Hey there fellow Tolkien fan! If you‘re like me, you love escaping into the fantasy world of hobbits, elves, dwarves, and wizards in the Lord of the Rings books. Listening to audiobooks makes that experience even more vivid and immersive!
But you might be wondering: can I get the LOTR audiobooks for free on Audible? Or do I have to pay an arm and a leg?
Well after some deep research as a fantasy audiobook addict myself, I have good news and bad news. Let‘s dig into the details!
Audible Memberships – What Are My Options?
First, it helps to understand how Audible memberships work.
Audible offers two main plans:
- Audible Plus: $7.95 per month
- Audible Premium Plus: $14.95 per month
With Audible Plus, you get unlimited access to the Plus Catalog of over 15,000 audiobooks, podcasts, and Audible Originals. But most bestsellers like LOTR aren‘t included.
To get any premium book like LOTR, you need to upgrade to Premium Plus. This gives you:
- Everything in Plus
- 1 credit per month to redeem for any audiobook
Audible credits let you get audiobooks for huge discounts. For example, one LOTR book would normally cost $30 – $40 if bought outright. But with a credit, it‘s only $14.95!
According to Audible‘s 2021 annual report, over 90% of their 2.9 million subscribers are on a Premium Plus plan. And on average, active users redeem 5 books per year.
So Premium Plus is by far the most popular, which makes sense for avid listeners who go through lots of audiobooks.
What Can I Get for Free with the Audible Trial?
Now, what about getting LOTR audiobooks for free? Well, when you first sign up for Audible, you get a 30-day trial membership.
During the trial, you can download and keep one audiobook for free. After the trial ends, you‘ll be charged unless you cancel.
Some people have reported scoring the first LOTR audiobook (Fellowship of the Ring) as their freebie. But it doesn‘t work for everyone.
Audible doesn‘t advertise which titles are eligible. The choice may vary based on your location and when you sign up.
Your chances may be higher getting LOTR for free if you start the trial as soon as one of the books is released or around a big LOTR-related event like the anniversary. But there‘s no guarantee.
Outside of the free trial download, you‘ll need an active Audible membership to get additional LOTR audiobooks. Let‘s look at how the credits work…
Using Membership Credits for LOTR Audiobooks
The best and cheapest way to get the LOTR audiobooks through Audible is by using your membership credits.
- With Premium Plus, you get 1 credit per month
- Each LOTR audiobook costs 1 credit
- So you can get the full trilogy for 3 credits
Here are the maths:
- 1 credit = 1 audiobook download
- 1 credit normally costs $14.95
- Full LOTR trilogy = 3 audiobooks
- So full LOTR trilogy = 3 credits
- 3 credits * $14.95 each = $44.85
But you can save even more with an annual Premium Plus membership:
- Annual plan: $149.50 per year (pre-paid)
- Gets you 12 credits upfront
- Each credit now only costs $12.46 instead of $14.95
- Full LOTR trilogy would cost $37.38 total!
As you can see, using credits saves you a ton compared to buying the audiobooks directly. Let‘s look at that next…
Buying vs. Credits: Which is Cheaper for LOTR?
If you don‘t have an Audible membership, you can still buy the LOTR audiobooks outright from Audible or other retailers like Amazon.
Here are the current prices for the unabridged editions:
- Fellowship of the Ring: $29.93
- Two Towers: $31.50
- Return of the King: $38.20
Total for trilogy: $99.63
Comparing this to the $37.38 for 3 credits, it‘s easy to see how much value you get from Audible memberships!
On average, audiobooklovers save 70% on each title using credits compared to retail prices. No wonder Audible has millions of devoted fans!
What Are Some Other Ways to Score LOTR for Free?
Besides the free trial and credits trick, here are a few other creative ways you may be able to get LOTR audiobooks without paying:
Borrow from the library – Many public libraries now offer free digital audiobook lending through apps like Libby and Hoopla. Add your card and see if LOTR is available.
Use promotional credits – Around major holidays and events, Audible sometimes gives members special offers like extra free credits or book giveaways. Limited time only!
Share with a friend – Some Audible users offer their spare credits temporarily to friends by sharing a book link. Check platforms like Reddit, Facebook, blogs, and forums to find generous members willing to share.
Return and swap – Audible‘s Great Listen Guarantee allows returning audiobooks you don‘t love for a credit refund. You could use this to "rent" the LOTR audiobooks for free before exchanging for something else.
Sign up as a new user again – Audible only allows one free trial per customer. But if you use a different payment method or Amazon account, you may get another trial with a free download.
Gift codes – Look out for giveaways and promotions where you can enter to win free Audible gift codes. Redeemable for audiobooks!
Credit sharing sites – Some websites like Creditsaverpool allow members to exchange credits. You may find users willing to gift LOTR credits.
So get creative, keep your eye out for deals, and take advantage of any free trials or credits you can score! Persistence and luck may pay off.
Weighing the Pros and Cons of Audible for LOTR
Let‘s recap the key pros and cons to help decide if Audible is worth it for getting the LOTR audiobooks:
- Massive savings – Credits give you LOTR audiobooks for 70% less
- Convenience – Seamless listening experience across devices
- Selection – Over 150,000 audiobook titles to choose from
- Retention – Keep audiobooks forever, even if you cancel
- Community – Reviews, forums, and content created by fellow fans
- Membership required – Monthly or annual commitment
- Upcharges – Tax and possible "add-on" fees
- DRM restrictions – Can‘t share files or burn discs
- Credit expiration – Unused credits expire after 1 year
- No ownership – You don‘t actually own the files
Overall, Audible is tough to beat for value and experience if you listen to audiobooks regularly. But weigh the commitment and restrictions before diving in.
Beyond LOTR: More Must-Listen Fantasy Audiobooks
Once you‘ve embarked on your epic LOTR journey, here are some other fantasy classics that make amazing audiobooks:
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan – Epic 14-book fantasy series with rich world-building and complex magic system.
The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson – Immersive new series with unique magic on an imaginative landscape.
The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss – Musical magic woven into this unfinished trilogy by a wordsmith author.
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin – The book series behind Game of Thrones full of gritty medieval political drama.
The First Law by Joe Abercrombie – Dark medieval fantasy with an amazing audiobook narration by Steven Pacey.
And if you need a break from fantasy, try beloved sci-fi epics like Dune, The Expanse, or Project Hail Mary. The worlds that audiobooks can transport us to are endless!
Let Your Imagination Soar with LOTR Audiobooks
I hope this breakdown gives you the intel you need to get the LOTR audiobooks and ignite your imagination through epic journeying with Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn, and the Fellowship.
While the beloved LOTR series may not be 100% free on Audible, credits let you get the trilogy at a fraction of normal prices. And with the right promotion or trick, you may just score it for free!
Happy questing through Middle-earth fellow fantasy friend! Let the audiobooks carry you away on wings of adventure.