Since it was first published in 1954, The Lord of the Rings has been a book people have treasured. Steeped in unrivalled magic and otherworldliness, its sweeping fantasy has touched the hearts of young and old alike. Well over 100 million copies of its many editions have been sold around the... read more
The dark, fearsome Ringwraiths were searching for a hobbit. Frodo Baggins knew they were seeking him and the Ring he bore--the Ring of Power that would enable evil Sauron to destroy all that was good in Middle-earth. Now it was up to Frodo and...
The Fellowship was scattered. Some were bracing hopelessly for war against the ancient evil of Sauron. Some were contending with the treachery of the wizard Saruman. Only Frodo and Sam were left to take the accursed Ring of Power to be...
While the evil might of the Dark Lord Sauron swarmed out to conquer all Middle-earth, Frodo and Sam struggled deep into Mordor, seat of Sauron's power. To defeat the Dark Lord, the accursed Ring of Power had to be destroyed in the fires of...
The novel begins with the departure of Bilbo Baggins, the hero of The Hobbit, from the Shire as he leaves his home for the last time to visit old friends. In his wake, his nephew and heir, Frodo, discovers that the ring he has inherited is the One Ring, forged by the Dark Lord Sauron, thought... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
The novel begins with the departure of Bilbo Baggins, the hero of The Hobbit, from the Shire as he leaves his home for the last time to visit old friends. In his wake, his nephew and heir, Frodo, discovers that the ring he has inherited is the One Ring, forged by the Dark Lord Sauron, thought lost since the ending of the Second Age. Following the counsel of Gandalf the wizard, Frodo sets out on a quest to destroy the Ring, to throw it into the fires where it was forged. He is at first aided by Samwise, his gardener, and his kinsmen Merry and Pippen, but is soon joined by representatives of the other free races of Middle-earth: Aragorn and Boromir for Men, Legolas for the Elves, and Gimli for the dwarves. Disaster strikes as Gandalf falls to an ancient evil, and the Fellowship is shattered from within. After the death of Boromir, Merry and Pippen are taken by orcs serving the traitorous wizard Saruman, and pursued by Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. Frodo and Sam, meanwhile, have left on their own to continue their original quest. Here the narrative splits into two halves. In the first half, the fates of the captive hobbits and their pursuers are bound up first with the Ents, tree-like giants who have long kept to their own affairs, then with the Rohirrim, horse-lords of the grassy southern plains, and finally with the men of Minas Tirith, a seven-tiered citadel at constant war with Mordor, the land of Shadow. The second half of the story follows Frodo and Sam as they receive help from Gollum, a wreched former owner of the Ring, and Faramir, brother of Boromir. After a battle with a terrifying spider, weeks of stealing through the harsh and barren wastelands of Mordor, and ever-mounting temptation, the hobbits reach Mount Doom, where only the grace of a past act of mercy allows the Ring to be destroyed. Sauron is defeated, but much in Middle-earth has changed, and for some of the heroes, healing can only be found on the shores of a blessed island where no evil has ever walked.
