Lord of the Rings

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Tolkien's world
Regions and places
Languages ​​and scripts

The Lord of the Rings (English original title: The Lord of the Rings ) is a novel by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien . It is one of the most commercially successful novels of the 20th century, is a classic of fantasy literature and is considered a fundamental work of high fantasy . The English original was published in three volumes of two books plus appendices each in 1954/1955, and the first German translation was published in 1969/1970. The novel was sold around 150 million times worldwide.

The novel is set against the backdrop of a fantasy world developed by Tolkien all his life ( Tolkien's world ). It tells the story of a ring, with the destruction of which the evil power in the form of the dark ruler Sauron perishes. The main characters are four hobbits who are involuntarily drawn into a heroic adventure. In addition to these, as representatives of the good elves , people of the west and the north , dwarves and wizards play important roles. Their opponents are the creatures and subjects of Sauron, the orcs , trolls and people of the east and the south .

The novel served as the template for numerous adaptations, including a film trilogy that won 17 Academy Awards (2001-2003) .

To the work


JRR Tolkien, 1916

JRR Tolkien taught and researched as a professor of Old English at the University of Oxford . As a linguist and literary scholar, he was associated with the subject of Old English literature throughout his life. In particular, his comment, Beowulf - the Monster and the Critics, is still a scientific milestone in philology today. In addition, it was Tolkien's day-to-day work to undertake comparative research with other Germanic and non-Germanic literatures of early to high medieval European literature, in particular with the sources of Norse literature , the Icelandic sagas and the mythological texts from Eddic writings as well as motifs from German folk tales ( for example the discovery of the motif for the figure of the magician Gandalf on a trip through the Rhine Valley ).

In his own words, it was Tolkien's original intention to draft an English mythology with a view to the Scandinavian and German traditions , in view of the fact that hardly any mythological motifs or tangible material have survived in the mostly clerical Old English literature and that Celtic materials are not as old as those nordic . The pagan phase of the Anglo-Saxon settlement on the British main island, under which the myths brought with them could be handed down and developed, lasted only 150 years until the Anglo-Saxons were fully Christianized and the associated loss of these allegedly existing mythological materials - with the exception of the Beowulf epic . Tolkien therefore consciously borrowed from neighboring Germanic, Celtic and European cultures, literatures and languages. For the development of the Elven languages Sindarin and Quenya , for example, Tolkien borrowed from the Romance and Finno-Ugric languages, especially the Finnish language .

A very deliberately used stylistic device by Tolkien based on the Nordic sources are the frequent verses that are performed by the individual protagonists in song form and that were clearly separated from the running text by Tolkien.

The name Middle Earth, for example, is derived from the Old Norse word Midgard and the Old High German Mittilagart . The Nordic equivalent comes directly from Nordic mythology , or rather from the cosmogony narrated therein ; it served Tolkien as an inspirational template. Tolkien took the motif of the one ring and the other magic rings from Germanic mythology based on the model of Draupnir . The ring motif is also a prominent part of the high medieval Arthurian epic . Hartmann von Aue used in its processing Artus Iwein the subject of invisibility ring, similar to the design of the stealth of the Nibelung legends - and Nibelungenlied context known. The names of the dwarfs , which Tolkien took in large numbers from the Dvergatal of the Völuspá , are also characteristic. A comprehensive mythology of Middle-earth is compiled in the Silmarillion .

National Trust experts believe it is possible that a Roman gold ring found in Silchester in 1785 inspired Tolkien's history of the one ring . In this ring, known as “The Vyne”, the name “Senicianus” was engraved in the late Roman period. A hundred years later an ancient lead plaque was found 130 kilometers away , on which "Silvianus" cursed the thief of the ring. Tolkien, a philologist, gave an opinion on this find in 1929 - a year before he began work on The Hobbit .

The individual books and their titles

The Lord of the Rings is divided into six books and has several appendices. Instead of a complete edition, the work - against the wishes of the author - was initially published in three volumes by the publishers, especially Rayner Unwin , mainly because of the high paper prices in post-war England. The hope that the lower price of the individual volumes would have a positive effect on sales also played a role. The Fellowship of the Ring was published on July 29, 1954, The Two Towers on November 11 of the same year, and The Return of the King on October 20, 1955, after a lengthy delay due to work on the index.

The novel is therefore often referred to as a trilogy in secondary literature . Tolkien himself, however, has repeatedly expressed that he has created a single novel. Originally, the six books of the plot should have their own titles; however, after the three volumes were given names, this was abandoned.

The planned titles were:

  • The ring wanders
  • The ring goes south
  • Isengard's betrayal - Originally "Isengard", the name was later changed to "Isengard"
  • The ring goes east
  • The War of the Ring
  • The end of the third age .

In the seven-volume edition (with The Hobbit , but without index and appendices), these titles were later used for the individual volumes.

According to Tolkien, the title The Two Towers was an embarrassing solution to summarize the various storylines of the tape. “Presumably” two of the five towers Minas Morgul , Minas Tirith , Barad-dûr (seat of Sauron ), Orthanc (seat of Saruman ) or the tower of Cirith Ungol are meant. Tolkien's own design for the book cover (which was not actually used for a British edition until the 1990s) gives preference to the combination of Orthanc and Minas Morgul. However, the teeth of Mordor could also be meant , namely the two towers on the Morannon ('Black Gate'), since the express designation “the two towers” ​​is only used here in the text.

The author would have preferred to call the third part The War of the Ring , as In his opinion The Return of the King reveals too much about the end. The third volume contained extensive appendices in the original edition. These can be found in all English editions, but in German are only included in some bound editions. Essentially, the appendices explain the background and career of the most important actors in the ring community before and after the events of the six books, as well as some basic features of the languages ​​and scripts used by the actors.

Editions and translations into German

Original edition and US paperback edition

The first, three-volume hardcover edition of the work was only moderately successful because of the rather high price, which also applied to the US edition published by Houghton Mifflin . The American publisher Donald A. Wollheim brought out a paperback edition of the work - unauthorized by the author - because Tolkien replied to his request in 1964 that he did not want an edition of his work in such a "degenerate" form. This rejection had annoyed Wollheim so much that he looked for a loophole in the copyrights of the work. In fact, the paperback rights for the United States were not clearly regulated. Wollheim concluded from this that the rights for the states were free, and with what was later referred to as pirated printing laid the basis for the book's immense success in the USA. The resulting legal dispute was later decided to the disadvantage of Wollheim and his publisher, even if it was only the cheaper edition that established the worldwide success.


The book did not find a German publisher for a long time. After the well-known publishing houses had refused, the school book publisher Michael Klett ( Klett-Cotta Verlag ) decided to buy the German rights. In retrospect, this decision turned out to be a stroke of luck and restructured the company. As the owner of the rights of the Lord of the Rings in Germany, Klett-Cotta currently publishes both translations in different versions, bound in one volume, as individual volumes (with the appendices in the volume The Return of the King or in a separate fourth volume) and also as separate paperback books (Krege version). A relatively high-priced edition of the Carroux translation from 2002 with three bound volumes in a cardboard slipcase has now been followed by a single volume of this older translation into German; this is currently the only one-volume edition of the book in German. There are also various collector's editions.

