The following list is specific to the revised text of The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion first published in 2008 by HarperCollins. See elsewhere on this site for addenda and corrigenda to the original edition of 2005, for addenda and corrigenda to the new edition added by date (beginning 4 May 2008), and a supplemental bibliography of works consulted for our online Reader’s Companion pages. Significant revisions of addenda or corrigenda (as opposed to revisions of the Reader’s Companion proper) are marked thus: [REVISED]. Hyperlinks are included selectively, when we used an online source, the website is public (non-subscription), and the relevant page still exists.
A few of the changes we submitted for the new edition were not incorporated, or only partially incorporated, and further errors were introduced in editing and typesetting. Most notably, because two corrections to the order of notes were overlooked, accompanying changes to page references in the index (which were taken up) became erroneous; and because a long note from our Web page was inserted in the book without our knowledge, we found too late that a new page break produced in the index still more errors (of fact or omission).
Here The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion is abbreviated ‘RC’ for convenience, e.g. ‘RC:655’ = Reader’s Companion, p. 655.
p. xvii, l. 17: For ‘messges’ read ‘messages’.
p. xxiii, l. 12 from bottom: For ‘Book III’ read ‘Book II’.
p. xlvi, l. 6: For ‘Minas Morghul’ read ‘Minas Morgul’.
p. lvii, l. 8–9: For ‘nor we have been able’ read ‘nor have we been able’.
p. lvii, l. 14 from bottom: Here we note that ‘Bindbole’ is ‘so spelled’, and two lines later, that Brockenborings ‘is spelled thus’, and other examples may be found of ‘spelled’ so spelled. More frequently in the Reader’s Companion, however, we have used ‘spelt’. Both, in fact, are permissible according to our authorities, the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English and the Oxford Style Manual, and equal use of each form as quoted in the larger Oxford English Dictionary is noted by H.W. Fowler in his examination of ‘-t and ed’ in A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (though personally he leaned – or leant – towards -t); still, only one form should be used in a text. The present authors know that they occasionally differ in spelling preferences, but apparently failed to notice our variation of ‘spelled’ and ‘spelt’ when writing the Reader’s Companion; and for practical purposes, there’s nothing to be done now except to confirm that the Americans and the English are two peoples divided by a common language, or at least by their orthography. We do recall regularizing to ‘spelled’ in the Companion and Guide (except for one stray Scull-Hammond ‘spelt’ in the Chronology). Tolkien himself used ‘spelt’, and we retained this of course in quotation.
p. lix, l. 16: For ‘Place-Names’ read ‘Place-names’. Our entirely arbitrary preference in this book – but not followed consistently – was to use hyphenated ‘place-name(s)’, and to use lower-case ‘-names’ in titles of books with ‘Place-names’, but upper-case ‘-Name’ seems appropriate for ‘English Place-Name Society’ and in common usage.
p. lxiv, l. 5 from bottom: Delete ‘in Anórien,’.
p. lxv, ll. 2–3: For ‘Andrast’, not in Anórien. ‘My father’ read ‘Andrast. My father’.
p. lxviii, l. 3 after titling: For ‘Appendices’ read ‘Prologue and Appendices’.
p. lxxviii, l. 18 from bottom: For ‘stealthily’ read ‘shabbily’.
p. 4, ll. 17–18: For ‘in height between 3 and 4 feet in height’ read ‘in height between 3 and 4 feet’. Our transcription from the Bodleian manuscript has ‘in height’ twice, but Christopher Tolkien’s transcription published in Unfinished Tales, p. 287, has only the first instance, and is undoubtedly correct.
pp. 7–8, note for They dressed in bright colours . . . : Janka Kaščákova, ‘“It Snowed Food and Rained Drink” in The Lord of the Rings’, Middle-earth and Beyond: Essays on the World of J.R.R. Tolkien (2010), discusses the importance of food and drink in Tolkien’s characterization of Hobbits, in their everyday life, in their songs and speech, and in how they react when in uncertain or dangerous circumstances. In the same volume, Kathleen Dubs finds in ‘No Laughing Matter’ that most of the humour in The Lord of the Rings is associated with the Hobbits not only in their own jests, banter, and reactions, but also in their interaction with other characters.
p. 8, ll. 20–1: In regard to ‘an unpublished sketch (referred to in Artist and Illustrator, p. 99)’, this rough sketch made by Tolkien for his American publisher has since been published in John D. Rateliff, The History of The Hobbit, Part Two: Return to Bag-End (2007), pl. xii, and in our Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (2011), fig. 102. See also The Art of The Hobbit, fig. 103, for enlarged details of Bilbo Baggins from seven of Tolkien’s illustrations.
p. 10, l. 23: For ‘connexion with the word fród’ read ‘connexion is with the old word fród’.
p. 23, ll. 21–2: A reader has pointed out that the historical suling, hide, and carucate are measures of area, whereas Tolkien uses sullong as a measure of length. It was not our intention to equate Tolkien’s sullong with the historical suling, only to point out that a sullong (suling) exists in our world, and that Tolkien presumably adopted this alternate spelling as the name of one of the Hobbit ‘long measures’ in one of his manuscript workings.
p. 33, note for Boffins: Fredrik Ström reminds us that a ‘Sergeant Boffin’ appears in Tolkien’s Mr. Bliss.
p. 42, ll. 3–4: On Breton precursors of the name Meriadoc, see further, Carl Phelpstead in Tolkien and Wales: Language, Literature and Identity (2011), p. 103.
p. 52, ll. 12–23: On eleventy-first, see further, the discussion of eleventy-one in Peter Gilliver, Jeremy Marshall, and Edmund Weiner, The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary (2006), pp. 112–13.
p. 52, l. 12 from bottom: For ‘twelve dwarves’ read ‘thirteen dwarves’.
p. 56, l. 16 from bottom: In Amon Hen 199 (May 2006), p. 23, David Doughan comments that we could have said more about the word gaffer. While we would not go as far as he suggests, we should have mentioned that gaffer is recorded in general English dialect use also with the meaning ‘grandfather’, and is found ‘prefixed to a proper name as a term of respect’ (Joseph Wright, English Dialect Dictionary).
