Mortals in the Undying Lands
by Cara J. Loup

In many discussions among hobbit fans, there’s one specific question that keeps coming up: What was it like for Frodo and Sam to live among immortals in the Undying Lands of Aman? For how long could they live there, considering that Tolkien always insisted that the hobbits remained mortals; and when, how and why would they eventually die? These questions can’t be answered in full without a detailed examination of the different layers of time in Arda and the nature of immortality, but for the time being, I’ll concentrate on the closer circumstances and evidence concerning only Sam and Frodo (and Bilbo).

To start from the beginning: How do we know that Frodo and Sam actually were reunited after their long separation? The entry in LOTR Appendix B offers a brief description of Sam’s final journey: "1482: On September 22 Master Samwise rides out from Bag End. He comes to the Tower Hills, and is last seen by Elanor, to whom he gives the Red Book afterwards kept by the Fairbairns. Among them the tradition is handed down from Elanor that Samwise passed the Towers, and went to the Grey Havens, and passed over Sea, last of the Ring-bearers." Strictly speaking, Sam’s arrival in the Undying Lands isn’t a known (or knowable) fact. However, Tolkien’s earlier notes for possible conclusions to LOTR show that he envisioned Frodo and Sam spending the rest of their lives together: "Sam and Frodo go into a green land by the Sea?" and: "When old, Sam and Frodo set sail to island of the West ... Bilbo finishes the story. (History of Middle-earth 9: Sauron Defeated, p. 53). The Epilogue, too, foreshadows Sam’s journey into the West. He tells Elanor that he believes he will see Frodo again, and he can hear, "deep and unstilled, the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth." (HoME 9: The Epilogue, p. 128). This experience of a ‘sea-longing’ is familiar from Frodo’s earlier dreams of hearing the Sea and Legolas’ instant yearning, stirred by his first sight of it – and of course both later sail to the Immortal Realm. In many respects, Sam and Frodo’s story parallels the tale of Beren and Lúthien, and so their separation, too, resonates with Lúthien’s promise at Beren’s death, when she asked him to "await her beyond the Western Sea", and later on we learn that indeed "they met again beyond the Western Sea" (The Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien, p. 224 and 225).

But the ‘Red Book of Westmarch’ which Tolkien quotes as his source for LOTR in the Prologue contains only reports of mortals who remained in Middle-earth: There was, in this context, no way for Tolkien to portray Sam’s reunion with Frodo in Aman as fact, just as The Return of the King couldn’t possibly include Frodo’s arrival in Eressëa. Within the given framework, the original authors of the Red Book and its Appendices had no access to such knowledge, and so the various reports of individuals passing over the Sea could only reflect what the mortals left on the Hither Shores had witnessed or believed to have happened. Sam saw Frodo embark on the ship, and the vision of the voyage that follows echoes Frodo’s dream at Bombadil’s house – so we can assume that either Frodo or Sam wrote this down as a glimpse of something that couldn’t otherwise be known in Middle-earth.

Later writers are responsible for the Appendix entries and they knew even less of what actually happened, therefore both Sam’s and Gimli’s last journeys are reported as oral traditions that eventually found their way into writing. The Appendix B entry referring to Legolas’ and Gimli’s departure from Middle-earth is equally brief and makes no mention of their arrival in Aman: "1541: Legolas built a grey ship in Ithilien, and sailed down Anduin and so over Sea; and with him, it is said, went Gimli the Dwarf." Within the context of the Red Book, this is exactly how such mystifying events would be transmitted by later generations who didn’t experience the Ring-war directly and could only draw on the tales they were told. Even at the time of the Ring-quest, the last period of Beren’s and Lúthien’s lives, after their passage through death, is described in vague terms by Aragorn: "it is sung that they met again beyond the Sundering Seas, and after a brief time walking alive once more in the green woods, together they passed, long ago, beyond the confines of this world." (FOTR I.11: A Knife in the Dark, p. 210).

Writing from the perspective of mortal history, Tolkien couldn’t possibly have portrayed Frodo’s and Sam’s reunion and presented it as fact, but he does assert it in a letter: "certain ‘mortals’, who have played some great part in Elvish affairs, may pass with the Elves to Elvenhome. Thus Frodo (by the express gift of Arwen), and Bilbo, and eventually Sam (as adumbrated by Frodo); and as a unique exception Gimli the Dwarf, as friend of Legolas and ‘servant’ of Galadriel." (Letter 154, p. 198; 1954).

