The Anglicization of Middle-earth
Perceived Racism in Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings Saga
A study of anglophile and ethnocentric narratives, given perceptions of racism in Arda, the setting of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, as seen in Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Simarillion.
We have cliques. We have tribes. We have camps. We tell ourselves that we’re not racist, prejudiced, or anything of the sort. We lie, even to ourselves, that there’s not a hateful bone in our bodies. Now, it’s a noble goal to attain the mindset of treating all people equally, but many of us fall short, if only due to our subconsciousness. Maybe we had a bad run-in at some point in our lives; maybe we all have a drive that basically says to us: “different person bad; fight or flight.”
On an intellectual level, we understand diversity. We know what it means for people of all nations, ethnicities, and creeds to come to common cause. We all love it when the ragtag heroes of different races come together to defeat the enemies of humans, dwarves, and orcs alike. That’s good. That shows that we aspire to acceptance.
The devils are visible in the details, however. Do you catch yourself hanging out more with people of your own race? If not, is there a race that, now that you think about it, you don’t really know anyone identifying as said race very well? And what about the subtle things that might form your opinions on race? Smells, choice of fabrics, resting positions…
I think I should note: I’m so white I bleed pumpkin spice. While I’ve certainly dated and befriended outside my race, I realize that I, too, have some subtle, subconscious biases in the way I think and act. So no, this is not coming from someone who has endured racism in the United States. At most, I’ve had to deal with a certain amount of religious and subculture-based prejudice. But let’s face it: I have to deal with a lot less harassment as a goth in a whole year than a gay, Black, Hispanic, Jewish woman does in half a day.
As I write this, we are all examining the artists of yesteryear, attempting to answer the question of whether or not a person can be separated from their work. Usually, that means people who are alive and active in Hollywood, having committed some crime or admitted to less-than-progressive views on race. Yet sometimes, we have to look back a bit. That’s especially true when your heroes are people who grew up in “a different time” and are almost expected to hold unflattering views are certain groups of people. And thus, my dear readers, we need to examine J.R.R. Tolkien. We all hold him in our hearts, and his work helped to pave the way for fantasy as we know it today (European-flavored fantasy, but I digress). But we need to look at him with the same critical eye we’d turn on any director, producer, actor, or modern-day children’s author.
Look, I love Tolkien. I remember using his work in school projects up through my college years (and the daggers stared at me by both those who were bored of the topic and those who were Middle-earth scholars tired of me getting details wrong). But we need to remember something: Good ol’ J.R.R. was born in 1890s South Africa [ 1 ]. Like Rudyard Kipling, he was born into a colonial land, loyal to the crown. There’s a certain jingoism that comes with an origin like that, and we should be very thankful that Tolkien was able to throw off much of the imperial mindset.
Now, Tolkien arrived in England three years after his birth [ 1 ]. I severely doubt he really remembered much of South Africa as he grew into adolescence. Still, his neighbors, and even his friends, might have instilled some curiosity in the young man. But I’m manufacturing conjecture here. I don’t have the sort of notes I’d need to write a full psychoanalysis of the childhood mind of a famous author. Also, I’m not about to start citing my sources in an APA format. Nor am I going to tie down a BCBA for insight into the thought processes I’d have to take into account (that’s a series for another day, and I’d probably focus on C.S. Lewis). Rather, when discussing John Ronald Reuel Tolkien and his views (conscious or otherwise), we’re going to focus more on the man’s era.
Speaking of C.S. Lewis, I’d like to grab one of our subject’s friends and contemporaries for just a moment. The two had similar backgrounds, as long as we’re not concentrating on the story of the Catholic Tolkien winning Lewis over to Christianity in the form of the Church of England [ 2 ]. That’s an interesting story in and of itself, and an odd one for me, seeing as I left the Roman Catholic Church in my teenage years and eventually came to worship in a very different faith. But the man’s reactions to polytheists aren’t (exclusively) what we’re talking about today.
Remember Calormen? The villainous, Narnian nation is described as having various traits, most of which are negative, and many of which are reminiscent of the Middle East, such as the use of the word scimitar for sword. The Calormene themselves are “dark skinned and a bit peculiar” [ 3 ]. This is, honestly, somewhat damning if you try to look at the characters from The Chronicles of Narnia through a modern lens [ 4 ]. While there are no clear parallels to African nations or their peoples, being omitted isn’t really much better.
