->''"How, given little over half a century of work, did one man become the creative equivalent of a people?"''
-->-- '''The Guardian''', concerning ''Literature/TheSilmarillion''

John Ronald [[OddNameOut Reuel]] Tolkien (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973). English linguist (born in Bloemfontein, South Africa), university professor (Leeds and Oxford), Anglo-Saxon historian, [[UsefulNotes/KnightFever CBE]], and writer. The man who brought HighFantasy (and, it could be argued, literary SpeculativeFiction as a whole) to the modern public. He is mainly known for his tales of "Middle-earth", most famously ''Literature/TheHobbit'' and its sequel ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''.

Most of his fiction in this setting has been published posthumously, despite most of it being written earlier than his most well-known books. The myth cycle called ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' - which Tolkien considered his "main" work, with the other two books as just spinoffs, yet never completed to his satisfaction - was edited from decades' worth of manuscripts to form a consistent narrative. Later books published over the years have instead presented his concepts and stories as they evolved, along with editorial commentaries. ''Literature/TheChildrenOfHurin'' is an exception, a standalone narrative expanding on one of the ''Silmarillion'' stories.

Tolkien had somewhat of a troubled background. His father died when he was just three years old, soon after his mother had brought their family to England, and there they stayed for good. His mother struggled to raise them alone, as she was ostracized by her family after becoming Roman Catholic in order to marry Tolkien's father. This deeply affected Tolkien, who remained a devout Catholic for life. He was also deeply affected by the countryside where he grew up in relative poverty, and later with the contrast it made with the industrial towns where he studied. When he was 12, his mother died and a Catholic priest became his legal guardian, though he lived with relatives and in boarding houses. In one such boarding house he met his future wife, and his priest guardian forbade the relationship until he was of legal age. They were finally married during World War I shortly before he was shipped off. He contracted severe trench fever and was shipped home, which probably saved his life as the war claimed all but one of his friends at the time. He began the first versions of his Middle-earth stories in his sickbed.

Exactly how many languages Tolkien knew is up for debate. He spoke at least German fluently, and had reading comprehension of up to a dozen more (including extinct languages like Latin, Middle English, Old English, and Old Norse). He even [[{{Conlang}} made up a few of his own.]] Let's just say there aren't many authors who kept interfering with the foreign translations of their books (correctly, see for instance the article on translator Creator/AkeOhlmarks) to point out how the translators aren't translating things properly into ''their native languages''...

He was a friend of fellow academic and writer Creator/CSLewis, who he met after the war. At Oxford, Tolkien, Lewis, Creator/CharlesWilliams and others formed an clique called UsefulNotes/TheInklings; they would meet at pubs and discuss their writings with each other.

'''[[Franchise/TolkiensLegendarium Tolkien's Legendarium]]'''

The collective term for all the stories about the world of Middle-earth (not actually the world's name, but the name of a super-continent in a world generally referred to as "Arda" by the peoples therein; it is used here for convenience's sake, being the name far better known to the general reader).

The earliest drafts of the great stories of the legendarium were written around the time of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, and continued to grow from there on. Tolkien worked on the legendarium for most of his life, continually exploring it further, developing and changing it again and again.

The first book published, ''The Hobbit'', actually wasn't intended as part of the legendarium, only to borrow some material. When Tolkien began writing the ''Hobbit''-sequel that was to become ''The Lord of the Rings'', he moved the story of both books into the Middle-earth setting. This fact is responsible for the seeming inconsistencies in tone and canon between ''The Hobbit'' and the other Middle-earth works; this is often mistaken for the world and story having matured up by those who [[OlderThanTheyThink do not know it existed before]]. He also made some minor changes in a later edition of ''The Hobbit'' to match better with ''The Lord of the Rings'', while also providing an in-universe justification for the original discrepancies in the latter.

The Middle-earth books are:
* ''Literature/TheHobbit'' (1937)
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' (originally published in three volumes, 1954-1955)
* ''The Adventures of Tom Bombadil'' (collection of "in-universe" poetry, 1962)
* ''The Road Goes Ever On'' (collection of "in-universe" music, 1967)
* ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' (1977)
* ''Literature/UnfinishedTalesOfNumenorAndMiddleEarth'' (1980)
* ''Literature/TheHistoryOfMiddleEarth'' (12 volumes, 1983-1996)
* ''Literature/TheChildrenOfHurin'' (2007)
* ''The History of The Hobbit'' (2 volumes, 2007)
* ''Beren and Lúthien'' (2017)
* ''The Fall of Gondolin'' (announced for 2018)

Only the first four were published during his lifetime; the rest were published posthumously by his son and literary executor Christopher, except ''The History of The Hobbit'' which was handled by John Rateliff. Of these, ''The Silmarillion'' and ''The Children of Húrin'' consist of a single cohesive narrative edited together from Tolkien's texts, while the rest are collections of Tolkien's material (with commentaries and notes), ranging from complete narratives to early and new drafts, to essays and small fragments.

Additionally, there are several titles used for collective bodies of stories (which are used in the fictional world, and also real-world terms to include all relevant material independently of published books): the "Ainulindalë" and "Valaquenta" (the creation of the world), the (''Quenta'') ''Silmarillion'' (the First Age), and the "Akallabêth" (History and Downfall of Númenor in the Second Age).

'''Other works'''

His other works include several shorter tales (including several written for his children) and his academic writings, some published posthumously. Among these works are:
* "''Beowulf'': The Monsters and the Critics": This lecture redefined the importance of ''Literature/{{Beowulf}}'' as a poem, rather than "a relic of the past". Tolkien himself also translated the poem for personal use, in prose and later in alliterative verse. Only snippets of the alliterative version have been published, but the prose version was released in full in May, 2014 with several notes on the text from his lectures along with ''Sellic Spell'', a sort of thought experiment by Tolkien to show what the original legend of Beowulf may have looked like without the historical elements.
* "Literature/OnFairyStories": 1939 essay discussing fairy tales as a genre.
* "A Secret Vice": lecture and essay discussing the creation of languages for purely artistic purposes. ([[https://folk.uib.no/hnohf/vice.htm More on "A Secret Vice" here.]])
* ''Literature/FarmerGilesOfHam''
* ''Literature/TheFatherChristmasLetters''
* ''Literature/LeafByNiggle'': a haunting parable of his own creative process.
* ''The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún'': Unfinished retelling of the Norse ''Literature/SagaOfTheVolsungs''.
* ''Mr. Bliss''
* ''Literature/{{Roverandom}}''
* ''Literature/SmithOfWoottonMajor''
* Translations of medieval Old and Middle English literature, including the best-known modern versions of ''Literature/SirGawainAndTheGreenKnight'', ''Pearl'' and ''Sir Orfeo''.
* ''The Fall of Arthur'': An unfinished poem of KingArthur's downfall.
* ''The Story of Kullervo'': A short story retelling the Finnish legend that was a major source of inspiration for ''The Children of Hurin''.
* ''The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun'': A poem about a childless lord and a treacherous fairy ("the Corrigan"), in the style of a Breton lay.

