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The Lord of the Rings Online

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The Lord of the Rings Online (commonly abbreviated to LOTRO or LotRO) is the common name for an MMORPG that takes place in the world of Arda during the time of The Lord of the Rings.



Sierra began to devolop the game in 1998, then called Middle-earth Online. After Sierra was bought out by Vivendi Universal Games, production of the game was shared with Turbine. The rights to the game were sold exclusively to Turbine in March 2004, after which they announced that the name of the project would be changed to The Lord of the Rings Online.

While the majority of quests in the game are original content created by Turbine based on the history and lore of Middle-earth, the quests flagged as "Epic" quests depict specific events and scenes from the The Lord of the Rings storyline. While conducting Epic Quests, players interact with the main characters from the books, and assist in the advancing of the story toward the War of the Ring and the destruction of the One Ring.

The game also attempts to mimic The Lord of the Rings by being broken down in volumes, books and chapters. The original game is called Volume I, the following expansion is Volume II and the current expansion is Volume III. Each one of the epic quests are broken down by "Books" and "Chapters".

Turbine has gone to great lengths to faithfully recreate the fantasy world created by J.R.R. Tolkien with a high degree of attention to detail. Essentially every character named in the books appears in the game and can be interacted with during quests and other activities.

A closed beta was announced on September 8, 2006. An open beta began on March 30, 2007, and was open to all who pre-ordered the game's Founders Club edition. On April 6, 2007, the beta opened to the public.

Shadows of Angmar

Shadows of Angmar was released on April 24, 2007. It included books 1 through 8 of the epic quest line. Book 9 Shores of Evendim was released on June 14, 2007. Book 10 The City of Kings was released on August 21, 2007. Book 11 Prisoner of the Free Peoples was released on October 24, 2007.

Mines of Moria Expansion

Siege of Mirkwood Expansion


For The Lord of the Rings Online, Turbine has licensed the rights to the content and lore of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Turbine does not have license rights to the New Line Cinema film trilogy nor The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, The History of Middle-earth books or The Children of Húrin.

Discrepancies from the source material

The Lord of the Rings Online does not follow the story as told in The Lord of the Rings, but rather tells stories about events that happened during the same time period as the events told in J.R.R. Tolkien's book.

Added Elements

There are a number of elements that do not appear in any of the published works. This includes characters, lineages, objects and locations.


  • Éogan was the second in command of the Blackwolds and took over leadership of the group after William Skunkwood's death.
  • Skorgrím was a dwarf and leader of the Dourhands he was slain during the Battle of Edhelion. His corpse was used as a vehicle by Ivar the Bloodhand who possessed it with a fell spirit to trick the Dourhands to ally themselves with the forces of Angmar.


  • The Dourhands was a clan of dwarves aligned with the forces of Angmar. They were the dwarves that stayed behind to rebuild the Dwarven Halls in the Blue Mountains which were destroyed during the War of Wrath.





The Lord of the Rings Online has been received very positively thus far, as reviews continue to appear since the game's initial release.[2]

GameDaily awarded the game 9/10, praising its rich, fantasy-themed universe, well-integrated trait and title system, and a story that remains true to the works of Tolkien. Yahoo! Video Games wrote a review with few negative mentions, awarding the game a score of 4/5,[3] while Computer and Video Games called the game an essential purchase for Lord of the Rings fans, scoring the game a 9.2/10.[4] Eurogamer scored the game a 9.0/10, calling it tough to resist.[5] Gamespy gave it 4.5/5 stars, claiming the game "opened up Middle-Earth to the masses" but commented negatively on its weak PvP content,[6] while GameTrailers awarded it 8.5/10,[7] citing its interesting tweaks to the MMO genre. ranked it a similar 8.6/10, praising it for its solid experience, though criticizing it for its lack of major improvements to the genre.[8] awarded the game an 8.8/10, calling it the best MMO launch experience since Ultima Online.[9] The New York Times called the game "a major achievement of interactive storytelling, the first game truly worthy of the ‘Lord of the Rings' franchise and a must-play for just about anyone with an interest in Tolkien or the future of online entertainment."[10] In a GameSpot review, the product was awarded an 8.3/10, praising its appealing polish and intriguing Monster Play feature.[11]'s review gave it an overall 4.25/5, pointing out how engaging the epic quests are, as well as how faithful to the novels the game managed to stay.[12] GameSpy declared The Lord of the Rings Online 'Game of the Month' for May 2007.[13]


In August 2007, Codemasters announced that The Lord of the Rings Online had received five Golden Joystick Awards nominations for the five applicable categories for the game,[14] and in October 2007 that it had won the "PC Game of the Year" at these awards.[15] and again won the same award on October 2008. In December 2007, GameSpy awarded The Lord of the Rings Online 6th place in the top 10 PC games of 2007.[16] On December 18, Turbine announced it had also won the GameSpy MMO of the Year award.[17] In January 2009, awarded Turbine both MMORPG studio of the year 2008[18], and MMO Expansion of the Year for Mines of Moria.[19]


  1. In the game the Witch-king reigned over Angmar again shortly before the War of the Ring.
  2. Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, The - Review
  3. The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar Review Yahoo! Games
  4. PC Review: Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar Computer and Video Games
  5. Review - Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar Eurogamer
  6. The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar Review GameSpy
  7. The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar Game Trailers
  8. The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar Review IGN
  9. Lord of the Rings Online GamerNode
  10. Lord of the Rings Online Press Release Lord of the Rings Online
  11. The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar for PC Review GameSpot
  12. Review: The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar for PC Gamepro
  13. Game of the Month: May 2007 GameSpy
  14. Music and vice top games awards BBC News
  15. Gears Wins Big at Game Awards Next-Generation
  16. GameSpy's Game of the Year 2007 GameSpy
  17. LOTRO Wins Top Honors from Gamespy! Lord of the Rings Online
  18. Best MMO Studo of 2008
  19. Best Expansion of 2008

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