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Unsung Heroes of The Lord of the Rings: From the Page to the Screen Hardcover – March 30, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0275985219 ISBN-10: 0275985210

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (March 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275985210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275985219
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,875,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Porter examines the intricacies of modern human expectations for heroes and myths, and how those complex emotions influence what we read under the covers with a flashlight as opposed to what we see from the unlikely heroes, the minor characters who catch our attention and earn our admiration because they embody some aspect of heroism, such as the character of Merry as the knowledgeable hero, Pippen as the youthful, impulsive hero, Eowyn as the action hero, and so on, and how we seek out those characters who embody what we sense we have, or lack, in ourselves."


Reference & Research Book News

"[P]orter's style is clear and engaging. Large undergraduate and general collections."



"[S]hows a good grasp of available criticism in both academic and popular publications….The best feature of this book, I think is that, contra the lamentably common view that Tolkien relied primarily on types for his characterization, Porter shows how well he thought out their individual personalities."


Tolkien Studies

Book Description

Celebrates the unsung heroes in the Lord of the RingS≪/i> books and movies.

More About the Author

Writing has always been a passion. I'm the sole author, co-author, or editor of 14 books so far. As a contributing editor to PopMatters, I write a monthly film/television column, Deep Focus. Add introductions or chapters in another dozen books, plus journal articles and reviews, and you can see why my colleagues think I'm a bit obsessed with the research-and-writing process. I only hope that I'm passing on a few insights about communication (and maybe inspiring greater interest in film or fantasy and science fiction lit) as I teach students at Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach, Florida. When I'm not absorbed with a new project or classes, I like to travel. Favorite destinations include Scotland, Wales, Canada, and New Zealand--and I always have a book or two with me for the long flights.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on April 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In first looking at this book I was reminded of John Milton's "They also serve who only stand and wait."

This is a book on heros, but not the star. This is a book on the lessor heros, the little people, the women, even children that are also heros, even if of a lessor scale. Written in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack where we learned that the ordinary firemen, policeman, yes, even office worker occassionally does heroic things.

This book, though is based on the characters in The Lord of the Rings. It concentrates on finding heroic behavior in the lessor characters to illustrate both the genius of Tolkien's work, how well it was adapted to the movies and to illustrate how these minor heros have simularities with's today's real-life heros.

This book helps to understand how the adapted the book to the new medium of film, but also to show the depth of the original work and how faithfully this was carried out in the transposition to film.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Colin Platt on March 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have never given a book one star before. I have never rated a book that I have not finished, either, but I only got to page 29 of this book before throwing it away. At page 28 in talking about Merry and his idea to visit farmer Maggot the book observes 'This in itself shows that Merry is different from many Hobbits, who usually shy away from Big Folk. (That Merry cultivates a friendship with Maggot is testimony to his ability to communicate with many races, but this also shows that Merry is indeed 'stranger' than the average Hobbit.)'

The only conclusion I can draw from that statement is that the author is under the delusion that Farmer Maggot of Bamfurlong farm is a Man.

Farmer Maggot is a Hobbit.

How anyone can get something so fundamental so wrong is beyond me.

Race, and the ability to create friendships across racial barriers is a key point to The Lord of the Rings, but to cite an example that is completely wrong (both Merry and Maggot are Hobbits, so there is no racial barrier) basically casts the rest of the book into so much doubt that I see no point in reading it.

It is incumbent on authors who would review literary works to be able to demonstrate that they have at least read and understood them.

Alas, that cannot be said in this case.

At least the blundering revelation comes early, so I did not have to bother with the remainder of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Janet John on August 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover
OMG! I accessed the book on an online research site and found this whooper with my first "search."

"In simplest terms, Galadriel is a daughter of Finarfin, who is a descendant of the Valar, and Galadriel herself is one of the Eldar, one of the “first” Elves, whose lineage goes back only a few generations to the creation story, according to The Silmarillion."1

1. Lynnette R. Porter, Unsung Heroes of the Lord of the Rings: From the Page to the Screen (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2005), 116, http://www.questia.com/read/119704156.

I guess she didn't actually read The Silmarillion.
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