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The Lord of the Rings Tarot Pack Toy – 16 Nov 1998

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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£23.15 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 1 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Toy: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco; Gmc Crds/P edition (16 Nov. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572810556
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572810556
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 12.7 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 793,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

The Lord of the Rings Tarot unites two great traditions: the spiritual, mystical tradition of the tarot, and the world of folklore and fairy tales that is most delightfully depicted in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The added factor of a card game summons you to travel through Middle-earth to reach Mount Doom and destroy the One Ring!

Fanciful characters and scenes from J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy and 'The Hobbit' appear on each of the 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana cards. Rules are included for a card game for 2-6 players, ages 10 to adult.

About the Author

Terry Donaldson is the author of The Lord of the Rings Oracle, Principles of Tarot and Step By Step Tarot (all Thorsons). He runs the London Tarot Centre, and is a practising magician and tarot reader.


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By A Customer on 7 July 2001
Format: Toy
The artwork is wonderful, and the symbolism is well thought out. Anyone who is a Tolkien fan interested in reading the tarot, then you will have wonderful results with this deck. The book also includes an explanation of each card (symbolism and why that particular character was chosen), planetary correspondences, and a speech from each major arcana card.
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Format: Toy
This card game is well made and easy to use but for me the illustrations are the best part. They are wonderfuly drawn and seem to portray my idea of what the world in Tolkiens Lord Of the Rings is like.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x90e4abc4) out of 5 stars 23 reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90452624) out of 5 stars Well, I liked it... 8 Nov. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Toy Verified Purchase
Wow, has this deck gotten slammed!
I am a 'new' Tolkien fan. After seeing the Lord of the Rings movie and loving it.. I decided I had to read the books. The characters / story just fascinates me. I also enjoy the Tarot quite a bit - so when I remembered that there was a Lord of the Rings Tarot - I got excited... Until I read the reviews. OUCH!
I am not in any way saying the reviews are wrong. From what I understand, there are a lot of "technical differences"... and ALOT of questioning of why certain people / things were chosen for the cards they depict. I understand and agree with most of this... which is why it took me a long time before I broke down and purchased the deck...
I realized the reason I like the deck is because I am approaching it differently. 1. I like the artwork. Some of the pictures are quite intuitive to me - irrespective of the story. 2. I find the sentences on the cards helpful in remembering some of the aspects of the card meaning. 3. I like seeing the characters I enjoy on the cards - It helps me relate better to the deck as a whole.
While I realize there is a lot wrong with this deck, personally, I find that if I approach it loosely, it can be fun and I can get a lot out of it. I find that I just enjoy using cards that remind me of a story I love - I read the cards as they make me feel when I look at them - and I don't take the rest of it too seriously.
This deck may or may not be for you. Take all of the reviews / information into consideration, look at the cards yourself, and then make your own decision.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90b8fe40) out of 5 stars Great for the Tolkien fan 26 Oct. 2003
By Chris Garrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Toy
I found the deck to be a great introduction to Tarot as a Tolkien fan, since it uses characters and scenes I am very familiar with. This way, the meaning of each card is instantly apparent, not as cryptic as other decks I have used.
As for the claims that Tolkien would not have approved "as a Christian" of the use of his works in a pagan context (Tarot), you only need to look at his works to know this is false. Tolkien's work was all about Norse mythology and fairy tales. The Silmarillion was all about a pantheon of gods very much in a pagan tradition. Not to say that Tolkien himself was Pagan, but he did very much celebrate pagan myths and legends.
The cards themselves are well done, and have a legend at the bottom to set the scene for each.
I'm very happy with the deck, and whether you buy it as a Tolkien fan as a collectible, or as a fan who's also a Tarot enthusiast, I think it's a good buy.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90c3e93c) out of 5 stars Wonderful collector's item, Tolkien fans will treasure...... 4 Aug. 2000
