Welcome to Tolkien Essays!
My name is Nathan, and I’ve been a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and his works since I first read The Hobbit as a child.
For several years, I’ve spent time reading not just the works of Professor Tolkien and his son but also questions and commentary provided by fans. Although there are many vibrant online fandoms – and there have been since the days of Usenet – the ones I focus on are the TolkienFans and (less frequently) TheSilmarillion Subreddits. I have found these communities to be delightfully text-focused (both in the sense that movie-related posts are looked upon very unfavorably and also in the sense that headcanon, theories, and fan-fiction are only acceptable to the degree that they are well-grounded in the original text). They are also an unending source of questions, both from new readers unsure of the basics to grizzled Tolkien veterans wondering about an obscure corner of the Legendarium.
In early 2020, as a result of global events occurring at that time, I took up the habit of blogging. Though the primary focus was true stories remembered from my own life, I would occasionally weary my readers by writing overly-verbose monographs on various Tolkien-related subjects, usually in response to seeing a preponderance of questions on the topic at hand posted to one of the above Subreddits.
Eventually, I grew tired of having these essays attached to my personal blog. Hence, this site.
About my writings
One of the most engaging aspects of Tolkien’s Legendarium (as his collected works are called) is how he created an entire (mostly) self-consistent world from first principles. He didn’t just create the world, he created the rules which the world follows. He created the languages and the species and the culture, and he showed his work. While he never lived to see the publication of The Silmarillion, since his death his son Christopher has published over a dozen volumes both explaining and exploring the foundations of this created world and also delving into the history of its evolution in Tolkien’s own mind.
As a result, the Legendarium is a fertile ground for investigation and exposition in a way that only a few other fictional spaces are.
The goal of my writing on this site is to highlight the existing body of work, seeking to explore dark corners and inspire new and old readers alike with insightful and well-researched commentary.
About this site
Despite having run two different blogs and being passably familiar with a number of Web technologies, this is my first time creating a site using GitHub pages. The whole process is disconcertingly public, and I have to keep reminding myself that the world at large is entirely indifferent to my fumblings and missteps. I hope that by the time you are reading this paragraph, I have figured the technology out to the point where it all looks reasonably professional. As the whole thing is public on GitHub, the proficient may look back through history to view all my missteps and failed attempts. As mentioned above, I take great solace in the belief that the vast majority of people have utterly no desire to do so.
I hope my love for the world Tolkien wrote into existence comes through in my writing. Thank you for stopping by!