The collected ''Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien'' are a valuable source of information, both regarding Middle-earth and his personal life and views. Tolkien also aided in compiling the ''Oxford English Dictionary'', and worked on the Jerusalem Bible, a respected Roman Catholic translation.

His greatest fiction was based on his linguistic research and invention. His work on this subject filled well over a dozen volumes.

He ended at #92 in ''Series/OneHundredGreatestBritons''.

[[http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/06/tolkien-snubbed-by-nobel-prize-jury-papers-reveal/?_r=0 Recently disclosed documents]] revealed that C. S. Lewis nominated Tolkien for the UsefulNotes/NobelPrizeInLiterature, but the committee [[AwardSnub rejected him]] on the grounds that his prose "has not in any way measured up to storytelling of the highest quality." Make of that what you will.

Lewis also loosely based the lead of his ''Literature/SpaceTrilogy'', Dr. Elwin Ransom, on Tolkien (''Elwin'' being a modern form of Anglo-Saxon ''[=Æ=]lfwine'', [[MeaningfulName "Elf-friend"]]). Since his death, he has also appeared as a HistoricalDomainCharacter in a few fictional works like ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfTheImaginariumGeographica'' and ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow''. Creator/NicholasHoult is playing him in a biopic focusing on his university student and World War I years, alongside Creator/LilyCollins as his future wife Edith Bratt.

