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The Lord of the Rings Complete Visual Companion [Paperback]

Jude Fisher
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

1 Nov 2004

At last in paperback, this large-format illustrated book combines the contents of all three hardbacks, together with exclusive new pictures and text, to provide the perfect companion to the complete trilogy.

The Lord of the Rings Visual Companion takes the reader on their own journey into the world of Peter Jackson’s epic movie trilogy.

This large-format full-colour photographic encyclopedic guide to the characters, places, landscapes, creatures, battles, and costumes as seen in the film trilogy.

The only authorised visual companion, it will feature many stunning images exclusive to this edition together with detailed informative text and specially commissioned extras not available anywhere else, such as maps and battle plans.

Fully revised with new pictures from all three movies, plus additional sections which could not be included in the individual hardbacks, this book is a complete guide to the movies and a perfect accompaniment to the books, DVDs and videos.

Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (1 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007191952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007191956
  • Product Dimensions: 26.6 x 21.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Jude Fisher was born in Cornwall and now in London. She has worked in the book industry, as a bookseller and a publisher, for nearly twenty years, has a Master’s degree in Scandinavian Studies, specializing in Old Icelandic texts, and has published novels under her own name as well as the pseudonym of Gabriel King.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 14 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this instead of each visual companion individually after I received The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Movie Guide for my birthday. Whereas The Hobbit book was full of information, interviews with actors, and behind-the-scenes stills, the visual companions for the LOTR trilogy were massively disappointing. The dull "information" was lacking in anything new and often repeated itself. Many of the images were also of a really bad quality, shockingly so; I actually wondered whether I had bought a dodgy copy. Maybe this book would be fun for kids as it doesn't offer much, but for a fan of Peter Jackson's trilogy this simply isn't good enough.

Instead I recently bought 'The Lord of the Rings: The Art of...' books for each of the three films compiled by Gary Russell. Each book is dedicated to one of the trilogy and is filled with a plethora of rare information, interviews with the artists behind the sets, costumes, etc, and basically a dream to read for any fan of the films. Beautifully presented with unique sketches, drawings, and stills, you see exactly how the films came about, and the stages of progress each character had to go through. Fascinating, compelling, and a joy to have on my shelves, I am very happy with those books instead.

If you want detailed information about the LOTR films, don't buy the visual companion. It offers very little but may be nice for a child.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Guide to Middle-Earth 14 Nov 2004
By E. A Solinas - Published on
There are two kinds of "Lord of the Rings" fans -- those that have seen the movie, and those that have not. For the ones who haven't, Jude Fisher is like a best pal when it comes to filling in details. Her "Lord Of The Rings: The Complete Visual Companion" not only encompasses the three visual guides she wrote before, and rounds it off with the finales.

Things have been reshuffled a little to allow for better flow (why bother with recap if it's all in the same book) and the three visual guides together seem almost seamless. Fisher examines in detail the many characters from mild hobbit Frodo down to loathsome Grima Wormtongue, the places (such as the exquisite Lothlorian) pivotal battles, strange monsters and climactic events like the battle of the Pelennor Fields.

"The Return of the King Visual Companion," the last of the three books, was released over a month before the movie was -- therefore, Fisher was restrained from giving away anything that happens after Frodo and Sam reach Mount Doom. In short, it didn't tell us anything about how the movie ended -- would Frodo destroy the Ring, or would it possess him? Would Aragorn become king? Would he marry Arwen?

Now that "Return of the King" is almost a year behind us, Fisher is free to include new chapters and beautiful photographs from the last parts of the trilogy. She adds on the climax of the entire trilogy, with Frodo struggling into the heart of Mount Doom, and ends the chapter with the ambiguous line "I have made my choice." No, it's not clear what he chose just by reading.

After that comes a chapter detailing the coronation and wedding of Aragorn and Arwen, a chapter about the Fellowship splitting up for the last time, the Hobbits returning home, and a mention of Sam Gamgee's wedding to his beloved Rosie Cotton. In the final chapter (including the loveliest picture in the entire book), Fisher describes Frodo's final departure from Middle-Earth into the west.

Fisher has a pleasant, breezy style, and is able to explain the world of Middle-Earth without dumbing down the material. Sometimes she adds background info (such as Frodo's tragic life before coming to live with Bilbo) that was not a part of the actual script, but is essential to the characters anyway. The varied, colorful photographs are quite gorgeous, and the book has been reissued in a trade paperback with glossy flaps.

Anyone disappointed that "The Return of the King Visual Companion" did not include the climax and ending will be pleased by "The Lord Of The Rings: The Complete Visual Companion" -- like the trilogy, the visual guides are best read in one big chunk.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Nice Compilation 25 Jan 2005
By Ink Gypsy - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book because I had been told that it contained all the photos from Jude Fisher's three previous visual companions: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King, which I had seen, but not purchased. While it does have some of the photos, it doesn't have all of them. Photos in certain sections have been replaced by others, and in my opinion, in some cases, the replacements aren't better pictures. Two things would have made this book worthy of five stars. First, if it had been done as an oversize hardcover like its predecessors, and second, if the three individual visual companions had been entirely reprinted in this one volume, and then additional photos added. Now that I have this trilogy compilation, I won't be buying the other three individual companions, but I am sorry not to have those missing photos.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good LOTR book but... 17 Jun 2005
By Kristy M. Ross - Published on
While Jude Fisher's writing is even and sometimes evocative, this compilation of all three visual companions feels a bit superfluous. I mean, Lord of the Rings is great, and I'm happy to see that it hasn't been merchandised to death like the Star Wars prequels. But this isn't one of my favorite LOTR books for three reasons:

1. Not enough images from Return of the King and too Fellowship heavy 2. An unsubstantial feel to the Isengard and Gondor chapters 3.Certain characters don't get wrapped up (Saruman and Denethor) But it's still a good read and a nice addition to anyone's LORD OF THE RINGS collection. Personally though, I prefer the 'ART OF' books.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 16 Dec 2004
By Mama - Published on
My 9-year old has the 3 previous Visual Companions, in hardbound. They were beautiful. This last one seemed like a must-have so I got it for her. Understandably, many chapters duplicated but what was disappointing were the pictures. Very poor quality - dark, mostly, and poorly chosen. When I received the book from an online source, I went to a bookstore to check if my copy was just a defective one (bleeding of colors, darkness, etc...). It wasn't. I had expected more of never-before-seen photos, but much were common. My kid has better photos of the coronation. I thought this issue would be better than all 3 put together. No wonder it's cheap.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Picture Book 17 Jan 2005
By John Matlock - Published on
The official, fully authorized full-color guide to the characters, places, and landscapes of J.R.R.Tolkien's Middle-earth as depicted in The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.

Fully illustrated with almost 300 color photographs, including stunning new images from the extended director's versions of the Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers and more.

The many characters, creatures, and strange lands of Middle-earth encountered by the Fellowship of the Ring in their epic journey are here brought to life: from the magical Elven realms of Rivendell and Lothlorien to the abandoned Dwarven kingdom of Moria; from the wizard Saruman's stronghold at Isengard to the land of the Horse-lords, Rohan; from their last-ditch fortress at Helm's Deep to Minas Tirith, the city-kingdom of the proud Men of Gondor.

This omnibus edition also includes brand-new sections appearing in print for the first time, which take the story of the quest of the Fellowship beyond Mount Doom, all the way to the heartbreaking finale at the Grey Havens.
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