Tolkien News

BREAKING: Christopher Tolkien Resigns as Director of the Tolkien Estate

Credit: François Deladerrière / © The Tolkien Estate Limited 2016

After the news of Amazon producing a new Lord of the Rings series earlier this week, additional news came to Tolkien fans around the world. Christopher Tolkien resigned as an officer of the Tolkien Estate, he had held the role of Director.

You can see the Estate’s official list of officers here.

Christopher Reuel Tolkien was appointed literary executor of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works in 1973 and he published posthumously many books written by his father, like The Silmarillion (1977), Unfinished Tales (1980), the History of Middle-earth series (1983–96), The Children of Húrin (2007), and Beren and Lúthien (2017). He always refused to sell additional production rights to his father’s work ever since. But his departure might change everything.

With Christopher’s departure as an officer of the Tolkien Estate (which was incorporated in 2011), the long-awaited “rights frenzy” for Tolkien properties may soon begin. Early reports indicate that the first Amazon television series will probably be set between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings; I don’t know how much of this is still speculation.” (Source: Michael Martinez’s blog)

This is truly the end of an era. Christopher Tolkien published his last book, Beren and Lúthien in July 2017 and in the preface of the book stated:

In my ninety-third year this is (presumptively) my last book in the long series of editions of my father’s writings, very largely previously unpublished, and is of a somewhat curious nature.

We can’t do much more than saying thank you to Christopher Tolkien for spending his life working on his father’s work and contributing to preserve JRR Tolkien’s legacy.

What does this mean in terms of the newly announced Amazon TV series? It means we should be prepared for a lot more Middle-earth-related content, and we’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date with the latest! If you’re a fan and worried about the future shows, as many of us are, hold fast to the fact that the books are unchangeable. The reason you became a Tolkien can never be taken away, and we at Middle-earth News are excited to meet all the new fans the changes may bring.

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  1. Paul Kilminster says:

    Very sad news but I wish him all the best. Thankfully we have the books and they can’t be changed but I fear what is to come from the other media. Frodo the teenage years, Muppets in Mordor or even a Disney, singing and dancing remake of The Hobbit on the Death Star. Dark days ahead my friends, best head into the west.

  2. Andre Powell says:

    I agree…I do not trust the media powers-that-be to handle the Professor’s legacy with anything but financial gain in mind. They may pay lip-service to treating it with respect, but the real motivation will be profit. Next thing, Disney will wade in, acquire LotR as a franchise and Middle Earth World will be the new reality–and one step further away from mythos integrity. Yes, the movies brought people to the books and for that I’m thankful, but in truth the books were doing just fine on their own…nearly outselling the Christian Bible worldwide. We’ve got a lot of cool stuff as a result of the films but also a lot of ketch and disregard for the work’s over all meaning and Tolkien’s vision. I can only imagine what an impact a unleashed conscience-less media industry will have.