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The Treason of Isengard: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part Two (The History of Middle-Earth, #7)
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The Treason of Isengard: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part Two (The History of The Lord of the Rings #2)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  2,938 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
The Treason of Isengard is the seventh volume in Christopher Tolkien's History of Middle-earth and the second in his account of the evolution of The Lord of the Rings. This book follows the long halt in the darkness of the Mines of Moria (which ended The Return of the Shadow) and traces the tale into new lands south and east of the Misty Mountains. Tolkien introduces us to ...more
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published November 30th 1989 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 1989)
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I don’t think I have too much to say about _The Treason of Isengard_. It is very much, of course, a continuation of the previous HoME volume as we follow Tolkien’s further development of the story of the Lord of the Rings in as near a chronological manner as Christopher Tolkien is able to piece together from the numerous drafts, re-writings, and changes in his father’s text. That is perhaps the first thing to note: throughout the HoME series it has become obvious that Christopher Tolkien really ...more
Mary Catelli
The continuing analysis of the writing process.

It's not so wide-open as it was in The Return of the Shadow, since the prior story imposed definitely constraints. But he's still sorting out which hobbits have what names, and which ones will go. At one point Elrond firmly puts his foot down on the notion that either Merry or Pippin can go. Sam didn't always go with Frodo after the split up, and sometimes he was the first one to see Gandalf again. Eowyn was considered as a love interest for Aragorn
Neil Coulter
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Tolkien fans interested in the development of The Lord of the Rings

In my review of the previous volume in Christopher Tolkien's History Of Middle-Earth, I said that it was a quicker, easier read than some of the earlier books in the series. One of the main reasons for this is that the four books that make up The History of the Lord of the Rings--the series-within-a-series--lead to an actual published endpoint. There is a final, definitive Lord of the Rings, and so it's enjoyable to see the early ideas and drafts heading toward the familiar story.

The second volu

Ahmad Sharabiani
Nov 12, 2015 marked it as to-read
The Treason of Isengard: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part Two (The History of Middle-Earth #7), J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anglais, tolkien
A really good companion if you love Tolkien and want to discover his writing process when he write his masterpiece. If not, I’d advice you to leave this be.

It is really interesting to see many alternative on how the story could have gone. Reading this, you start to understand how much work and thinking Tolkien put into his work.
As a regular Tolkien fan, you know it already but reading here all the alternatives (and yet not all of them are even here) about the story, quotes or the multiple names
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Dense and certainly not for everyone, but fascinating and full of intriguing odds and ends about the creation of the Lord of the Rings series. Tolkien originally intended Aragorn marry Eowyn! It's amazing how late some very essential plot points (like Arwen) enter the story at all.
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Um livro que quero ler de novo pelo menos umas duas vezes mais!
Victor Oliveira
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tolkien mais uma vez não me decepcionou.
Arthur Marchetto
As (sub)criações de J.R.R. Tolkien

Segundo Tolkien, a invenção do adjetivo foi poderosíssima: “nenhum feitiço ou mágica do Belo Reino é mais potente [que os adjetivos]”, disse ele em seu livro Sobre Histórias de Fadas. Assim, Tolkien continua, “podemos pôr um verde mortal no rosto de um homem e produzir horror, podemos fazer reluzir a rara e terrível lua azul, ou podemos fazer com que os bosques irrompam em folhas de prata e os carneiros tenham pelagem de ouro, e pôr o fogo quente no ventre do
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a continuation of the notes and drafts from Tolkien that his son Christopher meticulously researched and presents to fans of Lord of the Rings. For non-fans this book would be extremely tedious and boring but for those of us curious enough to want to know more of the thoughts and insights from Professor Tolkien in formulating his great story it is a very interesting read. Although not a complete rewrite with huge plot changes or character revisions this volume does include some interesti ...more
Stephen Poltz
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the seventh book in the History of Middle Earth (HoME) series, and the second in the History of the Lord of the Rings. It picks up where the last left off, in the mines of Moria. It covers the development of the story up through the beginnings of Rohan. I found the previous book, The Return of the Shadow, to be quite entertaining, watching the development of a story that actually led to publication. I thought this second book would continue to be as entertaining, but I found it much drie ...more
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, non-fiction
Christopher Tolkien has continued to do a good job at assembling all of his father's notes and drafts, and putting them together in some sort of semblance of a "narrative arc" where you can see the final story of The Lord of the Rings come together. Lots of fun little facts are revealed, and it's very interesting to see what could have been (with a little relief on occasion that he made different choices!).
A fascinating look into the creation of some of the most memorable characters from Lord of the Rings, especially Saruman and Treebeard. Also interesting to note how the story keeps changing and changing, plots gets devised and discarded, characters disappear and reappear and every time they stop somewhere new, everything changes into several possibilities. What a web of stories.
Jeffrey Gerhart
Jun 03, 2017 rated it liked it
"The Treason of Isengard", was an interesting take on Sauraman's betrayal and eventual defeat by the Ents as well as the Battle of Helm's Deep. The editor's notes of Christopher Tolkien that explained how J.R.R Tolkien came up with the final form of these stories from "The Two Towers" were very informative. I'd recommend it to any fan of Middle Earth stories.
Artnoose McMoose
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As with any book in the History of Middle Earth series, if you’re interested in reading early drafts of LotR to see how the story and characters changed from draft to draft, then this book is for you.

