Tolkien Gateway

The Return of the Shadow

Revision as of 02:27, 10 February 2013 by Gamling (Talk | contribs)
The Return of the Shadow
The Return of the Shadow.jpg
AuthorJ.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien
PublisherUnwin Hyman (UK)
Houghton Mifflin (US)
Released25 August 1988
5 January 1989

The Return of the Shadow is the first volume of of the The History of The Lord of the Rings and the sixth volume of The History of Middle-earth. It is a history of the creation of The Lord of the Rings, a fascinating study of Tolkien's great masterpiece, from its inception to the end of the first volume, The Fellowship of the Ring. In The Return of the Shadow (the abandoned title of the first volume of The Lord of the Rings) we see how Bilbo's 'magic' ring evolved into the supremely dangerous Ruling Ring of the Dark Lord; and the precise, and astonishingly unforeseen, moment when a Black Rider first rode into the Shire. The character of the hobbit called Trotter (afterwards Strider or Aragorn) is developed, though his true identity seems to be an insoluble problem. Frodo's companions undergo many changes of name and personality; and other major figures appear in unfamiliar guises: a sinister Treebeard, in league with the Enemy, and a ferocious, malevolent Farmer Maggot. This book comes complete with reproductions of the first maps and facsimile pages from the earlier manuscripts.


  • Foreword
  • The First Phase
  • The Second Phase
    • XIV Return to Hobbiton
    • XV Ancient History
    • XVI Delays Are Dangerous
    • XVII A Short Cut to Mushrooms
    • XVIII Again from Buckland to the Withywindle
  • The Third Phase
    • XIX The Third Phase (1): The Journey to Bree
    • XX The Third Phase (2): At the Sign of the Prancing Pony
    • XXI The Third Phase (3): To Weathertop and Rivendell
    • XXII New Uncertainties and New Projections
  • The Story Continued
    • XXIII In the House of Elrond
    • XXIV The Ring Goes South
    • XXV The Mines of Moria

The History of Middle-earth series
The Book of Lost Tales Part One · The Book of Lost Tales Part Two · The Lays of Beleriand · The Shaping of Middle-earth · The Lost Road and Other Writings · The Return of the Shadow · The Treason of Isengard · The War of the Ring · Sauron Defeated · Morgoth's Ring · The War of the Jewels · The Peoples of Middle-earth · Index