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The Lord of the Rings #3

The Return of the King

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Alternate cover edition here.

The Companions of the Ring have become involved in separate adventures as the quest continues. Aragorn, revealed as the hidden heir of the ancient Kings of the West, joined with the Riders of Rohan against the forces of Isengard, and took part in the desperate victory of the Hornburg. Merry and Pippin, captured by Orcs, escaped into Fangorn Forest and there encountered the Ents. Gandalf returned, miraculously, and defeated the evil wizard, Saruman. Meanwhile, Sam and Frodo progressed towards Mordor to destroy the Ring, accompanied by SmEagol--Gollum, still obsessed by his 'precious'. After a battle with the giant spider, Shelob, Sam left his master for dead; but Frodo is still alive--in the hands of the Orcs. And all the time the armies of the Dark Lord are massing. J.R.R. Tolkien's great work of imaginative fiction has been labeled both a heroic romance and a classic fantasy fiction. By turns comic and homely, epic and diabolic, the narrative moves through countless changes of scene and character in an imaginary world which is totally convincing in its detail.

404 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published October 20, 1955

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About the author

J.R.R. Tolkien

516 books68.9k followers
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien: writer, artist, scholar, linguist. Known to millions around the world as the author of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien spent most of his life teaching at the University of Oxford where he was a distinguished academic in the fields of Old and Middle English and Old Norse. His creativity, confined to his spare time, found its outlet in fantasy works, stories for children, poetry, illustration and invented languages and alphabets.

Tolkien’s most popular works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are set in Middle-earth, an imagined world with strangely familiar settings inhabited by ancient and extraordinary peoples. Through this secondary world Tolkien writes perceptively of universal human concerns – love and loss, courage and betrayal, humility and pride – giving his books a wide and enduring appeal.

Tolkien was an accomplished amateur artist who painted for pleasure and relaxation. He excelled at landscapes and often drew inspiration from his own stories. He illustrated many scenes from The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, sometimes drawing or painting as he was writing in order to visualize the imagined scene more clearly.

Tolkien was a professor at the Universities of Leeds and Oxford for almost forty years, teaching Old and Middle English, as well as Old Norse and Gothic. His illuminating lectures on works such as the Old English epic poem, Beowulf, illustrate his deep knowledge of ancient languages and at the same time provide new insights into peoples and legends from a remote past.

Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, in 1892 to English parents. He came to England aged three and was brought up in and around Birmingham. He graduated from the University of Oxford in 1915 and saw active service in France during the First World War before being invalided home. After the war he pursued an academic career teaching Old and Middle English. Alongside his professional work, he invented his own languages and began to create what he called a mythology for England; it was this ‘legendarium’ that he would work on throughout his life. But his literary work did not start and end with Middle-earth, he also wrote poetry, children’s stories and fairy tales for adults. He died in 1973 and is buried in Oxford where he spent most of his adult life.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 16,763 reviews
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,678 reviews5,253 followers
August 6, 2016
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,119 reviews44.8k followers
September 12, 2020
Tolkien is the master of world building. With his writing comes generations of detailed history and lore. Middle Earth did not simply spring up overnight. Instead it is firmly established with the most thorough groundwork that is simply unmatched. And here his epic trilogy comes to an end. I’ve read it many times over the years, and reviewing it is no easy task. So, like my reviews of the first two books, I’ve picked out ten things I really love about the book. Spoilers ahead.

1.The blade that was broken has been remade.

"From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king."


Aragorn never really felt kingly until he was given the sword of Elendil. His commanding presence became more than just a presence when he wielded the sword. We all knew it was coming, but it was great to see it happen nonetheless.

2.The last of the stewards

With the return of the kings also ushers in the end of the stewards. For all Boromir’s weakness, and his father’s madness, Faramir maintained his honour. Had he taken the ring for himself, the realms of men would have fallen. He played a pivotal role in the action, and his actions demonstrated that men are not as weak as the elves thought. His fate and future titles show such a thing.


3.Théoden’s Sacrifice

There are many heroes within this trilogy, many men who give up their lives to vanquish evil. In spite of Gondor ignoring his calls for aid, in spite of Gondor watching Saruman ravish the lands of Rohan, Théoden still rides to her aid when his own lands are safe. He honours his pledge even when the one made to him was broken. Acting on the advice of Gandalf, he squashes his own hurt pride and rides for war because he understands what is at stake if he does not. Théoden was a true king and one the bravest men of this story. He knew what he rode to, but he went anyway.

“Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!
Fell deeds awake, fire and slaughter!
spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered,
a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!
Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!”


4.Girl Power!

“What do you fear, lady?" [Aragorn] asked.
"A cage," [Éowyn] said. "To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”

There have not been many moments for women to show their strength in this story. Arwen’s moment in the films was non-existent in the book. Frodo was saved on the river by an Elf-lord called Glorfindel. So when Eowen battled the Witch King, it is the first major moment Tolkien gave to a female hero. In a vastly male dominated genre, it was great to read this scene. If I have one criticism of Tolkien, it’s that we didn’t see more of such things.


5.Golem’s internal war

Golem almost comes back into the light. He tries so very hard to conquer the ring, though ultimately it defeats him and he succumbs to its power. Had Frodo never been forced to betray Golem to Faramir in The Two Towers I do think he would have stayed loyal. Perhaps he would have survived the events of this book. What do you think? Could he ever have been on the ships bound to the grey havens after all had done?


6.The Siege of Minas Tirith

This is probably one of the most exciting action sequences I’ve read in fiction. Sauron’s hoard is unleashed in all its brutal fury, and the realms of men quake in its wake. Their defences are weak; their courage faltering, but they do have one weapon to stem the tide: the white rider. Terry Brooks loved it so much he copied the entire thing, or thereabouts, in The Sword of Shannara.


7.The Mouth of Sauron

"Is there any in this rout with authority to treat with me? Or indeed with wit to understand me?"


A massively unrepresented character on the screen and one who spent much of the third age waring the dwarves in the north and the elves of Mirkwood, The Mouth of Sauron is the vessel of Sauron’s voice. Second only to the Nazgul in the command structure, The Mouth of Sauron is sent in to negotiate, threaten and persuade when more tact is required. Nazgul are clearly incapable of such a task, so it falls to him. I’d love to know more about this character, and his deeds, but his end at the Black Gate in the movie is most fitting. We can only presume that he also died there in the book, though there is no mention of his demise….

8.Hobbit loyalty

Frodo: Frodo wouldn't have got far without Sam.
Sam: Now Mr. Frodo, you shouldn't make fun; I was being serious.
Frodo: So was I.

Sam saves Frodo so many times in this series. Whilst Frodo has the burden of the ring, Sam has the burden of Frodo. Without him Frodo would be dead, most likely murdered by Golem in his sleep or, if he made it that far alive, eaten by Shelob.


9.The Hobbit war

In the films Saruman dies at Isengard. In the book he is imprisoned by Treebeard only to later convince him to let him escape. He and Wormtongue, in a senseless act of aggression, conquer the Shire. Such a situation allows for the Hobbits to show that they no longer need wizards or Kings to deal with their problems. They arrive back, rally their people, and crush the evil that has infected their home. Saruman, who only has the power of his voice at this point, dies in the action. All though this dragged the book out a bit, it was entirely necessary to show the growth of the characters after the story had ended.


10.The Grey Havens

It also explains Frodo’s decision to leave the Shire, something the movies fluffed up. The Shire is never the same, and any attempt to rebuild it will never make it feel like home for Frodo. He has gone through too much to go back to his old life. So he needs a new one, one where he can heal and attempt to put his past behind him. The beautiful lands to the west await him. I love this final image:


“But I have been too deeply hurt, Sam. I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.”


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Profile Image for Petrik.
688 reviews46.1k followers
June 21, 2023
4.5/5 stars

“For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”

It’s over. I have finally finished reading The Return of the King, the third and final part of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien; This means that I am officially done with Tolkien’s main novels in The Middle-Earth universe, and I’m proud of myself for it. I’ve read plenty of epic fantasy series more difficult and lengthy than this trilogy, you might be confused why I’m so proud of this. However, as I’ve mentioned in detail in my review for The Fellowship of the Ring, after continuously putting the first book into my DNF pile, completing this trilogy felt immensely satisfying. Plus, no more gatekeepers—despite how many fantasy books I’ve read—would be able to accuse me of “you’re not a fantasy fans unless you’ve read The Lord of the Rings” anymore. And to be honest, if someone said this to you, you should just ignore them. That being said, now that I’ve finished this series, I will have to admit that Tolkien certainly earned his fame. The writing may not hold up too well for modern fantasy readers reading this for the first time now, but this being published more than sixty years ago? Truly amazing.

Picture: Road to Mount Doom by Donato Giancola

There’s something magical and timeless in the themes told in The Lord of the Rings, and The Return of the King is the conclusion of it all. It is keeping the fire of hope burning even in the persisting and overwhelming darkness. Often we see underdogs and farmboys story as a cliché now, but as I repeatedly say, they became a cliché because they worked a LOT of times. In the end, it always depends on the execution of the narrative to make us care about the journey and characters of the story, but themes of hope and friendships—among many others—are extremely strong. I think we occassionally forget one very important thing about Frodo and Sam, and that is the fact that they are underdogs and unlikely heroes.

“I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.”

Really ponder about it again; these Hobbits are unlikely heroes—small and bereft of any physical abilities except to eat so many times in a day—trying to do their best in the name of good, friendship, loyalty. Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Theoden, Eowyn, and all the other warriors, too—despite being separated from the Ring-bearers—believed with all their hearts that they will do what’s right. Everything about it is so inspiring, and honestly, the friendship between Frodo and Samwise Gamgee is still one of the best friendships portrayed in a fantasy series. In addition to these, The Return of the King also put Eowyn into the spotlight of the narrative, and I LOVED it; Tolkien has created one of the most iconic scenes in fantasy with what Eowyn achieved in this book.

“But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund's daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.”

I also think that both The Towers and The Return of the King were far easier and engaging to read than The Fellowship of the Ring. The dialogues—excluding their constant use of odd “Good-bye!” and outdated words—between characters were compelling, filled with unforgettable passages, and the songs were much fewer, too. Most importantly, though, there’s no more Tom Bombadil; despite many fans’ love for this character which I don’t think I’ll ever understand, I seriously found Bombadil to be so out of place in this trilogy. There’s one thing in this book that I wish more newly released fantasy books would still include in their final installment: long epilogue. I love reading long epilogue or “after the battle” chapters. Obviously, I don’t mean for an epilogue chapter to be as long—the Scouring chapter near the end was so bizarre��as the one featured in this book, but I’m actually surprised that many people hate long epilogues. Personally, after so many battles and destructions, I would love to know about the characters’ fate after the conflict ended rather than just saying bye-bye then immediately in one or two short chapters. Sometimes, it feels like the story ended before I even got to say goodbye to the characters.

“It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.”

In my opinion, the most disappointing elements from this trilogy were the action sequences. I’ve said this before in my review of The Two Towers, Tolkien really didn’t focus his writing on the action sequences. As someone who utterly loved the movies and the epic battles, the battle scenes in these books were inferior and too short to my liking. I enjoyed reading the build-up and preparations for the battles, but I didn’t get the explosive impact from reading the war scenes themselves. The battle sequences in the films and the official/fan-arts conjured out of the movies/text are by far superior to the prose version, in my opinion. In the movie adaptation, the Battle of Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers and the Battle of the Pelennor Fields in The Return of the King were stunningly incredible and jaw-dropping. I can’t say the same about the books; I’ve read a LOT of fantasy books that have better battle/war scenes.

