The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings #3)

ISBN: 0739301403
ISBN 13: 9780739301401
By: J.R.R. Tolkien Ian Holm

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About this book

"As the Shadow of Mordor grows across the land, the Companions of the Ring have become involved in separate adventures. Aragorn, revealed as the hidden heir of the ancient Kings of the West, has joined with the Riders of Rohan against the forces of Isengard, and takes part in the desperate victory of the Hornburg. Merry and Pippin, captured by Orcs, escape into Fangorn Forest and there encounter the Ents." "Gandalf has miraculously returned and defeated the evil wizard, Saruman. Sam has left his master for dead after a battle with the giant spider, Shelob - but Frodo is still alive, now in the foul hands of the Orcs." And all the while, the armies of the Dark Lord are massing as the One Ring draws ever nearer to the Cracks of Doom.

Reader's Thoughts

Greg of A2

And so it ends. What Tolkien did so well in the final book was to provide closure to the story. The fellowship is allowed to part ways in a fine and loving fashion. Most writers never go to these lengths to conclude a story (probably an additional 40 pages after the destruction of the ring and the completion of the quest). And just when you think the story had come to a quiet end, the return to the Shire is filled with drama. And here, Tolkien gives the reader a chance to observe the new found confidence and maturity of the four hobbits. There is no better three volumes of fantasy in print as far as I'm concerned.Note on text: this 4-book Houghton Mifflin trade paperback set (known as the Alan Lee set) is great because it's inexpensive. The size of the volumes make for good traveling companions and easy holding while laying about. But...and it's a big but, this edition is poorly edited and is ripe with punctuation errors (missing commas) and misspellings. This is not a collector's set or a set that a serious reader would want to own if they wanted just one authoritative set. Much better editions of LOTR exist.


I know I’m going to annoy, possibly even anger, some of my goodreads friends with this review. Even the rating alone will be shocking to some. I’m sorry, but I just can’t get into it. Obviously there are many, many readers and critics who disagree with me, and maybe I simply lack the ability to appreciate it. That’s the worse for me, but it’s nothing for anyone else to take offence at.This is the point, for me, at which the trilogy simply collapses under its own weight and Tolkien’s self-indulgence takes over. I have heard, anecdotally (and I don’t know whether it’s true) that he wrote the books without planning out the story structure, simply trusting his prose to carry him along until it was over. If that was the case, this book is a strong argument in favor of story engineering. The first section of the book is the climax of the “War of the Ring” storyline, and involves massive armies of orcs and humans (and others) engaged in dire combat for the future of Middle Earth. It has a lot of action and derring-do, and is on such a grand scale that I find it hard to keep up. It doesn’t help that so many of the characters have names like “Aragorn,” “Faramir,” and “Eowyn,” that I find impossible to distinguish from one another. Then, we shift focus back to Frodo and Sam’s infiltration of Mordor, and their quest to hurl the ring into the lava of Mount Doom. This is the more personal, adventurous part, but I find it a bit dreary after all that battle action. It seems like he goes on for pages telling us how grim and depressing Mordor is, and how huge and terrifying Mount Doom is, but not that much happens. Then, suddenly it’s over.Or is it? At the point where the book should end, we are actually only about halfway through the volume. What follows is the most interminable series of epilogues ever tacked on to a storyline. For some reason, Tolkien felt he couldn’t end the book without carefully making sure to resolve every single sub-plot he had dreamed up along the way, and there are dozens of them. Several of them get whole chapters. Then at least in this edition, there are a series of appendices. By the time you get to the end of the book, you’ve practically forgotten what happened at the real climax of the book.And, finally, there is an index (well, several indexes, actually). I’m sorry, but as an indexer my feelings about this are pretty strong: you don’t index fiction. Period. Obviously, however, your mileage may vary. Tons of people adore this book. I’m just not one of them.