In the wake of Brexit, the U.K. has to ask itself some hard questions about its own racist past and, sadly, racist present. Authors going back to Shakespeare (as long as we’re sticking to modern English in our critiques; let’s not go back to Middle English and sort through Chaucer’s writings) have a history of bigotry, overt or covert, conscious or subconscious.
Let’s not forget that the entirety of Middle-earth was invented by a white male who was born in South Africa and who lived in Great Britain for the majority of his life. The British history of colonization and imperial rule is well documented, and the culture of Great Britain is reflective of its history. The inherent racism in these beliefs—that anyone not white and European is worthy of little more than being conquered and put to work—can be proven by how the English have treated people of color from around the world, from the South Asian peninsula to the African continent to the Middle East to the Aboriginal territories of Australia and beyond. You’ll notice that C.S. Lewis didn’t invite Black people to Narnia; however, the Calormene, one of the villains in the series, were referred to as “darkies” by the dwarves, themselves clearly unsympathetic [ 5 ].
What is now known as casual racism permeates English history and literature. The discussion centering on the debate surrounding the United Kingdom’s Brexit controversy is just the tip of a very deep iceberg, one that has been present for centuries [ 6 ]. Agatha Christie, in Dumb Witness, has one of her characters say, “Rather dreadful for an English girl to marry a Turk, I think, don’t you? It shows a certain lack of fastidiousness” [ 6 ][ 7 ].
An Overview of Middle-earth
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, a common refrain regarding The Lord of the Rings was that understanding of the tale must first be based in an understanding of the geography of Middle-earth itself. Tolkien modeled Middle-earth in the simplest of fashions; he constructed a relatively close fantasy interpretation of Europe altered to suit his purposes without ignoring the cultures of the regions in question. The majority of the mythology revolving around the people of Middle-earth also mirrors much of Europe’s, from the origin stories to the general geographic layout of ethnicities throughout Middle-earth itself.
Among the humans, Middle-earth was home to four different large ethnic groups, all with specific origins and histories. The ethnicities of Middle-earth were the Éothéod, the Númenoreans, the Haradrim, and the Easterlings. The Éothéod were the most central of the “White” peoples, described by Tolkien as “tall and long-limbed; their hair, flaxen-pale, flowed under their light helms, and streamed with long braids behind them, their faces were stern and keen” [ 8 ]. This is a general depiction of those peoples with real world descendants in central Europe, such as Germany. The people of Rohan draw a direct line to this ethnic group and are largely unchanged from their real-world inspirations. They were considered the primary native ethnicity to the Middle-earth setting as we know it, centered on where Rohan stood with a northern strip along the mountains as well [ 9 ].
The Númenoreans are an ethnic (also White) culture primarily existing in the northern reaches of Middle-earth as the Dúnedain. Some are described as being “dark-haired and of slender grace, with the clear gray eyes of [their] kin.” These ostensibly white people were descended from a lost island nation which sank long before, in a direct inspiration from the tale of Atlantis. Unlike the localized Éothéod, the Númenoreans had spread throughout Middle-earth after the fall of Númenor, with much of the island nation’s influence still standing through its decedents. Gondor draws much of its lineage from the Númenoreans, especially in its royalty (Aragorn and the Rangers are all Dúnedain). Because of this stratification and co-mingling with the peoples abroad, the Dúnedain are largely an absorbed ethnicity, meaning the descendants of even the most distant carry what would be largely Mediterranean ethnic traits, which itself is an ethnic melting pot [ 10 ][ 11 ].
