"The Lord of the Rings" by J. R. R. Tolkien

Tolkien despliega en esta obra de proporciones épicas un gran universo fantástico con la lucha entre el bien y el mal como eje central. Una novela desbordante de magia y aventuras que continúa cautivando nuevos públicos.

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When John Ronald Reuel Tolkien began telling stories to his children, he had no idea it would lead to the creation of one of the world’s most famous fantasy novels. An English language and literature professor at Oxford University, Tolkien used his knowledge of mythology and languages to write The Hobbit, which became a bestseller. However, it took him a further seventeen years to produce its epic sequel, The Lord of the Rings (1954-55).

MIDDLE-EARTH

Tolkien’s story of light and darkness, heroism and greed is full of biblical references. It was set in an imaginary place called Middle-earth, which was populated by a mix of human and mythological creatures, including elves, dwarves, trolls, and orcs (or goblins). Most memorable are the shy, courageous hobbits, who inhabit The Shire. At the start, the hobbit Frodo watches his uncle Bilbo Baggins bring his birthday speech to a dramatic end.

“‘I am leaving NOW. GOOD-BYE!’

He stepped down and vanished. There was a blinding flash of light, and the guests all blinked. When they opened their eyes Bilbo was nowhere to be seen. One hundred and forty-four flabbergasted hobbits sat back speechless...”

“—Me voy. Los dejo ahora. ¡Adiós!

Bilbo bajó de la silla y desapareció: hubo un relámpago enceguecedor y

todos los invitados parpadearon; y cuando abrieron de nuevo los ojos, Bilbo ya no estaba. Ciento cuarenta y cuatro hobbits miraron boquiabiertos y sin habla”.

THE RING

Bilbo possesses a magical ring, which has special powers, including making the wearer invisible. It also, however, corrupts. Sauron, the evil Dark Lord of Mordor, wants it for himself, so that he can use it to dominate the world. Frodo is given the ring, but is instructed by Gandalf the wizard to take it to the Fire-mountain and destroy it.

“‘I really do wish to destroy it!’ cried Frodo. ‘...I am not made for perilous quests. I wish I had never seen the Ring! Why did it come to me? Why was I chosen?’

‘Such questions cannot be answered’, said Gandalf... ‘But you have been chosen, and you must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have.’”

“—¡Quiero destruirlo de veras! — exclamó Frodo — [...] No estoy hecho para empresas peligrosas. Hubiese preferido no haberlo visto nunca. ¿Por qué vino a mí? ¿Por qué fui elegido?

—Preguntas que nadie puede responder —dijo Gandalf—. [...]. Pero has sido elegido y necesitarás de todos tus recursos: fuerza, ánimo, inteligencia”.

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POWERFUL ENEMY

Frodo sets out on a long and difficult journey — finding courage and companionship along the way. He is joined by a loyal band of hobbits, elves, dwarves and men who must survive unimaginable challenges if they are to succeed. The power of their enemy is great, as the warriors Boromir and Gimli discover when they become trapped by a terrible snowstorm.

“‘I wonder if this is a contrivance of the Enemy’, said Boromir. ‘They say in my land that he can govern the storms in the Mountains of Shadow that stand upon the borders of Mordor. He has strange powers and many allies.’

‘His arm has grown long indeed,’ said Gimli, ‘if he can draw snow down from the North to trouble us here...’

“—Me pregunto si no será una treta del enemigo —dijo Boromir—. Dicen en mi país que él comanda las tormentas en las Montañas de Sombra que rodean a Mordor. Dispone de raros poderes y de muchos aliados.

—El brazo le ha crecido de veras —dijo Gimli— si puede traer nieve desde el norte para molestarnos aquí a trescientas leguas de distancia”.

MAGIC ELF DUST

Through more than a thousand pages of adventure, battle, magic and moral dilemmas, Tolkien keeps the reader guessing. Will the ring be destroyed? Can Sauron be defeated? And will The Shire remain a green and pleasant land? The destruction wreaked by Sauron gravely damages the Earth’s environment. Fortunately, hobbits like Sam, Frodo’s loyal companion, have magic elf dust to salvage the situation.

“Sam planted saplings in all the places where specially beautiful or beloved trees had been destroyed, and he put a grain of the precious dust in the soil at the root of each... Spring surpassed his wildest hopes. His trees began to sprout and grow, as if time was in a hurry and wished to make one year do for twenty.”

“Entonces Sam plantó retoños en todos aquellos lugares en donde antes había árboles especialmente hermosos o queridos, y puso un grano del precioso polvo en la tierra, junto a la raíz. [...] La primavera colmó con creces las más locas esperanzas de Sam. En su propio jardín los árboles comenzaron a brotar y a crecer como si el tiempo mismo tuviese prisa y quisiera vivir veinte años en uno."

GENERATIONS

J. R. R. Tolkien was sixty-two when The Lord of the Rings was published in 1955. By the turn of the 21st century, it had sold more than fifty million copies worldwide. Tolkien died in 1973 but his son, Christopher, edited The Silmarillion (1977) as a companion volume to The Lord of the Rings. Peter Jackson’s acclaimed trilogy of film adaptations (2001-2003) secured the book’s place in literary history and its popularity with generations to come.

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Este artículo pertenece al número de septiembre 2023 de la revista Speak Up.

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