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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: The Pollantir:
What Is Your Favorite of Tolkien's Books?
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Poll: What Is Your Favorite of Tolkien's Books?
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Hobbit
The Silmarillion
The Children of Hurin
Unfinished Tales
The History of Middle-Earth
View Results (54 votes)


Jan 3 2014, 7:52pm

Post #1 of 26 (501 views)
What Is Your Favorite of Tolkien's Books? Can't Post

What the question says :)

Mine has always been the Silmarillion. Since I first read, the depth that it gave to Middle-Earth blew me away. Also the sheer scope was absolutely amazing, as well as the amount of stories contained within. While I enjoy LOTR and The Hobbit, the Sil is what really made me a huge Tolkien fan.


Jan 3 2014, 9:42pm

Post #2 of 26 (292 views)
Silmarillion [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
Mine has always been the Silmarillion.

Same. First time I read it, coming to it after The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, it was mindbending. The scale and grandeur and subject matter is utterly devastating and it really drives home the Elves' sorrow through the long count of years.

As an aside, I always thought the Ainulindalė was ideal for cinema in terms of abstract visuals and the top dozen or so composers of the day contributing interweaving music. No dialogue, but the the words of Eru to be represented by infrasound.

Tol Eressea

Jan 4 2014, 12:06am

Post #3 of 26 (298 views)
The one about Middle Earth. [In reply to] Can't Post


Grey Havens

Jan 4 2014, 2:59am

Post #4 of 26 (277 views)
The Lord of the Rings. [In reply to] Can't Post

Not an available choice in the poll, so I did not vote. Smile


Jan 4 2014, 6:33am

Post #5 of 26 (279 views)
I have no favorite [In reply to] Can't Post

This is such a difficult question to answer because I love them all so much. They're all so different and so amazing in their own ways. I really couldn't choose one over another I don't think.


Jan 4 2014, 4:32pm

Post #6 of 26 (263 views)
refuse to choose from among the LOTR 'books' [In reply to] Can't Post

You might as well break them down into six 'books' since that's the way Tolkien divided the whole story. The three books which combine two of Tolkien's 'books' is a publisher's choice.

But really, it's ONE story and you might as well choose a chapter than trying to break it down into six or three chunks of the story.

There are moments in each book that delight me every time I read/listen.

But comparing LOTR to all the others... oh, yeah. LOTR all the way. I respond to the exploration of character that the Sil really doesn't do well. It is 'epic' and full of 'history'. But I want the personal stories and I want them told as close to the character as possible. Not in the detached way the Sil does it.

I did respond better to some of the same accounts in Unfinished Tales.


Jan 4 2014, 6:55pm

Post #7 of 26 (248 views)
The Hobbit or The Silmarillion [In reply to] Can't Post

The Hobbit for the whimsical fantastical story, The Silmarillion (currently awaiting delivery of the illustrated edition...) for the epic narrative, sheer scale and depth it adds to the rest of the books.


Jan 4 2014, 7:08pm

Post #8 of 26 (252 views)
Illustrated Silmarillion [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
The Silmarillion (currently awaiting delivery of the illustrated edition...)

What version is that?


Jan 4 2014, 7:26pm

Post #9 of 26 (264 views)
The 2004 Ted Nasmith Hardback Edition [In reply to] Can't Post

Or a reprint based on that edition at least, I've never seen it for sale in the shops:



Jan 4 2014, 8:25pm

Post #10 of 26 (253 views)
hey... I have that book [In reply to] Can't Post

It didn't click till you said Nasmith.

I bought it from the man himself (or at the table where he was sitting) and got it autographed by him.

Nasmith, that is.

Not Tolkien (father or son).

Of course.


It's a beautiful book I love the most for it's snow white pages and lovely font. It's a joy to read from (esp. compared to my old yellowed, 1977 Houghton Mifflin edition that I use for my 'knock around' copy).

Aunt Dora Baggins

Jan 4 2014, 8:49pm

Post #11 of 26 (239 views)
LotR (it's one book), but you've left out some of my other favorites [In reply to] Can't Post

in particular TheTolkien Reader, which includes his amazing Essay on Fairy Stories and some of his wonderful poetry. Also, I love some of his short stories almost as much as LotR, like "Smith of Wooten Major" and "Farmer Giles of Ham" and "Leaf by Niggle".

Superuser / Moderator

Jan 4 2014, 9:16pm

Post #12 of 26 (240 views)
The Two Towers [In reply to] Can't Post

because of the absorbing separate storylines and because, when you finish it, there's still one book to go. :)

Sadly, it's my least favourite of the films. :(


Jan 4 2014, 9:22pm

Post #13 of 26 (245 views)
Wow! [In reply to] Can't Post

You actually met Ted Nasmith? That is pretty cool! *jealous*
What was he like? Nasmith seems like quite a nice if private person.

