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J. R. R. Tolkien, an English novelist and scholar, wrote The Lord of the Rings, an epic high-fantasy novel. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien’s 1937 children’s book The Hobbit, but grew into a much larger work. Set in Middle-earth, a place similar to Earth at some distant time in the past, the story began as a sequel to Tolkien’s 1937 children’s book The Hobbit, but eventually grew into a much larger work. The Lord of the Rings is one of the best-selling books of all time, with over 150 million copies sold. It was written in phases between 1937 and 1949.
The Dark Lord Sauron, the story’s major adversary, fashioned the One Ring to dominate the other Rings of Power granted to Men, Dwarves, and Elves in his effort to conquer all of Middle-earth in a former period. The tale begins in the Shire, a hobbit land evocative of the English countryside, and moves across Middle-earth, mostly through the eyes of the hobbits Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin, who follow the quest to destroy the One Ring.
Despite the fact that it is commonly referred to as a trilogy, Tolkien intended it to be one book of a two-volume set with The Silmarillion. The Lord of the Rings was published in three volumes, named The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, over the period of a year, from 29 July 1954 to 20 October 1955, for economic reasons. Internally, the work is organized into six volumes, each containing two books and various appendices with background information. Following the author’s original goal, some subsequent versions print the complete book in a single volume.
Tolkien’s work has been the subject of significant investigation of its themes and origins, following an initially mixed response by the literary elite. Philology, mythology, Christianity, prior fantasy works, and his personal experiences in the First World War all influenced this earlier work and the tale of The Lord of the Rings.
The Lord of the Rings has been republished several times and translated into at least 38 languages since its initial publication. The Lord of the Rings’ lasting popularity has resulted in innumerable allusions in popular culture, the formation of several clubs by Tolkien enthusiasts, and the release of numerous publications about Tolkien and his works. It has spawned a slew of spin-offs, including artwork, music, films, television, video games, and board games, all of which have aided in the creation and shaping of the contemporary fantasy genre, in which it is regarded as one of the best books of all time.
Radio, theater, and cinema versions of The Lord of the Rings have all won awards. In the BBC’s The Big Read, it was declared Britain’s finest novel of all time.
Bilbo Baggins, Bilbo’s cousin and successor, celebrates his 111th birthday and then abruptly departs from the Shire, giving the Ring to Frodo Baggins. Neither hobbit knows where the Ring came from, but Gandalf, the wizard, believes it is a Ring of Power. Gandalf tells Frodo seventeen years later that he has confirmed that the Ring is the one long lost by the Dark Lord Sauron, and advises him to remove it from the Shire. Gandalf departs, vowing to return on Frodo’s birthday and join him on his adventure, but never does.
Frodo goes out on foot, escorted by his gardener Sam Gamgee and cousin Pippin Took, with the cover story of relocating to Crickhollow. They are chased by mysterious Black Riders, but they come upon a passing company of Elves commanded by Gildor Inglorion, who fend off the Riders with their cries to Elbereth. The hobbits stay with them for the night, then take a detour the next day to Farmer Maggot’s farm, where they meet their friend Merry Brandybuck. Merry and Pippin indicate they know about the Ring when they arrive at Crickhollow’s house and insist on traveling with Frodo and Sam.
They decide to cut through the Old Forest to get away from the Black Riders. Old Man Willow, an ancient tree that dominates most of the woodland, traps Merry and Pippin, but Tom Bombadil saves them. They become lost in a fog and are captured by a barrow-wight in a barrow on the downs, but Frodo, freed from the barrow-spell, wight’s summons Bombadil, who releases them and equips them with antique swords from the barrow-trove.