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Tolkien Newsgroups FAQ



Frequently Asked Questions about the author J.R.R. Tolkien and his (sub)created world Middle-earth, including an introduction to netiquette and summaries of typical arguments in frequent debates.

This FAQ about the author J.R.R. Tolkien and his (sub)created world Middle-earth was compiled and written by Steuard Jensen sbjensen@midway.uchicago.edu with numerous contributions by others.

-01 Newsgroups and netiquette (Tolkien Newsgroups FAQ)
When discussing Tolkien (or anything else) online, it is ...
-02 What newsgroups are we talking about again? (Tolkien)
There are several Usenet newsgroups specific to Tolkien and ...
-03 Why are there two groups? (Tolkien)
Originally, AFT was the only Tolkien newsgroup on Usenet. RABT ...
-04 Do I have to have a Ph.D. in Tolkienology to post? (Tolkien Newsgroups)
By no means! People with any amount of Tolkien lore are ...
-05 What questions and topics are appropriate? (Tolkien Newsgroups)
Virtually any topic related (even distantly) to Tolkien and ...
-06 What does a tilde (~) in the subject mean? and Is it acceptable to post messages with sexual content? (Tolkien Newsgroups)
Articles posted to these newsgroups occasionally contain ...
-07 What common mistakes should I try to avoid? (Tolkien Newsgroups)
By and large, the participants in the Tolkien newsgroups try ...
-08 What do all the abbreviations used on the groups mean? (Tolkien Newsgroups)
Some names and phrases come up so frequently on the ...
-09 What is the proper subject line for my post? (Tolkien Newsgroups)
Make sure that the Subject: line of your post matches the ...
-10 What should I do when replying to an earlier article? For example, should I "top post" or "bottom post"? (Tolkien Newsgroups)
First and foremost, make sure to retain the attribution of ...
-11 When should I "cross-post" to multiple newsgroups? (Tolkien Newsgroups)
Generally, you should post an article to the single most ...
-12 I am able to post my messages with HTML formatting. Should I? (Tolkien Newsgroups)
Generally, no. Many of us use simple text-based programs to ...
-13 If someone insults me or otherwise makes me upset, should I flame them back? (Tolkien Newsgroups)
No.
-14 Where can I go for more information on netiquette, and on Usenet in general?
One of the best places to start has always been the ...
-15 Debates and discussion (Tolkien Newsgroups)
A great many questions about Tolkien and his books arise ...
-16 What is the best order in which to read the books? (Tolkien)
This depends on each person's personal preferences. Unless ...
-17 What books about Middle-earth are considered "canonical"? (Tolkien)
[I have written an essay on this topic, including general ...
-18 How does _The Silmarillion_ as published differ from what Tolkien intended?
This is a complicated question that is essentially unanswerable:...
-19 Which are "The Two Towers"? (Tolkien)
Tolkien was never very happy with the title. In Letters #140 ...
-20 Which books _about_ Tolkien are good, and which aren't?
A few disclaimers. First, this is a very subjective question, ...
-21 Is Middle-earth Medieval? (Tolkien)
Tolkien's works draw from quite a few periods of human history, ...
-22 Was Tolkien racist? Were his works?
A full discussion of this issue is beyond the scope of this FAQ....
-23 Are there electronic versions of Tolkien's books?
For many aspects of Tolkien scholarship, it would be convenient ...
-24 Where can I report copyright violations that I observe? (Tolkien)
If you do find an unauthorized copy of any of Tolkien's works on ...
-25 Did Balrogs have wings? (Tolkien)
[Conrad Dunkerson has written a much more detailed essay on ...
-26 Could Balrogs fly? (Tolkien)
[Conrad Dunkerson has written a much more detailed essay on ...
-27 What was Tom Bombadil? (Tolkien)
[This supplements question V.G.1 of the Tolkien FAQ.]...
-28 Did Elves have pointed ears? (Tolkien)
[This supplements question V.C.1 of the Tolkien FAQ.]...
-29 Did Elves have beards? (Tolkien)
Most of Tolkien's writings imply that Elves were ...
-30 What happened to Elves after they died? (Tolkien)
[This updates question V.D.1 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]...
-31 Was Glorfindel of Rivendell the same as Glorfindel of Gondolin? (Tolkien)
