A. What is the Tolkien Meta-FAQ?
For many years, J.R.R. Tolkien's fans have discussed and debated aspects of his "subcreated world" of Middle-earth. It is important that newcomers to these discussions be able to catch up on what has gone before, so over the years the Tolkien newsgroups have given rise to several different Frequently Asked Questions lists. They are all valuable, but finding the answers you want can be a very time consuming process (particularly as each FAQ is organized differently).
The purpose of the Tolkien Meta-FAQ is to make it easier to find what you're looking for in all those documents. It is a compilation of all of the questions about Middle-earth from my own Tolkien Newsgroups FAQ, the Tolkien FAQ and Tolkien LessFAQ by W.D.B. Loos, and the more specialized "FAQ of the Rings" by Stan Brown. References to many sections of the Letters FAQ by Mike Brinza (aka "Stug" on the Tolkien newsgroups) are also included, but not its individual questions (because of the nature of that FAQ, including the questions would come very close to including the entire document). Links to a small number of well-researched and largely unbiased essays are also included. For ease of reference, some questions may appear in more than one place in the list. I hope that you find the Tolkien Meta-FAQ useful!
B. Sources of the Tolkien Meta-FAQ
My Tolkien FAQs and Information page gives more detailed information on the source documents of the Tolkien Meta-FAQ. The following abbreviations are used:
- NFAQ: The Tolkien Newsgroups FAQ, by Steuard Jensen.
- TFAQ: The Tolkien FAQ, by William D. B. Loos.
- LFAQ: The Tolkien LessFAQ, by William
D. B. Loos.
- RFAQ: The FAQ of the Rings, by Stan Brown.
- LtFAQ: The
FAQ-Like Guide to The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, by
Mike Brinza (aka "Stug" on the Tolkien newsgroups).
- BookList: The Custom Tolkien Book List, by Steuard Jensen.
- Essay:??: various essays, labeled by the initials of the author.
C. Recent Changes to the FAQs
The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is only an index to the other FAQs, so it only changes when questions are added to or removed from those documents. It would be helpful to know which questions in the underlying FAQs have been recently updated, but unfortunately the burden in maintaining such information would be quite high. Until and unless I shoulder that burden, it may be most useful to look at the update information in each FAQ. The relevant links for the actively maintained source FAQs are: