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Does anyone else wish we had Tolkien's six titles?!
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Arannir
Valinor

Apr 22 2013, 11:29am

Post #1 of 43 (422 views)
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Does anyone else wish we had Tolkien's six titles?! Can't Post

The Ring Sets Out, The Ring Goes South, The Treason of Isengard, The Ring Goes East, The War of the Ring, and The End of the Third Age?

Although I am not a major fan of the "The Ring..." titles, I still appreciate "The Treason of Isengard", "The War of the Ring" and "The End of the Third Age" very much.

For the three volume editions I would have at least preferred "The War of the Ring" over "The Return of the King".

"The Two Towers" would be fine for me, if it would be clearly stated to be Barad-dūr and Orthanc. I think the movies did well in deciding on that... some of the things Tolkien discusses seem really weird to me, as many of them figure in TTT but do not really play a major role. "The Treason of Isengard" would not have been bad for that one either, but with the shortcoming of not really referring to Frodo's storyline.

Any thoughts? :)


(On a different note: I HATE the translation "Die Gefährten" (literally: The Companions) for the German version of FotR. "Die Gemeinschaft des Ringes" would have been just wonderful. I also do not like the use of "Wiederkehr" instead of "Rückkehr" for the "Return" in RotK.)


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 22 2013, 2:25pm

Post #2 of 43 (256 views)
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The Ring... [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree, too many "The Ring..." Titles begin to sound a little silly. One expects "What The Ring Did", "What The Ring Did Next" etc.

Maybe we should suggest some alternative titles!

If the objection to "The Return of the King" as a title is that it gives too much away, then The Treason of Isenguard is problematic too.

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimė I am in the West, and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


Arannir
Valinor

Apr 22 2013, 2:51pm

Post #3 of 43 (245 views)
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But the treason of Saruman... [In reply to] Can't Post

... already happens in FotR, or actually even before that, but it is revealed in FotR.

I guess it referrs more to the impact of that treason - the Rohan/Isengard War.


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 22 2013, 3:00pm

Post #4 of 43 (241 views)
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When is a book title a spoiler? [In reply to] Can't Post

When is a book title a spoiler (e.g. when is it harmless to know that Saruman betrays someone)?

I'm think the book titles are some of the first things the reader knows (e.g imagine buying a 6-volume boxed set and having that Treason... Spine looking out from your bookshelf while you're still in Hobbinton.

So I think all titles should be intriguing but ambiguous!

Maybe we could have a good game proposing:
Six sensible titles
Six titles which would be disastrous.

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimė I am in the West, and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


DanielLB
Immortal


Apr 22 2013, 3:34pm

Post #5 of 43 (232 views)
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When I first read the books ... [In reply to] Can't Post

When I first begun reading The Fellowship of the Ring (I would have been 9/10), I thought The Return of the King referred to Sauron. During the first half of FOTR, Aragorn isn't present, and neither do you find out about his true identity for a while. Why would one think differently? And especially at that age, you don't take it all in at once.

I don't really consider "The Return of the King" has a spoiler. It's more of a spoiler when you know it's a spoiler.


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 22 2013, 3:51pm

Post #6 of 43 (218 views)
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"It's more of a spoiler when you know it's a spoiler. " :) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimė I am in the West, and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


geordie
Tol Eressea

Apr 22 2013, 4:04pm

Post #7 of 43 (215 views)
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I have two 7-vol. sets of LotR with those titles // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


squire
Valinor


Apr 22 2013, 6:02pm

Post #8 of 43 (216 views)
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Does it make a difference when you read that set? [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember coming across that set when I was researching the background of the title "The Treason of Isengard." I wondered how much it changed the reading experience to have to pick up and open a new volume every time you finished another of the six "books" of LotR.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Finwe
Lorien


Apr 22 2013, 6:11pm

Post #9 of 43 (210 views)
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Spoilers [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm probably one of the least read fiction readers on these boards, so maybe I'm totally off base, but how often do the heroes not end up succeeding in the end? Return of the King does give you a pretty strong hint that Aragorn's gonna fulfill his destiny(unless you're 9-10, Daniel Tongue ), but wouldn't most people already be betting heavily on that happening anyway?

As three great Jewels they were in form. But not until the End, when Fėanor shall return who perished ere the Sun was made, and sits now in the Halls of Awaiting and comes no more among his kin; not until the Sun passes and the Moon falls, shall it be known of what substance they were made. Like the crystal of diamonds it appeared, and yet was more strong than adamant, so that no violence could mar it or break it within the Kingdom of Arda.


DanielLB
Immortal


Apr 22 2013, 6:39pm

Post #10 of 43 (227 views)
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Does that make sense? [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe I should have expanded/explained it more.