[This updates question V.D.2 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]...
-32 Who was Gil-galad's father? (Tolkien)
_The Silmarillion_ states many times that Gil-galad was the son ...
-33 Did Dwarf women have beards? (Tolkien)
[This updates question V.D.1 of the Tolkien FAQ.]...
-34 Was there "telepathy" in Middle-earth? (Tolkien)
Although it is not emphasized in the books, direct communication ...
-35 Did Sauron have a physical form during _The Lord of the Rings_? (Tolkien)
There is strong evidence that Sauron did have a humanoid ...
-36 What were the names of the Nazgul? (Tolkien)
The only known text to name any of the Nazgul is The Hunt for ...
-37 What was Gothmog (the lieutenant of Morgul)? (Tolkien)
Gothmog (who shares his name with the Lord of Balrogs in the ...
-38 What was the origin of Orcs? (Tolkien)
[This updates question V.G.1 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]...
-39 Were Orcs immortal, and what happened to them after death? (Tolkien)
Given that Tolkien never firmly decided on the origin of Orcs (...
-40 What was the relationship between Orcs and Goblins? (Tolkien)
[This supplements question V.F.1 of the Tolkien FAQ.]...
-41 What was the origin of Saruman's Uruk-hai? (Tolkien)
Whatever the details of their origins, all evidence indicates ...
-42 What was the origin of Trolls? (Tolkien)
[This updates question V.G.2 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]...
-43 What were the giants (seen by Bilbo in _The Hobbit_)? (Tolkien)
Nobody knows. Among texts considered to be at all canonical (...
-44 Why didn't they just have an Eagle fly the Ring to Mt. Doom? (Tolkien)
This debate is most interesting when limited to story ...
-45 Were the barrow blades magical? In what way? (Tolkien)
The swords that the Hobbits got from the Barrow Downs ...
-46 Why didn't the Nazgul take the Ring at Weathertop? (Tolkien)
The Nazgul withdrew from Weathertop despite a five-against-...
-47 Who killed the Witch-king, Merry or Eowyn? (Tolkien)
Most agree that Eowyn's stroke was the immediate cause of ...
-48 Did Frodo and the other mortals who passed over the Sea eventually die? (Tolkien)
[This updates question V.C.1 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]...
-49 Did Sam follow Frodo into the West? (Tolkien)
While LotR strongly implies that Sam eventually sailed West, ...
-50 What is known about the Blue Wizards? (Tolkien)
[This supplements question V.E.2 of the Tolkien FAQ.]...
-51 Who was aware that a Balrog lived in Moria? (Tolkien)
Sauron almost certainly knew of the Balrog, at least through ...
-52 Did Elves and Dwarves generally get along? (Tolkien)
In general, Elves and Dwarves were allies against Morgoth ...
-53 Where was the Ring when Numenor was destroyed? (Tolkien)
[This supplements question V.E.3 of the Tolkien LessFAQ.]...
-54 Who was the oldest inhabitant of Middle-earth? (Tolkien)
The answer depends on exactly what the question means. Below ...
-55 External resources (tolkien)
While this FAQ is intended to provide a complete introduction ...
-56 The Tolkien Meta-FAQ (Where to get Middle-Earth info - Tolkien)
The Tolkien Meta-FAQ is not a resource of its own, but a ...
-57 The Tolkien FAQ and LessFAQ (Where to get Middle-Earth info - Tolkien)
Years ago, William D. B. Loos compiled two superb lists ...
-58 The "FAQ of the Rings" (Where to get Middle-Earth info - Tolkien)
Questions about the Rings of Power arise quite frequently ...
-59 The Letters FAQ (Where to get Middle-Earth info - Tolkien)
Many of the questions that arise in discussions of Tolkien's ...
-60 Google's Usenet archive (Where to get Middle-Earth info - Tolkien)
The only way to learn the details of all the positions in a ...
-61 Where can i learn more about Tolkien's languages?
One of Tolkien's primary motivations for creating Middle-earth ...
-62 What editions of Tolkien's books in the US are best?
Every edition of Tolkien's books is different, and before you buy ...
-63 What is known about the current _Lord of the Rings_ movies?
By this point, virtually everyone with any interest in ...
-64 Where can I find out about music related to Middle-earth?
Many musicians have been inspired by Tolkien's books, enough ...









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