J. R. R. Tolkien - The Lord of the Rings

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The Lord of the Rings 50th Anniversary Edition

Jan 31, 2006 (Updated Jan 31, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Gilded Pages, Awesome Appendixes, Cool Maps, Ribbon Marker

Cons:Expensive but worth it for a true fan

The Bottom Line: Note this is the Hardcover 50th Anniversary Edition Gift Set goes for $75 - $100 New

Please note: As there are so many The Lord of the Rings books listed at the site this is the 50th Anniversary Edition which is revised, corrected, has maps, gilded pages, ribbon marker and much much more. It is also more expensive. I have written this review about the gift set mainly and little about the story itself. This book has a great deal more to offer than the standard book.

This beautiful Lord of the Rings 50th Anniversary Edition boxed set was given to me as a gift from my bestest buddy Christmas before last.

This would make a wonderful gift for the Lord of the Rings fan or for any book lover/collector alike.

The book itself is hard black cover and comes with a matching protective box. The box has a lovely label with an antiqued "look" Tolkien hand sketched drawing on the front and simple Lord of the Rings 50th Anniversary Edition Label place center on the back.

The front cover of the book itself has a gorgeous gold and copper color inlay with Tolkien designed Eye of Sauron, circled by a gold ring encircled by the Tengwar inscription found on the One Ring. The designs of The Three Rings are patterned in a somewhat triangle all centered and inlayed in varying color as the creators deemed fit. It is just gorgeous.

The back cover is simple yet exquisitely designed with J.R.R. Tolkien's Signature in a copper inlay.

It took me six months to read the book and about six months to work my way up to reviewing this. I’ve had half of this review in draft since November of 2005 :)


Carefully open the book and find a map.

Only a Tolkien fan would understand my geeky delight in finding this treasure. It is a map of “The west of Middle Earth at the end of the Third age”.

It is hand drawn by Tolkien in black and red and has a wonderful antique look to it. You can clearly make out all of Middle Earth. See below for my explaination of second map found in back.

I have only opened the maps four or five times to stare at them. Consider yourself lucky that I’ve opened it again for you today, as it is a treasure to me. It measures 19” by 15” and has three folds. There is rubber type glue that holds it in should you purchase one carefully removing the glue before opening your map or you will tear your map.

Remembering the first time I opened my new book.

Each of the gilded pages crinkle as you turn them. I am like a kid in a candy store with my new book turning page after page. Careful not to rip or tear them. Have you ever had someone buy you something so very nice. Something that you enjoyed so much. Something that meant so much to you?

Neither have I.

Only a true Tolkien fan could understand or appreciate the depth of appreciation. I feel completely geeky even putting it in writing, but its true. This is my most valued possession (material) - a book.


Note on the text

In this section you will receive an explanation of the book. Explaining the book is a collaboration of all three volumes published at separate times in a single book as it was originally intended not a “trilogy” thus it is not separate. It also explains things such as corrections that have been made to the original text such as correcting “Dwarves” to “dwarfs” or “elven” to “elfin” and so forth.

Note on the 50th Anniversary Edition

This is a highly skimmable section that explains skimmable things.

Forward to the Second Edition

This is a wonderful note from Tolkien explaining the who’s the what’s and the why’s. At one point he is sounding as if he wishes there are MORE indexes needed to explain things which in some way is endearing as in all of this complexity he was a human just like me and certainly wished for more – even after all this. I mean ALL this?

The meat of the book

For the simple sake of “Reviewing”

The Lord of the Rings is one of the Greatest stories ever told. To review the story itself – I could never give it justice.

The story of Bilbo Baggins who is celebrating his elevintieth birthday. Bilbo has a surprise planned and has invited all of Hobbittown to a grand celebration. Bilbo is a bit of an old prankster and had planned a grand event filled with fireworks to be displayed by his old friend Gandalf. Lot’s of food and drink would be served along with singing and dancing.

Bilbo made a speech near the end of the evening an interesting speech of compliments and insults it was which brought roaring laughter and sneers at the same time at the end of the speech Bilbo vanished!

Never to be seen again.

This was the beginning of many strange happenings around Bag End – The Baggins place which went to his Nephew as instructed in a letter left by Bilbo along with a Gold Ring.

A Ring we find out later is the Ring of Doom.

The Ring must be destroyed but Frodo - the ringbearer cannot do it alone. His trusted childhood friends go along on a journey that nearly takes their lives many times along they way. Shirefolk are simple and know not of things outside of the Shire and if not for the help of Big Folk like Tom Bombadil and later Strider helping them they would have been gonners early on for sure.

After a meeting with Elves a fellowship is made and a decision to send a group of 9 together on a quest to Mordor to destroy the ring is the ultimate journey of the characters in this book.

Destroy the ring before it can destroy all of middle earth is the quest of all.

Ultimately it lies on Frodo's shoulders as only HE can carry the ring. The rest can only help him in the journey. The paths the rest on the journey take twist and turn but the outcome leads to the same thing.

The ONE Ring.

One Ring to Rule them all
One Ring to Find them
One Ring to Bring them all
and in the Darkness bind them

I may get a hiss and boo here as I’m not going to review this book as a “story” I’m reviewing a gift and skipping the story and moving on to the more interesting things such as the AWESOME Appendixes and another MAPin the back…. So lets move ok shall we.



A Annals of the Kings and Rulers

So you know who Strider is right? You know he is Isildurs heir right? Well read this section and find out how. If you’re into that sort of thing because some of us are ok.

B Tale of Years

Now this section is Really cool. It goes into detail of the chronology of the westlands…the what. Skim it over. Well time is different in middle earth so pay attention.

C Family Trees

This was neater than crap! Find out how Bilbo and Frodo are related. Find out how Merry and Pippen are related over and over again because Hobbits are fanatics about record keeping (so was Tolkien it was a hobby of his so I’m sure he had lots of fun finding different ways to connect everyone) It really is neat to check out.

D Shire Calendar – for use in all years

Pretty much explains it in the above title. This section is a calendar in the Shire. Explanation of said calendar. Worth a skim.

E Writing and Spelling

Here is what we all want. This goes into all of the writing and spelling used in the book. Really neat stuff. Very detailed. If you didn’t read everything earlier in the book about the creation of all of the languages this may be real confusing – well no it’s really confusing. Just kiddin’. I’m a total dunce when it comes to this stuff and have WAY better stuff to do with my time and no use for this stuff. Sorry.

But it’s cool anyway and I wish I could write in any of the cool scripts just CUZ.

F The languages of the people of the third age

This section Tolkien goes into great length about each language. Explaining each language and it’s origin. It’s worth a read if you want to understand how to write or use any of the languages you should probably read this.

It includes a section with definitions of Hobbit last names which is fun. It goes into some detail of the uses of the last names too. Its sort of fun and interesting.

Then drum roll please.

I will open for you, my friend, my Map….

And behold a close up of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor. It is also a 15” X 19” fold out hand drawn map in red and black it has an old feel to it almost as if Bilbo himself drew it out for you.

It’s fun.

Recommend this product? Yes

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