Michael Tolkien

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"...It is a long tale..." — Aragorn
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This article is about J.R.R. Tolkien's son. For the grandson of Tolkien, see Michael George Tolkien.

Michael Hilary Reuel "Mick" Tolkien (22 October, 1920 - 27 February, 1984) was the second son of J.R.R. and Edith Tolkien. Tolkien wrote the story Roverandom as a way to console Michael over the loss of his toy dog; Michael appears in the story as boy Two.

In the bioghaphical drama film, Tolkien (2019), he appears briefly, and he was portrayed by actor Paul Gurcel Escudero.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Youth[edit | edit source]

Michael owned the puppet on which Tom Bombadil was based. Like his father, Michael also had Atlantis-haunting dreams while J.R.R. never mentioned his own to him.

Roverandom[edit | edit source]

In early September 1925, the Tolkien family (then Ronald, Edith, John, Michael and a one-year-old Christopher) went on holiday to the seaside resort of Filey in Yorkshire. Although Tolkien had holidayed there previously in 1922, Tolkien described Filey as "a very nasty little suburban seaside resort".[1]:146 During the holiday, Michael lost his beloved black-and-white toy dog on the beach; although the family searched for it, the toy dog could not be found.

To console his son, Tolkien created the story of Roverandom to explain the adventures of the dog. Tolkien wrote the story down, based on his own oral version, in 1927 and also provided a number of illustrations which have since been published.[2]:77-83 A few years later, Tolkien submitted Roverandom for publication to George Allen & Unwin in 1936 and although the book described by Rayner Unwin as "well written and amusing" it was never considered for publication, perhaps as a result of a desire for a sequel to The Hobbit.[3]:xvii

Throughout the story, Michael is referred to as "boy Two" as he's Tolkien's second son. In the story, boy Two is brought home a toy dog which he later loses at the beach. He never forgets the dog and later meets Roverandom in the dreamland on the moon. At the end of the story, boy Two is reunited with Roverandom, who is now a real dog.[3]:88

Later life[edit | edit source]

Michael and his family resided at Payables Farm, Woodcote. They hosted his father in late summer 1948. While the family was away on holiday, his father found the quiet conditions to complete The Lord of the Rings.[4]

His grandson is Royd Tolkien, who had a cameo as a Ranger in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Article[edit | edit source]

Family Tree[edit | edit source]

Edith Bratt
J.R.R. Tolkien
John Tolkien
Joan Griffiths
Christopher Tolkien
Priscilla Tolkien
Joanna Tolkien
Hugh Baker
Irene Ferrier
Michael Tolkien
Rosemary Walters
Judith Tolkien
Alan Crombleholme

External links[edit | edit source]