The Fellowship of the ring pdf Download by J.R.R Tolkien Cast, Summary

The Fellowship of the Ring pdf by J.R.R Tolkien is the first of three volumes of the epic novel. The Lord of the Rings by the English author J. R. R. Tolkien. It is followed by The Two Towers and The Return of the King which you will have access to in my subsequent articles. The fellowship of the ring  takes place in the fictional universe of Middle-earth, and was originally published on 29 July 1954 in the United Kingdom. The volume consists of a foreword, in which the author discusses his writing of The Lord of the Rings, a prologue titled “Concerning Hobbits, and other matters”, and the main narrative in Book I and Book II. In this article you will be able to download the fellowship of the ring by J.R.R Tolkien pdf as wellas do the following:

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The fellowship of the ring Summary by J.R.R Tolkien

When the eccentric hobbit Bilbo Baggins leaves his home in the Shire, he gives his greatest treasure to his heir Frodo: a magic ring that makes its wearer invisible. Because of the difficulty Bilbo has in giving the ring away, his friend the wizard Gandalf the Grey suspects that the ring is more than it appears. Some years later, Gandalf reveals to Frodo that the ring is in fact the One Ring, forged by Sauron the Dark Lord thousands of years before to enable him to dominate and enslave all of Middle-earth. Gandalf tells Frodo that the Ring must be destroyed to defeat Sauron’s evil, but he also warns him that the Enemy has learned of the Ring’s whereabouts from the creature Gollum and will seek to find it and kill its bearer. Despite the danger and hopelessness of the quest, Frodo accepts the burden and resolves to take the Ring to the safety of the elven stronghold of Rivendell.

Frodo sets off with three companions, fellow hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam. After a series of close calls and misadventures, where they are saved only by the timely intervention of the mysterious Tom Bombadil, they reach the town of Bree. The innkeeper delivers a letter from Gandalf recommending a weather-beaten Ranger known as Strider as their guide to the elves. Strider leads them cross-country, hoping to avoid the Black Riders who are watching the Road, but they are attacked near the ancient watchtower of Weathertop. Frodo puts on the Ring, revealing himself to the Black Riders. Their leader stabs him with a blade of evil enchantment, and he nearly dies as they race for Rivendell. The Nine Riders try to force Frodo’s surrender, but a flood destroys their horses even as Frodo collapses into unconsciousness.

The dark, fearsome Ringwraiths are searching for a Hobbit. Frodo Baggins knows that they are seeking him and the Ring he bears—the Ring of Power that will enable evil Sauron to destroy all that is good in Middle-earth. Now it is up to Frodo and his faithful servant, Sam, with a small band of companions, to carry the Ring to the one place it can be destroyed: Mount Doom, in the very center of Sauron’s realm.

About the Author of Summary of – John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on 3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and academic, best known as the author of the high fantasy works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. From 1925 to 1945, Tolkien was the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and a Fellow of Pembroke College, both at the University of Oxford. He then moved within the same university, to become the Merton Professor of English Language and Literature and Fellow of Merton College, positions he held from 1945 until his retirement in 1959. Tolkien was a close friend of C. S. Lewis, a co-member of the informal literary discussion group The Inklings. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972.

After Tolkien’s death, his son Christopher published a series of works based on his father’s extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about a fantasy world called Arda and, within it, Middle-earth. Between 1951 and 1955, Tolkien applied the term legendarium to the larger part of these writings.

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The fellowship of the ring by J.R.R Tolkien
The Fellowship of the ring by J.R.R Tolkien

Excerpt from the fellowship of the ring by J.R.R Tolkien

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Chapter 1
A Long-Expected Party
When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton. Bilbo was very rich and very peculiar, and had been the wonder of the Shire for sixty years, ever since his remarkable disappearance and unexpected return. The riches he had brought back from his travels had now become a local legend, and it was popularly believed, whatever the old folk might say, that the Hill at Bag End was full of tunnels stuffed with treasure. And if that was not enough for fame, there was also his prolonged vigour to marvel at. Time wore on, but it seemed to have little effect on Mr. Baggins. At ninety he was much the same as at fifty. At ninety-nine they began to call him well-preserved; but unchanged would have been nearer the mark. There were some that shook their heads and thought this was too much of a good thing; it seemed unfair that anyone should possess (apparently) perpetual youth as well as (reputedly) inexhaustible wealth. ‘It will have to be paid for,’ they said. ‘It isn’t natural, and trouble will come of it!’

