"As is the case with all great works of art, J. R. R. Tolkien's masterpieces generously repay close attention and study. In this thoroughly entertaining and perceptive volume, winner of the prestigious Mythopoeic Society Scholarship Award, Professor Kocher examines the sources that Tolkien drew upon in fashioning Middle-earth and its inhabitants--and provides valuable insights into the author's aims and methods. Ranging from "The Hobbit" to The Lord of the Rings to "The Silmarillion" and beyond, "Master of Middle-earth" opens the door to a deeper and richer appreciation of Tolkien's magnificent achievement. Inside you will discover
- Why Aragorn is the most misunderstood character in The Lord of the Rings . . . and its true hero.
- The origin of Sauron--and the nature of evil in Tolkien's universe.
- The opposing forces of destiny and free will in Frodo's quest.
- The Cosmology of Middle-earth--is it our world at an earlier time, or does it exist in a fantastic Elsewhere?
- How Tolkien's ideas of morality, religion, and social order underlie every aspect of his life's work.
"Plus" a fascinating look at such lesser-known works of Tolkien's as "Leaf by Niggle," "Smith of Wootton Major," and many others