pp. 56–7, note for They lived on the Hill itself . . . : The place-name Bagshot is found in both Surrey and Wiltshire, with disagreement among authorities as to its origin. We note in particular -shot as from Old English *scēot, but neglected to deal with Bag- except in terms of folk-etymology. Eilert Ekwall in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names (4th edn., 1960) explores a variety of possible derivations for Bag- under ‘Bagley’: ‘In Scand[inavian] languages bagge means “a wether, a ram”, [Middle Dutch] bagghe means “a small pig”. There may have been an [Old English] word bacga denoting some animal’ (p. 23). A.H. Smith discusses Old English *bagga ‘bag’ at length in his English Place-name Elements (1970), eventually sugesting that the word ‘must have had extensions of meaning to suit the [place-names], either topographical “hill resembling a bag” (which would be appropriate in some [place-names]) or, as with the Swed[ish], [Middle Dutch] words, “an object or creature resembling a bag”. . . . The most appropriate native wild animal is the badger . . .’ (p. 17). Referring to Anglo-Saxon personal names, the Cambridge Dictionary of Place-names makes the Surrey Bagshot ‘Bacga’s nook’ and the one in Wiltshire ‘Beocc’s gate’, without elaboration.
p. 56, l. 6 from bottom: For ‘dwelling’ read ‘dwelling)’.
p. 56, final line: For ‘Place-Names’ read ‘Place-names’.
p. 57, note for gentlehobbit: Merlin deTardo, referring to discussion on theonering.net, has called our attention to Tolkien’s use of ‘old man’ to refer to Gaffer Gamgee in Book I, Chapter 3 (‘The old man seemed put out.’) in contrast with his care to use ‘gentlehobbit’ rather than ‘gentleman’. Tolkien may well have chosen here, as earlier in The Hobbit, to have emended ‘old man’ to ‘old fellow’ (or the like). It has also been noted that in The Lord of the Rings he used compound words such as kinsman, postman, and waterman to apply to Hobbits, to which we would add (off the top of the head) the surnames Holman and Sandyman; but one could argue that kinsman, etc. are not only (in traditional, if not politically correct, grammar) gender-neutral but also species-neutral, while gentleman (‘gentle’ + ‘man’) cannot be gender-neutral and therefore was a good candidate for ‘hobbit’ transformation. While there are ‘man’-less alternatives to kinsman, etc. – such as relative – they have too contemporary a tone relative to the rest of the Lord of the Rings prose; and to have used instead ‘kinshobbit’, ‘posthobbit’, and so forth would have overdone the conceit.
p. 59, ll. 7–13 from bottom, note for Gorbadoc: Change paragraph heading to: And Mr. Drogo was staying at Brandy Hall with his father-in-law, old Master Gorbadoc, as he often did after his marriage. Add new first paragraph: Gaffer Gamgee says that Drogo Baggins was staying with Gorbadoc Brandybuck at the time of Drogo’s death by drowning, which family trees in Appendix C date to 1380; but according to the Brandybuck family tree, Gorbadoc died seventeen years earlier, in 1363.
p. 65, l. 6 from bottom: For ‘backarraper’ read ‘backarapper’. As backrapper, the word is recorded by Joseph Wright in his English Dialect Dictionary as Warwickshire dialect. See also Peter Gilliver, Jeremy Marshall, and Edmund Weiner, The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary (2006), pp. 92–3.
p. 76, l. 5: For ‘many an age, I hope’ read ‘many an age’.
p. 78, between ll. 2 and 3, add:
44 (I: 53). ‘Says he did, perhaps.
44 (I: 53). sees things that ain’t there – In ‘Studies in Tolkien’s Language III: Sure as Shiretalk – On Linguistic Variation in Hobbit Speech (Part Two)’, Arda 7 (1992, for 1987), Nils-Lennart Johannesson notes that ‘in the Shire, ain’t is used only by [working-class] hobbits: Sam Gamgee, Gaffer Gamgee, and [as here] Ted Sandyman’ (p. 97). In the first part of his essay (Arda 5, 1988 for 1985), Johannesson makes the important point that although the ‘most widespread pronunciation’ of ain’t in England is [eınt], its ‘most common pronunciation in Warwickshire and Oxfordshire’, two counties central to Tolkien’s life and thought, is [ent] (according to The Linguistic Atlas of England, 1978). From this he observes further that the discussion between Sam Gamgee and Ted Sandyman about the possibility of walking tree-like giants (which we will come later in the story to know as Ents), in which both use ain’t evidently meant to be pronounced [ent], is a ‘low philological jest’ (p. 42), thus:
‘Your Hal’s always saying he’s seen things; and maybe he sees things that ain’t there.’
‘But this one was as big as an elm tree, and walking. . . .’
‘. . . What he saw was an elm tree, as like as not.’
‘But this one was walking, I tell you; and there ain’t no elm tree on the North Moors.’
See also note (below) for p. 465, ‘There are Ents and Ents. . . .’
p. 78, ll. 16–17 from bottom: For ‘place name’ read ‘place-name’.
p. 89, l. 4: For ‘bringing out’ read ‘bringing it out’.
p. 90, l. 15: For ‘Bilbo ‘as fierce’ read ‘Bilbo is ‘as fierce’.
p. 93, l. 16: For ‘messenger’ read ‘message’.
p. 97, block quotation at foot of page: At the end of the first paragraph, the three-dot ellipsis should be a four-dot ellipsis, i.e. including the full stop after ‘again’.
pp. 104–5, note for ‘Elen sila lúmenn’ omentielvo . . . : Further on the alteration of omentielmo to omentielvo, see comments by Carl F. Hostetter in ‘Five Late Quenya Volitive Inscriptions’, Vinyar Tengwar 49 (June 2007), pp. 38, 49.
p. 108, l. 2: In regard to the phrase ‘netted stars’, in some cultures the Pleiades are described in terms of a sieve or wickerwork.
p. 108, ll. 4–6: For ‘cluster of seven stars’ read (to avoid quibbling) ‘cluster of stars’. It has been suggested to us that this should read ‘nine stars’, even though the cluster actually contains hundreds of stars, most of which are not visible to the naked eye; but historically, the Pleiades have been referred to as seven stars (in some cultures, six), and are named, as we state, after the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione (who themselves have stars named for them in the constellation).
