The Treason of Isengard

The Treason of IsengardStarting in July 2017, Mythgard Academy will present a free 15-week seminar series on the The Treason of Isengard, the seventh volume in the History of Middle-earth series chronicling the development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium.

In previous Mythgard Academy seminars, we have reviewed the first six volumes in the HoME series: The Book of Lost Tales, Part IThe Book of Lost Tales, Part II, The Lays of Beleriand, The Shaping of Middle-earthThe Lost Road, and The Return of the Shadow. We have now past the midway mark of the HoME series – and all signs point to continuing on with the rest of the volumes, as well!

Originally published in 1989, Isengard takes its name from the discarded title for Book III of The Lord of the Rings, and it is the second volume of the four-book subset of the HoME series referred to as The History of the Lord of the Rings. It documents the development of the story as the Fellowship travels through Moria and into Lothlorien, continuing up to the breakup of the fellowship on the banks of the Anduin. It also covers events occurring in the first half of The Two Towers, including Merry and Pippen’s wanderings through Fangorn, Gandalf’s return – and, as the title implies, Saruman’s treachery against the Riders of Rohan.

The Treason of Isengard by J.R.R. Tolkien

Recommended edition of The Treason of Isengard

Mythgard Academy welcomes all attendees at no charge. Each week during the seminar, the first 100 participants will be able to attend live. Don’t worry if you can’t join us live, though – you can access the recordings for no charge on our iTunes U course and on the Signum University YouTube channel.

These sessions on speculative works are made possible due to the generosity of Mythgard Institute supporters. Those who contribute can vote for which books we explore in our discussions. So far this year, we have continued our journey through The History of Middle-earth series with Return of the Shadow, and after taking a short (but much anticipated!) side trip through Boethius’ The Consolation of Philosophy, we are returning again to the HoME series with The Treason of Isengard.

Our current seminar will takes us into the beginning of November, which means we’ll have time to start at least one more book before the new year. I’m excited to see the next book that will be chosen – and if you want to be a part of the nomination and voting process, there’s still time to donate! Visit our annual fund page to get in on the action!
– Dr. Corey Olsen


Find Boethius 'The Consolation of Philosophy' on iTunes U

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Participation Welcome!

To help participants support each other, Mythgard provides the following interaction opportunities:

  • A live chatroom is available at the bottom right of this page where you can converse with other session attendees in real time.
    • There is a little icon on the bottom left pane of the chat widget to open the chat in a separate window, which you should find useful.
  • Also, we have a Mythgard Academy forum where donors can discuss topics related to this seminar. The forum is located in the Signum University Digital Campus within the Community Hearth. Our other Mythgard Academy activities, such as the Silmarillion Film Project can be found on our public forum. (Registration required.)

Also, please “like” the Mythgard Academy Facebook page and follow us on Twitter to get updates and reminders about each session. If you live-tweet the discussions, please use the hashtag #MythAcademy.

The History of Middle-earth, Volume 7 is available on Amazon.


The Treason of Isengard discussions will be held on Wednesdays at 9:30 pm Eastern Time

Week 1: Retconning the Ring

Read: Chapters I-II (1-39)

Week 2: Of Wraiths, Narrators, Wizards and Songs

Read: Chapters III-IV (40-80)

Week 3: A Weather-Driven Mariner

Read: Chapters V (81-109)

Week 4: Drawn Irresistibly Towards the Older World

Read: Chapters VI (110-140)

Week 5: Of Ondor and Irongarth

Read: Chapters VII (141-160)

Week 6: To the Edge of the Known World

Read: Chapters VIII-IX (161-189)

Week 7: Ancient Evil and New Victory

Read: Chapters X-XI (190-216)

Week 8: The War of the Ring

Read: Chapters XII (217-244)

Week 9: Galadriel Rising

Read: Chapters XIII (245-266)

Week 10: The Faerie Queene

Read: Chapters XIV (267-294)

Week 11: Friendship and Betrayal

Read: Chapters XV-XVI (295-349)

Week 12: Frodo Among the Orcs

Read: Chapters XVII-XVIII (350-377)

Week 13: A Turning Point in the Story

Read: Chapters XIX-XX (378-407)

Week 14: The Tree-Man

Read: Chapters XXI-XXIII (408-424)
Attend: October 25, 2017, 9:30 PM EDT

Week 15: Gandalf Returns

Read: Chapters XXIV-XXVI (425-451)
Attend: November 1, 2017, 10:00 PM EDT

Week 16: Bonus Week

Attend: November 8, 2017, 9:30 PM EDT

Choose Future Seminar Topics

Do you want to support the work that the Institute does for fantasy and other imaginative literature? Would you like to help choose the books we discuss in future seminars? Donate today!