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The Complete Tolkien Companion
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The Complete Tolkien Companion

3.7 4
by J. E. A. Tyler, Kevin Reilly (Illustrator)

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For all those who journey to Middle Earth, here is the complete guide to its lands, legends, histories, languages, and people. The Complete Tolkien Companion explains, translates, and links every single reference—names, dates, places, facts, famous weapons, even food and drink—to be found in J. R. R. Tolkien's world, which includes not only The


For all those who journey to Middle Earth, here is the complete guide to its lands, legends, histories, languages, and people. The Complete Tolkien Companion explains, translates, and links every single reference—names, dates, places, facts, famous weapons, even food and drink—to be found in J. R. R. Tolkien's world, which includes not only The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings but also The Simarillion and many other posthumously published works. A detailed explanation of the various Elvish writing systems, together with maps, charts, and genealogical tables, bring the remarkable genius of Tolkien and the unforgettable world and wonder of Middle Earth to life with focus and accuracy. First published in 1976, this is an indispensable accompaniment for anyone who embarks on the reading journey of a lifetime.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The Complete Tolkien Companion by J.E.A. Tyler offers a 712-page A-to-Z guide to Middle-earth minutiae. First published in 1976, it has, no doubt, been saddening countless parents ever since who wish their teenagers pored over their SAT study guides with the same demented fervor.” —USA Today

“If you're a fan of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, this is a great reference book, as it has entries that will probably jog the memories of even the most ardent adherent....This one has it all.” —The Kansas City Star

“A treasure of arcane information that will be helpful to the casual reader...as well as to the newly minted Niddle Earth fanatic who wants to learn everything as soon as possible.” —South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The Complete Tolkien Companion is an excellent, proper accounting of the diversity of life in Middle-earth. I found the no-nonsense compilation (with minimal illustrations) refreshingly useful, as it concentrates on being more of a research book for invested Tolkien lovers rather than being a fancifully-illustrated coffee table version.” —Forbes.com

“Essential for a new generation of readers to fully enjoy Tolkien's version in a new century...an invaluable aid to a better understanding of Middle Earth and deserves a place on theshelf right next to The Hobbit.” —Baryon Magazine

“A resource that will bring further enjoyment to those already familiar with [The Lord of the Rings] and its associated works...A wonderful achievement for Tyler, and will make a welcom addition to the library of anyone who has come to consider Frodo and the lot as de facto members of the family.” —Scifidimensions.com

“A detailed and sweeping compendium, this book is a valuable reference to have handy when reading, re-reading, and re-re-reading Tolkien's work.” —SFRevu

Publishers Weekly
Just in time for the release of the third Lord of the Rings film comes J.E.A. Tyler's The Complete Tolkien Companion, the third, updated edition of the definitive guide to Middle-earth first published in 1976. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
If you've tried to wade through The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit but find the names, places, languages, or histories a bit daunting, then this book may be just what you need. Originally issued in 1976 and now completely revised, Tyler's work explains, translates, and links every reference in The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, and other stories Tolkien wrote. Tyler has chased down everything from names and dates to weapons, food, and drink. You can find a four-page explanation of Ringwraiths and a complete history of Gollum. You can read a history of the great kings of Middle-earth and explanations of various Elvish writing systems and see maps, charts, and genealogical tables, all of which serve to make reading Tolkien a much richer experience. Tolkien experts and new readers will find this alphabetically arranged companion a valuable guide through the rich world of Middle-earth. Recommended for all collections.-Ron Ratliff, Kansas State Univ., Manhattan Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
Third Edition, Revised
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Product dimensions:
5.64(w) x 8.08(h) x 1.29(d)

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The Complete Tolkien Companion

By J. E. A. Tyler, Kevin Reilly

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 1976 J. E. A. Tyler
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-6645-4


Accursed Years – One of the many names given by tradition to the period of Sauron the Great's first dominion over Middle-earth. Other names – the Black Years, the Dark Years, The Days of Flight – betray equally bitter memories of the latter part of the Second Age, when Númenor grew in power while Men and Elves of Middle-earth groaned under Sauron's tyranny or fought desperate wars for their very existence.

