[Home] » Reference Index

The Lord of the Rings: a Reader’s Companion (RC)

A page-by-page guide to the contents of the Lord of the Ring, published in conjunction with its 50th anniversary edition. Much of the linguistic information in this guide are references to other works, and are not included in this reference (particularly those references from the History of Middle-earth series, Parma Eldalamberon and Vinyar Tengwar). However, it refers to two otherwise unpublished documents written by Tolkien: the “Unfinished Index” of The Lord of the Rings and the Nomenclature of the Lord of the Rings.

The “Unfinished Index” was intended to be an annotated index of names from The Lord of the Rings, but Tolkien was unable to complete the work before the Return of the King was published, and in any case there was not room to include it (RC/xxxiv, lxxxi). Christopher Tolkien often used the translations appearing in this Unfinished Index for his own indexes of The Silmarillion and The Unfinished Tales, though without explanation of the source. Where Hammond and Scull explicitly refer to linguistic items in this Unfinished Index, the reference is included in this lexicon.

The Nomenclature of the Lord of the Rings was a document prepared by Tolkien to aid in the translation of The Lord of the Rings into non-English languages. It includes a number of references to Elvish words. The finished document is published in full in the Reader’s Companion (RC/750-782), and there are also references to the manuscript version of the Nomenclature. This lexicon omits references to the finished Nomenclature that appear elsewhere in the guide, but references to the manuscript are included where they appear.

The Reader’s Companion also refers to a number of other unpublished or obscure works. Finally, the guide includes linguistic references from 1st edition of The Lord of the Rings and the 1966 index from the 2nd edition; these are now difficult to find elsewhere. Such references from the guide are included in this lexicon for the sake of convenience.

See also Addenda and Corrigenda to The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion for corrections to the guide.

Needs review.