AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ENTHRALLING WORLD OF MIDDLE-EARTH
By Stefan Posthuma
Frodo took it from his breeches-pocket, where it was clasped
to a chain that hung from his belt. He unfastened it and handed
it slowly to the wizard. It felt suddenly very heavy, as either
it or Frodo himself was in some way reluctant for Gandalf to
Gandalf held it up. It looked to be made of pure and solid
gold. 'Can you see any markings on it?' he asked.
'No,' said Frodo. 'There are none. It is quite plain, and it
never shows a scratch or sign of wear.'
'Well then, look!' To Frodo's astonishment and distress the
wizard threw it suddenly into the middle of a glowing corner of
the fire. Frodo gave a cry and groped for the tongs; but Gandalf
held him back.
'Wait!' he said in a commanding voice, giving Frodo a quick
look from under his bristling brows.
No apparent change came over the ring. After a while Gandalf
got up, closed the shutters outside the window, and drew the
curtains. The room became dark and silent, though the clack of
Sam's shears, now nearer to the windows could still be heard
faintly from the garden. For a moment the wizard stood looking at
the fire; the he stooped and removed the ring to the heart with
the tongs, and at once picked it up. Frodo gasped.
'It is quite cool,' said Gandalf. 'Take it!' Frodo received it
on his shrinking palm: it seemed to have become thicker and
heavier than ever.
'Hold it up!' said Gandalf. 'And look closely!'
As Frodo did so, he now saw fine lines, finer than the finest
penstrokes, running along the ring, outside and inside: lines of
fire that seemed to form the letters of a flowing script. They
shone piercingly bright, and yet remote as if out of a great
'I cannot read the fiery letters,' said Frodo in a quavering
'No,' said Gandalf, 'but I can. The letters are Elvish, of an
ancient mode, but the language is that of Mordor, which I will
not utter here. But this in the Common Tongue is what is said,
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
It is only two lines of a verse long known in Elven-lore:
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for the Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his Dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
He paused, and then said slowly in a deep voice: 'This is the
Master-ring, the One Ring to rule them all. This is the One Ring
that he lost many ages ago, to the great weakening of his power.
He greatly desires it - but he must not get it.'
Frodo sat silent and motionless. Fear seemed to stretch out a
vast hand, like a dark cloud rising in the East and looming up to
engulf him. 'This ring!' he stammered. 'How on earth did it come
A fragment of text from the second chapter of the First Book,
'The Shadow of the Past'. Here Frodo finds out about the Ring,
and from here a great adventure will develop.
A lot of people have heard about The Lord of the Rings. A
unsurpassed masterpiece of imaginative fiction of the highest
quality. J.R.R Tolkien has created a world so complete and
convincing that this book will absorb any reader who wants to be
taken on a magnificent yourney along Middle-Earth. If you have
read it, you will know what I am talking about. Or maybe you have
read 'The Hobbit'. A story about Middle Earth, about a quest for
Treasure, about the defeat of Smaug and the Battle of the Five
Armies. This story is a introduction to the world of Tolkien. You
get to know the Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves, the evil Orcs and many
more creatures that inhabit Middle Earth. If you liked The
Hobbit, you will love The Lord of the Rings. It is even better.
The world that Tolkien has created is so complete. It comes with
a detailed map and the appendixes of the Lord of the Rings
contain many notes, explanations and additions to the great
story. It comes with lines of Kings, sagas and legends, a
calendar, notes of languages and dialects and a chronology. There
are also some more books like the Silmarillion and the Books of
Lost Tales which all deal with Middle-Earth. There are also
independent works which make deep studies of Middle-Earth, and
they all come to the same conclusion: it was geniously conceived.
The way the story is told is sometimes amazing. I get sucked into
the story and I can't stop reading until I reach the end of the
chapter and I still want to go on. Also, this is the only book
that ever managed to move emotionally in such a way that my mood
changed! I was especially moved by the part where Sam recues
Frodo from the tower of Cirith Ungol. Sam hands Frodo the Ring
and Frodo becomes very angry, influenced by the Ring he has a
vision in which Sam is a dirty Orc, taking his treasure from him.
The same thing happened to Bilbo when Gandalf took the Ring from
him in the beginning of the story.
The stories of Tolkien contain everything. There is humour,
sadness, great battles, a little romance, heroic deeds,
enthralling descriptions of the many locations in throughout the
story enfolds and lots of different personalities.
Let me tell you something about the different creatures that can
be found in Middle-Earth. I have to say that uptill now I only
read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, so there may be many facts
still unknown to me, but I am intended to find out!
The main character of the Lord of the Rings is a hobbit (Frodo).
Hobbits are small creatures, even smaller than Dwarves. (About
the size of an five-year-old Man) They are peace-loving, live in
well-kept holes in the ground and are very nice and merry folk.