Picture: The Witch King by Chris Rahn

After all said and done, I think the answer to whether I love the books or the films more is crystal clear. The Return of the King is a classic and wonderful conclusion to Tolkien’s legendary series. I will not deny the importance of Tolkien and this series in shaping and popularizing the fantasy genre, that would be insane. The Lord of the Rings is a great trilogy, but I think the writing is a bit outdated now for modern fantasy readers reading this for the first time. I definitely loved the movies more, and I do believe that The Children of Hurin is Tolkien’s best—and darkest—story. But who knows? I have a feeling I'll reread this trilogy someday, and I might end up loving The Lord of the Rings more on reread.

“I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”

Series review:

The Fellowship of the Ring: 4/5 stars
The Two Towers: 4.5/5 stars
The Return of the King: 4.5/5 stars

The Lord of the Rings: 13/15 stars

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Profile Image for oyshik.
219 reviews692 followers
February 2, 2021
The Return of the King (Lord of the Rings,#3) by J.R.R. Tolkien

What can I write about this epic tale? It's the final part of the great work of fantasy. And it is impossible to convey to the new reader all the qualities of this series. It's just epic, monstrous, and the tale develops amazingly. Characters, even in an imaginary world, stood absolutely convincing in their details. This story tells- how even insignificant people can change the course of the future through love and doing the right deeds.
I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.

Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
805 reviews3,856 followers
April 24, 2022
I´ll just wear the ring one more, last, short time, and then really go to rehab

Letting the established storylines collide in an epic culmination
That´s what most fantasy, no matter if high, science, or dark, series keep doing, no matter if it are 3, 5, or 10 parts. Tolkien accelerates the story engine towards an end that has already been prepared and enabled in the first 2 parts of the series, letting it feel like one, big piece. Another genre milestone that escalates to ridiculous lengths and perfection in many fantasy series and makes them so addictive.

The big longtime impact is uncomparable to other genres
Of course, sci fi and horror have their prodigies and milestones too, but they can go and splitter in many different subgenres, focus on psychological elements with characterization, or just epic battle and splatter, but fantasy is extremely genre standard focused regarding what to deliver and hasn´t that much room for experiments, kind of traditional in what it should deliver. And Tolkien set the standards for it, showed how to do it, and helped to inspire the production of dozens of great series, hundreds of average ones, and an innumerable amount of fanfiction. Of course, his inspiration came from the millennia of storytelling that formed the works he took for his reinterpretations, so any aspiring fantasy author could see her/himself as an ancestor of a tradition to not just pass the stories themselves. But the much more important part, the ability to tell them, to use tropes and creative writing to hypnotize readers and eat away their lifetime with multi k behemoths of fantasy series.

Bromance gets tragic
The, some may say a bit too intense gaytrix style, Frodo Sam relationships gets tragic, because as so often with substance abuse, both body and soul get ruined by it and the ones who suffer are family and friends. One could go one more meta step and say that it´s not just addiction, but ideological contamination too, that extremism and faith poison the minds of normally friendly people who carry their toxicity home and make living together hell. Because, all in all, it´s

Fascism crushed by united, different fractions that understand that they´re just powerful together as one population of Middle earth, no matter how small and hairy or angular eared they may be.
Another heavy one, the ending can be seen in many different ways, from just a megalomaniac battle overkill to the deeper meanings of the journeys that make the victory of the good ones possible. Or that everyday people don´t understand the power they could have if they would work together against a dictatorship, economic inequality, and grievances. Or that the evil is still lurking in everyone and that it takes a permanent struggle to keep the peace by controlling the inner demons. Endless interpretations until eternity beyond the straight road to Aman.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Persephone's Pomegranate.
56 reviews168 followers
June 11, 2023

The Return of the King is, along with The Children of Húrin, my favorite work of Tolkien. It's one of my comfort reads. No one wrote about friendship and love quite like the late professor. Sam and Frodo. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. Merry and Pippin. Bilbo and Gandalf. Frodo and Gandalf. All those friendships are near and dear to my heart.

This world may be imaginary, but its characters feel very real. Most of us aspire to be as pure as Frodo, brave as Sam and Aragorn, cool as Legolas, and wise as Gandalf. Who doesn't admire the fearless Éowyn or the just Faramir? Or my personal favorite; the mighty and selfless Elf-lord Glorfindel. (Glorfindel also appeared in The Silmarillion)

There has been a lot of drama surrounding LOTR these past few months. The new Amazon series has caused a divide among fans of Tolkien. That's why I chose to re-read this book. I wanted to purge myself from the negativity and remind myself why I fell in love with this world in the first place. These are some of my all-time favorite books and movies. Middle-earth is my happy place. Well, Rivendell, Lothlórien, Shire, Gondor, and Rohan are my happy places. I have no wish to visit Mordor or Angmar.

One of the things I cherish the most is the romance between Faramir and Éowyn, as well as Aragorn and Arwen. Those are some of my favorite couples, along with Beren and Lúthien; and Angrod and Andreth. Perhaps my favorite part of the book is in the appendices. 'The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen' is a must-read. It's as bittersweet as it is beautiful.


And thus it was that Arwen first beheld him again after their long parting; and as he came walking towards her under the trees of Caras Galadhon laden with flowers of gold, her choice was made and her doom appointed.

Then for a season they wandered together in the glades of Lothlórien, until it was time for him to depart. And on the evening of Midsummer Aragorn, Arathorn’s son, and Arwen daughter of Elrond went to the fair hill, Cerin Amroth, in the midst of the land, and they walked unshod on the undying grass with elanor and niphredil about their feet. And there upon that hill they looked east to the Shadow and west to the Twilight, and they plighted their troth and were glad.

And Arwen said: “Dark is the Shadow, and yet my heart rejoices, for you, Estel, shall be among the great whose valour will destroy it.”

But Aragorn answered: “Alas, I cannot foresee it, and how it may come to pass is hidden from me. Yet with your hope I will hope. And the Shadow I utterly reject. But neither, lady, is the Twilight for me; for I am mortal, and if you cleave to me, Evenstar, then the Twilight you must also renounce.”

And she stood then as still as a white tree, looking into the West, and at last she said: “I will cleave to you, Dúnadan, and turn from the Twilight. Yet there lies the land of my people and the long home of all my kin.” She loved her father dearly.

Arwen and Aragorn's love story resembles that of Lúthien and Beren. Arwen is often compared to Lúthien by her people. Just like Lúthien, she gave her love to a mortal. Though she never regretted her choice, Aragorn's death left her heartbroken.

“But Arwen went forth from the House, and the light of her eyes was quenched, and it seemed to her people that she had become cold and grey as nightfall in winter that comes without a star. Then she said farewell to Eldarion, and to her daughters, and to all whom she had loved; and she went out from the city of Minas Tirith and passed away to the land of Lórien, and dwelt there alone under the fading trees until winter came. Galadriel had passed away and Celeborn also was gone, and the land was silent.

'There at last when the mallorn-leaves were falling, but spring had not yet come, she laid herself to rest upon Cerin Amroth; and there is her green grave, until the world is changed, and all the days of her life are utterly forgotten by men that come after, and elanor and niphredil bloom no more east of the Sea.”

Tragic as it is, it's something we must all face.

The love story of Éowyn and Faramir is no less beautiful. These two are perfect for each other. When I tell you I fangirled, I fangirled.

And Éowyn looked at Faramir long and steadily; and Faramir said: 'Do not scorn pity that is the gift of a gentle heart, Éowyn! But I do not offer you my pity. For you are a lady high and valiant and have yourself won renown that shall not be forgotten; and you are a lady beautiful, I deem, beyond even the words of the Elven-tongue to tell. And I love you. Once I pitied your sorrow. But now, were you sorrowless, without fear or any lack, were you the blissful Queen of Gondor, still I would love you. Éowyn, do you not love me?'

Then the heart of Éowyn changed, or else at last she understood it. And suddenly her winter passed, and the sun shone on her.

'I stand in Minas Anor, the Tower of the Sun,' she said; 'and behold! the Shadow has departed! I will be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great Riders, nor take joy only in the songs of slaying. I will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren.' And again she looked at Faramir. 'No longer do I desire to be a queen,' she said.

Then Faramir laughed merrily. 'That is well,' he said; 'for I am not a king. Yet I will wed with the White Lady of Rohan, if it be her will. 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. All things will grow with joy there, if the White Lady comes.'

'Then must I leave my own people, man of Gondor?' she said. 'And would you have your proud folk say of you: "There goes a lord who tamed a wild shieldmaiden of the North! Was there no woman of the race of Númenor to choose?"

'I would,' said Faramir. And he took her in his arms and kissed her under the sunlit sky, and he cared not that they stood high upon the walls in the sight of many.

Most people say Sam is the true hero of the story. I don't think there is only one hero. Everyone shines equally. No other writer could have created this masterpiece other than Tolkien.
Profile Image for Anne.
4,060 reviews69.5k followers
February 12, 2023
So this was the last book in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. That second book tricked me into thinking this last one was going to be, I don't know, fast-paced & action-y?
Not so much. It was actually quite long. In fact, I didn't think it was ever going to end. And then once it did end and that ring got dumped off into a volcano and they beat Sauron back?
It kept going.
I shit you not, there is an entire fake history lesson written into the back of the book.


Alright. The best way I can describe the last TWO HOURS of the audiobook version of this is to say that it reminded me of those books in the Bible where so-n-so begat so-n-so.
You know what I'm talking about?
Yeah, so two fucking hours of made-up names of kings and their made-up kingdoms and a snippet of something these people did.
By the end of it, I really felt like I could have used a Sam to drag my ass across the finish line.


But I didn't have a brave little Hobbit who loved me, so I just had to put my head down and plow through this shit.
PS - all of you who told me there was some awesome love story between Aragorn and Arwen?
Fuck you guys. That was awful and I can't believe I was looking forward to reading that. What is wrong with you people?!
Legolas and Gimli had a better love story with a much happier ending. And the thing is, I really thought I'd like Sam & Frodo more, but they were both just too weepy for my taste. As far as buddies went, I was team Gimli & Legolas all the way.


A big part of my frustration with this last book is that there were just so. many. unnecessary. conversations.
That time Aragorn had a 30 minute discussion about herbs with the healers who didn't know what that herb was that he needed to heal all the people with the black shadow sickness. The scene went on and on and on as he talked to one old lady nay, me lord! I didn't know whatthefuckever herb was good for healing! and then he talks to the top healer dude who says we only use whatthefuckever to occasionally to make sick rooms smell better, sire. and then he has to shake his head sadly and then and get people to run around looking for it and then they find some of it but it's a few weeks old and it turns out that 3 week old whatthefuckever is still good enough to heal the folks...
And then he makes a joke about how silly all the healers were later. <--Ahahahahaha!
Yes. It was hilarious that you wasted all that time talking about an insignificant herb!
Move it along, sir.


Good stuff?
1) The friendships.
There was a lot more hugging and kissing and crying than I thought there would be in a tale about a bunch of dudes. It was sweet. And it was nice to see such deep feelings expressed between men (and elves and dwarves and Ents and horses).
2) Eowyn.
She was cool and badass and all the things. If the whole book had been about her, I think I would have liked it a lot more.
3) Really it was just Eowyn.