The Haradrim to the south and the Easterlings from Rhûn to the east of Mordor were depicted in The Lord of the Rings as a large, monolithic, antagonist host, which is where most complaints regarding the unfair depictions of people of color in Tolkien’s works originate. The Haradrim were described as “swarthy,” which literally means “to be of dark color or complexion.” A much more specific description of the men of Far Harad tells of “black men like half-trolls with white eyes and red tongues” [ 12 ]. So, too, are the natives of Rhûn depicted so descriptively, as “short and broad, long and strong in the arm; their skins were swart or sallow, and their hair was dark as were their eyes” [ 13 ]. Respectively, these descriptions do depict those who might stem from both African and Asian ancestries in the real world, but unlike the ethnicities noted above, the Haradrim and Easterlings held territories far outstripping those of the Éothéod and the Númenorians. It requires particular note that the Haradrim and the Easterlings were specifically noted by Tolkien as to not be uniform in purpose or ideology, even within their own cultures. Tolkien said in background material that the Easterlings of the first age “were not all of one kind, in looks or temper, or in tongue,” thus reminding us that not all were of the same mind [ 14 ]).
Aside from the indigenous cultures of Middle-earth, between the northern and southern reaches and beyond the small primary ethnic influences, the dwarves and elves require their own note because while they are diverse in skin, hair, and body type, they are also cultural influences. The elves drew heavily upon real world Norse mythology, while the dwarves drew influences from world Jewish culture and ethnicity [ 15 ]. The dwarves especially drew an inordinate amount of negative attention because of their negative depiction about the Jewish, sharing anti-Semitic stereotypes such as being obsessed with money and wealth, being calculating and sometimes dishonest, being secretive, all sporting facial hair. The striking relationship with the common Jewish stereotype did not help the argument that Tolkien was not anti-Semitic, regardless of his simple appropriation of influence [ 16 ][ 17 ].
Of special note are the Men in Darkness. They were not an ethnicity but a religious following on a grand scale which drew broadly throughout Middle-earth. Most of the militant followings did draw from the Haradrim and the Easterlings only because these nations themselves were already embattled against nations such as Gondor. Mordor was an ally with elements of both nations thanks to Sauron’s influence as the deity figure of the Men of Darkness [ 18 ]. It was these militant religious elements which participated in the War of the Ring, especially at the Battle of Gondor, which is why we see people of color fighting alongside Mordor’s orcs.
Responses and Arguments to the Ethnic Divides
Many took offense at the idea that Middle-earth, a setting of high fantasy, was presented in an accurate yet also in such divisive fashion. The context of the setting of Middle-earth seen through the perception of the single epic tale, The Lord of the Rings, is limiting. Specifically, a primary complaint about The Lord of the Rings is that Tolkien’s subtext to the story is one of Anglo-supremacy over a monstrous “other” people by the resurgence of a familiar Anglo people, opening the way to an “Age of Men” which was to be of a single people without other races or interfering ethnicities [ 19 ].
The key argument supporting this thesis is that in Middle-earth, race determines behavior. In an essay, John Yatt observes that “the races that Tolkien has put on the side of evil are then given a rag-bag of non-white characteristics that could have been copied straight from a [British National Party] leaflet. Dark, slant-eyed, swarthy, broad-faced—it’s amazing he doesn’t go the whole hog and give them a natural sense of rhythm,” and argues that the product as a whole was a racist statement [ 20 ]. Rhetorical statements such as these naturally stir a very volatile pot amongst those readers who are ethnically associated with that racial “other” in societies where they are a minority and reinforce the supremacists: “In 1977, an Italian fascist group ran a Hobbit Camp for their young supporters. The BNP, a self-affirmed Neo-Nazi movement, declared The Lord of the Rings essential reading. Charles John Juba, national director of Aryan Nations, says his organization welcomed the movie adaptations of The Lord of the Rings because it is ‘entertaining to the average Aryan citizen’” [ 21 ].
This is further complicated by Tolkien’s own perceptions of defining beauty in people of color. One of his unfinished stories, called “Tal-Elmar,” tells of a boy born of a Númenorean and a Haradrim. Tolkien describes the protagonist’s father, a black man from the south, looking upon the boy’s mother, a fair-skinned woman from the north, that “having looked on her he desired no woman of his own folk.” Further describing the father, that “he took a wife late, for no woman of his own folk seemed desirable to him now that he knew what beauty in a woman might be.” He helps no further stating that the mother commented that the local people seemed “base and unlovely” [ 22 ]. It is statements such as these which spurred racist groups such as the British National Party to uphold The Lord of the Rings as validation for their position as being of a superior people.
