Today, the Middle-earth fandom is left to mourn the loss of one of its biggest champions. Not long ago, reports went live confirming the death of Christopher Tokien, the son of J.R.R. Tolkien who wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The Tokien Society broke the news earlier today to confirm the 95-year-old has passed away.
For those unaware of Christopher, the boy was J.R.R.'s third son and born in November 1924. As he grew up, he showed great interest in his father's work, and Christopher went on to assist The Lord of the Rings expand after his dad died. In fact, Christopher edited much of the work his dad wrote and helped publish them posthumously.
Born in Leeds, Christopher grew up amongst a large family, and he had a keen eye for scholarship. He served in the military in various positions before returning home to study English at Trinity College in Oxford. From there, Christopher wrote works of his own, but he is best known for disseminating information about The Lord of the Rings as well as Middle-earth in general.
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. pic.twitter.com/X83PTx4b7x— Tolkien Society (@TolkienSociety) January 16, 2020
Thanks to Christopher, the world was given The Silmarillion in full despite J.R.R. having died in the midst of writing. The famed author named his son his literary executive given Christopher's status as his "chief critic and contributor." By 1977, Christopher had organized all of his father's paper and organized any addition information to publish his father's historical record of Middle-earth, and he continued to work on other projects which J.R.R. left behind.
Most recently, Christopher worked on projects such as Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, a piece which J.R.R. began writing outside of Middle-earth. The book was publish in 2014, and it was only four years later that Christopher stepped down as Chairman of the Tolkien Estate.
As for the future of the Tolkien Estate, it has been overseen by Baillie Tolkien who married Christopher a number of years ago. Michael George Tolkien, the grandson of J.R.R., has also worked to preserve the estate's integrity. With the Middle-earth still as popular as ever, those who Christopher left behind will ensure his legacy and his father's remain in tact for generations to come.