Chronology of Tolkien's writings
This article or section is in the early stages of construction and should not be viewed as complete, or even close to being finished.
A reference tool[edit | edit source]
The goal of this page is to present the chronology of Tolkien's writings ordered by thematics so that readers can understand the relation between the texts, their "freshness", their shared chronology. In a way, it is an expansion on The Texts and Their Relations.
It is a useful tool when debating about Canon - whether your preference is Height Intent or Final Intent or any others. The source of information is mainly the textual indications given by Christopher Tolkien in the History of Middle-Earth Series.
Tolkien writings timeline being very long, this chronology is broken in 3 production phases.
Early Years - the Mythology period[edit | edit source]
|Date||Hobbit||Lord of the Rings||Ainulindalë||Valaquenta||Quenta Silmarillion||Húrin & Turin||Beren & Lúthien||Tuor & Gondolin||Annals of Valinor||Annals of Beleriand||Númenor|
|1917||Turambar and the Foalókë||Tale of Tinúviel||The Fall of Gondolin|
|1918||The Music of the Ainur|
|1919||‘The Chaining of Melko’||‘The Coming of the Elves and the Making of Kôr’ and ‘The Theft of Melko and the Darkening of Valinor’||The Lay of the Children of Húrin|
|1920||The Lay of the Fall of Gondolin|
|1925||‘The Flight of the Noldoli from Valinor’||The Lay of Leithian||The Lay of Eärendel|
|1926||Sketch of the Mythology|
|1928||The Fall of Númenor|
Middle years - The publication phase[edit | edit source]
This period is the most productive in Tolkien's life. Following the success of the Hobbit, he hoped to publish the Silmarillion as a consistent account of the Elder Day. The texts produced in the later phase have a great amount of consistency with the published Lord of The Rings.
Later years - exploratory writings[edit | edit source]
In this period of this life, Tolkien had abandoned any hope of finishing the Silmarillion and getting it published. Most of his works fall in either of 3 categories
- Philological and philosophical writings
- Languages work
- Exploring inconsistencies and way to resolve them
- Expansion stories for main characters / key historical events
|Date||Language||Maps||Tale of the years||Names||Genealogies||People||Heroes||Places||Other|
|1957||Finwë & Miriel|
|1958||Concerning Dwarves, Of the Ents|
|1959||‘The Converse of Manwë and Eru’, ‘Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth’ and the ‘Reincarnation of Elves’.|
|1960||‘Quendi and Eldar’, ‘Cuivienyarna’, ‘Orcs’, ‘The Elessar’||‘Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn’|
|1963||The Tale of Adanel|
|1967||The Shibboleth of Fëanor|
|1968||‘The New Shadow’ and Tar-Elmar|
|1969||‘The Disaster of the Gladden Fields’, ‘Cirion and Eorl’ and ‘Part of the Legend of Amroth and Nimrodel’||‘The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor’|
|1970||A Map of Middle-earth by Pauline Baynes|
|1972||‘Glorfindel’ and ‘Círdan’|
|1973||Galadriel & Celeborn|