Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95

Christopher Tolkien, the son of Lord Of The Rings author JRR Tolkien, has died aged 95, the Tolkien Society has said.

Christopher continued his father's work after his death and was an accomplished author in his own right.

He has been credited with keeping his father's legacy alive and spawning the field of 'Tolkien studies'. Without him readers enraptured by the stories of Middle Earth may not have had any more than the four novels from JRR to enjoy.

The Tolkien Society, which promotes the life and works of the revered fantasy writer, said: "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 was the third son of JRR, and edited most of his father's work which was released after his death.

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He drew the famous original Lord of the Rings maps which decorated the books released across the 1950s after the success of the prequel, The Hobbitt.

The highly-detailed maps added to the sense of a complete mythical world of Middle Earth.

Among the posthumous works which Christopher edited was The Silmarillion, a collection of mythic works, published in 1977.

Twitter user Quenta Endor, a fan account which posts stories and art from The Silmarillion, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and the Middle-earth story world on social media, posted a tribute to Christopher.

They said: "Thank you for bringing your father’s vision to life through your work."

JRR Tolkien died in 1973.

Fan account described Christopher as a "longtime steward of the Middle-earth Legendarium and accomplished author in his own right."

Christopher was also a translator and helped bring epic legendary sagas from historical periods to modern readers.

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One of these works was the Saga of Hervör and Heidrek, a legendary saga from the 13th century which Christopher translated from Icelandic.

It was one of the historic works which inspired JRR's mythical legends of Middle Earth.

Christopher won the Bodley Medal in 2016, for his outstanding contribution to literature, culture, science, and communication.

A podcast about JRR Tolkien's universe called the Athrabeth Podcast, tweeted: "Christopher Tolkien made the entire field of Tolkien Studies. He made it.

"Without his lifetime’s effort to curate his father’s works, we’d have four novels. No Silmarillion, no Histories. No linguistic journals. His impact cannot be understated."

Twitter user @benrogers_c wrote: "Thank you Christopher Tolkien. It’s because of your dedication and love of your father’s work that the world over was able to venture into Middle Earth in a whole new way. The impact you have had on me alone is beyond measure. May you Rest In Peace and enjoy the beatific vision."

While Tristan Shale-Hester (@tristan_shale) wrote: "The Silmarillion is one of the greatest literary works of all time.

"It would likely never have been published if Christopher Tolkien hadn’t painstakingly worked through his late father’s writings to compile a consistent narrative for it. Genius runs strong in that family. R.I.P."

While Kevin Sprague (@Kevin_D_Sprague) wrote that "Everyone who loves the work of JRR Tolkien also owes a tremendous debt to Christopher’s tireless work bringing more of his father’s stories to the world."

Christopher spent his last years in the French countryside with his second wife, Baillie Tolkien.

They have two children, Adam Reuel Tolkien and Rachel Clare Reuel Tolkien.

Christopher criticised director Peter Jackson's film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy in an interview with French publication Le Monde, even doubting whether they could retain the beauty and essence of his father's books.

He said: "They gutted the book, making it an action movie for 15-25 year-olds."

He added: "Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his popularity and absorbed by the absurdity of the time.

"The gap that has widened between the beauty, the seriousness of the work, and what it has become, all of this is beyond me.

"Such a degree of commercialization reduces to nothing the aesthetic and philosophical scope of this creation. I only have one solution left: turn my head."

The Silmarillion and Beren And Luthien – three posthumous JRR Tolkien works published by Christopher – flesh out the complex world of elves and dwarves created by his father.

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