Tolkien Gateway

Man in the Moon

The Man in the Moon
Biographical Information
Other namesUolë Kúvion
Physical Description

In the folklore of the Hobbits, the Man in the Moon is an old being who secretly hid on the island of the Moon, and built his minaret there.[1][2] He is also featured in the song The Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late.[3]

Combined with the Elven lore, the Man in the Moon of the Hobbits' tales must have his origins in the legend of Tilion the Maia.[4]

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

In The Book of Lost Tales Part One, a creature living on the moon is mentioned, although his nature and the tale of how he came to live there was never fully told. In that version of the legendarium there were no Hobbits, and the Man in the Moon was mentioned in the context of Elven lore, alongside the Valar and Maiar; his name in Qenya was Uolë Kúvion.[5]

[edit] Other writings

In Tolkien's Roverandom the Man-in-the-Moon is the greatest of all magicians and also lives in a white tower in the moon with a telescope. He has a moon-dog named Rover and when Rover comes to the moon, he renames him "Roverandom" and gives him wings to play with the moon-dog. After staying in the moon and having many adventures, Roverandom is told by the Man-in-the-Moon that Artaxerxes has now left, and is allowed to return to Earth.[6]

The Man in the Moon appears also in Letters from Father Christmas: In 1926, the North Polar Bear lit the northern lights causing the moon to break and the Man fell in Father Christmas's hut and ate all his chocolate before he climbed back to mend it and tidy up the stars.[7]

[edit] Inspiration

The Man in the Moon is a real-life tradition referring to a figure on the moon disc that appears like a face.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, "The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, "The Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony"
  4. Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, entries "Man in the Moon", "Tilion"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, pp. 193, 198, 215, 271
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien; Christina Scull, Wayne G. Hammond (eds.), Roverandom
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Baillie Tolkien (ed.), Letters from Father Christmas, "December 20th 1926"
Legendary Races of Arda
 Animals:  Dumbledors · Gorcrows · Hummerhorns · Pards · Swans of Gorbelgod · Turtle-fish
Dragon-kind:  Great glow-worms · Sea-serpents · Spark-dragons · Were-worms
Evil Races:  Giants · Gongs · Half-trolls · Hobgoblins · Ogres · Snow-trolls · Two-headed Trolls
Fairies:  Dryads · Leprechauns/Leprawns · Mermaids · Sprites · Sylphs · White cow
Other:  Badger-folk · Great beasts · Lintips · Mewlips · Nameless Things · Spectres
Individuals:  The Hunter · Lonely Troll · Man in the Moon · The Rider · River-woman · Tarlang · Tim