Three Rings for the Elven Kings
Ella kom ye la! I cried unto these ones, I've wandered through the dark so long! I've waited through the night for the rising sun!



Welcome to Three Rings for the Elven Kings!

The world described by Tolkien is real, and all of us shall one day reach the Undying Lands…

Sarehole Mill, Birmingham

Sarehole Mill, Birmingham, England, opposite which Tolkien lived as a child in the 1890s, became Sandyman’s Mill (the Old Mill) in The Lord of the Rings, and is the fixed reference point for our reconstruction of the true story of Middle-earth, as detailed below.
A list of works from Tolkien’s Legendarium and other sources that relate to Middle-earth.
When did the events narrated by Tolkien actually take place? Can we pinpoint them to the exact day?
Was Middle-earth a real place in our own world, and if so, where was it? What can maps tell us?
When did the kings and other rulers of Middle-earth reign? Who are Aragorn’s descendants?
Comparative tables of the various calendars used in Middle-earth, and their relation to our own.
Who are the Valar, the gods and goddesses of Middle-earth, and what are their characteristics?
What are the Three Elven Rings, and what effect have they had on Middle-earth and its inhabitants?
What can Sally Oldfield’s Songs of the Quendi tell us about the eventual fate of Men and Elves?

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The Legendarium of J.R.R. Tolkien

The list of Tolkien’s writings given here is by no means exhaustive, and one of the great joys of Tolkien scholarship is that it is always possible to find new textual sources. Rather, the works listed below should be regarded as an essential, central corpus. It must always be born in mind, however, that the term ‘canon’ – sometimes used of Tolkien’s works – does not imply that the writings in question contain no internal contradictions, because they most assuredly do. These contradictions are occasionally even more illuminating than the text itself.
1. The Book of Lost Tales Part One
2. The Book of Lost Tales Part Two
3. The Lays of Beleriand
4. The Shaping of Middle-earth
5. The Lost Road and Other Writings
6. The Return of the Shadow (The History of The Lord of the Rings v.1)
7. The Treason of Isengard (The History of The Lord of the Rings v.2)
8. The War of the Ring (The History of The Lord of the Rings v.3)
9. Sauron Defeated (The History of The Lord of the Rings v.4)
10. Morgoth’s Ring (The Later Silmarillion v.1)
11. The War of the Jewels (The Later Silmarillion v.2)
12. The Peoples of Middle-earth
13. The History of Middle-earth Index

Other Source Texts

The works in the list below – which, again, is not exhaustive, and probably never could be – have drawn on the same source of inspiration as Tolkien, so should be regarded as both authentic and useful. Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda is a compilation of the myths and legends of the Norse peoples, while the Oera Linda Book is a Frisian chronicle covering the 22nd to 1st centuries BC. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle begins roughly where the Oera Linda Book ends and continues to the 12th century AD. Sally Oldfield’s Songs of the Quendi tell us more about the true nature of the Elves, and the ‘Abaloc’ series of novels by Jane Louise Curry tells of the medieval migrations of Elves to North America.
1. Night Theme
2. Wampum Song
3. Nenya
4. Land of the Sun
The ‘Abaloc’ series
1. Beneath the Hill
2. The Daybreakers
3. Over the Sea’s Edge
4. The Watchers
5. The Birdstones
6. The Wolves of Aam
7. Shadow Dancers

Who is Tom Bombadil?

Few characters in Tolkien’s works have generated as much controversy as Tom Bombadil, and it is perhaps no surprise that he is omitted from most adaptations (with the notable exception of ‘Tim Benzedrine’ in the Harvard Lampoon’s Bored of the Rings), yet he is actually one of the most important characters of all, because he provides a direct link between Tolkien’s Legendarium and other source texts such as the Prose Edda, Oera Linda Book and Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. In a 1954 draft letter in reply to Peter Hastings, manager of the Newman Bookshop in Oxford (which, however, he never sent), Tolkien said that if Tom Bombadil did not have an important role, he would not have been included:
“I don’t think Tom needs philosophizing about, and is not improved by it. But many have found him an odd or indeed discordant ingredient. In historical fact I put him in because I had already ‘invented’ him independently (he first appeared in the Oxford Magazine) and wanted an ‘adventure’ on the way. But I kept him in, and as he was, because he represents certain things otherwise left out.” (Letters, #153)
Just who, or what, is Tom Bombadil? Is he a nature spirit, a Vala gone native, or what? An early theory – first articulated, it would appear, by the above mentioned Peter Hastings (in order to criticise it), and that has remained popular since – was that Tom was none other than the creator-god, Eru Ilúvatar. Tolkien, however, tried to squash this idea. In a 1956 draft reply to Michael Straight, editor of New Republic, he wrote:
There is no embodimentof the Creator anywhere in this story or mythology (Letters, #181)
And again, in a 1958 letter to Rhona Beare, a student at the University of Exeter, Tolkien said:
“The One does not physically inhabit any part of Ea.” (Letters, #211)
But if Tolkien was merely the conduit (or, as he put it, ‘translator’) of this material, then he may not have been fully aware of all its implications. Or, on the other hand, maybe he was simply unwilling to reveal all that he knew, because it is clear that Tom Bombadil is, indeed, Eru Ilúvatar. Tom Bombadil – a somewhat frivolous name given to him by Hobbits – was the oldest being in the world, and had been dwelling in it since before even the Valar. Among his many names and titles, all of which referred to his primaeval status, was one given to him by the Men of Rohan – Orald – an Old English word meaning ‘most ancient’ and cognate with German Uralt and Frisian Wr-alda – this latter, in turn, being the name given to the creator-god in the 13th century Frisian chronicle known as the Oera Linda Book (it is also cognate with the modern English ‘world’). Furthermore, one of the titles the Oera Linda Book gives to Wr-alda is All-father, which is the exact translation of Ilúvatar, and is also a title of the chief god Odin (Woden) in the Prose Edda, the famous 13th century treatise on Norse mythology by the Icelandic scholar, Snorri Sturluson – and it was from Woden, as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle tells us, that the ruling families of Northern Europe descended, including those of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.

Moseley Bog, Birmingham

Moseley Bog, Sarehole, Birmingham. Situated directly behind the house on Wake Green Road in which Tolkien lived, with his mother and brother, between the ages of four and eight (1896 to 1900), Moseley Bog, formerly known, and referred to by Tolkien, as The Dell, was the inspiration for the Old Forest in The Lord of the Rings – on the edge of which dwelt Tom Bombadil and his wife, Goldberry, the River-daughter.
We who of the earth are born will lead you through the healing storm,
t’s time to follow the path of the ancient ones!

© 2003 / 2017 Ash Branch