2 Ways to Read The Lord of the Rings Books in Order by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Are you looking to reread T? Or maybe you’ve watched the movies dozens of times but have never read the books. Either way we’ll show you two different ways that you can read T

T is a household name popular with J.R.R. Tolkien fans both in bookstores and theaters. These bestselling books have been made into award-winning movies receiving a massive reception from fans and critics alike.

Following the original series fame, The Hobbit was adapted for the big screen with three more movies from Tolkien’s beloved world.

But did you know that more books exist than simply the primary three books associated with the three movies that nearly everyone has heard of?

However, if you choose to read T books in order of publication, which we recommend you do, then your entry into Middle-earth will begin with The Hobbit.

J.R.R. Tolkien first penned the story of Bilbo Baggins and his adventures through Middle-earth after creating it as a bedtime story for his own children. But the story of how Bilbo meets Gollum and discovers the One Ring fascinated readers and was immediately successful. Since its initial publication in 1937 it has slowly transitioned from a children’s story to a fantasy classic.

T followed not long after in the 1950s. While Tolkien wrote this addition to his world as one novel, it was broken out and published as three books to create a trilogy. These books are The Fellowship of the Ring, The Return of the King, and The Two Towers.

All three of these books, and The Hobbit, have been made into award-winning movies.

T books follow Bilbo’s younger cousin Frodo Baggins and his perilous journey across Middle-earth after Bilbo entrusts him with the One Ring. Joining him are a handful of companions that have endeared fans for decades. Amidst the adventure and action of the plot are also stories about friendship, loyalty, and love.

After an amalgamation of publishers HarperCollins released updated sales figures for Tolkien’s books in 2021. This is after decades of uncertainty surrounding the accuracy of how many books Tolkien has sold. Collectively, Tolkien has now sold more than 600 million books,

2 Ways to Read the Lord of the Rings Books in Order

There are two recommended ways to read the series in order to grasp this fantasy world.

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A story of love, obstacles, and new beginnings with ideas that sparkle.nnnADIP_UBERVERSAL_GENERAL:1230796247:20027840044:6465888812:15321259837533014046:ADV2_DOOR_TO_DOOR_VERTICAL

1. The Lord of the Rings Books in Order of Publication

The best way to read T

  1. The Hobbit
  2. The Fellowship of the Ring
  3. The Two Towers
  4. The Return of the King
  5. The Silmarillion
  6. Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-earth
  7. The Children of Hurin
  8. Beren and Luthien
  9. The Fall of Gondolin

Watch more videos on the same topic : Middle-earth Reading Order – Lord of the Rings, Silmarillion, and beyond! | Tolkien 101

