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Treason of Isengard: The History of The Lord…

Treason of Isengard: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part Two (The… (original 1989; edition 2000)

by J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (Editor)

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Title:Treason of Isengard: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part Two (The History of Middle-Earth, Vol. 7)
Authors:J.R.R. Tolkien
Other authors:Christopher Tolkien (Editor)
Info:Mariner Books (2000), Paperback, 512 pages
Collections:JRR Tolkien

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Treason of Isengard {History of Middle-Earth} by J. R. R. Tolkien (1989)



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Showing 4 of 4
Will read, someday.
  threadnsong | Jun 18, 2016 |

The most interesting point for me was that Frodo and Sam's path to Mordor, and even back to the Shire, emerged in Tolkien's thinking much earlier than the story of the others after the death of Boromir. He seems to almost make up the tale of Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn as he goes along, and I must admit it's not the most satisfying part of the book (and was the most messed around with by Peter Jackson for the film). In the middle of this, however, the Treebeard chapter stands out as a coming together of long-simmering ideas for Tolkien, who was fascinated by trees and forests and had been dropping foreshadowing references to Treebeard into his drafts without really thinking them through.

Tolkien took great care over names. It's a bit jarring to read "Trotter" instead of "Strider", "Ingolf" instead of "Aragorn" and "Ondor" instead of "Gondor", but I think it's not just familiarity with the final product - the eventually chosen names are genuinely better. There are a very few exceptions - Tolkien was not happy with "Osgiliath", and I think rightly so, but didn't find a good alternative. Irish readers find it amusing that one of Treebeard's fellow elder Ents is named Finglas; this name is there in the very first draft.

I noted with interest that all the early examples of runes - basically Gandalf's messages left at Bree and scrawled at Weathertop - use the good old-fashioned futhark, rather than what we came to know as the Cirth. The switch was made while composing the inscription on Balin's tomb in Moria, and implemented consistently after that. The development of the runes shows off Tolkien's deep knowledge of phonetics; you would expect him to have some familiarity with the subject as a philologist, but clearly it was a profound fascination. (Do you pronounce the 'o's differently in 'Lord' and 'Moria'? I don't, but Tolkien evidently did, going by his first drafts.)

Anyway, much enjoying this reconstruction of how the classic came to be. ( )
3 vote nwhyte | Nov 19, 2011 |
Inklings, fantasy, literary history ( )
  hayesstw | Sep 20, 2008 |
This is a wonderful series, but the subtitled "series within the series"- the study of The Lord of the Rings, has to be my favorite part. These books are rather hard to find, so I was thrilled when I found this lone copy in a Barnes and Noble! A wonderful series for a Tolkien/Lord of the Rings reader! ( )
  jcsoblonde | Jan 3, 2008 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tolkien, J. R. R.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tolkien, ChristopherEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, AlanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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CAUTION: Two of J. R. R. Tolkien's published books are similarly titled The Treason of Isengard. One is Book 3 of "The Lord of the Rings" when published in a 6- or 7- volume set (that is, each constituent "Book" is a separate volume). The other is Volume VII in "The History of Middle-Earth" series edited by Christopher Tolkien. This LT Work is Volume VII in "The History of Middle-Earth" series; please combine and distinguish all copies accordingly. Thank you.

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618083588, Paperback)

The Treason of Isengard is the seventh volume in Christopher Tolkien's History of Middle-earth and the second in his account of the evolution of The Lord of the Rings. In this book, following the long halt in the darkness of the Mines of Moria with which The Return of the Shadow ended, is traced the great expansion of the tale into new lands and new peoples south and east of the Misty Mountains; the emergence of Lothlorien, of Ents, of the Riders of Rohan, and of Saruman the White in the fortress of Isengard.
In brief outlines and pencilled drafts dashed down on scraps of paper are seen the first entry of Galadriel, the earliest ideas of the history of Gondor, the original meeting of Aragorn and Eowyn, its significance destined to be wholly transformed. Conceptions of what lay ahead are seen dissolving as the story took its own paths, as in the account of the capture of Frodo and his rescue by Sam Gmgee from Minas Morgul, written long before J.R.R. Tolkien actually came to that point in the writing of The Lord of the Rings. A chief feature of the book is a full account of the original Map, with re-drawings of successive phases, which was long the basis and accompaniment of the emerging geography of Middle-earth. An appendix to the book describes the Runic alphabets as they were at that time, with illustrations of the forms and an analysis of the Runes used in the Book of Mazarbul found beside Balin's Tomb in Moria.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:11 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Christopher Tolkien chronicles his father's creation of the novel "The Lord of the Rings," presenting early drafts and showing how the cast of characters grew after the first stage of writing. Also discusses Tolkien's changing map of Middle-earth, and the runic alphabets.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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