Creative decisions by Tolkien further fueled this racial assignment of the “other” upon an obviously monstrous foe. For example, “The orcs were definitely stated to be corruptions of the ‘human’ form seen in elves and men,” he wrote. “They are (or were) squat, broad, flat-nozed, sallow-skined, with wide eyes and slant eyes: in fact, degraded and repulsive versions of the (to Europeans) least lovely Mongol-types” [ 23 ].
David Ibata relates his perspective as a Japanese American. “I cannot help imagining how the movie ‘[The Lord of the] Rings’ would have been received had it appeared in 1942 instead of 2002,” he wrote. “It would quickly have been seized upon as an allegory, and there would have been no doubt whom the Orcs and Uruk-hai represented: The ‘Japs.’” He begged readers to see how closely the non-human adversaries in The Lord of the Rings movie, reinforced by Tolkien’s creative direction of the orcs above, resemble some of the worst depictions of the Japanese drawn by American and British illustrators during the Second World War. The same respect was offered by the Japanese propagandists, he suggested. “This is how all cultures have portrayed a wartime enemy,” he cautioned: “As less than human” [ 24 ].
J.R.R. Tolkien was born and raised in a specific ethno-centrist culture, one that accepted and supported high levels of casual and even overt racism. Being raised within such an environment often gives one a racist outlook on the world; stereotypes are all you know about other races.
There are, of course, several ways to manifest racism in writing. One is racism by omission—simply not including “the Other” in your text. This is one of the most common forms; you can see it all over American media. Films by directors such as Woody Allen, Tim Burton, Mel Gibson, and others tend to show a racist bent in their behavior and their casting choices. Television shows such as Seinfeld, Friends, Full House, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, The Flintstones, and The Jetsons all lacked diversity.
Racism by omission is the start of the equation. Let’s follow it up with the second most common form of racist stereotypes: non-whites relegated to a position only slightly higher than that of scenery. Negative stereotypes for people of color are well-established and bear no repeating here. Quite often white writers demonstrate the lack of knowledge of other races is through their writing, demonstrating high levels of willful ignorance. This is painfully apparent in the nearly PoC-free world of Middle-earth. To cite some examples of how Tolkien viewed other races, we have only to turn to the pages of his books. Orcs are described as having black skin, slanted eyes, and misshapen features, and are considered the least lovely of all the races. Meanwhile, all of the humans working with Sauron are from the south and the east, making these individuals equivalent to Middle Eastern and South Asian, and insult to injury is added with claims that these peoples are dark skinned and evil. How one can create a world with dragons, hobbits, dwarves, elves, giant spiders, and godlike beings but neglect to provide places for people of color that don’t include antagonistic roles?
In the simplest terms, Middle-earth is saying that this area where these events take place is the center (middle) of the cultural and ideological world. When extrapolated to the real world you come to find that it matches quite nicely to European ideals and cultures. As you head south, you find that the map removes the Mediterranean and pushes Africa right up against Mordor, making Gondor roughly equivalent with Spain and the Shire either southern France or Portugal. The Lamp of the Valar, described as one of the most beautiful places on the planet, is in a location analogous to where Tolkien himself lived in South Africa. Although the landmasses are not exact, echoes of African geography, up to and including Lake Victoria, might be discerned. Granted, these similarities could be accidental, but this the first instance of such analogues being pointed out.
This point is a cogent one, as Tolkien apologists have claimed that the author wasn’t making a commentary on the world we live in. However, if it was not intentional, it certainly was subliminal. It’s more than a bit contrived that a land populated by scimitar-wielding savages who are violent and warlike, who have dark skin, are evil, and side with Sauron are described as “black men like half-trolls with white eyes and red tongues” and “troll-men.” Adding to this that, at the bottom of this world of evil there is the city of Harad, situated where South Africa would be on a terrestrial map, with a beacon that at one point was the only light (source of White “civilization”) in the darkness.
This is not necessarily a condemnation of Tolkien as a person. His world had a colonial ideology, and he was surrounded by this in his formative years. This is unfortunate, and certainly, he missed an opportunity to create a more vibrant fictional world, especially in light of how Middle-earth, as a real world cognate, could have easily had a significant number of people of color in the form of the equivalents of Moors, Moroccans, Egyptians, and Turks. There is not only history to back this up; there is also architecture, language, mathematics, and, of course, art.