What exactly does it mean that they remain mortal? In several letters, Tolkien addresses that question: "I have said nothing about it in this book, but the mythical idea underlying is that for mortals, since their ‘kind’ cannot be changed for ever, this is strictly only a temporary reward: a healing and redress of suffering. They cannot abide for ever, and though they cannot return to mortal earth, they can and will ‘die’ – of free will, and leave the world" (Letter 154, p. 198f.; 1954). And: "As for Frodo or other mortals, they could only dwell in Aman for a limited time – whether brief or long. The Valar had neither the power nor the right to confer ‘immortality’ upon them. Their sojourn was a ‘purgatory’, but one of peace and healing and they would eventually pass away (die at their own desire and of free will) to destinations of which the Elves knew nothing" (Letter 325, p. 411; 1971).

Earlier in the history of Arda, individuals of half-elven descent had been admitted into the Undying Lands, following Manwë’s decree: "to Eärendil and to Elwing, and to their sons [Elrond and Elros], shall be given leave to choose freely to which kindreds their fates shall be joined, and under which kindred they shall be judged." (The Silmarillion: Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath, p. 300). This freedom of choice is no doubt due to the mixed inheritance, and therefore limited to half-immortals. The only apparent counter-example is Tuor, mortal father of Eärendil and husband of Idril, of whom Tolkien writes: "But in after days it was sung that Tuor alone of mortal Men was numbered among the elder race, and was joined with the Noldor, whom he loved; and his fate is sundered from the fate of Men." (The Silmarillion: Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin, p. 295). This account seems to contradict Tolkien’s assertion that immortality could not be ‘conferred’, but the phrase ‘joined to/sundered from the fate’ doesn’t imply an actually changed nature. What is said of Tuor means that he was allowed to live with the Noldor, so that his proper time merged with theirs. At the end of Arda’s life-span, his soul would then still pass on beyond the world, as all mortal souls do. (Again, the complex implications deserve more detailed investigation, and I hope to get to that eventually.) [1]

Before the end of the Third Age, there is only one case in which a true change of ‘fate’ occurred. Beren and Lúthien returned from death and the Halls of Mandos, "but both became ‘mortal’ and died later according to the normal human span" (HoME 10: Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth, p. 340). Undeniably, Lúthien’s immortal nature was irrevocably changed, so that she could be with Beren forever, "and their paths lead together beyond the confines of the world" (The Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien, p. 225). Only "express permission of Eru" can account for this unique exception from the laws of Arda; beyond that, it’s left unexplained (cf. HoME 10, p. 340).

With regards to Frodo, Sam and Bilbo (and Gimli), Tolkien’s explanations seem more definite. The key issue is his repeated insistence that they will be able to ‘die of free will’. While his comments on other aspects vary, this assertion is never questioned, and some conclusions can be derived from it. First of all, if the hobbits were still subject to a normal aging process, such a choice would become meaningless. Death would then be dictated by the body’s decay, once their kind’s normal life-span drew to an end; as a consequence, there couldn’t be any real question whether their remaining time in Aman would be ‘brief or long’. Yet by the time they were reunited, Frodo and Sam were both over a hundred years old – well advanced in years, that is, even by Shire standards. Obviously, there’s a disconnection involved between the natural mortal aging process and the grace they’re given when death becomes a matter of free will. But, at a closer look, the ramifications are more complex: Ships that sail along the Straight Road, abandon the ‘History of the world’ and ‘leave the physical world’, as Tolkien wrote in a letter (Letter 325, p. 411; 1971). The hobbits then enter a different reality where time itself no longer follows the same course as it does in Middle-earth and becomes a matter of chosen possibilities, a realm in which the mortal body can’t, under ordinary circumstances, survive.

