Honors Projects


This thesis expands on existing research and analysis of the eschatology of J. R. R. Tolkien’s invented mythology, with a critical analysis of how it relates to morality and the overarching exploration of good and evil, primarily in The Silmarillion. By analyzing Tolkien’s medieval and spiritual influences, as well as Tolkien’s unfinished works published posthumously by Christopher Tolkien, it explores the effect of the relationship between morality and mortality on the emotional core of Tolkien’s work. It offers new insights into the text by engaging especially with the often overlooked story of the sons of Feanor, and how this story functions as the primary vehicle through which Tolkien explores concepts of good and evil and death and immortality, as they complicate the morals in the process of death and afterlife, often employed by the narrative as a reward for heroism or a punishment for evil. It is because of this complication or complexity that The Silmarillion is able to communicate its central emotional thrust, the fatalistic hope or faith against complete adversity and Tolkienian eucatastrophe.



First Advisor

James Pfundstein

First Advisor Department

Classical Studies

Second Advisor

Bill Albertini

Second Advisor Department


Publication Date

Fall 12-18-2020