The tone and language that came from the pen of Tolkien was notably explicit when it came to describing the evil races in his world. Slant-eyed, dark-skinned, swarthy, and broad-faced individuals were signified as evil, and although in later years Tolkien denied that his goal was to set these evil signifiers for non-white races, it is fairly obvious that his status as a white man born in South Africa and educated in England led him to accept a world where dark people were evil. This subconscious classification persisted even as he fought against the Germans during the World War I; he couldn’t see white-skinned men as being nearly as evil as darker-skinned ones, even as those same white men were trying to kill him. The typical colonialist approach to “lesser” races involved attempting to civilize people of color around the world while helping themselves to labor and resources, leaving a bleak legacy in their wake. The British are well-known for kidnapping Aboriginal children and treating them in ways that are analogous to how American slaveholders treated enslaved Africans. A concerted effort to erase cultural identities by separating parents from children, forced conversion to Christianity, and reinforcing their roles as a subservient, lower race was so common as to be standard operating procedure.
Without context it’s easy to miss the obvious. However, in Lord of the Rings there is context—but it doesn’t come from inside the world but outside. That is how racism takes hold in otherwise good people, as they are steeped in toxic environments from birth to adulthood, making it entirely possible to continue to contribute to racism without even realizing the supreme toxicity of your actions. This is why it is completely plausible that Tolkien, as he claimed, did not have any intentions to craft a story to support racist ideologies. It was those lessons he learned growing up in South Africa and those reinforced during his time in Great Britain that he internalized and accepted as true. Despite the trappings of his fertile imagination and higher education, early 20th-century British society failed Tolkien, as the absence of any sort of cultural progressivism meant that there were no significant challenges to the deeply-ingrained casual racism of British culture he was steeped in and a product of. Although he denied that his books were racist by design, Tolkien was confronted with the issue during his lifetime. During the 1930s as Hitler rose to power in Germany, the author was doubtlessly shocked into awareness when the Nazis asked if he was an Aryan and then asked for permission to translate Lord of the Rings into German. There is nothing that makes you realize you may have written a story with racial overtones than literal Nazis asking to make it into an Aryan-pride reading list. In that moment it’s quite likely that Tolkien realized that he may have unintentionally written a racist manuscript, despite his intent otherwise.
Regardless, it is impossible to deny that Tolkien’s core philosophies were Eurocentric in nature. One of the core tenets of this would be the conceit that that white women are so beautiful that once a person of color sees one they will never again want a person of their own race, as described in the unfinished story, “Tal-Elmar,” earlier. This stance is best summarized with a brief statement made in 2009 from a blogger quoted for the purpose of disputing their point by Tolkien scholar Michael Martinez:
It’s my thesis that, independent of Tolkien’s actual political views, his books are a model of interwar racial theory, which holds that whites are superior to blacks, that when whites interbreed with blacks they civilize them but dilute the ‘good qualities’ of whites, and that in general race determines psychological as well as physical traits, and racial mixing is bad. This doesn’t change the significance of Tolkien’s work, but it has ramifications for the political position of the genre it spawned [ 25 ].
Many of Tolkien’s stories speak to the twisted souls of racists everywhere. Not only did the Nazis approve of these narratives before and during the World War II, but the contemporary British National Party also reveres Tolkien’s work in much the same way. It is easy to see how being elevated in status by such a repugnant group as the National Socialists might have forced Tolkien to reevaluate what he had written and what he truly meant. It’s not unrealistic to imagine that the realization dawned on him that the stories he wrote in his youth were perhaps sending the wrong message.
We have, of course, all done things in our past that we did not think all the way through. Indeed, some of the best stories of childhood start with a whim not a thought. For a writer, unfortunately the evidence of not thinking about how your work will be perceived perhaps decades afterwards is always a potential problem, one which Tolkien now faces. Yet examining Tolkien’s life is never completely revelatory; we can never know what lies in the heart of a person, only what we have been told. He may have harbored these casual racist ideals in his heart, but, being confronted with the realities of what Nazi Germany accomplished in the name of racial hatred may have caused an ideological change for the better.
