the whole expedition off, has been published as 'The Quest for Erebor' - it doesn't actually describe Bilbo as stupid but makes it very clear that this is how the dwarves thought of him.


In early drafts of The Hobbit, Bilbo and the Dwarves were accompanied by a wizard called Bladorthin. This character eventually became Gandalf but he was quite different at the start. He was small, bumbling and pompous.

His name sounds like some sort of painful medical condition, but was in fact Elvish. Tolkien never explained it but it seems to come from blador 'wide plains' and thin 'grey'. It may have meant 'grey guy of the wide plains', an early version of Gandalf's later nickname 'the Grey Wanderer'.

Tolkien re-used the name Bladorthin. In the published version of The Hobbit, the Dwarves are reminiscing, thinking of all the treasures they will find in the Mountain. These include:

the spears that were made for the armies of the great King Bladorthin (long since dead) [...] but they were never delivered or paid for

Nothing is known about this king other than this one comment.


The Elvish word for wizard was istar. I've seen:

Istar - wizard
Istari - wizards
Istarion - of wizards

Tolkien's world was an alternative mythology for our world. Middle-earth is Earth. So Tolkien liked to pretend that our word Wizard could etymologically be derived from his 'istar' (in fact it comes from the word 'wise').

Where Was Middle-earth?

While many people think of Middle-earth as a different world from our own, Tolkien saw it as a version of our own world long ago. The hobbits and elves of his books were supposed to be the origins of our legends of elfs, sprites, fairies, kobolds, the Little People and so on. The events of Middle-earth gave rise to the half-remembered legends of modern times.

The part of Middle-earth where the events of LR take place are supposed to be Europe, although it looks quite different from modern Europe, or in fact any version of Europe in the past 6 million years. Tolkien glosses over this, just saying that the land has changed shape many times since then. (He was a linguist, not a geologist).

In the preface to LR he says that hobbits lived where they are still sometimes sighted (as gnomes, leprechauns or the Little People), in the northwest of the continent. In his letters he was more specific, setting Hobbiton at the same latitude as Oxford where he lived. There's a strong implication that he intended it to be the same longitude as well, so that Bilbo's home town was the exact location where he made up the stories:

The action of the story takes place in the North-west of 'Middle-earth', equivalent in latitude to the coastlands of Europe and the north shores of the Mediterranean. But this is not a purely 'Nordic' area in any sense. If Hobbiton and Rivendell are taken (as intended) to be at about the latitude of Oxford, then Minas Tirith, 600 miles south, is at about the latitude of Florence. The Mouths of Anduin and the ancient city of Pelargir are at about the latitude of ancient Troy.

He also remarked once that Mordor was 'somewhere in the Balkans' (the former Yugoslavian nations).

Mapping this onto modern Europe, we find that the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor correspond roughly to the Western Roman Empire and indeed serve the same role in the stories. Lindon, the elvish land west of the Blue Mountains, is Ireland. Wilderland - the forested land east of the Misty Mountains, is a good fit for Germany. Like Germany, it was never part of the big empire of the West. It's no coincidence that The Hobbit has a lot of the same feel as the fairy tales of the Grimm Brothers.

The desert lands to the south of the map correspond with Africa. Umbar is more or less where Carthage was, in northern Tunisia. The great western ocean ('Belegaer') is the Atlantic Ocean. Numenor, the island in the western ocean, is Atlantis. The original birth-place of the elves, Cuivienen, is far to the east and the world has changed too much since then to have any meaningful correspondence.

The blessed land of Valinor in the West might appear initially to correspond to America, but Tolkien decided that the world changed in the downfall of Numenor/Atlantis from a flat world to a round one, and Valinor was removed from the world into a different dimension.

Of course, such correspondences are only approximate as Tolkien had no conception of an exact match between any place in Middle-earth and modern Europe, other than his idea that Bilbo's home town was his own (Tolkien's) home town.

Women in Tolkien's Works

Tolkien mixed with an exclusively male group, both in his day-to-day work and in his writing club. He was married and loved his wife but seems to have had few dealings with any other women. As a result, women are notably absent from his stories. For example, The Hobbit does not have a single female character. In all of Tolkien's works including the unpublished ones, there is only one female Dwarf named. And The Lord of the Rings has few female characters who actually do anything. So here's a list of the female characters in Tolkien's books.

