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Ranking LotR Covers From Best to Worst

You have the hottest takes on the Hobbit covers, and now you have them for the Lord of the Rings as well!

Chinese – Fake! :'(

Image via Good eReader

I usually only put ACTUAL covers, but this one snuck up on me. Maybe just because I wanted to believe. It’s simple, elegant, and look at the figures. I don’t care if it’s real, it’s pretty, and I need it. Literally just take my money. Too good to be true.

11/10

 

Pencil

Image via Reddit

There’s a lot to like here, and not just because I grew up with this edition of the hobbit. They’re pretty, the style is consistent, and you know I like a set that looks like a set. Still not perfect – the color leeches over time, which might be tonally consistent, but visually it’s weird.

9/10

 

Goth

Image via The Literary Omnivore

These are pretty good. Dark, simple, have elvish and gold. Weird, old school illustrations. I don’t know what the significance of the yellow, red, and blue is, but it’s not objectionable, and we get the ring motif. I like it, but it’s not blowing my mind.

8/10

 

Forest

Image via WorthPoint

These are pretty! I like the illustrations, I like the subtle colors, I like that the set looks consistent, but the illustrations should be different! Like, the same style, but different illustrations. I want unity, but I don’t want it to be boring.

7/10

 

Monotone

Image via Tolkien Collector’s Guide

I like the colors, I like the art, I like that it’s retro. That said, it doesn’t have  a lot of character. It’s bland. You have a stupid maybe eagle, it’s all pretty general, and it looks like it was made by an algorithm. Ultimately? Meh.

6/10

 

Simple

Image via Adazing

I like the bright colors, I like the really metal illustration of the horse and the wraiths, but the first one with Gandalf is so bright, there’s just tonal dissonance. The middle one is perfect, because it’s vivid and menacing, but the others feel lopsided.

5/10

 

Ink?

Image via Open Culture

This is a mess. I like the first one so much – it’s simple, it’s thematic. We’ve got elvish, fire, rings. The second one is ugly and I don’t know why you’d do that. That green is bad, idk if that’s supposed to be an eagle, and don’t get me started on the third one. Pass.

4/10

 

Elfish

Image via Adazing

We’ve got the tricolor look again, but all the pretty art is covered up. I’m pretty sure the tree on the third book is just taken from a hobbit cover. I’m not even that into the movie font. The scale doesn’t play with the eagle. Disappointing.

3/10

 

Nightmare

Image via Adazing

I have every question. The eagles look like crows. The last one seems to be an army of snakes. The first is just a tree? All that purple doesn’t make any sense. It’s all so dark it looks like none of it is. No tone at all, just a heap of nonsense.

2/10

 

Realistic

     
Image via Nerdalicious 

God I hate what they used to do to fantasy books. I hate it. Gandalf looks like he’s offerning you drugs, the winged hat looks incredibly silly, and I’m horrified that’s an elf with a mullet. The purple’s too bright. An elf with a mullet! Ffs.

1/10

 

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Featured image via Zoom Comics