Roly Chuter

I’m sure glad Stevie didn’t bother to read this one:Sam and Frodo wake up in some swamp/heath/mountain passFrodo: We’re lost, oh its awful, I’m hungry, we only have 3 pieces of elfin bread leftSam: Don’t worry Frodo I’m here for you, you have the breadSam and Frodo walk around a bit looking dirty and lost and miserableFrodo: oh the ring, it’s so heavy, how will I cope?Golem: Myyy presssciousss [and all that nonsense]Sam: Don’t worry you have a nice sleep, things’ll look better in the morning you’ll seeSam and Frodo wake up in some swamp/heath/mountain passFrodo: We’re lost, oh its awful, I’m hungry, we only have 3 pieces of elfin bread leftSam: Don’t worry Frodo I’m here for you, you have the breadSam and Frodo walk around a bit looking dirty and lost and miserable...FOR 200 HUNDRED GOD AWFUL PAGESAnyone who wasn’t desperately hoping that Golem cracked open Frodo’s skull like a pumpkin after Halloween and drained the grey goo inside has more patience than me.

mark monday

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥a rousing climax to the most ravishing love story of the modern age. tempestuous, tormented Frodo at long last learns to accept the love of his lifemate - the loyal and submissive Samwise Gamgee, bottom-extraordinaire. this is truly a tale of love's labour hard-won, and at such a cost! but love conquers all in the end, and even bitter, militantly hetero villain Sauron cannot stand in the heart's path for too long. in this third book of the torrid trilogy, Frodo's love-hate relationship with the concept of commitment - deftly symbolized by a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind, designer ring - reaches a dramatic fever pitch, as he wrestles with his awkward feelings about monogamy & gay marriage in the boiling, repressive deserts of "Mordor" (clearly a stand-in for maverick Texazona). fortunately, the maternal Sam is constantly by his side to offer succor - forever the wind beneath Frodo's wings.♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥the incredibly racy & erotic atmosphere is filled with a circuit party's worth of soldier types, as well as many classic queer icons: butch trade turned romantic male-model Aragorn; saucy friends-with-benefits Merry & Pippin; the tough & dour yet loveable uber-dyke Arwen; little bear-daddy Gimli; cringing closet-case Oh My Precious; fey pretty-boy Legolas; the exquisite drag queen enchantress Galadriel; and of course, presiding over them all, flouncing from scene to scene, battling his nasty sourpuss of an ex-boyfriend Saruman, and just chewing up the scenery like no one else...the fabulous and effervescent Gandalf the Gay. you go, girlfriend! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥despite the couple dozen unnecessary scenes of Sam staring dreamily into Frodo's sad sad eyes, this is truly a flawless and timeless gay classic, one that boldly states Love Is a Glorious Burden That We Must Ever Shoulder. love knows no boundaries. and even the smallest of men can have the biggest...."heart", i suppose. queer fave Enya even contributes to the soundtrack. Return of the King is a luscious, deliriously homoerotic fantasia.♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥oops, forgot i wasn't reviewing the thrillingly fagtastic film version. well, as far as the novel goes, it is perfect. i wouldn't change a word. even the poetry is awesome.


How I Spent My Summer Vacationby: Caris “The O’Malley” O’MalleyThis summer was really good. I got to do a lot of neat things. The best part of the whole summer was that I got to spend it with my new best friend Johnny. Johnny is my friend because he’s smart and he tells good stories and his mustash tickles. The stories he tells are filled with creatures and adventures, so they’re really good.Johnny is really serious about his stories. Sometimes he gets really detailed about little things and I have to call him a fuckstick. Some things that made me call him a fuckstick are: lots of walking and funny names. When Johnny gets going though there’s no stopping him. We have to read a lot of books in school but none of them are as good as Johnny’s stories.It seems like school got out forever ago and just a day ago at the same time. Right when school got out, Johnny started telling me his story, called The Lord of the Rings. This is the story about two little people called Hobbits who go on an adventure. They meet lots of people along the way. Some of them are good and some of them are bad. One of the things that makes me hate Johnny is that a lot of the boring characters are in the story a lot and some of the cool ones (like Tom Bombadil) are just forgotten in the past of the story.Right before school started, Johnny told me the last part of the story. It was called The Return of the King. A lot of things happen in this part and it was the most exciting I think. I really liked the end and wished it would have been longer. It is the conclusion of all I had heard this summer. The end was very sad, but happy at the same time because everything worked out good for the characters.I feel like I spent a million years in Middle Earth this summer. That’s the setting of the story. I feel like I am now friends with Bilbo and Sam. They are the main characters in the story. Middle Earth is a nice place to go, especially when my dad is drinking a lot and my mom yells at him. No one does those things in the Shire. The Shire which is also the setting is where the Hobbits live.The Lord of the Rings taught me a lot about what it means to be someone’s friend. It was Frodo’s job to get rid of the ring, but his friend Sam stayed with him to the end. There was nothing that could keep Sam away from Frodo, not even spiders. Sam would do anything to make Frodo happier even if it meant giving him his last piece of food or his cloak to sleep on. I think if everyone was willing to give their cloak away to their friends then the world would be nicer.The other thing I liked about the story was that there weren’t very many girls in it. There were a couple but they didn’t do anything really and they weren’t around for long. One of those girls I think was a boy anyway because she wanted to fight with the soldiers. She was okay I guess.I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone, but I want to talk about the end. The end was my favorite part. The adventures in far away places was cool but the Shire was neatest. I liked how Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin came back to the Shire and took over again. Saruman an evil wizard decided to take over the Shire after the ring was destroyed and the evil armies were defeated. The Hobbits were not scared though because they knew they could beat him because Galdalf already did. It was really cool when Peter Pettigrew killed him with a knife then got shot by some Hobbits. I didnt really understand that part though. Why would Saruman go back to one of the only places his enemies would return to? He should of known he would catch a beat down there. If he was smart he would have gone somewhere else like America or Mexico. Even though it was a weird part I liked seeing the Hobbits being heroes.That was what I did this summer. It was fun. I hope next summer will be as fun as this one was. When I am an old man I bet I will want to hear Johnny’s story again. But next summer I want to go to camp instead.


