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J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord Of The Rings


New Member
We've got some books released from when my dad was a young man. They came in a series of three at that point. The Hobbit also came in it's own case. I grew up with these books. :) Fantastic series.


New Member
I see LOTR as one book - after all it is really one self-contained story (though rather a long one!) that begins in Fellowship... and ends in Return of the King. It's not a series of stories that deal with the same characters, like Harry Potter or Artemis Fowl. As people have said, it was probably just split for publishing reasons, rather than being seen as three separate stories. :)


New Member
According to the extras on the LOTR DVD, Tolkien wanted to publish it as one book. However, at the time (after the 2nd World War), paper etc was still in short supply and expensive. To publish it as one would have meant hardly anyone could've afforded to buy it so the publishers decided on a 3 book format. As for it being heavy you can always cough up eeek £100 for the bible paper version. Ho ho ho Merry Xmas for that one :)


New Member
The LOTR books are a trilogy, though their cohesiveness certainly makes it plausible that they were intended to be one novel. And this was the case.

I consider it three books. If original intents were final, the world would be very different.

edit: Oh dear, I just noticed how old this thread is. Sorry for bringing it to the top..


New Member
I, personally, consider The Lord of the Rings to be one book. However, it was broken up because people can't sit down and read a book that size at once. :p


i read that it was meant as one book, as J D stated in a post on the previous page.

i don't consider it three books because there is no resolution to the story if you read only one. i know that sounds silly in light of some other books, but if you had only read the first LOTR (Hobbit excluded) then you would be wondering wth happened to the ring. if it was being published for the first time now instead of so long ago, it would have been published as one book

Harry Flashman

New Member
In the West lies the Elvish "heaven". It is a reward to go there but obviously not until you've experienced earthly life. Sam had a lot more to give the Shire!

Elrond? The time of Elves has ended and that of men has arrived.... What father wouldn't want his daughter to stay with him and his people.

Aragorn and Arwen don't go West because they have intertwined the human and Elvish bloodlines. They stay to live their lives through their legacy on Middle Earth.

Harry Flashman

New Member
No offence to anyone who comes from Chicago but if Tolkien had grown up there I doubt he'd have written LOTR!

The Shire is Britain or a rural ideal of it. Tolkiens upbringing and contemporary historical events heavily influence LOTR.


New Member
I'm a bit of Tolkien fan, Deerskin tocuhes on it, but here are specifics, so bear with me, the questions asked are very broad, and I will touch on them as best I can, if any more specific questions are asked please feel free:

I too, was puzzled by this business about "going West". In my opinion, it represents not so much the deaths of the travellers as it does the end of their way of life and history.

The West signifies Valinor, home of the Ainur on MiddleEarth. The Ainur are immortal beings who inhabited MiddleEartt has it was created by Eru (in Elvish Iluvatar). Think of Eru as god. The Ainur popualted Middl-earth (arda), and are seperated into two classes. The first are the Valar and they are described here:

"Great among of these spirits the Elves name the Valar, the Powers of Arda, and Men have often called the gods". - Of the valar - Valquenta , The Silmarillion - JRR Tolkien'

There are 14 memebrs of the Valar, chief of them is Manwe, the 15th was Melkor (later dubbed Morgoth by Feanor), but he is no longer counted among the Valar, as he is the First Dark Lord (Sauron was his aide).

The second group is the Maiar:

"With the Valar came other spirits whose beigns also began before the World, of the same order of the Valar, but of less degree. These are the Maiar, the peopel of Valar, and their servants and helpers." - Of the Maiar, Valquenta, The Silmarillion - JRR Tolkien

Some examples of Maiar are Gandalf (Olorin) and Saruman, however teh y were knwon as teh Istari as they were in human form and set by Valar to adie Man against Sauron. Sauron is also a Maiar, a particularly powerful one at that.

They lived in Valinor, which resides in teh west, and that includes the undying lands. Elves are of course immortral being in Middle earth and this is where they go to die.

That sounds right to me, but still . . . how can the hobbits go?

This is explained here, however jsut as a note the bearers of te Rings of power, which include Same, Frodo, Bilbo, gandalf, Elrod, and Galadriel are allowed to pass into the west. Dealing with Frodo specifcially:

" and so certain 'mortals', who have played some great part in Elvish affairs, may pass with the Elves to Elvenhome. Thus Frodo (by the express gift of Arwen) and Bilbo, and eventually Sam (as adumbrated by Frodo); and as a unique exception Gimli the Dwarf, as friend of Legolas and 'servant'of Galadriel " - Letter #154, JRR Tolkien

Why can't Arwen and Aragorn?

Arwen gave up her chance.

Well, the hobbits can go because they are creatures which belong to the old, passing age, like elves and Orcs and the whole thing.

This is incorrect. the Hobbits are not older than man, in fact the Hobbits stem from man, and were created in Eru's Third song along with man, however they appear in no stories until the Third Age 9(The War of the Ring). The Elves were the first born, Man was called the "Atani" the Second people. Note:

"The Hobbits are, of course, really meant to be a branch of the specifically human race (not Elves or Dwarves) – hence the two kinds can dwell together (as at Bree), and are called just the Big Folk and Little Folk. They are entirely without non-human powers, but are represented as being more in touch with nature (the soil and other living things, plants and animals), and abnormally, for humans, free from ambition or greed of wealth. They are made small (little more than half human stature, but dwindling as the years pass) partly to exhibit the pettiness of man, plain unimaginative parochial man – though not with either the smallness or the savageness of Swift, and mostly to show up, in creatures of very small physical power, the amazing and unexpected heroism of ordinary men at a pinch." -Letter 131 JRR Tolkien

and This:

"One of an imaginary people, a small variety of the human race, that gave themselves this name (meaning hole-dweller) but were called by others halflings, since they were half the height of normal Men." - Letter 316 - JRR Tolkien


"Hobbits on the other hand were in nearly all respects normal Men, but of very short stature. They were called halflings; but this refers to the normal height of men of Numenórean descent and of the Eldar (especially those of Noldorin descent), which appears to have been about seven of our feet" - of Dwarves and Men People of Middle Earth - JRR Tolkien

As funes pointed out Tolkein wasn't at all interested in having his work seen as an allegory to WWII but...is there anyone besides me who thinks the Shire sounds a lot like England sounds?

