The Return of the Shadow

The Return of the Shadow

Paperback(1ST HOUGHT)

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The Return of the Shadow by J. R. R. Tolkien

In this sixth volume of The History of Middle-earth the story reaches The Lord of the Rings. In The Return of the Shadow (an abandoned title for the first volume) Christopher Tolkien describes, with full citation of the earliest notes, outline plans, and narrative drafts, the intricate evolution of The Fellowship of the Ring and the gradual emergence of the conceptions that transformed what J.R.R. Tolkien for long believed would be a far shorter book, 'a sequel to The Hobbit'. The enlargement of Bilbo's 'magic ring' into the supremely potent and dangerous Ruling Ring of the Dark Lord is traced and the precise moment is seen when, in an astonishing and unforeseen leap in the earliest narrative, a Black Rider first rode into the Shire, his significance still unknown. The character of the hobbit called Trotter (afterwards Strider or Aragorn) is developed while his indentity remains an absolute puzzle, and the suspicion only very slowly becomes certainty that he must after all be a Man. The hobbits, Frodo's companions, undergo intricate permutations of name and personality, and other major figures appear in strange modes: a sinister Treebeard, in league with the Enemy, a ferocious and malevolent Farmer Maggot.

The story in this book ends at the point where J.R.R. Tolkien halted in the story for a long time, as the Company of the Ring, still lacking Legolas and Gimli, stood before the tomb of Balin in the Mines of Moria. The Return of the Shadow is illustrated with reproductions of the first maps and notable pages from the earliest manuscripts.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780618083572
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 09/28/2000
Series: History of Middle-earth Series , #6
Edition description: 1ST HOUGHT
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 222,540
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.29(d)

About the Author

CHRISTOPHER TOLKIEN is the third son of J.R.R. Tolkien. Appointed by Tolkien to be his literary executor, he has devoted himself to the editing and publication of unpublished writings, notably The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and The History of Middle-earth.

J.R.R. TOLKIEN (1892–1973) is the creator of Middle-earth and author of such classic and extraordinary works of fiction as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. His books have been translated into more than fifty languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.

Date of Birth:

January 3, 1892

Date of Death:

September 2, 1973

Place of Birth:

Bloemfontein, Orange Free State (South Africa)

Place of Death:

Oxford, England


B.A., Exeter College, Oxford University, 1915; M.A., 1919

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The Return of the Shadow 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is outstanding. As a man who is no stranger to fantasy or in-depth literature, I can say this is one of the best compilations of an author's thoughts I've ever read. From the departing of Master Bilbo Baggins from the comfort of the Shire, to the development of Gollum's murderous lust and need of the One Ring, this book gives you insight and an amazing read. Don't miss out on ANY of the History of the Lord of the Rings stories. Like Frodo said about his dear Uncle,'He often used to say there was only one Road that it was like a great river: it's springs were at every doorstep and every path was it's tributary. 'It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,' he used to say. 'You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to.'
jcsoblonde on LibraryThing 7 days ago
This is book 6 in The History of Middle Eath series, but is the beginning of the 4-book study on The Lord of the Rings. I found it pretty interesting, much more interesting than the previous 5 (except maybe for The Lays of Beleriand) though I did enjoy those as well. This gets back to hobbits, and its really neat to see how the story develops. For instance- Strider started out as a hobbit!!
Crowyhead on LibraryThing 14 days ago
This is volume one of The History of the Lord of the Rings. I loved this, but I'll tell you right now that this is beyond nerdy, and if you aren't deeply interested in Tolkien and his creative process, it will be beyond boring to you. That said, it's an amazing trove of information on the development of The Lord of the Rings and of Middle-earth in general. Christopher Tolkien provides annotated exerpts from various drafts of The Lord of the Rings, starting with Tolkien's earliest conceptions. It provides one with loads of great trivia -- did you know that Strider was originally a hobbit with wooden shoes known as Trotter? And Frodo's name was originally Bingo, and Merry was Marmaduke? What was fascinating to me, as well, is how comparatively late in the writing process Tolkien seems to have hit upon the idea of the Rings of Power and the themes that became integral to the novel. Fascinating stuff.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a typical book, it really is a guide to interpret Tolkien's books. Therefore, it is difficult to rank characters or plot. It really is good for what it is supposed to do, which is to explain how J.R.R. Tolkien wrote the trilogy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
vary good book but if u havent read the lord of the rings yet you can get vary confused because it is 'in the making of' fellowship of the ring
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book, you can see what JRR Tolkien was thinking the whole time he was writing the Fellowship of the Ring. His idea of it totally changes throughout the book! So if you are a fan of The Fellowship of the Ring and want to learn more about the development of the story you should read this book!