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Ever since Peter Jackson first released his film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved books in 2001, The Lord of the Rings trilogy has become a household name, as well as an utterly unavoidable example of fantasy cinema. The trilogy is now arguably one of the most recognizable cinematic series in the world; Jackson’s films have catapulted The Lord of the Rings narratives to the mainstream, and there are probably very few people who do not know what a ‘hobbit’ or an ‘orc’ is. Winner of multiple awards – including many Academy Awards – The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a real popular-culture icon, beloved by zealous fans and lay-watchers alike. That love often overspills into obsession, as the desire to relive the fantastic narratives of Middle-earth, and feel part of ‘the rings’, induces followers to extend the experience of the films into other areas of their everyday life. From fan fiction to fan-made movies, weddings in ‘Hobbiton’, film location tours of New Zealand, and celebrity worshipping, the devoted fans of trilogy do it all.
Academically informed, but written for the generally reader, Fan Phenomena: The Lord of the Rings delves into the philosophy of the ‘fans of the rings’, and explores the multi-faceted nuances of the films’ fan community. It also addresses the reach of The Lord of the Rings into the world of fandom and assesses its effects on viewers and their way of life. Including analysis of LOTR tours in New Zealand and fan-based tourism, character franchises and adaption processes, this lavishly illustrated collection is a must read.