Since its first publication in 1954, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings has been treasured as one of the most loved and most read classics for both the young and adults. It captivates young minds with superb fantasy that allows them to flourish their imagination to a heightened state of awesomeness. It seizes the minds of adults, leading them to a new place of hope, desperation, struggle, and a journey toward a new world of enlightenment, transformation, and regeneration.
Having sold more than 150 million copies in different editions, this trilogy has become the most prized and valuable classic collection of all time. Alongside his rich narrative, Tolkien has developed maps, illustrations, and sketches to enhance the visibility of Middle-Earth in the novel. This masterpiece is composed with Tolkien’s knowledge of philology and folklore.
“It is written in my life-blood, such as that is, thick or thin; and I can do no other.” – J.R.R. Tolkien to his publisher, Letter 109 (dated 31 July 1947).
“The writing of The Lord of the Rings is laborious because I have been doing it as well as I know how, and considering every word.” – J.R.R. Tolkien to C.A. Furth, Letter 35.
As a sequel to “The Hobbit,” The Lord of the Rings begins with the story of Frodo Baggins, a reluctant hobbit, embarking on a journey to save the world from consummate evil. He contends with the overpowering influence of the magic ring he inherited from his uncle Bilbo. Forged by the magic power of the ring, Frodo learns that he can control the entire world with it. The supreme ring was created by the evil Sauron to rule the world. Frodo sets out on a journey to destroy the ring and combat the evil Sauron to save the world.
About the Author
J.R.R. Tolkien, a meticulous author of high epic fantasies, is widely known for his articulation of magic realism in his novels. The Lord of the Rings is a mesmerizing creation of a blended reality of a utopian world and Arcadian settings. His extensive knowledge about Anglo-Saxon medieval England and his adherence to Catholicism inspired him to portray the parallel presence of darkness and light, right and wrong, truth and falsehood, evil and good.
Summary of the Lord of the Rings series
The Lord of the Rings is a saga of historical fantasy and mythology set forth in the fictional world of Middle-Earth. Populated with humans, elves, dwarves, and orcs, each with distinctive cultures, history, language, and geographic settings, it’s composed of three books: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King.
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Fellowship of the Ring commences with the 111th birth anniversary of Bilbo, who initially hesitates to hand over the ring to his cousin Frodo. The story takes a dramatic turn when Gandalf appears and urges Bilbo to transfer the ring to Frodo. Unaware of the ring’s unprecedented power, Frodo accepts the gift. Soon, Gandalf alerts him about the ring’s secret power and instructs him to destroy it in the Cracks of Doom.
Terrified of the secret, Frodo immediately urges Gandalf to take it. To his utter bewilderment, Gandalf refuses. How can he take charge of something that a great wizard like Gandalf cannot? Why did Gandalf turn it down and choose him for such a grand duty?
As Frodo embarks on a perilous journey, he is accompanied by Sam, Pippin, and Merry. As the story unfolds, they encounter dreadful creatures in the Old forest and continue to face vile animals, creatures, and evil Black Riders. The intricate details of the viciousness are portrayed with strong imagery, intricate details, and the sheer exuberance of a rich language that leaves the readers mesmerized and looking into their own dark fears with unbearable intensity.
The horror intensifies gradually as they move through the Misty Mountains, the Great River, and the emergence of Gollum, a vicious and deformed creature who instigates and follows Frodo, as the darkest desire to capture the Ring lurks in his heart. Will Frodo survive the slithering creature? Sauron sends his orcs to search for the Ring he created to rule the world. Can Frodo surpass so many dreadful creatures and enemies? He must enter the realm of Sauron to destroy the Ring.
The Two Towers
The Two Towers loom with battles and revenges to assert power, to overrule, evil viziers that corrupt the kingdom, and to diminish everything to rule the world. Frodo and his friends get lost in pathless hills and, distrustfully, follow Gollum’s advice to escape. Amid the heavy winds of bloodthirsty greed, they move on to fulfill their quest along the deadly Shelob tunnels. Frodo’s fallen body leaves Sam alone, all alone with the mischievous Gollum. What will Sam do now in this point of no return, along with the orcs in the tunnel? Who will be the savior?
