Doodles by Tolkien: Númenórean arts and crafts: An anthropological exploration of the Númenórean culture based on its remaining artifacts

— Denis Bridoux, independent scholar

Paper given 4 September 2021 at the 3rd day of Oxonmoot 2021

Much of Tolkien’s late art, post Lord of the Rings, 90% of which still remains unpublished, consists chiefly of doodles and doodle-based composite pieces of great diversity. He attributed their origin to the Númenóreans, an island-based civilisation which vanished in the late Second Age and was survived only by its colonies on Middle-earth. So, if we were to study these from an archaeological perspective, what could we learn about Númenor, its inhabitants and its culture by studying them and cross-referencing them with our own world’s equivalent? After exploring the subject of doodles and Tolkien’s favoured medium in the 1960s, our brief survey will attempt to answer these questions and, in so doing, uncover Tolkien’s grand scheme about his artistic corpus during the recapitulative period of his life and show how it fits with the intentions which he had first expressed in The Lord of the Rings.

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date recorded 📅2022-01-25
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