“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky / Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone / Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die / One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne / In the land of Mordor, where the Shadows lie. One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them / One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them / In the land of Mordor, where the Shadows lie.”The Ring Verse
“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”Gandalf
“Such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.”Elrond
“The Road goes ever on and on / Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, / And I must follow, if I can / Pursuing it with eager feet, / Until it joins some larger way / Where many paths and errands meet. / And whither then? I cannot say.”Bilbo Baggins
“All that is gold does not glitter, / Not all those who wander are lost; / The old that is strong does not wither, / Deep roots are not reached by frost. / From the ashes a fire shall be woken, / A light from the shadows shall spring; / Renewed shall be blade that was broken: The crownless again shall be king.”Bilbo Baggins
“But she, born in the body of a maid, had a spirit and courage at least the match of yours... who knows what she spoke to the darkness, alone, in the bitter watches of the night, when all her life seemed shrinking, and the walls of her bower closing in about her, a hutch to trammel some wild thing in?”Gandalf
“But do you remember Gandalf’s words: Even Gollum may have something yet to do? But for him, Sam... the Quest would have been in vain, even at the bitter end. So let us forgive him..! I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.”Frodo Baggins
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”Haldir
“And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!”Galadriel
“Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.”Gildor Inglorion
“He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.”Gandalf
“It was Sam's first view of a battle of Men against Men... He was glad that he could not see the dead face. He wondered what the man's name was and where he came from; and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home; and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace.”Narrator
“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”Gimli
“I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”Faramir
“Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”Gandalf
“The hands of the king are the hands of a healer. And so the rightful king could ever be known.”Ioreth
“And it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.”Frodo Baggins
“Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men.”Aragorn
“Don't adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on the story.”Bilbo Baggins
“So passed the sword of the Barrow-downs... But glad would he have been to know its fate who wrought it slowly long ago in the North-kingdom when the Dúnedain were young, and chief among their foes was the dread realm of Angmar and its sorcerer king. No other blade, not though mightier hands had wielded it, would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter, cleaving the undead flesh, breaking the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will.”Narrator
“It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.”Gandalf
“Out of dark, out of doubt, to the day's rising I rode, singing in the sun, sword unsheathing. To hope's end I rode, and to heart's breaking: Now for wrath, now for ruin, and a red nightfall!”Éomer
“But it is not your own Shire. Others dwelt here before Hobbits came; and others will dwell here again when Hobbits are no more. The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out.”Gildor Inglorion
“<I fear> a cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”Eowyn
“'It is ever so with things that Men begin: there is a frost in Spring, or a blight in Summer, and they fail of their promise.' 'Yet seldom do they fail of their seed. And that will lie in the dust and rot to spring up again in times and places unlooked for. The deeds of Men will outlast us, Gimli.'”Legolas & Gimli
“Long we have tended our beasts and our fields, built our houses, wrought our tools, or ridden away to help in the wars of Minas Tirith. And that we called the life of Men, the way of the world. We cared little for what lay beyond the borders of our land. Songs we have that tell of these things, but we are forgetting them, teaching them only to children, as a careless custom. And now the songs have come down among us out of strange places, and walk visible under the Sun.”Théoden
“The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!”Aragorn
“I would not snare even an orc with a falsehood.”Faramir
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”Gandalf
“You cannot be always torn in two. You will have to be one and whole, for many years. You have so much to enjoy and to be, and to do.”Frodo Baggins
“Oft it may chance that old wives keep in memory word of things that once were needful for the wise to know.”Celeborn
“Gibbets and Crows! Dotard! What is the house of Eorl but a thatched barn where brigands drink in the reek, and their brats roll around on the floor with their dogs!”Saruman
“I would cut off your head, beard and all, Master Dwarf, if it stood but a little higher from the ground.”Eomer
“Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace... But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund's daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you if you touch him.”Éowyn
“Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the Houses of Lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured and thy shriveled mind be left naked to the lidless Eye.”The Witch King
“Despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.”Gandalf
<This is an edit of another member's comments, who described The Lord of the Rings as YA fiction.> Unlike his earlier book, which was based in part on stories Tolkien had made to entertain his son ('The Hobbit, or There and Back Again'), The Lord of the Rings was never meant to be a book for children-- and the "Young Adult" category didn't exist. Until the last decade of so,there were only two categories; authors wrote books, or they wrote children's books. Nowadays, the 'YA' designation is attached to books with protagonists in their late teens / early twenties, and in which the author hasn't described sexual activity in graphic detail. As The Lord of the Rings has no sex and minimal graphic violence, and further, as Frodo and his companions appear to be youthful (although hobbit ages don't match up with ours), it is easy to see why some may classify the book as "YA".That does the 'trilogy' (actually a misnomer) a real disservice. At the time this book was written, no author was including descriptions of sex in fiction--the morality of the era was different, and what we now think of as normal would have been considered pornographic. No legitimate publisher would have touched such a book, and if one had, the few people who would have been willing to read it wouldn't admit it. At the time The Lord of the Rings was written, authors weren't writing fiction to be read by people of a particular age bracket. They were writing it to be read, and by anyone whose reading ability was sufficient, whether ten years old or seventy. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings can be read quite happily at either end of that spectrum-- I first plowed my was through it on my own when I was eight or so, back in 1968, and have probably re-read it more than times a dozen and a half since.
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