Gobennas Document created 15/11 1998

The Chroniclers of Arda

By Måns Björkman

The history of Middle-earth spans over many thousands of years of intriguing history. Through it we get to hear the fascinating tales of Beren and Lúthien, Eärendil the Mariner, and Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.

But who gave us these stories? Who are the great authors of the lays and annals that professor Tolkien translated into English, recounting this otherwise utterly lost time?

Throughout the First, Second and Third ages, Elves, Men, and Hobbits kept records of their history, in the form of annals, lays, sagas and biographies. The authors were often careful to give credit to their sources, but also to put their own names on the documents, so quite a few of their names have been remembered to this day. Below I am going to discuss what we know about the most prominent authors and their works.


Rúmil of Valinor

Rúmil is one of the oldest known of the chroniclers, and appears already in the oldest texts. The meaning of the name is unknown. It might be connected with a word rûm: 'secret', 'mystery' [1], but it does not necessarily have to mean anything at all; many of the oldest Elvish names seem to have been without meaning [2].

Rúmil was a Noldo and a sage living in Valinor in the city of Tirion. He was called the Elfsage of Valinor [3] and the Ancient Sage of Tirion [4], and wrote many documents that especially concern Valinor. Much of the Eldarin historical scholarship seems to fall back on his works. One of his most famous works is the Ainulindalë that tells of the Music of the Ainur and usually forms the introductory part of the Quenta Silmarillion [5].

Rúmil seems to have become less active in his profession as a sage later (considering the unlikelihood of his death in Valinor), because in the many texts he is often referred to as a long-gone loremaster. In this text he is referred to in the imperfect tense simply because all that we know of him belongs to the past. There is a work called I Equessi Rúmilo ('The Sayings of Rúmil') that is a collection of his thoughts from the earliest days of the Eldar in Valinor. It deals with, among other things, the Valarin language. The title might imply that he reached a status similar to that of Socrates, and was surrounded with disciples that wrote down his words (like Plato's Dialogues). Only parts of the Equessi survived in the memory of the exiled Noldor. Pengolodh much later compiled and presented the remnants in the beginning of his Lammas [4].

A testimony of Rúmil's greatness as a scholar is that he in the Valian Year 1179 invented an alphabet: Rúmil's tengwar [6], properly called the sarati [4]. This is the oldest known writing system in Arda, and was the one Fëanor was inspired by when he developed his tengwar, which was later used by almost all peoples in western Middle-earth.

A document of special interests for historians is the text called the Annals of Aman (or Annals of Valinor). The document retells the events of each year in Valinor up to the creation of the Sun and the Moon and may have been one of the sources for the Quenta Silmarillion. In one manuscript, Rúmil is said to be the author of this work [6]. But according to another, Rúmil merely began it and wrote as far as the Doom of the Noldor in the Valian Year 1496. There he stopped, and others continued [7]. This may have one of two explanations: (1) he did not follow the house of Fëanor towards Middle-earth, but heard of the adventures of the Noldor who set out from Tuna and came back, or (2) he himself went with the company of Finarfin, and turned back with him when he heard the threatening doom. In any case it seems virtually certain that Rúmil never went to Beleriand, partially because he is always connected with Tirion, whereas all the returning Noldor seem to have stayed on Tol Eressëa, but also since he never wrote anything regarding Middle-earth specifically.

Rúmil was also interested in languages. According to one source [9] he had learnt very many languages. (Unfortunately the accuracy of this particular text is often disputed.) He produced some writings that concerned the languages of the Elves, and Pengolodh the Wise read these texts and used them for one of his works [10].

Belonging to the Noldor of Tirion, Rúmil had direct access to the knowledge of the Valar. This advantage he probably made use of when he wrote the short astronomical essay called Ambarcanta, 'Shape of the World'. The work explains the changing appearance of Arda, and must have been written sometime after the downfall of Númenor in the Second Age, since it takes into account the change of the World that occured at that time [11].

When Pengolodh came to Valinor in the middle of the Second Age, Rúmil saw his Quenta Silmarillion and made slight additions to it, such as the mentioning of Mandos' and Lorien's real names, Námo and Irmo [12].

