Adaptations of The Lord of the Rings

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The Lord of the Rings, an epic high fantasy novel by the British author J. R. R. Tolkien, set in his fictional world of Middle-earth, has been adapted several times.

Film[edit]

Three film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings have been made. The first was The Lord of the Rings (1978), by animator Ralph Bakshi, the first part of what was originally intended to be a two-part adaptation of the story. The second, The Return of the King (1980), was a television special by Rankin-Bass. The third was director Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, released in three installments as The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy featuring some of the same characters, was released on 12 December 2012, directed by Peter Jackson. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was released on 13 December 2013 and the final installment, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, is set to release on 17 December 2014. A previous animated adaptation of The Hobbit (1977) exists, and was directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr.

Television[edit]

A Finnish live action television miniseries Hobitit was broadcast in 1993 based on the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Stage[edit]

Several musical theatre adaptations have been made based on The Lord of the Rings.

Full-length productions of each of The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002), and The Return of the King (2003) were staged in Cincinnati, Ohio [1].

Lifeline Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, produced individual plays of each of the three books over various years in the 1990s.

In 2006, a large-scale three-and-a-half-hour The Lord of the Rings musical was produced in Toronto. The expensive production lost money and closed six months later and, after some cutting and rewriting, began performances in London on 9 May 2007 and was a success with audiences, closing on 19 July 2008.

A musical parody of The Fellowship of the Ring, titled Fellowship! ran in LA for a stint at two separate occasions, coming back 3 years after its debut for a number of shows in the summer of 2009.

Video Games[edit]

Audio[edit]

Readings[edit]

Library of Congress recordings[edit]

Generally, Library of Congress recordings are only available to the blind and physically handicapped.

1967 (Livingston Gilbert)[edit]

The Library of Congress recorded an unabridged version of The Lord of the Rings in 1967, narrated by Livingston Gilbert, on vinyl media. This version was taken out of circulation at the time of the recording of the 1978 version and is no longer offered for checkout to Library of Congress patrons. Reference numbers were TB 03367 (The Fellowship of the Ring), TB 03369 (The Two Towers), and TB 03368 (The Return of the King).

1978 (Norman Barrs)[edit]

The Library of Congress recorded a second unabridged version of The Lord of the Rings in 1978, narrated by Norman Barrs, on 4-track tape media. This version was taken out of circulation at the time of the recording of the 1999 version and is no longer offered for checkout to Library of Congress patrons. Reference numbers were RC 10975 (The Fellowship of the Ring), RC 10976 (The Two Towers), and RC 10977 (The Return of the King).

1999 (David Palmer)[edit]

The Library of Congress recorded a third unabridged version of The Lord of the Rings, A trip to Mordor in 1999, narrated by David Palmer, on 4-track tape media. This version is also available on the new digital players provided for Library of Congress patrons. Reference numbers are RC 47486 / DB 47486 (The Fellowship of the Ring), RC 47487 / DB 47487 (The Two Towers), and RC 47488 / DB 47488 (The Return of the King).

Rob Inglis unabridged reading, 1990[edit]

In 1990, Australian actor Rob Inglis read/performed an unabridged version for Recorded Books in their New York studio.[1] While not strictly a dramatisation, Inglis created voices for all of the characters. And along with project producer Claudia Howard, he created music for all of the songs, which he performed. The project took six weeks to record, plus preparation time. A year later he recorded an audio version of The Hobbit.[1]

Dramatisations[edit]

1955-1956 BBC radio play[edit]

In 1955 and 1956, the BBC broadcast The Lord of the Rings, a 12-part radio adaptation of the story. Tolkien disparaged this dramatisation, referring to the portrayal of Tom Bombadil as "dreadful" and complaining bitterly about several other aspects.[2] No recordings of it are known to survive.[citation needed]

WBAI radio adaptation[edit]

In the early 1960s radio station WBAI-FM, New York, broadcast a short adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, with music. This version, which had not been authorized by Tolkien, was later suppressed by his legal representatives.[citation needed]

1979 The Mind's Eye radio play[edit]

A 1979 dramatization of The Lord of the Rings was broadcast in the USA. The series was produced by The Mind's Eye, a small theater company that specialized in audio adaptations of popular works, and which also produced a six-hour adaptation of The Hobbit. The Mind's Eye version has since been reproduced and sold in many different cassette tape, CD and MP3 editions.

1981 BBC radio play[edit]

In 1981 the BBC broadcast The Lord of the Rings, a new, ambitious dramatisation in 26 half-hour instalments. It starred Ian Holm as Frodo Baggins, the protagonist; he would play Bilbo Baggins, his character's cousin/uncle, in the live-action trilogy.

1992 German radio play[edit]

In 1992 the German radio stations SDR and WDR broadcast Der Herr der Ringe, a 30-episode adaptation of The Lord of the Rings.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Joseph P. Menta (December 2001 – January 2002). "Talking With Rob Inglis". AudioFile. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  2. ^ Carpenter, Humphrey, ed. (1981), The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, no. 175, ISBN 0-395-31555-7 

External links[edit]

Official sites
News and fan sites
  • The One Ring.net - Fan and news site relating to The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and books.
  • The One Ring.com - Fan and news site relating to Tolkien's works, the New Line films and related matters; not to be confused with the above.
  • Tolkien Gateway - An encyclopedia for anything related to Tolkien and his works.
  • Tolkien News - News relating to The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien's other works.
  • Lord of the Rings Fanatics Plaza - online Tolkien fan community with role-playing games, lore discussions, debates, and much more
  • Ringbearer.org - Tolkien fan community with all the latest Tolkien related news, book and movie discussions, and an active fan community.
  • Council of Elrond - a fan site for the Jackson movies and books featuring news and scholarship
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