Here is what is likely my last post for the Lord of the Rings readalong. I've finished the final book in the trilogy, The Return of the King (by J. R. R. Tolkien), and I'm ready to answer the mid-month questions. April's host is Maree at Just Add Books.
The last I discussed Return of the King, I was on the battlefield near Gondor and had not yet revisited Sam and Frodo. Sam becomes such a hero during the march through Mordor that you have to admire him for his strength of character. Even as Frodo says himself early on after they leave the others, he wouldn't have gone far without Sam.
- If you're a repeat offender reader, like me, how are you finding the return journey? Are you loving it just as much as ever? What little treasures have you found in ROTK that you never noticed before?
I really like all the parts at the end of the book that the movie left out: from the final skirmishes to the preparations of the crowning to the return to the Shire. The ending is one part of the movie that I really dislike. In the film, even after having been in battle and faced the terror of Mordor, the Hobbits are still treated like children who have just won the spelling bee. People bow down to them, but the four Hobbits project no sense of their strength and maturity.
I am not going to recap the entire end of the book, but there was lots to do between the time the eagles find Sam and Frodo and the time the Hobbits start out for the Shire. The countryside is cleansed of the remaining evil, new kings and princes are given their lands, the dead are honored and properly buried, Aragorn is crowned, and at least two weddings take place.
When the Hobbits leave Gondor to return to the Shire, the fellowship starts out together and then slowly dwindles as Aragorn leaves to take care of his duties and Legolas and Gimili visit Fangorn Forest. Once back in Rivendell, the Hobbits meet up with Bilbo and finally take their leave and head for Bree. After Bree, it is just the four Hobbits, dressed for battle, who arrive back home. There they must rally the Hobbits to throw out Saruman and Wormtongue and then set the land right again.
- How do you feel, when you close the end of the last part; after Sam's words on the last page? Are you sad it's over, nostalgic? Looking for your next read already?
I was sorry it was over, and the parting of the ship from the Gray Havens is always so sad. The times of the elves and wizards are over, and now begins the time of men. The ending is fitting for all the characters, and Sam will certainly find his peace at last. I am also sad because I won't likely read the book again for another five years or so.
If you haven't read the book, then you probably don't know that the trilogy ends with extensive appendices. These tell you a bit of what happens to the remaining fellowship as well as some history and other information. Much of this material is included in the unabridged audio edition. I have read the appendices several times, but I chose not to this month.
- What's your favourite scene in ROTK?
Are you kidding? This is as bad as asking me to name my favorite book or author. I just can't do it. So there!Thanks to all the hosts for The Lord of the Rings readalong. I'm so glad I decided to participate.