The Lost Road and Other Writings
At the end of 1937, J.R.R. Tolkien reluctantly set aside his work on the myths and heroic legends of Valinor and Middle-earth and began The Lord of the Rings. This fifth volume of The History of Middle-earth completes the examination of his writing up to that time. Later forms of The Annals of Valinor and The Annals of Beleriand had been composed, The Silmarillionwas nearing completion in a greatly amplified form, and a new Map had been made. The legend of the Downfall of Numenor had entered the work, including those central ideas: the World Made Round and the Straight Path into the vanished West. Closely associated with this was the abandoned 'time-travel' story The Lost Road, linking the world of Numenor and Middle-earth with the legends of many other times and peoples. Also included in this volume is The Lhammas, an essay on the complex languages and dialects of Middle-earth, and an 'etymological dictionary' containing an extensive account of Elvish vocabularies.
- "The Early History of the Legend" - an introduction to the following two pieces, detailing how Tolkien's correspondence with C. S. Lewis led to the writing of The Lost Road.
- The Fall of Númenor - an early draft of the Akallabêth
- The Lost Road - a story that connects Tolkien's other tales to the present
- The later Annals of Beleriand
- The later Annals of Valinor
- The Ainulindalë - an early version of The Music of the Ainur
- The Lhammas ("Account of Tongues") - an overview of the various languages of the Elves
- Quenta Silmarillion - a draft of The Silmarillion
- The Etymologies - a long list of words and roots, the best source on Elvish languages
- The second Silmarillion map