Except for a few scattered notes in annals and preambles to various works, Rúmil is not mentioned in any narrative texts, and it is not known what happened to him in later ages. He does not seem to have been on Tol Eressëa when Ælfwine came there long after the Elder Days, since Ælfwine read many of his writings there but never met him. Pengolodh was definitely there, and told Ælfwine many stories, among them Rúmil's Ainulindalë [13]. It is probable that Rúmil stayed in Tirion upon Túna, and lives there still.


  1. BLT 1 Appendix
  2. PM Shibboleth
  3. SM The Earliest Annals of Valinor
  4. WJ Quendi and Eldar Appendix D
  5. S Index
  6. MR The Annals of Aman
  7. LRW The Later Annals of Valinor
  8. S Of the Flight of the Noldor
  9. BLT 1 Music of the Ainur
  10. LRW The Lhammas
  11. SM The Ambarkanta
  12. MR The Later Quenta Silmarillion
  13. MR Ainulindalë

Pengolodh of Gondolin

Pengolodh is the greatest of the chroniclers of Middle-earth, and the most renowned of all. He was born son of a Noldo and a Sinda in Turgon's old realm of Nevrast. Later he followed Turgon's folk and became his sage in Gondolin. He became the most eminent member of the Lambengolmor, 'Loremasters of Tounges', a group which Fëanor had founded [1].

The name Pengolodh is Sindarin and probably derived from, partly, a word based on the root KWET- 'say' [2], and Golodh 'Noldo' [3], which gives 'Speaking or Tale-telling Noldo'. The variations Pengoloð, Pengolod and Pengoloth also occurs, in Quenya Quengoldo or Quendingoldo [4]. He is also in one instance called Thingódhel: Sindarin 'Grey Noldo', which undoubtedly refers to his mixed Noldorin and Grey-elven ancestry [5]. In the text The Book of Lost Tales we meet an Elf called Gilfanon who recieves Eriol (Ælfwine) in his house in Tavrobel and asks him to write down all that he has heard. This seems to be another reference to Pengolodh although, as much else in The Book of Lost Tales, it is heavily obscured. [6].

At the fall of Gondolin, Pengolodh managed to escape from Morgoth's creatures together with Tuor and Idril, and followed them to the Havens of Sirion. With him he brought a number of valuable old documents and own works. The Havens of Sirion had at this time become a gathering-place for refugees from Doriath, Hithlum and other places throughout Beleriand. A short time of peace was allowed to the refuge, and a kind of prosperity, which the refugees attributed to Eärendil's silmaril. Since Pengolodh had hitherto been prevented from gathering lore outside the borders of Gondolin, he suddenly had a whole new field of research [1].

Here he gathered information on the runic system used in Doriath, invented by Daeron. These runes were rarely used and would become even rarer in coming ages. But Pengolodh made copies and extracts of documents using these characters, and thus made an important cultural contribution, lest the Certhas Daeron (as he called them) would have been totally forgotten by the Elves [7].

The Sindar of Doriath had brought the Annals of Beleriand, or Grey Annals, to the Havens where they were extended with the aid of the other peoples [8]. Pengolodh probably helped in this task, since his memory of the history was "prodigious" [1]. What is certain, though, is that he made additions and comments to them. The Annals of Beleriand were later brought to Valinor, but there is nothing to indicate that they were transported by Pengolodh [8].

From the end of the First Age of the Sun, the Noldor were allowed to return to the West. Pengolodh, however, did not go to Valinor emmideately. He stayed in Middle-earth, far on into the Second Age, and gathered lore. He was permitted to dwell for a while with the Dwarves in Khazad-dûm, and thus was probably one of the few to get insight in the Dwarvish languages [1].

In Eriador he wrote the text called Lammas ('Account on Tounges'), discussing the languages of Men, Elves and other races. In this work he used much of Rúmil's works on languages, notably the Equessi Rúmilo [9]. He also wrote a short work called the Lammasethen treating the Elvish languages in especial [10].

When Sauron's dominion grew over Eriador, Pengolodh finally went West, to Tol Eressëa in the Bay of Eldamar. There he stayed in the village of Tavrobel (also called Tathrobel), and continued extending the Annals of Beleriand. He also extended Quennar i Onótimo's Tale of Years, which had been aborted at the beginning of the First Age of the Sun [11].