The Silmarillion

  • Lúthien - considered an Elf but in fact half Elf, half Maia (elemental spirit) because her mother Melian is a Maia. As well as being the most beautiful elf ever, Luthien also appears to have a number of magical abilities. She is one of the major characters in the tale of Beren and Luthien - despite this, she appears to have very little character.
  • Melian - is a Maia, an Earth-spirit. Her main job in the world seems to be to get the flowers to grow. Having done this, she falls in love with Elu Thingol, a leader of the Elves, and casts a magic spell on him, preventing him from leaving Middle Earth. His followers are reluctant to go to Valinor without him. This results in the sundering of the Sindar (Grey Elves) from the High Elves. Melian marries Thingol and lives with him in Doriath which she guards from evil by her magic powers.
  • Finduilas - an Elf, daughter of Orodreth the King of Nargothrond. Finduilas is one of the four elf-maidens who loved a human, but she has the worst time of any of them. She loves Turin but Turin is cursed so he never approaches her and she is eventually dragged off by orcs, never to be seen again.
  • Morwen - a very beautiful, black-haired woman. She marries Hurin and gives birth to three children - a son, Turin, and two daughters, Lalaith (who dies as a child) and Niniel. After Hurin goes off to the wars and never returns, Morwen has a fairly tough time. When Turin goes south to pursue his destiny, Morwen stays behind but eventually times get so hard that she is driven to seek refuge in Doriath. She loses Niniel along the way and by the time she catches up with her children they have all died.
  • Niniel - daughter of Morwen and sister of Turin, she sets out to find Turin and encounters the dragon who hypnotises her and causes her to lose all her memories. She then meets Turin, falls in love with him and becomes pregnant by him. When the dragon releases her from the spell, she is so distraught that she commits suicide.
  • Aredhel - the sister of Turgon. Turgon has set up a hidden kingdom called Gondolin, and is the king of it. No one outside of Gondolin knows of its existence or location. Aredhel grows impatient trapped in Gondolin and persuades the king that she is the only person in Gondolin who is not his subject, being his sister. He has no authority over her, so she leaves the city, the only person to ever do so. She is captured by an oddball elf known as Eol, and lives with him, eventually bearing him a child. She then abandons/escapes from Eol, comes back to Gondolin and is allowed in with her child. The two are the first to be allowed into Gondolin. But Eol has followed them and turns up at the gate demanding to be brought to his wife. Turgon allows him in but won't allow him then to leave as he might reveal the location to enemies. Eol is given the choice of staying in Gondolin forever or dying. He chooses death but first murders Aredhel.

The Lord of the Rings

  • Éowyn is the nearest thing to a real human woman in any of the published stories (although the character of Erendis in one of the unpublished stories is arguably more real). Éowyn is a 'shield-maiden' - that is, she is a woman who is trained in warfare and is involved in the army of Rohan. But she is out of place in this, because the Rohan culture expects women to stay at home and look after the home. Éowyn is conflicted - as a granddaughter of kings, she feels she deserves more from life. She disguises herself as a man and travels with the army to Minas Tirith where she fights in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, killing the Lord of the Nazgul. She then gives up her role as a warrior and marries Faramir.
  • Galadriel - one of the oldest of the Elves in Middle-earth at the time of The Lord of the Rings, Galadriel was born in Valinor and came to Middle-earth during the revolt of the Noldor. She is considered the wisest Elf.
  • Arwen - daughter of Elrond and granddaughter of Galadriel, Arwen is a non-entity. She is the lady who stays at home while Aragorn is off saving the world. Her only actions are to say a few words to Frodo early in the book and to turn up for her own wedding to Aragorn near the end. She's given a little bit more character in one of the Appendices.

Aldarion and Erendis - The Mariner's Wife

This is an unfinished draft of possibly Tolkien's only story about a normal woman, as well as being the only story set in Numenor.

The kings and ruling queens of Numenor were descendants of Elros the Half-Elven, the brother of Elrond. As a result of their Elvish inheritance, they lived a very long time. Aldarion, who later became the 6th king of Numenor, eventually lived to be about 400, but the normal people of Numenor did not have this longevity. Erendis, the woman he married, lived a normal lifespan. Aldarion conceived grand projects which required many decades in their execution, and often required years away from home; Erendis grew impatient and old waiting for him to return. Eventually she split up with him and went home to her parents' house, bringing their daughter with her. This story is very much told from her point of view. There's an interesting discrepancy between the life of the king and that of his wife due to their differing lifespans, although both are mortal.