Think you'd like to have a legacy like this guy's? Start [[SoYouWantTo/BeTheNextJRRTolkien here]]!
%% Zero Context Examples have been commented out. Please write up a proper example before uncommenting.
* AllThereInTheManual:
** The Appendices made up nearly half of ''The Return of the King''.
** ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' is basically the manual for both Literature/TheHobbit and Literature/TheLordOfTheRings
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: Tolkien himself was troubled by the UnfortunateImplications,[[note]]whether modern-day concerns about racist implications were present as well, his specific concern was that as a practicing Catholic, he found it distasteful in the extreme to write in a race that was barred from any hope of redemption or salvation by the dint of merely being born[[/note]] but having evil creatures warped by the Dark Lords was essential to the narratives he'd constructed. He never found a satisfactory explanation of what orcs were corrupted from and how they could ''all'' be evil. To his credit, he managed to give each Orc that had a name a unique if still evil personality, and Elrond mentions that ''all living beings save for elves'' were found on both sides in the final battle against Sauron. This presumably includes Orcs and trolls.
** Sometimes after the publication, [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep the Professor]] admitted [[CaptainObvious miserable living conditions turn people evil]], based on his UsefulNotes/WorldWarI experience.
-->'''J.R.R. Tolkien''': ''We were all Orcs in the Great War''.
* ArtifactOfDoom: The One Ring and the Nine Rings.
* ArtistDisillusionment: Although Tolkien's works were huge with the Counterculture of TheSixties, he cared very, VERY little for the numerous fans he came in contact with and who [[MisaimedFandom considered his works as representative of said movement]].
* AttentionDeficitCreatorDisorder: Not so much because there were too many projects, but because Tolkien was a perfectionist and had a day job as a university professor. Christopher Tolkien is ''still'' publishing the works never released in his father's lifetime.
** He also famously wrote the opening lines for Literature/TheHobbit in an examination booklet while grading tests.
* AuthorAppeal:
** In case you missed it, Tolkien likes linguistics, trees, music, Myth/NorseMythology, and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edith_Tolkien dark-haired grey-eyed women.]]
** A Traditionalist Catholic, Tolkien regarded his work as representative of his faith.
* AuthorAvatar: WordOfGod points to [[Literature/TheSilmarillion Beren]] and [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Faramir.]]
** Likewise, Lúthien was based on his wife.
* AuthorPhobia:
** Tolkien was bitten by a [[http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baboon_spider poisonous spider]] when he was a toddler in South Africa and narrowly escaped death. Many of his works feature giant, malevolent arachnids, including the spiders of Mirkwood, Shelob, and Ungoliant. Nontheless he claimed he had nothing conscious against spiders, routinely jarring and rehoming those he found in the bathtub, but used them that way because one of his sons is arachnophobic. (There was one upside to this event: the doctor that treated him is theorised to have been the basis of [[BigGood Gandalf]].)
** Tolkien credits his survival immediately following the spider bite to his black nanny, who snatched him up and sucked out the poison.
* BadassSanta: Father Christmas
* BecameTheirOwnAntithesis: He used this trope to show to which extent corruption could change people, when related with power.
* BittersweetEnding: Half of the endings. The other half are just [[DownerEnding just plain depressing]].
* BlackSpeech: ''The Lord of the Rings'' is the TropeNamer.
%%* BlessedWithSuck
* BlowingSmokeRings: Creator/JRRTolkien was apparently [[http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/tolkien23345.gif pretty good at blowing smoke rings]], a talent he gave to Gandalf and several other [=LoTR=] characters.
* BringNewsBack: As described in the extended account of the disaster of Gladden Fields.
%%* ButNowIMustGo
* CanonWelding: Up until after beginning to write ''The Hobbit'', Tolkien considered the mythology of ''Literature/TheBookOfLostTales'' and ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' as a completely separate project. Only while writing that book he picked up the idea that Bilbo's quest took place in the same world as the War of the Silmarils. The ''Lord of the Rings'' first dubbed this world "Middle-earth" and furthermore integrated Tom Bombadil, another unconnected character invented much earlier.
* CashCowFranchise: With all of the books about Middle-earth out, along with two movie trilogies, and several games and tons of merchandise mostly based on the movies, quite a bit of money has been made on Tolkien's world. Most of it, based on the movies, has ''not'' gone to Tolkien's estate or heirs, who actually had to take New Line to court to get even a small percentage. Christopher Tolkien is extremely bitter and sarcastic about this commodification of his father's immense contribution to world culture, which to him was once just bedtime stories told to entertain. (It's not just about the money, however - Christopher feels that the movies "removed the essence" of his father's stories, rather literally translated as [[http://www.worldcrunch.com/culture-society/my-father-039-s-quot-eviscerated-quot-work-son-of-hobbit-scribe-j.r.r.-tolkien-finally-speaks-out/hobbit-silmarillion-lord-of-rings/c3s10299/#.UO0bZonjlQr "eviscerated"]] but the French he used is more subtle).
* CastsNoShadow: The man in the poem "Shadow Bride."
** Inverted by ''Literature/TheHobbit'', where an invisible Bilbo still casts a faint shadow.
* CleverCrows: Often show up as symbolic birds -- crows are generally a bad omen, though ravens are good guys (and can talk) in ''The Hobbit''.
* CloudCuckoolander: He could come across as this at times. Among other things, he once chased a neighbor with an axe while dressed as a Saxon warrior, and he and C.S. Lewis went to a (non-costume) party dressed as bears. He also had a habit of trolling his students, and as one later said, he "could turn any lecture theater into a mead hall." Part of his courtship with his future wife consisted of sitting on the second-floor balcony of a tea shop and throwing sugar lumps into the hats of passersby below (when the sugar bowl was empty, they moved to another table, and kept going).
* ConLang: How many he made depends on where you draw the line between them, and what counts as "a language" vs. "a few words," but the number is large. [[http://folk.uib.no/hnohf/howmany.htm See here]] for an essay discussing just how many. His academic paper [[http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/vice.htm "A Secret Vice"]] discusses the use of ConLang as an art form, which hadn't been seriously studied before then. He also claimed his writings about Middle-earth were "primarily linguistic in inspiration."
* ConstructedWorld: Arda, the world containing Middle-Earth and the Blessed Realm.
%%* TheCorruption
* CreationMyth: ''The Silmarillion'' begins with one, called "Ainulindalë", or "The Music (literally "singing") of the Ainur". The Ainur are basically the equivalent of the angels in Christianity.
