“The Lord of the Rings: The Art of the Two Towers” by Gary Russel (Houghton Mifflin, 2003)

Art of the Two Towersstarstarstar

If you’ve already watched The Two Towers, you will not consider is surprising that the movie won the Oscar for best visual effects.  But should you be in any doubt (which is unlikely), or rather, should you wish to view the evidence again, then The Art of the Two Towers is the book for you.

The second in the series after The Art of the Fellowship of the Ring, this book takes you as close to the movie as possible, except for actually watching the movie in theaters or on DVD.  Filled with beautiful glossy, colorful photographs, paintings, and sketches, one can see how ideas like the tower of Orthanc, the different Orcs, and enemy forces, as well as characters like Gollum initially came to life.  There are many initial sketches and ideas of what they were thought to look like, and then a comparison with the final product that is featured in the movie.

It is a book that deserves to be on the shelf of any avid fan of the trilogy, as well as anyone who has an appreciation for art and color.  The Art of the Two Towers is simply a great book to own.

Originally published on April 21st, 2003.

Originally published in the Long Beach Union.