There: I've finally finished my reread of The Lord of the Rings. I'm trying to remember when I last reread it. Probably three years ago, maybe four, because I went through a long period where I was sure it would have lost its magic, and I mostly just remembered the accusations of how slow it was, how boring, how long it took to get anything done. That was true, as far as it matters: Tolkien is wordy, but I like the way he writes. I wasn't wrong in remembering that it tasted nice to me, with the help of my synaesthesia. This wasn't a book I wanted to gallop through at amazing speed. It doesn't have to move fast -- part of it is the awful menace, the seemingly interminable waiting. I feel some of the despair of the characters -- but at least I know that in five pages, or fifty, or five hundred, good news is on the way.I seemed to have swallowed whole all the other accusations too: racism, moral absolutism, sexism, etc, etc. I think most of that comes from a reading that isn't terribly deep, though. It's true that there are the evil men of the East -- I think it's the East -- and so on. I don't think we see a single redeemable character among those, or among the Orcs, for example. But it isn't quite wholesale 'men are good, elves are good, dwarves are good; only orcs and such are evil'. There are evil men, too, like Bill Ferny and Wormtongue, and arguably Saruman, since he's a man-shaped thing at least. And there are men who bring in some -- gasp -- moral ambiguity. Boromir, for a most obvious example. He ends as a noble man, but for a while it's in the balance. Denethor? He gives in to despair and by inaction threatens the cause.Gollum's another. For all the evil he does, he serves Frodo faithfully for a time, and there's a spark of light in him. And he does at the end what Frodo cannot -- however unwittingly and unwillingly. There's darkness in Frodo, and light in Gollum.Aragorn himself leads an army whose weapons are mostly fear and darkness -- the ghost army.As for sexism, it's true that women don't have a great part in the story. No woman rides in the Fellowship, and there's no sign of a woman for great swathes of the book, especially when it comes to Frodo and Sam. Women do have a place in the story, but it's to be come home to. Eowyn is given tasks that keep her safe and home, preparing for the return of the men; Arwen stays well out of the action; Galadriel remains hidden in Lothlorien; at the very end, Sam rides off with Frodo and leaves Rosie there alone, and comes back to her at the last...But at the same time, the role of women is explored a little through Eowyn. She leaves the safe haven of her home and goes out to war -- strikes one of the most important blows. We're told that the Lord of the Nazgul cannot be killed by a man, but Eowyn can kill him. She is eventually calmed, by being settled down with Faramir, but the way she's written, I doubt Faramir could or would rule her, and it's still acknowledged that she has won great reknown for what she did. Galadriel, although she stays hidden, seems to be important among the Wise like Elrond and Gandalf, and wields an elven-ring.Lord of the Rings would probably be quite different if written now, with what we have of reform and feminism and equality, but that's obvious. There's still some place for women in the narrative, and more than might be expected.This last book was shorter than I remembered. It was hard to stop reading it, and in the end I gave in and just sat down to finish it. In a way, I think the end lingers a little too long -- it could end in Minas Tirith, it could end as they enter the Shire, etc, etc. It's a little strange the way the action starts up again a little at the very end, for the Scouring of the Shire. But it is still good to read, and it ties up a lot of loose ends.And the real end, with Frodo and Bilbo and Gandalf and the elves all sailing away to peace and healing, it's beautiful. It's a little too good to be true, because people don't just sail off into the sunset and live apart from any strife; if there's anyone else around, there's usually something to disagree about. But that's what beautiful fictions are for.