Pengolodh is traditionally given the credit of writing the Quenta Silmarillion, the main work of the oldest history, but what he really did was compiling the many traditions, legends and stories into one, continuous work. His main sources were Rúmil's and his own writings (the Annals, Ainulindalë etc), the Grey Annals, the Narn i Chîn Húrin, and the Golden Book [12]. Rúmil also made slight additions to the Silmarillion [13].

When Ælfwine came to Tol Eressëa many millenia later, he met Pengolodh. Pengolodh told him many of the legends and showed him the texts, and thus became an important link between the Elder Days and our age.


  1. WJ Quendi and Eldar App. D
  2. LRW Etymologies
  3. S Appendix
  4. PM Dangweth Pengoloð, Of Lembas
  5. WJ Quendi and Eldar Editorial Notes
  6. SM The Earliest Annals of Valinor
  7. TI Appendix on Runes
  8. WJ The Grey Annals
  9. WJ Quendi and Eldar Author's Note 35
  10. LRW Lhammas
  11. WJ The Tale of Years
  12. LRW Quenta Silmarillion
  13. MR The Later Quenta Silmarillion

Quennar i Onótimo

Not much is known about this mysterious Elf. He was apparently a Noldo of considerable age, who for some reason or other seems to have stopped writing just at the beginning of the First Age of the Sun.

Though Quennar only wrote three texts known to us, these seem to have affected both Rúmil and Pengolodh. His first work, Of the beginning of time and its reckoning, forms the beginning of the Annals of Aman. It contains among other things some information on the reckoning of time in Valinor, which is interesting since the Annals of Aman uses so-called Valian Years [1]. For the Annals of Aman Rúmil also used much of Quennar's second work, Yénonótië ('Counting of Years'), which also contains material on the reckoning of time.

Quennar's third work was the Tale of Years (not to be confused with the Tale of Years in the Red Book, which was put together at the Great Smials). This is closely connected with the Annals of Aman, and was in many parts almost identical to it. It is clear that either Quennar read Rúmil's works, Rúmil read Quennar's, or they read each other's and tried to make them agree.

But after the entry for Valian Year 1500, which notes the crossing of the Helcaraxë by Fingolfin and his followers, a note says: "So far did Quennar Onótimo compile this count and compute the years. / Here follows the continuation which Pengoloð made in Eressëa." [2]. As in the case of Rúmil, this could indicate that Quennar chose to remain in Tirion and had no knowledge of the further activities of the exiles. If that is so, one must ask why he did not continue recording what he did know about: the events in Aman; and also why, after the fall of Morgoth, he didn't resume the writing but let Pengolodh do it instead. He could of course simply have lost interest in the matter, but if so that would seem to be something of a unique case among the Noldor.

The other alternative is that he indeed followed Fëanor to Middle-earth. Then why did he stop writing? Because of a sudden and violent death? Perhaps Quennar was killed by the Orcs in the Dagor Nuin-Giliath [3]? The answer to this riddle we will probably never know.

Tolkien provided no sure translation of the name Quennar i Onótimo. The first name could mean 'tale-teller', or 'Elf-speaker', or something else. I Onótimo is apparently an epithet or epessë meaning simply 'The Reckoner' [4].


  1. MR Annals of Aman
  2. WJ The Tale of Years
  3. QS XIII
  4. Vinyar Tengwar #34: Morgoth's Ring

Dírhaval of the Havens

Dírhaval was a minstrel that only made one lay in all his life, but it became the greatest and in later times the most remembered of all the lays made by Men. It was the Narn i Chîn Húrin, 'The Tale of the Children of Húrin'.

Dírhaval was of the house of Hador, and had probably fled from Dor-lómin when he came to the Havens of Sirion. Because of his ancestry he was very interested in the deeds of his house and searched for information among all the refugees. Thus he met Mablung of Doriath who told him many things about Túrin Turambar. By luck he also met an old man called Andvír. He was a son of Andróg who had been a member of Túrin's outlaw-band.

He used the information he had gathered and wrote in Sindarin a long lay, in fact the longest of all from that time, in the verse-mode called minlamad thent (or minlamad estent). This mode was spoken verse, not unlike the Old English alliterative mode. The Narn i Chîn Húrin tells of the fates of Húrin's children Túrin and Nienor, with emphasis on Túrin. It is a very tragic story, highly praised by the Elves and remembered by them. It is the only full account of Túrin's life, and all later writings on the subject fall back on this one.