p. 108, note on Borgil: In ‘A Definitive Identification of Tolkien’s “Borgil”: An Astronomical and Literary Approach’, Tolkien Studies 2 (2005), Kristine Larsen also argues that Borgil should be identified with Aldebaran, ‘the sole astronomical object which truly fits the etymological, astronomical, and literary evidence’. ‘However,’ she adds, ‘in the end, one can never know with absolute certainty whether Tolkien meant for Aldebaran to be Borgil (as astronomical inaccuracies do infrequently appear in his work), unless further manuscripts are discovered which shed light on his thinking in this matter’ (p. 168).
p. 116, ll. 5–8: We quote from Tolkien’s Nomenclature that ‘-windle [as a second element] does not actually occur [in English place-names] (withywindle was modelled on withywind, a name of the convolvulus or bindweed)’. As Jason Fisher has pointed out, however, there is in Surrey a ‘Windle Brook’, near Windlesham (and Bagshot). Eilert Ekwall suggests that Windle Brook may be a back-formation from Windlesham (perhaps from ‘Winel’s hām’), though ‘the name of the brook may have been [unrecorded Old English] Windol ‘winding brook’, the name being a derivative of Old English windan “to wind”’ (The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names (1960), p. 522). The latter point is also noted by Tom Shippey in The Road to Middle-earth (1992), p. 98. (The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-names (2004), p. 684, declares the origin of Windlesham ‘partly uncertain’, ‘possibly “the settlement with or by a windlass”, OE *windels + hām’. The element of ‘winding’ is nonetheless present.)
p. 116, note for a dark black bundle: The text from The Hunt for the Ring given here continues in Marquette MSS 4/2/36 with a comment by Tolkien that the Nazgûl would not touch the Baranduin, as its waters were ‘Elvish’. In Unfinished Tales, p. 344, Christopher Tolkien comments that his father ‘nowhere explained the Ringwraiths’ fear of water’, and quotes relevant words from MSS 4/2/36. ‘But it is not made clear’, he adds, how the Ringwraiths ‘crossed other rivers that lay in their path, such as the Greyflood. . . . My father did indeed note that the idea was difficult to sustain.’ Nonetheless, it is an issue we might have done well to explore in a note. Our memories are unclear as to why we did not.
p. 118, note for five ponies: To expand upon our note, Christopher Tolkien observes in The Return of the Shadow that it was part of ‘the original plans of the conspirators’ (i.e. Merry, Pippin, Sam, and Fredegar, The Lord of the Rings p. 108) that Fredegar (Fatty) should stay behind, and therefore when Merry explains to Frodo, who had asked about preparations, that ‘five ponies’ are ready in the stable, he is referring to preparations specifically for those four hobbits going on the journey, that is, excluding Fatty. We would also point to a paragraph earlier in ‘A Conspiracy Unmasked’, when Pippin says to Frodo: ‘Merry and I are coming with you. Sam is an excellent fellow . . . but you will need more than one companion in your dangerous adventure’ – thus indicating to Frodo that he would have three companions, and thus four hobbits would be making the journey. (Granted, this is a confusing point, since Tolkien does not make it explicit that Fatty is staying behind until after preparations are discussed.)
p. 119, l. 19 from bottom: For ‘there was sound’ read ‘there was the sound’.
p. 120, ll. 5–6: For ‘most of dream’ read ‘most of the dream’.
p. 123, between ll. 2 and 3, add:
p. 116 (I: 127): Suddenly Frodo himself
p. 116 (I: 127). Suddenly Frodo himself felt sleep overwhelming him. – As first published, this sentence read more forcefully: ‘Suddenly Frodo himself felt the drowsiness attack him.’
p. 137, ll. 13–17 from bottom: Although the Oxford English Dictionary cites as the earliest use of barrow-wight Lang’s Essays in Little (1891), Peter Gilliver, Jeremy Marshall, and Edmund Weiner in The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary (2006), p. 216, note that the compound appeared much earlier still, in Grettis Saga: The Story of Grettir the Strong, translated by William Morris and Eiríkr Magnússon (London, 1869), Chapter 18: ‘Everything in their way was kicked out of place, the barrow-wight setting on with hideous eagerness. . . .’
p. 143: The notes beginning 141 (I: 152): a long arm was groping . . . and 141 (I: 152): they were in a kind of passage . . . are reversed in order.
p. 150, ll. 15 and 17 after titling: For ‘place names’ read ‘place-names’; for ‘place name’ read ‘place-name’.
p. 151, l. 2: For ‘Strange as news’ read ‘Strange as News’.
p. 155, l. 14: For ‘some time considerable’ read ‘some considerable’.
p. 157, note for Elves (and Hobbits) always refer to the Sun as She, l. 2: For ‘female and male’ read ‘female and male respectively’. The switch of gender is explored further by Yvette L. Kisor in ‘“Elves (and Hobbits) always refer to the Sun as She”: Some Noted on a Note in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings’, Tolkien Studies 4 (2007).
p. 163, note for their power is in terror: At this point, Merry has asked if the Black Riders will attack the inn at Bree. Strider thinks not, since ‘that is not their way . . . they will not openly attack a house where there are lights and many people – not until they are desperate. . . . But their power is in terror, and already some in Bree are in their clutch. They will drive these wretches to some evil work: Ferny, and some of the strangers, and, maybe, the gatekeeper too.’ But then, as it seems, the Riders do attack: the windows to the hobbits’ bedrooms have been forced, and violence done to beds and bolsters; and Merry’s ponies have been driven from the stables. Merlin DeTardo has referred us to Tolkien’s ‘New Plot’ of 26–7 August 1940, in which, after a cancelled statement that the Black Riders ‘attack the Inn but fail’, Bill Ferney and the Southerner ‘burgle the Inn and try and get more news’ on the Riders’ behalf (The Treason of Isengard, p. 71). In a late (probably 1954 or 1955) text, on the other hand, as we quote on p. 166, ‘the Inn [is] attacked by the two Riders in early hours before dawn’ (The Hunt for the Ring). In The Lord of the Rings proper, Tolkien is not explicit as to the agents of the events at Bree.
pp. 175–6: The notes beginning 193 (I: 206). the Silmarils and 193 (I: 206). the Elves of the West are reversed in order.