I fear I'm never going to like The Return of the King as much as the rest, although when you think about it there's so much good in it -- Eowyn, and Faramir, and the victory which... isn't quite at the end, but more in the middle. I think Book V might actually be my favourite, in some ways, but Book VI, well... kind of bores me? I think there's too much emphasis on telling us how joyful everyone is, making the ceremonies too high and making it all a bit precious. And then Tolkien doesn't seem to know where to end it: I think there's half a dozen endings I could identify in Book VI.Still. I read this in two big gulps: Tolkien is an undoubted master, to my mind.

Markus Molina

Wellllllll,I really loved the second half. Once Frodo and Sam got going, I got into it. Their part of the tale has always been the main story and Frodo is the primary protagonist, so it only makes sense that his stuff is the best. I was very disappointed to find that Gollum hardly comes out, especially considering he's probably my favorite character in LOTR. But overall, I'd give most of the second half and the ending especially a 4/5The first half was really, really boring for me and I struggled through it. It seemed as if Tolkien changed his writing style and became a lot more descriptive and less free. Reading about Faramir and Eomer and all those other chumps was a big bore. Those early chapters were kind of through the eyes of Merry and Pippin, but it wasn't anything like The Two Towers. All the fun was missing. All my favorite characters hardly appeared, (Gandalf, Legolas and Gimli hardly came out at all) The ents were very interesting and fun in the two towers while all the new characters focused on in Return of The King didn't have any flavor or real qualities I could get behind. Tolkien threw in some romance I didn't give a damn about with two characters that hardly appeared in the whole series and it felt extremely forced. Also it didn't make sense to me why Merry and Pippin were so dedicated and loyal to a bunch of strangers and their kingdom, but whatever. I'd give the first half a high 1/5.Overall, I'm glad to have this series finally under my belt. The books always finished strong and every one had me getting emotional at parts. I'm very impressed with Tolkien's intelligence and his ability to create a world where all this crazy stuff is happening. Annnndddd, I'm done!