In the Silmarillion, the Númenóreans begin to dream of sailing to Aman in the hope of gaining immortality, but they receive the following warning from a messenger of Manwë: "And were you so to voyage that escaping all deceits and snares you came indeed to Aman, the Blessed Realm, little would it profit you. For it is not the land of Manwë that makes its people deathless, but the Deathless that dwell therein have hallowed the Land; and there you would but wither and grow weary the sooner, as moths in a light too strong and steadfast." (The Silmarillion: Akallabêth, p. 317). The implications are clear: Not only would mortals not become deathless, the speed of their aging would increase, and life among immortals would turn into a true nightmare for them. Various texts published in The History of Middle-earth 10 discuss these matters in greater detail. In the essay Aman and Mortal Men, Tolkien repeats the warning that a mortal in the Blessed Realm would "wither even as a moth in a flame too bright" and further describes the process: "his whole life would last little more than one half-year, and while all other living creatures would seem to him hardly to change, but to remain steadfast in life and joy with hope of endless years undimmed, he would rise and pass – even as upon the Earth the grass may rise in spring and wither ere the winter. (...) He would not escape the fear and sorrow of his swift mortality (...) but would be burdened by it unbearably to the loss of all delight." (HoME 10: Myths Transformed, p. 427 and 428).

This prediction is only one of two conceivable scenarios. In the following, Tolkien considers the alternative possibility: that the mortal body is blessed with enduring vitality, corresponding to the ‘health of Aman’. (This is not identical with ‘conferring immortality’ but involves a changed physical state. Tolkien writes that the ‘blessing of Aman descends on the Eldar as on all other bodies’. HoME 10: Myths Transformed, p. 427).

To fathom the implications of these scenarios, it’ necessary to remember that, in Tolkien’s understanding, body and soul possess separate qualities, and the combination of these characteristics differs between mortals and immortals. Immortal bodies don’t age or decay of their own accord but may be destroyed; their souls are immortal within the time of Arda, and bound to it. The bodies of mortals, on the other hand, age and wither naturally, while their equally immortal souls are meant to pass on beyond the world at the body’s death. As a result, there’s a specific accord of body and soul for each kindred. In the second scenario describing the fate of a mortal in Aman, this innate accord of body and soul would be disrupted: While his body would want to experience the endless pleasures of unfading strength and health, his soul would wish to leave. Consequently, either the body would dominate the spirit and the unhappy mortal would be reduced to "a beast, though one tormented from within," or the soul would resolve the conflict by swift departure from the body, which "in full life, would be rent and die in sudden agony" (HoME 10: Myths Transformed, p. 429f).

Clearly, these dire consequences are entirely at odds with Tolkien’s description of the hobbits’ life in Aman. In a note that accompanies ‘The Debate of Finrod and Andreth’ (which addresses similar themes), he therefore comments once more on the mortal characters from LOTR who did pass oversea: "they went to a state in which they could acquire greater knowledge and peace of mind, and being healed of all hurts both of mind and body, could at last surrender themselves: die of free will, and even of desire, in estel [hope]." (HoME 10: Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth, p. 341). As much as Tolkien labored to devise a coherent theory describing the different concord of body and soul in mortals and immortals, he also allowed for exceptions made possible by ‘special grace’, including those mentioned above, that are introduced without further theoretical exploration (cf. HoME 10, pp. 341, 365f.).

It seems indisputable, however, that the ‘healing of the body’ involves a transformation of some sort, allowing Frodo, Bilbo and Sam to escape the nightmarish scenario encapsulated in the image of the burning moth. A ‘normal’ aging process would be accompanied by unbearably intensified ‘fear and sorrow’ of mortality in Aman (cf. HoME 10: Myths Transformed, p. 428), and this is evidently not the case. Whether this means that their youth was in any way restored is, of course, a matter of pure speculation. What it must imply as a consequence is that their bodies and souls also achieved a new, transformed state of harmony, to avoid the clash and strain that would otherwise result.

It’s conceivable, too, that having carried the One Ring is connected to the healing process, as the Ring affects the bearer’s body and artificially delays, or even stops, the advance of age. But that effect is in direct opposition to natural mortal aging; it generates an ultimately wretched state of mere continuation. This suggests that the Ring-bearers’ ‘healing’ would involve a transformation of these effects to a positive end. Though we can’t know by which means this is achieved, these chosen mortals obviously ‘adjusted’ their bodies and souls to be in tune with time as it’s experienced in Aman.

