Christopher Tolkien: Son of The Lord Of The Rings author dies

16 January 2020, 18:37

Christopher Tolkien has died aged 95
Christopher Tolkien has died aged 95. Picture: Tolkien Society
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Christopher Tolkien, the son of The Lord Of The Rings author JRR Tolkien, has died aged 95.

The Tolkien Society confirmed the news on their Twitter page and issued its thoughts to his loved ones.

A statement read: "Christopher Tolkien has died at the age of 95. The Tolkien Society sends its deepest condolences to Baillie, Simon, Adam, Rachel and the whole Tolkien family."

The society celebrates the life and work of the esteemed fantasy writer, JRR Tolkien.

Christopher was the third and youngest son of the revered author.

He edited a significant portion of his father's posthumously published work following his death in 1973 and was also behind the illustrations for the original maps of Middle Earth in The Lord Of The Rings, signing them C.J.R.T - Christopher John Reuel Tolkien.

Other books edited and published by the younger Tolkien included The Silmarillion, The Children Of Hurin, and Beren And Luthien, which flesh out the complex world of elves and dwarves created by his father.

Lord Of The Rings Online's Twitter account also paid homage to the late editor and novelist.

It wrote: "Rest in Peace, Christopher Tolkien."

Lord Of The Rings Online describes itself as "the only massively-multiplayer game based on J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece."

The cause of his death is not currently publicly known.

Christopher Tolkien criticised Peter Jackson's Oscar-winning film trilogy.

"They gutted the book, making an action film for 15 to 25-year-olds," he said in a 2012 interview with French newspaper Le Monde.

"As strange as it may seem, I grew up in the world he created. For me, the cities of The Silmarillion are more real than Babylon," he added

Tolkien won Oxford University's Bodley Medal in 2016, for his "outstanding contributions" to communications and literature.

Christopher's father was the mastermind behind The Lord Of The Rings
Christopher's father was the mastermind behind The Lord Of The Rings. Picture: PA

Tolkien Professor Corey Olsen also paid his respect to the late Christopher, saying he had "fulfilled his quest" in life.

Prof Olsen said: "I’ve just recently heard that Christopher Tolkien has died. So ends the watch of a man who without question fulfilled his quest.

"A more faithful and diligent steward of Middle-earth no one could have asked for.

"We owe him a tremendous and incalculable debt. RIP."

Tolkien Society chairman Shaun Gunner said: "All of us in the Tolkien Society will share in the sadness at the news of Christopher Tolkien's death, and we send our condolences to Baillie, Simon, Adam, Rachel and the whole Tolkien family at this difficult time.

"Christopher's commitment to his father's works have seen dozens of publications released, and his own work as an academic in Oxford demonstrates his ability and skill as a scholar.

"Millions of people around the world will be forever grateful to Christopher for bringing us The Silmarillion, The Children Of Hurin, The History Of Middle-earth series and many others. We have lost a titan and he will be sorely missed."

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