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The Complete Tolkien Companion

From Tolkien Gateway
The Tolkien Companion
Publication Information
AuthorJ.E.A. Tyler
FormatHardcover; paperback

The Tolkien Companion is a reference book by J.E.A. Tyler, first published in 1976. Due to it was published before The Silmarillion, this first edition contained numerous errors that were partly corrected in later editions.

It was revised and enlarged in 1979, published as The New Tolkien Companion, incorporating information from The Silmarillion, and again in 2002 as The Complete Tolkien Companion, incorporating also selected information from Unfinished Tales and The History of Middle-earth. In 2000, a reprint of the first edition was released under the original title. Newer editions were released in 2012 and in September 2022.

Unlike Robert Foster's The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, this book does not provide references to its entries.

From the Publisher

Between 1932 and 1953, Professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, of Oxford, England, translated four volumes compiled by the renowned Hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, written during the Third Age of Middle Earth (sic), far longer ago than the Celtic, Germanic and Icelandic manuscripts Professor Tolkien was used to deciphering. The result was The Hobbit, and readers have never been the same since.

In 1954, seventeen years after The Hobbit first appeared, its sequel, The Lord of the Rings was published, and it became the centerpiece of Tolkien's work. The Ring Epic covers approximately ten thousand years, and contains a vast amount of information as well as a huge variety of words and names which Tolkien translated from the Elvish and Mannish tongues. The Tolkien Companion is an impressive endeavor to guide one through the world of Middle Earth (sic), compiling every fact, name, word, and date from all the works into one comprehensive and accessible volume.

Here, in one source, is the High History of the Elven peoples. The origins of Morgoth the Enemy is clarified, as is his Fall, and the subsequent rise to power of Sauron the Great, Lord of the Rings. The heroic epic of how the Free peoples -- Elves, Men, Ents, Dwarves, and Hobbits—survived against the Peril of the Ancient World is meticulously detailed. And a guide to the various Elvish writing systems, together with explanatory maps, charts, even genealogical tables, bring the remarkable genius of Tolkien and the unforgettable world and wonder of Middle Earth to life with focus and accuracy. Presented in alphabetical order for quick and easy reference, The Tolkien Companion is an indispensable accompaniment for anyone who embarks on the reading journey of a lifetime.


In the United Kingdom the various editions were first published by Pan Books, and in the United States by St. Martin's Press (with the Complete Companion under St. Martin's "Thomas Dunne Books" imprint). The first St. Martin's edition was published without indicating an ISBN,the New with ISBN 0-312-57066-X,and the Complete with ISBN 0-312-31545-7. Despite being issued after,and its Foreword citing,the entire History of Middle-Earth series,the early printings at least of the Thomas Dunne Books Complete Tolkien Companion have only a 1976 copyright date.