The conclusions I’ve drawn so far raise two related questions: What kind of transformation does the transition to Aman involve, and how does it affect the process of aging? To attempt answers to these questions, I’ll outline some essentials from Tolkien’s expansive discussion of (im)mortality and its implications for body and soul.

Several story fragments, essays and notes in History of Middle-earth 10 – most prominently the ‘Debate’ and the commentary surrounding it – discuss the nature of death and the conjunction of immortal spirit and mortal (or destructible) body. Although Tolkien mostly refers to Elves, the concept he proposes is based on a natural harmony between the soul (or spirit, fëa) and the body as its ‘house’ or ‘raiment’. This ideal of a balanced accord applies to mortal beings as well, but their equally indestructible souls "have a different relation to Time" (HoME 10: Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth, p. 331). These texts also suggest that the physical aging process of both kindreds is affected by its environment. Of immortals who remain in mortal lands, Finrod says in the ‘Debate’: "their health and stature is diminished. Already those of us who dwell in Middle-earth, and even we who have returned to it, find that the change of their body is swifter than it is in the beginning" (HoME 10: Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth, p. 309).

This diminishing appears to be caused by the marring of Arda, whereas life in the Undying Lands would not have such an effect.[2] Conversely, mortals in Aman can be liberated from physical decay, so that involuntary death would result only from discord between the spirit’s purpose and the body’s pleasure. (Alternatively, such a discord could cause deterioration to a bestial state, as Tolkien explains in Aman and Mortal Men.) Since these consequences don’t occur in the hobbits’ case, a changed balance of body and soul must have been achieved (or granted).

The implications can be further illustrated by Tolkien’s comments on the aging process of immortals and on mortal death as deliberate choice. To begin with the latter: The long-lived kings of Númenor originally possessed the ability to "die of free will while yet in vigour of mind", and the same is true of Aragorn who ultimately chooses the time of his death (quote from Unfinished Tales: The Line of Elros, p. 282; cf. The Silmarillion: Akallabêth, p. 319 and 329; LOTR: Appendix A.v, p. 1100). Obviously, these mortals achieved a state in which the soul’s desire could control the body’s condition, in order to avoid the decline into ‘witless’ and ‘unmanned’ dotage. Yet it’s exactly this inevitable physical decay that must be ‘disabled’ if a mortal is to survive the ‘bright flame’ of Aman at all and experience peace and delight there, rather than sheer misery.[3] As a consequence, the mortal’s body no longer prompts the choice to pass on at a fixed point in time, so that his voluntary death must differ from the Númenórean condition in vital respects. First and foremost, his choice is liberated from all dependence on the linear progression of time and physical deterioration.

With regards to aging, a related difference emerges from Tolkien’s explanation that the bodies of Elves in Middle-earth are slowly ‘consumed’ by/into their spirit: "the underlying concept is that ‘matter’ will be taken up into ‘spirit’, by becoming part of its knowledge – and so rendered timeless and under the spirit’s command" (HoME 10: Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth, p. 364). This evolution is referred to as the ‘fading’ of the Elves who remain in Middle-earth, but since they don’t experience it in Aman, the process of aging evidently depends on attunement to their environment (cf. HoME 10: Myths Transformed, p. 427). An environment that corresponds or contrasts with their immortal nature has a direct effect on their physical state.

These general principles apply, I think, to Frodo and Sam as well. Instead of undergoing an unstoppable aging process (with all the usual consequences of lessening strength and failing health, a physical clock ticking away), they attain the ability to choose death independent of decay or the passing of time. They become physically attuned to the blessings of Aman. Their souls, on the other hand, retain a specifically mortal relation to time that can best be described as a longing for transcendence. Mortal souls, as Tolkien writes, ‘seek elsewhither’, it’s their nature to look beyond the horizon and the given boundaries of the world. Such a longing shouldn’t be confused with a ‘death wish’ though. Freed from the shadows of a marred world, it’s a positive desire and a hope that Frodo and Sam retain, and which defines their mortal ‘fate’. This relation to time would then be expressed physically, in a unique accord between spirit and body. Under these exceptional circumstances, all that can be said conclusively is that they no longer age as we understand it, not even at a slower pace: it must be viewed as an entirely different process, depending on spiritual state and experience alone.

