Bored of the Rings

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This article is about the 1969 parody novel of Lord of the Rings. For other uses, see Bored of the Rings (disambiguation).
Bored of the Rings
First edition
Author Henry N. Beard, Douglas C. Kenney
Illustrator William S. Donnell (map)
Cover artist Michael K. Frith (1969 ed.)
Douglas Carrel (2001 ed.)
Country United States of America
Genre Fantasy satire
Publication date
ISBN 978-0-575-07362-3

Bored of the Rings is a parody of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. This short novel was written by Henry N. Beard and Douglas C. Kenney, who later founded National Lampoon. It was published in 1969 by Signet for the Harvard Lampoon. In 2013, an audio version was produced by Orion Audiobooks, narrated by Rupert Degas.


The parody generally follows the outline of The Lord of the Rings, including the preface, the prologue, poetry, and songs, while making light of what Tolkien made serious (e.g., "He would have finished him off then and there, but pity stayed his hand. It's a pity I've run out of bullets, he thought, as he went back up the tunnel..."). Names and words in the various languages are parodied with brand names that mimic their sounds (for example, Moxie and Pepsi replace Merry and Pippin). There are many topical references, including once-popular brand names. It has the distinction for a parody of having been continuously in print since it was first published.

Aside from the text itself, the book includes five elements that parody common features of mass-market books:

  • A laudatory back cover review, written at Harvard, possibly by the authors themselves.
  • Inside cover reviews which are entirely contrived, concluding with a quote by someone affiliated with the publication Our Loosely Enforced Libel Laws.
  • A list of other books in the "series", none of which exist.
  • A double page map which has almost nothing to do with the events in the text.
  • The first text a browsing reader is liable to see purports to be a salacious sample from the book, but the episode never happens in the main text, nor does anything else of that tone: the book has no explicit sexual content.

The Signet first edition cover, a parody of the 1965 Ballantine paperback cover by Barbara Remington,[1] was drawn by Muppets designer Michael K. Frith.[2][3] Current publications have different artwork by Douglas Carrel,[4] since the paperback cover art for Lord of the Rings prevalent in the 60s, then famous, is now obscure.[5] William S. Donnell drew the "parody map"[6] of Lower Middle Earth.[7][8]


  • Finnish: Loru sorbusten herrasta ("A rhyme about the lord of Sorbus", a brand of rowan-flavored wine manufactured by Altia with reputation as a bum wine) was translated by Pekka Markkula and published in 1983. Following the release of the Peter Jackson film trilogy, it was republished in 2002.[9]
  • French: Lord of the Ringards ("Lord of the Has-beens") was issued in 2002.[10]
  • German: Der Herr der Augenringe ("Lord of the Eye Rings" or "Lord of the Eye Circles"), was translated by Margaret Carroux, who also did the 1969-70 translations for Lord of the Rings.[11]
  • Hungarian: Gyűrűkúra ("Ring course," as in rejuvenation course; "Lord of the Rings" translates to the similar, Gyűrűk Ura). This version was published first in 1991.[12]
  • Italian: Il signore dei tranelli ("Lord of the cobweb") was issued by Fanucci Editore in 2002. The cover was drawn by Piero Crida, the same person who designed the covers of the "Lord of the ring" translations issued by Rusconi Libri s.p.a. in 1977.[13]
  • Polish: Nuda Pierścieni ("Boredom of the Rings") was translated by Zbigniew A. Królicki and issued by Zysk i S-ka in 1997 and republished in 2001.[14]
  • Portuguese (Brazil): O Fedor dos Anéis ("The Stink of the Rings") was published in 2004.[15]
  • Russian: Пластилин Колец ("Plasticine of the Rings") was translated by Sergey Iliin and published in 2002.[16]
  • Spanish: El Sopor de los Anillos ("The doze of the rings") was translated by Jordi Zamarreño Rodea and Salvador Tintoré Fernández and published in 2001.[17]
  • Swedish: Härsken på ringen ("Angry at the Ring") was translated by Lena Karlin and published in 2003.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Overview of fantasy from the period, including the Ballantine edition of Rings.
  2. ^ The World Wide Walrus. "Bored of the Rings". Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "Bibliography: Cover: Bored of the Rings". The Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  4. ^ "Bibliography: Cover: Bored of the Rings". The Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  5. ^ LOTR Scrapbook Critical review of Ballantine cover art for the three books.
  6. ^ Bored of the Rings Parody Map, on Internet Archive
  7. ^ The World Wide Walrus. "Bored of the Rings". Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  8. ^ "Bibliography: Bored of the Rings (Map)". The Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  9. ^ Beard, Henry N.; Douglas C. Kenney (1983). Loru sorbusten herrasta (in Finnish). Kustannusosakeyhtiö Nemo. ISBN 951-9287-01-9.  2002 republication: ISBN 952-5180-57-3.
  10. ^ Beard, Henry N.; Douglas C. Kenney (2002). Lord of the Ringards (in French). Bragelonne. ISBN 2-914370-69-5. 
  11. ^ Beard, Henry N.; Douglas C. Kenney (1983). Dschey Ar Tollkühn, der Herr der Augenringe (in German). Munich: Goldmann. ISBN 3-442-23835-8. 
  12. ^ Bears, Henry N.; Douglas C. Kenney (1991). Gyurukúra (in Hungarian). Walhalla Páholy. ISBN 963-7632-00-X. 
  13. ^ Il Signore dei Ratti (in Italian). 
  14. ^ Beard, Henry N.; Douglas C. Kenney (2001). Nuda Pierscieni (in Polish). Zysk i S-ka. ISBN 83-7150-202-8. 
  15. ^ Beard, Henry N.; Douglas C. Kenney (2004). O Fedor dos Anéis (in Portuguese). Ver Curiosidades. ISBN 85-88210-52-5. 
  16. ^ Bears, Henry N.; Douglas C. Kenney (2002). Пластилин Колец (in Russian). Симпозиум. ISBN 5-89091-193-7. 
  17. ^ Bears, Henry N.; Douglas C. Kenney (2001). El Sopor de los Anillos (in Spanish). Devir Iberia. ISBN 978-84-9571-255-4. 
  18. ^ Bears, Henry N.; Douglas C. Kenney (2003). Härsken på ringen (in Swedish). Alfabeta Bokförlag. ISBN 91-501-0283-4. 

External links[edit]