* CrypticBackgroundReference: ''The Lord of the Rings'' is full of these, an ''The Hobbit'' has a fair few as well. Until you read ''The Silmarillion'', they might be totally opaque. Many do refer to things Tolkien fleshed out somewhere, though some are entirely mysterious despite all the posthumous publications.
* CueTheSun: The first rising of the newly-created sun in the west, after the outer world had lain in darkness for eons, is described with great drama, and suitably frightens the evil forces of the Dark Lord. In later events, especially when dealing with trolls as in ''The Hobbit'', the timely arrival of the sun can be dramatic and very welcome.
* DeadpanSnarker: Showed signs of this. For example, when writing about a potential ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' screenplay that would have messed everything up, he had the following comment about the Bridge of Khazad-Dûm:
-->''Z[immerman] may think he knows more about Balrogs than I do, but he cannot expect me to agree with him.
* DearNegativeReader: In his introduction to the second edition of ''The Lord of the Rings'':
--> Some who have read the book, [[TakeThatCritics or at any rate have reviewed it]], have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible, and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works, or of the kinds of writing that they evidently prefer.
* {{Determinator}}: Tolkien was positively in love with this Trope; nearly every protagonist in his books is an indefatigable force for Good who refuses to give up no matter what the odds. [[spoiler: And most of the time they succeed.]] To a degree the Professor himself was one: a shell-shocked war veteran who had already gone to great lengths to win his One True Love.
* DevelopmentHell: Tolkien wrote ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' for over ''fifty'' years. And even then, it wasn't published until after his death.
* DoingItForTheArt: He wrote his books for his own pleasure and because he wanted to read the kind of books that he would like. He never thought that people would like his stories, let alone his fabricated languages.
* {{Doorstopper}}: ''The Lord of the Rings'' isn't a trilogy, it's a single book too large for most publishers to bind in a single volume. When you add ''The Hobbit'' and all the posthumously published material on top, Middle-Earth will fill a whole shelf of a bookcase.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: He wrote and illustrated the humorous story of ''Mr. Bliss'', based on his own driving mishaps. Reputedly the Professor was a poor yet brave driver whose creed was "Charge 'em and they scatter!" Later he turned against automobiles because internal combustion engines were killing the environment. He literally said "all the world is dying" from their use. Dude was ''way'' ahead of his time. He gave up driving altogether and turned to cycling.
* DubNameChange: He was deeply annoyed when the first translations of his works altered names from his carefully [[ConLang constructed languages]] haphazardly, in particular the Swedish translation that retitled ''Literature/TheHobbit'' as.... '''''[[{{Narm}} Hompen]]'''''. To prevent this happening again he wrote detailed translation guides for other languages.
* EasterEgg: All of Tolkien's works about Middle-earth, as well as the many volumes of unpublished works edited by his son, have inscriptions (usually on the title page) that can be transliterated from his fictional alphabets.
* EldritchAbomination:
** Ungoliant in ''The Silmarillion''. She's some sort of gigantic, light-devouring, shadow-belching, vaguely spider-shaped ''thing''. She might be a FallenAngel, maybe, or she might be something that crawled out of the Void at the dawn of time. Or something. Nobody knows! At least she's dead now... we think. Probably.
** The "watcher of the water" in ''The Lord of the Rings'' -- nobody, not even Gandalf, has a clue what it is.
** "Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. [[TimeAbyss They are older than he]]. Now I have walked there, but I will bring no report to darken the light of day." *shudder* That is all we ever learn of them.
* EndOfAnAge:
** ''The Silmarillion'' ends with the utter destruction of Angband... and Beleriand. All Elven Kingdoms and two Dwarf Realms disappeared forever, and most of the elves that survived the War of the Jewels sailed for Valinor.
** ''The Lord Of The Rings'' ends up with the end of the domain of the Elves and the beginning of the Age of the Men. The High Elves left Middle Earth forever. The knowledge and lore of the Ancient World became lost, and gradually the last remnants of that world disappeared and were forgotten altogether.
* TheEveryman: Hobbits, who also double as the AudienceSurrogate in a world of mighty wizards and brave warriors.
%% * EvilCannotComprehendGood: Invoked.
* EvilIsDeathlyCold: Flip-flopped. Morgoth turned the northern arctic region freezing cold by delving his evil underground lairs there: the Nazgul, too, seem to induce or prefer cold and have an explicit fear of fire. On the other hand, certain other evil entities, such as Balrogs and Dragons, are closely affiliated with deadly ''heat.''
* EvilOverlord: Morgoth, Sauron, Saruman, etc.
* EvilTowerOfOminousness: Sauron's Barad-dûr.
** Also Thangorodrim, a pair made by Sauron's predecessor/boss Morgoth/Melkor.
** [[Film/TheTwoTowers The second film]] seemed to interpret Orthanc as this.
%%* EvilWeapon
* ExploringTheEvilLair: In ''The Lord of the Rings'' and ''The Hobbit''.
* TheFairFolk:
** Tolkien's treatment of the High Elves was a reaction to the way elves were dealt with in contemporary fiction -- either as this or as childish fairies. In Tolkien only ignorant Men like Boromir regard Elves as TheFairFolk. However, Tolkien's conception then [[FollowTheLeader caught on among later fantasy writers]] and in the end people like Creator/TerryPratchett reacted in turn back towards TheFairFolk.
** Fair Folk like traits do occur in some of the lesser known works, notably the Lingerers (elves who stayed on Earth and whose spirit burned up most of their body) and the Unbodied (ghosts of elves who refused to stand judgement before Mandos). The first are good but mysterious, and the second are dangerous and sometimes evil (including doing things like trying to steal the bodies of mortals so they can have their own.
* FairyTale: In the lecture/essay "Literature/OnFairyStories", Tolkien put forth his view on the genre of fairy tale.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture:
