Spoiler Alert: This document could potentially spoil parts of the tales in Tolkien's legendarium; I can't imagine that anyone who hasn't read at the very least The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings would be all that interested in this (more likely they'd be uninterested) but because spoilers are a terrible thing I feel I should have this warning.

This document is more general than my other document, which is specifically the commentary on the history of The Lord of the Rings ; in time I will possibly have a document on The History of The Hobbit. At the time of writing, the 16th of December 2018, there is very little here. I will update the menu as I add new sections and I will try and note the last updated date for each section should I update it (otherwise it'll be the date of creation). I will in time possibly add a bibliography but all of this can be found in different parts of The History of Middle-earth (HoMe), Unfinished Tales, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien and of course The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings themselves.

You can skip to the abbreviations in this document here, the vocabulary here, the notes on the structure of this document here and to the first section here.

* Abbreviations

I only recall abbreviations for the volumes of History of Middle-earth for The Lord of the Rings books as far as the History but the abbreviations that I do know and that are (or might be in a future update) are below.

* Vocabulary
* Notes on the structure of this document

As for how I've gone about reading the history it's important to realise there is a lot of background information, a lot of history with many drafts, ideas changing and essentially everything being different in some way or another. I started out initially reading from the first book but then I decided that I wanted to read the history of The Lord of the Rings first; therefore I started with book VI, entitled: The Return of the Shadow (a name that Tolkien thought of before deciding on The Fellowship of the Ring). I have since then read more of HoMe and along with UT and various other works I have the content in this document (as in these are the primary sources here).

I will try my best to organise this in a somewhat intuitive order where possible (and when I have the motivation to do so) but I personally prefer having more content over having the best organisation. But just like Middle-earth there will be many drafts and versions of this document; I will try to document where possible but this will never be remotely perfect.

* Glorfindel: The Fall of Gondolin and The War of the Ring

Those who have read TS (or the story that was published this year on its own) will know about The Fall of Gondolin; in this tale Glorfindel slays a Balrog but like everyone else who does he falls with it. Now Elves are by natural law to return to the Valinor when their body is destroyed and to await judgement. Those who have done real evil are judged by Eru himself and perhaps the most significant example is Fëanor (who is not reincarnated).

Glorfindel, however, was forgiven for his part in ignoring the Ban of the Valar (see TS) in the Kinslaying &c instigated by Morgoth (he corrupted the Noldor or at least some of them and when he stole the Silmaril Fëanor sought revenge and he and others made a vow to reclaim them and they murdered other Elves who refused to give them their ships to sail to Middle-earth). This is because he actually was against the Kinslaying and he only joined out of loyalty for his King (as I think it was - can't recall off hand).

At this point because his home of Gondolin was destroyed he stayed in Valinor for quite some time; here he would befriend Olórin (Gandalf), a Maia, and having done this, was almost as powerful as the Maiar themselves in spirit. This is why the Witch-king of Angmar even fled from him (this is in the Appendix - I want to say Appendix A). Now it's said that he could not deal with all of the Nine Nazgûl at once but as we know in the FR their horses were driven mad by the water and along with the fire from Aragorn and Glorfindel along with the latter's wrath they all were dismayed.

Glorfindel of course is the one who rescues Frodo after he had been stabbed at Weathertop by the Witch-king, Lord of the Nazgûl. The last time we see him is in The Council of Elrond but either way he was a very powerful Elf.

* On the plural of Dwarf

As I noted in the vocabulary Tolkien noted in more than one place that the plural of 'dwarf' should be 'dwarrows'. He pointed out in the Letters that it was a bad habit of his to use 'Dwarves' and if I recall correctly he did this to make it like Elves. This was something that publishers gave him trouble with but even worse was the American publisher that tried changing 'elves' to 'elfs' which he rightfully rejected utterly (since it's never been that nor indeed is it a word).

In the second chapter of The Peoples of Middle-earth 'Appendix on 'The Appendix on Languages' Tolkien elaborated on the plural a fair bit. He noted that he didn't know at the time he wrote Dwarves that it should be Dwarrows rather than 'Dwarfs' (see below) but he did refer to it in one place in LR; The Mines of Moria (Moria in Elvish means 'Black Chasm') is in the Common Speech Dwarrow-delf 'Dwarf-delving'.

He notes that dictionaries would have us believe it 'dwarfs' but he explains how and why it should be dwarrows but I feel that that's of less interest here compared to the above.