Sauron established this early dominion by means of the Rings of Power. These were forged in Eregion, not by the Lord of Mordor but by the High-elves of Celebrimbor's House, seduced for this purpose in the days when Sauron's treacheries were not readily apparent. Under his tutelage, the Elven-smiths grew skilful at this craft and succeeded in forging, first lesser Rings with limited powers, then the Nine, the Seven and the Three.

The One Ring was forged by Sauron himself – and from the moment he first put it on and spoke the Ring-spell, his power in Middle-earth waxed, until many of the Free Peoples were defeated or enslaved. The Accursed Years had numbered more than a thousand before the Last Alliance of Elves and Men took Sauron's Ring, cast down the Dark Tower and laid his first realm in ruin, thus ending the Age.

Adamant – An antique name for diamond.

AdanSee EDAIN.

Adanedhel 'Elf-man' (Sind.) – An admiring name given by some of the Elves of the city of Nargothrond to the Man Túrin Turambar, son of Húrin of the Third House and Morwen Eledhwen of the First House of the Edain.

Adanel – A wise-woman of the Edain in the First Age; she was the sister of Hador Lórindol of the Third House and later wedded BELEMIR of the First House. Their grand-daughter was Emeldir 'the Manhearted', the mother of BEREN ERCHAMION.

Adorn – A river in Rohan. It rose in the White Mountains and fell westward into the Isen.

Adrahil (of Dol Amroth) – A war-leader of Gondor; he was instrumental in the victory of 1944 Third Age against the Wainriders and fell in battle in that campaign. Also the name of his descendant, the twenty-first Prince of Dol Amroth; the father of Imrahil and his sister the Lady Finduilas, who became the wife of Denethor, twenty-sixth Steward of Gondor.

Aduial (Sind. from Q. Undómë) – Eventide, twilight, 'Star-opening'. The root of the word, -uial, also occurs in the Grey-elven name for Lake Evendim: Nenuial.

Adûnaic – The language that the Dúnedain of Númenor adopted in the days of their power. It was largely based on their early native Mannish speech before this became influenced by Eldarin modes of thought. It perished in the Downfall of Númenor. The survivors, or Faithful, of that land spoke either the Grey-elven (Sindarin) tongue, or the Common Speech of Middle-earth, which had itself partly been derived from the ancient Adûnaic.

The word Adûnaic ('The-Speech-of-the-West') is itself an example of that Númenorean tongue, as are the names of all the Kings and Princes of Númenor after Tar-Calmacil (except Tar-Palantír) – and the name of the Downfall itself, Akallabêth.


Adûnakhôr (Ar-Adûnakhôr) 'Lord-of-the-West' (Adûn., Q. Herunúmen) – In its Númenorean form, as it appears here, the royal title assumed by the twentieth King of Númenor. It was ill-omened for two reasons: firstly, this was the first time a Númenorean ruler had taken a royal title in a Mannish tongue, as opposed to the older practice of assuming Eldarin names; and secondly, the particular title 'Lord of the West' had hitherto been given only to the Elder King, Manwë Súlimo, Lord of the Valar and chief of the Ainur, the Holy Ones. Adûnakhôr's choice of name was therefore both insolent and blasphemous; though the popularity he gained from the Númenoreans by so choosing may have seemed sufficient recompense. During his reign open use of the Eldarin tongues was banned.

Adurant 'Double-course' (Sind.) – A river of Ossiriand. It was the southernmost of the six tributaries of the Gelion, a fast-running mountain stream whose source was high in the Blue Mountains. Adurant reached the lowlands in two branches, which joined together some miles further on to enclose the 'Green Isle' of Tol Galen.

The Adventures of Tom Bombadil – A collection of assorted hobbit-poems taken from various sections of the Red Book and published, together with explanatory notes, under the title of the most well-known of the verses.

'The Adventures of Tom Bombadil' – A Hobbit-poem about the semi-legendary (to some Hobbits) dweller 'down-under-hill' in the Old Forest on the eastern borders of the Shire. It dates to the early Fourth Age. The poem, together with many others, has been published as a separate supplement to the available translation of the Red Book of Westmarch; it appears under the same general title (see previous entry).

