Book reviews by
Shalini

2 Ways To Read The Lord Of The Rings Books In Order By J.R.R. Tolkien

Are you interested in reading The Lord of the Rings? If you are then you are likely unsure on where to begin. It is a daunting task after all.

2 Ways To Read The Lord Of The Rings Books In Order By J.R.R. Tolkien

In this article we are going to show you the best ways to read this phenomenal book series. So, without further ado, let us dive right in and get started!

Two Ways To Read The Lord Of The Rings Books

There are two main ways to tackle the daunting task of reading The Lord of the Rings Books. The first way is to read them in order of publication and the second is to read them in chronological order.

There is much debate on which is the best way to read these amazing books. Personally we have always preferred to read them in chronological order.

But from the research we have done, most people like to read these books in publication order. 

Below we have listed The Lord of the Rings book series in the order you should read them for both methods. So, without further ado, let us dive right in and get started! 

In Order Of Publication

If you want to read the Lord of the Rings book series in order of publication then you need to check out the list below.

We have ordered these books in order of their publication as well as providing a link where you can purchase a copy of each of these books. 

So, without further ado, let us drive right in and check out these phenomenal Lord of the Rings book series!

  1. The Hobbit – Published in 1937. If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  2. The Fellowship of the Ring – Published in 1954. If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  3. The Two Towers (1954) – Published in 1954. If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  4. The Return of the King – Published in 1955. If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  5. The Silmarillion – Published in 1977. If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  6. Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth – Published in 1980. If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  7. The Children of Hurin – Published in 2007. If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  8. Beren and Luthien – Published in 2017. If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  9. The Fall of Gondolin – Published in 2018. If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
Hobbitstee or the Shire. Millers house

In Chronological Order

If you want to read the Lord of the Rings book series in order of publication then you need to check out the list below.

We have ordered these books in chronological order as well as providing a link where you can purchase a copy of each of these books. 

So, without further ado, let us drive right in and check out these phenomenal Lord of the Rings book series!

  1. The Silmarillion – Published in 1977. If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  2. Beren and Luthien – Published in 2017. If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  3. The Children of Hurin – Published in 2007. If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well.
  4. The Fall of Gondolin – Published in 2018. If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  5. Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth – Published in 1980. If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  6. The Hobbit – Published in 1937. If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  7. The Fellowship of the Ring – Published in 1954. If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  8. The Two Towers (1954) – Published in 1954. If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  9. The Return of the King – Published in 1955. If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
JRR Tolkien Stamp from Kyrgyzystan

How To Read Some Of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Other Books

Other than the Lord of the Rings book series there are plenty of other books within the Tolkien universe.

Despite J.R.R. Tolkien not being around anymore, God rest his soul, his descendant Christopher Tolkien has used the existing work of J.R.R. Tolkien left behind and released a series of divine stories.

These books have not been included in our other lists because they do not particularly fit into one timeline within the Lord of the Rings series.

That being said, they are very good books and certainly worth reading. So, let’s check out these amazing Tolkien books. They are almost certainly going to be one of your new favorites. 

  1. The War of the Jewels – If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  2. Sauron Defeated – If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  3. The War of the Ring – If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  4. The Treason of Isengard – If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  5. The Return of the Shadow – If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  6. The Shaping of Middle-Earth – If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  7. Morgoth’s Ring – If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  8. The Lays of Beleriand – If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  9. The People of Middle-Earth – If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  10. The Book of Lost Tales, Part I – If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  11. The Lost Road and Other Writings – If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  12. The History of Middle-Earth Index – If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 
  13. The Book of Lost Tales, Part II – If you want to purchase this book you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this book at other stores locally and online as well. 

The books we have listed above should cover just about everything from the Lord of the Rings series. From before the War of the Ring to the Lord of the Rings trilogy itself. So make sure to check them out when you get the chance!

The Lord Of The Rings Movies

While the Lord of the Rings books are phenomenal and you MUST read them, there are also a series of movies that you absolutely have to watch.

They are gorgeous movies that have aged really well despite being made several years ago. 

You really can’t go wrong with these amazing films. But what is the best way to watch these movies? Well there are two main ways to do that and we have listed them down below.

So, let’s check out these movies down below!

Movie Release Date Order

Most of us will have seen Lord of the Rings in release date order. This is still an extremely enjoyable way to watch the movies and one that we highly recommend doing. 

  1. The Fellowship of the Ring – This movie was released in 2001. If you want to purchase this DVD for yourself you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this DVD at other stores locally and online as well. 
  2. The Two Towers – This movie was released in 2003. If you want to purchase this DVD for yourself you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this DVD at other stores 
  3. The Return of the King – This movie was released in 2005. If you want to purchase this DVD for yourself you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this DVD at other stores 
  4. An Unexpected Journey – This movie was released in 2012. If you want to purchase this DVD for yourself you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this DVD at other stores 
  5. The Desolation of Smaug – This movie was released in 2013. If you want to purchase this DVD for yourself you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this DVD at other stores 
  6. The Battle of the Five Armies – This movie was released in 2014. If you want to purchase this DVD for yourself you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this DVD at other stores 

Movie Chronological Order

If you want to enjoy the Lord of the Rings movie series in chronological order you are going to need to watch it in the order we have listed below:

