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10 Tweets That Summarize the Book The Lord of the Rings
Few literary works have inspired the long-standing community of devoted fans as the epic J.R.R. Tolkien Lord of the Rings Saga. Published in three volumes, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, these stories are a continuation of the story Tolkien began with the children’s fantasy novel The Hobbit. The complex world-building and fanatical attention to detail sets the Tolkien universe apart from all other fantasy franchises, making it one of the most popular works in literary history. Here’s a quick summary of this sprawling tale, in the form of ten tweets that characters might have made at various points in their adventures.
- “Cousin @BilboBaggins has left a mysterious gift; a ring that @Gandalf says I should never use.” – @FrodoBaggins – The Fellowship of the Ring opens with the eccentric Bilbo’s “eleventy-first” birthday party, in which he announces that he is leaving and abruptly disappears. Upon walking back to Bag End, he takes off his ring and becomes visible again, where he packs for a journey. The wizard Gandalf reminds him of his vow to leave the ring for his orphan cousin Frodo; Bilbo seems conflicted about being parted from it. Alternately saying that he’ll be glad to be rid of the ring and becoming angry with Gandalf for attempting to take it, he eventually departs for an unknown destination, leaving the ring in Gandalf’s care.
- “Enjoyed @TomBombadil’s hospitality, and his stories. Still, there’s something about him, and these #strangedreams…” – @FrodoBaggins After rescuing the Hobbits from Old Man Willow, the mysterious Tom Bombadil brings the group home with him. There, they are greeted by his wife Goldberry who gives Frodo an enigmatic answer to his questions about Bombadil. All of the Hobbits except for Sam are troubled by nightmares, but are comforted when they realize they’re safe in Bombadil’s home. When they wake up the next morning they find that the rainfall prevents them from continuing on their journey. To pass the time, Tom tells them ancient stories and teaches them a rhyme that will summon him should they find themselves in need of help. They also discover that Bombadil is unaffected by the Ring’s powers, which stirs Frodo’s curiosity further. He attempts to discover more about Tom Bombadil’s identity by asking directly, but this proves to be fruitless; Bombadil’s answer is vague and leaves Frodo faintly suspicious.
- “After being wounded by #Ringwraiths, I awoke in #Rivendell to find @Gandalf and @BilboBaggins present. @BilboBaggins behaved strangely.” – @FrodoBaggins – After learning that the Black Rider’s knife had splintered in his shoulder and was working its way into his heart, Frodo gains more knowledge from Gandalf regarding the Rings of Power. Recovered from his wound, Frodo attends dinner hosted by Elrond and is pleasantly surprised to find his cousin Bilbo present. When Bilbo asks to see the Ring, a change in his demeanor causes Frodo to hesitate. Noting Frodo’s reluctance, Bilbo apologizes but the relationship is slightly tainted by the Ring’s power.
- “A #Balrog pulled Gandalf into a chasm at the #GreatGatesOfMoria. @Aragorn led us from danger, but we all grieve.” – FrodoBaggins The loss of Gandalf in a fight with Orcs and a Balrog leaves the Company in mourning, and Aragorn to assume the mantle of leadership. Despite their grief, the Company makes their way into Lothlorien. Frodo catches a glimpse of a mysterious crouching figure, but it slips away into the darkness before it can be seen clearly.
- We’ve arrived in #CarasGaladhon; @LadyGaladriel has shown me glimpses of the future in her #mirror. – FrodoBaggins The Company is taken into Caras Galadhon, where they’re presented to Lorien’s rulers, Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel. Understanding his mission, Galadriel shows Frodo and Sam the basin she calls a mirror, warning them that the prophecies it holds are dangerous to interpret. Sam’s vision of Hobbiton’s destruction frighten him for a moment, but Frodo’s fragmented vision foretells of mysterious things yet to come with visions of an aged figure dressed in white, sailing ships, a white fortress and the great eye rimmed in fire that he knows is searching for him.
- “The #Orcs descended. @Legolas and @Gimli fought valiantly, and @KingTheoden appeared in time to cause the Orcs’ retreat.” – @Aragorn – Theoden’s timely appearance and defeat of the Orcs makes for the most tense battle scene up to that point. Despite Aragorn’s fears that the Hornburg would be taken, citadel is held. Gandalf’s reappearance causes the Riders of Rohan to hail him as he comes astride Shadowfax and the Orcs retreat into the lands around Helm’s Deep.
- “The #Ents caused immense destruction at @Orthanc. @Sauruman is trapped in the tower.” – @Merry Relating the story of the Enty assembly, decision to fight Saruman and their resulting victory, Merry also shares that Gandalf sought a meeting to secure Treebeard’s help. During the battle, The Ents trapped Saruman in the tower and Orthanc and broke nearby dams which flooded the earth under Isengard. This destroyed all of the Orcs in the lower areas.
- “Gondor is saved. #Mordor’s army has been defeated; @Eomer, @Imrahil and I are returning to the city.” – @Aragorn With a detailed account of the battle and many displays of courageous heroics, the chapter dedicated to the Battle of the Pelennor Fields marks a bit of resolution to the building tension of the second and third volumes of the tale. As Eowyn and Merry emerge the unlikely heroes of the battle, the tale returns to Pippin’s perspective.
- “I made a gift of #Sting to @Sam, and we attended a feast. @Aragorn is preparing to ascend as ruler of #Gondor.” – @FrodoBaggins The fall of Sauron and the ensuing festivities at Gondor’s court mark the first time that the Hobbits are treated with the respect afforded to heroes. After the suspicion and hostility they’ve encountered, their reception at Gondor shows the Hobbits coming into their own as a Middle Earth race.
- “@Rosie: Well, I’m back.” – @Sam After witnessing Saruman’s feeble last stand and restoring Hobbiton, Sam closes the sprawling tale by giving to Rosie, after she deposits Elanor on his lap, the simple phrase, “Well, I’m back.”
Analysis of Tolkien’s universe has been widespread for decades, spawning dozens of books about the author and the world he created. The film adaptations of these three volumes by Peter Jackson were among the most highly anticipated of their decade, and the mythos has served as inspiration for countless authors within the fantasy genre.
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