The grace conferred on the Ring-bearers then affects not only their physical condition, but also their souls’ relation to their bodies, so that they’re not only healed, but able to experience life in Aman without inner conflict and to acquire greater knowledge as well. We might speculate that their transition meant that the hobbits were ‘rejuvenated’, but such a concept still relies on a linear progression from youth to age (even when reversed) and therefore isn’t an entirely adequate description of the way time is experienced in the Blessed Realm. Tolkien’s description of Lórien, and especially Cerin Amroth, already hints that within the realm of immortals, time passes differently. Rather than moving forward in a constant linear flow, past and future culminate in the experience of a timeless present. In Eressëa and Valinor, the constraints of mortality and decay no longer exist, and this is foreshadowed in Frodo’s perception of Cerin Amroth: "Frodo felt that he was in a timeless land that did not fade or change or fall into forgetfulness. When he had gone and passed again into the outer world, still Frodo the wanderer from the Shire would walk there, upon the grass among elanor and niphredil in fair Lothlórien." (FOTR II.6: Lothlórien, p. 370). To fully enter and live within the time of Aman, Frodo, Sam and Bilbo don’t undergo an essential change of their ‘fate’ or mortal nature, but the transition involves an irrevocable transformation nonetheless.

My personal theory, for what it’s worth, is that the process of physical/spiritual change begins with the journey to Eressëa, as they pass through the lingering ‘song of creation’, the music that shaped the world. In ‘The Music of the Ainur’ Tolkien writes: "it is said by the Eldar that in water there lives yet the echo of the Music of the Ainur more than in any substance else that is in the Earth; and many of the Children of Ilúvatar hearken still unsated to the voices of the Sea, and yet know not for what they listen." (The Silmarillion: Ainulindalë, p. 20). Of course this immediately recalls Frodo’s dreams of hearing the Sea (even before he first sees it, also within a dream), but it’s equally reminiscent of Sam hearing the "sighs and murmurs of the Sea" in the Epilogue. Also, in his dream about the journey across the Sea, Frodo "heard a sweet singing in his mind: a song that seemed to come like a pale light behind a grey rain-curtain, and growing stronger to turn the veil all to glass and silver." (FOTR I.8: Fog on the Barrow-Downs, p. 150). It’s no coincidence, I think, that this incredibly beautiful description resonates with Gandalf’s perception of Frodo in Rivendell: "He is not half through yet, and to what he will come in the end not even Elrond can foretell. Not to evil, I think. He may become like a glass filled with a clear light for eyes to see that can." At this moment, Gandalf sees a "faint change" in Frodo, "just a hint as it were of transparency, about him, and especially about the left hand" (FOTR II.1: Many Meetings, p. 239).

While these descriptions can be read as metaphor rather than a statement about an actual physical process, Sam’s perception of the light shining through Frodo, later in the quest, lends it concrete reality. Sam "saw his master’s face very clearly, and his hands, too, lying at rest on the ground beside him. He was reminded suddenly of Frodo as he had lain, asleep in the house of Elrond, after his deadly wound. Then as he had kept watch Sam had noticed that at times a light seemed to be shining faintly within; but now the light was even clearer and stronger. Frodo’s face was peaceful, the marks of fear and care had left it; but it looked old, old and beautiful, as if the chiselling of the shaping years was now revealed in many fine lines that had before been hidden, though the identity of the face was not changed. Not that Sam Gamgee put it that way to himself. He shook his head, as if finding words useless, and murmured: ‘I love him. He’s like that, and sometimes it shines through, somehow. But I love him, whether or no.’" (TTT II.4: Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit, p. 678).

The implication is that even while he still lived in Middle-earth, Frodo underwent a process of transformation, and what Sam is able to perceive here may give us a first glimpse of his changed state in the Undying Lands. Apart from Gandalf, as far as we’re told, only Sam has eyes to see the light in Frodo, and perhaps this indicates why Sam, too, is eventually able to undergo the transformation that brings him to a new life in Aman. Interestingly, in the Epilogue, Sam refers to his own choice of rejoining Frodo as the "choice of Lúthien and Arwen" (immortals who gave up their immortality; HoME 9: The Epilogue, p. 125), which isn’t factually correct but implies a profound change in the state of being. It’s perhaps the only way Sam could conceptualize what taking this step would mean for him.

