RIP Christopher Tolkien
This broke a few days ago, so those in geekdom will already know this, but J. R. R. Tolkien’s son Christopher died this week. Hopefully, anyone who is a fan of fantasy, science fiction and most things that sprang from these genres (magic/vampire/werewolf/anything like that young adult series, anyone?) has given a thought to what Christopher Tolkien was able to do, because without him it’s quite likely we’d be decades behind where we are now in regards to the general state of fantasy and sci-fi in movies, video games, books, tabletop games, wargames and much more.
The map of Middle-Earth that people (including me!) love so much? Drawn by Christopher Tolkien. Enjoyed the Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, Beren And Lúthien or The History of Middle-earth? That material was gathered up, and organized by Christopher Tolkien. He was editing and publishing works that extended his father’s fantastic worlds all the way up to 2018 with The Fall of Gondolin. He curated and edited tons of material that was left behind after his father’s death, helping create what even he called the ‘Tolkien monster’ that went on to influence so much of what we see in modern fantasy, whether it’s got elves, humans or dwarves in it.
And I believe that fantasy genre helped sci-fi, magic and ‘classic’ monster stories that you see in stories such as Harry Potter and (cringe) Twilight.
So if you call yourself a fan of any part of ‘geek culture’, I think we owe a big debt to Christopher Tolkien.