But so far trouble had not come; and as Mr. Baggins was generous with his money, most people were willing to forgive him his oddities and his good fortune. He remained on visiting terms with his relatives (except, of course, the Sackville-Bagginses), and he had many devoted admirers among the hobbits of poor and unimportant families. But he had no close friends, until some of his younger
cousins began to grow up. The eldest of these, and Bilbo’s favourite, was young Frodo Baggins. When Bilbo was ninety-nine he adopted Frodo as his heir, and
brought him to live at Bag End; and the hopes of the Sackville- Bagginses were finally dashed. Bilbo and Frodo happened to have the same birthday, September 22nd. ‘You had better come and live here, Frodo my lad,’ said Bilbo one day; ‘and then we can celebrate our birthday-parties comfortably together.’ At that time Frodo was still in his tweens, as the hobbits called the irresponsible twenties
between childhood and coming of age at thirty-three. Twelve more years passed. Each year the Bagginses had given very lively combined birthday-parties at Bag End; but now it was understood that something quite exceptional was being planned for that autumn. Bilbo was going to be eleventy-one, 111, a rather
curious number, and a very respectable age for a hobbit (the Old Took
himself had only reached 130); and Frodo was going to be thirty-three, 33, an important number: the date of his ‘coming of age’.

Tongues began to wag in Hobbiton and Bywater; and rumour of the coming event travelled all over the Shire. The history and character of Mr. Bilbo Baggins became once again the chief topic of conversation; and the older folk suddenly found their reminiscences in welcome demand. No one had a more attentive audience than old Ham Gamgee, commonly known as the Gaffer. He held forth at The Ivy Bush, a small inn on the Bywater road; and he spoke with some authority, for he had
tended the garden at Bag End for forty years, and had helped old Holman in the same job before that. Now that he was himself growing old and stiff in the joints, the job was mainly carried on by his youngest son, Sam Gamgee. Both father and son were on very friendly terms with Bilbo and Frodo. They lived on the Hill itself, in Number 3 Bagshot Row just below Bag End. ‘A very nice well-spoken gentlehobbit is Mr. Bilbo, as I’ve always said,’ the Gaffer declared. With perfect truth: for Bilbo was very polite to him, calling him ‘Master Hamfast’, and consulting him constantly upon the growing of vegetables — in the matter of ‘roots’, especially potatoes, the Gaffer was recognized as the leading authority by all in the neighbourhood (including himself). ‘But what about this Frodo that lives with him?’ asked Old Noakes of Bywater. ‘Baggins is his name, but he’s more than half a Brandybuck, they say. It beats me why any Baggins of Hobbiton should
go looking for a wife away there in Buckland, where folks are so queer.’ ‘And no wonder they’re queer,’ put in Daddy Twofoot (the Gaffer’s next-door neighbour), ‘if they live on the wrong side of the Brandywine River, and right agin the Old Forest. That’s a dark bad place, if half the tales be true.’ ‘You’re right, Dad!’ said the Gaffer. ‘Not that the Brandybucks of Buckland live in the Old Forest; but they’re a queer breed, seemingly. They fool about with boats on that big river — and
that isn’t natural.

