The Lord of the Rings Books in Order: J.R.R. Tolkien’s 4 Book Series

The Lord of the Rings is a high-fantasy novel by English author J.R.R. Tolkien. Set in Middle-Earth, the series is a sequel to Tolkien’s children’s book The Hobbit.

The series consists of three books, namely “The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Two Towers,” and “The Return of the King.” The story is set in a fictional world called Middle-earth, where various creatures such as hobbits, elves, dwarves, and wizards exist.

The Lord of the Rings is a story about the struggle between good and evil, and the power of friendship, sacrifice, and perseverance in the face of overwhelming adversity.

Sl. No.The Lord of the Rings Books in Order
1)The Hobbit (1937)
2)The Fellowship of the Ring (1954)
3)The Two Towers (1954)
4)The Return of the King (1955)
5)The Silmarillion (1977)
6)Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth (1980)
7)The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun (2009)
8)The Children of Hurin (2007)
9)Beren and Luthien (2017)
10)The Fall of Gondolin (2018)
11)The Fall of Numenor (2022)
12)Tolkien: Maker of Middle Earth

The Lord of the Rings series is considered one of the best-selling books of all time with over 150 million copies sold in at least 38 languages. The title refers to a ring created by Lord Sauron to rule the other Rings of Power given to Men, Elves, and Dwarves.

The Lord of the Rings book series and its prequel have been adapted into radio plays, theatrical productions, films, and television programs.

For years, acclaimed filmmakers such as Stanley Kubrick, Jim Henson, and Michelangelo Antonioni deemed the subject material unfilmable, however, director Peter Jackson was finally able to direct a live-action film series that went on to win multiple Academy Awards.

Who is the Protagonist of The Lord of the Rings Book Series?

The Lord of the Rings book series follows several different characters. The most notable of these characters are:

Frodo Baggins: Frodo is referred to as the ‘Ringbearer,’ after his eccentric uncle, Bilbo Baggins, leaves him with the ring. Along with his friends, Frodo must embark on a quest to destroy the ring for good.

Bilbo Baggins: Bilbo Baggins adopted Frodo after his parents died. Bilbo is the bearer of the ring, which he won from Gollum in a riddle game. He is the only person who voluntarily gave up ownership of the ring.

Gandalf the Grey: Gandalf the Grey is a mischievous wizard who is well-loved by the hobbits for his fireworks. He is the most powerful being in Middle-Earth and assists Frodo on his quest by acting as his guide and counsellor.

Samwise Gamgee: Samwise Gamgee is Frodo’s friend and servant on the quest to destroy the ring. He is very fond of stories about dragons and elves.

Aragorn: Aragorn, the rightful kind of Gondor, is a mighty warrior and healer. He was raised by the elves of Rivendell and wishes to reclaim the throne that rightfully belongs to him.

J. R. R. Tolkien’s Biography 

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, or J.R.R. Tolkien, was an English author who wrote The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the First World War and even took part in combat at the Battle of the Somme.

After he left the army in 1920, he took his first civilian job at the Oxford English Dictionary, where he worked on the history and etymology of words of Germanic origin.

In 1925, he received a fellowship at Pembroke College. During his time there, he wrote The Hobbit and the first two volumes of The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien also worked as a codebreaker during the Second World War.

He completed the rest of the Lord of the Rings series by 1948. For his work in literature, Tolkien was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature by his friend and the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis.

The Lord of the Rings books in order

1) The Hobbit (1937)

The Hobbit (1937)

The Hobbit or There and Back Again, was published in 1937 as a children’s fantasy novel. It tells the story of Bilbo Baggins and his quest to win the treasure guarded by Smaug, a dragon. The plot involves a host of characters, such as two types of elves, man-eating trolls, boulder-throwing giants, Gollum, Elrond the Sage, and evil wolves, among many others.

