J.J.R Tolkien Writings

The Hobbit

Tolkien's first tale mentioning hobbits, this is the story of Bilbo Baggins' adventure to the Lonely Mountain and his finding of the One Ring. It has a very much lighter mood than the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and is intended for children.

The Fellowship of the Ring

The first part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Gandalf discovers that Bilbo's old ring is truly the One Ring, and Frodo sets off on a mission to destroy it.

The Two Towers

The second part of the trilogy. Gollum guides Frodo and Sam along the path of Mordor, while Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli journey to Rohan to help King Théoden battle Saruman's armies.

The Return of the King

The third part of the trilogy. Frodo and Sam journey closer every day to Mount Doom, Aragorn begins to reclaim the kingship, and Sauron launches his last massive assaults upon Middle-earth.

The Adventures of Tom Bombadil

Hobbit-like stories set in verse, complete with charming illustrations.

The Silmarillion

The early history of Middle-earth, including stories such as "The Tale of Beren and Luthien" that are briefly mentioned in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Quite a different tone from the trilogy as well--much more serious and old-fashioned.

Unfinished Tales

More stories from the early history of Middle-earth. Lots of info about topics such as the five Istari, the cats of Queen Beruthiel, the kings and queens of Numenor, and others that were never fully described in LotR or The Silmarillion. The title comes from the fact that Tolkien never completely finished any of the included tales.

The Book of Lost Tales Part I

Part I of the History of Middle-earth, this could be called the first half of a very early Silmarillion. It's the story of a human mariner named Eriol who listens to tales of the ancient days of Middle-earth from Elves of Eressëa. Includes detailed histories of the Valar and the creation of Arda and its peoples. Note: these tales may confuse readers of books such as The Silmarillion, since, because Tolkien wrote the tales many years before The Silmarillion took complete shape, many names and stories are completely changed.

The Book of Lost Tales Part II

Part II of the History of Middle-earth, and the second half of the very early Silmarillion. Eriol listens to tales about Beren and Luthien, the Nauglafring (Nauglamir), Turin Turambar, Gondolin, Tuor and Idril, Eärendil, and more. The book also includes Tolkien's early conception of how Middle-earth and English mythology are linked. See note on Part I.

The Lays of Beleriand

Part III of the History of Middle-earth. Mainly the tales of Beren and Luthien and Turin Turambar set in verse, although the book includes several shorter unfinished poems. Also includes C.S. Lewis' commentary of the Lay of Leithian.

The Shaping of Middle-earth: The Quenta, the Ambarkanta, and the Annals

Part IV of the History of Middle-earth. This is the very earliest version of The Silmarillion. It also includes a chronological presentation of Tolkien's mythology, as well as the earliest map of Middle-earth.

The Lost Road and Other Writings

Part V of the History of Middle-earth. Includes revisions to The Silmarillion, an etymological dictionary of the Elvish languages, and a discussion of The Lost Road's relation to The Fall of Numenor.

The Return of the Shadow

Part VI of the History of Middle-earth. This is an early version of The Fellowship of the Ring, complete with outline plans and narrative drafts, up to the point at which the Fellowship stood at Balin's tomb in the Mines of Moria. In this version, Treebeard and Farmer Maggot are malevolent, Strider is called Trotter, and the Fellowship does not include Legolas or Gimli.

The Treason of Isengard

Part VII of the History of Middle-earth. This book continues where The Return of the Shadow left off, and explores parts of the Lord of the Rings story such as Lothlorien, the Riders of Rohan, Ents, and Saruman the White. Also includes the original first meeting of Aragorn and Éowyn, an appendix on the Runes in the Book of Mazarbul, and an original map of Middle-earth.

The War of the Ring

Part VIII of the History of Middle-earth. More of the early version of the Lord of the Rings, beginning with the Battle of Helm's Deep and ending with the parley between Gandalf and the Mouth of Sauron before the Gates of Mordor. Faramir is first introduced in this book.

Sauron Defeated

Part IX of the History of Middle-earth. Completes the History of the Lord of the Rings series, and contains a very different account of the Scouring of the Shire, along with a previously unpublished Epilogue in which Sam tries to answer his children's questions years after Bilbo and Frodo passed over the Sea. Also includes fragments of Numenorean script, and an account of the linguistic structures of Adunaic.

Morgoth's Ring

Part X of the History of Middle-earth. Just as the Book of Lost Tales is an early Silmarillion, Morgoth's Ring is a later one. This book includes the full Annals of Aman, discussions of the destiny of Elves and the origins of the Orcs, meditations on mortality and immortality, and much more.

The War of the Jewels

Part XI of the History of Middle-earth. Mostly about the evolution of Tolkien's work on The Silmarillion, including a continuation of the story of Turin Turambar, and more information about the Valar.

The Peoples of Middle-earth

Part XII of the History of Middle-earth. Contains hobbit genealogies, a chronology of the later ages of Middle-earth, the story of "The New Shadow" in Gondor of the Fourth Age, and the tale of the coming of the Numenorean ships.

Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien

Tolkien's drawings of Middle-earth and Arda. Incredibly detailed and amazing!

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo

Translated by Tolkien and edited by his son, Christopher, this includes the classic tale of the quest of one of the knights of King Arthur's round table.

The Monsters and the Critics & Other Essays

Tolkien's lecture on the epic "Beowulf".

On Fairy-Stories

One of Tolkien's lectures, this one given at the University of Leeds on March 8th, 1939. In it, he discusses Primary and Secondary worlds, sub-creation, and mythology.

Finn and Hengest

The story of Finn and Hengest (two fifth-century heroes) is told in two Old English poems, "Beowulf" and "The Fights at Finnesburg", but told so obscurely that its interpretation was a matter of controversy for over 100 years. This text covers J.R.R. Tolkien's lectures on the subject.

The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth

Tolkien's sequel to Anglo-Saxon poem The Battle of Maldon. In it, two servants of duke Beorhtnoth retrieve their master's corpse from the battlefield.

The War of the Jewels

Part XI of the History of Middle-earth. Mostly about the evolution of Tolkien's work on The Silmarillion, including a continuation of the story of Turin Turambar, and more information about the Valar.

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien

Tolkien's letters to family, friends, and admirers. The collection includes some fantastic philosophical discussions, insights into Middle-earth, and early plans for the LotR trilogy.

The Father Christmas Letters

A collection of letters Tolkien wrote to his children every year from Father Christmas, filled with tales about life at the North Pole and illustrated with Tolkien's drawings.

Mr. Bliss

A picture book that Tolkien wrote and illustrated for his children's (as well as his own) enjoyment. Mr. Bliss goes into town to buy a motor-car, but has all sorts of unexpected adventures with it (characters such as Gaffer Gamgee and a man with the last name of Boffin make appearances).

Farmer Giles of Ham

Another of Tolkien's charming children's tales, this time about a man who accidentally defeats a dragon and then is considered by the townsfolk the most logical person to fight another monster.

Smith of Wootton Major

In this book, Tolkien explores the gift of fantasy, and what it means to the life and character of the man who receives it.

Leaf by Niggle

The tale of a painter named Niggle who 'niggles' over little details, and fears that he will never be able to complete his unfinished work.


This is the story of Rover, a real dog magically transformed into a toy, who, after many fantastic adventures in search of the wizard who wronged him, at last wins back his life. Tolkien wrote it to console his son, Michael, who lost a favorite toy, which was in the shape of a dog.

The Road Goes Ever On

Includes sheet music by Donald Swann for many of the poems in Tolkien's books.


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