How many times did Tolkien break up the fellowship before deciding on how it happened? So many times!

I read this while following the Mythgard Academy seminar, which I highly recommend.
Guilherme Santos
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mythgard-academy
For anyone who loves LOTR, and wants a deep dive into how the manuscript developed, this book is for you.
Jan 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have already read The Return of the Shadow, which is the first book in Christopher Tolkien's "History of The Lord of the Rings". That book covers the process of writing the Prologue through Balin's Tomb in Moria, with the Fellowship comprised of five hobbits and Gandalf. This book, The Treason of Isengard, backtracks significantly and begins with multiple takes on the Council of Elrond, where the nine final Fellowship members are chosen and ends with the first encounters with the Riders of Roh ...more
"The Treason of Isengard: The History of the Lord of the Rings, Part 2" in which the subject matter is written by J.R.R. Tolkien and the commentary by his son Christopher Tolkien is a fun, informative, glorious read.

We millions of die-hard Tolkien fans are fortunate to have Christopher Tolkien in the world to make his father's papers available to us. It is a great fortune that he has just the right educational background, inclination, and ambition to present them as he does in all of the "Histor
Luka Novak
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is not a logical sequel to "The Return of the Shadow" but rather somewhat arbitrary separation of Tolkien early drafts. This book does not start where "The Return of the Shadow" ended as there are again later drafts of previous chapters. Christopher Tolkien had to separate his father's papers into several books so we are not presented with one massive book and this place seems as good as any. So if you expect this book to cover evolution of "The Two Towers" you'll be dissapointed.

Nicholas Whyte
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing

The most interesting point for me was that Frodo and Sam's path to Mordor, and even back to the Shire, emerged in Tolkien's thinking much earlier than the story of the others after the death of Boromir. He seems to almost make up the tale of Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn as he goes along, and I must admit it's not the most satisfying part of the book (and was the most messed around with by Peter Jackson for the film). In the middle of this, however, the Treeb
The second installment in Christopher Tolkien's History of The Lord of the Rings, this book brings the telling of the telling of the tale from where Tolkien halted in the writing process at the Mines of Moria chapters for a long span of time, through to the breaking of the fellowship and the arrival of Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas and Gandalf at Edoras, then called Eodoras. The chronicles of the writing of this story are extremely interesting and revealing, especially the parts in which the drafts di ...more
Jul 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This will be my 12-volume write-up of the entire series "The History of Middle Earth".

