Master of Lore is a blog about the themes and lore of J.R.R. Tolkien through the lens of Fantasy Flight’s The Lord of the Rings Living Card Game.  I am a huge fan of both Tolkien’s books and FFG’s game and want to use the cards as an opportunity to deepen my knowledge of Tolkien’s work to enrich my gameplay.  Please read my first article “Greeting and Goals from Master of Lore” for a more complete introduction to my blog and intention!  Then look forward to my articles (hopefully at least once a month) which will seek to enhance the “aesthetic and philosophical significance” of Tolkien’s work by featuring an original high resolution scan of one card and examining its theme in three sections.


• Literary analysis of Tolkien’s primary texts upon which the featured card is based


• Fantasy Flight card artist’s original work, biography, and portfolio

• Other amateur and professional work featuring the same aspect of Tolkien’s world


• Evaluation of card’s stats, abilities, and text with regard to Tolkien’s legendarium

• Suggestions and original snapshots of thematic play opportunities

• Customized cards (from time to time) designed for greater thematic effect

Thanks for joining me on this journey through Tolkien’s tales and the LOTR LCG and enjoy the blog!



  1. Phoenix · · Reply

    Great Eagles in reality have been called Thunderbirds for over a half million years by shamans and also indigenous peoples.

  2. Tonskillitis · · Reply

    I just wanted to express my appreciation for the hardwork and depth you put into these articles. I also enjoy the focus on theme and lore which really brings this cardgame to life and makes it so much fun. Hope you can keep producing this great content and giving players another perspective on LOTR LCG. Material like this really heightens my enjoyment of the game and encourages me to try interesting thematic deckbuilds which can occasionally win at these extremely challenging quests! Your song deck was great – and in multiplayer these decks are probably more viable. Looking forward to seeing a thematic hobbit deck playthrough soon…

    1. Thank you so much for the encouraging feedback! I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the blog and I’ll do my best (along with Derek) to keep new articles coming at least once a month.

      Once the Black Riders arrive, I’ll definitely do a hobbit deck for the next thematic playthrough. If there are any other aspects of the lore, specific cards, or topics that you’d like to see covered, just let me know and I’ll add the idea to my queue!

  3. Tonskillitis · · Reply

    Speaking of ideas for future articles, the card ‘Hobbit Pipe’ got me thinking of the wealth associated lore. Professor Tolkien dedicates a considerable number of pages to this important hobbit tradition and describes how some of the trade links were established in Middle Earth.
    Master Meriadoc even goes so far as to write an entire book on the subject of pipe-weed I recall…

    1. Thanks for the idea! I’ve been quite swamped lately so I’m not sure when I’ll get a chance to write again, but I’ll definitely put Hobbit Pipe in the queue. What does smoking and pipeweed really represent thematically in Tolkien’s world? I have no idea, but I’d love to look into it!

  4. I was wondering if there’s a good single-player decklist flying around. I’ve been recently getting into LOTR LCG but have been struggling to finish any quests whenever I play single-player.

    1. My blog focuses mostly on the lore and theme of the game, rather than strategy.

      You might enjoy checking out Hall of Beorn which has a nice series of articles called Beorn’s Path starting from the beginning including some solo decks built from only the Core Set. Tales from the Cards also has several cool articles for new players: https://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/new-player-guides/

      Welcome to the game and happy questing!

  5. YO Master of Lore! I’ve had a real dearth of LOTR things to read online lately, so I just want to say you’re the bomb. Next post you do I’m going to put on reddit and get you mad hits!!!!!

    1. Thanks man, it actually takes me quite a while to compose an article, and my goal of one per month has dwindled. I’m glad you enjoyed what the site so far and I look forward to “mad hits” after my next post. Any topic in particular that you are interested in?

  6. […] of an autistic wordsmith Bookwraiths Daydreamer The Grey Havens Group Inside the Life of Moi Master of Lore A Pilgrim in Narnia Linnet Moss Untamed Shrews Sweating to Mordor Therefore I Geek Words and […]

  7. Teddy Holthaus · · Reply

    Greetings Master of Lore! My name is Teddy Holthaus and I love Tolkien’s legendarium. Last year I purchased the Core set of LOTR LCG and I wish to start purchasing cycle packs and expansions. Do you know if it is too late to start purchasing more LOTR LCG cards? I liked what I saw in the Core set, especially the ability to play alone (I live on a farm in Iowa so my options to play with others are somewhat limited). I listen to the Grey Company Podcast (which I believe you are in) but many of the cards (both player and encounter) discussed are newer than the Core Set. To simplify this, do you believe it is too late to start purchasing cards?

    Thank you,
    Teddy H.

    P.S. Great website, quite useful for what little I have.

    1. Hi Teddy, welcome to the community! A wizard is never late and it is never too late to purchase more LOTR LCG cards. FFG reprints adventure packs all the time and while there are a couple currently sold out, most are still available at their website.

      It’s actually Derek who is the voice of Master of Lore on the Grey Company, though I have been on their show once to discuss The Hobbit saga expansions. As for the order to purchase cards, I think the best experience can be had by just taking everything in turn, but if you’d like be more selective and jump around, Ian has posted a robust buying guide on Tales from the Cards: https://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/new-player-buying-guide/

      Enjoy your adventures in Middle-earth and come back anytime!

  8. Teddy Holthaus · · Reply

    Thank you greatly! I have one more question, is there a way I can contribute in any way to the LOTR LCG community? I would like to do my part… and keeping the community alive seems like a good way to do that.

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