I wanted to love this, and I went into book 3 with the best of intentions. I swear. I didn't read it just to dump on the world's most beloved fantasy novel. I still respect the hell out of the entire trilogy even though I really can't say that I liked it or enjoyed it much.
And I definitely don't regret finally finishing this and ticking it off of my bucket list.
Well worth it to know the story that spawned a thousand more stories.
Recommended for people who like this stuff.
Profile Image for Micah.
28 reviews91 followers
June 13, 2019
EXTENDED EDITION MOVIES MARATHON TIME!!!!!! 😍😃😃😃 my place at 5 am. Bring snacks.

❗️Note: there are much more scholarly reviews available out there, so if that interests you, I would refer you to reviews like this one:
or the official Tolkien Society: https://www.tolkiensociety.org/
That being said, I hope my layman approach is enjoyable for most 😉

Aragorn: "For Frodo."

Holy Gimli son of Glóin, I loved this book! Tolkien is a demigod when it comes to worldbuilding and storytelling. You would be hard-pressed to find any fantasy novel that reaches the level of his imagination and literacy. I wouldn't say the book is perfect, but the races he includes with their various languages expressed in song and poem, and the references to internal lore of past events, can make you forget that you’re reading high fantasy instead of a true, historical retelling of an epic past.

Whenever I read a narrative story, I consciously try and suspend all disbelief to fully live inside the world presented, which can often result in disappointment. But when a novel is well-written and believable, well, there’s no better way to experience a book in my view. Tolkien doesn't disappoint, and at no time did he pull my attention away from my quest through middle earth as an integral member of the Fellowship of the Ring.

"Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it'll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something."

Who could ask for a better, more loyal friend than Sam? But when developing characters, how do you keep them from becoming too perfect? Well Sam would definitely fit into the “too perfect” category if it weren’t for the masterful way in which his strengths and flaws equalize. We all love Sam because he has the qualities of superhuman friendship and devotion we all wish for, yet he lacks confidence in his own decisions which makes us empathize with him.

Despite his weaknesses, through the novels, Sam becomes more the focus of the story as Frodo fades into a singular mentality of resisting the ring. In the act of protecting his master, he finds within himself the inner strength to make difficult decisions of protection. He staves off Golumn for some time, carries the ring and saves Frodo from the Tower of Cirith Ungol, and even carries Frodo up the side of Mount Doom at the end of their quest. By the conclusion of the novel, Sam is a true hero after the Battle of Bywater and is elected Mayer of the Shire for seven consecutive years. We see the hero’s journey not as much through Frodo as through Sam.

“I would rather spend one lifetime with you, than face all the ages of this world alone.”

I should mention the return of the king since this book is, in fact, titled “The Return of the King.” 😜 Strider/Aragorn, who we all know and love, unlike the movies, accepts his true calling from the beginning as becoming future King of Gondor. He is honorable and fearless in fighting for good and comes into his calling when needed. Plus, he gets to marry his one true love, Arwen, which is like the greatest love story of all time!

The Battle of the Pelennor Fields (which is the battle at Minas Tirith), was better in the movie than in the book, as the battle in the book was relatively short and unsatisfying in comparison to an epic CGI final battle sequence, but this is just my opinion. Most often, action in movies is a disappointment without an engaging accompanying storyline, and even then, I just tend to endure them. But some movies hit the sweet spot and it changes my whole perspective. The battles in the LoTR movies did just that, creating realistic, epic battle sequences bolstering the books. Bravo, Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema for a job well done!

“Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”

Conclusion: Gandalf, Legolas, Bilbo, Gimli, Saruman, Galadriel, Elrond, Peregrin, Meriadoc, Golumn, and many other characters were left out of this review who are just as important and interesting as the ones mentioned. Some people find the books tedious, which I can agree with at some points, but there is still an appreciation that can be found through each section alongside the more exciting elements. The level of detail in each individual description of the world around the travelers and knowing that everything is consistent with the overarching lore, can be appreciated as no small feat. So, I’m just saying, give the books their due diligence or risk missing out on one of the greatest epics of all time! 😃
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews35 followers
November 6, 2021
(Book 494 from 1001 books) - The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King, J.R.R. Tolkien

The Return of the King: Sauron sends a great army against Gondor. Gandalf arrives at Minas Tirith to warn Denethor of the attack, while Theoden musters the Rohirrim to ride to Gondor's aid. Minas Tirith is besieged. Denethor is deceived by Sauron and falls into despair. He burns himself alive on a pyre, nearly taking his son Faramir with him.

Aragorn, accompanied by Legolas, Gimli and the Rangers of the North, takes the Paths of the Dead to recruit the Dead Men of Dunharrow, who are bound by a curse which denies them rest until they fulfil their long-ago forsworn oath to fight for the King of Gondor.

Following Aragorn, the Army of the Dead strikes terror into the Corsairs of Umbar invading southern Gondor. Aragorn defeats the Corsairs and uses their ships to transport the men of southern Gondor up the Anduin, reaching Minas Tirith just in time to turn the tide of battle.

Eowyn, Theoden's niece, slays the Lord of the Nazgul with help from Merry. Together, Gondor and Rohan defeat Sauron's army in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, though at great cost. Theoden is slain, and Eowyn and Merry are injured. ...

عنوانها: «خداوندگار حلقه ها»؛ «فرمانروای حلقه ها»؛ «ارباب حلقه ها»؛ «سالار انگشتریها»؛ نویسنده: جی.آر.آر تالکین؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه ژوئن سال2004میلادی

عنوان: ارباب حلقه‌ ها (فرمانروای حلقه ها) - مجلد سوم بازگشت شاه؛ نویسنده: جی.آر.آر تالکین؛ مترجم رضا علیزاده؛ تهران، روزنه، سال1381؛ چاپ ششم سال1391؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده 20م

عنوان: خداوندگار حلقه ها؛ نویسنده: جی.آر.آر (جان رونالد روئر) تالکین؛ مترجم: تبسم آتشین جان؛ تهران، حوض نقره، سال1381؛ سه کتاب در شش جلد؛

عنوان: سالار انگشتریها؛ نویسنده: جی.آر.آر (جان رونالد روئر) تالکین؛ مترجم: ماه منیر فتحی؛ تبریز، فروغ آزادی، سال1381؛ سه کتاب؛ کتاب نخست دوستی انگشتری (یاران حلقه)؛ کتاب دوم دوتا برج (دو برج)؛ کتاب سوم بازگشت پادشاه؛

عنوان: ارباب حلقه ها؛ نویسنده: نویسنده: جی.آر.آر تالکین؛ مترجم: پرویز امینی؛ تهران، دنیای نو، سال1382؛ در شش جلد؛ شابک9646564992؛

فرودو و «سام» به حرکت خود در سرزمین «موردور» به سمت کوه هلاکت ادامه می‌دهند؛ در آن سوی کوههای «موردور» بزرگترین جنگ دوران سوم، «نبرد حلقه» آغاز میشود؛ نبردی که هر چند تنها متوجه شهر «میناس تیریث» است، اما نتیجه اش تمام خطّه ی میانه را تحت تأثیر قرار میدهد؛ پیروزی یا شکست نیروهای تاریکی، به موفقیت یا عدم موفقیت «فرودو» و «سام» وابسته است

نقل از متن: (از کتاب بازگشت شاه: فرمانروای حلقه ها: حلقه ای سه برای پادشاهان اِلف در زیر گنبد نیلی، حلقه ای هفت برای فرمانروایان دورف در تالارهای سنگی، حلقه ای نُه برای آدمیان که محکوم به مرگ اند و فانی، و یکی از برای فرمانروای تاریکی بر سریر تاریکش، در سرزمین موردور، و سایه های آرمیده اش. حلقه ای است از برای حکم راندن، حلقه ای است برای یافتن، حلقه ای است از برای آوردن، و در تاریکی به هم پیوستن، در سرزمین موردور و سایه های آرمیده اش

کتاب پنجم: فصل یک: «میناس تی ریت»؛ («پی پین» از پناه شنل گندالف، بیرون را نگریست؛ نمیدانست بیدار است، یا باز خواب میبیند، و هنوز در همان رویای شتابناکی سیر میکند که از هنگامِ شروعِ سفرِ سواره ی بزرگ، او را به خود مشغول کرده بود؛ جهانِ تاریک شتابان از کنارش میگذشت و باد با صدای بلند در گوشش آواز میخواند. چیزی جز ستاره های دوار را نمیتوانست ببیند، و آن دورها در سمت راست، سایه های عظیم را در برابر آسمان، آنجا که کوههای جنوب از مقابل او رژه میرفتند؛ خواب آلود کوشید تا گذشت زمان و مراحل سفر را محاسبه کند، اما خاطراتش آمیخته به رویا و مشکوک بود؛ مرحله ی نخست سفر را با سرعتی طاقت فرسا و بیتوقف آغاز کرده بودند، و آنگاه در سپیده صبح، «پی پین» پرتو پریده رنگ طلا را دیده بود، و آنان به شهر خاموش و کاخِ بزرگِ خالی از سکنه، بر روی تپه رسیده بودند؛ تازه در پناه آن قرار گرفته بودند، که سایه ی بالدار، بار دیگر از بالای سرشان گذشته بود، و مردان همه از ترس پژمرده بودند؛ اما گندالف سخنانی آرامشبخش به او گفته بود، و «پی پین» خسته، اما ناآرام، در گوشه ای خفته، و به طرزی مبهم از آمد و رفت و گفتگوی مردان، و نیز دستورهای گندالف آگاه شده بود؛ و باز بار دیگر تاختن، تاختن در شب؛ دو شب، نه، سه شب از هنگامی که در سنگ نگریسته بود، میگذشت؛ با این خاطره هولناک به یک باره از خواب پرید و لرزید و ناله ی باد پر از صداهای تهدیدآمیز شد؛ نوری در آسمان نمایان گشت، پرتو آتشی زرد در پس موانع تاریک؛ «پی پین» لحظه ای هراسان از فکر اینکه گندالف او را به کدام سرزمین دهشتبار میبرد، خود را عقب کشید؛ چشمانش را مالید، و آنگاه دید که این ماه است، که برفراز سا��ه های شرقی طلوع میکند، و اکنون قرص آن تقریبا کامل بود؛ پس هنوز خیلی از شب نگذشته بود و سفر در تاریکی هنوز باید ساعتها ادامه مییافت؛ تکانی به خود داد و لب به سخن گشود

پرسید: «کجا هستیم گندالف؟» ساحر پاسخ داد «در قلمرو گوندور؛ سرزمین آنورین را هنوز پشت سر نگذاشته ایم»؛ دوباره مدتی سکوت برقرار شد؛ آنگاه «پی پین» ناگهان فریادی زد، و به شنل گندالف چنگ انداخت «آن چیست؟ نگاه کن! آتش، آتش سرخ! توی این سرزمین اژدها هم پیدا میشود؟ ببین، آن هم یکی دیگر!»؛

گندالف در جواب رو به اسبش فریاد زد؛ به پیش شدوفکس! باید شتاب کنیم؛ وقت تنگ است؛ ببین! فانوسهای گوندور روشن اند و کمک میخواهند؛ آتش جنگ شعله ور شده؛ نگاه کن، آتش را روی آمون دین ببین، و شعله ها را روی آیلناخ؛

