Tolkien’s life and books have inspired numerous films, novels, video games, and today we return to talk about the Master of fantasy for a novelty: “The Lord of the Rings – The Rings of Power”a new TV series from 2 September on Amazon Prime Video.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien: life and works
JRR Tolkien he was one of the greatest fantasy writers, perhaps even the greatest, of British literature. He was born on January 3, 1892 in Bloemfontein, South Africa, to English parents originally from Birmingham; in 1896, when his father died, the family moved to England. From his mother she inherited a passion for languages and a love for ancient legends. When his mother died, his education was entrusted to Father Francis Xavier Morgan, a Catholic priest of the Oratorians. He studied at Exeter College in Oxford, earning the degree of Bachelors of Arts in 1915. Fighter in the First World War, he returned to Oxford where he became Master of Arts in 1919, and began his collaboration with the Oxford English Dictionary. He taught Anglo-Saxon language and literature at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and then English language and literature until his retirement from teaching. He died in Bournemouth, Hampshire, on 2 September 1973.
Tolkien went down in history as the author of The Lord of the Rings and other works universally recognized as milestones of the fantasy genre, such as the Silmarillion and The Hobbit.
In 1937 it was published The Hobbit: the placid existence of hobbit is disturbed by the arrival of Gandalf who, together with thirteen dwarves, knocks on the door of Bilbo Beggins and takes him on an adventurous and dangerous journey. Purpose of this trip is the reconquest of a legendary treasure guarded by a fearsome dragon – Smaug. During this adventure Bilbo will meet a strange creature: Gollum. The book was a huge success, so much so that the publisher convinced Tolkien to put his hand to everything – written and unwritten – that he had created up to that moment. And this is how, starting from what he had written in The Hobbit, Tolkien developed the imaginary world of Middle Earth and was born The Lord of the Rings.
The Lord of the Rings – original title – is an epic saga divided into 3 volumes. The title refers to the Dark Lord, Sauronthe villain principal, he who created theSingle Ring capable of controlling others Rings of Power:
Three Rings to the Elven Kings under the shining sky,
Seven to the Princes of the Dwarves in their fortresses of stone,
Nine to Mortal Men that sad death awaits,
One for the Dark Lord locked in the gloomy palace,
In the Land of Mordor, where the Black Shadow descends.
One Ring to rule them, One Ring to find them,
A Ring to bring them all and in the dark bind them.
In the Land of Mordor, where the dark Shadow descends.
The book takes up the story of The Hobbit, and the author’s idea was to create a single volume that would tell the story of the Ring, but in the end the work came out in 3 separate volumes: The Fellowship of the Ring, The two towers and The Return of the King.
The Fellowship of the Ring
In Middle-earth Sauron has awakened and is gathering legions of orcs to attack the inhabitants of the region. However, he needs to possess the One Ring, a ring whose power is able to control other magical rings and the will of the wearer. This ring was lost – after the final battle, after that Isildur king of men has cut off Sauron’s finger, taking possession of the Ring whose power will lead to his ruin and his people, and upon Isildur’s death he will be lost – lost, indeed, until it ends up in the hands of the placid hobbit Bilbo Baggins. Possessing the Ring leads to Evil and to prevent it from returning to its creator, the sorcerer Gandalf convinces Bilbo to give the Ring to his nephew Frodo who will set out on a dangerous adventure, – and not alone: “Nine will be the members of the Company of‘Ring, and the Nine Wayfarers will stand against the Nine Horsemen who are evil. Gandalf will come with you and your faithful servant; this will in fact be his great task, and perhaps the end of his troubles. The others will represent the remaining free peoples of the Earth: Elves, Dwarves and Men. “, and these members are Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin – hobbit; Aragorn and Boromir – men; Gimli – dwarf; Legolas – elf, and Gandalf (the Gray) – sorcerer. – to destroy the dark object.
The two Towers
The second book of Tolkien’s trilogy sees the Fellowship of the Ring separate, which then fight separately. Merry and Pippin meanwhile have been taken prisoner by the forces of Evil but manage to escape and find help in gigantic creatures, huge trees: the Entand above all they will find an exceptional companion in one of these so-called Tree Shepherds, Treebeard. Meanwhile, Aragorn has made an alliance with the knights of Rohan, a proud people who for centuries managed to keep Evil away and not succumb to his power. Frodo and Sam run into Gollum, a strange creature who had possessed the Ring, and force him to lead them to Mount Doom. However, frightening creatures await them at the gates, interrupting their path.
The Return of the King
Aragorn and the others have come to Gondor, the land of good, what still remains of the ancient Kingdom of Men. A city without a king. Frodo and Sam have resumed their journey to Mount Doom and meanwhile in Gondor Good and Evil collide in a bloody battle. But just when it seems that Evil is about to win, Frodo manages to destroy the Ring by throwing it (along with Gollum) into the crater of Mount Doom. At that moment the Eye that fixed the World, the evil Eye that sought the Ring, closes. The Fellowship of the Ring meets and they celebrate together the rightful King of Gondor.
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were transported to the big screen by Peter Jackson. The Hobbit was divided into 3 films: An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies.
The Lord of the Rings is a trilogy considered one of the most ambitious projects in cinematography, shot in New Zealand, the homeland of director Jackson. Each film in the series also had extended special editions released on DVD a year after its theatrical release.
Begun in 1917 and elaborated by Tolkien until his death, it is the trunk from which all other stories branched off. It constitutes Tolkien’s mythical repertoire, and is a work that occupies a position of thematic and formal primacy. In the Silmarillion the events of the First Age – which the protagonists and the stories of The Lord of the Rings refer to. In this book we are told the story of the 3 Silmarilprecious gems for the Elves but also desired by Melkor-Morgoth, first Lord of Darknessbecause they contain the Light of the Two Trees of Valinor destroyed byOpponent. It includes 5 stories, linked as a single story, and this story tells the parable of a fall: from the “music of the beginnings”, the cosmogonic moment, to the war of Elves and Men against the Adversary. The last of the stories constitutes the immediate antecedent of THEL Lord of the Rings. The Silmarillion is a complex and mythical work, a story of antithesis between good and evil, between love and dominion, a work that saw the light thanks to the work of Tolkien’s son, Christopher, who through a painstaking work has put in order the manuscripts left by his father. Christopher Tolkien also took care of the publication of The Lost Tales, The rediscovered stories And The unfinished tales.
His beloved wife Edith died in November 1971 and the writer followed her on September 2, 1973.
On the tombs of the Tolkiens, buried in Wolvercote Cemetery in the suburbs of Oxford, are Beren and Lúthienthe two lovers protagonists of the homonymous story of Silmarillion.
Tolkien’s world will be broadcast from 2 September on Amazon Prime: The Lord of the Rings: the rings of power it will be one prequel series of the saga. The project includes 5 seasons, filmed in New Zealand, in which it tells of the forging of the Rings of Power, the rise of Sauron, the fall of the kingdom of Númenor and the last alliance between Men and Elves.