Unquestionably the first cinematic phenomenon of the twenty-first century, Peter Jackson's trilogy was a project of enormous artistic vision and financial risk. It is also a rich text for those studying film and media, perhaps for the first time. Studying The Lord of the Rings is the first book to consider the films in these terms, looking in turn at each of the major concepts: their complex origins and narrative structure; issues of representation masculinity, femininity and race; their generic patterns (to which genre do the films belong?) and thematic concerns; their industrial context from theatrical release to DVD extended editions; film language fusing classical mise-en-scène with cutting-edge technological practice. The aim throughout is to highlight critical debates and key terms, to relate these to the texts and to explore their stylistic and cultural impact. This Student Edition (a previously published Instructor's Edition is available) brings the story up to date with reflections on The Hobbit films.