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Today, I present my recommended Reading Order for all of JRR Tolkien’s books on Middle-earth! My philosophy is to make it as easy a transition into the more difficult books (like The Silmarillion) as possible. In so doing, I’ve recommended a reading order that goes by difficulty and books that contain the most narrative content.nnBecome a supporter and join the Nerd of the Rings book club here: https://www.patreon.com/NerdoftheRingsnnHit subscribe – and the bell!nnMy Recommended OrdernNarrative Books:nThe Hobbit (https://amzn.to/3qrlN5X)nThe Lord of the Rings (https://amzn.to/341Mfvt)nThe Children of Húrin (https://amzn.to/3mzQrJa)nThe Silmarillion (https://amzn.to/3yYTWy1)nnSlightly academic approach:nUnfinished Tales (https://amzn.to/3puTbtb)nBeren and Lúthien (https://amzn.to/3enUjZs)nThe Fall of Gondolin (https://amzn.to/3FAHpmM)nnHeavy academic approach:nThe History of Middle-earth (https://amzn.to/3ErOCnL)nThe Nature of Middle-earth (https://amzn.to/3sBCmyE)nThe Letters of JRR Tolkien (https://amzn.to/3mAZKIW)nThe History of The Hobbit (https://amzn.to/3mzXodw)nnBiographical Books:nA Tolkien Biography – Humphrey Carpenter (https://amzn.to/3qv8UIb)nJ.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century – Tom Shippey (https://amzn.to/3etgwoM)nTolkien and the Great War – John Garth (https://amzn.to/3mv3Br1)nn————– nAll content falls under fair use: any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. If your artwork appears and you are not listed here, please let me know! I want to make sure all artists are credited for their amazing work.nnTo purchase artist work, check out these amazing artists!nnJenny Dolfen – goldseven.wordpress.com/nTurner Mohan – www.instagram.com/turner_mohannTed Nasmith – www.tednasmith.com/shop/nJerry Vanderstelt – store.vandersteltstudio.com/main.scnAnato Finnstark – https://www.artstation.com/anto-finnstarknAnke Eissmann – http://anke.edoras-art.de/anke_illustration.htmlnnGandalf and Thorin at Bree – Ted NasmithnBilbo – Raoul VitalenBilbo and the Eagles – Ted NasmithnBilbo at Rivendell – Brothers HildebrandtnRiddles in the Dark – Lonesome CrownRiddles in the Dark – Tim KirknThus Came Aragorn – Ted NasmithnBattle of the Black Gate – Ted NasmithnGandalf vs Balrog – ElbardonThe Balrogs of Morgoth – ThylacineenTurin – Kenneth SofianNirnaeth Arnoediad, Turgon and Glorfindel – Ivana LekseichnMorgoth and Fingolfin – Joel KilpatricknGlaurung – Amis GaudinMorgoth Punishes Hurin – Ted NasmithnTurin Confronts Glaurung – Turner MohannAure Entuluva – Jenny DolfennNienor and Glaurung – John HowenTurin and his Band are Led to Amon Rudh – Ted NasmithnBeleriand Map – LamaarcananTurgon and Fingolfin’s Cairn – Ted NasmithnMusic of the Gods – Kip RasmussennThe Forging of the One – Ted NasmithnTuor Reaches the Hidden City of Gondolin – Ted NasmithnAlqualonde – Ted NasmithnThe Coming of Fingolfin – Jenny DolfennHe Beheld a Vision of Gondolin Amid the Snow – Ted NasmithnThe Oath of Feanor – Jenny DolfennHurin and Huor Approaching Gondolin – Donato GiancolanThe Fall of Gondolin – Ralph DamianinGandalf and the Balrog Upon Celebdil – Ted NasmithnSting – Wes TalbottnArtanis and Feanor – Tolman CottonnGaladriel’s Gift to Gimli – MagiannanThe Oath of Felagund – Antti AutionMinas Tirith – Stefan MeislnBeleg Approaches Amon Rudh – John HowenDruedain in the Forest – John HowenThe Hunt for the Ring – John HowenThe Numenoreans Sail to Middle-earth – John HowenThe Battle of Dagorlad – John HowenThe Blue Wizards Journeying East – Ted NasmithnIsildur’s Last Counsellor – Anke EissmannnThe Oathtaking of Cirion and Eorl – Ted NasmithnGaladriel and Celeborn – Ted NasmithnHuan’s Leap – Ted NasmithnHuan vs Sauron – Soys Dav3y34nBeren and Luthien in the Court of Thingol and Melian – Donato GiancolanLuthien in the Court of Morgoth – Pete AmachreenLuthien, Huan, and Sauron – N NowaknOf Beren and Luthien – Ulla ThynellnBeren and Luthien – Justin GerardnThe Fall of Gondolin – Ralph DamianinGondolin – spartank42nGlorfindel’s Bane – Ted NasmithnTuor, Idril, and Earendil Flee Gondolin – Alice BeckstromnTuor Reaches the Hidden City of Gondolin – Ted NasmithnLove and Loss – Sara M MorellonTuor and Idril – Jenny DolfennGlorfindel and the Balrog – Alan LeenTuor strikes a note – Alan LeenUgluk – John HowenBlack Rider- John HowenElrond, Elros, Earendil, Elwing – Jenny DolfennDeath of Feanor – Jenny DolfennUnexpected Party – John HowenVisit to Bilbo – Alan LeenEowyn and Faramir – Ted NasmithnGet thee gone – Jenny DolfennThen Fingon rose against him – Jenny Dolfennn#tolkien #readingorder #lordoftherings

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2. The Lord of the Rings Books in Chronological Order

For those doing a reread of the series, you may prefer a different experience. For that, I’d recommend reading T books in chronological order. However, this method is NOT recommended for new readers or those unfamiliar with the lore of Middle-earth.