Translation by Margaret Carroux

Tolkien had a significant impact on parts of the first German translation, because it in 1967, disappointed by translations from English to other Germanic languages , guidelines on the name in Lord of the Rings ( Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings ,) wrote the primarily aimed at translators of other sister languages ​​of English, especially German and Danish . A translation of the Lord of the Rings was still pending in both languages at the time, which is why Tolkien in his comments offered his help to the translators from the early stages of the translation and added that he intended to do this without payment and not the translators with his comments in the end it could also make part of their work considerably easier. Due to Tolkien's death shortly after the publication of the German translation by Margaret Carroux and the Danish one by Ida Nyrop Ludvigsen, only these two translations of the Lord of the Rings were created with direct help from Tolkien.

Above all, a good translation of the names was important to the author, as the translators of previously published versions in Dutch and Swedish had taken a great deal of freedom in this, which Tolkien felt as presumptuous because of his previous years of working out the names of his characters. For example, he added a list of names to his comments that must not be changed under any circumstances and also emphasized that all names in Elvish should remain unchanged. In addition, Tolkien made suggestions for the translations of the remaining names and was in lively exchange with the translators. So it happened, for example, that at Tolkien's suggestion, the English word “elves” was translated with “Elben” (instead of “Elfen”) in order to have a larger historical (pseudo) due to its relationship to the original German word Alb (see nightmare ) To achieve authenticity in German ( Tolkien considered the word elf to be a German borrowing from English). Carroux did not translate other English names literally, but found an etymological counterpart. The name of the giant spider Shelob consists of the particles she- ("she", in English a common prefix for the emphasized femininity of a thing / a being) and the dialect word lob for "spider". For German, Carroux used the dialect word Kanker for Weberknecht and gave it the feminine suffix -a , so that Shelob became Kankra in German . Tolkien also questioned literal translations: Because of its use in the regional structure of the so-called Third Reich and the resulting negative connotation, the author conceded that the German word Gau as the most suitable translation for Shire could be refrained from must. Carroux agreed with him and chose the word Shire .

The first paperback translation by Margaret Carroux (prose) and Ebba-Margareta von Freymann (poems) appeared in individual books in 1969 and 1970, the first collective publication in 1972. Following book 6 in the third volume, these versions contain only a fragment of the original appendix, Part of the story of Aragorn and Arwen from the annals of kings and rulers . Tolkien himself had probably asked for this, since he considered this appendix to be the most important. The rest has been left out, such as the pronunciation of the Elvish names. The complete annexes were integrated in later bound editions.

Translation by Wolfgang Krege

The second German translation (by Wolfgang Krege , published in 2000 by the same publisher) now divides all the appendices into an additional volume in the paperback version.

The most noticeable difference was the naming The Return of the King (Carroux: The Return of the King ). While v. Freymann's translations of the poems were largely taken over and the place names, subject names and personal names only differ in their spelling from Carroux's version (Carroux: Isengart ; Krege: Isengard ), Krege 's translation, Tolkien's, tries hard between the different characters to depict changing language styles more clearly than Carroux did. In their translation, the linguistic style is fairly uniform and moderately old-fashioned; In the English original, on the other hand, there are various language levels from the pronounced “Bible style” of the 16th century to the rural and urban, sometimes rough everyday English of the 1940s. Krege accordingly chose different tints of German, but defined the German of the 1990s as the end point instead of that of the 1940s.

Many German-speaking readers reject the Kregesche translation because they consider the process of differentiating between language and style to be exaggerated or incorrect in various places. The best-known example is Sam's usual form of address for Frodo . In the original it is master , at Carroux Herr , at Krege Chef . In the opinion of the critics, this misrepresents the relationship between a rural journeyman gardener and his master. Translations of individual expressions are also criticized as distorting, for example, was of "ever-moving leaves" ( leaves: leaves, to leave: leave) - a symbol of transience and the imminent departure of the Elves - "relentlessly wagging foliage". The German synchronization of the film adaptation by Peter Jackson therefore used the older Carroux version, which is already indicated by the film title of the third part, which is still called The Return of the King .

In September 2012, Wolfgang Krege's translation was published in a newly edited and comprehensively revised version. Among other things, Sam's title boss - which was criticized by many readers - was eliminated and the title of the third volume was changed back to The Return of the King .


To which literary genre The Lord of the Rings belongs is controversial. Mostly it is attributed to fantasy. It is often claimed that Tolkien created the genre with the book: The English scholar Jochen Petzold, for example, describes it as "an influential 'Urtext' of fantasy literature". This is doubted for two reasons: on the one hand, because this genre did not even exist at the time the Lord of the Rings was created, and on the other hand, because the Sword and Sorcery novels such as the Conan series Robert E. Howard's forerunners did exist. The genre was The Lord of the Rings initially allocated, but soon established himself for this and similar works and great service claim, the term high fantasy . The Anglist Dieter Petzold, however, describes the book as an art fairy tale .

The description is widespread as a novel, but Tolkien himself resolutely contradicted it in a letter:

"My work is not a 'novel', but an heroic romance, a much older and quite different variety of literature"

"My work is not a 'novel', but a heroic romance, a much older and quite different literary variety."

The rejection of the generic term Roman must be read with reservations, as the word novel used by Tolkien has a narrower meaning and means realistic , contemporary narrative works. Heroes romance ( "Heroic Romance"), however, usually means the medieval novel in verse , as described in particular in the Artusepik met. The classical philologist Silke Anzinger therefore suggests addressing the Lord of the Rings as an epic , which, in addition to length, has various similarities with the Aeneid of Virgil : for example, the meaning of fate , for which the hero ( double in the Lord of the Rings ) - Frodo more clearly than Aragorn - obediently and against his own inclination follows, as well as the relatively minor role of love as the hero's motive, the journey through the underworld - she sees parallels between the Nekyia of Aeneas on the one hand and Frodo's experience in the hilltop hills and Aragorn's path through the paths of the dead on the other hand - and finally the sadness that resonates in both works with all the joy about the happy ending about the losses that had to be suffered for it.

The Lord of the Rings as an allegory

After The Lord of the Rings appeared ten years after the end of World War II , the story was believed to be an allegory in which Sauron Stalin , Saruman Hitler and the Free Peoples represented the Allies .

Tolkien rejected such an interpretation in his preface to the revised edition of 1966. So he just wanted to write a book with a long story that would captivate the reader:

“As for the deep meaning or 'message' of the book, the author intended it to have none. It is not allegorical, nor does it have any current reference. […] Its origins are things that had long been in my mind or, in some cases, had already been written down, and little or nothing was changed by the war that began in 1939 or its aftermath. [...] The real war has no resemblance to the war of legend, neither in its course nor in its outcome. [...] Interpretations according to the preferences or views of those who value allegorical or current references would also be conceivable. Yet I dearly abhor allegory in all its forms, ever since I was old and suspicious enough to notice its existence. I much prefer history, whether true or fictional, with its diverse applicability in the reader's thinking and experience. I believe that 'applicability' is often confused with 'allegory'; but one is at the discretion of the reader, while the other is governed by the intent of the author. "

- From Tolkien's foreword to the revised edition of 1966.

However, in the foreword Tolkien described the First World War in particular as a decisive experience, which literary scholars see as a message that the First World War did indeed have an impact on the work:

“Indeed, one has to get personally into the shadow of war to experience how depressing it is; but over the years one now seems to forget that it was by no means a less terrible experience to be surprised in the youth of 1914 than to be hit by war in 1939 and in the following years. In 1918, all but one of my closest friends were dead. "

- From Tolkien's foreword to the revised edition of 1966.


