Title: A Middle Earth Traveller: Sketches from Bag End to Mordor
Author: John Howe
Rating: 5/5 stars
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Reviewed by: Deborah Tan

Hobbiton door. Photo from Pixabay.

A Middle Earth Traveller offers you a view of J.R.R. Tolkien’s iconic fantasy world through John Howe’s eyes.  Structured as a walking tour, Howes is your knowledgeable guide to an unforgettable Middle Earth experience. The book features stunning paintings and detailed pencil drawings on each page.

As one of the conceptual artists for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit, this book features Howes’s concept art made for the movies. Howes has included several exclusive sketches and paintings unique to this book. I particularly enjoyed the coastlines of Middle Earth, where you can visualise the role of sea in the history of Middle Earth. Other features include Howe’s anecdotes of his time working with Peter Jackson throughout the movies and background information behind the scenes.

In his artwork, you will notice familiar places such as Bag End, and characters like Smaug the dragon. Howes also takes you through roads untraveled, including events that were in the books but not the films including the history of Middle Earth prior to the events in the Lord of the Rings, and the outer regions that J.R.R. Tolkien briefly mentioned, such as the lands beyond the seas. The book is in high quality hardback, and makes a perfect addition to the coffee table. Any Tolkien fan would love this.


DEBBIE TAN is an Aucklander who likes art, anime, stickers, singing, horror movies and cunning word play. Also passionate about youth activism.