ببین اینک به طرف غرب میشتابند: «ناردول، اره لاس، مین-ریمون، کالنهاد، و هالیفیراین در مرزهای روهان»، اما «شدوفکس» دست از تاخت برداشت و سرعتش را تا حد یورتمه ای آرام پایین آورد، و سرش را بلند کرد، و شیهه کشید، از درون تاریکی صدای شیهه اسبان دیگر در پاسخ به آن شنیده شد؛ درست در همان لحظه، صدای تق تق سم اسبان به گوش رسید، و سه سوار از گرد راه رسیدند، و همچون اشباح بالدار، در زیر نور ماه گذشتند، و در غرب ناپدید شدند؛ آنگاه «شدوفکس» دوباره بر سرعت خود افزود، و از جا جست، و شب همچون بادی غران بر سرش وزیدن گرفت؛ «پی پین» دوباره خواب آلود شد، و دیگر چندان توجهی به گفته های «گندالف» نکرد، که از رسم و رسومات «گوندور» برای او حرف میزد، و اینکه چگونه فرمانروای شهر فانوسهایی را، بر فراز تپه های دور افتاده، در دو سوی دامنه ی رشته کوه بزرگ ساخته، و پاسگاههایی را در این نقاط دایر کرده است، و اسبان تازه نفس را، همیشه در آنجا آماده نگه میدارند، تا چاپارهای او را به «روهان» در شمال، یا به «بل فالاس» در جنوب برسانند؛ گفت: «الآن زمان درازی از روشن شدن فانوسها میگذرد؛ و در گوندورِ روزگارِ باستان، نیازی به این چیزها نبود، چون آنها هفت سنگ را داشتند.» «پی پین» هراسان تکانی خورد؛ «گندالف» گفت «دوباره بخواب و نگران نباش! چون قرار نیست تو هم مثل «فرودو» به «موردور» بروی، بلکه داری به «میناس تی ریت» میروی، و در این روزگار، تو آنجا همانقدر در امانی، که در جاهای دیگر؛ اگر «گوندور» سقوط کند، یا حلقه به چنگ دشمن بیافتد، آن وقت شایر هم ایمن نیست.» «پی پین» گفت: «حرف تو تسلی ام نمیدهد.» اما با وجود این خواب آهسته آهسته بر او چیره شد؛ آخرین چیز پیش از اینکه کاملاً در خواب غرق شود، یاد منظره ی قله های سفید و بلند بود، که وقتی نور ماه در ��ال غروب، بر آنها میتابید، همچون جزیره هایی شناور، بر روی ابرها میدرخشیدند. اندیشید که فرودو کجاست، آیا هم اکنون در موردور است، یا مرده است؛ و نمیدانست که فرودو از دوردستها به همان ماه چشم دوخته است که پیش از فرا رسیدن روز در پس گوندور غروب میکرد.)؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 27/09/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 14/08/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Tharindu Dissanayake.
288 reviews560 followers
November 21, 2020
"Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!
Fell deeds awake: fire and slaughter!
spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered,
a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!
Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!

"Pride would be folly that disdained help and counsel at need;"

Sometimes, When one starts reading a book of a series, there's always this urge read through the whole thing as fast as possible. Then, when we're done with all of the series, it's very hard not to wish that it doesn't end here - but will go on for many more days. This is what I felt exactly with the The Lord of The Ring trilogy. What a wonderful journey has it been?. Each volume delivering parts of an incredible, perfectly put story.

Tolkien's Middle Earth is, without any doubt, one of the most detailed, well thought-out, unique, imaginative and wonderful fantasy worlds I have ever come across. And when you place the thrilling plot within this world, what we have is a timeless creation, and one that does not identify any age limit. Starting with the first book, it only ascends in every positive way, never reaching any plateau.

"I'm not used, Master Beregond, to waiting hungry on others while they ear. It is a sore trial for a hobbit, that."

Before finishing, it feels incomplete if I stop without any reference to the trilogy of movies. I think, movies were amazing on their own, while the best changes applied to plot but without any negative impacts to the story. However, the differences are quite significant in the last of the three. Almost the last third is dedicated to the conclusion of the book. Obviously, a movie might not do very well if it's taking a long time beyond the peak of excitement. But Tolkien do the reader justice by continuing with a very fulfilling end with no detail spared.

If one have not read The Lord of The Rings, he or she is missing out literally a world of excitement.

"Rohan had come at last."
Profile Image for Alejandro.
1,142 reviews3,565 followers
January 16, 2016
The last stand for the control of Middle-Earth!


That’s the message in a t-shirt that I got in a tourism travel (and I still have it!). I thought that it was appropiate to begin my review about the third part and final of Lord of the Rings.

All that fuzz about a ring that can turn you invisible? You may think, but that was the least of its properties. Its major use was being able to control of the rest of ring-bearers with it, and if you think about that many of the most powerful beings in the Middle-Earth possessed a ring, well, it seems logical why all that fuzz. Moreover, a factor that not usually is pondered is that The One Ring also helps to extend the lifetime of a being to an absurd expanse, and since Sauron is just a “shadow” of his past self, it’s evident why he needed The One Ring so bad.

I commented in my review of the first part, The Fellowship of the Ring, about my theory of the plans of The One Ring. Not Sauron’s. Not Saruman’s. But the One Ring. It was obsessed about the Hobbits, since they were the last bastion of pure goodness in the whole Middle-Earth. Without making any spoilers, I am kinda sad that while it wasn’t due actions of The One Ring, bute vil powers damaged that idyllic of a more simple life. Also, I think that the whole thing was unnecessary to the main story and even over-extending the tale kinda ruining the “final” climax of the war.

Back, in The Hobbit, Bilbo’s first act having The One Ring was…


A small noble deed that would define the fate of the whole Middle-Earth.

That makes you think about it. Each action has a consequence. Maybe you won’t be able to realize the consequence, but it’s clear that you have to think about your actions, since you never know that something that you may consider irrelevant, even correct, it may lead to consequences with epic importance.


Again, I won’t spoil anything, I only can say that one of my favorite female characters in the saga is Éowyn, along with Galadriel. Their paths are separate, they are different kind of female characters, but definitely, they proved their own importance and vital roles in this story plenty of male characters.

Galadriel’s role was centered mainly in the first part (but you'll find her here again), The Fellowship of the Ring, and you can’t doubt that she, along with Elrond (one of my favorite male characters), both are of the most powerful beings in the Middle-Earth, where their existence over there, defined the beginning and the end of the Third Age.

Éowyn was introduced on the second part, The Two Towers, but it’s on the third and final part, The Return of the King, where she plays her vital role in an age where men were the ones usually in the battlefields.

It’s clear that a predilect theme of J.R.R. Tolkien was to show that while wars are things to avoid if possible, if the war is inescapable, it’s short-sighted and close-minded not considering the worth and courage of the “unlikely” beings (Hobbits, women) and including them into the ranks of the defending army. Since many times the tall and strong men don’t think that people of small height or from the “weaker sex”, can be valuable during a war. But you can testify that in “The War of the Ring”, four Hobbits and a woman, changed the course of it, during epic moments of impossible odds.


The saga ends here, Return of the King, at least the main story, because certainly you can find a LOT more of tales in the other books by Tolkien set in the Middle-Earth.

And it’s indisputable the legacy caused by this story.

Since ALL the following novels and book series in the genre of epic fantasy are inspired and/or influenced due the publication of Lord of the Rings, but its impact isn’t limited to this literary genre, since if you know what to look or watching carefully you’ll find plots, elements, concepts, etc… of this story in other novels of different genres, in films, in TV, etc…

Once you woud be aware of this story, you keep noticing here and there, the influence and impact of it.

Not matter if you like Lord of the Rings or not, you have to thank anyway, since the imagination and creativity in the minds of artists in the whole world, in all kind of art fields, were never the same after the publication of this work. They got better.

Thank you, Tolkien.

Profile Image for SK.
312 reviews2,772 followers
November 27, 2022
Absolutely LOVED it. Still can't believe it took me this long to read it. The characters, plot, drama, action- basically everything is perfect. I'm usually not one to read heavily descriptive books but this trilogy is written so beautifully, it's hard not to get lost in it.

Now I wanna rewatch the movies lol.
Profile Image for Calista.
4,074 reviews31.3k followers
February 25, 2020
I was living with my uncle 20 years ago and he is a vast reader in many genres. I was looking for something new to read when he told me to read this series. He had these beautiful hardback books with fold-out maps. I had heard of the hobbit and saw the cartoon as a kid. I thought it was an okay movie, but it didn't really impress me. He convinced me that I needed to read this. So, I started with the hobbit and read one book after the other until I was done with this book.

I remember being awed by this series. I couldn't wait for the last book. The world was so grand and epic. I loved the race of elves and the Ents. I tore through this story as fast as I could go. I read the appendix not being able to get enough. I was hooked on this series. I had a major book hangover and it was a bit sad not to have anymore story. I did go on to read the Silmarillion a bit later.

I felt like this was an amazing ending to a beloved series. I loved the whole story. I think it will be time for a re-read soon. The movies are stellar and the written story still has so much details to offer. I love a soft-magic system, they are the best.

Profile Image for Carlos.
109 reviews94 followers
September 24, 2023
Este libro es un ejemplo claro de por qué no veo películas: ¡Aquí se usa la imaginación! La verdad es que sí vi la película. Es buena, pero se hace eterna. El libro es más largo que la película, pero no se hace eterno ¿La diferencia? Está claro; tú creas tu propia historia en tu cabeza, y eso lo hace mucho más emocionante y a la vez personal. Leer libros (en vez de ver películas) también hace que tú te crees tu propio Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, etc... y eso lleva a que te enamores de cada uno de ellos, acorde a cómo los creaste en tu mente.
Mientras leía este libro, me imaginaba todo el desenlace, me imaginaba a Frodo llegando por fin al fin del camino, y viendo lo que hacía, los nervios que tenía, la ansiedad, todo.
A veces pasa que un libro, o una historia en general, es muy bueno, pero el final es malo. Aquí no pasó eso. El final es genial, el cómo está escrito le da ese toque mágico, ese no sé que.
Esta obra es sencillamente genial. Extrañaré a estos personajes, y aunque suene como un niño de 10 años, seguirán estando en mi mente tal cual me los imaginé cuando leí el libro, y no como los vi en la película, a pesar que no tengo nada contra las películas, sólo que no veo cine...
¿Recomendable? Absolutamente, pero es necesario leer La comunidad del anillo y Las dos torres primero.
Profile Image for Paul.
2,309 reviews20 followers
August 9, 2023
Well, I've come to the end of the road once more... This was my tenth reading of Tolkien's saga of Middle Earth (the first time I visited was in 1986) and it's pointless trying to write a balanced review of my favourite books. Suffice it to say that these books are a part of me; written into my DNA, if you like, and I love them dearly.
I'll be back in a year or two, Bagginses, to do it all over again...

Buddy read with Sunshine Seaspray.