p. 178, l. 7 from bottom: For ‘the pierce the barriers’ read ‘to pierce the barriers’.
p. 182, note for he sang over it a slow song . . . : Edward Pettit has suggested in ‘J.R.R. Tolkien’s Use of an Old English Charm’, Mallorn 40 (November 2002), that Aragorn’s use of athelas while singing was inspired by the Anglo-Saxon charm known as ‘Against a Sudden Stitch’, meant to heal, among other things, a sudden stabbing pain. See also Carol A. Leibiger, ‘Charms’, in J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia (2006).
p. 188, note for There stood the trolls . . . : In discussing an example of Scandinavian folklore, W.A. Craigie commented that ‘it is sudden death to night-trolls if day breaks upon them, the dawning was their destruction, so that each of them became a pillar of rock, and are now those which stand there’ (Scandinavian Folk-Lore: Illustrations of the Traditional Beliefs of the Northern Peoples (1896), p. 62).
p. 200, l. 10: For ‘eastern border of Mordor’ read ‘eastern border of Gondor’.
p. 217, l. 2: For ‘gold and jewels’ read ‘yellow gold and jewels’.
p. 218, ll. 17–18 from bottom: For ‘bearing a flame’ read ‘flame-bearer’. See further, Peter Gilliver, Jeremy Marshall, and Edmund Weiner in The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary (2006), pp. 132–3. Flammifer is Latin; compare aquifer ‘water-bearer’, conifer ‘cone-bearer’, etc.
pp. 248–9, note for in the Riddermark of Rohan: On the relation of mark and march(es), see p. 28.
p. 264, l. 9 from bottom: For ‘war horn’ read ‘war-horn’.
p. 269, l. 7: For ‘It not is here genitive’ read ‘It is not here genitive’.
p. 276, l. 14: For ‘298 (I: 311): ‘Listen, Hound of Sauron!’’ read ‘298 (I: 311): Gandalf stood up’.
p. 305, l. 18: Preceding this note should be a paragraph heading: 341 (I: 355): ‘I said not so;.
pp. 321–3: The notes beginning 362 (I: 377): ‘And you?’ she said and 362 (I: 377): ‘Many things I can command are reversed in order.
p. 327, ll. 7–17 after titling: In Amon Hen 199 (May 2006), p. 24, Helen Armstrong adds to our note that ‘“long home” is a term that exists in Middle English, meaning simply “the grave”’. Tolkien himself comments on the phrase at the start of Some Contributions to Middle English Lexicography (Review of English Studies, April 1925, p. 210), noting an unrecorded occurrence (‘langan hame’) in the Old English Vision of Leofric which is ‘specially interesting in showing that the expression meant “grave” and not “the future life,” or “heaven”’.
p. 327, l. 5 from bottom: for ‘Sarn Ford’ read ‘Sarn Gebir’.
p. 343, l. 14 after titling: For ‘of Second’ read ‘of the Second’.
p. 361, ll. 4–7 from bottom: Julian Wilson remarks in correspondence that the plural hilts has the same sense as the singular hilt. Tolkien evidently came to prefer hilt and emended some instances of hilts in The Lord of the Rings. Later editors have noted his preference and applied it to corrected texts of this work.
p. 365, ll. 14–19 [REVISED]: We have examined this point in the Lord of the Rings papers at Marquette, and found that ‘other’ was a typesetting error for ‘others’ in the original printing of The Two Towers. Christopher Tolkien has since written to us that his note in The Treason of Isengard (p. 404, n. 15) was not meant as a suggestion, but to indicate a clearly evidenced error.
p. 370, l. 25: For ‘436’ read ‘437’.
pp. 378–9: The notes beginning 451 (II: 54): At that moment and 451 (II: 54): ‘I know,’ growled Uglúk are reversed in order.
p. 383, l. 1: Preceding this note should be a paragraph heading: 464 (II: 67): ‘Hoo now!’ replied Treebeard.
p. 383, ll. 6–7 [REVISED]: More than one reader has queried our statement that ain’t is ‘generally pronounced very like “ent”’, and rightly so. The general pronunciation of ain’t, according to current dictionaries as well as the Oxford English Dictionary, uses the rising vowel sound as in day, not the short e of went. What we should have said was that the construction of Treebeard’s ‘Ents but ain’t’ strongly suggests that Tolkien meant to make a joke based on a similar pronunciation of Ent and ain’t. Many readers have taken it as such, e.g. in the Rómenna Meeting Report of 24 August 1985, it is ‘noted that in at least some British dialects, the words “Ent” and “ain’t” are probably pronounced identically’. We have added a note, above, for p. 44 (‘sees things that ain’t there’), citing research into Tolkien’s use of dialectal English by Nils-Lennart Johannesson and noting that, according to The Linguistic Atlas of England (1978), the predominant pronunciation of ain’t in Warwickshire and Oxfordshire is, in fact, [ent] and not [eınt]. Johannesson calls Treebeard’s statement (‘There are Ents and Ents, you know; or there are Ents and things that look like Ents but ain’t’) ‘a quibble of Shakespearean proportions’ (‘Studies in Tolkien’s Language III: Sure as Shiretalk – On Linguistic Variation in Hobbit Speech (Part One)’, Arda 5 (1988 for 1985), p. 42). (The informants in the dialect survey were born in the 1870s and 1880s, and surveyed in the 1950s and early 1960s.)