  1. The Silmarillion
  2. Beren and Luthien
  3. The Children of Hurin
  4. The Fall of Gondolin
  5. Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-earth
  6. The Hobbit
  7. The Fellowship of the Ring
  8. The Two Towers
  9. The Return of the King

What about the Fall of Numenor?

Released on November 15, 2022, T F is a collection of all the previously published Second Age books in one volume. It contains new watercolor and pencil illustrations, but otherwise is the same written content as previously published works.

The books included in this collection are T, U, T, and T,

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More of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Books and How to Read Them

There are other books that J.R.R. Tolkien, together with Christopher Tolkien, released regarding the stories and ideas of Middle-earth. These books do not fit in any one specific time in the series; however, they are great reads for anyone that needs to know everything they can about Middle-earth. Here are the books in their recommended order of reading.

  1. The Book of Lost Tales, Part |
  2. The Book of Lost Tales, Part II
  3. The Lays of Beleriand
  4. The Shaping of Middle-earth
  5. The Lost Road and Other Writings
  6. The Return of the Shadow
  7. The Treason of Isengard
  8. The War of the Ring
  9. Sauron Defeated
  10. Morgoth’s Ring
  11. The War of the Jewels
  12. The Peoples of Middle-earth
  13. The History of Middle-earth Index
  14. The Nature of Middle-earth
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These books cover everything about the series — from the times before the War for the Ring to the start of T

Apart from T books, there are also two ways to watch T movies in order. Whether it’s your first time watching or you’re re-watching them — you’ll be sure to fall in love with these movies.

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1. The Lord of the Rings Series in Order of Release Date

This is the obvious way to watch the movies, and it remains an enjoyable way to watch them. The movies in their order of release include:

  1. The Fellowship of the Ring
  2. The Two Towers
  3. The Return of the King
  4. An Unexpected Journey
  5. The Desolation of Smaug
  6. The Battle of the Five Armies

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2. The Lord of the Rings Series Order – Chronologically

Another way to watch the Lord of the Rings series in order is by watching the movies chronologically. In this way, you’ll learn more about Bilbo Baggins and his motivations led to his strange behavior in the Lord of the Rings series. You’ll also meet a younger Gandalf.

Here is the order you should follow when watching these T

  1. An Unexpected Journey
  2. The Desolation of Smaug
  3. The Battle of the Five Armies
  4. The Fellowship of the Ring
  5. The Two Towers
  6. The Return of the King

In addition to the films and the books, there is a forthcoming TV show adaptation based on Tolkien’s world. While the adaptation from Amazon Prime has been in the works for years now, the release date is finally imminent with an anticipated September 2, 2022 premiere.

The Rings of Power takes place thousands of years before The Hobbit. Showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay said that in addition to the forging of the Rings the show will focus on the Second Age of Middle-earth.

The show will follow 22 characters during the course of this period, including some very familiar names such as Galadriel, Elrond, and Isildur. But the show will also include some lesser known characters from Tolkien’s books, primarily The Silmarillion. As well, Amazon has confirmed that they will be creating brand-new characters for the show.

Payne confirmed that changes will be made to Tolkien’s lore in order to allow them to tell one united story rather than a documentary about Middle-earth. Notably, the TV show will include a Harfoot. This is despite the fact that hobbits are not heavily present in Tolkien’s canon until the Third Age.

While the first season hasn’t aired yet, Amazon Prime and the Tolkien estate have committed to a five-season deal. Filming for the second season should begin in mid-2022. As well, following in the footsteps of the previous films, the show is being filmed in New Zealand.