And I did come back! As I will again and again and again... You'll have to excuse me now, as I'm definitely not crying... You see, I'm wounded... and it will never really heal...
(2nd June 2017)
Profile Image for Henry Avila.
469 reviews3,255 followers
July 17, 2023
A shadow spreads on the land ever growing , a thing that can't be stopped, striking everything in its path, the eerie darkness falls, as the people of Middle- earth feel frightened with ominous foreboding , this tension rises and though the Dark Lord is unseen, yet fear grows in strength, what destruction will follow no one can imagine or wants to know but death nears.The last of the amazing incomparable tetralogy which never would or could be equaled let alone surpassed, has our dauntless friends Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin the little hobbits have hearts ten feet tall with the help of Gandalf the wise wizard, Gimili the ferocious dwarf and the elf Legalos the mighty archer..oh yes Strider a ranger still maybe greatness will be his future only time can tell our destiny. Mount Doom is far away spilling noxious fumes the Dark Tower always alert and Suron's eye never sleeps in desolate Mordor, but the lethal roads become longer and longer and harder to reach, as creepy creatures in the night roam ...however the one ring flows with evil, nobody can resist its power the contamination dominates the beings who posses it, these unfortunates suffer. Gollum a prime example not good maybe, still an unique character which fiction cannot top... you love and hate, however want him to survive... Armies of orcs and ruffian men, march through middle-earth conquering, seemingly invincible and devastating the entire territory, friends butchered and the fellowship the only hope for salvation.Terror nevertheless grips the people, the mood thickens to despair and rumors of the villain Saruman thriving in the beloved Shire of the Hobbits brings concern. Numerous evils are sure to arrive there... in the quiet place. Welcome to the end of the novels, they are a little bit of heaven that we are sure to remember fondly. I will miss the wonderful hobbits and the enchanting customs of the shire, a beautiful place which sadly doesn't exist, but should, in a hole in the ground...Both glorious and a sad story, since no more by the author will be produced...
Profile Image for Hannah Greendale.
701 reviews3,355 followers
July 23, 2018
The Return of the King takes about a hundred pages to sink one's teeth into, but persevering is worth it for the glint of sunrise on a victorious maiden's hair, for the show of willpower against all odds in the eleventh hour, and for the golden bloom of a happy ending.
Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,633 followers
February 15, 2020
The end of an epic! The Return of the King brings a conclusion to the wonderful Lord of the Rings trilogy and is one of the most satisfying conclusions to a long tale that has ever been written.

In this book, we leave Frodo and Sam in Mordor and rejoin Pippin and Gandalf, Merry and Theoden, and Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli as the suspense builds towards the final battle. Gandalf has a hard time explaining the death of Boromir to the grieving father Denethor who will have a sad ending himself as things turn out. Definitely, Denethor was one of the characters I liked the least.

Denethor's daughter Eowyn falls in love with Aragorn (who is, unfortunately, already betrothed to an Elf princess and thus not fair game) but wishes to fight: 'Shall I always be chosen?' she said bitterly. 'Shall I always be left behind when Riders depart, to mind the house while they win renown, and find food and beds when they return?'
'What do you fear, lady?' [Aragorn] asked.
'A cage,' she said. 'To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.'
(p. 767 - note that the page numbers are from the single-volume edition of LOTR). This is perhaps an attempt by Tolkien to excuse his male-centric story and express his sympathy for the cause of women's equality. Indeed, one of the greatest moments in the entire trilogy is when Eowyn rises above her station and becomes the unique female hero of the saga as she strikes down the Night King, "But no living man am I. You look upon a woman!" It was truly a fantastic and inspiring moment. Galadriel was an interesting female character too, but other than glowing in the dark and handing out cool swag to passers-by, she was just a pretty hood ornament compared to Eowyn.

I found it curious how they call Sauron 'The Nameless One', notably a source for Rowling having various HP characters use this moniker for her bad guy.

Unforgettable as well as moments of suspense when the Lord of the Nazgûl seems about to strike Gandalf as Rohan arrives on the theatre of battle changing the momentum (p. 811).

After the battle, there is a beautiful moment on the city walls as Eowyn and Faramir are united just as the Ring is destroyed. It is as scene of romance and yet Tolkien pulls it off without it becoming too sentimental and yet remaining epic. Fantastic writing. neither wind, nor voice, nor bird-call, nor rustle of leaf, nor their own breath could be heard; the very beating of their hearts was stilled. Time halted. And as they stood so, their hands met and clasped, though they did not know it. And still they waited for they knew what not....A sounds like a sign went up from all the lands about them, and their hearts beat suddenly again. (p. 945)

After the battle, there is another nature moment where we see a seedling of Galathilion, Eldest of Trees already it had put forth young leaves long and shapely, dark above and silver beneath, and upon its slender crown it bore one small cluster of flowers whose white petals shone like the sunlit snow. (p. 950) Few writers capture a love of nature with such poetic precision as Tolkien.

On the trip back, as folks peel off like leaves of corn, we cross a broken - but not toothless as shall be seen - Saruman in a comic scene (p. 960-961). But, when all that is left are the hobbits, they arrive to find the Shire changed and under the terror of a violent band of ruffians - the remnants of the armies of Saruman and Sauron. Symbolically, I believe that the Scouring of the Shire represents both the lost idealism in Europe after World War I (as well as the horrors of World War II which was raging as he was writing the original text. He edited the final draft for years before finally publishing in 1955) as well as the damage to the idyllic environment by the Industrialization of England in the XIXe century. Perhaps, Tolkien couldn't resist describing a last piece of bitter loss before ending his epic with the fantastically beautiful sending off from Grey Haven. They've cut it down! cried Sam. 'They've cut down the Party Tree!' He pointed to where the tree had stood unde which Bilbo had made his Farewell Speech. It was lying lopped and dead in the field. As if this was the last straw Sam burst into tears. (p. 993) Personally, I think that this was a result of Tolkien's personal disillusionment during the Battle of Britain seeing bombs falling from the sky hitting buildings and trees he loved in and around Oxford. Beautifully, however, Sam quickly turns his frown upside down and sets out to rebuild what is left of the Shire.

We then get one last ride together as Elrond, Galadriel, Frodo, Bilbo and Frodo all ride off on boats literally into the sunset in probably the most beautiful literary sendoff that I have ever read (p. 1006-1008) The Third Age was over, and the Days of the Ring were passed, and an end was come of the story and song of those times. The Elves were leaving Middle Earth for good - an image (and homage) to our childhood dreams retreating into our memory as we become adults and shed our infancy. Sam, arriving to his house with his wife Rose, firmly rooted in his earthly life ends the book thus: He drew a deep breath. 'Well, I'm back,' he said.

LOTR is hard to summarize in words because all of it is so over-the-top, so epic, and so deeply influential on all fantasy literature in the seven decades since it was written. We are all highly indebuted to Tolkien for his beautiful and youthful text. If only we had all collectively paid more attention to his ecological message and preserved our environment to the same degree that we extended his storytelling legacy.

Fino's Tolkien Reviews:
The Hobbit
The Fellowship of the Ring (LOTR 1)
The Two Towers (LOTR 2)
The Return of the King (LOTR 3)
Lord of the Rings 1-3 - General Comments and Observations
Raymond Edward's Tolkien biography
Profile Image for J.G. Keely.
546 reviews10.2k followers
February 24, 2017
Writers who inspire a genre are usually misunderstood. Tolkien's reasons for writing were completely unlike those of the authors he inspired. He didn't have an audience, a genre, and scores of contemporaries. There was a tradition of high adventure fairy tales, as represented by Eddison, Dunsany, Morris, MacDonald, Haggard, and Kipling, but this was only part of what inspired Tolkien.

His writing was chiefly influenced by his familiarity with the mythological traditions of the Norse and Welsh cultures. While he began by writing a fairy story with The Hobbit and other early drafts, his later work became a magical epic along the lines of the Eddas. As a translator, Tolkien was intimately knowledgeable with these stories, the myths behind them, and the languages that underpinned them, and endeavored to recreate their form.

Contrarily, those who have followed in his footsteps since have tended to be inspired by a desire to imitate him. Yet they failed to do what Tolkien did because they did not have a whole world of mythic tradition, culture, and language to draw on. They mimicked his style, but did not understand his purpose, and hence produced merely empty facsimiles.

If they had copied merely the sense of wonder or magnificence, then they might have created perfectly serviceable stories of adventure, but they also copied those parts of Tolkien which do not fit a well-built, exciting story--like his work's sheer length. Tolkien made it 'okay' for writers of fantasy to produce books a thousand pages long, and to write many of them in succession. Yet Tolkien's length had a purpose, it was not merely an affectation.

Tolkien needed this length in order to reproduce myth. The Eddas were long and convoluted because they drew from many different stories and accounts, combined over time by numerous story-tellers and eventually compiled by scribes. The many digressions, conflicts, repetitions, asides, fables, songs, and minutiae of these stories came together organically. Each had a purpose, even if they didn't serve the story, they were part of a grand and strange world. Epics often served as encyclopedias for their age, teaching history, morals, laws, myth, and geography--as may be seen in Homer or The Bible.

This was the purpose of all of Tolkien's long, dull songs, the litany of troop movements, the lines of lineage, the snippets of didactic myths, and side-adventures. To create a realistically deep and complicated world, he felt he needed to include as many diverging views as the original myths had. He was being true to a literary convention--though not a modern one, and not one we would call a 'genre'.

He gave characters similar names to represent other historical traditions: that of common prefixes or suffixes, of a house line adopting similar names for fathers, sons, and brothers. An author who copies this style without that linguistic and cultural meaning just makes for a confusing story, breaking the sensible rule that main characters should not have similar names.

Likewise, in a well-written story, side-characters should be kept to the minimum needed to move the plot and entertain the reader with a variety of personalities. It is another rule Tolkien breaks, because he is not interested in an exciting, driving pace. He wants the wealth of characters to match the number of unimportant side characters one would expect from a historical text.

The only reason he sometimes gets away with breaking such sensible rules of storytelling is that he often has a purpose for breaking them, and is capable of drawing on his wealth of knowledge to instill further depth and richness in his world. Sometimes, when he slowed his story down with such asides, they did not have enough purpose to merit inclusion, a flaw in pacing which has only increased with modern authors.

But underneath all of that, Tolkien does have an appealing and exciting story to tell, of war and succession and moral struggles--the same sort of story that has been found in our myths since the very earliest writings of man. He does not create a straight monomyth, because, like Milton, he presents a hero divided. Frodo takes after the Adam, placing strength in humility and piety, not martial might or wit. Aragorn is an attempt to save the warlike, aristocratic hero whom Milton criticized in his portrayal of Satan.

Yet unlike Satan, we do not get an explanation of what makes Strider superior, worthy, or--more importantly--righteous. And in this, Tolkien's attempt to recreate the form of the Eddas is completely at odds with the Christian, romantic moral content with which he fills the story. This central schism makes his work much less true to the tradition than Anderson's The Broken Sword , which was published the same year.

Not only does Tolkien put forth a vision of chaste, humble, 'everyman' heroes who persevere against temptation through piety, he also presents a world of dualistic good and evil, of eternal, personal morality, prototypical of the Christian worldview, particularly the post-Miltonic view. His characters are bloodless, chaste, and noble--and if that nobility is sometimes that of simple, hard-working folk, all the better for his Merrie England analogue.

More interesting than these is his portrayal of Gollum, one of the few characters with a deep psychological contradiction. In some ways, his central, conflicted role resembles Eddison's Lord Gro, whose work inspired Tolkien. But even this internal conflict is dualistic. Unlike Gro, Gollum is not a character with an alternative view of the world, but fluctuates between the hyperbolic highs and lows of Tolkien's morality.

It is unfortunate that both good and evil seem to be external forces at work upon man, because it removes much of the agency and psychological depth of the characters. There is a hint of very alien morality in the out-of-place episode of Tom Bombadil, expressing the separation between man and fairy that Dunsany's work epitomized. Bombadil is the most notorious remainder of the fantastical roots of Tolkien's story which he painstakingly removed in editing in favor of Catholic symbology.