Unfortunately, Dírhaval was killed when the sons of Fëanor finally attacked the Havens of Sirion in the third and last Kinslaying.

The Narn was later brought to Tol Eressëa by the returning Elves, from which we have most of our knowledge of the poem. Ælfwine translated the Narn into his birth-tounge, Old English, but he did not attempt to preserve the alliterative metre. Professor Tolkien began a verse translation into English, but sadly it was never finished.

The meaning of the name Dírhaval is unknown. It probably derives from the language of the House of Hador. He has also erroneously been called Dírhavel, but Dírhaval is the correct form [1].


  1. WJ Ælfwine and Dírhaval

Ælfwine of England

The subject of Ælfwine, the seafarer who found the Straight Road and came to Tol Eressëa, is definitely the most intricate and complicated matter in the field of authors. He is also extraordinary in that he is the only one to have been born in an age of the Dominion of Mankind.

Ælfwine was an Anglo-Saxon, living in Britain during the 10th century. His name is in Old English, and means 'Elf-friend', not a very uncommon name at this time. (He has also been called Ottor Wæfre, 'Otter Wandering' [1]. This may be due to confusion with another character.) He was a long way descendant of Eärendil, and had, like all of Eärendil's descendants, sea-longing in his blood [2].

Ælfwine was a sailor and a minstrel in the service of king Eadweard's thegn Odda. He was called Wídlást ('Fartravelled') and his father was Éadwine, son of Óswine. He was apparently born around 869 AD.

When Ælfwine was nine years old (878 AD), his father sailed off with his ship Éarendel and never returned. Because of the attacks of the Danes, Ælfwine's mother (not named) fled with him from Somerset, where they lived, to the West Wales, where she had her kindred.

Having grown up to full manhood and learned the Welsh language and much sea-craft he returned to Somerset to serve the King in the wars. In the service of Odda he sailed many seas and visited both Wales and Ireland many times. On his journeys he always sought tales of the sea, and thus came to hear the Irish legends of Maelduin and Saint Brendan, who both set out to sea, and came to "many islands in succession, where they encountered marvel upon marvel" [3]. He heard also of a great land in the west which had been cast down. The survivors of the disaster had settled on Ireland and dwindled there; and the successors of these men all had the sea-longing in their blood, so that many sailed off west and never returned. Ælfwine thought he might be one of these descendants.

Around the year 915, in autumn, the Danes attacked Porlock. They were at first driven off and Ælfwine's company managed to capture a Danish cnearr (a small ship) at night. Ælfwine's closest friend was Tréowine of the Marches. At dawn Ælfwine told Tréowine he intended to sail off westward, perhaps to the country of the legendary king Sheaf. This he had long planned and had prepared a supply of food and water. Tréowine agreed to accompany him at least as far as to Ireland. They got two other companions: Ceola of Somerset and Geraint of West Wales. Then they sailed off.

They sailed west and passed Ireland, and after many days the voyagers were exhausted. A "dreamlike death" seemed to come over them, and soon they passed out. The last that is known of the journey is that Tréowine saw the world plunge down under them. They had entered the Straight Road [1, 3].

It is uncertain what happened to Ælfwine's companions after they fainted. Indeed, it is uncertain how many that followed him all the way to the Straight Road. That Tréowine was there is known, because he is mentioned (but even he disappears from the narrative at this point). The others may have left in Ireland or, as one version says, jumped overboard when the ship rose from the surface of the sea [3].

In any case, when Ælfwine woke up, he found himself lying on a beach and a group of Elves pulling up his ship on the shore [3]. He had come to Tol Eressëa. He soon got aquainted with the Noldor that lived on the island, and gained several names: Eriol, 'One who dreams alone', Angol, 'Iron-cliffs' (referring to the coasts of his homeland) [4], and Sarothron, 'Voyager' [5]. He learned the islanders' language, and after a period went inland.

Soon he came to a village called Tavrobel, where he stayed for a long time. In this village also lived Pengolodh, and Ælfwine learned much from him. Pengolodh told him the Ainulindalë [6], and he was shown the Lammas [7], the Quenta Silmarillion, the Golden Book [8], The Narn i Chîn Húrin [9], and the Annals of Aman and Beleriand [10]. Ælfwine learned much of these works by heart, and translated the Silmarillion, the Annals and the Narn into Old English (mostly after his return to Britain), giving explanations on the many names [8, 9]. Pengolodh also gave Ælfwine answers to many specific questions. One is preserved in the manuscript called Dangweth Pengoloð ('The Answer of Pengolodh'), probably written either by Ælfwine or Pengolodh, in which the latter explains why the Elvish languages change the way they do [11].