To further amend our statement in question, ain’t is a contraction not only of ‘are not’ (as in the words glossed) but also of ‘am not’, ‘is not’, etc.
p. 385, l. 8: For ‘Here you are’ read ‘Here we are’.
p. 389, l. 9 from bottom: For ‘back’ read ‘behind’.
p. 390, l. 6 after titling: For ‘carried’ read ‘carried’ (italics).
p. 392, ll. 19–29: In Amon Hen 199 (May 2006), p. 25, Helen Armstrong suggests that the balrog as ‘a thing of slime’ ‘is a fine description of a cold, wet, fire-extinguished balrog’. Our comment was not meant to identify the balrog of Moria as itself a shape-changer, only that (as we wrote, emphasis added) ‘Gandalf’s account recalls shape-changers in myth and legend’.
p. 400, l. 16 from bottom: For ‘509’ read ‘510’. For ‘they seemed more than mortal men’ read ‘taller they seemed than mortal men’
p. 401, l. 9: For ‘Beowulf’ read ‘Beowulf’.
p. 403, l. 3: For ‘Wormtongue’ read ‘Théoden’ (though the sentiment is surely that of Wormtongue).
p. 404, l. 16: For ‘begun’ read ‘began’.
p. 404, ll. 10–11 from bottom: The element dwimor- in Dwimordene is derived from Middle English dweomer, Old English (ge)dwimor, -er ‘illusion, phantom’ (compare our explanation of dwimmerlaik, p. 562) + dene ‘wooded valley’ (also spelled dean), from Old English denu.
p. 406, l. 5 from bottom: For ‘other too’ read ‘others too’.
p. 422, ll. 9, 10: For ‘550’ read ‘551’.
p. 429, l. 3 from bottom: For ‘those you now wear’ read ‘those you wear now’.
p. 430, l. 4 from bottom: For ‘an negative’ read ‘a negative’.
pp. 435–9: In regard to the ride of Gandalf and Pippin to Minas Tirith, Tolkien wrote to Elsie Honeybourne on 21 December 1967 that ‘an easing of tension was needed at the end of the “Book” (but of course provided instinctively and not by planning). To ride with Gandalf must have been like being borne by a Guardian Angel, with stern gentleness a most comforting combination to children (as we all are)’ (Bloomsbury Auctions online, sale of 24 May 2007).
p. 444, l. 11: Tom Shippey discusses ninnyhammer in his ‘History in Words: Tolkien’s Ruling Passion’, The Lord of the Rings, 1954–2004: Scholarship in Honor of Richard E. Blackwelder (2006), pp. 32–4.
p. 445, ll. 13–14: Tom Shippey makes a brief comment about noodles, relating it (as we did, through the Oxford English Dictionary) to ninnyhammer, in his ‘History in Words’ (2006), p. 33.
p. 458, ll. 4–5 from bottom: The error ‘mountains’ for ‘mountain-wall’ entered also into the Allen & Unwin and Houghton Mifflin editions. It was confirmed by Christopher Tolkien to be an unauthorized alteration, and was first corrected in 1987.
p. 459, note for That is the only way big armies can come [REVISED]: One reader (among several who have written to us on this point) has suggested that Gollum was referring to big armies opposed to Sauron, who would attack Mordor in the north rather than in the Morgul Vale. The fact remains, however, that Gollum says ‘That is the only way big armies can come’ immediately after stating that Sauron ‘will come out of the Black Gate’, the sequence of words naturally tending to the interpretation that ‘big armies’ refers back to Sauron’s forces. Another reader has suggested that the Black Gate is the only way for big armies to come out of the interior of Mordor, where they did not have to cross mountains; but this seems to us too fine a distinction for Gollum to be making. See also pp. 609–10, note for p. 928.
p. 464, l. 7 from bottom: Before the note for ‘in-falling freshet’ there should appear a paragraph heading, 651 (II: 259): Here they washed themselves.
p. 465, ll. 10, 11 from bottom: For ‘656’ read ‘657’.
p. 467, add:
661 (II: 269–70). To his astonishment
p. 661 (II: 269). Big as a house, much bigger than a house – A reference to Sam’s ‘oliphaunt’ poem earlier in the chapter (‘Grey as a mouse, / Big as a house’). Stuart D. Lee and Elizabeth Solopova have commented in The Keys of Middle-earth: Discovering Medieval Literature through the Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien (2005) that the tenth-century Aelfric of Eynsham described the elephant as ‘bigger than a house’ in his Old English homily on the Maccabees. Bestiary literature, of which Aelfric was evidently aware, tends to describe the elephant as resembling a mountain rather than a house: cf. Tolkien’s description of the Mûmak as ‘a grey-clad moving hill’.
p. 491, ll. 11, 12 from bottom: For ‘722’ read ‘723’.
p. 496, 18 from bottom: For ‘Saunders’ read ‘Sanders’.
p. 501, l. 6 from bottom: Although our gloss is correct (per the English Dialect Dictionary), it has been suggested to us that ‘nar’ is more likely a colloquial version of no, and this may be so. The usage seems to be absent from our standard, dialect, and slang dictionaries, but online sources say that it is common in the ‘Geordie’ speech of north-east England.
p. 513, l. 18 from bottom: For ‘N[úmenórean’ name]’ read ‘N[úmenórean] name)’.
p. 513, l. 4 from bottom: For ‘he case’ read ‘the case’.
p. 517, ll. 21, 22 from bottom: For ‘III: 27’ read ‘III: 28’. Line 22 from bottom: for ‘755–6’ read ‘756’.
p. 521, l. 12: In regard to daymeal, Peter Gilliver, Jeremy Marshall, and Edmund Weiner in The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary (2006), p. 101, cite the gloss of dag-mál in Cleasby and Vigfusson’s Icelandic–English Dictionary: ‘one of the divisions of the day . . . synonymous with dagverðarmál breakfast-time . . . when the ancient Icel[anders] used to take their chief meal, opposed to náttmál, night-meal or supper-time’. Tolkien, however, places the ‘daymeal’ of Gondor in the evening.
p. 523, l. 6: For ‘769’ read ‘768’.
p. 527, l. 8 from bottom: For ‘777’ read ‘776–7’.
p. 528, ll. 11, 12, 14: For ‘777’ read ‘778’.
p. 534, l. 11: For ‘he fact’ read ‘the fact’.
p. 539, l. 10 from bottom: For ‘Callanash’ read ‘Callanish’.
p. 541, l. 1: For ‘Théodon’ read ‘Théoden’.
p. 541, l. 7: For ‘Luxemburg’ read ‘Luxembourg’.
p. 541, l. 15: For ‘there independence’ read ‘their independence’.
p. 550, l. 15: For ‘Why do the fools fly?’ read ‘Why? Why do the fools fly?’.
p. 550, note for before ever a ship sailed hither from the West: Extend the boldfaced quotation as: We will burn like heathen kings before ever a ship sailed hither from the West. The gloss on heathen in our note for p. 853 (III: 129), Reader’s Companion p. 573, should appear at this point, the first use of ‘heathen’ in the story.