** With the exception of the Shire itself, which was modeled on the idealized 19th-century English countryside, the cultures of Middle-Earth are roughly equivalent to those of Dark Age Europe based on political situations and cultural aspects.
** The political situation of Gondor and Arnor may remind one of Byzantium and Rome, who faced threats from the East (Huns, Ottomans, etc.) at various times in their history. Strangely, when Tolkien was asked about this comparison, he said that he regarded Gondor as being closer to AncientEgypt.
** Arnor in its decline also invokes the Carolingian Empire. Its final fate, being divided into three squabbling lesser kingdoms, mirrors what happened to Charlemagne's empire after his death.
** Gondor was a direct descendant of Númenor, whose culture sounds Punic. The fact they were bilingual (speaking both a Semitic-like Adûnaic language and Elvish Sindarin), were a seafaring people, and worshipped an evil god named originally Melkor ("He who arises in might") match Ancient Carthage: speaker of both Punic and Greek, seafaring, worshipped a powerful and occasionally evil god who demanded human sacrifices and was named ''Melqart'' (an elision of ''Milk-Qart'', "King of the City").[[note]]It is important to note that the Punic Melkart was one god among many, the sacrifices were mostly conducted in times of crisis, and the people sacrificed were the small children of the ruling nobles as a token of shared sacrifice--like Rome, Carthage was an aristocratic republic, but unlike Rome, it didn't have an elaborate set of institutions formalizing relations among them. This made it important to emphasize the shared sacrifice in dangerous times.[[/note]]
** Umbar is a more direct equivalent of Carthage: a maritime power of Númenórean descent locked in a bitter rivalry with Arnor and Gondor. As the Third Age goes on, the Umbar-Gondor rivalry almost mirrors that of Venice and Byzantium. Castamir the Usurper's takeover of Gondor with the help of Umbar has some similarities to the Venice-led Sack of Constantinople in the 13th Century.
** The Rohirrim have aspects of Anglo-Saxon culture, and have been compared to Vikings that rode horses rather than ships. Their Eotheod ancestors are based on the then-perception of Goths as a people of Germanic horse-warriors. The Rohirrim military is still this while their language has developed into the later Germanic language of Anglo-Saxon. The fact they had been a people of warrior-peasants whose entire culture ran around the horse and who lived on ''plains'' (as opposed to the hilly landscape of the British Isles) also makes them comparable 16th-19th century Russian UsefulNotes/{{Cossacks}}, and to the Mongol and Plains Indian peoples.
** The Southrons are a vague, nonspecific representation of African peoples, as in the medieval writings Tolkien emulated, which always spoke of these in exotic terms. Similarly, the Easterlings are a vague representation of nomadic peoples from the East (i.e. Huns, Tartars, Mongols). However, the Easterlings of Khand are called Variags, a term used for Viking mercenaries in Constantinople. Also [[OurOrcsAreDifferent Orcs]] were said by Tolkien in his Letter No. 210 to be a degraded and repulsive version of the Mongol invaders from the past.
** The Dwarvish language is inspired by Semitic languages and their displacement throughout Middle-Earth draws comparisons with the Jewish diaspora, but the Dwarvish culture resembles more that of Early Middle Ages Germanic peoples: metalworkers, builders, axe-armed.
** Note that the languages he based his invented languages on do not necessarily determine the cultural equivalence of the people who use them. Sindarin was based on Welsh, and Quenya on Finnish, but Grey Elves aren't Welsh, and High Elves aren't Finns.
* FantasyPantheon: The Valar resemble Norse deities in a lot of ways, though they are in fact a CouncilOfAngels, and the usually avoid interfering directly in most events, since when they do ''continents'' tend to blow up or sink.
* FantasyWorldMap: Tolkien started making these for Middle-Earth not long after he started writing the stories.
%%* FireForgedFriends
%%* FiveRaces
* FranchiseZombie: As explained above, ''The Lord of the Rings'' came into existence only because the publishers wanted a sequel for the immensely popular ''Hobbit'' while Tolkien was more interested in working on his legendarium. Tolkien avoided the negative effects of this trope by incorporating both ''LOTR'' and ''The Hobbit'' into his mythos that was part of the (then unpublished) ''Silmarillion''.
* FurAgainstFang: Both races -vampires and werewolves- work for the same masters -Dark Lords Morgoth and Sauron-, but [[TeethClenchedTeamwork they can not stand each other]]. Werewolves despised vampires, considering them “rats with wings” and vampires regarded wolves like big bullies. It is not so evident in ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', but when you read the ''[[Literature/HistoryOfMiddleEarth Lay of Beren and Lúthien]]'' and the meeting with [[SavageWolves Carcharoth]], the text makes clear that Carcharoth is shocked of seeing a vampire and wolf together and wolves hate wampires.
* GiantSpiders: Ungoliant in ''The Silmarillion'', her daughter Shelob in ''The Lord of the Rings'', and her descendants in Mirkwood in ''The Hobbit''. All of them are hideous, evil, and sentient.
* GodIsGood: In his stories, {{God}} is always [[BigGood a benevolent force of good]] that loves their children and wants the best for them. He tolerates the presence of Evil because he gave free will to His creations and because evil and destruction also contribute to improve the world despite themselves. During the events of ''Literature/TheHobbit'' and ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' [[InMysteriousWays he was manipulating events in little ways]] to ensure the Sauron's defeat.
%%* GollumMadeMeDoIt: ''The Lord of the Rings'' is the TropeNamer.
%%* GondorCallsForAid: ''The Lord of the Rings'' is the TropeNamer.
* GoodIsBoring: It was going to play a part in "The New Shadow", the abandoned sequel for ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'':
-->'''Tolkien''': I did begin a story placed about 100 years after the Downfall, but it proved both sinister and depressing. Since we are dealing with Men it is inevitable that we should be concerned with the most regrettable feature of their nature: their quick satiety with good. So that the people of Gondor in times of peace, justice and prosperity, would become discontented and restless — while the dynasts descended from Aragorn would become just kings and governors — like Denethor or worse.
* {{Gotterdammerung}}: ''The Silmarillion'' includes a prophecy about how the world will end, complete with some kind of final battle against the forces of evil that will vanquish them utterly.
* GreenAesop: He loved nature and stated that the 'infernal combustion' engine was mankind's most evil invention. The destruction of nature by industry is a common theme in his work.
* HappilyMarried: Tolkien got married to his first love, Edith Bratt, and they remained happily married until her death. They discovered early on that they really didn't have that much in common, but the love was real and Tolkien thought that a marriage took work to be happy and fulfilling, and his works have plenty examples (Beren and Lúthien, Aragorn and Arwen, Faramir and Eowyn, Thingol and Melian...). John Ronald and Edith are buried together in Wolvercote Cemetery at Oxford. Their headstone reads: ''[[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Edith Mary Tolkien. Lúthien. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. Beren.]]''
** Subverted many times in his books (Finwe and Indis's, Feanor and Nerdanel, Aldarion and Erendis...) and outright aversions[[note]]Eol and Aredhel's marriage was not happy. He was an abusive and controlling jerkass who charmed her into marrying with him and got her accidentally killed[[/note]]. A lot of times, he's working from ancient mythology, which often portrays such relationships.

