Christopher Tolkien, son of famed author J.R.R. Tolkien and his wife Edith, has passed away at the age of 95.
The Tolkien Society announced the passing of Christopher on Twitter Thursday afternoon writing, “Christopher Tolkien has died at the age of 95. The Tolkien Society sends its deepest condolences to Baillie, Simon, Adam, Rachel and the whole Tolkien family.”
Christopher Tolkien has died at the age of 95. The Tolkien Society sends its deepest condolences to Baillie, Simon, Adam, Rachel and the whole Tolkien family. pic.twitter.com/X83PTx4b7x— Tolkien Society (@TolkienSociety) January 16, 2020
The cause of death has not been disclosed.
Born in Leeds in 1924, Christopher was the youngest of three.
According to science fiction and fantasy book website TOR.com, Christopher was his father’s intended audience for his famous work, The Hobbit. The Guardian reports that Christopher was even responsible for drawing many of the original maps for his father’s Lord of the Rings novels.
When the elder Tolkien died in 1973, Tolkien left his literary estate to Christopher who would work to continue his father’s legacy.
TOR.com reports that Christopher spent time editing and organizing his father’s papers and in 1977, he published The Silmarillion. The prequel to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books and movies, The Silmarillion – which was picked up to be made into a TV show for Amazon Prime in 2019 – explores the origins of Middle-earth while setting the stage for The Hobbit series.
Christopher put out other unpublished works of his father’s including, Unfinished Tales, 1980; the 12-volume History of Middle-earth, 1982-1996; The Children of Húrin, 2007; The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, 2009; The Fall of Arthur, 2013; Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, 2014; Beren and Lúthien, 2017; and The Fall of Gondolin, 2018.
Christopher is also known for his criticism of Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. In 2012, he told French magazine Le Monde that the movies did not do the books justice. He said, “They gutted the book, making an action film for 15 to 25-year-olds.”
Christopher stepped down from the Tolkien Estate and Tolkien Trust in 2017. He is survived by his wife Baillie, his sister Priscilla and three children, Simon, Adam and Rachel.
Photo courtesy: Christopher Tolkien Facebook
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