The story also tackles the issue of whether Numenor should be isolated or should help the World around it. While the Numenorians have been building up their civilisation on their island, Sauron has returned and is starting to take over Middle-earth.

The story is unfinished and stops very abruptly and it is disappointing because we will never know how Tolkien intended to finish it, although there are a few rough notes.

Tales from the Perilous Realm

This is a collection of six short works which are about the world of Faërie (the magical world portrayed in Fairy Tales) without being about Tolkien's world of Middle-earth. All of these were also published as separate books except the last two, which were published together as Tree and Leaf.

  • Roverandom - a very light story about a dog who annoys a wizard. As a punishment, he is made tiny by the wizard. He has a series of adventures, including travelling to the Moon and to the bottom of the sea. The story was written for a very small child and there's not a lot in it despite it being the longest work of fiction in the book.

  • Farmer Giles of Ham - a down-to-earth English farmer has a problem when a dragon starts terrorising his village. This is an amusing tale, which relates in great detail the various conversations that took place as people debated who should tackle the dragon, how they should go about it and what was the King going to do to help?

  • The Adventures of Tom Bombadil - a collection of whimsical poems. They are presented as poems known to the Hobbits. Two are about Tom Bombadil and two are poems that are recited by hobbits in The Lord of the Rings.

  • Smith of Wootton Major - a very short story. A small boy receives a magic token which allows him to travel into the Land of Faerie. Years later when he is an old man, the token must be taken from him and passed on to a new generation. There's very little in it about Faerie itself, but enough to give a sense of wonder.

  • Leaf by Niggle - an allegorical tale about an artist called Niggle. He is working on a masterpiece, a painting of a beautiful tree in a forest, but he is supposed to be also preparing for a great journey. He gets bogged down in details, trying to paint a perfect leaf, and is constantly being interrupted by his neighbour, Parish, so he never finishes the painting. The Great Journey is clearly Death. When the day of the Journey arrives, as punishment for failing to do what he was supposed to be doing, Niggle must first learn to work hard, then to cooperate with Parish who has now also taken the Journey. Together they build the world that Niggle had imagined in his painting, then Niggle is ready to be guided by the Shepherd into the new adventure of the Mountains.

    Tolkien was clearly thinking of himself when he described Niggle. He was a stickler for details and was never happy that anything he wrote was finished, even after it had been published. He worked on The Silmarillion until he died, leaving it unfinished.

  • On Fairy Stories - a transcript of a lecture Tolkien gave in 1939. He argues that Fairy Stories are not necessarily for children, and don't always have fairies in them, but are about the Land of Faerie, that magical and dangerous land where normal humans travel at their peril.

Pronouncing Tolkien's Name

The name Tolkien was originally German. In German, the ending '-ien' is pronounced '-een' and Tolkien confirmed in one of his letters (#347) that this is the way he pronounced it: 'it is pronounced by me always -keen.' This letter doesn't tell us what vowel he used for the first syllable, or whether the stress was on the first or second syllable. So we could have 'TOL-keen', 'TOLE-keen', 'tol-KEEN' or 'tole-KEEN'. The first of these is the most common.

Tolkien's unusual third name Reuel was given to many of the Tolkien family males and was pronounced 'Roo-el'. It's not clear whether this is related to the Norwegian name 'Roald', which is also pronounced 'Roo-el'.

The Ages of Arda

Arda was the Elves' name for the whole world. While most people think of Tolkien's world as Middle-earth, in fact this was the name for the main central continent of the world, the land where 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings' took place. It does not include Valinor or Numenor - Valinor was a continent in the far west; Numenor was a large island in the western sea between Middle-earth and Valinor. There were also other islands and continents which we are not told about.

Tolkien divided the history of Arda into many ages. Men first awoke at the first rising of the Sun, and this was considered the start of the First Age, but there were other long periods before this.

Unnamed Early Ages

In this period, the Valar built the world and Melkor tried to destroy it.

The Spring of Arda

In this period, the Valar lived in Almaren at the centre of Middle-earth and the world was lit by two lamps on giant pillars, Illuin in the north and Ormal in the south. We don't know exactly what these names mean but they contain the words 'luin' and 'mal', blue and gold, so it seems likely that the lamps had a bluish and a yellowish tint respectively.