By Graham D. Lincoln - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Toy
...better art than some of the calendars I have seen, inspired by The Lord of The Rings trilogy. I got them for my Birthday! The only problem I have with the cards is, why....oh, why...do they always put the Bad Guy on The Hierophant card ! Gandalf should be The Hierophant, not Saruman! I have read the Trilogy and The Hobbit three times. I have always loved Tolkien & I collect Tarot cards. Although the cards have a dark feel about them, they are a unique collectable that I am proud to own. Goldberry as The Queen of Cups radiates beauty and shines-forth, from the card. The Death card is like an Alchemist's rendering of Gandalf's confrontation with The Balrog. I will forgive the Hierophant screw-up, because The Magician card has a great representation of Gandalf! The devil card: "Wormtongue's insidious advice poisons the mind of good King Theoden." Love The Strength card! (The White Tree).
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90ba1324) out of 5 stars Cast it into the fires of Mount Doom! 9 Mar. 2002
By elwen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Toy
There are very few redeeming points about this deck. The only one I can think of at the moment is that the author remains faithful to the Rider-Waite interpretation of tarot cards, so those already familiar with tarot should be immediately comfortable with the card meanings.
This deck probably would better have been called the "Tolkien Tarot" or something of that sort, as the creator draws many scenes from The Hobbit as well as from The Silmarillion. In addition to tarot readings, the deck can also be used to play a sort of card game that models the Ringbearer's quest. The deck comes with a book with detailed descriptions of the Major Arcana and one-page explanations of the Minor Arcana.
The artwork in this deck didn't appeal to me, although that is a matter of taste. I found it a bit too cartoony and somewhat medieval in style, and I don't think the author paid attention to most of the phsyical descriptions in the book. Since when did Gandalf wear a steel helmet, or Galadriel wear a winged hat, or Hobbits have un-hairy feet? Aside from this, the artwork from card to card is inconsistent, ranging from completely stylized to looking like your usual fantasy scenes. As if this wasn't enough, the pictures only take up about two-thirds of the card, the rest being dominated by the label, a rather wordy description of the scene, and the alignment symbol for the game. Essentially, you have bad, inconsistent artwork that can be barely made out.
After you get past the artwork, you still aren't going to be very pleased with this deck. I will give the creator credit for one thing: he knows his tarot interpretations. What he apparently doesn't know is his Tolkien interpretations. Now, of course he's welcome to own ideas about the works, but anyone who has read the Lord of the Rings and taken a little time to think about its meaning will find himself cringing at some of the things this guy missed.
An example or two would illustrate:
The Fool card in tarot is traditionally a symbol of new beginnings, but in this deck the card was assigned to Gollum. More than that, the book talks about how Gollum's "road is just beginning" when it's clear from Tolkien that Gollum was a wretched creature who had nothing to live for and basically no hope for redemption.
The Wheel of Fortune is pretty much what it sounds like: the idea that times can be good or bad, and all that goes around comes around. In this deck, it is the Ruling Ring. The book doesn't even make an attempt to explain why this time, it only goes on and on about the creation of the Rings of Power, as if the author is eager to show off how much he learned from reading The Silmarillion. I don't think there's anything clearer in the books than the fact that the Ring has absolutely no good in it (kind of like this deck). Even if you tried to use it for good purposes it would still end up being evil. Unless you're the ultimate pessimist, it doesn't sound like much of a Wheel.
I was delighted when I first heard of a Lord of the Rings tarot deck, and I promptly sought it out online and ordered it. I've had it for more than six years now, but I have never brought myself to do anything with it other than look through the cards, shaking my head in disgust. Spare yourself the agony, and don't buy this deck. There is nothing in it that connects to Tolkien save in name alone.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90452b88) out of 5 stars Depends very much on what you're looking for 6 Feb. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Toy
If you're a serious student of the tarot, you may be disappointed with the cards (they double as a card game and therefore have extraneous symbols on them that may distract during a reading, and the prominent captions do little to open the intuitive mind to symbolic meanings beyond the surface). Still, the artwork is fine, if too small (another artifact of the gaming aspect), and the choices of characters and situations is well-thought-out. If you approach this set as a Tolkien fan FIRST, and a tarot afficionado second, you'll probably find it delightful. But don't buy it as a primary (reading) deck--buy it as a collectible.
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