Conclusions and Respite
Now, in defense of the man (and I feel like I owe it to him at this point in the article), his conscious, rational mind rejected the concept of hatred. The following letter, replying in July 1938 to a German publisher’s request that he verify his “Aryan” descent, which I decided needed to be included in its entirety, proves that trolling Nazis isn’t an activity limited to the 21st century.
Thank you for your letter … I regret that I am not clear as to what you intend by arisch. I am not of Aryan extraction: that is Indo-Iranian; as far as I am aware none of my ancestors spoke Hindustani, Persian, [Roma], or any related dialects. But if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people. My great-great-grandfather came to England in the eighteenth century from Germany: the main part of my descent is therefore purely English, and I am an English subject—which should be sufficient. I have been accustomed, nonetheless, to regard my German name with pride, and continued to do so throughout the period of the late regrettable war, in which I served in the English army. I cannot, however, forbear to comment that if ompertinent and irrelevant inquiries of this sort are to become the rule in matters of literature, then the time is not far distant when a German name will no longer be a source of pride.
Your enquiry is doubtless made in order to comply with the laws of your own country, but that this should be held to apply to the subjects of another state would be improper, even if it had (as it has not) any bearing whatsoever on the merits of my work or its suitability for publication, of which you appear to have satisfied yourselves without reference to my Abstammung.
I trust you will find this reply satisfactory,
and remain yours faithfully [ 26 ].
Gloriously, our cherished author knew exactly what to say to incense the hateful monsters who sought to “claim” him for their manufactured legacy. Note that one of the first things he does is force them to read a proper definition (at least in English) of the word “Aryan.” While it’s regrettable that he used a term that is derogatory towards those descended from Indo-Aryan itinerants, we might have to accept that as the common parlance of the time (harkening back to when we discussed Tolkien’s jingoistic, imperial origins). And what does he do next? Throw shade by upselling Jewish culture. After that? Throw more shade by downplaying his own German heritage. Well done, Mr. Tolkien!
But this belief, coupled with the classic races of fantasy coming together to fight their common enemy, doesn’t manage to downplay one major issue: Eurocentrism. The people Tolkien defends are within his realm of common experience in the European continent. This showcases the sliding scale that casual racism can make use of, where we’re “only bad towards those groups.” This is, in a lot of ways, like knowing that guy at the water cooler who’s okay with black people, but is afraid of anyone directly from the Middle East. And yes, we’ve all met that guy.
No one is telling you to put down any of Tolkien’s work and never come back to it. What you should do is see what sort of time period he came from, where it influenced the characters and world we love, and keep that in mind when critically reading the work. Or watching the work? I’m not going to fault anyone for not being able to get through the books (there are certain novels from the nineteenth Century that make my brain hurt when I crack them open). J.R.R. Tolkien wasn’t innocent, nor was he a monster in comparison to his contemporaries. But we need to understand why that was, and never ignore the issues in these classics of our time. Acknowledge the bad, take in the good, and sit down with Trekkers and Whovians to discuss the broader meaning of it all.
I realize that this article is somewhat English-centric. We’ve been discussing Tolkien, touching on Lewis, and focusing on the imperialism that stemmed from the U.K. I don’t mean to downplay these phenomena elsewhere, especially when the U.S. has some hefty sins of its own. But these are the works that a lot of us read as children, and these are the issues we need to examine and confront before we look elsewhere.
I grew up more with the Dragonlance books than Middle-earth (we can blame RPGs for that), and I remember the use of other human races in that world. Weis and Hickman’s novels gave us many species in addition to a humanity that just as fractured as the one we know. I remember the Ergothians, and how they were often dark-skinned, but not pigeonholed as the “baddies” [ 27 ]. You know what I call that from this 1980s classic?
A good start.
- “The rich tapestry of Tolkien’s world has been leaping off the page for almost a century.”
