The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion

The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion (2005) is a nonfiction book written by scholars Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull. It is an annotated reference to J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion
LOTR Readers Companion.jpg
Cover of the first edition
AuthorWayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull
Cover artistJ. R. R. Tolkien
SubjectThe Lord of the Rings
GenreNon-fiction; Literary history; Literary analysis
PublisherHarperCollins (UK)
Houghton Mifflin (US)
Publication date
December 27, 2005
Pages894 + lxxxii (hardcover)
976 (paperback)
ISBN0-00-720308-X (UK hardcover)
0-00-720907-X ( UK paperback)
0-618-64267-6 (US hardcover)
823/.912 22
LC ClassPR6039.O32 L6338 2005

The Reader's Companion was designed to accompany the revised one-volume 50th anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings (Houghton Mifflin, 2004; ISBN 0-618-51765-0). It is available in both hardcover and paperback, and not to be confused with Hammond and Scull's similarly-named reference book The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion & Guide: Reader's Guide (2006).


Hammond and Scull proceed chapter-by-chapter from the original foreword through to the end of The Lord of the Rings. Appendices, examining the evolution of the text, changes, inconsistencies, and errors, often using comments from Tolkien's own notes and letters. Other sections cover the numerous maps of Middle-earth, chronologies of the story and its writing, and notes on the book and jacket design of the first editions of 1954-55.

The book includes some previously unpublished material by Tolkien. It also reprints part of a 1951 letter in which Tolkien explicates, at some length, his conception and vision of The Lord of the Rings. Reprinted for the first time since 1980, and corrected and expanded, is Tolkien's Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings (previously referred to as Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings), an index of persons, places, and things designed to aid the translator in rendering Tolkien's work into foreign languages.


The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion won the 2006 Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Inklings Studies.[1]


  1. ^ "The Mythopoeic Society: Mythopoeic Scholarship Award Finalists". The Mythopoeic Society. Retrieved December 9, 2019.

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