The Lord of the Rings completes the stories in Tolkien's world , and as a book is itself part of this world ( metafiction ). Most of the work is about the arduous journey of the hobbit Frodo Baggins and his companions during the so-called War of the Ring. The Lord of the Rings is a self-contained story, but also a continuation of the children's book The Hobbit , which is based in many respects on the mythical sagas and legends from the Silmarillion and the news from Middle-earth . Many of the stories introduced as poems or songs - such as Aragorn's poem about Luthien Tinuviel ( The Companions, A Knife in the Dark ) or Bilbo's poem about Eearendil ( The Companions, Many Encounters ) are recourse to this treasure trove. The origins of the wizards and the ancestors of Elrond, Galadriel and Aragorn can also be recognized from the context of the Silmarillion.


The prehistory marks the point in time when Middle-earth changes from the second to the third age.

Sauron ("the abominable"), at that time known under the name Annatar ("Lord of Gifts") and of handsome appearance, seduced the Elves with his flatteries and gifts. They forged the rings of power under his guidance . He secretly made the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom , into which he let a large part of his inherent power flow in order to rule the other rings.

The princes of the nine races of men, who each received a ring, quickly fell into Sauron's power and became ring spirits, the Nazgûl - willless, ghostly servants of their master.

The dwarf rulers did not allow themselves to be subjugated by Sauron. Her seven rings, however, increased her greed for gold and treasures and thus led her to ruin. Some dwarf rings were devoured by dragons, others were lost elsewhere or ended up in Sauron's hands.

The three Elven Rings were kept hidden and not used while Sauron was in possession of the One Ring. During the act of Lord of the Rings , Galadriel, Elrond and Gandalf each wear one of the three Elven rings. Gandalf received his ring from Cirdan, the lord of temptations.

Sauron could be put down at the end of the Second Age in the Battle of the Last Covenant of Elves and Men. Isildur cut the ring and finger from his hand. The Council of Elrond to throw the ruler Ring in the fires of Mount Doom, be denied Isildur, since the ring already had power over him. On the way back to his northern home Arnor , he and his bodyguard were attacked by a band of orcs , Isildur was killed while fleeing over the Anduin , and the One Ring was lost for the time being.

It was lost for many centuries until the hobbit Déagol found it at the bottom of the Great River. His companion Sméagol demanded the ring and killed his friend Déagol because he did not give it to him voluntarily. Cast out by the family, Sméagol fled to the Misty Mountains and hid there for over five hundred years. The One Ring gave him an unnaturally long life and at the same time drained him. So in the solitude he even forgot his name and became the creature Gollum.

On the way to an adventure, which is told in The Hobbit , the hobbit Bilbo Baggins meets Gollum in an orc cave and apparently by chance finds the one ring that he had recently lost. With this find he succeeds in outsmarting Gollum in a puzzle game and escaping him because the ring, when put on the finger, makes it invisible.

The companions - the ring wanders

first book

Bilbo's life is also prolonged beyond normal, and the ring of rulers becomes more and more of a burden on him until he feels "thin as butter that is spread on too much bread". He decides to go on his last adventure on his 111th birthday and leave the Shire . He only says goodbye to his friend, the magician Gandalf, and tells him that he will leave all his belongings including the ring to his nephew Frodo Baggins . But when it comes to that, Bilbo hesitates, and only after good and strict persuasion by Gandalf does the hobbit voluntarily give up the ring as the only one so far. Gandalf goes on long journeys with bad premonitions in order to obtain certainty about Bilbo's magic ring. After almost 17 years, he returns to the Shire and undertakes the final test: he throws the ring into the fireplace, and Elvish runes appear on the still cool metal in the language of Mordor ( black language ). The magician sees his worst fears confirmed: It is about the One Ring.

Since the ring cannot stay in the Shire, Frodo sets out on foot under the pseudonym Unterberg with his gardener and loyal friend Samweis "Sam" Gamgee and his cousins Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybock and Peregrin "Pippin" Tuk on foot to Rivendell to the Elbe prince Elrond. On the difficult path for the leisurely hobbits they narrowly escape the Nazgûl a few times , who had set out in the shape of Black Riders in search of "Baggins" in the Shire (because the Dark Ruler had been able to squeeze that much out of the captured and released Gollum ). But they also meet helpful friends like the Elf Gildor or the hobbit farmer Maggot, who are at their side with advice and food.

In order to avoid the public roads and paths because of the danger of the ringwraiths, the hikers try to get to their stopover in Bree through the old forest . When an evil, deceitful tree tries to crush them, a creature named Tom Bombadil comes to their rescue. After relaxing days in his house, the hobbits set out and shortly afterwards are in danger of being killed by grave monsters. But again she saves Bombadil. From the barrows each of the hobbits receives a dagger, which was forged by the people of Númenor in the distant past. Once in Bree, they rent a at an inn where they meet a Ranger, Streicher called. At first the friends mistrust the torn-off-looking journeyman, but when the landlord gives Frodo a message from Gandalf that Streicher, alias Aragorn, is an ally, they choose him as their guide. With his help they can avoid a Nazgûl attack on the inn that night.

Under the leadership of Aragorn the hobbits arrive then to Weathertop , are attacked there by five of the nine Nazgul, with Frodo from the leader of the Ringwraiths, the Witch-king of Angmar, seriously injured. Aragorn manages to drive out the Nazgûl. He realizes how badly Frodo was injured and the companions try to get to Rivendell as quickly as possible. After crossing the "last bridge" and the Troll Heights , they meet the Elven Lord Glorfindel . When they arrive at the ford of the Bruinen, they are attacked by all nine Nazgûl. Frodo escapes only with the help of the superior speed of Glorfindel's elven horse, and the ringwraiths, as they enter the ford, are washed away by a tidal wave conjured by Elrond and Gandalf.

The Companions - The ring goes south

second book

At the beginning of the second book, the hobbits in Rivendell meet Gandalf again, who reports that the chief of his order, Saruman the White, is now in the service of the enemy. A council meeting is held in Rivendell, in which emissaries of the elves, dwarves and humans discuss what should be done with the One Ring. After a long discussion it is decided that a group of nine companions should set off for Mordor to throw the One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom. This is where the ring was once created; only this fire can destroy the ring. These selected companions are:

The companions first go south to cross the fog mountains over the pass at Caradhras. However, a blizzard forces them to turn back and continue the journey through the mines of Moria . After a few days they find the tomb of Bali there and the city of Khazad-dûm orphaned. In the chronicle you can read that the city was increasingly harassed by orcs and gradually all the dwarves were killed.

Orcs attack the ring community, and after fierce defense, the companions flee through dark corridors. Shortly before the exit, a Balrog , a fire spirit from the first age of Middle-earth, appears, and Gandalf faces the fight to enable his companions to escape. They can escape, but Gandalf falls into the abyss with the Balrog.

The mourners arrive at Lothlórien , a forest kingdom of the Elves. Its princess Galadriel is the bearer of one of the elven rings and one of the wisest living beings of Middle-earth. When they say goodbye, all companions are given presents, Frodo receives a vial with the light of Earendil . The companions continue their journey in boats.