-I gather from my infrequent presence on the Forum you have something of a reputation (in the best sense of the word) as a serious collector?...If I had the money and space I'm sure I'd be tempted as well.

I'm not as familiar with Nasmith as Howe or Lee, but I have always loved his landscapes and colour schemes in his paintings (I'm not as sold on his 'people and persons', whilst always striking designs from what I've seen they don't always gel with my own imagery like Lee or Howe-but it is a very interesting style), and when I finally decided to 'upgrade' (not throw away of course) my old copy of The Silmarillion (a battered 1999 paperback) this was by far the nicest I found for sale,

I'm planning on upgrading The Hobbit as well at some point, but my Tolkien collection has doubled in the last three months so I have something of a backlog...


Jan 4 2014, 9:30pm

Post #14 of 26 (250 views)
That's interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

In my experience The Two Towers seems to be the least popular of the books, friends of mine have struggled with the pace and disconnect of the storylines, arguing there isn't a satisfying climax to the book and a drawn out slog for Frodo and Sam...it's quite surprsing to see someone choose the middle of the story.

I haven't read LOTR properly for quite a while, but I do remember finding the early chapters of Book 4 rather slow and the introduction of Edoras rather fleeting (though Faramir and Shelob always stuck in my mind).

Why did you connect with the book more than the film?

Mad Baggins
The Shire

Jan 5 2014, 12:11am

Post #15 of 26 (217 views)
Sentiment [In reply to] Can't Post

For sentimental reasons, I'd have to say the Hobbit.

Read it as a kid; it stuck with me.


Jan 5 2014, 12:14am

Post #16 of 26 (225 views)
So hard to choose but [In reply to] Can't Post

I went for Fellowship. I would say The Lord of the Rings as a whole is my favourite, and I tend to think of it as one book rather than three, but if I must pick then Fellowship it is.

I also really love Silmarillion and The Hobbit, but LOTR is the ultimate favourite.

Superuser / Moderator

Jan 5 2014, 12:26am

Post #17 of 26 (239 views)
The film [In reply to] Can't Post

is a bit of a mess in the hour leading up to the battle at Helm's Deep - quite unfocused with little 'bits' that don't quite connect.

I clearly remember finishing The Two Towers book, with 'Frodo was alive but taken by the enemy', quickly turning the pages to start Return of the King and finding that I was back with Pippin and Gandalf, and I went "Nooooooooooooooo!" - fully realising I'd have to read half the blasted book before finding out what happened to Frodo! But then I got caught up in that story...


Jan 5 2014, 1:14am

Post #18 of 26 (266 views)
magpie... collector of shiny things [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a kind of internal code about collecting.

It has to interest or delight me. And it has to (for the most part - like 99%) be cheap or a good deal. Lots of stuff I collect is free. Like acorns, birch bark, twigs, grapevine tendrils, etc. Stuff I paid for is primarily from thrift stores, garage sales, and used merchandise stores.

I collect something cheap that delights me and when it seems to start delighting enough people that it's no longer cheap, I stop.

I am not the kind of collector that has to have one of everything. Or will pay full price for much of anything (that Sil book is a good example of a rare thing I paid full price for). I don't keep figures in boxes to protect their value. If I don't want to take them out and appreciate them, I don't want them.

More info on my collecting here: http://www.amagpiesnest.com/...ghts/collections.htm

I bought the Sil book, in part, because I had just won a TORn contest that netted me a boxed set of the LOTR trilogy in the same binding so the four books look very nice on the shelf.

As for Ted, I only asked for his autograph and got it. I was at a conference with lots of people in attendance and I got a few other books autographed.

Tales Before Tolkien - D. Anderson (autographed with the title crossed out and the one Anderson wanted written in)
J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century - T. Shippey
and... the Atlas of Pern by Karen Wynn Fonstad. I forgot to bring the Atlas of Middle-earth!

It was an overwhelming weekend for an introvert like me and I had just returned to school at the age of 50 and was having a major meltdown trying to draw things for the first time in my life in art class.

So, I wasn't the most socially successful person at the place. Lots of other TORn folk were there (although I wasn't really part of that group at that point in my life) and I'm sure they could tell you more about him than I ever could. He was gracious and - it seemed to me - a bit quiet. He didn't draw a lot of attention to himself.

Dame Ioreth
Tol Eressea

Jan 5 2014, 3:39am

Post #19 of 26 (211 views)
Next you'll ask me to pick which of my five kids is my favorite... [In reply to] Can't Post

OK, the one with hair. That one is my favorite. (I'm cheating, all my kids have hair.)