The period was called the Spring because the work of making the world was now complete and the newly created plants started to grow under the light of the lamps. The Spring of Arda ended when Melkor attacked the world and destroyed the giant lamps.

The Years of the Trees

After Melkor had destroyed their home in Almaren, the Valar established the land of Valinor to the west of Middle-earth and created the Two Trees to provide light for it. This marked the beginning of the Years of the Trees. In this time, Middle-earth was lit only by the stars. During this period, the Valar made war on Melkor and imprisoned him "for three ages". These ages seem to have all been within the Years of the Trees. It's not clear how long they were.

This was a long period1. Somewhere in it, the Elves awoke. When the Valar became aware of them, they contacted the Elves and invited them to come to Valinor, causing the Great Journey of the Elves. Some Elves stayed behind, some dropped off along the way, but most went west where they were divided - the Sindar stayed in Beleriand in Middle-earth while the others went across the sea to Valinor and by long contact with the Valar became the High Elves.

The Years of the Trees came to an end when Melkor and the spider-monster Ungoliant destroyed the trees. The whole world was plunged into darkness (again!). The Valar then made the Moon and the Sun. The subsequent ages all are part of the Years of the Sun.

The Years of the Sun

The time from the first rising of the Sun to the present day is called the Years of the Sun. Men first awoke when the Sun first rose, so the Years of the Sun correspond to the time when Men have been around in the world. The Years of the Sun are divided into Ages, the first three of which are described in Tolkien's works.

  • The First Age was a short one, only about 500 years. It started with the first rising of the Sun, when the Noldor arrived in Middle-earth to start their war against Melkor, who they called Morgoth, the Great Enemy. The First Age ended when Morgoth was finally defeated. The action all took place in the lands to the west of the Blue Mountains - Beleriand in the south, Hithlum in the northwest and Morgoth's fortress of Angband in the north. These lands were destroyed in the War of Wrath which ended Morgoth's reign in Middle-earth.

  • The Second Age was the age of Numenor - the men who had fought against Morgoth were rewarded by being given a large island in the sea. They became great mariners. Meanwhile in Middle-earth, two new Elf-kingdoms were set up. One was Lindon in the area to the west of the Blue Mountains, the only part of Beleriand to still exist, and around the great Gulf of Lune that now divided the Blue Mountains into north and south. It was ruled by the Noldor but presumably included many of the Sindar as well. The other was Eregion further east, set up by the Noldor; they became master smiths.

    Sauron, a lieutenant of Morgoth, filled the Dark Lord's shoes, becoming a new Dark Lord. The history of the Second Age was of Sauron's war against the Elves of Eregion and the Men of Numenor, resulting in the destruction of both those countries. Men fleeing from Numenor set up two new kingdoms, Arnor and Gondor, and united with the Elves to defeat Sauron. The Second Age ended with the "death" of Sauron after his troops had been defeated by the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.

    The Second Age was a long one, about 3,500 years. Most of the action was in Eriador, the land between the Blue Mountains and the Misty Mountains, and in Numenor, the island in the sea, with some later action around Mordor.

  • By the Third Age, the Elves were fed up with fighting. They withdrew from the action and were rarely seen by men. Elrond in Rivendell, Galadriel in Lorien and Cirdan in Lindon kept small communities of Elves but they kept themselves to themselves. Eriador thrived for a thousand years with the kingdom of Arnor, but eventually Sauron and his servants returned. They hated the survivors of Numenor - they managed to destroy Arnor and trapped the king of Gondor but couldn't defeat the country. At the end of the Third Age, Sauron led a big offensive to take over the world but was hampered by the lack of his Ring, into which he had put much of his power. The Ring was destroyed by his enemies and this time it really was the end of Sauron.

    The Third Age was about 3,000 years long. It ended with the second death of Sauron and with the departure of Gandalf, Galadriel and Elrond. Their magic rings were now no longer magic and they decided it was time to go. The action of the Third Age was in many parts of the north-west of the world - Eriador, Gondor, Mordor, the borders of the Harad, and some smaller events in Rhovanion.

