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The War of the Ring

The name The War of the Ring refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see War of the Ring (disambiguation).
The War of the Ring
War of the Ring 1990.png
AuthorJ.R.R. Tolkien
EditorChristopher Tolkien
PublisherUnwin Hyman (UK)
Houghton Mifflin (US)
Released23 August 1990 (UK)
14 November 1990 (US)
FormatHardcover; paperback
Preceded byThe Treason of Isengard (1989)
Followed bySauron Defeated (1992)

The War of the Ring, published in 1990, is the eighth volume of Christopher Tolkien's 12-volume book series, The History of Middle-earth, in which he analyzes the unpublished manuscripts of J.R.R. Tolkien.

It is also the third volume of The History of The Lord of the Rings, which documents the writing process of The Lord of the Rings.

This book covers part of The Two Towers and part of The Return of the King. Following the development of the previous books, the story continues to the opening of the Black Gate.

The title The War of the Ring was the original title for Book 5 of TLotR, later discarded by Tolkien.


[edit] Contents

  • Foreword
Part One: The Fall of Saruman
  • I. "The Destruction of Isengard"
  • II. "Helm's Deep"
  • III. "The Road to Isengard"
  • IV. "Flotsam and Jetsam"
  • V. "The Voice of Saruman"
  • VI. "The Palantír"
Part Two: The Ring Goes East
  • I. "The Taming of Sméagol"
  • II. "The Passage of the Marshes"
  • III. "The Black Gate is Closed"
  • IV. "Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit"
  • V. "Faramir"
  • VI. "The Forbidden Pool"
  • VII. "Journey to the Cross-Roads"
  • VIII. "Kirith Ungol"
Part Three: Minas Tirith
  • I. "Addendum to 'The Treason of Isengard'"
  • II. "Book Five Begun and Abandoned"
  • III. "Minas Tirith"
  • IV. "Many Roads Lead Eastward (1)"
  • V. "Many Roads lead Eastward (2)"
  • VI. "The Siege of Gondor"
  • VII. "The Ride of the Rohirrim"
  • VIII. "The Story Foreseen from Forannest"
  • IX. "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"
  • X. "The Pyre of Denethor"
  • XI. "The Houses of Healing"
  • XII. "The Last Debate"
  • XIII. "The Black Gate Opens"
  • XIV. "The Second Map"

[edit] Inscriptions

There is an inscription in the Tengwar characters in the first pages of every History of Middle-earth volume, written by Christopher Tolkien and describing the contents of the book. The inscription in Book VIII reads:

"In the War of the Ring is traced the story of the history at Helm's Deep and the drowning of Isengard by the Ents, then is told of the journey of Frodo with Samwise and Gollum to the Morannon, of the meeting with Faramir and the stairs of Cirith Ungol, of the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, and of the coming of Aragorn in the fleet of Umbar."

[edit] From the Publisher

The third part of The History of The Lord of the Rings, an enthralling account of the writing of the Book of the Century which contains many additional scenes and includes the unpublished Epilogue in its entirety.

The War of the Ring takes up the story of The Lord of the Rings with the Battle of Helm's Deep and the drowning of Isengard by the Ents, continues with the journey of Frodo, Sam and Gollum to the Pass of Cirith Ungol, describes the war in Gondor, and ends with the parley between Gandalf and the ambassador of the Dark Lord before the Black Gate of Mordor.

The book is illustrated with plans and drawings of the changing conceptions of Orthanc, Dunharrow, Minas Tirith, and the tunnels of Shelob's Lair.

[edit] Publication history and gallery

UK Editions
1990 hardcover  
1992 paperback  
1997 paperback  
2002 paperback  
2010 hardcover  

[edit] External links

A detailed list of unique writings and works by Tolkien in this volume, at

The History of Middle-earth series
i.The Book of Lost Tales: Part One · ii.The Book of Lost Tales: Part Two · iii.The Lays of Beleriand ·
iv.The Shaping of Middle-earth · v.The Lost Road and Other Writings · vi.The Return of the Shadow ·
vii.The Treason of Isengard · viii.The War of the Ring · ix.Sauron Defeated ·
x.Morgoth's Ring · xi.The War of the Jewels · xii.The Peoples of Middle-earth ·