At the Rauros Falls, the companions disagree about how to proceed. Boromir is overwhelmed by the desire for the ring and tries to take it from Frodo by force, but fails because Frodo puts on the ring at the last moment and flees invisibly. After long deliberation, the hobbit realizes what to do. He wants to continue the task alone, as he cannot completely trust the community and does not want to expose his friends to any further dangers. While searching for Frodo, the companions are scattered and attacked by orcs and Uruk-Hai from Isengard. In the meantime Sam can catch up with Frodo and accompanies him to Mordor.

The two towers - Isengart's betrayal

Third book

Summoned by Boromir's horn, Aragorn finds him dying. Boromir tells him that he tried to take the ring from Frodo and that the hobbits were tied up and taken away by orcs. After saying this, Boromir dies, Legolas and Gimli arrive there, and they decide to bury Boromir's body. When they return to the bank of the Anduin, Aragorn notices the footprints of two hobbits in the sand and the lack of a boat, from which he concludes that Frodo and Sam set off alone. Because they are using another boat for Boromir's funeral, they have only one boat left to follow Frodo and Sam with. After a brief consultation, however, they decide to pursue the orcs and Uruk-Hai who kidnapped Merry and Pippin in the hope of freeing their companions.

After several days of chase, they meet Éomer, the Marshal of the Mark Rohan, who tells them that he and his squad have completely wiped out the orcs and Uruk-Hai. But they would not have seen hobbits there, and they would have burned the corpses of the enemy. After a brief negotiation, he lends them horses and makes them promise to come to Edoras, the capital of Rohan, as soon as they find out what has happened to their friends. When the three remaining companions arrive at the site of the battle, Aragorn discovers traces that suggest that Merry and Pippin managed to escape and fled to the Fangorn Forest.

Indeed, the hobbits managed to escape. In the Fangorn Forest they meet Treebeard, the oldest of the Ents . They tell him about the crimes and betrayals of Saruman. Treebeard, who has already mourned many felled trees, calls an Entthing (meeting of the Ents) in which he proposes to move against Isengard. This is also decided after a three-day discussion.

Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli meet Gandalf again at this time. He reports that he continued the fight with the Balrog under the deepest tunnels of Moria. They had fought on over an endless staircase that led from the depths to the peaks of the Misty Mountains. On the tops of the mountains, Gandalf slew the Balrog but did not survive the fight. However, he was "sent back" because his task to overthrow Sauron had not yet been completed. He reassures the three companions that the hobbits are staying by briefly telling them how they were doing in Fangorn. Gandalf then rides with them to Edoras so that Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli can keep their promise to Éomer.

There they are received with only restrained friendliness, as Gríma Wormtongue, the king's advisor and a Saruman's spy, has already negatively influenced King Théoden. This concerns partly Gandalf, partly the correct strategy in the fight against Saruman, but partly also the allegedly poor state of health of the king in order to prevent him from actions against Saruman. However, Gandalf succeeds in uncovering the king Grímas lies and to heal the king, whereupon Théoden Gríma presents the choice of following him into battle or leaving; Gríma decides against his king. Théoden then called an army show and had his people evacuated to the fortress Dunharg in Hargtal, but led the majority of his troops to the Hornburg, which was considered impregnable, in order to counter the attack by Saruman, which was first expected there.

Shortly before the ensuing battle for the Hornburg, Gandalf leaves the entourage. Only later does it become clear that he wants to get reinforcements. In the actual battle, the defenders manage to repel the outnumbered attacking army for a long time, even if the gorge wall is blown up in between.

At this point the Ents are standing in front of Isengard with several hundred Huorns. After the attack army for Helm's Deep has withdrawn from the ring and the Huorns have followed it, the Ents attack Saruman's fortress. They destroy the protective walls within a very short time, flood the valley, kill almost all orcs, take many of Saruman's human soldiers prisoner and try to get Saruman's hands into their hands. However, he manages to escape to the Orthanc at the last minute .

In the meantime, the night is drawing to a close in Helms Klamm. At dawn suddenly a forest can be seen on the battlefield, at the same time Gandalf arrives with reinforcements. The appearance of Gandalf panics Isengard's troops, which then flee into the forest. None of them survived, as the forest is the Huorns who marched off before the attack on Isengard. Gandalf leads Éomer and Théoden as well as a delegation of the Rohirrim and their companions to Isengard, where they meet Merry, Pippin and Treebeard.

In a negotiation with Saruman, he first tries to get Théoden on his side, but he does not succeed. He refuses the offer made by Gandalf to join him and leave Orthanc. Now Gandalf reveals himself as the new head of the Istari , as "Gandalf the White", breaks Saruman's staff and declares that he is expelling him from the Order of Wizards and the White Council.

Then Gríma Wormtongue drops a black stone from one of the upper windows with the aim of slaying Gandalf (or Saruman), but misses, perhaps because Gríma could not decide who to meet, as Aragorn suspects. Gandalf takes the stone. The delegation then leaves Isengard while the Ents remain to guard Saruman. When Pippin secretly looks into the stone during the night, which is a palantir , he is tortured by Sauron, who thinks he is the ring bearer. The awakening companions rush to his aid and can interrupt the connection to Sauron. Gandalf, realizing the danger, hands over the Palantír to Aragorn and rides with Pippin on the fastest route to Minas Tirith .

The two towers - the ring goes east

Fourth book

On their journey to Mordor, Frodo and Sam manage to catch and "tame" Gollum, who is chasing them. You let him lead you over the swamps to the black gate. Once there, the hobbits realize that it is impossible for them to pass through this gate without being captured or killed. Gollum then explains to them that there is a second, secret way that he once discovered: Cirith Ungol. In the absence of a viable alternative, the hobbits accept his suggestion to let him lead them there, but on the way they are picked up by a group of Gondor soldiers who were supposed to scout Ithilien under the direction of Boromir's brother Faramir. From him they learn that Boromir is dead. Then the hobbits are led to a top secret hiding place of the Gondorers, Henneth Annûn, where Faramir guesses the truth about their task from the vague statements of Frodo and a slip of the tongue. He realizes that the hobbits' mission is suitable to defeat Sauron. Unlike Boromir, he resists the temptation to use the ring to gain power for himself.

The next morning the guards discover Gollum fishing in a pond belonging to the hiding place. Frodo succeeds in convincing Faramir to spare Gollum, but for this he has to hand him over to the soldiers by means of a trick, which Gollum regards as a breach of trust. After a brief interrogation and a warning to Frodo about the way over the Ungol Pass, Faramir lets the three of them move on. Gollum leads Frodo and Sam past the crossroads to Minas Morgul. When they get there, a huge army from Minas Morgul goes to war. Their leader is the Lord of the Nazgûl, the former Witch King of Angmar. This is how Frodo and Sam recognize that the great war has broken out. After the troops have withdrawn, they set out to climb the stairs of Cirith Ungol. But the hobbits don't know that it is the “spider pass”.

Once there, the two of them are led into a trap by Gollum: The giant spider Kankra, which comes from the first age, has made the pass their hunting ground and has made an agreement with Gollum that he will procure food for her. Gollum hopes Shelob will kill Frodo and Sam and throw away the ring that she can't use. Frodo is stung by Shelob and lies paralyzed on the ground while Sam is attacked by Gollum. Sam manages to put Gollum to flight, and he then takes on the giant spider. With the help of Galadriel's vial and Frodo's sword stab , Sam manages to severely injure and drive the light-shy monster away. Believing that Frodo is dead, he takes the ring to complete Frodo's task.