** spoiler alert ** The Return of the King is the conclusion to the LOTR; its conclusion and its history, for the book is part appendices to the tale. These appendices include bloodlines and history that is not covered by the trilogy itself or by its prequel, The Hobbit.In many ways, this book is the best one of the trilogy. It has the most memorable battle in just about any fantasy work, the Battle of Pelennor Fields. It has the most traumatic and heart breaking, yet realistic, end to the quest.For the best part of this book, in many ways, the best part of the trilogy is the scene where Eowyn confronts the Chief Nazgul to defend her fallen uncle. The best lines ever being, “But no living man am I! You look upon a woman.” And don’t forget, she laughs first. I love the fact that Tolkien refers to her as lady or woman, but never girl. I love that. When I first read the trilogy at the age of seven, I couldn’t understand why Aragorn married Arwen. She didn’t do anything in the meat of the story, and Eowyn, she did something big. As I got older and understood more about literature and the inspiration for LOTR, I came to understand and even endorse why Tolkien structured the book this way. In fact, it is fun to see Arwen rob the cradle. (As an aside, why is it usually, mostly, female elves and human males? Would elven males be less likely to give up their immortality, or we can tolerant the age difference in the elf female, but not an elf male with a human woman?). In fact, Arwen’s sacrifice is as brave, if not more so, than Eowyn’s stand. Tolkien may have few women in his story, but he presents them as strong and independent.It’s undoubtedly true that there is much of Tolkien in the hobbits, but I also think there is something of him in Eowyn. Tolkien is one of the few authors who shows the cost paid by those who stay at home in the time of war. He does this toward the end of the book, but also, most touchingly, with Eowyn when she says to Aragorn, who has bid her stay, “All your words are but to say: you are a woman, and your part is in the house. But when the men have died in battle and honour, you have leave to be burned in the house, for the men will need it no more.” How often in history do we focus on the battle and not the resistance or those who make a stand at home? Tolkien returns to theme of Eowyn and the cost of service and duty in the Houses of Healing when Gandalf points out to Eomer what Eowyn faced during her uncle’s illness and subjection to Wormtongue. It is hard not to see a degree of the survivor of WWI and the father who has to watch his children go to war in the character of Eowyn. The conclusion of her story is most lovingly told. It is not often remembered by many critics, but it should be, that Faramir says, “And if she will, then let us cross the River and in happier days let us dwell in fair Ithilien and there make a garden.” He too is giving up his sword. Both Eowyn and Faramir were unvalued in varying degrees, yet each understands very well. Faramir, outside of Gandalf, is the only character in the book to truly understand Eowyn.While Eowyn allows Tolkien to make comments on the total cost of war, the most heartbreaking aspect of the novel is the end of Frodo’s quest. For Frodo makes it the total way and fails. “But I do not choose not to do what I came to do. I will not do this deed. The Ring is mine!” Frodo says before puting the Ring on. Tolkien is brave enough to allow Frodo to fail. The only reason why the Ring is destroyed is because of the Judas, Gollum, who dies in the height of joy. This use of the temptation of Christ is stunning and heartbreaking. And wonderful.The use of parallels and doubling is still here. There are the three rulers -Denethor, Theoden, and Aragorn – who represent various degrees of ruling. There is almost a second Ring and a second Gollum in the Scouring of the Shire chapter. This book balances the whole trilogy.12/14/12 - Who doesn't like Rosie Cotton?


Finally got to sit down and finish listening to this. I started with the cassette, but I actually finished using the audio CDs, which some kind soul bought me for Christmas. (Definitely recommended: they come with a CD of the soundtrack music too. I love it.)Like most BBC adaptations, I think this is stunningly well done. As I've said with the other instalments, it's perfectly cast -- I do think J.R.R. Tolkien would have approved. It's a testament to how good they are that a housemate of mine who isn't at all interested in fantasy got hooked and wouldn't leave my room and stop listening -- and the one who is into fantasy got that it was LOTR within two minutes of listening and was wildly excited.It does help, of course, that I have a certain amount of childhood nostalgia for this stuff. One very bored holiday with my grandparents' was spent listening to these.


Long before the movies, I sat up into the deep of the night, a young kid who had no business being awake, but could not put the books down. This is one of the books that gave me the desire to dream.