The Return of the King
The Return of the King arises with the gluttony of power and blindfolded revenge of Denethor to hold his position even at the cost of his son’s death. Finally, Frodo and Sam reach the Cracks of Doom with the treacherous Gollum. Gollum is terrified with the revelation that Frodo and Sam’s conquest is to destroy the magic Ring. Can Frodo and Sam destroy the Ring and survive the chaos in Sauron’s chasm of evil? How and what will happen next? Read this breathtaking tale to uncover the darkest truth about the Ring.
Opinion about the Series
Teemed with matchless magic of otherworldliness, The Lord of the Rings is an epic adventure with mind-blowing fantasy about the rise of a pastoral and mundane hobbit to an epic hero who fights against the eternal conflict between core and underworld evil. It is as if the heart of darkness rises from the underworld to engulf the goodness and light of humanity. J.R. Tolkien’s epic creation offers a worldview with picturesque descriptions and unbelievable settings, with a mix of culture, morality, humility, darkness, ethos, and humanity. The vivid setting is not only historical but also creates a culture of evolution and change in class consciousness.
Here, the supreme authorities and knighthood seek the assistance of a mediocre hobbit to save and serve for a larger cause, to save the world from falling into the hand of evil Sauron, the ruler of darkness in the underworld. The Ring reflects the evil attitude of insipid power and the thirst for power to overrule and control all to satisfy mean desires. Such power must be destroyed to save the world from devastation, to battle against humanity, and to nurture nature for good.
Fighting against evil is never a hopeless journey. Tolkien depicted this wonderful epic with his mastery of storytelling and unrivaled knowledge about the creation of an imaginary world. Fighting against evil is never a hopeless odd. Ordinary hobbits Frodo and Sam are real heroes and achievers instead of the trained and rightful inheritors like Aragorn and Faramir. It is not a conquest to regain power; rather, it is a quest of the heart for resignation and resurgence.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
The Ring is the embodiment of all the features of ultimate and unbounded power. Power is exemplified here as the source of cruelty, domination, and greed. Tolkien exemplified power as a prey, even over the most knowledgeable and well-intentioned humans. Power preys on humans, and its consequences can be deadly.
Tolkien uses an exuberant language with passionate intensity to evoke charm, magic, and dread in the reader’s mind, creating an overpowering image of a dark world and the quest of humans to remain unadulterated. The reader’s mind is filled with dread and wonder about their own heart, much like Frodo, who encounters his own heart of darkness, as power preys on every heart.
The Ring squeezes, cuddles, and drenches out greed for power. The Lord of the Rings is actually a servant to the evil desire of the Ring. The simple appearance of the Ring has veiled the dangerous predator – it masters over its master to rule by evil.
The Lord of the Rings can be considered as an allegory of the 20th-century world wars, and Tolkien was a strong advocate of anti-war and anti-racism. He depicts a polyculture imaginary world in The Lord of the Rings, seeking harmony with power rather than ascending to control and overrule others.
Apart from The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien’s other notable works include:
- “The Hobbit” (1937) by J.R.R. Tolkien
- “Farmer Giles of Ham” (1949) by J.R.R. Tolkien
published posthumously after J.R.R. Tolkien’s passing:
- “The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book” (1962) by J.R.R. Tolkien
- “Smith of Wootton Major” (1967) by J.R.R. Tolkien
- “Tree and Leaf” (1964) by J.R.R. Tolkien
- “The Silmarillion” (1977) by J.R.R. Tolkien
- “The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún” (2009) by J.R.R. Tolkien
Books Similar to The Lord of the Rings
If you loved reading The lord of the Rings, you should look into the following books:
- “A Song of Ice and Fire” series by George R.R. Martin
- “The Wheel of Time” series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
- “The Chronicles of Narnia” series by C.S. Lewis
- “The Inheritance Cycle” series by Christopher Paolini
- “The Kingkiller Chronicle” series by Patrick Rothfuss
- “Mistborn” series by Brandon Sanderson
- “The Sword of Shannara” series by Terry Brooks
- “The Earthsea Cycle” series by Ursula K. Le Guin
- “The Malazan Book of the Fallen” series by Steven Erikson