The reason behind this is Tolkien was writing a myth for England. Tolkien said as much in his letter to his friend Milton Waldemen in 1951:

"But an equally basic passion of mine ab initio was for myth (not allegory!) and for fairy-story, and above all for heroic legend on the brink of fairy-tale and history, of which there is far too little in the world (accessible to me) for my appetite. I was an undergraduate before thought and experience revealed to me that these were not divergent interests - opposite poles of science and romance - but integrally related. I am not 'learned'* [Footnote *Though I have thought about them a good deal.] in the matters of myth and fairy-story, however, for in such things (as far as known to me) I have always been seeking material, things of a certain tone and air, and not simple knowledge. Also - and here I hope I shall not sound absurd - I was from early days grieved by the poverty of my own beloved country: it had no stories of its own (bound up with its tongue and soil), not of the quality that I sought, and found (as an ingredient) in legends of other lands. There was Greek, and Celtic, and Romance, Germanic, Scandinavian, and Finnish (which greatly affected me); but nothing English, save impoverished chap-book stuff. Of course there was and is all the Arthurian world, but powerful as it is, it is imperfectly naturalized, associated with the soil of Britain, but not with English; and it does not replace what I felt to be missing. For one thing its 'faerie' is too lavish, and fantastical, incoherent and repetitive. For another, and more important thing: it is involved in, and explicitly contains the Christian religion.

"For reasons which I will not elaborate, that seems to me fatal. Myth and fairy-story must, as all art, reflect and contain in solution elements of moral and religious truth (or error), but not explicit, not in the known form of the primary 'real' world. (I am speakung, of course, of our present situation, not of ancient pagan, pre-Christian days. And I will not repeat what I tried to say in my essay, which you read.

Do not laugh! But once upon a time (my crest has long since fallen) I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-tory the larger founded on the lesser in contact with the earth, the lesser drawing splendour from the vast backcloths - which I could dedicate simply to: to England; to my country. It should possess the tone and quality that I desired, somewhat cool and clear, be redolent of our air (the clime and soil of the North West, meaning Britain and the hither parts of Europe: not Italy or the Aegean, still less the East), and, while possessing (if I could achieve it) the fair elusive beauty that some call Celtic (though it is rarely found in genuine ancient Celtic things), it should be high, purged of the gross, and fit for the more adult mind of a land long now steeped in poetry. I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama. Absurd.

Of couse, such an overweening purpose did not develop all at once. The mere stories were the thing. They arose in my mind as 'given' things, and as they came, separately, so too the links grew. An absorbing, though continually interrupted labour (especially since, even apart from the necessities of life, the mind would wing to the other pole and spend itself on the linguistics yet always I had the sense of recording what was already there somewhere: not of inventing
-JRR Tolkien

Hope that helps:)


New Member
A Question

Do you consider your life to be one long story or do you break it up and give each piece a name for example teenage years this is how u should treat tolkien like your life it deserves such respect.


New Member
HBinjection said:
I've read recently that the author wanted to publish LOTR as a single volume, but the publisher split it into three for commercial reasons.
Yeah, Tolkein wanted it in one book. His publisher decided it was too long and that it should be made into a trilogy. I have the single version with all three books in one book. It's about 1010 pages (not including the appendicies).


New Member
These are really great books, I got so many friends to read them before the movies came out, and now most of them know the books better than I do!! :eek: The Two Towers was probably my favorite, I always like it when the plot gets relly thick! :D Also the affech the journey had on the characters was brilliant, yet saddening.


New Member
read half of the thing, lovely(but heavy) Alan Lee version, a few years ago but kind of lost interest half way through the two towers. Started again and I believe I'm getting a lot more out of it this time round

Frodos just woken up in Rivendell, so I'm very much at the beginning, so far though I can find no fault with it

Personally I loved Tom Bombadil the first time round and still do I think he's one of the most interesting characters(having read only half) - old man willow's spell is v.well written and sets the strange scene for the next couple of chapters


Active Member
K-Dawn said:
Yeah, Tolkein wanted it in one book. His publisher decided it was too long and that it should be made into a trilogy. I have the single version with all three books in one book. It's about 1010 pages (not including the appendicies).

Sounds like the same volume I have. I treat it like three books.


New Member
I always considered LOTR to be one book because this was the way that Tolkien originally intended it to be. It's just like Kill Bill.. the story had to be split up because it was just too long to take in one sitting.


New Member
When I first read it I had three seperate versions, so I treated it as three books. Then I read a bit about Tolkien and found out that it was intended as one book. I've considered it that way since.

Jemima Aslana

New Member
One Book, sic 'books' and many many chapters.

I have yet to figure out why some authors call it Book 1 and Book 2 instead of Part 1 and Part 2, old tradition perchance? Or just because it makes the work sound like it's much bigger and extensive than it really is? Not that LotR isn't, mind you.


New Member
This books is incredible, and is also one of my favorites. I just started reading it about a month ago so I'm not really that far yet. Anyways, great choice for book of the month.