“A palace with a thousand and one entrances, J.R.R. Tolkien’s world can be explored through a thousand and one doorways … doors and corridors leading into often unexplored aspects of his universe.” – tolkienestate.com
If you’ve never visited the Tolkien Estate website, you’re in for a wonderful treat – one of seemingly endless discovery and learning about everything Tolkien. If you’re one of the lucky ones who have already discovered this gem of a site, it’s time to revisit it!
The site is divided into four main areas: Writing, Learning, Painting, and Paths. If you hover your mouse over the four sections on the home page, you can almost sense J.R.R. Tolkien with a mischievous smile on his face, as the descriptions of each section are in Elvish! Luckily, for those of us who aren’t quite fluent in reading Elvish script yet, faint text behind the Elvish letters describes the section in English. For those who aren’t quite fluent in reading English either, much of the site is also available in French and Spanish.
Once you decide on a section to explore, prepare to be whisked off through those ‘thousand and one doorways!’ One click leads to more links, that lead to even more links containing lists, descriptions and a wealth of wonderfully written articles. Site contributors, a list of whom can be found in the ‘Paths’ section, are truly a ‘who’s who’ of Tolkien scholars and family members, including John D. Rateliff, Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, Priscilla Tolkien, and Christopher Tolkien, to name just a few.
The Tolkien Estate website is a place where you can spend hours, or just follow a link or two each time. It’s the perfect website to visit in these interesting and often trying times: a place that will delight and put a smile (or a thousand smiles) on your face every time you visit.
A few tips for navigating the site:
- A ‘Sitemap’ link is conveniently located on the left-hand side of each major section as a great way to find your way back to ‘square one.’
- Most links open up new tabs in your browser. Another great way to navigate backward is just to follow your open tabs.
- The top-right of each major section has a convenient drop-down list you can use to navigate quickly through the section. For example, the drop-down list of the ‘Painting’ section has links to ‘Maps’ and ‘Landscapes’, among others.
- One of the best features of the site is the comprehensive timeline. You’ll find yourself revisiting it time and time again (pun intended). To get there, go to the ‘Writing’ section and click on the ‘Timeline’ link.
- Don’t forget to eat, feed the pets, get the mail, and all those other ‘real life’ distractions that will take you away from this brilliant site.
- Most of all, enjoy!
Editor Note: Throughout the month, and as part of our Tolkien Advent Calendar celebration, we are featuring news and resources for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, his worlds and works. Today’s official advent calendar is below!