  • The big event which marked the end of the Third Age was the destruction of the Ring and the final downfall of Sauron, which happened on the 25th of March, 3019. From this time onward, the new year was taken to start on the 25th of March. The Third Age didn't officially end and the Fourth Age begin for another two years, however. The Grey Ship sailed on 29 September 3021, with the two remaining bearers of the One Ring, Bilbo, Frodo, and the three bearers of the Elven-rings, Gandalf, Elrond and Galadriel on board. This was considered to be the actual end of the Third Age, but the record makers took 25 March of the same year 3021 (that is, before they sailed) to be the official start of the Fourth Age.

    The Fourth Age became an age of Men in that virtually all the elves had now left. The appendices of LR give details of a few things that happened in the Fourth Age but generally Tolkien wrote very little about it. He did start to write one story set in the Fourth Age but abandoned it.

The House of Finwë

Finwë was one of the very first Elves, among that group who were not born but awoke ready-formed in the place known as Cuiviénen. Finwë was the leader of the group of Elves known as the Noldor or Deep Elves. They were the ones most akin to Dwarves - they loved working with stone, building things and knowing how the world worked. Finwë led his people to Valinor, where through contact with the Valar, the Powers of the World, they became far more sophisticated and became known as High Elves.

It was the Noldor who figured out how to make gems, and the eldest son of Finwë, Fëanor, who made the three Silmarils, the greatest of gems. When Morgoth killed Finwë and stole the Silmarils, Fëanor and his sons swore eternal war on Morgoth and persuaded many of the Noldor to accompany them to Middle-earth to fight against him.

As a result of this, most of the Elves in the early stories were Noldor of the House of Finwë. The list of his descendants includes most of the famous Elves of the Elder Days.

NameSexGenerationStatusAgeFatherMotherBornNotable?How died / remained alive
FinwëM1DeadTreesOne of very first Elves, who awoke rather than being born.Murdered by Morgoth. The first person to die in Valinor.
FëanorM2DeadTreesFinwëMirielValinorMade the Silmarils, the Palantirs and designed the Elvish script. Led the revolt against the Valar.Killed in battle by Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs
MaedhrosM3DeadFirstFeanorNerdanelValinorCaptured and hung by wrist from Thangorodrim, the tall mountain above Angband, for many years.Burnt by the Silmaril he had sworn to recover, he cast himself and it into a fissure of lava.
MaglorM3AliveFirstFeanorNerdanelValinor? - may still wander the western coasts lamenting the loss of the Silmaril
CelegormM3DeadFirstFeanorNerdanelValinorDied in attack on Menegroth
CaranthirM3DeadFirstFeanorNerdanelValinorDied in attack on Menegroth
CurufinM3DeadFirstFeanorNerdanelValinorDied in attack on Menegroth
CelebrimborM4DeadSecond/ThirdCurufin?Middle-earth ?Made the three Elven-ringsDied in destruction of Eregion
AmrodM3DeadFirstFeanorNerdanelValinorDied in attack at Mouths of Sirion
AmrasM3DeadFirstFeanorNerdanelValinorDied in attack at Mouths of Sirion
FingolfinM2DeadFirstFinwëIndisValinorWounded Morgoth by stabbing him in the foot - the demigod never recovered and limped for ever afterFought Morgoth in single combat and was crushed by Morgoth's hammer, Grond
FingonM3DeadFirstFingolfin?ValinorKilled in battle by Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs
Ereinion Gil-galad *M4DeadSecond/ThirdFingon?Middle-earthKing of LindonDied fighting Sauron at end of Second Age
TurgonM3DeadFirstFingolfin?ValinorCreated and ruled the hidden kingdom of GondolinDied in Fall of Gondolin
Idril CerebrindalF4AliveFirstTurgonElenwëValinorMarried a mortal man: Tuor? - sailed into the West and was never seen again
EarendilM5AliveFirstTuorIdril CelebrindalMiddle-earthFirst to sail to Valinor after the BanPut in charge of glowing spaceship (the Morning/Evening Star)
ElrondM6AliveSecond/ThirdEarendilElwingMiddle-earthWisest of the Elves in the Third Age. Guardian of one of the 3 Elven-ringsWent to Valinor at end of Third Age
ArwenF5/7DeadSecond/ThirdElrondCelebrianMiddle-earthMarried a mortal man: AragornChose to be mortal: lay down and died
Elros Tar MinyaturM6DeadSecond/ThirdEarendilElwingMiddle-earthFirst King of Numenor. Direct ancestor of all the kings of Arnor and Gondor, including Aragorn.Chose to be mortal: lay down and died
AredhelF3DeadFirstFingolfin?ValinorKilled by poisoned dart thrown by Eol
MaeglinM4DeadFirstEolAredhelMiddle-earthCaptured and tortured by Morgoth's spies; revealed location of Gondolin to enemyDied in Fall of Gondolin
FinarfinM2AliveN/AFinwëIndisValinorHigh King of the Noldor in ValinorStill alive - Stayed in Valinor
Finrod FelagundM3DeadFirstFinarfinEarwenValinorCreated and ruled the kingdom of Nargothrond. Fought singing battle against SauronDied fighting werewolf in dungeons of Tol-in-Gaurhoth
Orodreth **M3DeadFirstFinarfinEarwenValinorDied in the destruction of Nargothrond
FinduilasF4DeadFirstOrodreth?Valinor ?Fell in love with the unluckiest man in the world.Carried off by orcs during the Sack of Nargothrond and died soon after
AngrodM3DeadFirstFinarfinEarwenValinorDied in the Battle of Sudden Flame
AegnorM3DeadFirstFinarfinEarwenValinorDied in the Battle of Sudden Flame
GaladrielF3AliveSecond/ThirdFinarfinEarwenValinorGuardian of one of the 3 Elven-ringsReturned to Valinor at end of Third Age
CelebrianF4AliveSecond/ThirdCelebornGaladrielMiddle-earthCaptured and tortured by orcsWent to Valinor after being injured by poisoned orc arrow