Jonathan Cullen

A Review of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, by Sauron[Oprah Winfrey voice-over]: We all remember him. Sauron, the displaced Lord of the Rings. Once feared by millions, Sauron has been living in relative squalor in what he prefers to remain an undisclosed location. [Video shows unidentified heap of garbage behind a Wal-mart. In front stands a mailbox with the word "Nameless Enemy" printed on the front. The flag is down.][applause]Oprah: Today, we'll be joined by someone that many of you know but haven't seen or perhaps thought of in decades. Because of his status as a wanted quasi-deity, Sauron has agreed to participate via the internet, thanks to our good friends at Skype. Welcome Dark Lord of Mordor.Sauron [via Skype, single eye only] Thank you Oprah, it's good to be here, among friends.Audience: BoooooooooooooooooooOprah: Sauron, I wanted to do this show so you would have the opportunity to tell the story of the final volume of Lord of Rings, The Return of the King, from your perspective.[Sauron flinches] Oprah: I'm sorry, I understand you even have trouble with the title. Why do you want to talk to us today?Sauron: After my review of the second volume, my agent told me that some asswhipe named Ashton Kutcher tweeted that he was going to "punk me". I had no freaking clue what he was talking about but he told me this was trouble. Then one day I was coming back from Costco…[audience laughs]Sauron: Frack you. I use a lot of kleenex. Anyways, I was trying to load all of my items from my cart into my Corolla. They don't even give you bags those bloody cheapskates! Before I know it, a young lady offers to give me a hand. It's the first time in years anyone's ever helped me. I was so grateful. Then as she puts my last box into the trunk she drops something under the car. It makes a metallic sound as it hits the pavement. She looks distressed so, being the gentleman I am, I go on my hands and knees, reach under the car and feel a small trinket. I pull it out. It's a ring. A plastic pink ring. My pants are ruined, I have oil streaks on my arm and my nose is running. She asks me to look to the right and say "You cannot hide. I see you. There is no life in the void. Only death.", while holding up the ring. I do it. I don't know why but I did. Then that a-hole Kutcher bursts out of the bushes laughing. The cameras were next. It was all over YouTube within like 20 minutes. It was the lowest point for me since I tore my cornea when Barad-dûr came crashing down [a single tear drops from The Eye].Oprah: I thought you might have trouble today so I've brought you some help.[Dr. Phil enters to applause]Sauron: Aww hell no. Who invited this windbag?Dr. Phil: I feel some negative energy. Sauron: Thanks Kreskin. I went from the cusp of the total domination of the free peoples of Middle-earth to living next door to Marjory the Trash Heap from Fraggle Rock. I think she's dead but I'm not sure. So yes, there's a tad bit of negative energy. A-hole.Dr. Phil: If you're willin ta change, I can make some resources available to you. Are ya willin to do that?Sauron: Your accent is melting my brain. Please stop talking.Dr. Phil: I sense some resistance. This ain’t my first rodeo son!Sauron: You'll sense some fist in your face in a second, you hack. Dr. Phil: One of the things I believe is that we're in the biggest teen crisis in the history of this country.Sauron: [stares] I don't…Dr. Phil: I heard you've started to abuse narcotics? Your eye does look a little red.Sauron: I am Sauron the Deceiver, the Dread Abomination. I can do whatever the hell I want you country bumpkin. I'll snort the rest of the hair off your head right now if I feel like it.Dr. Phil: It's ok to admit it.Sauron: Fine. I'm hooked on Ent-draught, are you happy? That Treebeard is one expensive pusher. Maybe I do a little lembas bread too, but only in the morning. I can stop any time.Dr. Phil: How was your relationship with your parents Sauron?Sauron: Why do we always have to go there!? Fine, fine whatever makes you and Harpo Inc. happy. Freaking vultures. I originated as an immortal angelic spirit, an offspring of the thoughts of Eru, the Creator. I was there before anything else was created. It's all in The Silmarillion you illiterate blowhard.Dr. Phil: Boy, you're saying a lot of words there but you're not tellin me much! I'll tellyouwhat, if someone out there doesn’t agree with me, then somewhere a village is missing their idiot. Oprah: That's an Ah-ha moment. [to audience] Isn't that right?[applause]Dr. Phil: Let's talk about the Return of the King.Sauron: That's why I'm here you idiot. Let's just say, if Aragorn would have accepted the offer I made through the Mouth, we'd all be living happy lives now, with the lands to the East under my rule and those to the West paying me tribute. I felt that was a reasonable offer. I didn't know he cared so much about a halfling. I just want to apologize to everyone. Oprah: What do you say audience, should we give Sauron another chance?Audience: Noooooooo!!! Oprah: Sorry.Sauron: Blow me! I'll forge a new One Ring and come back and stuff it up your asses while it's still hot! Read this in the Black Speech of Mordor detective Gandalf: "May cause a-hole burns". I'm not sorry! I'd do it again!Dr. Phil: [to Oprah] I think my work is done here. [smiles and look at Mrs. Dr. Phil, who smiles][applause]Oprah: Sauron…I have a confession to make. I had a dual purpose to bringing you here. I wanted you to face your issues but I always wanted to discuss…OPRAH'S FAVOURITE THINGS FROM MIDDLE-EAAAAAARRRTTTTHHHHH!!!![Drab stage background parts to reveal glorious backdrop of Middle-earth. Audience goes ape shit, women make out with the closest person, grown men don't even bother to hide the growing urine stains on the front of their pants, Oprah guffaws triumphantly]Sauron: WTF!Oprah: That's right! That's right! You're all going to get all of my favourite things from the world that Sauron failed to conquer! Anddddddddd THEN WE'RE ALL FLYING TO RIVENDELL!!! From there, Tom Bombadil will take us on a guided tour of the ruins of Barad-dûr. You may even find a petrified eyelash from the Lidless Eye!![audience member]: Tom who? Sauron: I'm out of here. I'll ship you back the gift basket. [Oprah voiceover] Thus ends the story of Sauron's Review of Lord of the Rings and our glimpse into the Eye of evil. What new terrors is the Dark Lord of Mordor planning? What new plots will he unleash on Middle-earth in order to recapture what was lost. Thank you. That's our show today. Make sure to sign up for Oprah's No Phone Zone Pledge on[applause]Sauron: I'm still here. I'm having trouble logging off. Bollocks! I'm not too good with bloody comput [click][applause]


Swords and fights and epic elves and aragorn and hobbits and aaagh!!


