The Lord of the Rings Read-Along

Join the LOTR RA listhost or follow this blog to receive daily updates (starting March 20) detailing the journey of Frodo & Co. as it happens in real time during 2017-2018, including links to fanart, music, and other fun content!


  • What LOTR RA is – easy way to interact with the book behind the movies, a unique way to read or reread a fantasy classic, a nerdy way to get to know Middle Earth better, a low-stress way to ‘get involved’ with ‘Uchicago life’
  • What LOTR RA is not – a club with regular meetings, a rigorous reading regimen, a big commitment, exercise, an official RSO, sports


  • Do join this Listhost if you are –  someone who has always wanted read LOTR but never had the motivation, someone who loves fan created art, someone who has read LOTR and wants to relive the journey, a Tolkien nerd, a Tolkien society member, or even just a fantasy novel fan
  • Do not join the Listhost if you – hate JRR Tolkien, hate books, hate fiction, and/or hate receiving emails with cool info


  • The primary communication for this group will be updates on the listhost and this blog detailing the journey of Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Gandalf, Aragorn, Orlando Bloom, Gimli & Co.
  • You will receive daily updates , including a summary of events and extras like:
    • When to read what pages of Fellowship of the Ring, Two Towers, and Return of the King (See below for format)
    • Middle Earth trivia
    • Important/funny/famous quotes
    • Tolkien’s drawings/fanart
    • Music
    • Maps
    • Movie clips
    • Recipes
  • Also at any time feel free to submit content to me, and I will send it through the listhost on an appropriate day.
  • There are no meetings planned, but optional meetings could be arranged if there is interest
  • Also if there is interest, we can start a side blog with content related to the Tolkien fandom, i.e. fanfiction, non-canon fanart, memes, more movie-related stuff, extended universe, etc.


  • Dates for the journey are given in “The Tale of Years” in Return of the King Appendix B. See that for details about when the journey takes place
  • We will read in “real time” from April 2017 to May 2018, see details about the schedule on the Calendars page.
  • Dates in Lord of the Rings and “The Tale of Years” are given according to the Shire calendar – we will read/update on slightly different days; see the Calendars page and files in the Google Drive for details.


Updates will include the relevant pages of LOTR to read, so that by Spring Quarter 2018, we will have read the entire three volumes. Citations will be given in the following format:

VolumeName.ChapterName “quote” (approx. page # of chapter)

Note: Fellowship of the Ring = FR, Two Towers = TT, Return of the King = RK


FR.ThreeIsCompany “On the morning of the last day” (~p.5) – “they strode away far into the night” (~p.9)

  • Explanation: you would read starting with the quote “On the morning of the last day”, to be found on approximately the 5th page of the chapter ‘Three is Company’ in FR to the quote “they strode away far into the night”, to be found on the 9th(ish) page of the same chapter

RK.PassingOfTheGreyCompany (start) – “lie and rest for a brief while and take counsel” (~p.3)

  • Explanation: Start with the beginning of ‘Passing Of the Grey Company’ in RK and end with the quote given on the third(ish) page of the chapter

TT.WhiteRider “A bitter chill came into the air” (~p.1) – TT.HelmsDeep “The slow night passed without tidings or alarm” (~p.1)

  • Explanation: Read from the quote on the first page of ‘White Rider’ in TT to the quote on the first page of ‘Helm’s Deep’ in TT

The actual page number of the chapter will vary depending on the formatting of your edition. I will use Houghton-Mifflin’s large one volume edition to give the citations; for smaller sized editions, add one or two to the given page numbers to compensate for fewer words per page.