Video Games

Is Lord of the Rings: Gollum Canon?

If you are wondering if The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is canon to the Tolkien Estate and Middle-earth vision, here is the answer.

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum casts you as the titular, ring-obsessed character and takes place between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. But while the game does slot into established Middle-earth history, is The Lord of the Rings: Gollum canon? We’ve got the answer.

What You Need to Know About The Lord of the Rings: Gollum and Tolkien Canon

The short answer is no, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is not canon, even though Daedelic Entertainment tried to fit it into the books’ general timeline. However, Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies are also not canon.

Neither is Shadow of War or Shadow of Mordor, though, again, both of these games fit into the Middle-earth world and tie into the books’ lore. Sure, sexy spider-lady Shelob raised a few eyebrows, but they didn’t trample all over Tolkien’s work.

The reason for this is that it’s generally considered that only work written by Tolkien and published before his death is “canon.” You could, if you so desire, view The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as main canon and everything else as the extended Tolkien universe. That’s the position that George Lucas originally took with Star Wars, pre Disney-purchase.

However, while that was Lucas and Lucasfilm’s official line, the Tolkien Estate hasn’t said anything along those lines. Embracer Group has purchased Middle-earth Enterprises (though it didn’t publish Gollum), so going forward, it may have its own position.

For now, the answer to if The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is canon is no. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying it (or attempting to, anyway).

About the author

Chris McMullen
Freelance contributor at The Escapist. I've returned to writing about games after a couple of career changes, with my recent stint lasting five-plus years. I hope, through my writing work, to settle the karmic debt I incurred by persuading my parents to buy a Mega CD. Aside from writing for The Escapist, I also cover news and more for GameSpew. I've also been published at other sites including VG247, Space, and more. My tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though I'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based.