THE BOOKS THAT INSPIRED THE EPIC MOTION PICTURES
THE LORD OF THE RINGS
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
THE TWO TOWERS
THE RETURN OF THE KING
© New Line Productions, Inc. All rights reserved. THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY and the names of the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises under license to New Line Productions, Inc. (s12)
Motion Picture Artwork © 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Hobbits and wizards and Sauron–oh, my! Mild-mannered Oxford scholar John Ronald Reuel Tolkien had little inkling when he published The Hobbit; Or, There and Back Again in 1937 that, once hobbits were unleashed upon the sector, there would be no turning back. Hobbits are, in fact, small, furry creatures who love nothing better than a leisurely life somewhat free from adventure. But in that first novel and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo and their elvish friends get swept up into a mighty conflict with the dragon Smaug, the dark lord Sauron (who owes much to proud Satan in Paradise Lost), the monstrous Gollum, the Cracks of Doom, and the grim power of the paranormal Ring. The four books’ characters–good and evil–are recognizably human, and the realism is deepened by the magnificent detail of the vast parallel world Tolkien devised, inspired partly by his influential Anglo-Saxon scholarship and his Christian beliefs. (He disapproved of the relative sparseness of detail within the comparable allegorical fantasy his friend C.S. Lewis dreamed up in The Chronicles of Narnia, although he knew Lewis had spun a page-turning yarn.) It has been estimated that one-tenth of all paperbacks sold can trace their ancestry to J.R.R. Tolkien. But despite the fact that we had never gotten Robert Jordan’s The Path of Daggers and the entire fantasy genre Tolkien inadvertently created by bringing the hobbits so richly to life, Tolkien’s epic concerning the Ring would have left our world enhanced by enchantment. –Tim Appelo