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Tolkien followed The Hobbit with a three-volume sequel, The Lord of the Rings. This trilogy is far more serious in tone and more complex in plot, drawing heavily on Tolkien’s mythological inventions later published as The Silmarillion. In the first book, The Fellowship of the Ring, Bilbo leaves The Shire for Rivendell and passes the ring to his distant cousin Frodo. What was in The Hobbit only a ring of invisibility becomes an evil instrument of Sauron, the unnamed Necromancer to whom Gandalf refers in The Hobbit; the ring now has a long history of evil from its creation to its being found by Bilbo. Gandalf and Elrond, elf leader at Rivendell, organize the Fellowship to destroy the ring. The Two Towers and The Return of the King relate the quest of the Fellows, the destruction of the ring, and the eventual re-establishment of a kingdom in which justice and peace can reign. Another work that might appeal to Hobbit-lovers is Tolkien’s Farmer Giles of Ham, a relatively short work that features the dragon Chrysophylax and the unwilling hero Giles. Both Farmer Giles of Ham and Tolkien’s essay “On Fairy-stories” are available in The Tolkien Reader (1981). A video version of The Hobbit (ABC Video Enterprise, 1977) presents the story in animated cartoon form. The video is true to the basic plot, but it omits or truncates several scenes and does not convey the linguistic artistry of the text.

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