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Tolkien's Ring

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,511 ratings  ·  31 reviews
J.R.R. Tolkien had a great knowledge of, and love for, world mythology when he wrote his beloved trilogy of Middle Earth. In particular, the symbol of the Ring has a rich and fascinating heritage, and this beautifully illustrated literary detective work searches down Tolkien's sources and inspiration. To understand the roots of The Lord of the Rings, we must go far back, t ...more
Hardcover, 184 pages
Published March 15th 2000 by Barnes Noble (first published 1994)
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4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,511 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Gorgona Grim
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mislim da još uvek ne mogu da nađem reči kojima bih istakla važnost onoga što je Dejvid Dej uradio. Iako je fokus na inspiraciji i mitologiji iza Tolkinovog prstena, ova knjiga zapravo predstavlja zbir najfantastičnijih legendi, od Britanije do Tibeta.
Nikola Pavlovic
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Veliko veliko hvala Dejvidu Deju na ovoj knjizi.
Iako vas mozda nece pribliziti Tolkinu koliko mitologijama raznih naroda nase planete Zemlje svakako je treba procitati. Opsta kultura cuci u ovom delu.
Juli Rahel
Mar 26, 2015 rated it liked it
I doubt I have to re-establish my fascination with The Lord of the Rings since it is a well-established fact by now. As such, it was inevitable that I would find my way to Tolkien's Ring.

Tolkien's Ring is a very interesting book. Day's focus on the symbol of the ring may seem like an obvious starting point, yet I have not read an in-depth analysis of it on its own before. Day draws from all the "normal" inspiration sources with which Tolkien has been credited: the Anglo-Saxons, the Vikings and t
Bill Tillman
I cannot count the number of background books I have read about my favorite authors. My thanks to Anova Books and Net Galley for the ARC. That being said this is one outstanding tomb about the background material J.R.R. had when he went to write The Lord of the Rings. Vastly entertaining going back to the original myths, legends and material from which spring something new. Well worth the time you will spend. 5 Stars.
Dec 28, 2007 rated it liked it
This reminded me of a school essay, and not a particularly good one. The kind where you are not entirely sure of the connection between your assigned subjects, but you have to write about it anyway. And then you are about 500 words short of your requirement, so you have to add in some other stuff that really doesn't need to be there.
There may be some good information here, but after the first few errors that I noticed, I begin to wonder how many I didn't see and how accurate the whole book wa
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was an in depth, thoughtful look at several myths that influenced Tolkien and his famous Lord of the Rings series, specifically all of the Ring Quest myths. It was pretty accessible for such a seemingly scholastic work, and the author also includes several of these myths. I think sometimes he makes some stretching connections, but it's still interesting all the same.
A bit too superficial and long read which just walked through all the different kinds of mythology that inspired Tolkien. I was thinking of using it for my thesis, but I'm not sure it is substancial enough. If I do, I will want the English original edition and not the Danish translation.
Jun 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mythology, fantasy
I first read Tolkien’s books when I was eleven, and their magic has stayed with me ever since. It was fascinating to read about how Tolkien was inspired by different mythologies, and how he created a fake European and specifically British pre-history as the “source” of our myths and stories, e.g. Atlantis, King Arthur, Shakespeare’s works (Macbeth aka the Witch-king), Beowulf, the Volsunga Saga and others.

That said, I was a bit disappointed by this book. Day is not a scholar, and this book has s
Clifford Luebben
Jun 02, 2013 rated it liked it
The purpose of the book is to show how Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and overall writings on Middle Earth relate to the rings in other mythologies. It is also coupled with beautiful illustrations from Alan Lee, whose fame in depicting Tolkien's work led to his being consulted for the movies. The art in this book has a dark feel which matches well the stories being recounted. I have done very little study on European mythologies, so much of this was educational for me in that respect. Those alr ...more
books are love
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received this via netgalley and I thank them for this. I enjoyed the reading into what Mr. Day has interpreted about the Ring’s importance and the history of rings in literature. I also enjoyed reading about some of the influences for Tolkien.

There were some I am still grasping at trying to see the link but many are fascinating.

I find Tolkien’s influence from Shakespeare to be interesting especially about Ents and how the trees in Shakespeare’s plays should be more alive based on his descripti
Craig Adamson
Jan 24, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm not a Lord of the Rings devotee. I've read The Hobbit 3 or 4 times and started the Silmarillion a couple of times as well as Fellowship of the Ring several times. But i never finished either one. And therefore never read The Two Towers or The Return of the King. I believe someone who is a big Tolkien fan or at least a fan of the LOR trilogy would enjoy this book.

I liked it for the various explanations of Norse, Oriental, and Germanic quests or epics or poems or whatever. The author, David Da
Jul 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to NetGalley and Anova Books for the review copy.

There's a bit of over-explaining here (why would the audience to whom this book is directed need the end of The Return of the King explained in detail to them, for goodness' sake?), but despite that fault, I learned quite a bit and therefore enjoyed the book overall. The author may have spent too much time summarizing the Nibelungenlied/Ring Cycle, but since I've had an interest in learning more about that branch of mythology anyway, I d
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Folk Lore Students
Alan Lee's illustrations are breath taking. The deep stories and meanings behind "Ring" legends are amazing. Seeing where Tolkien may have gotten some of his inspiration is eye opening.

