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a question about the "trilogy"

Registered User

Jan 17 2010, 1:29am

Post #1 of 7 (2687 views)
a question about the "trilogy" Can't Post

I would like to know why there are all of these things saying that a "true fan knows that the lord of the rings isn't a trilogy." Is it because they are counting The Hobbit as a part of it, or because Tolkien wrote LotR as six books, but then published them as three?

Thank you =D

Kangi Ska

Jan 17 2010, 2:16am

Post #2 of 7 (2303 views)
It was written as one volume with six books within it. [In reply to] Can't Post

The publisher forced the split into three separate volumes for economic reasons.

Kangi Ska

At night one cannot tell if crows are black or white.


Jan 17 2010, 2:17am

Post #3 of 7 (2336 views)
Wrong direction [In reply to] Can't Post

Nope, he actually wrote them as one & they ended up being published as three. Rayner & Unwin, I think, were his publishers, & (correct me if I'm wrong, those of you who know better about this than I) they thought that no one would buy a book that big. They broke it into 3, & made up the titles, too. Tolkien wasn't too pleased with that, because the title of the 3rd book kind of gives away the ending... Shocked


Edited to say: Right, Kangi, one volume. I was thinking book = volume.

It's easier to try than to prove it can't be done. -Justin Hayward, the Moody Blues

(This post was edited by Alicia on Jan 17 2010, 2:19am)

Registered User

Jan 17 2010, 2:46am

Post #4 of 7 (2304 views)
thank you! [In reply to] Can't Post

thank you! That makes much more sense than everything that I was thinking...I must say I was quite confused. Crazy

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jan 17 2010, 3:19am

Post #5 of 7 (2300 views)
The six which are one. [In reply to] Can't Post

As Kangi and Alicia have noted: Tolkien intended it to be one volume of six books, but that was not to be.

After he submitted LotR, Rayner Unwin told him it would have to be priced at 3. 10s. published that way, and Tolkien apologized for "having produced such a monster"!

A few months later, after consulting the printers, Allen & Unwin decided to publish it in three volumes, costing 21s. each.

There were two primary reasons to keep the cost (and number of printings) as low as possible: the post-war paper shortage, and whether there would be much of an audience for the book (they might not have to print as many volumes of the second and third books). So they figured this was the most economical solution.


"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915


Jan 22 2010, 7:14pm

Post #6 of 7 (2267 views)
The volume titles [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien actually came up with the following titles for the volumes (with the over-all title of The Lord of the Rings) in Letter 140 (17 August, 1953):

Volume I: The Fellowship of the Ring
Volume II: The Two Towers
Volume III: The War of the Ring (but he said that he would accept The Return of the King)


Jan 26 2010, 10:02am

Post #7 of 7 (2538 views)
Many become one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Hmm a true fan knows of the many pre and post books, and personally i count the Hobbit followed by the trilogy to make the quad - but it depends how u look at it.

Elven by name, Hobbit by nature

'Road lead ever on and on
down from the door where it began
now far ahead the road has gone
down from where all began' -FOTR-

and through all the world has changed
the ages come and go with time
and yet those remain unchanged
unto they journey westward
over the sea...


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