The Lord of the Rings

One of the projects I have been working on since the end of summer was re-reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien.   Last spring I read The Hobbit for Carl’s Once Upon a Time Challenge and when I finished I decided that I should tackle his other works before the end of the year.  The trilogy is on my 1001 list of books and considering that only two other books, A Tale of Two Cities and The Little Prince, have sold more copies worldwide it isn’t surprising.  The Hobbit is the fourth best-selling novel.

It took him over ten years, from 1937 to 1949, to complete his story.  A good chunk of it was crafted during World War II.  Since The Hobbit was extremely successful, the publishers asked Tolkien to write a sequel.  The author informed the publishers that it would take him years to finish.  They were not deterred.  When he was forty-five, Tolkien started writing The Lord of the Rings.  He finished more than a decade later.  The novels were not completely published until 1955, when he was sixty-three.  At first he wasn’t sure of the storyline he would follow for the trilogy.  Initially he toyed with the idea of Bilbo squandering all of his treasure and setting out on another grand adventure in search of more wealth.  Fortunately he remembered the Ring that Bilbo discovered.  He changed course and wrote about the Ring and its powers.  During World War II he would send parts of the story to his son Christopher Tolkien, who was in the Royal Air Force in South Africa.

The story of the four hobbits, Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin, along with their companions, Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and Boromir, is timeless.  The fellowship of the ring sets out to destroy the Ring so the Dark Lord Sauron, will never again have possession of the Ring and its powers.  It can only be destroyed by returning it to the place where it was created, Mount Doom in Mordor.  Given the power of Sauron and his ally Saruman, a powerful wizard, the fellowship is beset with troubles from the start.  Along the way, the reader is introduced to a great cast of supporting characters, including the ring-crazed Gollum.

I won’t go into too much detail about the story since so many people are already familiar with it either through the books or the movies.  What I would like to say is that if you haven’t read the novels I encourage you to do so.  Tolkien is a powerful storyteller.  I loved the action, the twists and turns, the friendship of the companions, the trials and tribulations, the splendid cast of characters, the evil guys, the good guys, and most importantly, the hobbits.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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38 Responses to The Lord of the Rings

  1. T.F.Walsh says:

    I really should re-read them… you’re inspired me:) I didn’t realize it took him so long to write them…

    • TBM says:

      I was surprised by that as well. But thank goodness he took his time since it turned out to be such a wonderful story. I hope you enjoy them again!

  2. Nandini says:

    LOTR is in my list. I have to read them. 🙂

    Thanks for this post, it was a reminder that I need to buy them! 🙂

  3. Kristina says:

    Oh dear, this is jut too confusing, all the characters…. 😀 I haven’t read the books, I have to admit, it never fascinated me as much 🙂 My friend is obsessed with it and she read the books zillions of time, not mentioning how many times she’s seen the films 😀 Maybe I should invite her over one day and watch the movies again 🙂 Hmm…

    • TBM says:

      There are a lot of characters, but he does a great job of character development so I felt like I got to know them and was able to keep track of who was who. I haven’t read them a zillion times yet, but I’m sure I’ll read them again at some point. I also love the movies!

  4. niasunset says:

    You are right dear TBM, he is one of my favurite writers and I never wanted the book to be end… But it’s been for a long time, I think it would be so nice to read it again… I have never read a book like his books… It is so enjoyable and you almost find yourself in the story… Ah, how I loved. J. R. R. Tolkien, his imagary is amazing… By the way, about the film at the beginning I had negative thoughts because we usually it’s been hard to find a film based on a novel as beautiful as its origin… But this film was amazing too; once again fascinated me the novel and the writer… But the director of this film, he is great too… He almost put himself in writer’s world… I think I can watch the film and I can read the novel again and again… Thank you dear TBM, Have a nice day and weekend, with my love, nia

    • TBM says:

      Hi Nia. He was an original writer that’s for sure. And I know how you feel, I also felt like I was immersed in the story. The movies, although they don’t follow the books exactly, are pretty good. I enjoy both the book and movie series. I’m excited to see The Hobbit in the theater. Have a great weekend!

  5. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings will always be in my top 10 favourite books of all time!! You know what I found very interesting though? The Hobbit was written for children, and originally Tolkien intended LOTR’s for children too, but it ended up appealing to adults. Even The Hobbit is pretty heavy reading for children I think!

