Throughout the Lord of the Rings, the reader finds many references back to distant ages and forgotten lands. These references anchor the story firmly into Middle Earth and the world of the Silmarillion. The Lord of the Rings is a giant tapestry. Scattered throughout are small holes, windows to a mural behind. In these frames open scenes of magnificent and perplexing beauty. The work is shrouded in mists, beyond grasp, yet achingly intriguing. As the tapestry unfolds, the reader finds these holes, dimly perceiving the gossamer threads which bind the tapestry and mural as one.