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Lord of the Rings Art


This Lord of the Rings art series was created in the 1970s for a proposed illustrated edition of the trilogy to be published by Houghton Mifflin.


My interest in Tolkein's "Lord of the Rings" began in 1965 when Bill Cavness read it aloud on Boston Public Radio's "Reading Aloud" a half hour daily of readings from literature. Tolkein wrote it to be read aloud and did so with his group of English writers in England as he was writing it. My son, only about 4 then insisted that we stop everything and listen each day.

In 1971 my son, my wife and I spent several months in Ireland, in county Donegal first in Glencolumbkil and then at Malin Moore. As we traveled around the area it seemed to me to evoke visual images appropriate to the trilogy of the Ring. I had done a sketch or two before we left, but it was after we returned that the ideas began to gel.

I took some of the work to Houghton Mifflin in Boston and they appeared interested, so on speculation I continued. The British publishers would not agree to an illustrated version in the USA, so nothing came of it. One by one I have sold off most of the drawings and where some of them are now is a bit of a mystery.


The Grey Havens

The Grey Havens by E. Thor Carlson


Smaug the Golden Dragon

Smaug the Golden Dragon by E. Thor Carlson


Frodo and Gandalf Look at the Ring

Frodo and Gandalf Look at the Ring by E. Thor Carlson


Smeagold (Gollum)

Smeagold by E. Thor Carlson


Hobbit House

Hobbit House by E. Thor Carlson


Frodo with Galadriel

Frodo with Galadriel by E. Thor Carlson


Tom Bombadil

Tom Bombadil by E. Thor Carlson


Sauroman in his Tower

Sauroman in his Tower


Hobbits at the Safe House

Hobbits at the Safe House by E. Thor Carlson


Pippin and the Farmer

Pippin and the Farmer


Frodo at the Crossing

Frodo at the Crossing by E. Thor Carlson


Rider at the Inn

Rider at the Inn


Bilbo's Birthday Farewell

Bilbo's Birthday Farewell by E. Thor Carlson


Glen Gesh View with Hobbits

Glen Gesh View with Hobbits by E. Thor Carlson


Elven Couple

Elven Couple


Elf with Rabbit

Elf with Rabbit by E. Thor Carlson


Dwarf with Jewels

Dwarf with Jewels by E. Thor Carlson




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