Small wonder that trouble came of it, I say. But be that as it may, Mr. Frodo is as nice a young hobbit as you could wish to meet. Very much like Mr. Bilbo, and in more than looks. After all his father was a Baggins. A decent respectable hobbit was Mr. Drogo Baggins; there was never much to tell of him, till he was drownded.’ ‘Drownded?’ said several voices. They had heard this and other darker rumours before, of course; but hobbits have a passion for family history, and they were ready to hear it again. ‘Well, so they say,’ said the Gaffer. ‘You see: Mr. Drogo, he married poor Miss Primula Brandybuck. She was our Mr. Bilbo’s first
cousin on the mother’s side (her mother being the youngest of the Old Took’s daughters); and Mr. Drogo was his second cousin. So Mr. Frodo is his first and second cousin, once removed either way, as the saying is, if you follow me. And Mr. Drogo was staying at Brandy Hall with his father-in-law, old Master Gorbadoc, as he often did after his marriage (him being partial to his vittles, and old Gorbadoc keeping a mighty generous table); and he went out boating on the
Brandywine River; and he and his wife were drownded, and poor Mr. Frodo only a child and all.’ ‘I’ve heard they went on the water after dinner in the moonlight,’ said Old Noakes; ‘and it was Drogo’s weight as sunk the boat.’ ‘And I heard she pushed him in, and he pulled her in after him,’ said Sandyman, the Hobbiton miller.
‘You shouldn’t listen to all you hear, Sandyman,’ said the Gaffer, who did not much like the miller. ‘There isn’t no call to go talking of pushing and pulling. Boats are quite tricky enough for those that sit still without looking further for the cause of
trouble. Anyway: there was this Mr. Frodo left an orphan and stranded, as you might say, among those queer Bucklanders, being brought up anyhow in Brandy Hall. A regular warren, by all accounts. Old Master Gorbadoc never had fewer than a couple of hundred relations in the place. Mr. Bilbo never did a kinder deed than when he brought the lad back to live among decent folk. ‘But I reckon it was a nasty shock for those Sackville- Bagginses. They thought they were going to get Bag End, that time when he went off and was thought to be dead. And then he comes back and orders them off; and he goes on living and living, and never looking a day older, bless him! And suddenly he produces an heir, and has all the papers made out proper. The Sackville-Bagginses won’t never see the inside of Bag End now, or it is to be hoped not.’ ‘There’s a tidy bit of money tucked away up there, I hear tell,’ said a stranger, a visitor on business from Michel Delving in
the Westfarthing. ‘All the top of your hill is full of tunnels packed with chests of gold and silver, and jools, by what I’ve heard.’ ‘Then you’ve heard more than I can speak to,’ answered the Gaffer. I know nothing about jools. Mr. Bilbo is free with his money, and there seems no lack of it; but I know of no tunnel-making. I saw

Mr. Bilbo when he came back, a matter of sixty years ago, when I was a lad. I’d not long come prentice to old Holman (him being my dad’s cousin), but he had me up at Bag End helping him to keep folks from trampling and trapessing all over the garden while the sale was on. And in the middle of it all Mr. Bilbo comes up the Hill with a pony and some mighty big bags and a couple of chests. I don’t doubt they were mostly full of treasure he had picked up in foreign parts, where there be mountains of gold, they say; but there wasn’t enough to fill tunnels. But my lad Sam will know more about that. He’s in and out of Bag End. Crazy about stories of the old days he is, and he listens to all Mr. Bilbo’s tales. Mr. Bilbo has learned him his letters — meaning no harm, mark you, and I hope no harm will come of it. ‘Elves and Dragons! I says to him. ‘Cabbages and potatoes are better for me and you. Don’t go getting mixed up in the business of your betters, or you’ll land in trouble too big for you,’ I says to him. And I might say it to others,’ he added with a look at the stranger and the miller. But the Gaffer did not convince his audience. The legend of Bilbo’s wealth was now too firmly fixed in the minds of the younger
generation of hobbits. ‘Ah, but he has likely enough been adding to what he brought at first,’ argued the miller, voicing common opinion. ‘He’s often away from home. And look at the outlandish folk that visit him: dwarves coming at night, and that old wandering conjuror, Gandalf, and all. You can say what you like, Gaffer, but Bag End’s a queer place, and its folk are queerer.’ ‘And you can say what you like, about what you know no more of than you do of boating, Mr. Sandyman,’ retorted the Gaffer,disliking the miller even more than usual. ‘If that’s being queer,
then we could do with a bit more queerness in these parts. There’s some not far away that wouldn’t offer a pint of beer to a friend, if they lived in a hole with golden walls. But they do things proper at Bag End. Our Sam says that everyone’s going to be invited to the party, and there’s going to be presents, mark you, presents for all — this very month as is.’

