TheSilmarillionWriters'Guild

References Home | Essays | Periodicals | SWG Yellow Pages | Submit Your Work | Become a Reference Reader



The following essays have passed the SWG review process for inclusion in our library. However, as always, we remind readers that secondary sources should never serve as a substitute for primary source material when discussing Tolkien's canon.

Don't see what you're looking for? Reference projects that are periodically updated and, for reason of time constraints, cannot be reviewed are kept in our Periodicals section. In-progress and unreviewed essays are also always welcome in our public archive. If you need additional help, please don't hesitate to contact our Reference staff at loremaster@silmarillionwritersguild.org.

Essays

The Accidental King: Five Reasons Why Finarfin Deserves More Appreciation

Dawn Felagund

An essay and commentary looking at the canonical facts about Finarfin in contrast to the neglect and hostility that his character is given by the Silmarillion fan fiction community.

Printer-friendly | Downloadable PDF

Chronology of the Silmarillion

clotho123

A compilation of Tolkien's various timelines from the First Age and earlier that presents dates for important events from The Silmarillion.

Printer-friendly | Downloadable PDF

Exile, Wyrd and the Anglo-Saxon Warrior Ideal in The Wanderer and Tolkien's Quenta Silmarillion

Esteliel

As a professor of Anglo-Saxon, Tolkien's stories are undeniably influenced by the literature of this early people. This essay considers how exile, fate, the warrior ideal, and masculinity in the Quenta Silmarillion were influenced by the Anglo-Saxon poem The Wanderer.

Printer-friendly | Downloadable PDF

How to Review

Juno Magic

This comprehensive essay discusses how to write balanced and effective fiction critiques with a special emphasis on Tolkien fan fiction.

Printer-friendly | Downloadable PDF

Masculinity in Tolkien

Esteliel

Tolkien is often criticized for his simplistic, knight-in-shining-armor heroes. This series of essays argues that heroism and masculinity in Tolkien's works are not premised on this, but on love and loyalty.

Printer-friendly | Downloadable PDF

Name Calling: Group Identity and the Other among First Age Elves

Angelica

As the names used by the early Elves to identify themselves and others evolved according the essay Quendi and Eldar (HoMe 11), relationships between the different cultures are revealed.

Printer-friendly | Downloadable PDF

The Perfect Girl: An Exploration of the Hidden and Dynamic World of Fan Fiction

Nikara

An analysis of the fan fiction phenomenon of "Mary Sue" and readers' reactions to this controversial fanfic archetype.

Printer-friendly | Downloadable PDF

The Stars That Varda Made

Kitt Otter

Varda kindled the stars and set them into patterns. Many of these stars the Professor named in Elvish, but which real-life stars was he referring to?

Printer-friendly | Downloadable PDF

The Tolkienian War on Science

Dr. Joan Bushwell

Biochemist and long-time Tolkien fan, Doc Bushwell argues that the events and ideas expressed in Tolkien's works often demonstrate a strong disdain for science and technology.

Printer-friendly | Downloadable PDF

A Woman in Few Words: The Character of Nerdanel and Her Treatment in Canon and Fandom

Dawn Felagund

A review of the canon facts available on Nerdanel and discussion of why she remains so popular with fans despite her scarce appearances in the texts.

Printer-friendly | Downloadable PDF