  1. An Unexpected Journey – This movie was released in 2012. If you want to purchase this DVD for yourself you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this DVD at other stores 
  2. The Desolation of Smaug – This movie was released in 2013. If you want to purchase this DVD for yourself you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this DVD at other stores 
  3. The Battle of the Five Armies – This movie was released in 2014. If you want to purchase this DVD for yourself you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this DVD at other stores 
  4. The Fellowship of the Ring – This movie was released in 2001. If you want to purchase this DVD for yourself you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this DVD at other stores locally and online as well. 
  5. The Two Towers – This movie was released in 2003. If you want to purchase this DVD for yourself you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this DVD at other stores 
  6. The Return of the King – This movie was released in 2005. If you want to purchase this DVD for yourself you can do so by clicking on this link. You can find this DVD at other stores 

The Newly Released Lord Of The Rings TV Show

New to the Lord of the Rings universe is the Amazon Prime TV series. Only released in 2022, this new story touches on the origin of the rings of power and the backstory of the Lord of the Rings universe. 

While it is not entirely cannon, in our opinion, it is an interesting spin on how the history of Middle-Earth came to be. 

Let’s Summarize J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings Series

Let’s Summarize J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings Series

As we have seen, there are two main ways to tackle the Lord of the Rings book series and movies. With this new-found knowledge let us take a look at each of these amazing books and do a quick summary of them.

Bear in mind, this section may have some spoilers so if you have not read the books or watched the movies, you may want to look away now and skip to the end. 

The books we are going to look at are organized in publication order which means that the Hobbit will be first on the list.

Followed by The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, The Silmarillion, and The Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth.

By reading these books in release order you are going to experience the Middle-Earth universe as Tolkien intended it to be enjoyed.

Despite most fans starting off their reading with the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, it is best to enjoy this story in either publication order or chronological order.

With all of that said, let us finally dive right in and check out these book summaries. 

1. The Hobbit

This book starts out in Hobbiton where our hero lives. A hobbit who likes just as much as everyone else in his hometown likes nothing better than to enjoy a quiet evening in their snug home.

Sadly staying home is not on the cards for poor Bilbo Baggins. A wizard named Gandalf has far bigger things in store for old Bilbo. 

But this adventure (If you like Adventure/Fantasy themed books, check out The Percy Jackson Books and how to read them) is far more than it seems and Bilbo finds himself facing a great many dangers on the way. Bloodthirsty wolves, trolls, dragons, spiders and more await our pint-sized hero.

Despite the adventures he encounters on his journey Bilbo finds himself yearning for home. But alas there is far more in store for our hero. 

2. The Fellowship Of The Ring

The first Lord of the Rings books starts off with this iconic line “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.”

Before the current setting the ring of power was created by the Dark Lord Sauron. He poured his evil, malice and power into this ring in order to rule all the others that were made.

But Sauron was defeated, and the ring lost to him. That is until it was plucked up by a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins. 

The Fellowship of the Ring picks up when a young hobbit named Frodo finds himself weighed down by a task far bigger than himself.

He must go on a dangerous journey to take the ring of power to Mount Doom. An ancient and deadly volcano where the ring was once forged, in the dark lands of Mordor. 

3. The Two Towers

Danger has befallen Frodo and the fellowship. The group has been splintered and are all on their own paths. With Gandalf lost to the Balrog of Morgoth and Boromir killed by the deadly Uruk-Hai. 

Frodo and Sam however have made their escape and are on the path to Mordor alone. But they are not really alone. A creeping figure stalks them in the night.

The creature known as Gollum covers the ring and aims to take it back. Through any means necessary. Even befriending the two hobbits now with the ring in their possession. 

4. The Return Of The King

This book entails the thrilling end of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. All the members of the fellowship have found themselves in their own separate quests.

Each one plays an important role in defeating the Dark Lord Sauron. 

Aragorn has been revealed to be the long-lost heir of Gondor and now takes his palace as kind in order to make one last stand at the great black gates. 

Sam and Frodo however have drawn ever closer to Mount Doom and the end of their quest. With Gollum in tow the trio make their way to the mountain.

They face giant spiders, orcs and much more in their quest to destroy the one right. 

5. The Silmarillion

This book was written as a way to help fans of both the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings gain a deeper understanding of Middle-Earth, the history and the lore surrounding this universe.

It is essentially an account of the Elder Days or the first age.

6. Unfinished Tales Of Númenor And Middle-Earth

This book is a very interesting collection of stories which enhance and elaborate on the characters and stories within the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.

7. The Children Of Hurin

This story is about Middle-Earth’s First Age. It was initially an incomplete story which J.R.R. Tolkien did not finish.

Luckily his son Christopher Tolkien picked up where he left off and helped to edit this story into a phenomenal piece of literature.  

8. Beren And Lúthien

This story is essentially a love story. Beren and Lúthien are in love despite not being allowed to be. Christopher Tolkien helped to finish off this book by extracting much of the lore and story from his father’s work. 

9. The Fall Of Gondolin

A great evil known as Morgoth is determined to discover the city of Gondolin so that he may destroy it. It is a fascinating story and one that we will not delve too deeply into so that you may enjoy this amazing tale. 

Final Thoughts

Regardless of how you read the Lord of the Rings we highly recommend that you do it. These stories are truly one of a king and something that you absolutely need to get done.

So, pick up the first book and get started!

Shalini (1)
My name is Shalini and I love reading a lot. On this blog I review most of the books I have read. Hope you enjoy.
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