It is not known how long Ælfwine stayed on Tol Eressëa, but it can be safely assumed he stayed there for several years — long enough to learn at least one new language, learn several long works by heart, and start translating them. Eventually he returned to Britain, but what there befell him is not known. It is clear, though, that he continued translating the works that he had received or learned, and that Professor Tolkien used much of his works in his translations [6].


  1. BLT 2 The History of Eriol or Ælfwine
  2. SD The Notion Club Papers (part two)
  3. LRW The Lost Road
  4. BLT 1 Appendix
  5. Parma Eldalamberon #11 1995: Gnomish Lexicon
  6. MR Ainulindalë
  7. LRW The Lhammas
  8. LRW Quenta Silmarillion
  9. WJ Ælfwine and Dírhaval
  10. SM The Earliest Annals of Valinor
  11. PM Dangweth Pengoloð

Appendix 1: The Red Book

The Red Book seems to be the most important source for our knowledge of the history of the Third Age. It consists of several parts, for which the most important contributors were Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and Sam Gamgee.

After Bilbo Baggins returned from the quest of Erebor, he started writing a diary about his adventures. When, at the eminent age of 111, he went to Rivendell, he took this diary with him, and continued writing. He now probably wrote many poems, some which were written in the margins of the diary or on loose pages [1]. In Rivendell he also became occupied with translating a number of Elvish Books of Lore (3003-3018 TA). These were primarily concerned with the Elder Days, and may have contained such works as Pengolodh's Quenta Silmarillion and Rúmil's Ainulindalë. For this he used all resources available there, and they were many. Apart from the many texts he also had direct access to people who spoke the old languages. The result was three thick volumes in red leather called Translations from the Elvish. This work was considered well done even by the Elves.

After the War of the Ring, Frodo Baggins brought the three volumes and the diary back to the Shire and started (3020-1 TA) adding his own account of the war, which was seen as a continuation of Bilbo's adventure [2]. From this time onward was probably added, at various times, material from the archives in Gondor, made available to Frodo and Peregrin Took by King Elessar; notably the volumes The Book of the Kings, The Book of the Stewards, and the Akallabêth [3].

When Frodo went to the Grey Havens he had almost finished the account, and gave the book to Sam Gamgee for him to finish it. It then had 80 chapters, and the title-page was full of suggestions for a name. First, Bilbo had written:

My Diary. My Unexpected Journey. There and Back Again. And What Happened After. Adventures of Five Hobbits. The Tale of the Great Ring, compiled by Bilbo Baggins from his own observations and the account of his friends. What we did in the War of the Ring.

But these had all been crossed out. Below, Frodo had written:

(as seen by the Little People; being the memoirs of Bilbo and Frodo of the Shire, supplemented by the accounts of their friends and the learning of the Wise.)
Together with extracts from Books of Lore translated by Bilbo in Rivendell. [4]

Sam Gamgee had probably finished the account when he, in the year 60 of the Fourth Age, went to the Havens. He then gave the books to his daughter Elanor [5].

From then on the books were kept by the descendants of Elanor, the Fairbairns of the Undertowers who lived in the Westmarch, an area recently added to the Shire. The assembled books were therefore called the Red Book of Westmarch, and a fifth volume was added. It contained commentaries, genealogies, and various other things concerning the Hobbits of the Nine Walkers [2].

The first copy that was made of the Red Book was the so-called Thain's Book. It was a copy made at the request of king Elessar, and its importance lay in that it contained much that was later later lost or omitted. Later in Gondor, this copy was much annotated and many names and quotes were corrected. Added was also, some time after the passing of King Elessar in 120 FA The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen, i.e. those parts not present in the Red Book narrative. It was authored by the Steward Barahir, grandson of Faramir.

