Adaptations are original cultural entities that can imitate, question, re-write, or reinterpret their source material for new audiences.
The reach of J.R.R. Tolkien’s writing is hard to surpass. With millions of books sold, his literary creations have spawned several blockbuster hits and the naming system for an entire genus of wasps. More than 80 years after The Hobbit was first published, countless devoted fans—bookish teenagers, Hollywood producers, and Pocket editors alike—are self-professed Tolkienites with a seemingly insatiable thirst for Middle-earth discourse.
To celebrate the fandom, the LOTR film trilogy, and the timelessness of all things Tolkien, cozy up with this epic collection of great writing about the beloved author’s work and legacy.
Photo by Mario Tama/Staff/Getty Images
What has it got in its academic journals, precious?
The Battle of the Somme left its mark on the Lord of the Rings author.
BONUS READ: There and Back Again via The Atlantic.
Dismissed as reactionary fantasy and even labelled fascist, Tolkien’s novels told of the corrupting influence of power. He deserves to be taken seriously, now more than ever.
Damien Bador on the origins of a fantasy classic.
BONUS READ: Birth of a New World: The Tolkien Poem That Marks the Genesis of Middle-earth via The Guardian.
The Lord of the Rings author once wrote a short tale about a painter that elegantly argues for the value of escapism in literature.
How a literary icon always felt guilty about his failings with Chaucer.
J.R.R. Tolkien Reads from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and Sings “Sam’s Rhyme of the Troll” in a Rare Recording [LISTEN]The Marginalian
“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them…”
Forty years after Ralph Bakshi’s animated Lord of the Rings hit theaters, the filmmaker recalls courting Mick Jagger and Led Zeppelin and speaks candidly about the extreme pressure he was under, noting he almost died.
On paper, none of it looked like a recipe for success.
BONUS READ: What Peter Jackson’s Original Two-Movie Lord of the Rings Almost Looked Like via Polygon.
In the early 20th century, the writer saw a lot of shit.
The trilogy deserves a place in your Christmas movie catalog.
Cutting-edge effects don’t always hold up, but 20 years later, the Uruk-hai orcs from Helm’s Deep look every bit as real and threatening as they did when they first charged the mountain stronghold.
BONUS READ: How Lord of the Rings’ Gollum Changed the Course of Special Effects via Vulture.
Featuring interviews with cast and crew, diving deep into life behind the scenes, and answering the many fan questions, The Friendship Onion from your favorite Hobbits, friends and co-stars, Billy Boyd and Dom Monaghan will peel back the layers of their friendship, both on screen and off.
Inside the mystifying LOTR line that spawned a meme.
BONUS READ: One Cannot Simply Separate the ‘Lord of the Rings’ Movies from Meme Immortality via Polygon.
From experts in being annoying to watch the Lord of the Rings with.
Mountains don’t do corners.
BONUS READ: See the Sketches J.R.R. Tolkien Used to Build Middle-earth via Wired.
It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.
Frodo’s compassion for the PTSD-sufferer Smeagol lends a new humanist relevance to LOTR.
J.R.R. Tolkien was a deeply religious Oxford don and World War I veteran—but his works had a huge impact on the ‘60s counterculture.
Following breadcrumbs to find ourselves, in history and fiction.
Kirill Yeskov’s novel The Last Ringbearer is set during and after the end of the War of the Ring, and is told from the perspective of those who lost.
BONUS READ: How (Not) to Write a Sequel to Lord of the Rings via The New Statesman.