Too Much Pipeweed?: Trippy Tolkein

This is a triptych of three Lord of the Rings covers that Barbara Remington painted for the first authorized US edition (Click the image for a larger version).  Tolkein apparently hated the covers both for taste reasons (he was probably a little too old to grok psychedelia) and because he didn’t see how they related to the books.  Remington was never given an advance copy of the books and copies weren’t widely available in the US, so she had to work based on what little information she could get from diehard fantasy fans (which in the 1960’s probably meant stoners):  “and then there’s like this giant spider, and stuff.”

Now, I’m not the biggest Tolkein fan, but I think these aren’t bad covers.  I can see the Shire, Shelob, Minis Tirith(?), and Mount Doom.  Of course, I can’t explain the emus in the Shire, or the dragons in Mordor, or the Mudskipper up front and center (is that what Remmington thought Gollum looked like?), but I almost think I would have preferred the far trippier vision of the books presented here.

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Published in: on August 30, 2011 at 1:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

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