Yet despite internal conflicts, there is something respectable in what he achieved, and no fantasy author has yet been capable of comprehending what Tolkien was trying to do and innovating upon it. The best modern writers of fantasy have instead avoided Tolkien, concentrating on other sources of inspiration. The dullards of fantasy have merely rehashed and reshuffled the old tropes back and forth, imagining that they are creating something.

One cannot entirely blame Tolkien because Jordan, Martin, Goodkind, Paolini, Brooks, and Salvatore have created a genre out of his work which is unoriginal, cloying, escapist, and sexually unpalatable (if often successful). At least when Tolkien is dull, ponderous, and divergent, he is still achieving something.

These authors are mostly trying to fix a Tolkien they don't understand, trying to make him easy to swallow. The uncomfortable sexuality is an attempt to repair the fact that Tolkien wrote a romance where the two lovers are thousands of miles apart for most of the story. Even a libertine like me appreciates Tolkien's chaste, distant, longing romance more than the obsessively fetishistic consummation that has come to define sexuality in the most repressive and escapist genre this side of four-color comic books.

I don't think Tolkien is a great writer, I don't even think he is one of the greater fantasy writers. He was a stodgy old Tory, and the Shire is his false golden age of 'Merrie Olde England'. His romance wasn't romantic, and his dualistic moralizing cheapened the story. His attempt to force Christian theology onto a heroic epic is as problematic and conflicted as monks' additions to Beowulf.

Tolkien's flaws have been well-documented by notable authors, from Moorcock's 'Epic Pooh' to Mieville's adroit analysis, but for all that, he was no slouch. Even if we lament its stolid lack of imagination, The Lord of the Rings is the work of a careful and deliberate scholar of language, style, and culture. It is the result of a lifetime of collecting and applying knowledge, which is a feat to behold.

Each time the moon is mentioned, it is in the proper phase as calculated from the previous instance. Calendar dates and distances are calculated. Every name mentioned has a meaning and a past. I have even heard that each description of a plant or stone was carefully researched to represent the progression of terrain, though I can find no support for this theory.

Yet what good is that to a story? It may be impressive as a thought exercise, but to put that much time and work into the details instead of fixing and streamlining the frame of the story itself seems entirely backwards to me. But for all that The Lord of the Rings may be dull, affected, and moralistic, it is Tolkien's, through and through.

My Fantasy Book Suggestions
Profile Image for Piyangie.
530 reviews490 followers
January 15, 2023
The Return of the King is the final part of the trilogy where the fellowship marks its victory over the Dark Lord, Sauron. The one ring that rules, and the one ring that binds the world in darkness has met its end in fire of the Mount Doom where it was made. The quest is completed, and Sauron is completely defeated. He will never bind the Middle-Earth with his spells of darkness and evil forces. The King of the West is crowned and thus begins the Third Age where men dominate and glorify the earth. And the fellowship officially breaks never to be formed on Middle-Earth.

This third part of the Tolkien masterpiece is the best of the three, not only because it marks the grand victorious ending, but also because of its sense of completeness. There is ample suspense and more character development in the fellowship and the other warriors who showed such strength of character, wisdom, and courage in the face of the greatest peril. The moving writing brings battles, the destruction and barrenness of land, and the despair and hopelessness into life. The thematic expressions of friendship, love, and loyalty displayed among the characters are more tested here than in the previous stories. And the victory (the fall of Sauron as well as the final defeat of Saruman in Hobbiton) crowns it all. The emotional ride of the reader from uneasiness to downright fear, from despair to hope, and from joy at the victory to sad parting engages the full attention though somewhat taxing to the mind. But that's the beauty of Tolkien's mastery. He doesn't tell us a story; he makes us part of it.

Tolkien's writing parallels no other. I've said this already in my reviews of the first two parts, but I still like to reiterate it here. Words fail me to say how much I love and admire his writing. His words completely transport me into another world although it may not always be charming. And while I read it, I have no sense of the present, being so lost in the world he creates. Tolkien is a master of the creative art, and this trilogy is a masterpiece beyond comparison.

This trilogy is one of the best works I've ever read. Those who have read it will quite agree with me. You find rare gems belonging to the literary realm from time to time. And this is undoubtedly one of the rarest ones.
Profile Image for Lena.
199 reviews93 followers
August 21, 2021
I've hear dozens times that Tolkien is the father of fantasy genre and now I've finally witnessed it myself. In The Lord of the Rings you can really see a lot of plot-lines, character, world-building and races used later in various fantasy stories. Although for a modern reader these books might seem to be a bit boring and archaic, it's a definite must-read for genre fans.
Profile Image for James.
Author 20 books3,725 followers
December 3, 2018
Book Review
4 of 5 stars to The Return of the King, the third book in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, written in 1955, by J.R.R. Tolkien. After reading the first two books in this series, how can you not finish it with this one? I knocked them back between 9th and 10th grades, loving every minute of the imagination and struggle between good and evil. When I got this this final one, I already knew I'd be sad to say goodbye to all the characters I'd fallen hardcore for over the 1500 pages between the volumes. But when the movies came out, I had a chance to re-live the intensity of this drama... as taking on such large books with everything else I had on my reading plate, did not make sense. Watching them in film form tho lived up to many expectations. Of course, I loved the books more, but I still enjoyed the films and will watch them if I am skimming the channels and find one in play...

The flaws in each of the characters, as well as their journey, are immense but real. When you find out some of the changes in this book (no spoilers!) and people you thought were long-forgotten, it is brilliant. And seeing the evil forces fight the good forces... it's just a version of the reality we face every day. All over a ring that provides power. But power is at the center of it all. And it's one of the few books where I found myself happy with the ending.

I could talk about these forever, but I won't bore you. I am not a big fan of fantasy, and have only read a handful of books and authors in this genre. These are a favorite across all genres for me, and it's because of the creativity in Tolkien's mind that I consider reading more in this genre. Before Harry Potter, we had a family of hobbits... who stole our hearts and taught us many lessons. Ones I still think of today whenever I need to weight the options before me. Please give them a chance! But start with #1.... you have to read them in order!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.
Profile Image for Dream.M.
507 reviews90 followers
October 1, 2022
وقتی جلد اول مجموعه ارباب حلقه ها را شروع کردم، تصور می کردم همه چیز آرام است. اما امروز با پایان بردن جلد سوم کتاب، شاهد اتفاقاتی هستم که باعث شده بفهمم ظاهرا آنچه آرامش می نامیدم اش، جداری از بی تفاوتی بود که همچون لایه ای یخ سطح این دریای گنداب را پوشانده بوده است. حق با تو بود گندالف. منجی در کار نبود. منجی یک نفر نبود. حق با تو بود گندالف وقتی که به یاران حلقه گفتی:  همراه شو عزیز  تنها نمان به در ، کین درد مشترک هرگز جدا جدا درمان نمی شود.
Profile Image for Paul Haspel.
563 reviews82 followers
April 9, 2023
The return of a rightful king to the long-empty throne of Gondor is at the heart of this third and final volume of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings – as is, of course, the conclusion of the quest to destroy the One Ring of Power, the utterly evil superweapon with which the Dark Lord Sauron had hoped to plunge all of the world of Middle-Earth into everlasting moral darkness.

In the preceding volumes of The Lord of the Rings – Part One, The Fellowship of the Ring, and Part Two, The Two Towers – Tolkien had created a vivid set of characters and sent them forth on an enthralling group of adventures. In Part Three, The Return of the King, Tolkien brings this transcendent work of fantasy literature to a truly epic conclusion.

Like The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, The Return of the King is divided into two Books. Book V chronicles how the riders of the horse-kingdom of Rohan go to the rescue of the besieged realm of Gondor – a campaign that culminates in the epic Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Book VI tells the story of how Frodo Baggins, the hobbit who carries the One Ring of Power, journeys with his friend Samwise Gamgee into the heart of the evil land of Mordor, so that the ring may be destroyed by being cast into the fires of Mount Doom.

As Part V begins, three members of the Fellowship – the man Aragorn, heir to the throne of Gondor; the elf prince Legolas; and the dwarf warrior Gimli – ride with the warrior horsemen of Rohan to the relief of Minas Tirith, the capital of Gondor, besieged as it is by Sauron’s orc forces. Two other members of the Fellowship – the wizard Gandalf and the hobbit Peregrin (“Pippin”) Took – join with the outnumbered Gondorian forces defending the city from within. The hobbit Meriadoc (“Merry”) Brandybuck, another member of the Fellowship, has been told that he is too small to go to war; but he is taken there nonetheless by “A young man…less in height and girth than most” (p. 91). This “young man” is actually a young woman – the courageous shield-maiden Éowyn, who will play a decisive role in the coming battle.

Tolkien, a devout Catholic, wrote The Lord of the Rings as a moral drama of the eternal conflict between good and evil; and one of the abiding themes of The Return of the King is that of people learning to follow what is good and avoid what is evil. This idea applies strongly, in this volume of LOTR, to Rohan’s king Théoden. In an earlier time, Théoden had been prey to the malign influence of his wicked counselor Grima Wormtongue, a spy for the renegade wizard Saruman. Now, however, Théoden has shaken off that evil influence; and as he leads his Rohirrim warriors to battle the orcs of Sauron before the walls of Minas Tirith, his restored power is described in language that combines Biblical cadences with images from the Eddas of Norse mythology:

Théoden could not be overtaken. Fey he seemed, or the battle-fury of his fathers ran like new fire in his veins, and he was borne up on Snowmane like a god of old, even as Oromë the Great in the battle of the Valar when the world was young. His golden shield was uncovered, and lo! it shone like an image of the Sun, and the grass flamed into green about the white feet of his steed. For morning came, morning and a wind from the sea; and darkness was removed, and the hosts of Mordor wailed, and terror took them, and they fled, and died, and the hoofs of wrath rode over them. (p. 138)

Théoden’s boldness and resolution contrast with the inactivity and despair of Denethor, Gondor’s steward or caretaker of the throne. Confronted with this existential threat to the people of the kingdom he holds in trust, Denethor takes no action and offers no hope: “Why do the fools fly?...Better to burn sooner than late, for burn we must” (p. 120).

The reason for Denethor’s twisted state of mind is made clear when, in a tense conversation with Gandalf, the Gondorian steward “drew aside [a] covering, and lo! he had between his hands a palantír” (p. 157) – one of the lost Seeing Stones with which one can seek out hidden knowledge. One of the appendices to The Return of the King explains further the significance of this choice that Denethor made, and of its fateful consequences:

[N]eeding knowledge, but being proud, and trusting in his own strength of will, [Denethor] dared to look in the palantír of the White Tower. None of the Stewards had dared to do this….In this way Denethor gained his great knowledge of things that passed in his realm, and far beyond his borders, at which men marvelled; but he bought the knowledge dearly, being aged before his time by his contest with the will of Sauron. Thus pride increased in Denethor together with despair. (pp. 418-19)

The palantír or Seeing Stones (some of which are in the hands of Sauron) embody the idea of forbidden knowledge – an important consideration for Tolkien, who believed that pride was the greatest of sins, the sin of Lucifer. Like Saruman, who studied demonology so assiduously that he eventually became demonic himself, Denethor has been corrupted by pridefully seeking power he was not meant to have.

After the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, the allied Gondorian and Rohirrim forces, albeit once again outnumbered, eventually gather for a second great battle, at the very gates of Mordor; and at a high point of conflict in that battle – “The Eagles are coming! The Eagles are coming!” (p. 208) – the reader is suddenly plunged back into Frodo and Sam’s lonely quest into the heart of Mordor.

