Books, By Their Covers: The Lord of the Rings

For the sixth book in my series 'Books, By Their Covers' I chose perhaps my favourite book, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. 

Being such an epic story, it could be overwhelming to choose a direction on how to illustrate a cover. How can you sum up the scale of the story? With so many stories, memorable scenes and history, which do you chose to represent its entirety? I notice on the most recent prints of the book, their solution was to be minimal, creating graphics pictograms to represent each book. They are designed extremely well and work perfectly as covers.

However for my interpretation, I chose an actual scene in the book to represent the tale. The climactic moment where we see whether Frodo will destroy the ring is pivotal in the story - everything leads up to it. It was an ideal moment, but it needed to be handled correctly. Firstly, I wanted the figure standing in silhouette to be unclear. Who is it? Is it Sam, Frodo or even Gollum? And is it indeed at the Cracks of Doom, or maybe at another point along the journey, where Frodo is wrestling with the power of the Ring.

And with just the hint of a fire and heat below him, there is no further clue as to where or before what the character stands.