Seriously, I couldn't pick but if I had room to take only one of them with me when I get picked for the MarsOne team, then I would pick Lord of the Rings in a single edition (I know, that's cheating again but it does come that way so I'm sticking to that choice). I love the story, and it's got all those cool appendices. Cool


Jan 5 2014, 5:02pm

Post #20 of 26 (322 views)
Why haven't I cottoned on to that before? [In reply to] Can't Post

'Magpie-collector of shiny things' I always wondered why you had that username, now it's very obvious! That's quite an surprising variety of stuff you collect (haven't seen an Arrowhead collection before-they are quite hard to find in England!) it's interesting to see there isn't a pattern per se, it's all in the fun of collecting.

I have always been a collector of sorts myself(albeit on a much smaller scale)-I still get nagged by my family for owning far too many DVD's (which is true) though know one else shares my interest in reading. It's only in recent years I would actually classify my bookshelf as an collection, and it's probably kept in better condition than the rest of my belongings...

I came to Tolkien pretty late (didn't read LOTR until 2007/8) and can't really justify spending large(ish) amounts on 'special editions' (often out of print anyway-I rarely buy second hand products) of books I already own but I couldn't resist Nasmith's Edition of The Silmarillion (my paperback is getting a bit tatty so at least I've got an excuse...), it would have been pretty cool to go to a conference such as the one you mentioned, but Tolkien conferences in Southern England are rather thin on the ground (and rest assured I'm probably much more introverted I doubt I'd work up the courage to ask for an interview).

It's always a pleasure to read your posts Magpie, endlessly fascinating!


Jan 6 2014, 6:45pm

Post #21 of 26 (181 views)
Mine too [In reply to] Can't Post

And happily I also loved the movie. Had to watch it a few times though before I fell for Treebeard's charms.Smile


Jan 6 2014, 9:59pm

Post #22 of 26 (167 views)
That is hard to say [In reply to] Can't Post

I voted for the Sil but I of course loved LotR, especially RotK. I'd choose them all if I could!

Grey Havens

Jan 8 2014, 3:31am

Post #23 of 26 (261 views)
I voted for the Sil but [In reply to] Can't Post

this is only because I am not allowed more than one option. To me LOTR adds humanity to the mythology of the Silmarillion. It's like bringing the high world closer to Earth. Bringing many of the ideas into everyday life in Middle Earth. So, to me, they are connected.


Jan 9 2014, 4:26pm

Post #24 of 26 (140 views)
Fellowship [In reply to] Can't Post

although as noted it's a "volume" not a book - LOTR is the book -

I love the Fellowship itself. I love a story about a group of diverse people banding together and cooperating to achieve a higher purpose, and in this case, I love each and every one of those people. I am sad when the Fellowship disbands, happy when they find each other again, sadder still when Gandalf & Frodo sail away . . . and so happy to read at the end of the appendix that Sam passed over Sea too in the end - I hope he and Frodo were reunited before the end, as Pippin and Merry were reunited with Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli in their last years.


Jan 10 2014, 12:12am

Post #25 of 26 (154 views)
I have a huge love for the Children of Hurin. [In reply to] Can't Post

It fascinates me and appeals to me in a way the other books don't. Not only is it epic, but having the family of Hurin juxtaposed against all the other greats of Middle-Earth makes me love it more.

I am always amazed when I read about Tuor seeing Turin but, not knowing who he is.

"And as they waited one came through the trees, and they saw that he was a tall Man, armed, clad in black, with a long sword drawn; and they wondered, for the blade of the sword also was black, but the edges shone bright and cold." That was Turin, hastening from the sack of Nargothrond; but Tour and Voronwe did not speak to him as he passed, and 'they knew not that Nargothrond had fallen, and this was Turin son of Hurin, the Blacksword. Thus only for a moment, and never again, did the paths of those kinsmen, Turin and Tuor, draw together.'

So basically they see him in one of his most heartbreaking of times but, it means nothing to them because they don't know. And we're talking about Tuor here, who happens to marry Turgon's daughter, and their child is Elrond's dad. Oh and by the way Elrond's dad just happens to beg the Valar for help on behalf of all Middle-Earth. And if that wasn't enough, he's a star in the sky to boot. Whereas, everywhere and everything Turin goes and does brings ruin.

...upon all whom you love my thought shall weigh as a cloud of Doom, and it shall bring them down into darkness and despair. Wherever they go, evil shall arise. Whenever they speak, their words shall bring ill counsel. Whatsoever they do shall turn against them. They shall die without hope, cursing both life and death.

I also find it intriguing that Tolkien doesn't try to soften it by having Turin find some magical way to wiggle out of the curse or get off on a technicality.

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