Tolkien’s talent for descriptive language comes forth in passages like this one, in which Sam gets his first look at Mount Doom:

Hard and cruel and bitter was the land that met [Sam’s] gaze. Before his feet the highest ridge of the Ephel Dúath fell steeply in great cliffs down into a dark trough, on the further side of which there rose another ridge, much lower, its edge notched and jagged with crags like fangs that stood out black against the red light behind them: it was the grim Morgai, the inner ring of the fences of the land. Far beyond it, but almost straight ahead, across a wide lake of darkness dotted with tiny fires, there was a great burning glow; and from it rose in huge columns a swirling smoke, dusky red at the roots, black above where it merged into the billowing canopy that roofed in all the accursed land. Sam was looking at Orodruin, the Mountain of Fire. (p. 214)

The passages emphasizing Frodo’s suffering as he carries the ever-heavier Ring toward Mount Doom make for difficult reading; I recall reading these passages of The Lord of the Rings as a college freshman in Tidewater Virginia and thinking, “This is definitely not The Hobbit.” And in a chapter titled simply “Mount Doom,” Frodo and Sam’s portion of the quest finally reaches a dramatic resolution – one in which Gollum, the creature corrupted by the Ring and consumed by his need to get it back, plays a critical role, as Gandalf had foreseen in The Fellowship of the Ring.

As this book is titled The Return of the King, it should be no surprise that an important part of the book centers around the renewal of Gondor under Aragorn, the country’s rightful king:

In his time the City was made more fair than it had ever been, even in the days of its first glory; and it was filled with trees and with fountains, and its gates were wrought of mithril and steel, and its streets were paved with white marble; and the Folk of the Mountain laboured in it, and the Folk of the Wood rejoiced to come there; and all was healed and made good, and the houses were filled with men and women and the laughter of children, and no window was blind nor any courtyard empty; and after the ending of the Third Age of the world into the new age it preserved the memory and the glory of the years that were gone. (p. 304)

And the members of the Fellowship must eventually part, in scenes that are often quite moving – as when one character, grievously wounded by the hardships of the quest, announces to a friend that he must leave Middle-Earth:

“I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so…when things are in danger: someone has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them….[Y]ou will read things out of the Red Book, and keep alive the memory of the age that is gone, so that people will remember the Great Danger and so love their beloved land all the more.” (p. 382)

Even though Tolkien made a point of denying that the work was meant to have any World War II parallels, no doubt quite a few 1950’s readers of The Lord of the Rings, in countries like Great Britain and France and the United States of America, read passages like this one with a mental look back to the Second World War – and, perhaps, with a physical look across the room, to many a vacant chair in many a household around the world.

And thus The Lord of the Rings ends – a long and magnificent journey. So, then: now that you’ve read The Lord of the Rings – all 1,359 pages of it – are you getting that feeling of letdown that sometimes accompanies finishing a long book that is also a great book? Well, do not despair – for there are 133 pages of appendices to take you even further into the world of Middle-Earth.

The appendices include “Annals of the Kings and Rulers,” “The Tale of Years” (a chronology of the Westlands), “Family Trees,” a “Shire Calendar,” information on “Writing and Spelling” in the various Middle-Earth languages, and an appendix on “The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age.” One learns more about the love between Aragorn and the Elven princess Arwen – an area of greater emphasis in the Peter Jackson films than in the original books. There are even indexes to the poems and songs that form such a vital part of this fictive world; to various “Persons, Beasts, and Monsters” that play varying roles in the trilogy; and to places that are described or mentioned in the course of the narrative.

All of this detail gives The Lord of the Rings the feeling of being its own place, with its own reality – a place lived rather than imagined. It is for this reason, no doubt, that if you attend an event like the annual Comic-Con in San Diego, you may well meet LOTR fans who not only are dressed like elves but also speak the Elven language perfectly – the same way you may meet Star Trek fans who dress in Klingon garb and speak fluent Klingon. While learning an imaginary language, in the spirit of fandom, is not my path – I’ll stick with my studies of German and Hungarian, thank you – I respect the dedication of those who do follow that path, as I respect the sheer imaginative power of authors who can create a world so complete that readers or viewers of their works want so strongly to become a part of that world.

And one part of Appendix F, “On Translation,” spoke to me with particular strength about some of the things that may have been on Tolkien’s mind as he wrote The Lord of the Rings. After discussing at some length the beautiful and flowing languages of the Elves, Tolkien speaks of the “degraded and filthy” language of the Orcs and Trolls, and then adds that “Much the same sort of talk can still be heard among the orc-minded; dreary and repetitive with hatred and contempt, too long removed from good to retain even verbal vigour, save in the ears of those to whom only the squalid sounds strong” (p. 514).

Tolkien is right. Heaven knows that there are plenty of the orc-minded amongst us today.

Reading this particular passage, I felt very strongly that John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was speaking from his own experience. I thought about his time as a second lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers during the First World War. What was it like for a contemplative, bookish individual like Tolkien to be placed amidst the aggressive, action-oriented world of soldiering? Did he hear things like, “Oi, what’s the bloody Professor going to do – hit Jerry with one of his books?” It would not surprise me.

And these reflections make me think of the Lord of the Rings character that most reminds me of Tolkien himself – Faramir of Gondor. Younger son of the Steward Denethor, and younger brother to Boromir who was a member of the original Fellowship of the Ring, Faramir, with his gentle and kind disposition, is often overlooked by Gondorians who are drawn to the charisma of his combative older brother; he is perpetually out of favour with his father, until it is almost too late. But Faramir (unlike his brother Boromir) never loses his moral compass; he fights with quiet courage – as Tolkien himself is known to have done – and he meets and marries the love of his life, as Tolkien did.

Faramir’s kind of heroism – like the heroism of Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Arwen, Théoden, Éowyn, and all those who fought, in the War of the Ring, for the preservation of the freedom of the West – is something that we can all celebrate, and can try to emulate in our own lives, as we face the problems of the present day. And it is a kind of heroism that we can all return to, each time we turn that first page and start re-reading The Lord of the Rings. And that, as Gandalf says, is an encouraging thought.
Profile Image for Johann (jobis89).
672 reviews4,298 followers
September 7, 2022
"I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil."

You know the drill - Sam and Frodo are on their way to Mordor to try and destroy the ring, but not without a companion lurking in the shadows... The armies of the Dark Lord are massing in an epic battle for Middle Earth... it's all come down to this!

And so my journey through Middle Earth has ended *cue hysterical crying*. Revisiting both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings this year was a great decision - I'll be revisiting Hogwarts in a similar way in 2018. There is always time to reread your favourite books because you will honestly pick up or learn something different each time. This time around my overriding experience has just been an appreciation of the friendship found within these pages. It has also solidified Samwise Gamgee's position as one of my fave characters of all time. Aragorn may get all the heart eyes, but Samwise is truly special.

I thought at the end of my reread I would have a definitive conclusion on which of the three parts is my favourite. And to be blunt, I don't! I love them all for different reasons. The Fellowship is exciting because it's the beginning of the journey, the fellowship are all together... The Two Towers has some awesome parts and huge battles.... and The Return of the King just pulls at my heartstrings and breaks my heart because it's all ending!!

The Return of the King has some crucial scenes with regards to Frodo and Sam's friendship; in particular, the lengths Sam will go to in order to ensure Frodo achieves what he set out to do - to destroy the ring. Gollum's appearances and interactions with the two of them are on point, as well! I also just love the entire sequence of Aragorn becoming King *heart eyes* This book also has one of the most epic parts of the series...

"But no living man am I! You look upon a woman."

YASSSS! This moment! During the book and when I rewatch the movies I always feel like I'm waiting for this moment. Some shade is thrown Tolkien's way for the lack of real female power in this story, but this scene SLAYS for me. There's much to learn within this story and a lot is still relevant today. The friendship that forms between elf and dwarf, regardless of prejudice. The hobbits who were at first deemed to be weak and useless, who then turn out to be some of the bravest characters in literature. The need to fight for the greater good, to combat the evil in the world - and to have a friend by your side as you do it. Because things aren't always easy, but if you have a good friend to support you, you can overcome anything.

I do have a couple of issues with ROTK though - I just felt like the entire scouring of the Shire was completely unnecessary. It felt a bit tacked on at the end. As others have said before me, you do feel like Tolkien found it hard to say goodbye to this epic story he had written, and so you keep getting ending after ending after ending. On the same note though, I never want this story to end sooooo it doesn't entirely bother me!!!

I am in awe of this world that Tolkien created - it truly is the benchmark by which all other fantasy is measured. These movies and the books are enshrouded in nostalgia for me and revisiting Middle Earth is always like coming home. As I was reading through the last 5 or so pages I could just feel tears running down my face! I don't think any other piece of literature has this effect on me every time I revisit. It's a journey I will take many times in my life and it holds a very special place in my bookish heart. I can't give it any less than 5 stars.
Profile Image for Alialiarya.
181 reviews33 followers
September 8, 2022
من دوستان رو باز ارجاع میدم به یه نقدی که آقای اودن شاعر آمریکایی روی هابیت و ارباب حلقه ها نوشته و اونجا نشو میده که مضمون اصلی چی هست و چرا اودن میگه که چرا شر شکست میخوره از خیر. میگه به دلیل فقدان تخیل! میگه اینهایی که خیر هستن میتونن تخیل کنن، میتونن حدس بزنن دشمن چه خواهد کرد اما دشمن نمیتونه حدس بزنه که خیر چکار خواهد کرد چون تخیل نداره، فانتزی نداره. و طبیعتا شکست میخوره. اصلا تصور نمیکنه که چیزی خارج از بحث قدرت و تسلط و اینها وجود داشته باشه، کسی بخواد حلقه رو به دست بیاره و بخواد نابودش بکنه. چون اگر دست خودش بود یه کار دیگه باهاش میکرد. این فقدان تخیله که باعث میشه که شکست بخوره

رضا علیزاده
منتشر شده در سایت آردا

پایان سه گانه. سه‌گانه‌ای درباره‌ی زندگی ارزشمند و ماهیت فانتزی. در جهان خیالی تالکین فانتزی زنده است. حلقه را یک هابیت به نابودی می‌کشاند، یک الف و انسان عاشق یکدیگرند و برای هدفی بزرگ جادوگر الف انسان دورف و هابیت در یک تیم قرار دارند. بزرگترین لذت دوباره‌خوانی کتاب آن‌جایی بود که با دیدن نام یک مکان نیاز نبود به نقشه‌ی سرزمین میانه بازگردم... حالا تمامی نقشه را بلدم و تاریخچه‌ی بسیاری از شخصیت‌ها را می‌دانم. و بسیار خوشحالم. چه معلوماتی بهتر از این
Profile Image for Labijose.
987 reviews461 followers
November 15, 2022
Quizás no fui lo suficientemente justo cuando le puse 4 estrellas, teniendo en cuenta que con el primero me explotó la cabeza (hablamos de una primera lectura antes del cambio del siglo).
Rectifico y le pongo las 5 ⭐. Creo que se las merece de sobra, el bueno de Tolkien. 👍
Profile Image for Jason Koivu.
Author 7 books1,256 followers
April 22, 2015
Ah, The Return of the King. The end of a sweeping epic, one which held me firmly in its grasp as a child and still holds a place in my heart as an adult.

Everything is in motion and actually coming to an end almost from the first page of this last book in the trilogy. Frodo is ever so close to completing his quest. Aragon, Gandalf and the others are nearly at the end of their rope. Indeed, the end is nigh!

