A Tolkien Bestiary

From Tolkien Gateway
A Tolkien Bestiary
AuthorDavid Day
PublisherMitchell Beazley
FormatHardcover, paperback

A Tolkien Bestiary is an A-Z guide to the flora and fauna of Middle-earth, written by David Day and first published in 1979.

The book contains monochrome and full-colour illustrations by Michael Foreman, Lidia Postma, Ian Miller, Allan Curless, Sue Porter, Victor Ambrus and John Davis.

The book has been published under different titles, by different publishers, including:

  • Guide to Tolkien's World: A Bestiary (2002, 2010)
  • Characters from Tolkien (2001)


The book has been accused of containing extrapolations and thus deviating from Tolkien's writings.[1] For example, there is a reference to "Kraken" referring to the Watcher in the Water, but the word does not appear as a species in Tolkien's works.[2]

While fans have argued that the book is less reliable as a Tolkien reference than similar works by Robert Foster and J.E.A. Tyler, many are fond of its illustrations.[3]