Roverandom is a children’s story by J. R. R. Tolkien, covering the travels and adventures of the dog named Rover, turned into a toy. Belonging to the collection of Tolkien’s shorter pieces of fiction and unrelated to Middle-earth, the story is a delightful read with many traditionally Tolkienian traits.
The topic of death is one of the most important pillars that Tolkien’s mythology is supported by. He used different approaches to explore death in his writings, careful to show various aspects of this delicate topic. Escape from death as a notion was one of the most important purposes of fantasy and fairy-tales in Tolkien’s view. He calls it the Great Escape in On Fairy-Stories. “Fairy-stories provide many examples and modes of this—which might be called the genuine escapist, or (I would say) fugitive spirit” (1), Tolkien writes. But this perspective, this need for the Great Escape, is human. What if we walk in Elvish shoes for a while and look at death from their point of view?