But this is not a quick finish. Tolkien dragged things out. There is a mini-battle after the great war has concluded. Many a loose end is tied up. The tearful goodbyes are interminable. I certainly didn't want it to end. I would've been happy if this series had continued on indefinitely. When I first read this as a young teen, I was a very slow reader. It took me nearly two years to finish and by then I was fully attached to these characters.


That attachment began when I was about five years old, when I saw the Rankin Bass animated version of this book on TV. I cried like a baby when Frodo and Sam were trying to escape what appeared to be their inevitable death. I held on to that memory and supplemented it over the years with the other animated versions of Tolkien's Middle Earth series. So, by the time I got around to reading The Lord of the Rings, I was as good as a card-carrying member of the fan club.

Certainly this series isn't for everyone. I've heard many complain about it for various reasons: too many characters, an impenetrable backstory, etc. The recurring complaint that the books are too dense was something Tolkien was apparently aware of, because he included a very helpful appendix section at the back of Return... which answers some questions the reader may have as well as filling in more of the background details if you're confused or just interested in learning more.
Profile Image for Gillian.
145 reviews202 followers
January 20, 2023
This book was so good! This was an epic and exciting fantasy about hardship, war, friendship, power and sacrifice. The Return of the King follows Frodo and his companions as they go on separate journeys to fight the war, defeat the enemy and destroy the ring.

It took me a while to get into this book, but once I did I was immersed in this fantastic and detailed world that the author created. I am blown away by how detailed this world is, the author created his own languages, a unique world and awesome people such as elves, orcs, wizards, dwarves, hobbits, and more. At times though I felt overwhelmed by the world. The characters are so awesome and complex. My favorite characters are Sam, Gandalf, Aragorn and Legolas. Honestly Sam is the best, he is brave, honest, loyal, kind, and helpful. Sam's character development was excellent, he really grew so much as a person and learned to be brave during difficult times. Gandalf is great, he is wise, helpful, loyal and powerful. Aragorn is charming, strong, resilient, kind and brave. I wish there was more focus on Aragorn and Legolas' character development and perspective. I wanted to learn more about them and read the events from their perspective. I was very happy with how the book ended, I'm glad that everything was resolved and ended on a happy note. I'm sad this series is over, but my experience while reading this book will stay with me for a long time.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy, excellent world building and awesome characters!
Profile Image for Anish Kohli.
188 reviews263 followers
January 8, 2019
“So we come to it in the end, the great battle of our time, in which many things shall pass away. But at least there is no longer need for hiding. The board is set, and the pieces are moving. And now all realms shall be put to the test, to stand, or fall – under the Shadow.”
People: *looking at the 3 star rating causes wincing and face spasms* What fuckery is this? You rated Tolkien 3 damn stars?
Anish: Guys, take it easy! This book was...
People: You rated the last one 4 stars bcz of that stupid shit about Sam calling Frodo his Master. Still sticking to that dumb point?
Anish: Well, it’s not a dumb point bcz it doesn’t ring righ…
People: Are you like batshit crazy? You'll deduct 2 stars for that? For THAT??? *shaking with anger*
Anish: Not exactly! There is some other stuff that’s wrong with this boo…
People: WHAT??? *eyes go red* More stuff that is wrong? Are you a loony? You gushed praise in your last 2 reviews!!!!
Anish: Yes, exactly! Allow me to use both those reviews as a reference point and explain, yeah?

Series rating:
The Fellowship of the Ring: 5 ‘I-am-falling-madly-in-love’ stars!
The Two Towers: 4 ‘I-love-you-but-not-blindly’ stars!
The Return of the King: 3 ‘I love-you-but-let's-get-real’ stars!

Sooo, that happened! Well tbh with you guys, for the first time ever, I wanted to go with a fractional rating. I thought of giving 3.5 stars but since this book left me so high and dry, I decided to round it down to a lower rating. I am going to be hated by so many people for this review, aren’t I? *avoids eye contact with Avinash* :D

First off, Acknowledgements!
A very huge and heartfelt ‘you guys SUCK!’ to Ms. MIA and Mr. MIA for completely and utterly ditching me!! This WAS NOT a buddy read!! I am super pissed with you both! :/

Annnddd to top it off, I am so, so disappointed with this book. It was a huge let down after the first two books. If you read my reviews for the first two books, you’d know how much praise I had heaped on the author and how much I enjoyed those books. While they too had their flaws and I did mention them, but this book was like something that checked all the wrong boxes and it fell from my graces. I’ll give you a run-down of the good but mostly the bad.

>>The writing
Rich! Very rich writing. Fluent and smooth and poetic (a little too much at times). I said in my last review too that it feels like you’re inside of a song while reading this. Even though it gets weird at times but on the whole, it is fabulous and is a treat to read. The flow of writing is very smooth and you can read this complete series back to back without tiring of it. And yes, even though it annoyed me in places (a lot more in this book), it gave me no reason to even think about putting it down. The songs and poems in the book are pretty great too!

>>The world building
Let’s just say that it is EXHAUSTIVE! It is so detailed that if you’re reading it for the first time, there is no way you can take in and retain all that detail. Tolkien has created a world with such a depth that honestly, it is hard to not acknowledge just how amazing a work it is. This is the part where he excels! The places, the names, the landscape, the creatures, basically everything is so well done and well sketched! I mean, the guy has even bothered to name the damn Orcs who have no role to play! There is such a history in this world that if feels ancient for real. It doesn’t feel like a setting, but a real place. He does a fantastic job and creates this GRAND and EPIC world and takes you on a memorable journey. That no one can take from him. The world is so vast that it feels like there can be an endless number of stories and adventures of past waiting to be told or new ones just waiting to happen!

>>The Characters
There is a HOST of characters in this series that are central and only select few of them are endearing or amazing. Funnily, Aragorn is not one of them! My favs are

‘What do you fear, lady?’ he asked.
‘A cage,’ she said. ‘To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.’
I think she is one of the best damn character of the lot! She is strong, willful and brave! I liked how her character was shaped up.

“‘Do you wish then, that our places had been exchanged?’ said Faramir
‘Yes, I wish that indeed,’ said Denethor.
‘Since you are robbed of Boromir, I will go and do what I can in his stead – if you command it.’
‘I do so,’ said Denethor.
‘Then farewell!’ ‘But if I should return, think better of me!’ said Faramir.
‘That depends on the manner of your return,’ said Denethor.”
I said this in my last review as well, Faramir’s character is great! A strong and valiant man, marred by the tall and glorious shadow of his brother, still trying to prove his worth to the only man who denies to see it, his father! He is by far the best character, especially when it comes to dialogues!

“I want to hear more about Sam. Why didn’t they put in more of his talk? And Frodo wouldn’t have got far without Sam, would he?”
Ah! How could Sam not make the cut? After all he is the major driving force of this series. I love his dialogues and his dedication to his friend, Frodo!

And that is probably the end of good stuff. Sorry fellas!

Moving on to the bad stuff in the ascending order of annoyance caused!!

>>The ‘Grey’ Matter
From the first book till the last, I have been confused about Gandalf the Grey, who then transcends to Gandalf the white. Sure he has a lot of wisdom and he has a good character arc and some great quotes but as a wizard, I don’t see how he is a big deal! I mean I didn’t see any of his fabled wizardry. We are never shown his strengths and limitations nor is he ever tested. Well, to be fair a lot of characters aren’t tested but Gandalf bothers me the most. At no point does he do anything that shows that he can use magic!

>>Lame dialogue
Like I mentioned in both my previous reviews, the dialogue between characters is not spot on. Most of the dialogues are fine but some are not. Many places it sounds weird or too casual and in some places down right funny and that’s something I didn’t like. This has been a problem I faced right from book #1.

>>Master master shit!
Sam calls Frodo his ‘Master’! This was the ONLY reason I deducted one star from the rating of book 2 and it only happned like 3-4 times in that one. In this installment, Tolkien has legit implied that Sam was Frodo’s servant! In one scene, it feels that Sam doesn’t have equal standing with even Merry and Pippin. If Sam truly is supposed to be an employee or a servant to Frodo then why harp on about friendship and promises and stuff? I hate this point bcz it implies that Sam was duty bound to Frodo, meaning they were never truly friends and then there is no point going all ‘aww’ about those two!
Also, ahem, not that I am complaining or that I mind but a few scenes are pretty close to depicting Sam and Frodo as lovers! (Yes, I did put that image in your head! Sam and Frodo going all kissy and shit in Mordor! :D)

You know, I think that Tolkien is not all that amazing at maintaining different POVs? I still am left questioning why he didn’t alternate between the storylines of what’s going on with the Ring Bearer and the rest of the fellowship! Why did he have to divide it into two parts and make us wait? It sort of works counter to the point and acts as a mood killer.
Also, I ABSOLUTELY WAS LOTH to read all the ‘so it was’ and ‘thus it came to pass’ and stuff! So repetitive and it constantly felt like Tolkien didn’t know if he should treat this story as something ongoing or as something that is in the past. And he does both and it really was off putting!

Well, this is something again that bothered me quite a good deal. Some major characters, or supposedly major characters, were treated as sidekicks and they weren’t given enough ink and time. Legolas and Gimli were completely sidetracked and they’re essentially not in the book. How and why their friendship blooms, is also not well detailed. Their roles are basically limited to saying a few dialogues to show that Aragorn has support. That’s all.
Weirdest of all was Arwen. And I want to emphasize on this for all the Paolini and Tolkien comparers! Arwen is NOT IN THE BOOKS! She is just supposed to be the love interest of Aragorn but Tolkien has not bothered to sketch a love story between them. They don’t even have any scenes together and they just end up marrying at the end bcz well, fuck the details!! Paolini on the other hand, excelled at this part, just like the battle sequences. He bothered to give Eragon and Arya enough time and detail together unlike Aragorn, the Elfstone and Arwen, the Evenstar!

>>Battle sequences
In my review of book 2, I specifically mentioned that the battle of Helm’s Deep was not well done. It wasn’t well detailed or intense enough. Now, if I am not wrong, there are literally 2 major battles in this series, the sieges of Helm’s Deep and Minas Tirith. And while the sequence with Helm’s Deep is still okay-ish, the major one, the one on which depends everything, the one where the army of the dead was to come, the one where the ‘hammer stroke would be the hardest’, the battle of Minas Tirith, was very strangely not given enough attention! I mean there is A LOT of buildup to it but the actual battle does not happen. No duels, no sword fights, no valor, no nothing! This point actually broke the book for me! I mean the narrative can’t be all sufficient! Yes, it was poetic but I need the war to feel like a god damn war!!

I also felt that the ending was too dragged out after the ring was destroyed. It could have been shorter to some extent, especially the part about The Shire towards the end. It felt forced and easily avoidable. So was the insta-love of Eowyn towards Aragorn. Most of the problems I mentioned, irked me personally and may not be the same for others but it definitely is there and it ruined the book for me, making it the least impressive in the series for me.

All in all, it’s a fine and engaging read, despite all the problems. It is very immersive and the pacing is fabulous of the books except for a couple chapters in the whole series. There is a lot happening in the book even if not all of it is required. Definitely one of the best series I have read. I will probably re-read this series at some point of time as it has been a fantastic journey and an amazing experience but it’s not unblemished. Everyone gets their happy ending, mostly, me included. I am glad to have read this series and to have seen it through.
“It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: someone has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them. I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil. But I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam”
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