Aeglos 'Snow-thorn' (Sind.) – See AIGLOS.

Aegnor 'Fell-fire' (Sind. [originally Aikanáro, Q.]) – The fourth of the sons of Finarfin of the House of Finwë, one of the princes of the Noldor who came back to Middle-earth during the Elder Days to make war upon Morgoth for the recovery of the Silmarils. At the beginning of the Long Peace, he and his brother Angrod took the northern part of the Dorthonion highland; they held it in fief from Finrod, their elder brother, as the northernmost bulwark of the Elves' domains against the evil of Morgoth. In the four hundred and fifty-fifth year since the return of their father's people to Middle-earth, Morgoth, long quiescent in Angband, unleashed sudden war upon the Noldor: the Battle of Sudden Flame, in which the hills of Dorthonion in the north were literally kindled in the fire of his onslaught. In that desperate fight Aegnor and his brother Angrod were among the first to fall.

'A Elbereth Gilthoniel' – The opening line (and title) of the beautiful Hymn sung by the Eldar of Middle-earth to Elbereth, or Varda (Q.), in her aspect as Fanuilos, the divine or demiurgic intercessary. In the Hymn she is pictured as standing on the slopes of Mount Everwhite (Oiolossë, Q.), arms raised, listening to the cries for aid of Elves and Men. Although the language is Sindarin, it is unlikely that this verse is of Grey-elven origin. It was the Exiles, the High-elves who dwelt among the Sindar in Lindon, in Lórien and in Rivendell, who most longed for the solace of the Vala Queen Elbereth, with whom they had once dwelt in bliss. The style of the poem bears hallmarks of Quenya inflection, especially in the High style of the language chosen and in the reverential second person singular used throughout.

Aelin-uial 'Meres of Twilight' (Sind.) – The name given by the Elvenfolk of Doriath, Thingol's kingdom in Beleriand, to the region of eerie marshes which bordered their forested land in the southwest, where the river Aros flowed into the Sirion. Here lay a flood-plain, and here the renewed waters of the Sirion diverged, temporarily, into wide fens before gathering together once more into the great Falls of Sirion. The Meres were part of the defensive circle of enchantment woven about Doriath by its Queen, the Lady Melian, after the rebellion of Morgoth.

Aeluin 'Blue-mere' (Sind.) – A small lake in eastern Dorthonion. See TARN AELUIN.

Aerandir 'Sea-wanderer' (Q.) – A mariner of the Edain, one of those three who accompanied their lord Eärendil on his great journey from Middle-earth to the Undying Lands, at the end of the First Age. As all know, that journey brought about the mustering of the Valar and the overthrow of Morgoth. Aerandir, however, never set foot on the shores of Aman the Blessed; for he and his two companions, Falathar and Erellont, were bidden by Eärendil to remain in the boat Vingilot while he himself continued the journey on foot. After the deliberations of the Valar the three were given a new ship, and sent speedily back to Mortal Lands. Their fate was not that of Eärendil.

Aerie – A poetic invention in the Hobbit style, supposedly a name of Elvish origin. It occurs in the poem 'Errantry' (part of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil collection) and refers to an imaginary Elf kingdom.

Aerin – A woman of the Edain, a kinswoman of Húrin of the Second House, who dwelt in Dor-lómin during the First Age. The fall of Dor-lómin in the wars brought about occupation of that land by a lesser race of men, Easterlings brought thither by Morgoth and planted as a colony. Aerin, despite her lineage, was wedded perforce to one of these, named Brodda. She is remembered in the tales of Men as one who secretly lent aid to Morwen the mother of Túrin Turambar; later it was this same woman Aerin who revealed to Túrin whither his mother had departed, and so unwittingly brought home to him the import of his deeds. Túrin, in his rage, slew Brodda at his own board and fled into the night. Of Aerin's eventual fate no tales speak, though it is likely she was slain by vengeful Easterlings.

Aftercomers – A translation of the Grey-elven word Hildor, a name for the race of Men.

Afterlithe – The name given in the Shire Reckoning to the month of July, being the seventh month of the year. In Bree, the name used for this month was Mede.

Afteryule – The name given in the Shire to the first month 'after Yule' of the year. The Bree name was Frery.

