The Tolkien Frequently Asked Questions List (FAQ), is the first of two informational files on J.R.R. Tolkien and his writings, the other being the Less Frequently Asked Questions List (LessFAQ). The division of questions follows several general criteria. The FAQ leans towards questions of interest to people who have read only The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, together with most questions on Tolkien himself and on topics which seem fundamental to his worldview (his linguistic games in particular). The LessFAQ contains questions of a more obscure nature, most questions arising from posthumous works, and in general aspects of the nature and history of Middle-earth which are important but tangential to The Lord of the Rings. There is also an element of personal arbitrariness. All available sources have been used for both lists. Criticisms, corrections, and suggestions are of course welcome.

William D.B. Loos

Table of Contents

Sections/questions marked as follows:
* have been revised since the last release
** are new since the last release

  1. Changes Since the Last Release *

  2. Acknowledgements *

  3. Note on References and Conversion Table *

    1. Note on References

    2. Conversion Table

  4. Commonly Used Abbreviations *

  5. Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Tolkien And His Work

      1. ) Who was J.R.R. Tolkien anyway?
      2. ) Were the languages presented in The Lord of the Rings real languages?
      3. ) What does it mean when people (or Tolkien himself) speak of him as having been the "editor" of The Lord of the Rings?
      4. ) How thoroughly realized was Tolkien's fiction that he was the "translator" of The Lord of the Rings?
      5. ) Why is Tolkien's work, The Lord of the Rings in particular, so difficult to translate (into other languages of our world)?
      6. ) Did the events in The Lord of the Rings take place on another planet or what?
      7. ) Was the northwest of Middle-earth, where the story takes place, meant to actually be Europe?
      8. ) Was the Shire meant to be England?
      9. ) What were the changes made to The Hobbit after The Lord of the Rings was written, and what motivated them?
    2. Hobbits

      1. ) Were Hobbits a sub-group of Humans?
      2. ) Did Hobbits have pointed ears?
      3. ) When was Bilbo and Frodo's Birthday? To what date on our own calendar does it correspond?
      4. ) Was Gollum a hobbit?
    3. Elves

      1. ) Did Elves have pointed ears?
    4. Dwarves

      1. ) Did Dwarf women have beards?
    5. Istari (Wizards)

      1. ] Who were the Istari (Wizards)?
      2. ] Of the Five Wizards, only three came into the story. Was anything known about the other two?
      3. ] What happened to Radagast?
    6. Enemies

      1. ] What was the relationship between Orcs and Goblins?
    7. Miscellaneous

      1. ] Who or what was Tom Bombadil?
      2. ) What became of the Entwives?

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