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The Return of the Shadow: The History of Middle-Earth 6: Book 6

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After the text of the four versions there is a section containing Tolkien's notes about the brewing story. The impetus for Bilbo's departure is lingering lust for dragon gold, with nothing about the ring except for a few questions in Tolkien's mind. [4] Throughout the four versions and in the subsequent notes the names of the characters are in a state of flux. I’m enjoying The History of Middle-earth in general, but this first volume about the creation of The Lord of the Rings is particularly outstanding. I loved reading of how the book was created, because in a way it’s a story in itself. Tolkien wasn’t particularly keen on the writing a sequel to The Hobbit, but accepted to do it. He wrote the first chapter three times before he found any traction and in this first volume of the four dedicated to The Lord of the Rings we can read the first three drafts - the later one reaching Moria - that he wrote before braking out for a long time after WWII broke out. The Return of the Shadow" is so much fun. It contains descriptions of the way Tolkien fumbled his way along as he wrote LTRs. We get to see characters drawn differently, some with different names [So very, very many differnt names]. We see Tolkien discover the story that is so beloved by millions to be probed and uncovered from his designed intention to write a children's book that would be a follow up to "The Hobbit". I absolutely loved reading the notes that Tolkien wrote, and which went every time I bit further, as he envision the story and how it evolved. It’s like watching the story take shape under my very eyes. I loved the part of notes where Tolkien explored the nature of the One Ring, because it was like seeing his ideas move, chang and finally find a familiar form. I was excited to see Sam appear for the first time in the second draft. It’s such a different story from the one we know, but also so strangely familiar.

So, first, one thing that I found intensely telling was that none of the edits that Tolkien makes are explicitly on the basis of symbolism or any other codes left for sharp critics. I think this is significant, because I predict that literary critics will soon turn their chops to making Lord of the Rings (like Shakespeare and many other works of fiction) into nothing more than a bunch of ideas cleverly disguised as symbols, as decoded from the story. I think this will happen because people have overprotected Tolkien from this by over-emphasizing his aversion to allegory, when in fact it's as clear as day that Tolkien included what we could call symbolism: for instance, Frodo and the company leave on their journey on December 25th and the ring is destroyed on March 25th, which fits Easter. But there's no sign of that here, and so the critics should not make their interpretations idea-centric. The Return of the Shadow is the story of the first part of the history of the creation of The Lord of the Rings, a fascinating study of Tolkien’s great masterpiece, from its inception to the end of the first volume, The Fellowship of the Ring. The UK national resilience plan can be a role model / From ​James Ginns, Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh and Toby OrdThe 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.

In hindsight it's also fascinating to see Tolkien struggling with The Lord of the Rings as a sequel to The Hobbit. We're now used to thinking of The Lord of the Rings as the main story, for which The Hobbit is a pleasant introduction but a much different kind of story. Tolkien wrote: Meglepő, mennyire a véglegeshez hasonlító, de attól fontos kérdésekben eltérő, mégis kidolgozott szövegvariációkkal indul A Gyűrűk Ura cselekménye - eleinte Frodó helyett Bilbó fia, Bingó indul el egész más nevet viselő barátaival; Bríben egy Kótogi nevű, facipős hobbit kószával találkoznak, aki azonban tulajdonságaiban már nagyon emlékeztet Aragornra; a Gyűrű eleinte még nem Egy, csak egy a sokból (tényleg sokból!); a Fekete Lovasok apróbbak, és folyton változik a számuk; az meg legyen meglepetés, hogyan jelenik meg először "az óriás" Szilszakáll! The titles of the volumes derive from discarded titles for the separate books of The Lord of the Rings. J. R. R. Tolkien conceived the latter as a single volume comprising six "books" plus extensive appendices, but the original publisher split the work into three, publishing two books per volume with the appendices included in the third. The titles proposed by Tolkien for the six books were: Book 1, The First Journey or The Ring Sets Out; Book 2, The Journey of the Nine Companions or The Ring Goes South; Book 3, The Treason of Isengard; Book 4, The Journey of the Ring-Bearers or The Ring Goes East; Book 5, The War of the Ring; and Book 6, The End of the Third Age. The title The Return of the Shadow was a discarded title for Volume 1. We are able to bring this series to the public only through the generosity of everyone who supports the Mythgard Institute and Signum University through their generous donations, who nominate and vote on the books that we examine in these discussions. In 2016 alone, we’ve been fortunate enough to look at two other volumes in The History of Middle-earth series – The Shaping of Middle-earth and The Lost Road and Other Writings – as well as one of my favorite books ever, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and a book I had never read before, Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed. The Great Tales of Middle-earth ( The Children of Húrin [2007] • Beren and Lúthien [2017] • The Fall of Gondolin [2018])Join Dr. Corey Olsen, also known as the Tolkien Professor, for a free 14-week seminar on the sixth volume of the History of Middle-earth (HoME) series, The Return of the Shadow. The Mythgard Academy sessions are always free for all and open to the public. Every week, the first 100 participants will be able to join us for the live discussion, which are recorded and made available at no cost through our iTunes U course and on the Signum University YouTube channel. The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays · Beowulf and the Critics · Tolkien On Fairy-stories · Beyond the ordinary demons, formidable enemies like Crusher, Ifrit, and Devourer have joined the invasion. Only by enhancing your heroes and troops can you overcome these mighty enemies and reclaim what is rightfully yours! The Nature of Middle-earth [2021] • The Fall of Númenor and Other Tales from the Second Age of Middle-earth [2022]

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