2) The Fellowship of the Ring (1954)

The Fellowship of the Ring (1954)

Published in 1954, The Fellowship of the Ring is the first volume in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. This novel consists of a prologue that explains the origins of hobbits, their habits, and their homeland. It also gives the reader some idea about the events of The Hobbit. The Fellowship of the Ring is divided into two books: The Ring Sets Out (Book 1) and The Ring Goes South (Book 2).

3) The Two Towers (1954)

The Two Towers (1954)

The Two Towers is the second volume in the Lord of the Rings series. It was published in 1954. It is composed of two books: The Treason of Isengard (Book 3) and The Ring Goes East (Book 4).

A sizable contingent of Orcs sent by Saruman and Sauron attack the Fellowship in the third book. And in the fourth book, Frodo and Sam head for Mordor, however, they soon become aware that they are being watched and tracked.

4) The Return of the King (1955)

The Return of the King (1955)

The Return of the King is the third and final volume of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy epic, The Lord of the Rings. It was published in 1955. This volume consists of books 5 and 6, The War of the Ring and The End of the Third Age, respectively.

It also includes several appendices that provide the readers with more details about the larger world of Middle-earth, the timeline of events throughout the series, hobbit genealogy, calendars used by the characters, descriptions of dwarves and elvish runes, and the various languages used.

5) The Silmarillion (1977)

The Silmarillion (1977)

With the assistance of fantasy author Guy Gavriel Kay, Christopher Tolkien, J. R. R. Tolkien’s son, edited The Silmarillion and released it in 1977. This book tells the story of Ea, a fictional universe that includes the Blessed Realm of Valinor on the continent of Middle-earth.

This book is divided into five parts, with each part delving deep into the history of the events that took place before and during the First Age, along with the downfall of Numenor and its people.

6) Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth (1980)

Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth (1980)

Published in 1980 and edited by Christopher Tolkien, Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth is a collection of stories and essays written by J. R. R. Tolkien. This book contains a summary of the events of The Lord of the Rings told from a less personal perspective. Some of the tales told in this book were later retold in the Silmarillion.

7) The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun (2009)

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun (2009)

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun is a book edited by Christopher Tolkien and published in 2009. There are two narrative poems in it that draw inspiration from Norse mythology’s Sigurd legend and the fall of the Nifilungs.

8) The Children of Hurin (2007)

The Children of Hurin (2007)

Published in 2007 and edited by J. R. R. Tolkien, The Children of Hurin is an epic fantasy novel that deals with the history and descent of the main characters.

9) Beren and Luthien (2017)

Beren and Luthien (2017)

Beren and Luthien is a high fantasy book published in 2017 that is edited by Christopher Tolkien. This book is a compilation of multiple versions of one of Tolkien’s earliest tales of Middle-earth, Luthien and Beren. The story revolves around the love story and adventures of the immortal elf-maiden Luthien and the mortal man Beren.

10) The Fall of Gondolin (2018)

The Fall of Gondolin (2018)

This book is a high fantasy novel published in 2018. The Fall of Gondolin is one of the stories that form the basis for a section in ‘The Silmarillion.

11) The Fall of Numenor (2022)

The Fall of Numenor (2022)

The Fall of Numenor published in 2022, is a collection of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Second Age writings. It presents the content of the Second Age with the help of “The Tale of Years” in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings. This book contains the foundation of Numenor, the forging of the Rings of Power, and the Last Alliance against Sauron that ended the Second Age.

12) Tolkien: Maker of Middle Earth

Tolkien: Maker of Middle Earth

This is an art book that was published in 2018. It explores the artwork, illustrations, manuscripts, letters, and maps of J. R. R. Tolkien. It was written by Catherine McLwaine, a Tolkien archivist at the Bodleian Library. The book is divided into two parts.

The first part of the book is a series of essays on Middle-earth, along with a brief biography of Tolkien and the Inklings’ influence on Tolkien. The second part covers Tolkien’s letters, student days, inventiveness, his work at home, his childhood, and his maps of Middle-earth.

Also read: The Maze Runner Books in Order

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