The Wheel and Axle

Sixty-Two Years, One Ring

by on Jul.29, 2016, under Geeky, Literature

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Sixty-two years ago today, J.R.R. Tolkien changed the landscape of fantasy fiction when The Fellowship of the Ring was published. The historical relevance and cultural impact of this book cannot be overstated, as it not only paved the way for a new generation of fantasy writers and readers but it also continues to influence various forms of media as well as the social consciousness of the general public to this very day.

Originally, The Lord of the Rings was supposed to have been one long novel sub-divided into six sections he called “books,” but the publisher instead chose to divide it into three separate novels that formed the trilogy we now know and love.

Some form of Elvish

I myself got into the game comparatively late. I first watched Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring in December 2001 in cinemas, and I was already in my mid-20s then. It got me interested in reading the books, so I immediately bought all three novels in one go.

Our master: J.R.R. Tolkien

Our master: J.R.R. Tolkien

I will be honest: I labored through FOTR for about eight months, finding it a bit slow and dragging. However, as the December 2002 release of The Two Towers film approached, I resolved to finish the trilogy before seeing more movies. After finishing FOTR, I was able to finish TTT in two weeks then The Return of the King in three days! The great thing about the books is that, as you progress, the pace gets better and better, and things become more and more exciting.

A few years later, my worn out paperbacks were replaced by gorgeous heavy hardcovers that also included beautiful artwork complementing the epic story. Tolkien deserves nothing less.

As for the movies, what can I say? They are nothing short of modern masterpieces, and it is a travesty that only ROTK got the Oscar for best picture. Much as I loved Chicago, I believe TTT should’ve won, at least. Nonetheless, more than a decade later, the movies continue to be as relevant as the source material, and what’s more, the extended editions of these films are even more awesome. Running time be damned, you won’t feel it at all.

Now, if you’ve never read any of the books, do yourself a favor: read it. Now.

Happy birthday, The Lord of the Rings! Continue to rule them all and bind them.

First Edition

First Edition

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