* Ereinion Gil-Galad is here shown as son of Fingon. Tolkien never fully decided whose son he was and there are at least four different versions. This is the one that was published in the Silmarillion.

** Orodreth is here shown as the son of Finarfin and brother of Finrod. This is according to earlier writings, and the published family tree in the Silmarillion. However, later writings say Orodreth was the son of Angrod, and therefore Finrod's nephew.

The children of Elrond and Celebrian are shown belonging to both generation 5 and 7 because their mother was from generation 4 and their father from generation 6.

Important Elves of the First Age who were not of the house of Finwë are almost all from the kingdom of Doriath:

  • Elu Thingol/Elwë Singollo, the leader of the Sindar and officially King of Beleriand although in fact he ruled only Doriath. He married a Maia (earth-spirit) named Melian
  • Luthien, daughter of Thingol and Melian, who married Beren, a mortal Man. Together they stole a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth
  • Dior, the son of Luthien and Beren, who ruled Doriath for a short while
  • Elwing, the daughter of Dior, wife of Earendil and mother of Elrond and Elros.
  • Beleg, the marchwarden of Thingol. He was a great friend of the doomed man Turin and was accidentally killed by him.
  • Gwindor, an elf who was captured by orcs and released many years later. He came back to Doriath as a weak and broken Elf.
  • Eol, a strange reclusive elf who worked with meteoric iron and made himself a black sword. He captured and married Aredhel against her will, leading ultimately to the Fall of Gondolin.

The History of Middle-earth

This is Christopher Tolkien's massive analysis of his father's work, containing all the versions Tolkien wrote and all the letters discussing the content.

  • Book 1 - The Book of Lost Tales 1
  • Book 2 - The Book of Lost Tales 2
  • Book 3 - The Lays of Beleriand
  • Book 4 - The Shaping of Middle-earth
  • Book 5 - The Lost Road and Other Writings
  • Book 6 - The Return of the Shadow
  • Book 7 - The Treason of Isengard
  • Book 8 - The War of the Ring
  • Book 9 - Sauron Defeated
  • Book 10 - Morgoth's Ring
  • Book 11 - The War of the Jewels
  • Book 12 - The Peoples of Middle-earth
  • Book 13 - Index

Books 1 - 5 cover the writing of the Silmarillion up to the point where Tolkien started writing The Lord of the Rings. Books 6 - 9 are give details of the writing of The Lord of the Rings, and are also sometimes published as "The History of The Lord of the Rings". Books 10 - 13 give Tolkien's further work on the Silmarillion, which he never completed.

All 12 books are published in 3 volumes:

  • The History of Middle-earth Part 1 - Books 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
  • The History of Middle-earth Part 2 - Books 6, 7, 8 and 9
  • The History of Middle-earth Part 3 - Books 10, 11 and 12

The Complete History of Middle-earth - the above three volumes in one boxed set.

1The Encyclopedia of Arda puts it at 10,500 years.

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