Friday, April 4, 2008
The Return of the King
So I have finally reached the end of the final part of Tolkien's epic trilogy. I feel like I've really accomplished something some how.....I was very proud when I finished The Fellowship and Two Towers for the first time. And the second time! Now I've finished The Return of the King for the first time. :D
I still haven't read the Appendices, but I probably will start those soon and read them gradually....I may even review each of the stories and pieces of history there separately. It seemed like the first several chapters of the book I read rather slowly, and I remember being bored part of the time, although I did really enjoy the parts with Beregond and his son and Pippin. I've come to the conclusion that I prefer reading narratives that concern Pippin and Merry and Aragorn than Frodo and Sam by themselves. I'm not sure why....but I enjoyed the first half of the Two Towers better than the second half. And I love Gandalf! I always enjoy parts with him in it. Gandalf is such an elaborate character, but when I think of writing a character similar, it sounds like it would be easy. In some ways I expect that it would be hard, though.
I remember particularly enjoying the chapter in which Merry and the Rohirrim encounter Wild Men. I loved that part! It's really sad that they left that out of the movie...it would have been a great scene!
The Houses of Healing was also a great chapter. I think it reveals more about Aragorn's character and a lot of cool stuff about Middle-Earth's herb lore. I thought The Scourging of the Shire was a bit of a sad chapter.....and it's really annoying to find out that the movies changed so much! So Saruman didn't die until Wormtongue killed him on the doorstep of Bag End. Hmm.
I deeply enjoyed Return of the King, and I'm looking forward to starting the Appendices and The Silmarillion, although I plan on taking a break from Tolkien at least until I finish several books that I've started. Again, I'm not sure to say about Return of the King....there is so much I could cover.....but I'll probably do some Upperground Notes at some point, or maybe I'll do a huge study later this year. There is such a difference between Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. Harry Potter isn't as epic-like as LOTR is, and in The Lord of the Rings, I can sometimes distinctly imagine a place without name that was never mentioned in the book that I know for certain to be some place in Middle-Earth, whether the movie showed it or no. It's almost creepy....but the books and movies are so vivid that I feel like I know Middle-Earth well enough to know of some of the dark places that Gollum has been to, and to know of things that were never mentioned. I think Tolkien would probably have told me that my mind was playing around in his region of Faerie, a place where these sorts of stories hide until someone like a writer discovers them. A bit poetic, I know, but that was based on Tolkien's essay, On Fairy Stories.
...And then all the host of Rohan, burst into song, and they sang as they slew, for the joy of battle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and terrible and it came even to the City.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, Book V, The Ride of the Rohirrim.