Some themes explored in the fellowship of the ring by J.R.R Tolkien

Good Vs Evil

The confrontation between forces of good and evil, or light and dark, is the basic theme of epic, myth, and romance—all genres that readers have applied to Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume in his Lord of the Rings series. It is therefore no surprise that the honorable members of the titular Fellowship (FrodoGandalfAragornLegolasGimliBoromirSamMerry, and Pippin) suffer from the Dark Lord Sauron’s unrelenting evil assaults in their quest to protect the Free Peoples of Middle-earth by destroying the One Ring (Sauron’s creation and the key to his total domination of Middle-earth). This classic conflict between forces of good and evil is the driving theme in the world of Middle-earth, and in Tolkien’s epic novel. Through the Fellowship’s experiences during their perilous quest, Tolkien proposes that evil occurs when individuals fall to the temptation of wielding power for personal gain.

Many of Tolkien’s authorial choices establish that the dichotomous struggle between good and evil is the driving force of the novel, as he clearly links people and places to either good or evil. For example, Rivendell and Lothlórien are described as elegant refuges of culture and knowledge, and the very lightness and brightness of their described locations is contrasted against the darkly foreboding settings of the corrupted Moria, Isengard, and Mordor. Clearly the peaceful and aesthetically beautiful elvish locations are shelters for the protagonists, compared to the shadowy, polluted, and obviously evil strongholds of Sauron and Saruman. Furthermore, Tolkien’s invented names sound good or evil to the ear, heightening the sense of conflict between the two. Elvish names such as “Galadriel” and “Lothlórien” roll elegantly and softly off the tongue, compared to harsh and discordant names that signal evil characters, such as “orcs” and the “Nazgûl.” Names are reflective of a culture’s broader language, and Tolkien’s multiple invented languages of Middle-earth generally stereotype its different races: for example the guttural sounds of Khuzdul, the dwarvish language, reflect their rough, straightforward, and often forceful personalities, while the grating and harsh sounds of Black Speech establishes the evil dispositions of Sauron and his servants. Lastly, character behaviors often indicate an individual’s alliance with the light or dark. Inherently good characters such as Frodo, Sam, and Aragorn demonstrate selflessness as they serve those around them, alongside humility through their repeated self-doubts as to their own strengths and responsibilities. This contrasts sharply with the clear-cut evil behaviors of Sauron and his allies who attempt to conquer all cultures using deception and violence. Through these many stylistic choices, Tolkien forms a relationship between form and content, allowing readers to immediately identify obviously good or evil characters and places.

The force that distinguishes evil from good, Tolkien claims, is the corrupting influence of power. Numerous characters in Middle-earth gravitate towards control of peoples, creatures, special objects, and entire lands due to their personal ambitions to wield power. Some, such as Sauron and Gollum, make no secret of their hatred and violent intentions, while others like Saruman are more deceptive and cunning in their dark desires. Whether their intentions are clear or concealed, these characters all bleed into evil territory because of their shared desire to use power for their own nefarious purposes. Tolkien paints characters such as Saruman and Boromir as admirable individuals who then fall to the evil temptation of personal ambition, betraying their companions by attempting to take power through persuasion and then force. The corrupting influences of power, particularly the lure of the titular Ring, reveal these characters’ flawed moral resolves. Through Saruman and Boromir’s wrongdoings, Tolkien suggests that all characters balance light and dark within them to some extent; those who are classified as good exercise willpower in the face of trials and temptations, such as Gandalf, Elrond, and Galadriel’s rejections of the offered Ring, while those who are evil bend to the siren call of corruption.

For much of his epic novel, Tolkien parses good and evil, neatly shelving his characters as one or the other to showcase the age-old struggle between the two opposing forces. However, readers may find Tolkien’s claim that all beings balance light and dark within themselves to be a confusing nuance—if this is true, why does Tolkien paint races such as orcs as wholly evil? Murky philosophy aside, Tolkien ultimately spins a cautionary tale, underscoring the danger in using power for self-serving purposes. In making his readers squarely confront the many evils within the power plays of Middle-earth’s world, Tolkien leaves readers with the notion that hiding from or avoiding struggle and conflict will only result in the triumph of evil.