The second copy was made by Findegil, the King's Writer of Gondor. It was an exact copy of the Thain's Book that was kept in Gondor. These two copies were the only ones to contain everything from the original, plus the Gondorian annotations. Findegil's copy was the only one surviving to Tolkien's day which contained Bilbo's Translations from the Elvish. It was ordered by Peregrin Took's greatgrandson and when finished in 172 FA in Gondor it was kept at Great Smials.

Apart from these, many other copies were made for Sam Gamgee's descendants. To these copies was also later added many notes, commentaries and poems [1]. The original Red Book was lost, but the copies remained. These were professor Tolkien's main source to his accounts of the War of the Ring. However, when he published the first editions, he had not found all the correct accounts, or had not used them. For instance, in his earliest texts about Bilbo's adventure in the Misty Mountains, the story originated from a version of the Red Book where Bilbo's 'lie' was printed: that he was promised a present by Gollum, but since Gollum couldn't give the Ring to Bilbo, he was shown the way out instead. In reality, Bilbo was never offered the Ring [2].


  1. ATB Prologue
  2. LR Prologue
  3. LR Appendix A (First Edition)
  4. LR The Grey Havens
  5. LR Appendix B

Appendix 2: The Books of Lore

Here is treated a number of works that are either only passingly referred to, but which seems to have had some importance, or works whose authors are unknown.

Akallabêth means 'The Downfallen' in Adûnaic, and is an account of the fall of Númenor. It was written by Elendil [1] and preserved in Gondor. There it was seen by Frodo Baggins and Peregrin Took and used as a source for the Red Book [2].

Aldudénie was written by the Vanya Elemmíre and tells of the death of the Two Trees; it is known to all the Eldar [3]. The name Aldudénie means 'Lament for the Two Trees' in what must be the Vanya dialect of Quenya (since Noldorin Quenya doesn't allow /d/ as an isolated consonant).

The Book of the Kings was a record kept in Gondor, undoubtedly being a biography of its regents. Frodo Baggins and Peregrin Took were allowed to see it, and Tolkien probably made use of it in his translations [2]. The evil queen Berúthiel had the honour of being erased from its pages [4].

The Book of the Stewards was a record, probably similar to the Book of the Kings. Frodo Baggins and Peregrin Took were allowed to see it [2].

Dorgannas Iaur is an account of "the shapes of the lands of old". It was written by Torhir Ifant, and Ælfwine cites it in his translation of the Silmarillion to clarify the placing of the realms of Beleriand [5]. The above quote is the only explanation of the title. Dor means 'land' and iaur means 'old' [6], so presumably -gannas means 'shape' (compare Quenya canta [7]).

Indis i·Ciryamo or 'The Mariner's Wife' relates the lives of Tar-Aldarion, the sixth king of Númenor, and his wife Erendis. It was one of the few stories to be savioured in the downfall, thanks to Elendil, who showed a personal interest in the story [1]. The full title of the work was Indis i·Ciryamo 'The Mariner's Wife': a tale of ancient Númenórë, which tells of the first rumour of the Shadow. Another version is entitled The Shadow of the Shadow: the Tale of the Mariner's Wife; and the Tale of the Queen Shepherdess. [8]

The Lay of Eärendil tells of Eärendil's journeys in unknown lands and seas [9]. Little is known of this work. There is a fragment of alliterative text in English which might have been an abandoned translation of it [10]. If that is so, the the original verse was probably written in the same mode as the The Narn i Chîn Húrin, minlamad thent.

The Lay of the Fall of Gondolin relates Tuor's coming to Gondolin, its sack by Morgoth and the heroic defence of the city [10]. It may have been written by Pengolodh. The lay can probably be equalled to The Fall of Gondolin referred to in The Silmarillion [11].

The Lay of Leithian tells the story of Beren and Lúthien and the quest for the Silmaril. It is the second longest of the songs of the First Age (the longest being the The Narn i Chîn Húrin) [12], and was written in the verse-mode called ann-thennath. In the late Third Age the only one to still remember it in full was Elrond [13]. A large portion of it, however, has survived through Tolkien's unfinished translation; it may have been included in Bilbo Baggins' Translations from the Elvish. Leithian apparently means 'release from bondage' [14].

Narsilion, the Song of the Sun and Moon, tells of the creation and hallowing of the sun and moon [15]. Narsilion means simply 'Of the Sun and Moon'; its full title was probably Linde Narsilion or something similar.

Noldolantë, 'Fall of the Noldor', was a lament of the Kinslaying at Alqualonde. It was written by Maglor [16].

