The Lord of the Rings

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Epic fantasy novel by JRR Tolkien published in three volumes in 1954-1955. Dubbed The Trilogy by its many fans, The Lord of the Rings is nevertheless a single story (not a trilogy), that is usually printed in three volumes (with detailed appendices and indices):

Many one-volume editions of the story became available in the late 1990s. It is also published as a seven volume set, according to the six "books" of the novel as titled by Tolkien, and the seventh containing the appendices and indexes.

This remarkable work by the mid-1960s had become, especially in its appeal to young people, a sociocultural phenomenon.

The Lord of the Rings is heavily influenced by Tolkien's interest in philology, fairy tales and Norse and Celtic mythology. Tolkien designed a complete mythology for his realm of Middle Earth, including genealogies of characters, languages, runes, calenders and histories.

The plot of the Lord of the Rings follows directly from his earlier book The Hobbit and more obliquely from the Silmarillion.

The hobbits of Tolkien's earlier tale become embroiled in great events that threaten their entire world, as Sauron, the embodiment of evil, attempts to regain the lost One Ring which will restore him to full potency.

There was an animated film made in 1978, directed by Ralph Bakshi, based on The Lord of the Rings, which covered only the first volume. The intended sequels never appeared. The animated film The Return of the King was released in 1980 by the same producer. It is unsure what happens to the second volume. The animated film to the prequal Hobbit was released in 1978. See [1]. The animated films were originally made for TV broadcast. There are obvious cliffhanger style pauses in the films which clearly indicate where the TV advertisement breaks were.

Three live action films, directed by Peter Jackson have been filmed. "The Fellowship of the Ring" was released in December 2001. The Two Towers is scheduled to be released in December 2002 and The Return of the King is scheduled to be released in December 2003.

  • Pop-culture references to The Lord of the Rings
    • Led Zeppelin's music: 'Misty Mountain Hop' is named after Tolkien's Misty Mountains; 'Ramble On' refers to Mordor and 'Battle Of Evermore' refers to Ringwraiths
    • Rush has a song called 'Rivendell' on their Fly By Night album.
    • Swedish musician Bo Hansson has made an entire instrumental album based on The Lord of the Rings
    • The Brobdingnagian Bards have named one of their tracks 'Tolkien', and the remix 'The Lord of the Rings'

The Encyclopedia of Arda is a good source for further information.