Free Will, Fate, and Foresight

The Fellowship of the Ring begins the story of the Company of the Ring who set out to destroy the One Ring, an action that will defeat the rising threat of the Dark Lord Sauron. Nine individuals choose to join the Fellowship for the purpose of saving the Free Peoples of Middle-earth. In many ways, though, their choices and decisions seem predestined by a greater overarching power that is hinted at in myth, circumstance, and conversation. Throughout the Fellowship’s journey, moments of foresight also become integral to the plot. Certain characters use the power of prophecy and vision to arm themselves with knowledge that will greatly help their forces in the contest between good and evil. Overall, this narrative interplay between ideas of free will, fate, and foresight suggests that free will can exist in a world also governed by predestined action.

Tolkien’s story hints at an overarching and all-powerful presence that has specific plans for the beings of Middle-earth. The diverse members of the Company of the Ring all come together by happenstance, as for various reasons they have been drawn away from their homes to Rivendell at the same time. Here, the Council of Elrond suggests that a small company is required to infiltrate Mordor and destroy the Ring.

Despite all nine spontaneously volunteering their services, Elrond comments on the fortuitous nature of it all—that Nine Walkers of complementary talents have volunteered to oppose Sauron and his nine Black Riders seems too circumspect not to be fate. Situations like these abound in The Fellowship of the Ring, suggesting an overarching presence that directs the events on Middle-earth. These situations also offer readers glimpses of the possibility that everything that will come to pass is already destined to occur. Interestingly, it is difficult for readers to discern the priorities of this potentially all-powerful presence. Gandalf is certain that Bilbo’s finding the Ring and giving it to Frodo makes the Frodo the fated Ring-bearer (indeed, in Gandalf’s opinion Frodo is the very best person to bear the treacherous object and has the most chance at succeeding in the Fellowship’s quest to destroy it). However, the Grey Wizard is also certain that this overarching power would not protect the Free Peoples of Middle-earth by letting the Ring rest safely at the bottom of the sea. Readers can therefore interpret fate as having favorable or disastrous designs for the Fellowship and their quest to destroy the Ring.

However, Tolkien also champions the power of choice by free will throughout the story, which contradicts the very concept of fate. Gandalf is a character who strongly upholds all beings’ right to free will. As one of the wisest of the Istari, the wizards of Middle-earth, his knowledge and views hold great weight. However, Gandalf lets others make crucial choices about the wellbeing of Middle-earth, offering his advice and guidance only—especially regarding Frodo’s actions. It is Frodo’s choice to accept the mantle of Ring-bearer, to serve the Free Peoples of Middle-earth rather than return to his beloved Shire, and to often choose which physical paths the Fellowship shall take. Through Gandalf, Tolkien elevates the prevalence and power of free will over fate.

The idea of foresight complicates the conflict between fate and free will in the novel. Characters with skills of prediction, prophecy, and vision are able to arm themselves and their allies with insight and knowledge that can alter the power plays of Middle-earth. Gandalf predicts that Gollum still has a part to play in the fate of the Ring, Elrond foresees that the Fellowship’s quest will only be completed by someone seemingly weak whom Sauron will overlook, and Aragorn warns that Gandalf should not enter the Mines of Moria. All of these are occurrences in which the wise correctly predict events to come, offering advice and insights to their allies. Foresight troubles the concept that individuals have free will, as in these cases it is a prediction of fate. Characters also gain powers of foresight through their use of magically enhanced objects—for example, Galadriel can view present and future global events using her mirror. Foresight is again a prediction that seems to stem from the mysterious, overarching power of fate.

History and Myth

The titular company of The Fellowship of the Ring consists of individuals from many cultures, including hobbits, dwarves, elves, and humans. Tolkien presents various forms of history and myth across these cultures—for example, hobbits enjoy playful songs that reflect their pastoral traditions, humans favor legends of battlefield valor, and elves tend to create mythical odes about ancient events. These histories and myths can have a threefold purpose: they preserve memories of previous eras, reflect the repetitive nature of history, and can shape future events.