Shortly afterwards a group of orcs approaches. The two leaders, Shagrat and Gorbag, talk about Frodo on the way to the tower of Cirith Ungol. In doing so, Sam, who is following her - invisible through the ring - learns that Frodo is not dead at all. While running after the orcs, he is annoyed with himself. He hears that they consider him a dangerous Elven warrior. The book ends with Sam passing out in front of the entrance to the tower.

The Return of the King - The War of the Ring

Fifth book

The fifth book picks up the storyline where the third ended: Gandalf and Pippin ride Shadowfell to Minas Tirith. They see that the beacons of Gondor have been lit, which means that Gondor has called for help and that war has broken out there too. Minas Tirith, the capital of Gondor, is difficult to conquer due to its complex with seven separate wall rings. There Gandalf consults with Denethor, the governor and stewardess of Gondor. During the conversation, Pippin offers Denethor to enter the service of Gondor. Denethor accepts his offer. A few days later, Faramir, who is being pursued by the Nazgûl and orc warriors, reaches Minas Tirith. It is Gandalf who is the only one who rides out to drive the Nazgûl away so that Faramir's squad can get into the city. Soon after, large dark clouds from Mordor and a huge army, consisting of orcs, trolls, Haradrim with olifanten and easterlings, led by the witch king as leader of the nine Nazgûl, attacks the city.

The Rohirrim had previously ridden east with Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, the Dúnedain from the ancient kingdom of Arnor and the sons of Elrond to fulfill their alliance with Gondor to provide assistance in times of need. However, on Elrond's advice, Aragorn chooses a different route with Legolas, Gimli, the Dúnedain and the sons of Elrond: the shorter route over the Paths of the Dead, which has not been used for ages. The Rohirrim ride the longer way. Merry, who is to stay in Edoras on Théoden's orders, rides secretly with him because the rider Dernhelm hides him under his coat.

On the paths of the dead, Aragorn on the Stone of Erech as the rightful heir to Isildur, demands allegiance from the spirits of the so-called oathbreakers. The oathbreakers were people who swore allegiance to Isildur against Sauron, but then broke that oath. As a symbol, Aragorn unrolls the royal banner that Arwen had sent him from Rivendell. When he is called, he is followed by a fearsome army of dead. In the following battle on the Pelennor, things initially look bad for the defenders, and the lord of the Nazgûl prepares to pass through the first city gate, which the army from Mordor has already destroyed. At that moment, the Rohirrim, who have arrived on the battlefield, can be heard blowing the attack. With the help of the Drúedain, they were able to avoid an ambush by the orcs through the Steinkarrental and thus arrive completely unexpectedly on the battlefield. With their stormy attack they drive the army back from Mordor.

In the course of the battle, the Witch King panics King Théoden's horse on his winged being, with the aim of killing him, so that it falls and buries its rider under itself. However, one of Théoden's riders, Dernhelm, stayed with the king and tried to protect him. When the Witch King warned that, according to a prophecy, he could not be killed by a man, Dernhelm replied that he was not a man and identified himself as Éowyn, Théoden's niece. In the ensuing duel, Éowyn initially manages to cut off the flying lizard's head. After that, the Witch King smashes her shield with his club and breaks her arm. Before he can lead a fatal blow against her, however, Merry manages to thrust his sword from the hilltop heights into the back of the witch king's knee. This causes his strike to fail, and Éowyn can thrust the sword into the neck of the armor for her enemy, killing him. His life as a Nazgûl ends with a shrill scream. Théoden dies shortly afterwards, Éowyn collapses completely exhausted and is initially thought to be dead, Merry also passes out.

Meanwhile, Aragorn attacks a fleet of Umbar corsairs, allies of Mordor, with the army of the oath breakers. The mere sight of the army of the dead causes the corsairs to panic, their army is wiped out and flees. Aragorn then declares that he now sees the oath breakers' oath as fulfilled, whereby they will be redeemed. After the dead have withdrawn, a new force arrives from the southern fiefs of Gondor under Angbor the Fearless, they man the captured ships and sail to Gondor.

Angry about Théoden's death, the Rohirrim take up the attack under Éomer's leadership all the more violently when Aragorn and his companions arrive on the captured ships; At first they are considered by both sides to be allies of Mordor, but Aragorn lets the king's banner of Gondor roll out, which confuses the enemies, but gives the people of Rohan and Gondor new hope. Aragorn, Éomer and the army of Gondor completely wipe out the army of Mordor in the battle of the Pelennor .

After the fight, Aragorn enters the city of Minas Tirith to come to the aid of the wounded. According to an old popular saying, the "hands of the king are hands of a healer". With the help of athelas leaves (royal herb ), Aragorn heals Eowyn , Merry and Faramir and calls them back to consciousness by using all his powers, which is regarded as a further sign of his right to the throne. Nevertheless, the wounded do not have enough strength to continue participating in the war.

Afterwards Aragorn moves with the remaining companions Pippin, Gimli and Legolas as well as Éomer, who leads part of the Rohirrim army, as well as part of the army of Gondor to the Black Gate. In total, he only raised about 7,000 men. Aragorn and Gandalf's plan is to get Sauron to withdraw his armies from inland to give Frodo and Sam the opportunity to get to Mount Doom. At the gate, Sauron sends the commander of the tower of Barad-dûr, "Sauron's Mouth," a renegade Numénor who had long ago joined Sauron, to negotiate with Aragorn and the commanders of the west. The commander of Barad-dûr shows them Frodo's possessions as alleged evidence of his arrest. But Gandalf sees through this ruse immediately and takes the parts from him. Then the battle at the Black Gate breaks out.

The Return of the King - The End of the Third Age

Sixth book

At the beginning of the sixth book, Sam arrives in the tower in which Frodo is being held and finds that the two orc hordes from the watchtower and from Minas Morgul have almost completely wiped each other out in the dispute over the captured, very valuable Mithril chain mail Frodos . He manages to free Frodo, who has lost all his equipment to the orcs, and to escape with him, dressed in orc armor. Then they go to Mount Doom, where they once get caught in a marching army, but thanks to their camouflage they remain undetected and can escape in time. When they arrive at Mount Doom, almost exhausted and half thirsty, they attack Gollum, who now realizes what they are up to. However, Sam can stop him at first, while Frodo alone enters the entrance to the clefts of fate.

When Frodo stands in front of the fire at the cleft of fate and could destroy the ring there, however, overwhelmed by the dark power of the ring, he decides to claim it for himself instead and puts it on. Sauron then realizes the real plan of the West and turns all his attention away from the battle at the Black Gate to Mount Doom and orders the Nazgûl to go there immediately. Gollum, who secretly followed Frodo and Sam despite Sam's threat, falls on Frodo at this moment and bites off his finger with the ring. In his joy of having got his treasure back, however, he fails and falls into the cleft of fate, where he is destroyed in the fire with the ring.

In the battle at the black gate, meanwhile, the slaves of Mordor lose their will to fight, whereupon their attack comes to a halt. Gandalf thereupon calls on the armies of the west, which are now enthusiastically starting the attack, to stop, as this is the hour of fate. He follows the Nazgûl on the eagle Gwaihir together with his brother Landroval and Meneldor, in order to reach the doom mountain before them and to save the hobbits. Since the ring is now destroyed, the structures of Sauron and everything else that Sauron built with the ring collapse. The remaining eight Nazgûl fly on their flying lizards to Mount Doom and burn there in the fire of the volcano, which erupts again due to the powerful burst of energy from the molten ring. Frodo and Sam walk on a mountain slope in front of them, but are trapped by lava there . The eagles who fly there with Gandalf manage to save Frodo and Sam from this mountainside.

