Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End.
But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey ′there and back again′. They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon..
The prelude to The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit has sold many millions of copies since its publication in 1937, establishing itself as one of the most beloved and influential books of the twentieth century.
The Fellowship of the Ring:
Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power -- the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring -- the ring that rules them all -- which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.
The Two Towers:
Frodo and the Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the Ruling Ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord by destroying it in the Cracks of Doom. They have lost the wizard, Gandalf, in the battle with an evil spirit in the Mines of Moria; and at the Falls of Rauros, Boromir, seduced by the power of the Ring, tried to seize it by force. While Frodo and Sam made their escape the rest of the company were attacked by Orcs. Now they continue their journey alone down the great River Anduin - alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.
The Return of the King:
Companions of the Ring have become involved in separate adventures as the quest continues. Aragorn, revealed as the hidden heir of the ancient Kings of the West, joined with the Riders of Rohan against the forces of Isengard, and took part in the desperate victory of the Hornburg. Merry and Pippin, captured by orcs, escaped into Fangorn Forest and there encountered the Ents. Gandalf returned, miraculously, and defeated the evil wizard, Saruman. Meanwhile, Sam and Frodo progressed towards Mordor to destroy the Ring, accompanied by Smeagol-Gollum, still obsessed by his 'preciouss'. After a battle with the giant spider, Shelob, Sam left his master for dead; but Frodo is still alive - in the hands of the orcs. And all the time the armies of the Dark Lord are massing..
'The English-speaking world is divided into those who have read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and those who are going to read them.' Sunday Times 'A story magnificently told, with every kind of colour and movement and greatness.' New Statesman 'Masterpiece? Oh yes, I've no doubt about that.' Evening Standard