Tolkien infuses his epic novel with stories of mythical people and events to offer historical context to readers, which simultaneously adds depth to the world he’s building. Much of this storytelling takes place in conversation. For example, Gandalf’s account to Frodo of the legendary rings of power, the ancient War of the Last Alliance, and Gollum’s origins as Smeagol set the scene for Frodo’s chapter in the saga of the Ring. History is preserved and passed on through the sharing of stories. Numerous songs also reference the past histories of Tolkien’s universe. For instance, Aragorn sings the Song of Beren and Lúthien to the hobbits by the campfire at Weathertop. It describes the meeting and courtship of Beren and Lúthien Tinúviel, referencing bygone characters and landscapes. Such a song weaves a vision that offers characters (and readers) insights into previous ages. These historic references in conversation and song demonstrate the power of myth, legend and folklore to both ground a narrative and to broaden its world.

Songs about the past also relate directly to the plot’s current situation, suggesting that history repeats itself. Even songs that directly relate legendary events from ages long gone comment on characters’ present situations. A good example of this parallel is when Gimli chants Durin’s Song as he passes through Moria with the Company of the Ring. The song recounts the splendor of the dwarven king Durin’s rule before the decline of his kingdom of Khazad-dûm; this hauntingly matches the current decline of the Third Age, marked most significantly by the dwindling of the elves. Song is therefore a medium that expresses the idea that history is cyclical.

Furthermore, the preservation of history and myth can shape the future. For example, The Riddle of Strider appears twice in The Fellowship of the Ring. It was written decades earlier by Bilbo, based on a prophecy that had been attached to Aragorn’s family for many generations. It speaks to the truth of Aragorn’s heritage, for while he appears a mere wanderer, he is in fact the Heir of Isildur. The Riddle predicts that he will re-forge the ancient blade Narsil, and claim the thrones of Gondor and Arnor. It is not until the later books in The Lord of the Rings series that these predicted events transpire as truth, but the Fellowship learn quickly that there is more to Strider than meets the eye. Beyond learning about the past, then, history is vital in looking to the future—history can guide individuals toward specific destinies.

Tolkien thereby emphasizes the societal importance of preserving history and explaining myth. By prioritizing characters’ storytelling in his narrative, he creates intertextual references that add depth to the world of Middle-earth. Direct echoes of historic circumstances also emphasize the continuity of the world and show that core patterns of events rise and fall repetitively through time. Additionally, history can have great consequence in shaping future events. Overall, Tolkien creates a sense that The Fellowship of the Ring is the beginning of a legendary tale that will itself one day be celebrated in various cultures’ shared histories and myths.

Where to buy the fellowship of the ring by J.R.R Tolkien

The opening novel of The Lord of the Rings— titled The fellowship of the ring by J.R.R Tolkien which is the greatest fantasy epic of all time and which continues in The Two Towers and The Return of the King can be bought online from the following sites:

Read reviews on the fellowship of the ring by J.R.R Tolkien

Editorial reviews about the book

“A unique, wholly realized other world, evoked from deep in the well of Time, massively detailed, absorbingly entertaining, profound in meaning.” – New York Times

“Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron.” — C.S. Lewis
“Destined to outlast our time.” The New York Herald-Tribune
“Exciting… Mr. Tolkien’s invention is unflagging” — W.H. Auden 

Thus begins J.R.R. Tolkien?s classic The Lord of the Rings, which continues in Two Towers and The Return of the King.