Thereafter, Aragorn is crowned King of Gondor. Elrond, the Elves from Rivendell and Galadriel with their husband Celeborn and Elves from Lothlorien come and bring Arwen, who now marries Aragorn and renounces her race of Elves and becomes a mortal person. Then the companions return to their homeland. Shortly before the hobbits reach the Shire, Gandalf also breaks up with them, but warns them that the situation in their homeland is not necessarily what they expect.

Gandalf's prediction comes true: Saruman has built a regime of terror in the Shire that aims to ruin the country. After a small battle (compared to the battles of the War of the Ring) against Saruman's henchmen, the companions succeed in confronting him with the help of other hobbits. Frodo offers him the opportunity to walk peacefully, which Saruman also wants to seize; however, he is stabbed from behind by Wormtongue, whose anger at Saruman has risen to extremes for his repeated injustice. For his part, Wormtongue is shot by hobbits before Frodo can intervene. After order is restored, the rebuilding of the Shire begins, which turns out to be easier than initially feared thanks to Galadriel's gift for Sam, a box of Lothlóriens dried earth and a Mallorn seed. Sam marries his great love Rosie and starts a family with her.

But Frodo finds no real peace, because he was too badly wounded by the injuries he suffered and by the burden of the ring. He took up an office as deputy mayor for a while, but soon gave it up when the old incumbent had regained his strength. A few years later, instead of Arwen, who has chosen a life as a mortal, Frodo moves with Gandalf, who now wears the Narya ring openly, and his uncle Bilbo, with the Elves west to the Gray Harbors. There is a ship there that will take them to the Elven island of Eressea within sight of Valinor. Sam remains in Middle-earth at Frodo's request to live for his family and the Shire, and to complete the story of the Great Ring in his place.

Only in the appendix is ​​it reported that Sam, who still has a very long life, as a former (even if only brief) ring bearer after the death of his wife Rosie, is the last of the ring bearers to travel with an Elven ship to the far west. It is also reported that Legolas and Gimli build a ship for themselves after the death of Aragorn and sail towards the immortal lands.


Film adaptations

Tolkien thought his books could not be filmed. He had therefore sold the film rights to them for a small sum while he was still alive. According to his own account, the fact that he wanted to forestall the acquisition of the rights by the Walt Disney Company , whose adaptations of legends and fairy tales displeased him, played a role .

The first film version of the books was actually supposed to be a cartoon : Director Ralph Bakshi filmed the first half of the plot with The Lord of the Rings in 1978 . A planned second part did not come about after the first part was unsuccessful. The second half of the plot was only produced as an anime for American and Japanese television in 1980 under the title The Return of the King . Directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr. , who had filmed The Hobbit with Topcraft, the forerunner of Studio Ghibli , in 1977 and who were to repeat their collaboration with Tokyo Movie Shinsha on Return of the King two years later for The Last Unicorn .

In 1993, a nine-part live-action series called Hobitit ("The Hobbits") was filmed for Finnish television . The series tells the story almost exclusively from the point of view of the hobbits, but never became internationally known due to qualitative concerns and unclear legal status.

The first real- life filming with the right to be faithful to the original came into cinemas between 2001 and 2003 as a large-scale production in three parts, directed by Peter Jackson . The films were shot together in New Zealand and produced by New Line Cinema and also co-financed by German media funds. As the first ever film adaptation, the trilogy followed the division of the story into three chapters. So the films were called according to the books The Companions , The Two Towers and The Return of the King . Since the last two books of Tolkien overlap chronologically through consistently separate, parallel narrative threads, some events of the Frodo / Sam narrative thread were placed at the beginning of the last part of the film trilogy, which originally formed the finale of the middle part of the books (Chapter: Shelob's Lauer , The Decisions of Master Samweis) .

Larger changes to the book came into play above all from the Two Towers , in the template, for example, no embassy of the Elves intervened in the battle at Helms Klamm . Apart from that, however, several chapters were shortened through all three films and some events that did not occur in Tolkien were added. Well-known 'victims' of omissions are the events around the Old Forest and the encounter with Tom Bombadil in the Companions , which are already missing in the cartoon version, as well as the liberation of the Shire, the penultimate chapter of the return of the king . Other changes include Frodo's more active role in the book, in which he acts more courageously and more self-determined than in the film. He is portrayed there at the same time much younger than he is in the novel. The longer versions of the films, known as “Special Extended Editions”, contain additional reminiscences of deleted or changed chapters of the book over their entire length , but often themselves differ significantly from the original.

In May 2009 the fan project The Hunt for Gollum was published. Produced for just under £ 3,000 , the 40-minute film deals with Aragorn's hunt for Gollum, which is reported in the first volume of The Lord of the Rings . Stylistically, he is based on the films by Peter Jackson. Very similar is the Born of Hope fan project , which has a budget of £ 25,000 to film the story of Arathorn II in the style of Peter Jackson's films.

In November 2017, the Amazon company acquired the television rights to film the prehistory of The Lord of the Rings for around 170 million euros.


The novel was also implemented as a musical . So far it has been seen in Toronto and London. The musical ran in London from July 2007 to July 2008. Over 700,000 spectators saw the work on this stage. In Germany, the musical was originally supposed to be performed in Cologne in 2009. However, as there were problems with funding, the project was dropped.

Radio play / audio book

A first, rather short radio play version was produced by the BBC in the late 1950s. This was not preserved. In 1981 the BBC produced a 13-hour English radio play version that was generally regarded as exemplary. In 1991, the SWF and the WDR produced a 30-part German radio play version under the direction of Bernd Lau , which was released on 10 CDs by Hörverlag . With around 70 main and 35 supporting roles, eight choirs and over twelve hours of running time, this recording is one of the most elaborate productions in German radio play history. However, the first chapters are sometimes treated in excessive detail, the later chapters are increasingly shortened and the end of the book is even left out completely, thereby changing the focus of the story noticeably. Fans were sometimes annoyed by the largely incorrect pronunciation of Tolkien's proper names. From 2007, all three parts of the film were released annually as a radio play with Reiner Schöne as the narrator.

After it was initially only available in English, the book was also published by Hörverlag as a real audio book , i.e. as an unabridged reading of the original text in German. The first part ( The Companions ), based on the much-criticized translation by Wolfgang Krege , has been available on 17 audio CDs since 2006 and is spoken by Achim Höppner , who also took on the dubbing voice of Gandalf in the film adaptation by Peter Jackson . The second part ( The Two Towers ) was recorded on 15 CDs with Gert Heidenreich as substitute speaker for the previously deceased Höppner and released in June 2007. The third part ( The Return of the King ), also read by Heidenreich, was released on 13 CDs in September 2007. These individual readings of the volumes were later published as complete readings: in October 2008 on 45 CDs and in November 2011 on 6 MP3 CDs.


In 1972 the Swedish musician Bo Hansson released the instrumental album " Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings " (Swedish original title "Sagan Om Ringen", 1970), which is the first exclusively dedicated to Tolkien's work.