While "The Return of the King" is obvious to us now, I think someone picking up the books won't realise straight away who the "King" is, until they really learn about Aragorn, Gondor (and the Stewards). Excluding the prologue, the first reference to Gondor and Aragorn's lienage is during the Council of Elrond. To a new reader, these details might be overlooked (which is what happened in my case). Since it's the last book, it *could* (although it doesn't) relate to any number of characters (mainly Sauron, Theoden, perhaps Eomer etc).

I think it's ambiguous enough to a casual/new reader, but obvious once you realise who the book refers too.


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 22 2013, 7:16pm

Post #11 of 43 (196 views)
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Agree on too many "Ring" titles [In reply to] Can't Post

It would be like Ring: Part I, Ring: Part II, ... Or the Ring goes East, then South, then East again.

I think the "Treason" is a spoiler. Even if you're not sure what it means until the Council of Elrond, to have a book named that seems a weighty giveaway.

I'd go with FOTR and TTT, and try to find something different for ROTK. As Finwe points out, you suspect Aragorn will become king again, but you don't really know. I thought Frodo would get to Mt Doom and throw the Ring in, so I was wrong on that. That book could have been called "The Destruction of the Ring and Not by Frodo" to really mess things up for new readers. I think "War of the Ring" would be good for the 3rd volume, since you expect during the 1st 2 volumes that you'll end up in a big war. If you need to name the 2 books in that volume separately, then maybe "War of the Ring" and "Mordor" or something with "Final" in it: "Final Resolve."

It's hard to think of titles that are really very satisfactory.


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 22 2013, 7:46pm

Post #12 of 43 (195 views)
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Some really unsatisfactory titles [In reply to] Can't Post

Some really unsatisfactory titles:
Book1: Four Hobbits Only Just Escspe The Black Riders
Book2: Farewell to Gandalf and Boromir
Book 3: Sarumans unsuccessful treachery
Book 4: Gollum the unreliable guide
Book 5: victory on the Pellanor Fields
Book 6: king Aragorn and the hobbits' last journey.

Good, no spoilers there!

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimė I am in the West, and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 22 2013, 8:28pm

Post #13 of 43 (185 views)
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Lol! Well, I think you're softening the spoilers. [In reply to] Can't Post

I would be worse:

Book1: Black Riders Pursue and Stab Frodo on His Way to Rivendell (Where People Talk a Lot)
Book2: Death of Gandalf and Boromir ["Farewell" could mean they just leave the group and start a Starbuck's in Bree]
Book 3: Victory at Helm's Deep; Saruman is Defeated by Ents
Book 4: Gollum Betrays Frodo to a Big Spider
Book 5: Victory on the Pellanor Fields
Book 6: Ring Destroyed, Aragorn Crowned, and Other Happy Endings



Erśmer
The Shire

Apr 22 2013, 9:07pm

Post #14 of 43 (181 views)
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The Hobbit [In reply to] Can't Post

"A Hobbit, Twelve Dwarves and Sometimes a Wizard Retake Treasure"


geordie
Tol Eressea

Apr 22 2013, 9:53pm

Post #15 of 43 (172 views)
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To be frank, I haven't read either of them - [In reply to] Can't Post

 -- Smile-- the set I used for my first reading of LotR was a three-volume set from the local library, and that's the way I like to read them. Or rather, listen to them - these days I listen to the audio books at work. When I want to look up something, I generally plump for either of my two three - volume LARGE PRINT editions - marvellous!


IdrilofGondolin
Rohan

Apr 23 2013, 12:03am

Post #16 of 43 (165 views)
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I Read Somewhere [In reply to] Can't Post

that Tolkien wanted the last volume to be titled "The War of the Ring" because he thought "Return of the King" would give the game away. Does anyone else remember that?


Arannir
Valinor

Apr 23 2013, 6:57am

Post #17 of 43 (168 views)
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Yes... [In reply to] Can't Post

... Tolkien himself confirmed, I think, that he wanted to use "The War of the Ring" but the publisher rejected the title.

And Tolkien remained unhappy about "The Two Towers" until the end... however, I think TTT isn't that bad if it was Orthanc and Barad-dūr. For me it only became weird when I read his considerations about the possibilities of including Cirith Ungol, Minas Morgul and especially Minas Tirith as possible contenders.

For me, it will remain Orthanc and Barad-dūr, as it nicely decribes the attack from two sides plus the fact that for one of our storylines Saruman is the main antagonist, for the other one Sauron. The book cover by Tolkien that indicates Minas Morgul and Orthanc... well, I really do not see how MM is really that important for the storyline to justify it basically being featured in the title.



"The Journey of the Ringbearers" is by the way an alternative title by Tolkien for book IV ("The Ring Goes East").

I really like that, since it hints the fact that Gollum, Frodo and Sam are all Ringbearers by the end of the book, without being a really strong spoiler, since it could also just referr to Frodo and Gollum.