Old Words and Names in the Shire was a treatsie written by Meriadoc Brandybuck some time after year 11 FA, when he became Master of Buckland. In particular, it explored the relationships between typical Shire-words and the language of the Rohirrim. The work was kept at Brandy Hall [17].

Parma Culuina, or the Golden Book, was a book of lore that was kept in the city of Cortirion in Tol Eressëa. Pengolodh used it when making the Quenta Silmarillion, and Ælfwine was allowed to see it [18].

Quentalë Ardanómion is a work that treats the Dwarves; nothing more is known about it. Ælfwine used this in his account on the Dwarves in his translation of the Silmarillion [5]. Quentalë means 'History'. Ardanómion means 'Of the {?}s of the World' (the Quenya element nóm is not known, but it could possibly be a misinterpretation of norn, which means 'Dwarf').

Reckoning of Years was a text that discussed the relation of the different calendars in use in the Shire, Bree, Rivendell, Gondor and Rohan. It was written by Meriadoc Brandybuck some time after 11 FA, and kept at Brandy Hall [16].

The Tale of Years Was a chronology of the Second and Third Age, probably compiled at Great Smials. Much of the information derived from Meriadoc Brandybuck, who in turn had probably obtained at least part of it from Rivendell. When completed, the Tale of Years was kept at Great Smials. Tolkien relied heavily on this work for his Appendix B to The Lord of the Rings [17].

Yellowskin, or the Year-book of Tuckborough, was a record of births, marriages and deaths among the Tooks, as well as various other matters such as land-sales. It may have been begun as early as 2000 TA, and was preserved to Frodo's days, making it the oldest surviving document in the Shire [19].


  1. UT 2 III
  2. LR Appendix A (First Edition)
  3. QS VIII
  4. UT Istari
  5. WJ The Later Quenta Silmarillion
  6. S Index
  7. LRW Etymologies
  8. UT Introduction "Part Two" II
  9. QS XXIV
  10. LB 2
  11. QS XXIII
  12. QS XIX
  13. LL
  14. LR 1 XI
  15. QS XI
  16. QS IX
  17. LR Prologue Note
  18. LRW Quenta Silmarillion
  19. LR Appendix D Calendars

Appendix 3: Chart over the Transmission of the Legends

" " = Important works    Authors
( ) = Translations       Regions
 >  = Direction of flow

                          Quennar i Onótimo
                      "Of the Beginning of Time..."
                        "The Tale of Years"
               Rúmil             |                     "Parma Culuina"
          "Annals of Aman"---<---|           Doriath          |
            "Ambarcanta"         |      "The Grey Annals"     |
           "Ainulindalë"         |              |             |
                 |               |              |  Pengolodh  |            Dírhaval
                 |--------->-----+----->----"Quenta Silmarillion"--<--"Narn i Chîn Húrin"
                 |                                "Lammas"
                 |                                    |
                 |                     |                  |
                 |                  Númenor           Rivendell
                 |             "Indis i·Ciryamo"   "Books of Lore"
                 |                     |                  |
                 |                     |                  |
                 |                 Arnor and              |
                 |                   Gondor               |          Bilbo Baggins
                 |            "Book of the Kings"         |            "My Diary"
                 |          "Book of the Stewards"        +-("Translations from the Elvish")
                 |               "Akallabêth"                               |
   "Quentalë     |   Torhir Ifant      |               Frodo Baggins        |
   Ardanómion"   | "Dorgannas Iaur"    |                 Sam Gamgee         |
        |        |       |             |----->----"The Lord of the Rings"   |
        |        |       |             |                        |           |
        |        |       |             |                       "The Red Book of Westmarch"
        |        |       |             |          Findegil                  |
        |        |       |             |-->--"The Thain's Book"------<------|
        |        |       |             |             |                [Many copies]     The Shire
        |    Ælfwine     |             |             |                      |      "The Tale of Years"
      ("Quenta Silmarillion")          |             +----------->----------|               |
         ("Annals of Aman")            |                                    |               |
          ("Grey Annals")              |                                    |               |
                 |                     |                                    |               |
                                J. R. R. Tolkien
                                 ("The Hobbit")
                            ("The Lord of the Rings")
                              ("The Silmarillion")

Modified 13/12 2000