Tolkien Gateway

End of the World

This article is about an illustration by Tolkien. For the End of the World within the Legendarium, see Dagor Dagorath.
End of the World by J.R.R. Tolkien

End of the World is the title of an illustration by J.R.R. Tolkien.[1]

[edit] Description

End of the World shows an apparently carefree man stepping out from a cliff into an abyss. Beyond the cliff are the Sun, the Moon, and stars — elements which are pivotal in Tolkien's legendarium. The illustration was made in December 1912, and was collected by Tolkien with other illustrations from the same period in an envelope labelled "Earliest Ishnesses".[1]

[edit] Inspiration

While explicitly claiming no direct link between the two illustrations, Dimitra Fimi has noted the resemblance of Tolkien's End of the World to The Fool from the Rider-Waite tarot deck.[2]

Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull have noted that Tolkien's technique in this illustrations has produced a "restless sky drawn as if by Van Gogh".[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist & Illustrator, pp. 40, 65
  2. Dimitra Fimi, "Paul McCartney’s “The Fool on the Hill”, Tolkien’s early drawings, and the Rider-Waite Tarot" dated 29 August 2016, (accessed 24 November 2016)