This series is ONLY for the hardcore Tolkien fanatic. Predominantly written by
JRR's son, based on JRR's notes on the creation of The Silmarilion and
The Lord of the Rings (much less on The Hobbit). It is somewhat interesting to
see the evolution of the story (for example, "Strider" was originally conceived as
a Hobbit (one of tho
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fic
A fascinating look behind the writing of LOTR for the person who wants to see the thought process behind the creation of a masterpiece. Some notes: Despite its title, half of this book discusses events in the Fellowship before turning to the Two Towers. I was intrigued to discover that originally Tolkien thought that Aragorn would marry Eowyn, hence the romance that began blossoming between the two. That is one of many examples in which one can see that earlier decisions sometimes retain a shado ...more
Anne Marie Gazzolo
It is wonderful to see the Professor at work as he struggles to figure out what really happened in the tale he is bringing forth. Some ideas I am glad he abandoned, others I am sorry did not make it into print. Some are from the beginning almost the same was the published version, some are wildly different. As a fellow sub-creator. I find these volumes fascinating as he muses about what happens because I have a lot of the same wonderings about my own series I am working on. The tale that unfolds ...more
Michael Davis
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly, this one didn't correspond to the planning behind The Two Towers- I had expected each of the three volumes in this part of the larger History of Middle-earth to match up with the three volumes in LOTR. This one was not quite as exciting or informative as the last, and in starting the next in the series, that one looks a little more engaging, too. We'll see.

I wrote about the experience of reading all 12 of these volumes here: (part 1) and her
Rossrn Nunamaker
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
Most people have noted this is only for die-hard fans of Tolkien, and it is. I'd also argue it is for those who seriously want to explore Tolkien's writing process (I'd imagine these are die-hard fans, but could be academics as well).

The titles of each of the three History of the Lord of the Rings books are misleading in that this volume mostly addresses content from book 1 of LOTR and book 3, which I began today, mostly covers book 2.

Get past all that and you will gain tremendous insight into h
Tommy Grooms
May 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The history of the writing of the Lord of the Rings continues from where the story left off in Return of the Shadow in front of Balin’s tomb; after some more backtracking the story continues on up to the point of the King of the Golden Hall chapter, and begins to take shape in earnest. It’s fascinating to see Tolkien’s creative process and the way in which he “discovers” the story as it forms. Once again I highly recommend listening along with the free Mythgard Academy course taught by Dr. Corey ...more
Ben De Bono
The second volume in The History of LOTR is no where near as interesting as the first. The material in Return of the Shadow was quite a bit different from the end result. It was great stuff.

Unfortunately most of what's in Treason of Isengard is a lot closer to the finished product. There is some good stuff. Tolkien's various outlines are fantastic and watching the development of the story is still great.

But on the whole this reads like a rough draft of the finished product. Great for Tolkien sc
Apr 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, nonfic
Do not confuse this book as only the Two Towers part of the History of Lord of the Rings, it actually covers a lot of Fellowship as well. It is very interesting to see the process and rejected story lines. There is also some description on the evolution of the map and some background on dwarf runes. I wish the footnotes had been published on the bottom of the page instead of the back of the chapter - I got really tired of flipping pages.
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Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect publishing date 5 191 Dec 08, 2017 11:25AM  
The Treason of Isengard: The History of Middle-Earth Volume 7 1 3 Oct 20, 2015 06:17PM  
  • The History of the Hobbit, Part Two: Return to Bag-End
  • The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth
  • The Atlas of Middle-Earth
  • Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World
  • The Map of Tolkien's Middle-Earth
  • The Road to Middle-Earth: How J.R.R. Tolkien Created A New Mythology
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator
  • The Languages of Tolkien's Middle-Earth
  • A Gateway to Sindarin: A Grammar of an Elvish Language from JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings
  • Journeys of Frodo: An Atlas of J.R.R.Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings"
  • Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopaedia
  • The Philosophy of Tolkien: The Worldview Behind the Lord of the Rings
  • Meditations on Middle-Earth
  • The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-Earth for Dummies
  • Understanding The Lord of the Rings: The Best of Tolkien Criticism
  • The Complete Tolkien Companion
  • The Inklings: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Their Friends
  • J.R.R. Tolkien's Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-Earth
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE, was an English writer, poet, WWI veteran (a First Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army), philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the high fantasy classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings .

Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and Merton Professor of English lan
More about J.R.R. Tolkien

Other books in the series

The History of The Lord of the Rings (4 books)
  • The Return of the Shadow: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part One (The History of Middle-Earth, #6)
  • The War of the Ring: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part Three (The History of Middle-earth, #8)
  • The End of the Third Age: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part Four (The History of Middle-earth, #9a)

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