They like a good dinner twice a day and smoke pipe-weed. A very
curious habit indeed. They dwell in a North-Western part of
Middle-Earth called the Shire. A beautiful land filled with
meadows, low hills and some rivers. The Shire has seldom been
bothered by wars, and its people are very friendly and hospi-
table. They have 'soft' characters, but prove to be very stern
and courageous when the need is high. Just read The Hobbit or the
Lord of the Rings.
There are many more good creatures in Middle-Earth, like the
Elves. They are nature-people who dwell in the forests of
Mirkwood and Lothlrien. They are a noble and good-hearted
people. They are also the Forgers of the Nine Rings.
Dwarves are a tough folk. They lived under the mountains for many
ages, building great halls, long tunnels, and complete cities
underground. They also constructed the Mines of Moria. They have
been scattered since the wars with the Orcs and the wakening of
the Balrog in the Mines of Moria. They also had some trouble
with the Elves and their treasures were much liked by Dragons.
Then there are the Men. There are the Riders of Rohan and the Men
of Gondor. There have been some great Kings among them, and the
Lord of the Rings tells about the return of the King, Aragorn son
of Arathorn (Strider to the hobbits). There are many great Men in
the Lord of the Rings, there is Boromir, Faramir, King Thoden,
King omer and of course Aragorn. But there is more. You also
have Wizards, Gandalf The White is one of them. He is one of the
wisest creatures in Middle-Earth. Saruman was also a Wizard, but
he was seduced by Sauron and became an ally of the Shadow.
Then there are the Eagles, and some strange creatures like Beorn,
Tom Bombadil who lives in the Old Forest, the Ancient and mighty
Ents (a sort of Tree people) who live in Fangorn and the Stone
Giants mentioned in the Hobbit who live in the Misty Mountains
and Elrond who lives in the Last Homely House in Rivendell.
Then there are the Dark creatures. Their master in The Lord of
the Rings is Sauron. (He is commanded by Morgoth but I dare not
speak of him) Sauron is the most evil and wickedest creatures of
Middle Earth. He is a Spirit of Fear, a Master of Deception.
Sauron has troubled Middle-Earth for many ages. Among his
creatures are the foul Orcs, a disgusting and nasty people. They
are of Dwarf size, and there are many of them around everywhere.
From the Grey Mountains to the Mountains of Shadow. Then there
are the Trolls. They are the counterparts of Men and very, very
evil and strong. You also have evil Men commanded by Sauron, the
Wargs - terrible wolves - and some other evil creatures like
Dragons and Balrogs and the Ringwraiths, the Nazgl who are under
direct command of Sauron. You also have some creatures like
Shelob, a gigantic spider-like creature, the miserable Gollum who
plays a key-role in the Lord of the Rings (he was a Ring Bearer
for a long time) and spiders.
As you can see, Middle-Earth is filled with a multitude of
creatures of all sorts of sizes and shapes which will tickle your
imagiation and fill you with wonder. To conclude this tale, I
will leave you with another quote from 'Lord of the Rings', in
which owyn, daughter of omund and Merry fight the Lord of the
Nazgl, the Black Captain....
Suddenly the great beast beat its hideous wings, and the wind
of them was foul. Again it leaped into the air, and then swiftly
fell upon owyn, shrieking, striking with beak and claw.
Still she did not blench: maiden of the Rohirrim, child of
kings, slender but as a steel-blade, fair yet terrible. A swift
stroke she dealt, skilled and deadly. The outstretched neck she
clove asunder, and the hewn head fell like a stone. Backward she
sprang as the huge shape crashed to ruin, vast wings outspread,
crumpled on the earth; and with its fall the shadow passed away.
A light fell about her, and her hair shone in the sunrise.
Out of the wreck rose the Black Rider, tall and threatening,
towering above her. With a cry of hatred that stung the very ears
like venom he let fall his mace. Her shield was shivered in many
pieces, and her arm was broken; she stumbled to her knees. He
bend over her like a cloud, and his eyes glittered; he raised his
mace to kill.
But suddenly he too stumbled forward with a cry of bitter
pain, and his stroke went wide, driving into the ground. Merry's
sword had stabbed him from behind, shearing through the black
mantle, and passing up beneath the hauberk had pierced the sinew
behind his mighty knee.
'owyn! owyn!' cried Merry. Then tottering, struggling up,
with her last strength she drove her sword between crown and
mantle, as the great shoulder bowed before her. The sword broke
sparkling into many shards. The crown rolled away with a clang.
owyn fell forward upon her fallen foe. But lo! the mantle and
hauberk were empty. Shapeless they lay now on the ground, torn
and tumbled; and a cry went up into the shuddering air, and faded
to a shrill wailing, passing with the wind, a voice bodiless and
thin that died, and was swallowed up, and was never heard again
in that age of this world.