“This tale,” J.R.R. Tolkien said in a foreword to The Lord of the Rings so long ago, “grew in the telling.” The same might be said of Turbine Studios’ ambitious Lord of the Rings Online, which has seen its playerbase, content, and reams’ worth of story text mushroom since its first appearance back in 2007. Ever the leisurely MMO, it parries the temptation to issue fast-food releases and instead thrusts with a depth of storytelling prowess that only Star Wars: The Old Republic may be able to match. It’s a tradition Turbine has further maintained with Rise of Isengard. Indeed, this is a game that relishes every syllable of Tollers’ lore so devotedly that only now, after four and a half years of midnight skirmishes at the summit of Weathertop and murky expeditions into Khazad-Dum, do we stand before the iron gates of Orthanc.