* HealingHands: "The hands of a king are the hands of a healer."
%%* TheHerosJourney
* HiddenElfVillage: Elves often end up surviving only in these -- in Beleriand they were killed everywhere until the last survivors were holed up in places such as Doriath, Gondolin, Nargothrond, and the Isle of Balar. In the Third Age, the few High Elves who hadn't abandoned Middle-Earth to sail West were hiding in Rivendell, Lothlórien, and the Grey Havens.
* HighFantasy: Often consider the TropeCodifier, though in reality the "magic" in the Middle-Earth legendarium is exceedingly subdued compared to the likes of ''Literature/HarryPotter'', ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', or ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''.
* {{Hobbits}}: The TropeNamer, if not the TropeMaker.
%%* HonorBeforeReason
* HowlOfSorrow: In ''Farmer Giles of Ham''. When Giles rides off to slay a dragon, his dog Garm howled all night because he thought Giles would be killed.
* HumansAreWarriors: All humans except the men of Bree are warriors. Hobbits also avoid warfare, but even these get a few good blows in from time to time. The Edain, the three main human tribes allied to the Elves, fit this exactly. They got to Elven country by hacking their way through Morgoth's servants. They were allowed land in exchange for fighting for the Elves, which they did with great vigor.
* IAmXSonOfY: The standard form of WarriorPrince self-address in the Tolkien universe. Hobbits seem to be the only race in Middle-earth that consistently adopt surnames.
* IGaveMyWord: Many characters in Middle-Earth are very serious about keeping their sworn word ... even when they've sworn to do something horrible that they know is wrong and want to avoid doing.
* IHaveManyNames: Tolkien's love of language extended to creating (and changing, and replacing, over and over) names, titles, and epithets for his characters. Some of them have just one or two names, but others have half a dozen or more. And since most actually meant something in one or another ConLang, every time he changed some words in a language he'd go and fiddle with the etymology or spelling of several names, or just invent new ones.
* InhumanlyBeautifulRace: Elves in Tolkien's works are almost invariably described as being good looking. The three best looking females in Middle-Earth are all Elves. The Valar and Maiar also count, although they cheat, since their bodies are artificial and custom-made, so their beauty is limited only by ego and imagination.
* InterspeciesRomance: [[TearJerker Aegnor/Andreth]] (StarCrossedLovers), Finduilas/Túrin (one-sided, [[TriangRelations Type 5]] with Gwindor->F->T), Lúthien/Beren (married and mortal), Idril/Tuor (married and immortal), Arwen/Aragorn (married and mortal), Mithrellas/Imrazôr (married until she pulled a MissingMom), Melian/Thingol (angel and immortal elf -- Thingol died, but we can assume he was probably reincarnated).
** Tolkien had been once [[InvokedTrope asked if Men and Elves are separate species]] and he answered: the difference lies in their spiritual side, the fact that [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence Men can die]] and Elves are bound to the world not only for their long life, but forever; but their bodies are biologically identical, otherwise they couldn't reproduce together.
%%* LadyOfWar
* LeftJustifiedFantasyMap: The Middle-earth focus on the northwest coast of the largest continent, which equals Europe. The Great Sea is the Atlantic. (And yes, it ''actually is'' Europe and the Atlantic, despite Tolkien's failure to make the landmass resemble the real world.)
* LiteraryAgentHypothesis: In-universe, the Middle-Earth books are translations of the writings of Bilbo (who wrote ''Literature/TheHobbit'' and translated ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' out of Elvish), Frodo and Sam (who wrote ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''), and the Anglo-Saxon sailor [=Æ=]lfwine (who stumbled upon Tol Eressëa in the Middle Ages and learned of the Elder Days from the Elves).[[note]][=Æ=]lfwine was written out of the published ''Silmarillion'' by Christopher Tolkien, but since he appears in JRRT's writings after ''[=LotR=]'', he apparently never abandoned the idea.[[/note]]
* TheLostWoods: Mirkwood and the Old Forest especially, but also Taur-nu-Fuin and to some extent Fangorn as well. Though he loved trees, Tolkien knew the mythic trope of the pathless, ominous forest.
* ManlyTears: Tolkien showed no shame about having Badass characters weep when the situation merited it.
* MenDontCry: [[AvertedTrope Averted frequently.]]
** Aragorn is so overwhelmed with grief at the death of Boromir, weeping bitterly over the latter's body, that when Gimli and Legolas come upon the scene, they think at first that Aragorn himself has been mortally wounded.
** Also, Gandalf ''encourages'' Sam, Pippin, and Merry to weep when Frodo is going away forever.
--> ''"I will not say 'do not weep', for not all tears are an evil."''
* {{Mithril}}: The TropeNamer.
* {{Mordor}}: The TropeNamer.
* MostWonderfulSound: [[invoked]]Part of Tolkien's aim in devising the Elvish languages and the BlackSpeech. He deliberately tried to make one sound beautiful and the other sound ugly, at least to his own aesthetic senses.
* MysteriousBacker: Eru and the Valar in all of his works.
%%* {{Mythopoeia}}
* NarrativePoem: Some stories of Middle-Earth are told, in their longest and most detailed form, as poetry.
* NearVillainVictory: Tolkien coined the word "eucatastrophe" to describe this trope.
* NoManOfWomanBorn: ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' is co-TropeNamer with Creator/{{Shakespeare}}.
* NoPronunciationGuide: Not his invented names or languages but his ''surname'', which is pronounced "Tol-keen".
%%* NoOneGetsLeftBehind
%%* NurseryRhyme
* OldShame: One of his earliest poems, "Goblin Feet," exemplified the twee cutesy style of fantasy that the mature Tolkien abhorred. Of it he said: "I wish the unhappy little thing, representing all that I came (so soon after) to fervently dislike, could be buried for ever."
* OnlyKnownByInitials: Full name is John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.
* OnlyOneName: While IAmXSonOfY and IHaveManyNames are more common, some (usually minor) characters are known only by a single name, or only by their parentage.
* OrphanedEtymology: Being both a linguist and perfectionist, Tolkien worked hard to avoid using words that did not have a European root in his legendarium. Despite this, he still let a few of them slide when there was no reasonable alternative, such as "potato." (Potato comes from the Taino word "batata".)
* OurElvesAreBetter:
** Very much not, [[TheThemeParkVersion even if many people mistakenly think so]]. Yes, Elves are in many ways more powerful, "magical" and skilled than mortals (they had better be, as they have long enough to practice), and they are less susceptible to corruption, but corrupted they can be. They are quite capable of stupidity, chauvinism, and screwing up monumentally –- possibly ''more'' than humans in fact, as greater power can have bigger results. In addition, humans were created to be ImmuneToFate, with the ultimate destiny of ourselves and the world left undetermined.
** Doubters are referred, for a start, to the story of Fëanor, the greatest creative genius in the history of the Elves, whose stubbornness and selfishness led to the centuries-long exile of almost his ''entire clan'' of the High Elves, the Noldor, from the Blessed Realm, to civil war in that same Blessed Realm between two of the three clans of the High-elves, to the destruction of the Elven kingdoms of Beleriand and of Beleriand itself, to civil war between elves in Beleriand who should have been allies, and to the deaths of himself and almost all his sons.