John R. Holmes notes in ‘“Like Heathen Kings”: Religion as Palimpsest in Tolkien’s Fiction’, The Ring and the Cross: Christianity and the Writings of J.R.R. Tolkien (2011), that ‘the word “heathen” jumps out at the reader in these two passages [new edn., pp. 825 and 853]. . . . It seems out of place in a novel in which . . . religious references are conspicuous by their absence’ (p. 119). And he comments that ‘surely a philologist as careful as Tolkien, in a work that had been as heavily revised as The Lord of the Rings, could not have been insensitive to the semantic dissonance created by the word “heathen” in the Denethor passages. He would have known that his readers would apprehend the word as an exclusively Christian term . . .’ (p. 121). Holmes follows with a discussion of the etymological associations of the word, and points out that Tolkien often used ‘common words still in circulation . . . but in contexts that subtly suggested that another, and as it turns out, older, meaning must be showing through, like the earliest inscriptions on a palimpsest’ (p. 123).
p. 562, note for dwimmerlaik: See also Peter Gilliver, Jeremy Marshall, and Edmund Weiner, The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary (2006), pp. 108–10.
p. 569, l. 9 from bottom: For ‘Sun went down at last’ read ‘Sun went at last’.
p. 571, ll. 3, 6, 9 from bottom: The boldfaced words to be glossed should be in italics, as set in the original poem.
p. 571, ll. 1–6 from bottom: The notes for ‘the South-kingdom’ and ‘Stoningland’ should be placed before that (in the middle of the page) for ‘There Théoden fell . . .’
p. 573, note for only the heathen kings . . . : Although this is the most appropriate place (i.e. p. 853 or III: 129) for our comments on suicide, we should have glossed heathen at its first use in The Lord of the Rings, p. 825 (III: 98–9): ‘We will burn like heathen kings before ever a ship sailed hither from the West.’
p. 574, ll. 19–20: For ‘August’ (three instances) read ‘March’.
p. 580, l. 20: The separate note for ‘the high tongue’ should be joined, as a separate paragraph, to the preceding note, in which the glossed words are included in the quotation, thus: The high tongue is Quenya.
p. 580, ll. 2–4 from bottom: The paragraph on ‘The Valinorean language . . .’ should follow that for ‘Rustics’.
p. 580, ll. 2–3 from bottom: In the Lambengolmor Tolkien linguistics forum, message 850, Fredrik Ström correctly commented that our gloss asëa aranion ‘leaf of kings’ is not attested in Tolkien’s writings. In message 851, however, Arden R. Smith defended this translation as an extrapolation from the gloss of athelas ‘kingsfoil’ in an unpublished etymology by Tolkien together with ‘the transparent meaning of aranion “of kings”’.
p. 581, l. 1: For ‘864’ read ‘865’.
p. 581, ll. 1–9: The note for ‘no virtue . . .’ should follow the heading ‘Your pardon lord!’.
p. 590, l. 8 from bottom: For ‘When Imrahil parted’ read ‘When the Prince Imrahil had parted’.
p. 606, ll. 2–8 after titling: Both of these notes refer to the same paragraph, and should be grouped after a single paragraph heading, of which the second here is in the fullest form. Also, the notes are reversed in order.
p. 607, l. 13: For ‘Marges’ read ‘marges’.
p. 608, final line: Jaakko Pirinen has pointed out to us, and is undoubtedly right, that here Shriekers refers to the Nazgûl.
p. 609, l. 6: For ‘remember vaguely’ read ‘remember it vaguely’.
p. 625, l. 2: For ‘954’ read ‘954–5’.
p. 625, l. 3: For ‘swords. . . . And’ read ‘swords. . . . [paragraphs:] And’.
p. 627, l. 8 after titling: For ‘permitted from rising’ read ‘permitted to rise’.
p. 633, l. 1: For ‘Guards’ read ‘guards’.
p. 634, l. 12: For ‘cessation’ read ‘cession’.
p. 644, l. 6 from bottom: For ‘Then Éowyn gave to Merry’ read ‘This is an heirloom’.
p. 653, l. 3 after titling: For ‘to’ read ‘towards’.
p. 653, ll. 16–19 after titling: The note for ‘Bree-hill’ should follow the note for ‘At length they came to Weathertop’.
p. 653–4: The note for ‘up-away’ should follow the note for ‘Pickthorn’ on p. 654.
p. 655, l. 15 after titling: In the Lambengolmor Tolkien linguistics forum, message 844, Fredrik Ström queried our comment ‘See also note for p. 107’, suggesting that ‘p. 10’ (i.e. our note on hayward) was meant instead. Although too much time has now passed to be sure, we are inclined to think that we did mean ‘p. 107’, referring to our mention of guards at the Hay Gate. This query does point, unfortunately, to a regrettable duplication of comments on hayward on RC:35 and RC:655. The first note was written early in the project and forgotten 620 pages later.
p. 659, l. 11 from bottom: For ‘getting under cover’ read ‘“getting under cover”’.
p. 662, ll. 3–5 from bottom: The note for ‘All the chestnuts were gone’ should follow the note for ‘tarred sheds’.
p. 666, l. 4: Add to the note: Shale is the shell or outer covering of the nut.
p. 667, l. 5: For ‘So it was settled’ read ‘And so it was settled’.
p. 674, l. 7: For ‘a narrow inlet of the sea’ read ‘an inlet of the sea or estuary’.
p. 691, add following the heading for 1041, n. 1:
1041, n. 1 (III: 321, n. 1). This note should be enclosed within quotation marks, to indicate that it is an extract from ‘longer annals and tales’.
See The Lord of the Rings, p. 1033, and our online addendum for p. 1041 in The Lord of the Rings 50th anniversary edition.