Many other musicians have repeatedly taken up themes from The Lord of the Rings and other works by Tolkien, including Led Zeppelin , Sally Oldfield and the singer of the British band Magnum , Bob Catley ( Middle Earth , 2001). In 1988 a symphony in five movements, the Symphony No. 1 “The Lord of the Rings” by Johan de Meij , initially written for wind orchestra and rewritten in 2001 for symphony orchestra .

The composer Leonard Rosenman contributed the music for the Bakshi film adaptation . He chose a much more modern approach to his music than Howard Shore did with his later film music for The Lord of the Rings. Howard Shore provided the soundtracks for the new films. For the third part of the trilogy ("The Return Of The King"), he composed the title song " Into the West " sung by Annie Lennox ( Eurythmics ) , which won the Oscar at the 76th Academy Awards for best theme song. Enya contributed to the score of the first part with the song May It Be .

In 1995, the Danish musician Caspar Reiff founded together with Peter Hall Tolkien Ensemble , in which chamber music combines with Opera and British folk. Supported by fellow musicians from the environment of the Royal Danish Music Academy in Copenhagen and the conductor Morten Ryelund , the latter recorded their first album in 1997 ("An Evening in Rivendell") with settings of the lyrics in The Lord of the Rings , for which the musicians received official permission from Tolkien Estate received. After another publication, the 2001 Danish premiere of the film adaptation of Peter Jackson led to a meeting with actor Christopher Lee (in the film in the role of Saruman). With his vocal participation, the ensemble released two more albums. With that the declared aim of the project, the setting of all lyrics in the Lord of the Rings, was achieved. In 2006, the complete works, rearranged in the actual order of action of the book, were released on four CDs as "The Lord of the Rings: Complete Songs and Poems" ("The Lord of the Rings: Complete Songs and Poems").

Tolkien in the metal scene

The world of Middle-earth is reflected in the metal scene and music, both in individual songs and entire albums. In addition, numerous bands have named themselves after characters or locations in Tolkien's novels.

Since their debut album in 1988, the German metal band Blind Guardian has repeatedly referred to Middle-earth in individual songs and in 1998, with Nightfall in Middle-Earth, probably presented the first concept album on the subject. The American progressive rock band Glass Hammer turned Tolkien's work in 2001 with her The Middle Earth Album its reverence . The metal band Battlelore from Finland deals almost exclusively in their song texts with events and people from the fantasy world of the author JRR Tolkien. According to the band's founder Jyri Vahvanen, the band's name is based on the main theme of Tolkien's work, the battle in connection with folklore. The first four albums by the Austrian black metal band Summoning contain only text passages or poems by Tolkien, some of which have been taken from the novels unchanged.

The American speed metal band Attacker and the Spanish band Mägo de Oz dedicate further songs to the creations of Tolkien. On the album “Branded and Exiled” by the German heavy metal band Running Wild there is a track called “Mordor”, which is related to the Mordor from The Lord of the Rings .

In Black Metal too, elements from The Lord of the Rings are often used ; the pseudonyms of many scene members as well as band names and song lyrics are borrowed from Tolkien's works. However, according to the anti-Christian attitude of the scene, this refers to those elements that were seen as "evil" from the point of view of the Catholic Tolkien. One of the best-known examples is the Norwegian project Burzum , which is named after the word for darkness in the Mordor language and whose only member Varg Vikernes gave himself the pseudonym "Count Grishnackh" based on the Ork Grishnákh. In addition, some of Burzum's pieces, such as “En Ring Til Aa Herske”, refer to Tolkien's universe.

The band Amon Amarth (Doom Mountain) takes its name from the mountain of the same name in the book. The band Gorgoroth was named after the dark plain of Mordor, the band Cirith Ungol after the "spider pass" that leads to Mordor, the band Morgoth after the name Melkors, which was only used after his fall, and the band Minas Morgul after the new name of the fortress Minas Ithil.


There is a multi-volume comic version, based on the Bakshi film, drawn by Louis Bermejo , original from United Artists . Published in German translation by Ehapa, Stuttgart, three volumes; the plot breaks off, as in the film, before Frodo's intrusion into Mordor.


The Lord of the Rings inspired several publishers of board and parlor games to about a dozen different titles, especially in the course of the filming of Peter Jackson. The merchandising rights in Germany were divided between two publishers: Ravensburger had acquired the license for card games and Kosmos-Verlag the license for board games. This alone resulted in five games for the film . In addition, in 2000, before the film was released, Kosmos had published a game based on the book entitled The Lord of the Rings , which received a special prize at the 2001 Game of the Year awards ceremony . Other titles include the very elaborate two-player strategy game War of the Ring ( Fantasy Flight Games ; in German distribution as Der Ringkrieg ; Phalanx Games ) or the Ringgeister (Laurin / Queen Games) , published in 1993 . In 2010 Phalanx Games Germany published a very complex and limited version of the War of the Ring. The Lord of the Rings Collector's Edition featured an elvish wooden book that contains all miniatures of the War of the Ring and the expansion The Third Age painted.

The Games Workshop company produces The Lord of the Rings - Tabletop under license . As early as 1984, Iron Crown Enterprises published the pen & paper role-playing game MERS , the setting of which was the world of JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. After a simplified English version of this role-playing game in 1991 under the title Lord of the Rings Adventure Game , the Lord of the Rings role-playing game (Decipher / Pegasus) was released in 2002 with licenses for the film trilogy .

The company Electronic Arts has released several computer games and video games to movies. Other providers of Lord of the Rings games are Sierra , Black Label Games , Vivendi Universal Games and Surreal Software . The American developer Turbine Inc. developed, in close cooperation with the international Tolkien Society, the world's first MMORPG in the Tolkien universe. It was published in the spring of 2007 under the name The Lord of the Rings Online: The Shadows of Angmar and distributed in Europe by Codemasters . In 2008, 2009 and 2011 the expansions The Mines of Moria , The Siege of Mirkwood and The Rise of Isengard were added. In 2009, The Lord of the Rings: The Conquest, an action strategy game for the PC, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles and in a scaled-down form for the Nintendo DS was published. Warner Bros. has owned all of the marketing rights for Lord of the Rings computer games from both the film and the book licensing business since April 2010 through the acquisition of Turbine Inc.


The Lord of the Rings has been the subject of parodies on several occasions , which mostly counter the fateful depth of the novel with crude and shoddy means.

Well-known parodies

Expenses (selection)

  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings (1-3) + The Hobbit. Houghton Mifflin, Boston 1999, ISBN 0-618-00225-1 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Fellowship of the Ring. Houghton Mifflin, Boston 1999, ISBN 0-618-00222-7 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Two Towers. Houghton Mifflin, Boston 1999, ISBN 0-618-00223-5 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Return of the King. Houghton Mifflin, Boston 1999, ISBN 0-618-00224-3 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings (1-3) + The Hobbit. HarperCollins, New York 2002, ISBN 0-00-714408-3 .
German, old translation (Margaret Carroux)
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings. 3 volumes: Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1980, eighth edition, kart. Volume 1: ISBN 3-12-908180-1 . Volume 2: ISBN 3-12-908190-9 . Volume 3: ISBN 3-12-908200-X .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-608-95214-4 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings, The Companions. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-608-95212-8 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-608-95213-6 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings. 7 volumes (The Lord of the Rings, Carroux / The Hobbit: Krege): Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-608-93320-4 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings. 3 volumes, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-608-95211-X .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-608-95537-2 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-608-95538-0 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings. 3 volumes, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-608-93666-1 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings. 1 volume, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-608-93830-2 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings. 1 volume, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-608-93828-9 .
German, new translation (Wolfgang Krege)
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings. 3 volumes: Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-608-93544-4 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings. 3 volumes: Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-608-93222-4 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings, The Companions. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-608-93541-X .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-608-93542-8 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-608-93543-6 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings. 3 volumes: Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2012, ISBN 978-3-608-93984-2 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings. 3 volumes: Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2012, ISBN 978-3-608-93999-6 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings, The Companions. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2012, ISBN 978-3-608-93981-1 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2012, ISBN 978-3-608-93982-8 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2012, ISBN 978-3-608-93983-5 .
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings, Appendices and Registers. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2012, ISBN 978-3-608-93980-4 .


