If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

How to read The Lord of the Rings canon

J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth books reading order

J.R.R. Tolkien not only perfected the contemporary high fantasy genre, but he also wrote tens of thousands of pages of lore set in his world of Middle-Earth. Tolkien's canon has inspired the Academy Award winning The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, the Academy Award winning The Hobbit film trilogy, and The Rings of Power streaming show currently airing on Amazon Prime! Hollywood stars from Sir Ian McKellen to MagicCon staple Elijah Wood have graced the on-screen versions which have sprouted from the complex book canon.

The world of Middle-Earth is a rich and complicated as the original mythological source material. To get the full and complete Lord of the Rings Tolkien reading experience you are going to have to read more than simply The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Luckily for us, Popverse’s Ashley V. Robinson's favourite thing in the world is The Lord of the Rings, so she shares her recommended reading order for The Lord of the Rings canon for 1) New Readers and 2) Mythologists. Oh, yeah, it's about to get DEEP DIVE!

Join her from the white halls of Minas Tirith, the capitol of Gondor, for a breakdown of every volume from The Silmarillion to The Fall of Gonodlin - and learn why Gondolin is so awesome! Why are they called "The Unfinished Tales"? If you read it, you will learn! In this video explainer, Ashley shares some of the stories she loves most, touches on the history of when Tolkien wrote each volume, and highlights which stories inspired The Hobbit film trilogy, The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, and Amazon Prime's The Rings of Power.

Cover image for YouTube videoWhich Lord of the Rings actor read the books every year of his life? (and how you can too!)

The current on-screen Lord of the Rings adaptation The Rings of Power stars: Morfydd Clark (Galadriel), Lenny Henry (Saddoc Burrows), Robert Aramayo (Elrond), Ismael Cruz Cordova (Arondir), Benjamin Walker (High King Gil-galad), and more. The first season is available to stream now.

Lord of the Rings: How to watch the whole LOTR saga in chronological or release order

Want to know what's coming up next in pop culture? Check out our guides to upcoming movies, upcoming TV shows, upcoming comics, and upcoming comic conventions. If you're looking for specific franchises or genres, we have all the upcoming MCU, upcoming Star Wars, upcoming Star Trek, and upcoming DC movies & TV for you. If you're a fan of superheroes and not specific to just Marvel or DC, we have overall guides to all the upcoming superhero movies and upcoming superhero TV shows (and new seasons) as well.

Follow Popverse for upcoming event coverage and news

Let Popverse be your tour guide through the wilderness of pop culture

Sign in and let us help you find your new favorite thing.

About the Author
Ashley V. Robinson avatar

Ashley V. Robinson

Popverse video producer

Ashley Victoria Robinson is a Canadian hobbit now living in the United States. She is a Popverse Video Producer. You may know her as the host of the Geek History Lesson podcast (alongside Jason Inman), and was even the face of Twitter marketing for podcasters.