In the first edition of The Lord of the Rings, only one footnote (but substantial parts of the text proper) in Appendix A appeared within quotation marks. When Tolkien revised his text for the 1965 Ballantine Books second edition, he added quotation marks around seven other footnotes; and as Christopher Tolkien has informed us that his father added the quotation marks to the same footnotes in a personal copy of the Allen & Unwin Return of the King, there is no question that Tolkien meant them to be included. When in 1966 Allen & Unwin came to revise their standard hardback edition, Tolkien’s original copy for the Ballantine revisions had been lost, and the Ballantine setting became the default copy-text for the Appendices. But either the typesetters overlooked the added quotation marks, or they compared the copy-text with the first edition setting and omitted the quotation marks in error; and in the process, they also deleted the quotation marks that had been present in the setting of 1955. Moreover, we have found in the Tolkien papers at Marquette University that the footnotes were not in quotation marks as the text approached its final form and was sent to the printers. In the first proof, Tolkien added quotation marks to the note beginning ‘The sceptre . . .’ – the one note to have quotation marks in the first edition – but only to this note. And very curiously, in another proof, the note was marked to have quotation marks added, but those proofreading marks were then struck through. We can only think that the footnotes did not receive close attention as the writing and production of the Appendices proceeded in fits and starts in 1954 and 1955, with not a little confusion over available space and with Tolkien under pressure from Allen & Unwin to complete the final volume of his work.
p. 691, between ll. 3 and 4 from bottom, add:
1042, n. 1 (III: 322, n. 1): In this way the ring
1042, n. 1 (III: 322, n. 1). This note should be enclosed within quotation marks, to indicate that it is an extract from ‘longer annals and tales’.
p. 691, l. 6 from bottom: For ‘1042, n. 1 (III: 322, n. 2): These were the Stones’ read ‘1042, n. 2 (III: 322, n. 2): These were the Stones’. Add following this corrected heading:
1042, n. 2 (III: 322, n. 2). This note should be enclosed within quotation marks, to indicate that it is an extract from ‘longer annals and tales’.
p. 691, l. 5 from bottom: For ‘1042, n. 1’ read ‘1042, n. 2’.
p. 694, note for the Tower of the Dome of Osgiliath: One reader takes issue with our statement that ‘domes (as a matter of engineering) cannot have towers’, pointing out that some domes have cupolas (evidently taking cupola by its broad definition as an ornamental structure atop a dome or roof). He also observes that some cathedrals (for instance) have bell towers separate from the main building. None of this, however, makes the phrase ‘Tower of the Dome of Osgiliath’ less curious or provides, to us, an adequate explanation.
p. 695, between ll. 2 and 3 from bottom, add:
1050, n. 1 (III: 330, n. 1): That law was made
1050, n. 1 (III: 330, n. 1). This note should be enclosed within quotation marks, to indicate that it is an extract from ‘longer annals and tales’.
p. 698, note for he became a friend of Gandalf . . . : For a lengthy discussion of Gandalf in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings relative to Merlin in Arthurian tales, see Frank P. Riga, ‘Gandalf and Merlin: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Adoption and Transformation of a Literary Tradition’, Mythlore 27, nos. 1/2, whole nos. 103/104 (Fall/Winter 2008). The subject is also considered by Carl Phelpstead in Tolkien and Wales: Language, Literature and Identity (2011), pp. 81–5.
p. 702, ll. 8-17: In Amon Hen 199 (May 2006), p. 25, Helen Armstrong suggests that we quibble too much over Arwen’s phrase ‘There is now no ship that would bear me hence’: ‘Had Arwen been able to cross the Sea, she could have done so then, never mind the Havens. It seems likely from this and other context . . . that Arwen could not sail, will she or nill she.’ This may be so.
p. 702, l. 12 from bottom: The inner quotation marks are reversed in orientation.
p. 705, between ll. 12 and 13, add:
1070, n. 1 (III: 351, n. 1): For her shield-arm
1070, n. 1 (III: 351, n. 1). This note should be enclosed within quotation marks, to indicate that it is an extract from ‘longer annals and tales’.
p. 707, between ll. 6 and 7, add:
1074, n. 1 (III: 355, n. 1): It is said that Thorin’s shield
1074, n. 1 (III: 355, n. 1). This note should be enclosed within quotation marks, to indicate that it is an extract from ‘longer annals and tales’.
p. 707, between ll. 18 and 19, add:
1076, n. 1 (III: 357, n. 1): Such dealings with their dead
1076, n. 1 (III: 357, n. 1). This note should be enclosed within quotation marks, to indicate that it is an extract from ‘longer annals and tales’.
pp. 713, ll. 9–10 from bottom: The paragraph heading (When maybe a thousand) and associated note for p. 1084 should be placed on p. 714, immediately before the paragraph heading for p. 1085 (Throughout the Third Age).
p. 723, add as the first notes on the page:
1099 (III: 379). [Note on family trees] – One might usefully add to Tolkien’s note that the family trees follow the convention of placing in square brackets the names of descendants whose surname differs from that of the main line: in the Baggins family tree (p. 1100), for instance, the names of Odo, Olo, and Sancho Proudfoot are so marked, to indicate a divergent line from the marriage of Linda Baggins to Bodo Proudfoot.
1100 (III: 380). [Baggins family tree] – Here the name of Prisca Baggins, daughter of Polo Baggins and wife of Wilibald Bolger, has been underlined, though she was not so marked in previous editions. Tolkien indicated that she was a guest at Bilbo’s party, along with her children Wilimar, Heribald, and Nora, in his manuscript Bolger genealogy, and thus these names are underlined in the Bolger family tree (p. 1101). Christopher Tolkien comments in Peoples of Middle-earth, p. 94, that Prisca ‘was 95 [at the time of the party], but Frodo’s still more ancient aunt Dora was present at the age of ninety-nine’.
p. 723, l. 1 from bottom: For ‘for lack of space’ read (to be scrupulously correct) ‘evidently for lack of space’. That is almost certainly the reason for the omission, however, conveyed strongly in the correspondence of May 1955 between Tolkien and Allen & Unwin. The text of the Appendices runs almost to the end of the final page of the final gathering of the volume, with barely more than an inch of blank space remaining, and publication of The Return of the King was already delayed, with copies urgently wanted. If the Bolger and Boffin family trees had been included in the original edition, either Tolkien would have had to reduce the text by two pages, no doubt a difficult proposition under the press of time, or Allen & Unwin would have had to allow an extra gathering, which may not have been possible (for economic or practical reasons, or both), as it does not seem to have been considered.
p. 724, penultimate entry: Tolkien noted in one of his check copies of The Lord of the Rings that he had told a correspondent in 1965: ‘I believe he married a sister of Fredegar Bolger of the Bolgers of Budgeford’ (The Peoples of Middle-earth, p. 117).
