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Saturday, September 4 • 4:30pm - 5:00pm
A Letter to a Friend – the ‘King’s Letter’ as Para-text in The Lord of the Rings

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The ‘King’s Letter’ is a para-textual element composed by Tolkien as part of the original Epilogue to his The Lord of the Rings – sadly cut from the final book. In this letter, composed entirely in Tolkien’s invented Elvish language of Sindarin, King Elessar - in the 16th year of the Fourth Age of Middle-earth - sends greetings to his good friend and colleague Samwise Gamgee and his family. In the letter, King Elessar informs Sam that he will be travelling close to the borders of the Shire and would like to meet with him. The cut Epilogue with a version of the ‘Kings Letter’ appeared in the ninth volume of The History of Middle Earth: Sauron Defeated with two other variations - as well as a specimen in the Elvish writing system of Tengwar - appearing in other sources. In this paper I will briefly explore the importance of the ‘Kings Letter’ in Tolkien’s world-building from a ‘lit and lang’ perspective.

avatar for Dr. Andrew Higgins

Dr. Andrew Higgins

Dr Andrew Higgins is an independent scholar whose research focuses on the role of invented language in all forms of speculative texts. In 2016 he co-edited with Dr Dimitra Fimi A Secret Vice - Tolkien on Language Invention published by HarperCollins. He has published chapters in various... Read More →

Saturday September 4, 2021 4:30pm - 5:00pm BST
1 - Mary Ogilvie Lecture Theatre & Online (Webinar Strand)