"THE LORD OF THE RINGS"
Cover commission for the novels by J.R.R. Tolkien
55" x 33" Oil on Panel
© 1999 Donato Giancola
collection of Chris Huntley
This cover for the Science Fiction Book Club's combined edition of The Lord of the Rings required a single narrative image that would convey the entire trilogy. Moria was one of the few places where the three main protagonists, Frodo, Gandalf and Aragorn, gathered. The physical battle in Balin's Tomb in Moria, however, is secondary to the psychological conflict over the ring. Frodo struggles as much within himself as between external forces. As a weary, defeated figure we see his hand reaching out to the highlighted ring while another dark, groping hand echoes his gesture. That shadowy ambiguous hand might represent Sauron, Gollum or even what Frodo himself could become.