Tolkien quote: For not all tears are an evil.

I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil. Gandalf.

— J.R.R. Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings. The Return of the King. Book Six. The Grey Havens.


A Tolkien fan for twenty-five years (and more to come...) Founding chairman of the German Tolkien Society, Co-Founder of Ring*Con, Co-Founder of the ITF, host, presenter and fantasy expert

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  • TroelsForchhammer

    I will very strongly encourage to NOT quote The Lord of the Rings by volume, but to only do it by book (and possibly chapter). Thus LotR III,3 would refer to the chapter “The Uruk-hai” (in the usual three-volume editions, this would be early in the second volume, The Two Towers), while LotR II will refer to book 2 – starting in Rivendell with ‘Many Meetings’ and ending on the slopes of Amon Hen in ‘The Breaking of the Fellowship’.

    • Yes, I am still thinking of how to do this.

      This list of abbreviations is the one used with “Hither Shore”. This is obviously not meant for quotes on the web :)

      Taking this example I would want to do it as in this picture:

      i.e. J.R.R. Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings. The Return of the King. Book Six. The Grey Havens.

      On Twitter, that’s usually _all_ of the tweet, though 😉

      • TroelsForchhammer

        I quite agree that it’s confusing, and the lack of consistency between the various journals and publishers does nothing to help things.

        Tolkien Studies uses FR, TT, and RK ;Vinyar Tengwar just uses I, II, and III; and the TS style guide recommends chapter names (which also makes it useless where you wish to keep the reference short – LotR “Here Follows a Part of the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen” is just too much bother).

        I still think, however, that it’s a problem to refer to the volume, particularly as chapters are numbered within each book, this is the more natural reference to use if you wish to keep it short (I don’t have any of the “standard” editions, so I cannot even provide relevant page numbers).

        So, if you wish to keep your references below, say, 12 characters, the only way to achieve that is either by loosing precision or by referring by book and chapter number.

        • So it would possibly read:

          Tolkien. LotR. VI. IX.

          Yup, that would be the shortest but still usable.

          Doesn’t look as nice as:

          Tolkien. LotR. VI. Grey Havens

          but with the length of chapter titles such as “Passing of the Grey Company” equalling 27 characters 😉 that won’t make it with a service like Twitter. And there is where a lot of the nonsense is happening.

          I could simply restrict myself to quotes from the Hobbit – in that case a lot of this debate would be rather easily settled 😀

          • Harm Schelhaas

            Arda Structural Reference Format uses ‘LR 6 IX’, swapping the use of roman and modern numerals, to avoid confusion of book numbers I, II and III with volume numbers.

          • I haven’t had a look at that site (which is from ancient HTML days) for some time now but your example reference would mean:

            Lord of the Rings, Book 6, Chapter IX – and then, if we are really serious about this #23 for 23rd paragraph counting from the start of the chapter, right?

          • Harm Schelhaas

            It would be ‘LR 6 IX:89’, as the text is in the 89th paragraph (paragraph, not section) of the chapter, according to the Ardarathorn count of paragraphs [].