Tolkien Gateway

The Texts and their Relations

The Lost Road and Other Writings chapters
Part One
  1. The Early History of the Legend
  2. The Fall of Númenor
  3. The Lost Road
Part Two
  1. The Texts and their Relations
  2. The Later Annals of Valinor
  3. The Later Annals of Beleriand
  4. Ainulindalë
  5. The Lhammas
  6. Quenta Silmarillion
Part Three
The Etymologies

The Texts and their Relations is the first chapter of the second section, 'Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings', of The Lost Road and Other Writings.

[edit] Synopsis

Christopher Tolkien describes here the relations between the texts published in previous volumes of The History of Middle-earth (specially in The Shaping of Middle-earth) and those presented in this section, which shows the state of the Legendarium in the time when the first draft of The Lord of the Rings had just been written.

  1. Ainulindalë, a new retelling of the Lost Tale of "The Music of the Ainur" as a separated work.
  2. The Later Annals of Valinor, a new version of "The Earliest Annals of Valinor".
  3. The Later Annals of Beleriand, a new version of "The Earliest Annals of Beleriand", which had two versions.
  4. The Lhammas, which is closely related to the composition of the Quenta Silmarillion named below.
  5. Quenta Silmarillion, a new version of the "Quenta Noldorinwa" that was sent unfinished to George Allen & Unwin as part of "The Gnomes Material".

This group of works seem to be a defined mark on the evolution of the Legendarium, and Christopher explains that now he is sure that the Ambarkanta belongs to this phase, although he had previously said that there was no way to know if it had been composed before or after the "Earliest Annals of Valinor".

Although Tolkien didn't finish his works one by one, Christopher proposes an order of composition: Later Annals of Beleriand, Later Annals of Valinor, Lhammas, Quenta Silmarillion; Ambarkanta at any rate after Annals of Beleriand, Ainulindalë before Quenta Silmarillion, and The Fall of Númenor later than the Ambarkanta.