Many big Sci-Fi and Fantasy works, such as Harry Potter and Star Wars, have so much material spanning multiple media types that they have to be pruned every now and again and redefine different levels of canonicity. For example, before Disney came along, there were (I believe) 5 different types of canonicity in the Star Wars universe. Even after Disney, there are still two types. There are also multiple levels in the Harry Potter universe, where the books and word of JK are Tier 1, and the movies are Tier 2.

Does Tolkien's Legendarium have a similar setup, where the books are on a higher level of canonicity than the movies, or is it simply a case of "The movies are not canon"? If so, what are these tiers?

marked as duplicate by Edlothiad, Radhil, Community Jun 16 '17 at 14:55

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  • There's probably a Tolkien-published material and Christopher-published material difference in terms of tiers of canon. Don't forget that Rowling was kinda involved in the her HP movies but Tolkien was obviously not. – Mat Cauthon Jun 16 '17 at 14:41
  • This has been asked and answered above. – Edlothiad Jun 16 '17 at 14:44
  • Ah yeah, my bad. The question started out simply asking where the movies fit in, which I didn't think was a dupe, and then I expanded the question, at which point there's clear overlap. – DisturbedNeo Jun 16 '17 at 14:55
  • Tolkien's worlds have been protected (sheltered?) from that sort of messy expansionism — not that such expansion of stories is a bad thing, of course. Also, and we cannot stress this enough: Tolkien was much better at imagining worlds — subcreation, as he called it — than either of those two examples you mention. :-) – can-ned_food Jun 16 '17 at 23:07