The War of the Ring

Gandalf in battle (The War of the Ring)Starting in February 2018, Mythgard Academy will present a free 17-week seminar on The War of the Ring, the eighth volume of the History of Middle-earth (HoME) series and the third volume of The History of The Lord of the Rings.

Previously, we have had extensive discussions with Dr. Corey Olsen on the first seven volumes in the HoME, The Book of Lost Tales, Part IThe Book of Lost Tales, Part II, The Lays of Beleriand, The Shaping of Middle-earthThe Lost RoadThe Return of the Shadow and The Treason of Isengard. We are now well into the second half of the series that explores the development of the manuscripts of J. R. R. Tolkien’s legendarium.

The War of the Ring was originally printed in 1990. Continuing from where the previous volume left off, this book covers the events of Helm’s Deep as they developed, as well as the Ents’ attack on Isengard. It also follows Frodo and Sam on their journey to the Black Gate, through Ithilien (and the meeting with Faramir), and up to Cirith Ungol. Finally, it covers the Battle of Pelennor Field and the coming of Aragorn’s host to the battle. The title for The War of the Ring comes from the fifth volume of the seven-volume edition of The Lord of the Rings.

The War of the Ring (The History of Middle Earth Vol. 8) by J.R.R. Tolkien

Recommended edition of The War of the Ring

Mythgard Academy seminars are free and open anyone who wants to join. The first 100 participants will be able to participate in the weekly live conversations, which are recorded and syndicated through our iTunes U course and the Signum University YouTube channel.

Mythgard can makes this series available for free because of the generosity of those who support Signum University (Mythgard’s parent institution) with their charitable donations. Individuals who donate get to pick the books that we cover in our Academy series. In addition to making our way through The History of Middle-earth series, the Council of the Wise has recently chosen to look at The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe by Douglas Adams, The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius and The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin.

The War of the Ring is our first book of 2018, and we will be choosing others within the next couple months. There are many great books that have been nominated in the past but have yet to be chosen – if you’d like help pick the books we cover for the rest of the year, see our annual fund page  and donate to support these free literary discussions!
– Dr. Corey Olsen

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 8 is available from Amazon.


The War of the Ring will meet on Wednesdays at 10 pm Eastern Time

Week 1

Read: Part 1, Chapters I – II
Attend: February 14, 2018

Week 2

Read: Part 1, Chapters III – IV
Attend: February 21, 2018

No class on February 28, 2018.

Week 3

Read: Part 1, Chapters V – VI
Attend: March 7, 2018

Note that Daylight Savings Time begins on March 11, 2018, in the most of the U.S. Class start time may shift for some attendees.

Week 4

Read: Part 2, Chapter I
Attend: March 14, 2018

Week 5

Read: Part 2, Chapters II – III
Attend: March 21, 2018

Week 6

Read: Part 2, Chapter IV
Attend: March 28, 2018

Week 7

Read: Part 2, Chapter V
Attend: April 4, 2018

Week 8

Read: Part 2, Chapters VI – VII
Attend: April 11, 2018

Week 9

Read: Part 2, Chapter VIII
Attend: April 18, 2018

No class on April 25, 2018.

Week 10

Read: Part 3, Chapters I – II.ii
Attend: May 2, 2018

Week 11

Read: Part 3, Chapter II.iii
Attend: May 9, 2018

Week 12

Read: Part 3, Chapter III
Attend: May 16, 2018

Week 13

Read: Part 3, Chapters IV – V
Attend: May 23, 2018

Week 14

Read: Part 3, Chapters VI – VII
Attend: May 30, 2018

Week 15

Read: Part 3, Chapters VIII – IX
Attend: June 6, 2018

Week 16

Read: Part 3, Chapters X – XI
Attend: June 13, 2018

Week 17

Read: Part 3, Chapters XII-XIV
Attend: June 20, 2018

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!