** Elves do, however, appear to be this in ''The Lord of the Rings'', since it isn't concentrating on Elvish history, and so most of their bigger mistakes are found elsewhere. Besides, most of the especially wicked, stupid, and foolish elves had gotten themselves killed before the end of the Third Age. The elven leaders in ''The Hobbit'' and ''The Lord of the Rings'' -- Elrond (Rivendell), Thranduil (Mirkwood), Galadriel and Celeborn (Lothlórien), and Círdan (Grey Havens) -- have all lived to see the decline of their race in Middle-Earth, and are trying to do what is best for their people while offering what assistance they can to the other races. Also, considering that Galadriel, Celeborn, and Círdan lived through the entire war against Morgoth that destroyed Beleriand, and that Elrond saw what the folly of his people could do (he lived through one of the elven civil wars as a small child, and witnessed Sauron co-opting Eregion), they had all probably wisened up to not repeat the mistakes of the past.\\
Now, since the trilogy is the most popular and well-known of Tolkien's works, this means it's easy for people to get the wrong impression. This being said, Galadriel is shown to be just as susceptible to the One Ring's power as anyone, although she is one of the handful who resist its power. And Celebrimbor's mistakes in Eregion are briefly discussed at the Council of Elrond.
* PalantirPloy: The Palantír devices in ''The Lord of the Rings'' are the trope-namers.
%%* PeopleOfHairColor
* ProphecyTwist: No man can kill the Lord of the Ringwraiths? Good thing men aren't the only ones with swords, then.
%%* ProudWarriorRaceGuy
* PyrrhicVictory: Common in his works, as part of his belief that WarIsHell. You may be able to defend yourself through war, and may even defeat your enemy, but it will always come at very high cost. A few specific examples:
** The War of Wrath in ''The Silmarillion'' ends with Morgoth's defeat, but the continent of Beleriand was laid waste in the battle and sank under the sea. (Also as a result, the Valar and Maiar decide to no longer user their power to directly intervene in the war against evil, making the later battles against Sauron all the more difficult.)
** The Last Alliance managed to defeat Sauron, but lost so many people that the kingdoms of Elves and Men ended up depopulated and ripe for attack by Sauron's human allies, which led to the destruction of Arnor and the reduction of the Elves to just a few small settlements.
** The Battle of Five Armies--and its precursor, the death of Smaug--result in the Goblin and Warg forces being decimated. Gandalf also mentions that Smaug might have allied with Sauron later, and so that is a great threat gone. This comes at the cost of many lives from many different peoples.
** The final victory over Sauron in ''The Lord of the Rings''. The destroying of the Ring led to the final waning of 'magic' in Middle-Earth and the departure of the remaining Elves to the West.
* RealJokeName: After ''The Lord of the Rings'' was published, Tolkien received a letter from a real person named Sam Gamgee, who hadn't read the books but heard that there was a character who shared his name. Tolkien was delighted and sent Mr. Gamgee a signed copy of the trilogy. However, he later remarked in a letter, "For some time I lived in fear of receiving a letter signed 'S. Gollum'. That would have been more difficult to deal with."
* RightfulKingReturns: A frequently-recurring Trope. ''The Return of the King'' is the most obvious use. It can also be found in the ''The Hobbit'', with Thorin Oakenshield reclaiming his ancestral kingdom of Erebor, and the people of Lake-town naming Bard the Bowman, descendant of the original ruling line of Dale, as their King.
* RingOfPower: Not the TropeMaker, but perhaps the TropeCodifier for non-mythology-fans.
* RoyalBlood: Tolkien firmly used this trope in his legendarium. Whatever his views in real life, in Middle-earth Royal Blood often Equals Asskicking, rightful authority, great skill, longevity, and so forth -- though not necessarily wisdom or ''goodness'' (see Fëanor & sons, and Ar-Pharazôn)
%%* SacredHospitality
* SamusIsAGirl: [[spoiler:Dernhelm of Rohan]] is a woman!? [[NoManOfWomanBorn Oh]] [[ProphecyTwist crap...]]
%%* SecondHandStorytelling
%%* SeriousBusiness
%%* ShadowArchetype
%%* ShortCutsMakeLongDelays
%%* ShownTheirWork: In creating his literary universe, Tolkien researched and drew upon many sources.
* SavedFromDevelopmentHell: ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', finally published in 1977 by his son Christopher.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: Where it lands on the scale depends on the piece.
** ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' is more on the idealistic end of the scale, though the heroes have to go to hell and back to EarnYourHappyEnding. That said, it's nonetheless a BittersweetEnding, as much of the beauty of Middle-earth is fading forever with the departure of the Elves and the depowering of the Three, and Frodo is unable to find peace in the Shire he suffered so much pain to save.
** ''Literature/TheHobbit'' despite being somewhat LighterAndSofter than ''Rings'' is a little more balanced of optimism and cynicism. It's also more of a GreyAndGrayMorality story rather than a typical one of ''good vs evil''.
** ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' however is quite cynical. Overall there is barely an idealistic bone in its body, and it depends heavily on which story you're talking about:
*** [[Literature/TheChildrenOfHurin The Tale of Túrin Turambar]] is one of the bleakest, most cynical stories in the entire corpus. Túrin is a TragicHero, and by the end EverybodyDies.
*** Beren and Lúthien is easily the most optimistic. Like ''The Lord of the Rings'' it blends EarnYourHappyEnding with BittersweetEnding. Beren and Lúthien ''literally'' go to hell and back, as both perish on their quest but come BackFromTheDead when [[BeyondTheImpossible Lúthien moves the unmovable Mandos to pity]]. However this is not without a price; Lúthien must sacrifice her immortality to do so, so when she dies a second time (and she dies long before her time because she possessed a Silmaril) her [[KilledOffForReal spirit passes forever from the world]].
*** The incomplete story of the Fall of Gondolin starts cynically, what with it being the collapse of the last great Elven kingdom in Beleriand still standing against Morgoth and all. However it ends up being an EarnYourHappyEnding with hope for the future: Tuor and Idril successfully led much of the people to safety, and together founded one of the most important lineages in Middle-earth through their grandsons, Elrond and Elros (who became the first King of Númenor). Also, their son, Eärendil, brought a Silmaril back to Valinor and ''finally'' got the Valar off their butts to deal with Morgoth. And Tuor became the only Man welcomed in Valinor when he took to the sea with Idril (speculated upon in the writings, but also confirmed by WordOfGod). So pretty optimistic in the end.
* SpeakFriendAndEnter: ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' is the TropeNamer.
%%* {{Sssssnaketalk}}
%%* StormingTheCastle
* SupportingLeader: Former TropeNamer (The Aragorn) and possibly TropeMaker.
* TakeThat:
** In response to a letter from a potential German translator/publisher of ''Literature/TheHobbit'', who wished to know whether Tolkien was of "Arisch" extraction (which infuriated him considerably):
-->I regret that I am not clear as to what you intend by ''arisch''. I am not of ''Aryan'' extraction: that is Indo-Iranian; as far as I am aware none of my ancestors spoke Hindustani, Persian, Gypsy, or any related dialects. But if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of ''Jewish'' origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have ''no'' ancestors of that gifted people. [[{{Irony}} My great-great-grandfather came to England in the eighteenth century from Germany]]: the main part of my descent is therefore purely English, and I am an English subject — which should be sufficient. I have been accustomed, nonetheless, to regard my German name with pride, and continued to do so throughout the period of the late regrettable war, in which I served in the English army. I cannot, however, forbear to comment that if impertinent and irrelevant inquiries of this sort are to become the rule in matters of literature, then the time is not far distant when a German name will no longer be a source of pride.