Just simply learning about how and why "Rings" are important or used in our lives is very interesting.
Sarah Bader-king
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This should have been a 3.5 star book. The information was basic, but interesting and gave a good literary context for Tolkien's writing. The art was beautiful. BUT this book was absolutely riddled with typographical errors. I very much doubt anyone actually edited it at all, and if they did they should be fired. Text alignment was weird, chapter headers were flat-out incorrect, kerning was all over the place, and there were relatively minor, but frequent typos everywhere. There was one chapter ...more
Jeremiah Peter
Mar 26, 2012 rated it liked it
This is another book that I forgot I read until I saw it at a bookstore. I remember it as being very insightful and filled with interesting tidbits and fairly useless facts that you can use to impress the ladies at a cocktail party, providing the cocktail party is at Comic-Con. That being said, I’m not sure the information is reliable enough to earn you points on Jeopardy. The illustrations were great and this book is worth picking up even if all you want to do is look at the pictures. You may a ...more
Tommy Grooms
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely not a scholarly analysis, but still an enjoyable and informative look at many great story traditions and their similarities to Tolkien's world.

The uninitiated would assume that nothing Tolkien wrote was original upon reading this book, as some of the similarities explored are definitely a stretch, reminding me of some terse words once written by Tolkien: "Both rings were round, and there the resemblance ceases."

Nevertheless it was an enjoyable read, and Alan Lee's illustrati
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, fantasy
'Tolkien's Ring' (snigger) is an ambitious attempt to trace the significance of the ring as a main symbol or theme in works that may have inspired or influenced Tolkien's writing. David Day references and describes many myths and legends which I found very interesting, but the links between them and 'The Lord of the Rings' sometimes seemed tenuous at best. The pictures are beautiful, however! I'd have been happy to have bought it even if the text was pure waffle!
Marko Vasić
Donekle zanimljivo, nazovi, istraživanje o motivima i temama koje su Tolkina inspirisale dok je stvarao Gospodara prstenova. Međutim, ono što je meni zasmetalo jeste superficijalni osvrt na navedene motive, bez pravilnog citiranja referenci na koje se odnose tumačenja. Neka upoređivanja se ponavljaju nekoliko puta u knjizi, što dodadno smanjuje jasnoću izlaganja. Ono što je bez premca jesu fenomenalne ilustracije Alana Lija.
Apr 05, 2012 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book. He provided a lot of very useful background information from a number of mythologies on the importance of rings to ancient --and enduring -- stories. The only problem is that he doesn't seem to have put as much care into his writing as he has into his research. Still for Tolkien geeks, it is well worth you time. . . .
David Hockabout
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is fascinating one two levels. First, It traces the mythical and historical roots of J.R.R Tolkien's various novel roots and how they may have influenced that work. Secondly, it is a nice introduction to other mythologies beyond Greek and Roman. I highly recommend this book to those who love Tolkien's books and as an introduction to mythology.
Nick Turner
Sep 09, 2013 rated it liked it
This book explores the historical basis of the mythical influences (in particular, the centrality of magic rings) which inspired Tolkien to write The Lord of the Rings. It is decorated with some mystical black-and-white and colour illustrations. Lengthy myths are recounted including the Volsunga Saga.

I read a review copy from the publisher.
Kasey Cocoa
Jul 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-requested
While not the authoritative resource with evidence to uphold claims, this was still quite an entertaining read and should be held as just that. Entertainment. That said, the book was very well written. I found myself pausing several times to browse the Internet for more reading on certain topics instead of keeping to the book.
Oct 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Interesting comparison between Tolkien's ring and other histories / mythologies / etc. where rings play a proeminent part.
I believe this book was my first glympse into Alan Lee's world and it was love at first sight.
Sep 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is an interesting analysis of "ring stories" from different cultures and mythologies that may have influenced Tolkien's Lord of the Rings saga. Nothing earth-shattering here, but still a decent read. Also, the artwork in this book is great; it's almost worth the read just for that.
G. Salter
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In interesting discussion on why rings are so significant in Western culture, what sources did Tolkien use as inspiration for his epic fantasy saga, and what exactly sets The Lord of the Rings apart as the best-written fantasy story of the 20th century.
Kim Curtis
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was great in seeing the mythology behind Tolkien's characters, and also different ring legends out there in world mythology. It really dives into how characters in mythology can be seen as similar character archetypes found in other worldly mythologies.
James M. Madsen, M.D.
A truly scholarly work this is not, and Day overreaches with many of his parallels. Nevertheless, the breadth (rather than the depth) of his coverage of ring-related themes in history and mythology makes this book worth the read.
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art, tolkien
I bought this book purely for the Alan Lee illustrations. Lee deserves five stars but since I haven't read it yet, I gave it four stars.
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A great exploration of some of the inspirations behind the best book series ever.
May 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Rather prosy and a great deal of it seemed as though he was reaching to make connections to Tolkien's work. Most of the info about rings and their significance was interesting.
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David Day (b. 14 October 1947 in Victoria, British Columbia) is a Canadian author of over forty books: poetry, natural history, ecology, mythology, fantasy, and children's literature. Internationally he is most notably known for his literary criticism on J. R. R. Tolkien and his works.

After finishing high school in Victoria, British Columbia, Day worked as a logger for five years on Vancouver Isla
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