It's been quite a long time since I felt a bit sad when a book is finished. This book just did that.. Felt a bit sad towards the last few pages thinking it is getting ended.. Wish it would have been longer.. :DOne of the great series of books I've ever read..


I can understand why The Lord of the Rings is one of the most popular books of all time. It had adventure, action, war, and magic. But it reminds me too much of a blockbuster action movie, which keeps the audience entertained, without really providing any substance. While I didn't find this book very entertaining, I can see how others do, but I fail to see how it found its way onto a list of 100 All Time novels.As one who thinks great characters are what makes a book great, Lord of the Rings was a huge disappointment. All the characters, without exception, could be described as two-dimensional at best. They seem to lack the emotional complexity normally found in intelligent beings, and instead seem more like characters from a fairy tale, where everybody is either 100% Good or 100% Evil. Despite having 1,349 pages with which to work, most of the characters' back stories are never really explored, save the odd one paragraph anecdote about a past incident. And nor do they ever really change despite their journey and experiences. I found each character to be so vague, I was never able to develop any sympathy or attachment to any of them.That there wasn't really any story behind most of the characters was only part of the problem however. With a couple of different plot lines unfolding in the third book, there would be times that I wouldn't read of Frodo or Mary for nearly a hundred pages. It would be so long that I would have trouble remembering what had happened to them or where they were. Any attachment I had been developing was long gone, as I found myself flipping back dozens and dozens of pages, trying to refresh myself on what had happened so long ago.My next beef with this book was the plot. Sure, as I mentioned above, there was magic, there was war, there was adventure, and there's nothing wrong with those things. But the story was just too formulaic for my tastes. Everything always seemed to reach the only possible conclusion, and any hardships the main players did face (which was usually that they hadn't eaten for twenty minutes), was the briefest of problems, resolved almost immediately, allowing them to continue on their way to a predictable outcome.Formulaic stories aren't necessarily a bad thing though, as often the fun is in getting to the inevitable conclusion. We never think for a minute that T-1000 is going to actually kill John Connor, but Lord of the Rings doesn't have the fun bits in between. Tolkien would describe Frodo et al walking through the forest for forty pages, then Sam complaining about being hungry for another ten, and then them taking turns sleeping for another fifteen. But a confrontation with a foe would be cut down to one page. It was as if every time I was about to take some interest in what was happening, I was returned to a discussion about lembas, or the lack there of.When there was an opportunity for a creative plot twist, it either wasn't taken, or it was recanted almost immediately. Gandalf's dead? Surprising and interesting. The characters mourn for a bit before continuing on their journey. At this point in the book I was more interested than ever (and as it turns out ever would be), as the characters had been confronted with real adversity. There was a change in the way they interacted with each other and a change in the general mood or tone of the book. But alas, a few pages later it turns out he was brought back to life and everything is fine. It really destroys any fears one might have about a main character in a deadly situation, knowing they can be brought back to life at any time.It was even worse when Frodo dies, leaving Sam heart broken and scared. Despite the Gandalf experience, I was quite intrigued by the development. Of course the next page we learn that he was actually only unconscious. What a relief, everything was going to be okay! I might as well have read that the previous few pages had only been a dream and Frodo had never really died.I suppose that I'm maybe being too critical of this book, but after having invested so much of my time into it, I feel I deserve to be so. Too many things weren't explained or poorly explained, and too many unnecessary things were explained. And because I stand by my feelings of over a month ago that novels shouldn't require 600 pages of appendices, maps, and charts, to explain central plot points and character backgrounds, I now consider myself done with Lord of the Rings, forever.Unless I watch the movies, which I am now less inclined to do, than ever.You can read my other reviews here.

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