Agarwaen 'Bloodstained' (Sind.) – Part of the riddling name assumed by Túrin Turambar when he dwelt in Nargothrond for a while during the wars against Morgoth. The full name was Agarwaen son of Umarth ('The Bloodstained, Son of Ill-fortune').

Aglarond 'Halls-of-Glory' – The Sindarin name for the 'Glittering Caves' of Helm's Deep. The existence of this name shows that these remarkable natural wonders were known in Gondor long before the Men of Éothéod took possession of the land which afterwards became known as Rohan. In fact the first fortification of this area – the tower known to its builders as Aglarond – was raised by the Dúnedain, to serve with Angrenost (Isengard) as a guard-post for the Gap of Calenardhon.

The Rohirrim themselves paid scant courtesy to the beauty of the caverns (which they called Glœmscrafu, 'Caves of Radiance') using them as store-houses to supply the fortress known as Helm's Gate: the Hornburg, the Deeping Wall and the Deeping Tower. Thus the gorge of Aglarond formed the strongest fortress in all Rohan, and the caves and their wonders went unseen by folk of other races – until the Fourth Age, when a colony of Dwarves, led by Gimli Glóin's son, settled there.


Aha – The Quenya or High-elven word for 'rage', but more properly the title of the Tengwa (or 'letter') number 11 which represented the sound of hard h. (Aha replaced the more ancient name harma, 'treasure'.)

Aiglos 'Snow-thorn [Icicle]' (Sind.) – Also spelt Aeglos. A gorse-like plant with white flowers that grew on Amon Rûdh; also the name given to the Spear of Gil-galad, last of the High-elven Kings in Middle-earth. He used this weapon throughout his long wars with Sauron; at the Battle of Dagorlad (3434 Second Age) the Spear was indefatigable. It was destroyed with Gil-galad on the slopes of Orodruin, in final combat with Sauron.

Ainu (pl. Ainur) 'Holy One' (Q.) – The name given in High-elvish tradition to the Spirits brought into being by Ilúvatar (God) before the Beginning, who participated in the Creation and who made and ordered the World (Arda), in preparation for the arrival of the Erusen, the Children of God. As is told in the AINULINDALË, many of them afterwards came to Arda and dwelt there, whereafter they were known as the VALAR and MAIAR.

Ainulindalë 'Music-of-the-Ainur' (Q.) – The Myth of the Creation, as set down long ago in the First Age by the earliest of the Noldorin loremasters, Rúmil of Tirion, in the Undying Lands. It is by far the most ancient of all creation myths. The Ainulindalë appears in its entirety as the first part of The Silmarillion; no need therefore exists for a repetition or summary in these pages. Of interest, however, is the demiurgic role played in the Creation by the Ainur, or Holy Ones, some of whom afterwards dwelt in Arda (the World) and were known as Valar and Maiar. Their part was active in all aspects of the Creation – save their own creation – yet the Ainulindalë stresses throughout that, in so doing, the Ainur were but following a Theme already chosen by the Creator. Their role in the Beginning is one of embellishment, refinement, preparation and amendment. They have no part of the basic Design; they are but agents.

And yet their role is very great. It is the Ainur who shape the World, who cause new stars to shine, who set waters on the face of the earth and who raise mountains on the edges of the seas. They build great lamps to bring Light to Arda, and when these lamps are thrown down (by one of themselves, a renegade) they cause Trees to grow – which also bring Light. They cause beasts to thrive, and birds to multiply. Only from the creation of intelligent Life do they hold back, for here their agency ceases.

This 'demiurgic' role is of interest when contrasted with the later legends of Men, who, although they have not altogether forgotten the part played at the Beginning by the Holy Ones, have for long minimised or overlooked it. The Powers are seen, or remembered, only in their lesser (and later) role of intercessaries (see FANUILOS); and the story of their own beginnings is nowadays a matter for poets rather than theologians.

Akallabêth 'The Downfall [of Númenor]' (Adûn.) – A moral and historical work in the keeping of the Stewards of Gondor. It detailed the arising, eventual seduction and fall of the Númenoreans, and the swallowing up of that land under the Sea.