** Tolkien wrote two letters, one tactful, the other less so, and told his publisher to send whichever he liked. The tactful letter was sent and later lost, leaving only the more combative version to survive.
** Tolkien also sent a StronglyWordedLetter to Creator/AAMilne, complaining about the AdaptationDecay from ''Literature/TheWindInTheWillows'' in ''Toad of Toad Hall'' and saying that his children were appalled. Somewhat HilariousInHindsight as Tolkien fans are famously equally stringent about AdaptationDecay in Tolkien's own works.
* TenderTears: Tolkien is rare amongst Western artists for creating consistently sensitive and soft-hearted men who do not see crying as shameful or dishonorable.
* ThemeNaming, various kinds: Theme Family Naming (including ThemeTwinNaming and AlphabeticalThemeNaming), naming conventions along a dynasty (be they birth or ruling names), or general ones (e.g. the hobbit tradition of naming girls after [[FloralThemeNaming flowers]] or [[RockThemeNaming gemstones]]).
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: Tolkien was not a fan of the liturgical changes that occurred in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, and would give the Mass responses [[TakeThat loudly in Latin]] while the rest of the congregation responded in English. In spite of this, he saw deliberately enduring irreverent liturgies as a form of penance.
* ThrowingDownTheGauntlet: Fingolfin does this to Morgoth himself in ''The Silmarillion''.
* ThunderboltIron: It's called galvorn. The black swords of ''The Silmarillion'' and ''The Children of Húrin'' are made from it.
* TimeAbyss: The Valar, Maiar, and Tom Bombadil are all either as old as the entire world, or ''older''. See also EldritchAbomination
* TheTimeOfMyths: The vague/imaginary time in the real world's prehistory during which the stories of the legendarium take place -- so long ago that the sun and moon don't enter the picture until halfway through the First Age.
%% * TragicHero: Several in Middle-Earth, such as Túrin Turambar.
* TranslationConvention: None of our real-world languages exist in the Middle-Earth stories, and so the common TranslationConvention applies. When not convention-translated, names and speech make use of either Tolkien's constructed languages, or of a real-world language used as stand-in for a fictional one. The latter ones are not chosen randomly, but to represent the relation between the respective "proper" languages, or a certain image. Languages regularly replaced by stand-in languages in the text are: "Westron" a.k.a. the "Common Speech" is ''always'' rendered as English (as it is the Third-Age-novel's POV-character's language), the Rohirric language by Anglo-Saxon a.k.a. Old English (to appear vaguely familiar to the hobbits' Westron-English), and the language used by the Dwarves[[note]]i.e. ''not'' Dwarvish as such, which is much more like an Afro-Asiatic/ Semitic language. The Dwarves refuse to speak their own language in the presence of outsiders, except for the occasional battle cry and place name. They even use names derived from the language of Dale rather than let non-Dwarves know their True Names[[/note]] and the Men of Dale by Old Norse. Information on the "translation" and what these languages "really" look like, can be found [[AllThereInTheManual in various appendices and additional texts]].
* TurnTheOtherCheek: Several of his characters (Fingolfin, Frodo...) try to be forgiving and merciful even when their lives are threatened.
%%* UniverseChronology
* VillainDecay: Tolkien's conception of evil is that it intrinsically is a diminishing, self-destructive force. Most of his villains have far-reaching plans or even noble goals at the beginning but they end up wasting their power with [[EvilIsPetty petty, useless acts of destruction]]. Morgoth goes from want to steal the Creation to try to make everybody's lives miserable. Sauron goes from want to conquer the world in order to repair it to be a power-hungry tyrant. Saruman goes from being an older-than-Earth angelic being that plotted to take over Middle-Earth with his cunning, technology and a massive army to employ ruffians to harass hobbits.
* WalkIntoMordor: TheMovie of ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' is the TropeNamer. The phrase doesn't appear in the book, however.
* WarIsHell:
** Constant theme since Tolkien is a UsefulNotes/WorldWarI vet. He did not consider it "romantic" at all, and his own psychological WrittenInInfirmity plays a part. He escaped the horrors of [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI World War I]] with his body intact but his experiences, particularly as a veteran of the Battle of the Somme, left him scarred mentally, which he worked through partly by writing.
** Faramir, who Tolkien himself said was his favorite character and the one most like him, may sum up Tolkien's beliefs the best:
--> '''Faramir:''' ''"War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend."''
* WarriorPrince: By the bucketload. Most named characters in ''The Silmarillion'' are these, and boatloads more show up in ''The Lord of the Rings'' and ''The Hobbit''.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** Tolkien once proposed coauthoring a scholarly book on linguistics with his academic colleague and friend Creator/CSLewis. Lewis started the manuscript, but unfortunately they never got around to finishing it. [[http://www.txstate.edu/news/news_releases/news_archive/2009/07/CSLewis070809.html]]
** For that matter, it's hard to keep from feeling wistful when reading the many fragments of unfinished stories and poems collected by his son Christopher in ''Literature/TheHistoryOfMiddleEarth''. There's even a whole volume of them entitled ''Unfinished Tales.'' So much was left unwritten or severely cryptic, or abandoned years before ''The Lord of the Rings'' and never revised. Much will remain unknown about Middle-earth and its characters.
* WhenTreesAttack: The Ents were created because Tolkien had seen a production of ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' as a child and was disappointed when it turned out that the forest itself didn't actually attack.
* WorldBuilding: Tolkien not only loved this and spent a lifetime doing it, he had theological theories about the processs.
* WorldShapes: Arda, the world containing Middle-Earth, started out flat. Only after the downfall of Númenor (Atlantis) was it made round. Later Tolkien decided this was stupid because Middle-Earth is supposed to be the real world, but his attempts to write a round-world creation story were consistently less beautiful than the flat-world versions.
* WorldTree: The Two Trees of Valinor, the long-lost sources of the holiest light, were sacred trees of vast size, on whose branches the sun and moon were eventually grown as one fruit and a single flower, and their light kindled the Evening Star (a.k.a. Venus). They are closely tied to the repeated uses of trees and light as symbols of goodness in the legendarium, and of the tragic loss of the beauty of the ancient world.
* WritingByTheSeatOfYourPants: For ''The Lord of the Rings'', as shown by ''The History of Middle-earth''. For instance, Faramir's introduction was completely unplanned, and Aragorn was going to be paired with Eowyn until Arwen was created.
* YesVirginia: Wrote ''Literature/TheFatherChristmasLetters'' to his children, which thoroughly convinced them that Santa was real.
* YouShallNotPass: Gandalf's speech in the movie ''Film/TheFellowshipOfTheRing'', while a slightly paraphrased variation of the speech in the book, is the TropeNamer.

'' He gazed at the Tree, and slowly he lifted his arms and opened them wide.''
''"It's a gift!" he said.''