The Return of the Shadow
In The Return of the Shadow are traced the first forms of the story of The Lord of the Rings; herein the journey of the hobbit who bore the great ring, at first named Bingo but afterwards Frodo, is followed from Hobbiton in the Shire through the Old Forest to Weathertop and Rivendell, and ends in this volume before the tomb of Balin, the Dwarf-lord of Moria.
Frontispiece – Map of the Shire (The earliest extant map of The Shire)
The First Phase
1. A Long-Expected Party
•Reproduces the opening page of the first manuscript version of the chapter.
2. From Hobbiton to the Woody End
•Includes variant versions of the poems: ◦The Road Goes Ever On
◦Upon the Hearth
3. Of Gollum and the Ring
4. To Maggot’s Farm and Buckland
•Includes the texts of the poems: ◦O Water Warm and Water Hot!
◦As I Was Sitting by the Way
◦Bless the Water
•Also includes a variant version of the poem Ho! Ho! Ho! To the Bottle I Go.
5. The Old Forest and the Withywindle
•Includes an untitled five verse poem dating from the mid-1930s - the germ of Tom Bombadil.
6. Tom Bombadil
7. The Barrow-Wight
8. Arrival at Bree
•Includes the texts of the poems: ◦The Root of the Boot (as published in Songs for the Philologists). The accompanying commentary is the source of much of the known history of Songs for the Philologists.
◦The Cat and the Fiddle (original manuscript version of poem published in Yorkshire Poetry).
9. Trotter and the Journey to Weathertop
10. The Attack on Weathertop
•Includes a version of the poem Light as Leaf on Lindentree intermediate between the version published in The Gryphon and the final version found in The Fellowship of the Ring.
11. From Weathertop to the Ford
12. At Rivendell
13. ‘Queries and Alterations’
The Second Phase
14. Return to Hobbiton
15. Ancient History
•Reproduces two manuscript pages which include the original description of the writing on the Ring and the Ring-verse itself.
• Also includes variant versions of the Ring-verse.
16. Delays are Dangerous
17. A Short Cut to Mushrooms
18. Again from Buckland to the Withywindle
•Includes the text of the poem Farewell! Farewell, Now Hearth and Hall! (This is a precursor of Farewell We Call to Hearth and Hall!)
The Third Phase
19. The Journey to Bree
•Includes an early version of the Took family tree.
20. At the Sign of the Prancing Pony
•Includes a reproduction of a manuscript page showing a plan of Bree.
21. To Weathertop and Rivendell
22. New Uncertainties and New Projections
•Reproduces a manuscript page which shows the emergence of Treebeard. The page also includes several examples of Elvish script - Tolkien's name and initials, and a brief plot projection.
•Also includes extracts from a letter to Stanley Unwin dated 15 September 1939 concerning progress with the ‘sequel to the Hobbit’.
The Story Continued
23. In the House of Elrond
•Includes an early version of the Elbereth Gilthoniel verse.
24. The Ring Goes South
•Includes a reproduction of a manuscript page showing the earliest map of the lands south of the Wilderland map in The Hobbit.
25. The Mines of Moria
•Reproduces a manuscript page which shows the first depiction of the tengwar inscription on the West Gate of Moria.