The One Wiki to Rule Them All
The One Wiki to Rule Them All
This page is considered an official policy on the Lord of the Rings Wiki. It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that everyone should follow. Except for minor edits, please make use of the discussion page to propose changes to this policy.

This is a guide for how to provide citations of books or other media as references in articles. It contains amendments of previous guidelines that were set in the old "LOTR:Citations for References" page, established in 2014.

References must follow the format of the emboldened source-text examples given throughout this page, and must be typed between these tags: <ref> ... </ref>, when editing a page in Source mode. In Visual editing mode, your reference will appear as a bracketed, numeric footnote. At the bottom of the article, in Source mode, must be a "References" header (== References ==), with the indicator <references /> typed directly below. This will generate the numbered list that appears, like this.

Rules for all cases

  • For all in-universe material, only primary literature is an acceptable source. Thus, while The Complete Guide to Middle-earth is itself a fine work, it was not written by Tolkien and may not be used as a reference for anything occurring in Middle-earth. The only exception to this rule is with cases such as that of The Atlas of Middle-earth. While not written by Tolkien, the Atlas aggregates in an accessible format many canonical geographical details directly implied but perhaps not explicitly stated in Tolkien's works, and may be used to source location topics so long as the text in question is not of a speculative nature.
  • Titles of books, whether by Tolkien or not, must always be in italics (even outside of references).
  • Page numbers are completely optional, but must be done in this fashion: 'pg. 45' or 'pgs. 45 & 49'.
  • Commas are never part of titles, and so should not be italicized.


The Lord of the Rings

Citing the Prologue

An example of citing information given in the Prologue to the trilogy:

''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'', Prologue, III: "Of the Ordering of the Shire"

Two apostrophes are on each side of the trilogy title, while normal quotation marks surround the name of the Prologue section.

Citing the main text

An example of citing something from a chapter of The Lord of the Rings:

''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'', ''[[The Two Towers]]'', Book Three, Ch. I: "[[The Departure of Boromir]]"

Chapter titles belong in quotes, and never in italics. Quoting the text and sentences in general are unnecessary to include within the reference.

Citing the Appendices

The Appendices are not a section of The Return of the King, but simply of the whole trilogy. Here is an example of citing from a specific subsection of one of the Appendices:

''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'', [[Appendix A]], Annals of the Kings and Rulers, I. "The Númenórean Kings", iv. "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"

Commas always follow titles, and periods follow numbers/numerals of subsections.

The Hobbit

An example of citing from a chapter of The Hobbit:

''[[The Hobbit]]'', Chapter VIII: "[[Queer Lodgings]]"

The title of the book is italicized; chapter names are unitalicized and in quotes.

The Silmarillion

Here are four examples for citing from varying portions of The Silmarillion:

''[[The Silmarillion]]'', ''[[Valaquenta]]'', "Of the Maiar"

''[[The Silmarillion]]'', ''[[Quenta Silmarillion]]'', Chapter VI: "[[Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor]]"

''[[The Silmarillion]]'', ''[[Akallabêth]]'' (The Downfall of Númenor)

''[[The Silmarillion]]'', Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin names

The section titles 'Ainulindalë', 'Valaquenta', 'Quenta Silmarillion', and 'Akallabêth' belong in italics. Subsections such as 'Of the Maiar' belong in quotes instead.

The Children of Húrin

The Children of Húrin can be cited either with its translation and subtitle (which follow the title in the example below), or without them. The word "Chapter" should appear before the Roman numeral, if a specific chapter is cited.

''[[The Children of Húrin]]'', Narn i Chîn Húrin, The Tale of the Children of Húrin, Chapter IV: "[[The Departure of Túrin]]"

Beren and Lúthien (2017 publication)

Unfortunately, the subsections of Beren and Lúthien, which are the editions of the tale through time, are neither listed in the table of contents nor numbered. To cite from a section of the book, simply state the section's title in quotes, for example:

''[[Beren and Lúthien (book)|Beren and Lúthien]]'', "A Second Extract from ''The Lay of Leithian"

Any italics given in the section-title must be applied in the reference. To cite the book's Appendix, merely put ", Appendix" after the book title, without quotes. Mentioning the year of the publication to disambiguate is unnecessary.

The Fall of Gondolin (2018 publication)

As with its preceding work, the sections of The Fall of Gondolin are not numbered, but are, however, listed in the table of contents. As such an example would be:

''[[The Fall of Gondolin (book)|The Fall of Gondolin]]'', "The Last Version"

The History of Middle-earth

For citing volumes of the series The History of Middle-earth, volume numbers must be given in capital Roman numerals, to resemble how they are numbered on the publication covers. Here is an example of a detailed citation, ideally of some piece of information that comes specifically from a section of one of Christopher Tolkien's commentaries that follow every chapter. References need not be this specific.

''[[The History of Middle-earth]]'', Vol. I: ''[[The Book of Lost Tales Part One]]'', chapter X: "[[Gilfanon's Tale: The Travail of the Noldoli and the Coming of Mankind]]", Notes, The History of the Exiled Gnomes according to the later outline, pgs. 240 - 242

The titles of the series and individual book are both italicized; chapter titles are unitalicized, in brackets as shown even if an article does not exist for them, and in quotes.

Book of Lost Tales citations must include the full name of the Lost Tales volume (...Part One or ...Part Two), as in the above example.

Unfinished Tales

Citing the Introduction

For Unfinished Tales, citations of the introduction to the book can be detailed, but no subsection must be hyperlinked. For example:

''[[Unfinished Tales]]'', Introduction, Part Four, I: "The Drúedain"

Citing chapters

Here is an example of a detailed citation specifically to one of the "Appendices" of a certain chapter.

''[[Unfinished Tales]]'', Part Two: The Second Age, Chapter IV: "[[The History of Galadriel and Celeborn]]", Appendices: Appendix C, The Boundaries of Lórien

The Atlas of Middle-earth

Numbers and numerals are not required for citing sections of The Atlas of Middle-earth. An example citation is:

''[[The Atlas of Middle-earth]]'', Regional Maps, "The Misty Mountains"

The third item is in quotes.

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien

To cite one of Tolkien's letters as compiled by Humphrey Carpenter, the whole title must be given, and then a specific letter denoted as "Letter xxx", for example:

''[[The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien]]'', [[Letter 27]]

Adding the date of the letter is optional. Mentioning Carpenter's name is unnecessary.

Normal books by Tolkien scholars et al.

Refer to the References section of this article for examples of citing scholarly works or biographies.


Appendices to the films' Extended Editions

Citing a behind-the-scenes documentary from the Special Extended Editions of either film trilogy is heavily optional. Any references that are made to them must be very clear, for example:

<ref>([[The Lord of the Rings film trilogy]], Special Extended Edition appendices) [[From Book to Vision|Part One: From Book to Vision]], "[[Designing and Building Middle-earth]]", Designing Middle-earth, 19:36</ref>

...which in the References section will appear as:

In this example, "Designing and Building Middle-earth" is the specific documentary, and should be linked, for a potential article. These section names are given in the main menu of the disc.


When citing websites, it is acceptable to simply provide the linked URL as the reference, exactly like this:


or [URL (space) SAME URL]

which in the References section will appear as: