Christopher Tolkien Passes Into The Undying Lands, Dies At Age 95

author img
BY January 16, 2020

Christopher Tolkien, the son of author J.R.R. Tolkien died on Thursday at the age of 95. Christopher was the third and youngest son of the legendary fantasy author, and the literary executor of the Tolkien estate. He also helped edit and publish much of Tolkien’s posthumous works such as The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin.

Christopher Gave Us So Much Of What We Know About Middle-Earth

Christopher Tolkien was born in Leeds to John Ronald Reuel Tolkien and his wife Edith in 1924. He and his siblings were the primary audience for their father’s stories about Hobbits who lived under a hill. Christopher also served in the Royal Air Force during World War II. He studied English at Trinity College in Oxford, later serving as a Professor of Old English, Middle English, and Icelandic.

Christopher was involved with his father’s work from an early age, as the first audience for first The Hobbit and afterwards The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Christopher was the one who drew the maps for Middle-Earth, and helped clarify much of its geography. At the age of 21, Christopher joined Tolkien’s famous literary society The Inklings.

After his father’s death in 1973, Christopher took over the Tolkien estate where he edited and published a number of his father’s unseen works. It is due to Christopher’s hard work that the world has the amount of Lord of the Rings material that can be used for adaptation into various films and television shows that we have today (or are forthcoming).

In Memory of Christopher Tolkien (1923-2020)

Christopher Tolkien Image via The Tolkien Society

Christopher Tolkien received the Bodley Medal for individuals who make “outstanding contributions to the worlds of communication and literature” in 2016. He served as the director of the Tolkien Estate until 2017.

In memory of Christopher Tolkien, here is one of the stirring poems about life and death that his father published in his epic fantasy series that has influenced all of us so much. Rest in peace, Christopher, and safe journey through the Grey Havens.

In western lands beneath the Sun
the flowers may rise in Spring,
the trees may bud, the waters run,
the merry finches sing.
Or there maybe ’tis cloudless night
and swaying beeches bear
the Elven-stars as jewels white
amid their branching hair.
Though here at journey’s end I lie
in darkness buried deep,
beyond all towers strong and high,
beyond all mountains steep,
above all shadows rides the Sun
and Stars for ever dwell:
I will not say the Day is done,
nor bid the Stars farewell.

(J.R.R. Tolkien from The Return of the King)

For more genre news, be sure to follow Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today.

(Featured image via Wikimedia Commons)


BooksPop Culture

Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

Leave a comment


BooksMoviesPop Culture
The Wendy Movie Is A Magical Realist Take On Peter Pan From Benh Zeitlin

Over a hundred years since J.M. Barrie wrote Peter Pan, the story continues to live on in the hearts of adults and children everywhere. Now, a reimagining of the story will focus on Wendy Darling for the first time. Director Benh Zeitlin follows up award-winning Beasts of the Southern Wild with his first movie in […]

BY Emily O'Donnell November 9, 2019
Pop Culture
Funko Fundays 2019 Announcements and Exclusives

It’s hard to explain to non-collectors why Funko figures are so fun to collect. Much like beanie babies, action figures, or coins, the hunt is exciting and fulfilling. When you obtain a figure you love, it’s hard to not smile like a little kid. Such is the heart of Funko as a company. Founded on […]

BY Taylor Bauer July 24, 2019
Pop Culture
Powers of X Finale: The Future of Mutant Kind is Now (and Then…and Later… Maybe)

Wow. First, congratulations to Jonathan Hickman, R.B. Silva, Pepe Larraz, and everyone else involved with House of X and Powers of X. Not only did they tell an incredible and unique story, but they managed to put out 12 issues in 12 weeks straight—not a single delay. And the Powers of X finale demonstrates how […]

BY Roman Colombo October 10, 2019
Revenge of the Sith Retro Review – The Game

As a child of the mid 90s, I grew up heavily impacted by the Star Wars prequels. I remember attending a birthday party to see The Phantom Menace, having no knowledge there were others released decades ago. I became obsessed, and after seeing The Clone Wars, I was all aboard the hype train for Revenge […]

BY Taylor Bauer February 18, 2020
Best Rebuilds for NBA 2K20 – MyLeague Tips

I’m a huge fan of NBA 2K20, but most of my time is spent in one area of the game. While some work to become dribble gods on MyPark, I stick to MyLeague. Solely, for the the experience of managing a team. Working to rebuild teams on MyLeague is the reason I average over 200 […]

BY Taylor Bauer February 17, 2020
E3 Veteran Geoff Keighley Skipping Conference in 2020

I think one thing I love about video game journalism is getting to talk games. On the best day, covering gaming news involves great reveals, exciting titles, and hopes for my favorite series. On the worst day, I can usually say the downers about gaming journalism involve the industry. Sometimes, profits and sponsors get in […]

BY Taylor Bauer February 17, 2020
Marvel’s Avengers Pre-Order Deals: Where to Get The Best Bonus

Pre-ordering games used to be a way to make sure you had a highly anticipated title as soon as possible. Now, pre-orders are a sort of incentive for extra content and goodies. A fun bonus is usually enough to get me to pre-order a game, and an upcoming Marvel video game fits that bill for […]

BY Taylor Bauer February 14, 2020


Who is Carnage in the Marvel Universe? – Origins and Powers

In Venom, a final scene shows Woody Harrelson in a hilariously on-the-nose red wig. That was our first look at Cletus Kasady, more well known to some as Carnage. With Spider-Man playing a vital role to the state of the MCU moving forward, we can assume Kasady is going to be a major villain to […]

BY Taylor Bauer February 19, 2020
Disney+ Reveals First Clip of Season 7 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars by Highlighting the Bad Batch

Star Wars fans may eagerly await the next story in the films or season 2 of The Mandalorian. However, the most anticipated new thing is something, well, old. After debuting the release date for Season 7 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Disney+ released the first preview clip highlighting the Bad Batch. The title of […]

BY Joshua M. Patton February 19, 2020
Ben Affleck Opens Up About Why He Stopped Being The Batman In New Interview

The Batman is dead, long live the Batman! This is how it is for fans of the caped crusader. Sure, Bruce Wayne may be ageless and eternal in the pages of DC Comics for 80 years, but mere mortals age. Michael Keaton is more like Bruce Wayne in the Batman Beyond series than the character […]

BY Joshua M. Patton February 19, 2020
Alas, Green Arrow and the Canaries Has Not Yet Been Picked Up By the CW, Producer Confirms

For fans of the Arrowverse, specifically those who are sad about the Arrow series finale, Twitter got exciting in the wee hours of the morning. A writer for another site, who did successfully predict Titans being renewed for season 3, dropped what seemed like a seedling of hope. He said that Green Arrow and the […]

BY Joshua M. Patton February 19, 2020