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Tolkien started a Lord of the Rings sequel but never finished it

J.R.R. Tolkien started a The Lord of the Rings sequel, but never actually finished the book. And as fans of the original LOTR movies and books, we're curious.

Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings movies

J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic high-fantasy The Lord of the Rings novels made a permanent mark on the genre, and have permeated into other mediums with movies, Amazon Prime Video series The Rings of Power, and even anime soon.

We think Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy has some of the best fantasy movies, but had history taken another path, we may have gotten new movies that continued the story.

No, we’re not talking about iffy Hobbit prequels, we’re referring to the seeds of a sequel book Tolkien abandoned.

‘The New Shadow’ is an unfinished LOTR sequel that Tolkien decided not to go ahead with. Instead, its manuscript was published as chapter sixteen of ‘The Peoples of Middle-earth’, the final volume of Christopher Tolkien’s series, ‘The History of Middle-earth’, in which he explores Tolkien’s unpublished manuscripts.

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In a letter, Tolkien commented, “I did begin a story placed about 100 years after the Downfall, but it proved both sinister and depressing. Since we are dealing with Men it is inevitable that we should be concerned with the most regrettable feature of their nature: their quick satiety with good.”

“So that the people of Gondor in times of peace, justice and prosperity, would become discontented and restless — while the dynasts descended from Aragorn would become just kings and governors — like Denethor or worse.” He continued, “Not worth doing.”

Well, that’s decisive. Perhaps it’s best we never got to lay eyes on this follow-up. And, let’s be honest, there was more than enough source material to mine from to make some of the best movies of all time, if you ask us. On that subject, check out the One Ring explained, The Rings of Power Cast, and The Rings of Power season 2 release date.