It is a classic story for a reason. I have always meant to read the books and when I saw Ryan reading them this year I was inspired to pick them up and enjoy the journey.
Book One: The Fellowship of the Ring
This is the portion of the story that I am most familiar with. Sadly, there was a lot less of Legolas than I wanted. Also, the book has a LOT of singing. I really struggled with the songs because I kept singing them to the tune and tempo of a sailor’s ditty. Just imagine it with a little harump and accordion workings. Nasty Hobbits. All in all I did feel that the first book went fairly quickly. I ended it feeling smug and determined to just zip through the entire series. “Just twenty pages a day!” I told myself. Hah!
Book Two: The Two Towers.
This book took me, literally, four months to finish. This is the book that separates the reader from the determined fan. If I could get my hands on those Ents I would tell them to hurry the hell UP. This book is slow and you really start to feel the fatigue of the massive journey. It doesn’t help that throughout the second book you meet countless new characters and, frequently, each character has multiple names. It begins to feel like a fantasy version of War and Peace and I regretted not making a chart. At one point I think I sleep-walked and hid the book from myself. I have never been more thrilled than when I closed the second book.
Book Three: The Return of the King.
This is my favorite movie in the trilogy so I was hoping for a little more action. Thankfully, Tolkien delivered in spade here. While the first two books spend a great deal of time walking and looking around, the third book has epic battles, valiant speeches and loads of action. This book continued to confuse me with the multiple names (Strider is Aragorn but also King Elessar) and the names which are very similar (hello Eowyn and Eomer!) but finally I watched Frodo drop that dang ring into the Fires of Mordor!!! The hands down absolute best moments for me were the fifty or so pages after the destruction of the ring and the crowing of the King where the Hobbits return to the Shire. These scenes were not in any of the movies and I loved seeing the completely transformed Hobbits go forth in defense of their home without any aid and triumph.
A few thoughts.
My favorite character was and always will be Legolas. However, I don’t know that I would have noticed him if not for the movies. Truthfully, I would never have read these books but for the movies because the whole thing sounded wretched to me. But, I am so glad that I did.
The hero of this story is absolutely, hands down, Samwise Gamgee. I aspire to be as good a person, as strong a character and as supportive a friend as Sam.
Tell me, please!
Have you read LOTR? Who is your favorite character?
So happy to see you reach the end of this reading journey too 🙂 Shout out to Eowyn as well for her crowning moment of awesome being even better in the book that the film. One thing that’s made me happy for having read the books is I have a better understanding of the context of the War for the Ring and how so much of it is a feint, which I never fully grasped before despite seeing the films a few times.
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I could not agree more! It always bothered me that they didn’t just fly the Ring to Mordor with the Eagles. Now, the parallels between their struggle to conquer evil in the land and the current issues in our world made the book so much more relevant than it would have been in past years. Thanks for inspiring me to get through it! I must say, its a proud moment for 2018 even though it took forever.
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