Source: A Selective Focus of Castle Chess Piece on a Middle Earth Map. Central Java, Indonesia. Dec 10, 2020. Mukti Hartono. https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/selective-focus-castle-chess-piece-on-1871403439
- “Tolkien’s work has been seminal, held in the same regard to western literature as C.S. Lewis’ Narnia saga.” Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/books-library-jrr-tolkien-1246674/
As SFS’s Chief Administrative Officer, Mr. Cardinal has found his editorial duties at Steam-Funk Studios often reconnect him to parts of fandom he’d have otherwise overlooked. Andrew has DJed, catered, and run travel logistics in the goth scene as DJ Rasclin. Other credentials include staffing for Anime Central and work for the US Census Bureau. As the second of our Senior Editors, he advises on strategy for both The Unconventional and The Living Multiverse, remaining a steady guiding hand.
- Collier, Pieter. “J.R.R. Tolkien Biography,” Tolkien Library, Oct 2003, tolkienlibrary.com/abouttolkien.htm Accessed 18 Oct. 2020.
- Taylor, Justin. “85 Years Ago Today: J. R. R. Tolkien Convinces C. S. Lewis That Christ Is the True Myth,” The Gospel Coalition, 20 Sep 2016, thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/evangelical-history/85-years-ago-today-j-r-r-tolkien-convinces-c-s-lewis-that-christ-is-the-true-myth Accessed 1 Mar 2021.
- Leith, Sam. “CS Lewis’s Literary Legacy: ‘Dodgy and Unpleasant’ or ‘Exceptionally Good’?” The Guardian, 19 Nov. 2013, theguardian.com/books/2013/nov/19/cs-lewis-literary-legacy Accessed 1 Mar 2021.
- Mikalatos, Matt. “Ethnocentrism, Heathens, and Heretics in The Horse and His Boy,” The Great C.S. Lewis Reread (Tor), 16 Sep 2020, tor.com/2020/09/16/ethnocentrism-heathens-and-heretics-in-the-horse-and-his-boy Accessed 1 Mar 2021.
- Ness, Mari. “At the Ending: The Last Battle,” Tor, 3 Mar 2011, tor.com/2011/03/03/at-the-ending-the-last-battle Accessed 1 Mar 2021.
- Betensky, Carolyn. “Casual Racism in Victorian Literature,” Victorian Literature and Culture 47, 2019, pp. 723–751. doi.org/10.1017/S1060150319000202 Accessed 1 Mar 2021.
- Batuman, Elif. “Reading Racist Literature,” The New Yorker, 13 Apr 2015. newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/reading-racist-literature Accessed 1 Mar 2021.
- Tolkien, J. R. R. The Two Towers: Being the Second Part of the Lord of the Rings. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, chap. 2.
- “Rohan.” The Lord of the Rings Wiki, lotr.fandom.com/wiki/Rohan.
- “Númenor.” Lord of the Rings Wiki, lotr.fandom.com/wiki/Númenor.
- “Dúnedain.” Lord of the Rings Wiki, lotr.fandom.com/wiki/Dúnedain.
- “Harad.” Lord of the Rings Wiki, lotr.fandom.com/wiki/Harad.
- Tolkien, J. R. R. The Silmarillion. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012, chap. 18.
- Tolkien, J. R. R. The War of the Jewels. Christopher Tolkien, ed., Houghton Mifflin, 1994, pp. 60–64. (ref via en.everybodywiki.com/Easterlings_(First_Age)#cite_note-GA-1
- Wilkin, Peter. “Norse Influences on Tolkien’s Elves and Dwarves” in Frances Di Lauro & Victoria Barker, eds., … Through a Glass Darkly: Reflections on the Sacred: Collected Research. Sydney University Press. core.ac.uk/download/pdf/229404148.pdf. Accessed 1 Mar 2021.
- Wilkin, Peter. “Norse Influences on Tolkien’s Elves and Dwarves” in Frances Di Lauro & Victoria Barker, eds., … Through a Glass Darkly: Reflections on the Sacred: Collected Research. Sydney University Press. core.ac.uk/download/pdf/229404148.pdfl Accessed 1 Mar 2021.
- Brackmann, Rebecca. “‘Dwarves are Not Heroes’: Antisemitism and the Dwarves in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Writing,” Mythlore: A Journal of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and Mythopoeic Literature, 15 Apr 2010, dc.swosu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1172&context=mythlorel Accessed 1 Mar 2021.
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