Alatar – A name for one of the 'Blue Wizards', Istari who came to Middle-earth in the third Age and then passed away out of all knowledge into the East. He is said to have been of the Maiar of Oromë.

Alcarin (Tar-Alcarin) – From 2637–2737 Second Age, the seventeenth King of Númenor.

Alcarinquë 'Jupiter' (Q.) – One of the stars created by Varda (Elbereth).

Alcarondas 'Castle of the Sea' (Adûn.) – The great warship which bore the last Númenorean King, Ar-Pharazôn, on his last sea journey, from Númenor to the Undying Lands.

Alda – The Quenya or High-elven word for 'tree'; also the title of Tengwa number 28, representing the sound Id. In Sindarin-inflected languages, this letter stood for the sound lh. Naturally enough, the name for 'tree' was much used in Elvish speech, and alda forms a root for many words and names of Quenya origin. The Sindarin form of the same name was galadh.

Aldalómë – A poetic combination of images and ideas in a single word, typical of Quenya. It means 'Tree-shadow' and, as used by Treebeard the Ent, refers to the ancient black heart of the forest of Fangorn. See also ALDA above.

Aldamir – From 1490–1540 Third Age, the twenty-third King of Gondor and the second son of Eldacar. His elder brother was killed in the war that temporarily deposed his father from the throne of Gondor (see KIN-STRIFE), and so Aldamir came to rule after his father. He was killed in battle.

Aldarion (Tar-Aldarion) – From 883–1075 Second Age, the sixth King of Númenor. He was a great mariner, and because of this took a great interest in forestry – his interest being in the furnishing of timber for shipbuilding rather than the trees themselves. His incessant voyaging to Middle-earth brought him into conflict with his father the King Tar-Meneldur and, even more disastrously, with his wife Elendis; after she had borne him a daughter, Ancalimë, they separated. Aldarion never had a son and for this reason was succeeded by his daughter, who became the first Ruling Queen.


Excerpted from The Complete Tolkien Companion by J. E. A. Tyler, Kevin Reilly. Copyright © 1976 J. E. A. Tyler. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

An author and journalist J.E.A. TYLER (1943-2006) specialized in music, historical biography, archeology, and anthropology. His other books include The Beatles: An Illustrated Record and I Hate Rock and Roll.

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Complete Tolkien Companion 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have one word which sums up this entire book 'dissappointment'. Ok, maybe not entirely worthless but to any self-respecting Tolkien fan this companion would have to be the least helpful of those available. Not only did I find information hard to find (characters etc were listed by their most 'common name' thus if you were looking for a particular name which was less used, its highly likely that you won't find it which can get very frustrating. Also I couldn't help feeling that the Tyler seems to get his/her wires crossed alot, mixing what is 'fact' and what is 'fiction' mixed around. Also the major dissappointment I found with this 'complete' Tolkien companion, is that its not 'complete'. Lesser characters, places, events etc seem to have been 'lost' or 'omitted'. At the expensive of this 'lesser' characters etc Tyler seems to have spent all the energy instead on elaborating more on the 'major' characters which I personally found annoying as no doubt many people want to buy a companion to help them understand alittle bit more on 'lesser' characters which they come across in books. You wouldn't buy half a dictionary so why settle for half a 'companion'. I also found it quite shifty of Tyler 'hiding' the references and sources at the back of the book.However on a high note I did find the front cover design, I must say the best looking of the companions on the market. If only the inside was as good as the outside. I suggest if your serious about getting a companion, 'The Complete Guide to Middle Earth' by Robert Foster is 1st Rate and easier on the hip pocket too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everything about everything is contained in this marvelous book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was much better than Tyler's previous book, but the reference part of it is not quite on the same platform as Foster's work. If you can afford it, it's definitely worth the money, though.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book you'll ever be able to find that tells you virtually everything u need to know about LOTR and Tolkien. I've been taking spanish for 4 yrs and i've been teaching myself elvish from this book for 2 yrs and i already know elvish better than spanish! I also really really love the maps that tolkien made (can be found in this book). If i ever come a across a place or something that i've never heard of, i can look at these maps and go, 'oh yeah...' They also help me make better sense of some stuff that's hard to understand (geographicly).