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Shelob's Lair (manuscript)

From Tolkien Gateway

Shelob's Lair is a manuscript page by J.R.R. Tolkien for The Two Towers. It is kept at the Bodleian Library (MS. Tolkien Drawings 81). The manuscript, featuring a sketch of Shelob's Lair and the Tower of Cirith Ungol, was first written in pencil, before Tolkien went over it in ink.[1]

A cropped version of the manuscript was first published in The Lord of the Rings 1977 Calendar, together with the following note by Christopher Tolkien:

"The writing accompanying this picture is a fragment of an early draft of the passage in The Two Towers (Book IV, Chapter 8, The Stairs of Cirith Ungol) in which is described Sam and Frodo's first sight of the Tower of Cirith Ungol. In this draft Gollum had already disappeared at this point in the story."

In 1995, a full reproduction of the manuscript appeared in J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist & Illustrator (p. 175, drawing 171).

In 2012, the manuscript was displayed at the exhibition The Romance of the Middle Ages (also reproduced in the accompanying exhibition book).[1]