I've always liked the art that Tolkien himself produced and having only recently learned of the existence of The New Shadow, I'm wondering did he get around to painting anything for it?

Obviously at 13 pages long, there's not very much subject matter to deal with.

I've been searching the web but found nothing. Google pales in comparison to the encyclopedic Tolkien knowledge around here though.

I'm fully aware the answer could be No.

  • If Tolkien ever did make artwork for it, you would most probably be able to find it in Scull & Hammond's J. R. R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator.
    – ibid
    Feb 21, 2016 at 7:57
  • Somewhat related, if you are interested in fan art of The New Shadow, there is a Total War Mod covering the story, called The Fourth Age: Total War – The New Shadow.
    – ibid
    Mar 23, 2016 at 3:22

1 Answer 1


I've been searching the web for this over the past week but all I could find was just a conclusion.

First, let's see this. I'm pretty sure you know about this quote.

“I did begin a story placed about 100 years after the Downfall [of Mordor], but it proved both sinister and depressing. Since we are dealing with Men it is inevitable that we should be concerned with the most regrettable feature of their nature: their quick satiety with good. So that the people of Gondor in times of peace, justice and prosperity, would become discontented and restless – while the dynasts descended from Aragorn would become just kings and governors – like Denethor or worse. I found that even so early there was an outcrop of revolutionary plots, about a centre of secret Satanistic religion; while Gondorian boys were playing at being Orcs and going round doing damage. I could have written a ‘thriller' about the plot and its discovery and overthrow -- but it would be just that. Not worth doing." - J. R. R. Tolkien, Letter 256

Tolkien had written 13 pages of this story and decided to let it go because it turned darker than he intended to made in the first place and he found it very depressing. This doesn't mean he didn't work on any sketches but even if he did, they are not publicly available at the moment.

It is known that Christopher Tolkien gathered, edited and published many of his father's unfinished/finished works and I can only speculate about a sketch that was designed for the era that is explained in The New Shadow.

But if you are interested in Tolkien's other sketches like the early designs of Middle-earth and some animal descriptions he himself designed, I recommend you to check these links:

  • Consider adding a reference to Scull & Hammond's J. R. R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator. Pretty sure that they are the most authoritative experts regarding Tolkien's artwork.
    – ibid
    Feb 21, 2016 at 0:27

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