“Filled with marvels and strange terrors . .an extraordinary, distinguished piece of work.”—New York Herald Tribune

Customer reviews on Amazon for the fellowship of the ring by J.R.R Tolkien

Teresa Ramseur

5.0 out of 5 stars Believe It Or Not(What Took Me So Long)

Reviewed in the United States on May 21, 2018

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I have a friend who’s been trying to get me to read this series, and I have resisted her suggestion quite strongly, as I had already seen the movies, and was worried that they would spoil the books for me, nor did I think that I would like the series, although, I had seen the movies, and thought them very well done, I didn’t think the book series was for me, as I am very picky, especially when it comes to fantasy. But I was completely blown away by this first book in the series, there’s some great world building, and and it doesn’t take much to come invested in the story, to come to root and care for and about the characters. Now, I’m only wondering why it took me so long to read this. Well worth the read, one I’d highly recommend, now I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Daniel Mildren

5.0 out of 5 stars A great tale revisited

Reviewed in the United States on September 30, 2019

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I’ve read Tolkien’s legendarium many times over the course of my life, ever since my nana first stokes the fire of my love for it reading to me before bed.
I was a solitary young man, escaping schoolyard bullies with fantasy worlds, raised by my grandparents. They both worked and in their stead I was often raised by heroes.

This is one of many formative works for me. I know that the linguistically charged fantasy narrative isnt for everyone, I know some people can wholly enjoy the world without enjoying the written word of it, and I know middle earth is chief in the hearts of so many who may never read the books, but these books are a core of me.

In it so many things happen I didnt understand the depth of before: farmer maggot and Tom Bombadil both helping, a good samaritan and a force of nature respectively, fear of the unknown, the road ever changing you. I didn’t understand as a child just how much of Tolkien’s own wartime shellshock made it in Middle Earth, greatness falling and the enemy seeming infinite, but I think I do now. This is a book about a journey, a long, transformative journey that there will never be a full return from. This journey marks both the reader and the characters, leaving them changed: for me it was for the better, for the fellowship it may just be irrevocable bit neutral change, both bad and good coming of it. This is already lengthy but I’ll say this much, if you’ve not read lord of the rings give it a try, it really is worth it.

Tim Volkov

5.0 out of 5 stars A doubtless masterpiece

Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2019

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Read this book for the first time ever in its original language and form (the foreword states it’s the go-to edition) and I was disappointed exactly zero times. You see, even Martin can (and does) get tedious every now and then. Not Tolkien. Carefully crafted writing, vivid imagery, relatable characters. Yes, they aren’t that multilayered as those in the ASOIAF, but they sure ain’t as black and white either, as some would make you believe. Take Gollum, Boromir, even Bilbo, for instance. We see their internal struggle many a time.
The pacing is spot on and you hardly want to skim through anything, because every detail counts and ultimately adds to an exquisite bigger picture.
I loved every single description of the nature: every sunset and sunrise, every gray morning and starry night, every moor and craggy peak. They are presented in such a way as to help you see them with your own heart
I can’t wait to read on, to you have a look at The Two Towers and The Return Of The King afterwards, because this is where the power of the English language, the notion of doing the right thing, the turf war on the global scale are at their best and simply unrivalled.
I wish the movies – however great they are and however good Peter Jackson as a director is – did the books justice and let’s hope we’ll live to see that day when there is a movie or a series (even better) worthy of the master’s writing and vision.
For now though, I’ll contend myself with coming back to this masterpiece, telling about it to anyone who’d listen and reading it aloud to my kids and having the faintest hope… of seeing the lady Galadriel in real life one day.


5.0 out of 5 stars Undeniably phenomenal but not without flaws

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 16, 2020

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This book (well this and it’s two original companions) pioneered fantasy and are the reason that elves, dwarves, long journeys and so much more are tropes of modern fantasy and have just become part of fantastical world’s without explanation. In the 500 pages (only 1/3 of the full journey) this book explored such a variety of people, cultures and lands that it felt like a book of many smaller stories. Truly something special.

However, as mentioned, this book isn’t perfect. At times the pacing can be very slow, there’s also a LOT of text that is purely long text of the travelling they’re doing and the land around them. If the land were fantastical and there were much to see during all of these, it would make sense, but often it is simply written to emphasize the length of their journey. As a result, it can drag and can sometimes take a little rereading. However I cannot knock this book down for that as it is part of what gives the book its feel. It is supposed to feel like a long journey for naïve hobbits travelling much much further than they ever have before and seeing many characters, creatures and cultures they never knew even existed. Can’t wait to read the second…but may have a couple days off to build up the concentration levels again.

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