p. 724, final entry: We have been reminded that Fíriel, a daughter of Elanor (daughter of Samwise), is mentioned in note 2 to the preface to The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book (1962). Her name, Tolkien says, if connected with the poem Fíriel, ‘must be derived from it; it could not have arisen in Westmarch’.
p. 728, l. 11 from bottom: For ‘more that two’ read ‘more than two’.
p. 730, ll. 1–6 from bottom–p. 731 through ‘safely refers to both locations’: These notes and associated paragraph headings are reversed in order.
p. 739: Add before sub-section ‘On Translation’:
1132 (III: 410): They are a tough, thrawn race
1132 (III: 410). thrawn – In this context, thrawn means ‘obstinate, ill-tempered’. Compare ‘thrawn trees’, note for p. 392.
p. 798, l. 11: For ‘> That–glass’ (with an en dash) read ‘> That—glass’ (with an em dash).
p. 802, l. 10 from bottom: For ‘midsummer’ read ‘mid-summer’.
p. 803, l. 8 from bottom: The single quotation mark before ‘That’ should be inverted.
p. 806, l. 2: For ‘Cermië, Urimë’ read ‘Cermië, Úrimë’ (adding an acute accent to the second name).
p. 806, ll. 21–2: The second ŋ in l. 21 appears to have been set boldface; it should be normal weight. For ‘ŋ is used for ng in sing’ read ‘ŋ is used for ng in sing’.
p. 807, l. 5: Add another textual change at the beginning of the note in square brackets: ‘Númenorean’ > ‘Númenórean’.
p. 808, ll. 13–14: This note, incorrect in different ways in both editions of RC, should read: ‘I think – No, I will not say,’ > ‘I think—No, I will not say,’ [en dash > em dash, to better indicate pause].
p. 809, l. 15: For ‘past his full’ read ‘past his full,’ (with a comma).
p. 811, l. 6: For ‘elenÁtri’ read ‘elentÁri’.
p. 826, l. 20 from bottom: For ‘Place-Name’ read ‘Place-name’.
p. 832, col. 1, entry for ‘Aman’, l. 5: For ‘175’ read ‘176’.
p. 833, col. 1, entry for ‘Anórien’: ll. 2, 4, for ‘541’ read ‘542’.
p. 835, col. 1, l. 8 from bottom: For ‘Backarraper’ read ‘Backarapper’.
p. 841, col. 2, entry for ‘Celebdil’, l. 3: For ‘compared to the Jungfrau’ read ‘compared to the Silberhorn’.
p. 842, col. 2, entry for ‘Cirion’: Add reference to p. 541.
p. 843, col. 2, entry for ‘Concise Oxford English Dictionary’: For ‘152, 152’ read ‘152, 153’.
p. 844, col. 2, entry for ‘Dead Marshes’: For ‘230’ read ‘231’.
p. 848, col. 2, entry for ‘Eldar: Noldor’: Add, in first sequence of numbers, reference to p. 176.
p. 851, col. 1, entry for ‘Eorl the Young’: Add reference to p. 541 to first sequence of numbers, and to subheading ‘Oath of’.
p. 854, col. 1, entry for ‘First World War’: Add subheading: ‘Great Britain, treaty obligations in 540–1’.
p. 859, col. 2, entry for ‘Gregorian Calendar’: For ‘lxvii–l’ read ‘xlvii–l’.
p. 860, col. 1, add reference: ‘Greyhame (earlier Grayhame) 369’.
p. 860, col. 1, l. 5: For ‘Grimá’ read ‘Gríma’.
p. 861, col. 1: For ‘Haysend lix, 16’ read ‘Haysend lix, 116’.
p. 865, col. 1, entry for Jordanes, De Origine Actibusque Getarum (Gothic History), l. 2: For ‘453, 642, 563’ read ‘453, 563, 642’.
p. 865, col. 1, entry for ‘Jungfrau’: Delete ‘and Celebdil’.
p. 871, col. 1, entry for ‘Moon(s)’, l. 6: For ‘26’ read ‘261’.
p. 873, col. 1, entry for ‘Nazgûl (Ringwraiths)’, l. 13: For ‘543’ read ‘543–4’.
p. 875, col. 1: Add cross-reference: Old Man Willow (character) see Willow, Old Man.
p. 878, col. 1, entry for ‘Rammas Echor’: Add reference to p. 542.
p. 880, col. 2, entry for ‘Rohan’: l. 5, add reference to p. 542; l. 16, for ‘541’ read ‘540’.
p. 883, col. 1, entry for ‘Second World War’: Add subheading: ‘Great Britain, treaty obligations in 540–1’.
p. 884, col. 1: For ‘Shirebourn lix, lviii’ read ‘Shirebourn lviii, lix’.
p. 884, col. 2, add entry: ‘Silberhorn 267’.
p. 887, col. 2, entry for ‘Théoden’: Add reference to p. 541.
p. 892, col. 1, entry for ‘War, and Tolkien’: For ‘lxxvii–lxviii’ read ‘lxxvii–lxxviii’.
p. 893, col. 2: Add cross-reference: ‘World War see First World War; Second World War’.
For both this page and our earlier list, we are indebted to Magnus Åberg, Chris Anderson, Helen Armstrong, Rodrigo Bergamaschi de Azevedo, David Bratman, Marjorie Burns, Pieter Collier, David ‘Hisilome’, Merlin DeTardo, Kevin P. Edgecomb, Timothy Fisher, Troels Forchhammer, John Garth, David Giraudeau, Jay Hershberger, David Kiltz, Yuval Kfir, Krzysztof Kêdzierski, Joe Kraemer, Christopher Kreuzer, ‘Lalaith’, Oliver Loo, Brian P. Maxwell, Erik Mueller-Harder, Johan Olin, Zoran Pajic, Jaakko Pirinen, Alan Reynolds, Helios De Rosario Martínez, Laura Schmidt, Manuel Schnell, ‘sevilodorf2’, Michael Spencer, Fredrik Ström, ‘Thaliorne’, Petri S. Tikka, Angela Wagner (‘Nielíqui Erurén’), Tony Wearing, Julian Wilson, and Danny Zumbrun for calling some of these points to our attention.