This week I’m celebrating J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
I loved reading The Hobbit a couple summers ago.
Although I loved the Lord of the Rings movies from a few years back, I had a failed attempt getting into the book(s) awhile back because the prologue was too dry and I didn’t want to skip it. (But I would recommend skipping it if you’re new to Middle Earth- and then go back to it once you’ve gotten accustomed to the world of hobbits, wizards, elves, dwarves, and other creatures.)
One of my sisters and I decided to read the Lord of the Rings this year giving me the incentive to pick it up again.
I’ve been quite taken by Tolkien’s work as I read The Fellowship of the Ring.
This whole new world he’s created is amazing and so real. Despite it being written only in the last century, it feels like it’s been around forever and the basis of all great fantasy novels.
While reading the series, I couldn’t help but keep looking back at the maps, tracking their journeys. I also couldn’t help but wonder connecting with how scenes had played out in the movies.
I love hobbits- Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, and the whole lot of them. Despite their size and their preference to stay where it’s comfortable, safe and familiar, they are willing to step up and go the distance for the greater good.
To be honest, The Two Towers kind of dragged but that’s to be expected with the way the fellowship has scattered. (In fact, my sister gave up at this point.)
There were lots of ground to cover. The shift on the focus of characters with each part was jarring. I would have preferred alternating chapters. But who am I to judge a masterpiece such as this?
A couple of stand-outs were the introduction of the Ents and the conflicted character of Gollum.
The Return of the King proved to be an undertaking, quite like the hobbits’ quest. I couldn’t but feel the book would never end- and with a whole slew of appendices after the actual story, it sort of didn’t.
Not to say, I didn’t enjoy it because I did. After I finished.
It was interesting how the book’s final chapters differed from the version I was familiar with from the films.
The appendices seemed like a textbook and even as I was begrudgingly making my way through them, I couldn’t help but be in total awe of Tolkien’s genius. He created a new world complete with history and language! And I appreciated how I learned what happened to certain characters after the story proper.
The Lord of the Rings is truly a masterpiece, a must read.
I had watched the movies after finishing each book. I would recommend not doing so to avoid spoilers. The Special Extended Edition has great bonus features detailing Tolkien’s life and the way they adapted it from book to screen.
A scene from The Two Towers that I love, which seems particularly fitting in these crazy days we live in:
What are you celebrating this week?