Document Type

Unpublished Paper

Publication Date

Fall 2017


For all of the political machinations at work in The Lord of the Rings, there is astonishingly little detail paid to political institutions in it or any of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works. Although readers may use such resources as The Lord of the Rings’ monolithic series of appendices to trace the names and deeds of kings back to the Elder Days, the author has surprisingly little to say about how governments throughout Middle-earth actually function; so much attention is paid to the figure who occupies the throne that little to no description is provided as to what kingship actually entails in Tolkien’s world. In a universe where rulers are the primary actors, this seems like a striking omission.