Reading Tolkien Chronologically: 1. Reading Tolkien Chronologically

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1. Reading Tolkien Chronologically

I love reading things chronologically, so it wasn't long after becoming entranced with Tolkien and his vast history that I decided to try my hand at preparing a chronological reading list as a way to read through Tolkien in proper order.  As new works were published, I worked them into my "system" and used it to read through the series every year.  It is not a perfect chronology, for not everything is in actual chronological order, and there is repetition and some backtracking in order to include different tellings of the same events that often provide a new detail or insight -- but for the most part it covers the history in order as it happened.  For someone new to the books, it can be a bit confusing to read in this fashion, but for those who are familiar with Tolkien and his world, it can provide a fascinating and refreshing way to read the history of Middle-earth.


Abbreviations Key:

S = The Silmarillion
UT = Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth
CoH = The Children of Húrin
LoTR = The Lord of the Rings
FoTR = Fellowship of the Ring
TTT = The Two Towers
RoTK = Return of the King


~*~*~*~*~


Ainulindalë (S)

Valaquenta (S)

Quenta Silmarillion (S)
    After Chapter 21 "Of Túrin Turambar" also read:
        "Narn i Hîn Húrin" & appendix (UT)
         [For a more extended reading of this part of the tale, read The Children of Húrin (CoH)]
    After Chapter 23 "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin" also read:
        "Of Tuor and His Coming to Gondolin" (UT)

The Drúedain (UT)

The History of Galadriel & Celeborn (UT)
    Read the following:
    Main section [Except for the section, "The Elessar"]
    Appendix C : "The Boundaries of Lorien"
    Appendix E : "The Names of Galadriel & Celeborn"

Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age (S)
    [Read through as far as Sauron's sojourn in Númenor]

Description of the Island of Númenor (UT)

The Line of Elros (UT)

Aldarion and Erendis (UT)

The History of Galadriel & Celeborn (UT)
    Read Appendix D : "Lond Daer"

Akallabêth (S)

Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age (S)
    [Read from Sauron's capture and the destruction of Númenor to the defeat of Sauron by Isildur]

The History of Galadriel & Celeborn (UT)
    Read the following:
    Appendix A : "The Silvan Elves & their Speech"
    Appendix B : "The Sindarin Princes of the Silvan Elves"

Lord of the Rings Appendix A (RoTK)
    Read the following sections:
    Annals of the Kings & Rulers - 1st paragraph
    I. The Númenorean Kings: (i) Númenor

The Disaster of the Gladden Fields & appendix (UT)

The Istari (UT)

The History of Galadriel & Celeborn (UT)
    [Read: "The Elessar" at the end of main section]

Lord of the Rings Appendix A (RoTK)
    Read the following sections of Annals of the Kings & Rulers, I. The Númenorean Kings:
    (ii) Realms in Exile
    (iii) Eriador, Arnor, Heirs of Isildur
    (iv) Gondor & the Heirs of Anárion
        [read up to Cirion and the Oath of Eorl in "The Stewards" section, stopping with Beren, the 19th Steward]

Cirion & Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan (UT)

Lord of the Rings Appendix A (RoTK)
    Read the following sections of Annals of the Kings & Rulers:
    II. The House of Eorl
    I.  The Númenorean Kings: (iv) Gondor & the Heirs of Anárion, "The Stewards"
        [read from Beren, 19th Steward to Turgon]
    I.  The Númenorean Kings: (v) A Part of the Tale of Aragorn & Arwen
        [read to the death of Gilraen]
    I.  The Númenorean Kings: (iv) Gondor & the Heirs of Anárion, "The Stewards"
        [read from Ecthelion II to the end of the section]
    III. Durin's Folk
        [read the whole section except for the last part which speaks of Gimli Glóin's son]

Lord of the Rings Appendix B: "The Tale of Years" (RoTK)
    [read through year 2939, Third Age]

Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age (S)
    [Read from the beginning of the Third Age to the battle with Sauron at the end of the Third Age]

The Quest of Erebor & appendix (UT)

The Hobbit

Lord of the Rings Appendices C through F (RoTK)

Lord of the Rings Prologue (FoTR)

The Hunt for the Ring (UT)

Fellowship of the Ring (LoTR vol. 1)

The Battles of the Fords of Isen & appendix (UT)

The Two Towers (LoTR vol. 2)

The Palantíri (UT)

Return of the King (LoTR vol. 3)

Lord of the Rings Appendix B: "The Tale of Years" (ROTK)
    [read from year 2941 to end]

Lord of the Rings Appendix A (RoTK)
    Read the following sections of Annals of the Kings & Rulers:
    I.  The Númenorean Kings: (v) A Part of the Tale of Aragorn & Arwen
        [read from the War of Ring to the death of Arwen]
    III.  Durin's Folk
        [read the last paragraphs concerning Gimli after the War of the Ring]

Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age (S)
    [Read the last two sections which summarize the War of the Ring and end with the sailing of the Keepers of the Three Rings]


This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Linaewen

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: Other

Genre: Other

Rating: General

Last Updated: 08/18/12

Original Post: 08/18/12

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