As for Frodo’s and Sam’s eventual decision to lay down their mortal lives, it’s possible to conclude that they might eventually become weary in spirit and then wish to leave the world, but I would like to think that there would be positive reasons rather than any sort of ‘fading’. After all, Elves don’t experience such a fading in Aman, as they do in Middle-earth. When Tolkien says that the hobbits will be able to die ‘of desire, in estel’, he seems to imply as much. So perhaps there may come a time when Sam and Frodo wish to cross another boundary together – out of desire, and perhaps even curiosity.

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[1] It must be noted that Tolkien’s writings on the subject of immortality are by no means free of contradiction. For the purpose of this essay, I’ve drawn on concepts and ideas that are reflected in the story of LOTR and later texts that make specific reference to mortals in Aman. But by the time those texts were written, Tolkien’s concepts had changed and evolved, for instance with regards to the ‘rebirth’ of Elves who died in Middle-earth (compare HoME 10: The Converse of Manwë and Eru, pp. 361ff.). Some of his drafts and unfinished texts, especially ‘The Debate of Finrod and Andreth’ and its commentary, also begin to merge with Christian theology to an extent that concerned Tolkien himself. In a note attached to this group of texts, he wrote that it already was "too like a parody of Christanity" (HoME 10: Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth, p. 354). This Christian slant is noticeable in various writings and emerges from his description of Aman as ‘purgatory’ as well. Yet the Catholic concept of purgatory can be related to the reality of Aman only in the most abstract and general sense, since the latter involves neither penitence nor punishment of any kind (see the footnote to Letter 297, p. 386; 1967). In a letter draft, where he referred to the purgatory concept again, Tolkien also wrote that in Aman Frodo would experience "the natural beauty of ‘Arda Unmarred’, the Earth unspoiled by evil" (Letter 246, p. 328; 1963). In my opinion, Aman can be described as a ‘purgatory’ only in the sense that it’s located outside the mortal world and its history, so that it allows a perception of the created world in its original state of harmony and untainted beauty. In Aman, mortals can be ‘cleansed’ of the effects that the mortal world’s decay has had on their bodies and minds.

[2] This assertion begs the question whether Aman wasn’t, in fact, marred by Melkor’s assault, the killing of the Two Trees and the following rebellion of the Noldor. However, the ‘Debate’ suggests a different view, and in Letter 246 Tolkien states again that the world can be experienced as ‘unmarred’ in Aman (see the quote in footnote [1]). Perhaps this implies that the removal of the Undying Lands from the physical world and the space/time-continuum of Middle-earth restored its unmarred state, or that Aman escaped further deterioration this way.

[3] While the theoretical texts about mortals in Aman were written after publication of LOTR, the underlying concept – that mortal bodies would gain greater health and longevity within range of Valinor – can be traced back to Tolkien’s early writings. It makes an appearance in his first outline for ‘The Fall of Númenor’, written around 1936: the Númenóreans "become long-lived because many have been bathed in the radiance of Valinor from Tol-eressëa" (HoME 5: The Fall of Númenor, p. 11; for the dating of this text cf. p. 9).

Editions quoted:
J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings. (The Fellowship of the Ring. The Two Towers. The Return of the King.) Illustrated by Alan Lee. [Originally published 1954, 1955] London 1991. (abbr. LOTR, FOTR, TTT, ROTK)
J.R.R. Tolkien: The Silmarillion. Edited by Christopher Tolkien. London [1977] 1979.
J.R.R. Tolkien: The History of Middle-earth Vol. 5: The Lost Road and Other Writings. Language and Legend before ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Edited by Christopher Tolkien. London [1987] 2002. (abbr. HoME 5)
J.R.R. Tolkien: The History of Middle-earth Vol. 9: Sauron Defeated. Edited by Christopher Tolkien. London [1992] 2002. (abbr. HoME 9)
J.R.R. Tolkien: The History of Middle-earth Vol. 10: Morgoth’s Ring. Edited by Christopher Tolkien. London [1993] 2002. (abbr. HoME 10)
J.R.R. Tolkien: Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth. Edited by Christopher Tolkien. London [1980] 1998. (abbr. UT)
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. A Selection edited by Humphrey Carpenter with the assistance of Christopher Tolkien. London [1981] 1995.

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