I think using Tolkien's titles I would like:

Book I - The First Journey
Book II - The Journey of the Nine Companions
Book III - The Treason of Isengard
Book IV - The Journey of the Ringbearers
Book V - The War of the Ring
Book VI - The End of the Third Age


And for a three volume set I would go with this (slightly changed from Tolkien's proposals):

Volume I - The Fellowship of the Ring
Volume II - The Union of the Two Towers
Volume III - The War of the Ring


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 23 2013, 12:05pm

Post #18 of 43 (151 views)
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So we might have had "The Five Towers"? [In reply to] Can't Post

I like "The Journey of the Ringbearers" for the reasons you name. There's something significant about Gollum joining them, and it's good to hint at.


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 23 2013, 2:41pm

Post #19 of 43 (139 views)
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an approach based on recycled chapter titles [In reply to] Can't Post

You could pretty nicely have each of the volumes share a name with one of the chapters (except I can't get that to work for Book 4). So, for example:

I - The Shadow of the Past
II - The Ring Goes South
III - The Riders of Rohan
IV - The Journey of the Ringbearers
V - The Siege of Gondor
VI- The Lands of Shadow

I kinda like VI, though it suggests a gloomier ending than the story really has. What I ike about it is that Mordor is The Land of Shadow, but so, unexpectedly, is the Shire under Sharkey's rule.

It also avoids repeating "The Ring..." or "The Journey..." etc. If the titles are too similar, it can make it sound as if the story is going to be repetitious (one of those fantasy epics in which the same motifs are reworked to get more volumes than the story can really bear).

Glad I don't have to make this decision for real, though!

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimė I am in the West, and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


(This post was edited by noWizardme on Apr 23 2013, 2:42pm)


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 23 2013, 3:25pm

Post #20 of 43 (136 views)
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Excellent umbrella idea for using "The Lands of Shadow" re: The Shire. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Ardamķrė
Valinor


Apr 23 2013, 3:55pm

Post #21 of 43 (138 views)
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Love your idea for Book VI. [In reply to] Can't Post

I also like your idea for Book I, but the others I'm not too keen on (though I understand what you were going for). My ideas would be:

I - The Return of the Shadow (very similar to yours, but this was one of Tolkien's ideas, I think, and now the name of HoME volume six)
II - The Ring Goes South
III - The Treason of Isengard (I love this title, and we already know of Saruman's treachery, so it's not really a spoiler.)
IV - The Journey of the Ringbearers (far better alternative than repeating "The Ring Goes ...")
V - The War of the Ring (I'm really not sure how this got vetoed by the publishers.)
VI - The Lands of Shadow (I really love this title for it's multiple meanings.)

ETA - alternatively, I think "The Fellowship of the Ring" would be excellent for Book II. I'm not sure why I completely forgot about it.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." -Arwen

(This post was edited by Ardamķrė on Apr 23 2013, 4:02pm)


Ardamķrė
Valinor


Apr 23 2013, 4:09pm

Post #22 of 43 (121 views)
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About The Two Towers [In reply to] Can't Post

I understand your hesitations about the title when it refers to Minas Morgul. For me, though, I don't like it when it refers to Barad-dur, because it doesn't feature in this part of the story at all. My trouble is (and probably the same trouble that Tolkien and his publishers faced) that the two story lines of books 3 & 4 are so different that it's difficult to come up with a unifying title. I certainly can't think of anything satisfying.

Speaking of titles, I'm wondering why Sauron is the titular character of the whole book. I like the title The Lord of the Rings, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." -Arwen


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 23 2013, 4:14pm

Post #23 of 43 (118 views)
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Why "The Lord of the Rings"? [In reply to] Can't Post

...I'd supposed it was because the whe story is about a struggle to be The Lord of the Rings, or to end that competition forever.

Otherwise I agree it is strange- we never see the titular character.

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimė I am in the West, and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


Ardamķrė
Valinor


Apr 23 2013, 4:23pm

Post #24 of 43 (116 views)
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I suppose [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know, though. I know some people, especially Boromir, Denethor, and Galadriel, all face the temptation or desire to take the Ring. But I don't think I'd say that the whole book is about the struggle to be the next Lord of the Rings. The quest to destroy it is basically in direct contrast to that, IMO.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." -Arwen


Arannir
Valinor

Apr 23 2013, 4:44pm

Post #25 of 43 (114 views)
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Yes... [In reply to] Can't Post

... that is why I liked how it played out in the movies with Saruman's "monologue" about the union of the two towers (although this is, of course, problematic as well, since Saruman also tries to betray Sauron). You are certainly right that it is almost impossible to find a really all-embracing title unless you use ambigious ones like "The Gathering Darkness" that does sound kind of random and would not be satisfactory either.

But since there is a "kind of" alliance between Saruman and Sauron and they (or their minions and geographical closeness) are the main antagonists for the two story-arcs, I like TTT more with Barad-dūr and Orthanc than any of the other (especially MM and MT).


Also agree about "The Lord of the Rings".


(This post was edited by Arannir on Apr 23 2013, 4:46pm)

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