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Now that you know the two different ways you can approach both T books and movies, let’s dive into the book summaries for this series. But be forewarned, if this is the first time you are reading the books, the summaries may contain spoilers for events from previous installments.

We’ve included the books here in order of publication, which places The Hobbit before The Fellowship of the Ring. While many modern fans start with T trilogy and then round back to read The Hobbit, reading the books in publication order will allow you to experience Middle-earth as Tolkien intended.

1. The Hobbit

The Hobbit is the tale of Bilbo Baggins and his adventures with Gandalf and a band of dwarves to reclaim their homeland from the dragon Smaug.

In it, we’re introduced to Gollum for the very first time with Tolkien’s famous “Riddles in the Dark.”

2. The Fellowship of the Ring

Long ago, rings of power were crafted for dwarves, elves, and men. But the Dark Lord Sauron crafted another ring in secret. A single ring to rule them all. The armies of Middle-earth banded against him and defeated him, but the ring was lost to time.

Now, Sauron is back and he’s hunting for the ring so that he may return in his physical form to resume domination of Middle-earth. But the ring has fallen to a young Frodo Baggins, and he has been tasked to return it to Mount Doom, the only place it can be destroyed.

Helping him achieve his goal is a motley crew called The Fellowship of the Ring.

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3. The Two Towers

The Fellowship has been separates and Frodo and Sam are on their own as they journey to Mount Doom. The others have their own troubles to overcome as Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli seek to save Merry and Pippin.

Along the way, they encounter the armies of Saruman, an ally of Sauron’s, who has created the mighty Uruk-Hai and has set them against the people of Rohan.

Will the Fellowship be able to stop them and save the peoples of Middle-earth?

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4. The Return of the King

The Return of the King is the epic conclusion to the Lord of the Rings. The armies of Mordor or are vast and too great for the people of Middle-earth to face. There is a solution, however, but it requires Aragorn claiming his rightful place as King of Gondor.

Meanwhile, Frodo has begun to succumb to the power of the ring and it’s caused a rift between him and Sam. Can they reach the fires of Mount Doom and stop Sauron once and for all before it’s too late?

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5. The Silmarillion

The Silmarillion is a book meant to dive deeper into the lore of Middle-earth. It hearkens back to the First Age to some of the earliest days of Elrond and Galadriel and a time when Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, lived in Middle-earth.

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6. Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth

This installment is a fascinating collection of stories which continue the tales of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. It also contains an alternative version of The Children of Hurin.

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7. The Children of Húrin

6,000 years before Frodo destroyed the ring, Middle-earth is ruled by Morgoth. The armies of Middle-earth have been destroyed and all hope is lost. But a new leader rises to turn the tide of war and confront his destiny.

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8. Beren and Lúthien

This book is about the love of Beren, a man, and Lúthien, an elf. In order to put a stop to their romance, Lúthien’s father tasks Beren with an impossible mission before he can wed her. This leads to the epic adventure of Beren and Lúthien robbing Melkor, called Morgoth, the most wicked of all beings.

9. The Fall of Gondolin

Morgoth has his sights on Gondolin. For centuries, it lay protected in secrecy. Through an act of treachery, he’s uncovered its location and plans to mount a deadly attack. It’s up to Tuor to set out on a harrowing journey to warn Gondolin of they’re coming doom.

Whether you’ve been a fan of T books for decades, or are a new fan just seeking out what books to read, this article will prepare you for your next journey to Middle-earth.

Looking for more books in order?

Check out my list of Game of Thrones books in order.

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How Many Books Are There In Lord Of The Rings

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  1. The destruction of the ring. I paraphrase. And Frodo gripped the ring under his clothes and said to Gollum, “If you try to take the ring from me you will be thrown into the fire” and Sam saw a great lord commanding a wretch.
    Frodo used the power of the ring to curse Gollum to die if he took the ring thus evil destroyed itself. Now that is a message that people need to work with and learn again, now as much as in 1940 Britian as much as in Vienna in 1241.

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