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Thread: Every Book bout LOTR Universe

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Can someone tell me every book that Tolkien has done that is set in the Lord of the Rings universe?? I don't know if others have written books to extend it, like people do with star wars books. But i wouldn't those if there are any. I thought i read there were 6 main books, i only know of 4.


1) The Hobbit

2) The Lord of the Rings

3) The Adventures of Tom Bombadil

4) The Road Goes Ever On


That's all I can think of now -- that Tolkien himself published and that deal with Middle-earth anyway.  JRRT also helped with the map made by Pauline Baynes, adding a few things that hadn't yet been published in the books at that time.


What am I forgetting? maybe someone's counting Christopher Tolkien's The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin?

I spent about 10bucks a pop for several books on iTunes.

This is what i found:

The HObbit
The Lord of the Rings
The Silmarillion
Unfinished Tales
The Children of Hurin
Letters from Father Christmas-don't think is part of the same universe
The Book of Lost Tales
The Books of Lost Tales pt2
Tales from the Perlious Realm
The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun

Then i found these "Historys of Middle Earth" that are essays by people on amazon, and i am sure they are canons, and are authorized material, but i don't know for sure.

The Peoples of Middle Earth was the 12th book in the history sets, but this one was done by Christopher, so i am sure the 11 before are valid.


Well Sigurd and Gudrun and Father Christmas do not deal with Middle-earth, and what you have here is a mix:

A) Tolkien-published works (the four I mentioned, though you don't have RGEO)

B) Unfinished Tales: a number of posthumously published texts -- edited in various degrees for ease of presentation

C) The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin are edited works, based on or using the various and complicated unfinished texts Tolkien left at his passing. Christopher Tolkien (with help from Guy Kay) put together The Silmarillion back in the 1970s, after his father's passing. Much more recently he constructed an edited version of The Children of Hurin, which was intended to be the long prose version of one of the tales in The Silmarillion.


D) The Book of Lost Tales is a very early set of tales (written in an 'archaic' style) that were never finished -- generally its framework is much more connected to England and English mythic history than the later Silmarillion would be, but it does contain certain elements or ideas, or characters or events, that 'survived' into the Silmarillion as it evolved over the decades.

For example the long prose story of Turin can be found in The Book of Lost Tales, but when we think of Middle-earth as it came to be imagined, it is essentially an abandoned old story, and not part of the legendarium in that sense; again, even if certain things within it can also be found in the much (much) later story of Turin.

The Book of Lost Tales begins the twelve volume series of The History of Middle-Earth, an external history of the evolution of Tolkien's imagination. Several volumes contain the draft writings for The Lord of the Rings, and in the early volumes of the series you will not really find 'Middle-earth' as Tolkien would later come to think of it.

Briefly describing these twelve volumes is not easy! Tolkien was not against changing his mind as the decades went by, but in my opinion that's not very odd for such a creative mind!


Tales from the Perilous Realms (or whatever it's called) should contain The Adventures of Tom Bombadil along with other works not connected to Middle-earth. The Road Goes Ever On can be hard to get at the moment, but it does contain some interesting history along with linguistic information.


Anyway, you have plenty to start with!

So a lot of the work is stuff Tolkien never finished and his son wrote the rest to finish the books!

Yeah i read that the 12 books/stories of the middle earth history are from JRR, but his son finished.

I found a list that these names in it:


Sir Gawain & The Green Knight
Smith of Wootton Major & Farmer Giles of Ham
The Tolkien Reader
They also had books by Paul Kocher and Robert Foster. I don't know exactly what there books are about, but if they write about middle earth would it be canon?


So a lot of the work is stuff Tolkien never finished and his son wrote the rest to finish the books! Yeah i read that the 12 books/stories of the middle earth history are from JRR, but his son finished.


The twelve volume History of Middle-Earth is JRR Tolkien material -- which Christopher Tolkien presents with his own helpful commentary and notes -- but CJRT didn't finish or weave together any of the tales in these volumes, and anything unfinished remains that way.

And although I guess it depends upon what you mean by finish, CJRT didn't finish The Silmarillion or The Children of Hurin either, in the sense of inventing the ends of any tales at least. Rather he constructed one volume, 'reader friendly' versions, out of already existing texts, it's just that the texts were written at various times by JRRT, and were in various states of completion.


There's one chapter in The Silmarillion in which CJRT invented some things which were not based on anything Tolkien wrote, but only because the existing material for this part of the story was from 1930 and CJRT felt (at the time) the problems this presented could be best solved with a little invention -- but later he noted that he could have approached the same problem without so far overstepping the bounds of the editorial function.


It's a bit complicated, but for now I'm just trying to note that Christopher Tolkien had texts to work with, even if not all of the material was written at the same time, or all completely finished, or all updated and in order.

Very many (but not all) of the texts Christopher Tolkien used to construct The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin can be found in the twelve volume series, plus Unfinished Tales.


I found a list that these names in it: Sir Gawain & The Green Knight  Smith of Wootton Major & Farmer Giles of Ham The Tolkien Reader


The Tolkien Reader also contains The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (mine does anyway), along with other stories. And I don't know about Kocher, but Foster has compiled a helpful Guide to Middle-Earth, with entries based on books Tolkien published himself, plus -- for his complete guide published later -- Christopher Tolkien's 1977 Silmarillion.