    • TBM says:

      I read the Hobbit when I was a child and loved it. Then when I re-read it when I was older I understood it more. I didn’t read LOTR as a child. I started it but soon abandoned it since I couldn’t get into it. But as an adult I couldn’t put the series down. I find the same is true about the cartoons I watched when I was a kid, especially Looney Tunes. They were funny as a kid, but are even more hysterical now when I watch them.

  6. esmeowl12 says:

    These would be classified probably as my favorite books ever. I also adored the movies & can’t wait until “The Hobbit” comes to theaters.

  7. I didn’t read these until the movies came out, but I’m so glad I did. I really should re-read them. Great post. 🙂

  8. First read LOTR when I was 8. Last read it in 2011. Very close between it and Moby Dick for my favorite of all time. (Huck Finn 3rd, The Savage Detectives 4th) Read The Hobbit to my daughter when she was 7 and read her all of LOTR when she was 10. She loved them both. Now Salinger is her favorite.

    • TBM says:

      I still haven’t read Moby Dick. It is on my list. Good to know that you love it. So many people tell me that they hated it. Huck Finn–such a great novel! Your daughter is lucky. It would be fun to read them as a family. I haven’t read Savage Detectives, but I’ll add it to my list that’s for sure.

  9. IsobelandCat says:

    Almost, you persuade me. I tried to read this a few years ago, and didn’t get past the first few chapters. One of these days…

  10. Caroline says:

    I have fond memories of reading this.
    I’m even afraid to spoilt it when re-reading.
    It’s such a complex, beautiful book. But I love the movies too, I must say.

    • TBM says:

      I can see why you would be hesitant. Sometimes when I love a movie I’ll watch it again and it spoils the whole thing for me. Fortunately for me, re-reading these works made me love the books more. And yes, the movies are good!

  11. Fergiemoto says:

    We have the trilogy for both – books and movies. I have watched the movies several times, but need to read the books. I have heard he is a superb writer!

    • TBM says:

      He is a great writer. He sucked me right into the story and I was sad when it ended. I also own the movies. I’m waiting for a free weekend to watch them. Not sure I can watch all three in a short time, but I’ll give it a go.

  12. Northern Narratives says:

    It’s been years since I read these books and I think I will read them again. Great post.

  13. Grace says:

    I need to read the LoTR trilogy still. I read the Hobbit in high school and was unimpressed, but I think that might be because I was forced to read it. I did finally pick up a copy of the first book, which I shall hopefully get to this year.

    • TBM says:

      I’m really curious if you will like it. It has some characteristics that are evident in The Hobbit, but it is also quite different. I loved both The Hobbit and LOTR. However, I think the plot and characters are better developed in LOTR. Can’t wait to hear what you think about it.

      • Grace says:

        Being a bit older might give me a different perspective as well… my frustration with the Hobbit was mostly that it was “walking walking eat fight walking walking fight walking walking eat fight” for pretty much the whole book. I think I might have been too young to appreciate Tolkein’s language or worldbuilding.

      • TBM says:

        Well there is still walking and eating and fighting. But there is still so much more. I love his use of words. I wonder if you read the Hobbit now if you would like it.

  14. IsobelandCat says:

    I dragged myself through the Hobbit a few years ago. I am ‘mature’…

  15. BookRain says:

    I always associated The Hobbit with being a grown up book cause my brother was required to read it in college when I was still in elementary. I was so proud when I finally read it. My copies of the LOTR books are embarrassing though as any mention of Legolas or anything he said was underlined in red. Lol…

    • TBM says:

      I think I enjoyed the Hobbit more as an adult. I wish it was required reading in college. It would have been much more enjoyable than some of the books I read in college. Legolas was a cool dude! I would love to have his eyesight.

  16. Love The Lord of the Rings! But the thought of re-reading it scares me a bit. All three volumes combined is more than a thousand pages long.

  17. cheratomo says:

    I love The Lord of The Rings. They’re very vivid and entrancing. The more I read them, though, the more I get distracted by the “history” that he speaks of. When he detours from the story to go there, I always end up bored. That’s the only thing that bothers me about his books. Really, they’re wonderful.

    • TBM says:

      I’m a history nerd so I loved the history bits, but I can see that not all people would like it. Vivid and entrancing are two great words to describe his writing!

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