  • Tom Shippey : JRR Tolkien. Author of the Century. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2002 ISBN 3-608-93432-4 .
  • Tom Shippey: The Road to Middle-earth. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2008 ISBN 978-3-608-93601-8 (English: The Road to Middle-earth ).
  • Alexander van de Bergh: Middle-earth and the 21st century. Criticism of civilization and alternative concepts of society in JRR Tolkien's “The Lord of the Rings”. Scientific publishing house, Trier 2005, ISBN 3-88476-748-8 .
  • Robert Eaglestone (Ed.): Reading "The Lord of the Rings". New writings on Tolkien's Classic. Continuum, London 2005, ISBN 0-8264-8460-3 (collection of articles)
  • Wayne G. Hammond, Christina Scull: The Lord of the Rings. A Reader's Companion. HarperCollins, London 2005, ISBN 0-00-720308-X (extensive commentary)
  • Lord of the Rings. Fantasy - Mythology - Theology? Salzburg 2006, ISBN 3-901636-14-5 (study volume on the Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien with contributions by Knut Backhaus , Thomas Gerold, Karl-Heinz Steinmetz, Marianne Schlosser and Florian Kolbinger)
  • Robert Foster: The Great Middle-earth Lexicon. An alphabetical guide to the fantasy world by JRR Tolkien, Bastei Lübbe, Cologne 2012 ISBN 978-3-404-20453-3
  • David Day : The Hobbits Book. Translated from the Canadian English by Lidia Postma. Gerstenberg, 1998 ( The Hobbit Companion. Pavilion Books, 1997)
  • David Day: Tolkien's World. The mythological sources of the "Lord of the Rings". Non-fiction. Translated by Hans J. Schütz. Klett-Cotta, 2003 ( The World of Tolkien. Random House, 2002)
  • David Day: Tolkien. An illustrated encyclopedia. Translated by Hans Heinrich Wellmann. RVG Interbook, 1992 ( Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopaedia MacMillan, 1992)
  • John Garth: How Tolkien's Lord of the Rings processed WW1. In: The world. December 14, 2014 ( welt.de , accessed March 11, 2018).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Vit Wagner: Tolkien proves he's still the king. In: Toronto Star . April 16, 2007, accessed November 11, 2010 .
  2. Dark ring. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. No. 14, April 7, 2013, p. 57.See also mymiddleearth.com (English, with picture). The ring and plaque are shown in more detail in: John G. Gager: Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World. No. 99 .
  3. JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings. Houghton Mifflin, New York 2004, p. Xi.
  4. Carl Kevin Ahrens: JRR Tolkien's trilogy "The Lord of the Rings" - a modern mythology of England? Hamburg 2002; Annette Simonis: Crossing boundaries in fantastic literature. P. 276, winter 2005; Encyclopedia of Fairy Tales. Concise dictionary for historical and comparative narrative research. Volume 6, p. 122. De Gruyter, Berlin and New York 1990; Richard C. West: Tolkien Criticism. An Annotated Checklist. P. 136, Kent University Press 1981; Richard Mathews: Lightning from a Clear Sky: Tolkien, the Trilogy, and the Silmarillion. Borgo Press, 1981; John H. Timmerman: Other Worlds. The Fantasy Genre. P. 103, Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1983.
  5. ^ Betsy Wollheim: The Family Trade in Locus Magazine . June 2006 (excerpt from the interview) locusmag.com
  6. Overview of the Klett-Cotta z. Tolkien's works distributed at present.
  7. ^ Rüdiger Sturm: New Tolkien Translation. Dalli Dalli in Middle-earth. In: Der Spiegel. November 3, 2000.
  8. Jochen Petzold: Tolkien, JRR - The Lord of the Rings. In: Kindlers Literature Lexicon . 3rd, completely revised edition 2009 ( munzinger.de ), accessed from Bücherhallen Hamburg on January 24, 2019.
  9. Silke Anzinger: From Troy to Gondor. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" as an epic in the Virgilian tradition. In: Thorsten Burkard, Markus Schauer and Claudia Wiener (eds.): Vestigia Vergiliana. Virgil reception in modern times. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2010, ISBN 978-3-11-024721-3 , p. 367 f.
  10. ^ Gardner Dozois : Preface. In: Derselbe (Ed.): Modern Classics of Fantasy . St. Martin's Press, New York 1997, pp. XVI ff.
  11. ^ Dieter Petzold: JRR Tolkien. Fantasy literature as wish fulfillment and world interpretation. Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg 1980, p. 102 ff.
  12. Humphrey Carpenter (Ed): The Letters of JRR Tolkien. George Allen & Unwin, New York 2000, No. 329, p. 414.
  13. a b Silke Anzinger: From Troy to Gondor. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" as an epic in the Virgilian tradition. In: Thorsten Burkard, Markus Schauer, Claudia Wiener (eds.): Vestigia Vergiliana. Virgil reception in modern times. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2010, ISBN 978-3-11-024721-3 , p. 373.
  14. Silke Anzinger: From Troy to Gondor. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" as an epic in the Virgilian tradition. In: Thorsten Burkard, Markus Schauer and Claudia Wiener (eds.): Vestigia Vergiliana. Virgil reception in modern times. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2010, ISBN 978-3-11-024721-3 , pp. 374-398.
  15. a b John Garth: How Tolkien's Lord of the Rings processed the First World War . In: THE WORLD . December 14, 2014 ( welt.de [accessed March 11, 2018]).
  16. IMDb entry
  17. Entry of the Finnish film on imdb.com
  18. Janet Brennan Croft: The Mines of Moria: "Anticipation" and "Flattening" in Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring. ( Memento from May 28, 2014 on the Internet Archive ) Presentation at the Southwest / Texas Popular Culture Association Conference, Albuquerque, February 2003.
  19. dailymotion.com: The Hunt for Gollum , accessed June 19, 2009.
  20. Amazon filmed “Lord of the Rings” prequel as a TV series. In: Süddeutsche.de. November 13, 2017. Retrieved November 14, 2017 .
  21. Amazon to Adapt JRR Tolkien's Globally Renowned Fantasy Novels, The Lord of the Rings, for Television with a Multi Season Production Commitment. November 13, 2017, accessed November 14, 2017 .
  22. The Lord of the Rings. on herrickentertainment.com
  23. "Lord of the Rings" musical is not coming to Cologne. koeln.de, accessed on May 15, 2019 .
  24. Interview with Summoning on stormbringer.at.
  25. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group Acquires Turbine, Inc. North America's Largest Privately-Held Online Gaming Studio. WarnerMedia, April 20, 2010, accessed May 15, 2019 .