Sir Gawain, Smith of Wootton Major, and Farmer Giles are not Middle-earth related, if you're only looking for Middle-earth material, as it seems.

Has Chirs Tolkien ever said why he hasn't finished his fathers work??

I know it wouldn't be as good as his dads work like lord of the rings, but it is still JRR's storys.

I read way more since i got my iPad 2, so I just don't ever want to run out of material! lol

I read a lot of star wars, specifically the old republic era, cause i can't wait for the The old republic game, but its amazing to see depth of the universe from different style authors, and i wish LOTR's also had this, cause I think their universe is way more interesting!


Tolkien left plenty of things unfinished or abandoned, though he did publish a lot (including non Middle-earth related works), given that he was a professor and had plenty of other duties. I don't recall CJRT ever speaking directly to why he doesn't take up the task of writing...

... but I think part of the reason is that he doesn't consider himself a writer in any case. The 'reader friendly' version of The Silmarillion appears to have been due to Guy Kay's influence, and some think that's why he was chosen to help with the project -- to add a writer's perspective.

Christopher Tolkien rather wanted a more scholarly approach, which turned out to be The History of Middle-Earth in any event.

I think they should do what lucas has done, and letting hand fulls of authors to add to the universe.

Some of the stuff i have read in the extended universe is just as good if not cooler than than the stuff lucas has done in the 6 films or in my favorite his Clone Wars cartoon. Personally I love series more than moives cause they have so much more time to put in everything in it and their not tied down to "hollywoods" expectation like when doing a film.

I would LOVE to see an HBO series of the Lord of the Rings! Like getting the guys who are doing the Game of Thrones to do it, that would be awesome, it would be like 12 hours a season to cover a book or half a book.

A long-version (expensive film-quality mini-series style) is, I think a much better way to transpose a book to a screen - it has the length necessary to cover the material in-depth without lots of cutting; it has the budget to do great costumes and effects and hire good actors; it has the "this story has an arc and a definite beginning, middle, and end" that a regular episodic tv series often lacks...


Regarding other authors playing in Tolkien's Middle-Earth Universe: I believe there is a reference somewhere to Tolkien saying (or writing) that he wanted to create a sort of group of connected stories or "mythology" - some more detailed and some less detailed - that other artists could work off of, use as source material, etc.

Does anyone here remember that quote (or where to find it?)

You're probably thinking of...


'Do not laugh! But once upon a time (my crest has long since fallen) I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic to the level of romantic fairy-story (...) The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama. Absurd.'

JRRT, Letters



I note: paint, music, drama... but nothing here, at least, about other authors inventing characters or stories set within Middle-earth.

See the biggest problem is, Lucas is alive to dictate what he wants and what he doesn't.

But it is sad that just because no one will step up and continue Tolkien's legacy, if he were alive we would probably have many more stories.

Unless its complete garbage, I wouldn't mind new work from fresh authors and updated work from unfinished storys.

As long as i knew ahead of time that it isn't JRR, I would probably enjoy the story, cause how could you mess up a story set in such a unique world. 

I forgot to add in, that Lucas has and still is finding new ways to make big movies/big tv series on tight budget. If you didn't know, months ago he had over 50 hours of footage that was for the Star Wars live action tv series.

I don't mean to talk bout star wars, I just know lucas is someone who is on the bleeding edge of new technology, and is responsible for movies like LOTR to be possible.

Anyways, Lucas developed the system which i call the lucas system, if you watched the extras on a dvd pack, you can see how he made the prequel. I know of Rick a producer(lucas's right hand man).

I recently started going through all my 6 disc extras n speicals in my collectors edition box set LOTR. PJ had a hard time knowing how to build the movie. PJ went to Skywalker ranch to have Rick teach him how they did it.

What i am getting to is, do you think PJ would be the man to go to, to build a live tv series? I think once this new star wars tv series comes out, the technology to make such an awesome show would be possible in middle earth. Or do you think Lucas could be an affiliate in making more middle earth film! I know he is busy, with the upcoming clone wars, The old republic MMO, and building tech for his TV series. 

I know i have been talking books, but what future do you think Middle Earth has on film, after the Hobbit? 
What i would love is, after Lucas has his tv series, and PJ finishs Hobbit. If PJ, gets a lesson on how Lucas made the Star Wars live series, and have PJ take some of these unfinished works, or even building his own story based on all the canon's from JRR's work.

Well the film rights were sold for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but at this point the Tolkien Estate still holds the copyright with respect to (for a few examples): The Silmarillion, The Children of Hurin, Unfinished Tales, and the twelve volume History of Middle-Earth series.

As for Peter Jackson, generally speaking not everyone at Planet Tolkien is a fan of his work

If i had the rights i wouldn't give PJ another shot at pissing everyone off.

There are a lot of things he did that i didn't like. Mainly his overall conception of LOTR, i didn't feel the same way i did like how i feel about the book.

I mean middle earth is one of the top few universe's that I want to see a lot of, read a lot of, and watch a lot of.

I mean star trek, star wars and Mavel, have massive universe's and we get a good dose of them every year, for the last 20 years.

Middle Earth is one of the coolest universe's and we got a few cartoons and these 5 movies from PJ and thats it.

The others have books, comics, tv, movies and all have been expanded by a large portion!