Friday, May 10, 2013

Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Book Review

Rawr Reader,

   I felt that since I was already in the world of Middle-earth I might as well continue on its journey. The synopsis of The Return of the King is from the back of the book:

    As the Shadow of Mordor grows across the land, the Companions of the Ring have become involved in separate adventures. Aragorn, revealed as the hidden heir of the ancient Kings of the West, has joined with the Riders of Rohan against the forces of Isengard, and takes part in the desparate battle of the Hornburg. Merry and Pippin, captured by Orcs, escape into Fangorn Forest and there encounter the Ents. 
    Gandalf has miraculously returned and defeated the evil wizard, Saruman. Sam has left his master for dead after a battle with the giant spider, Shelob; but Frodo is still alive -- now in the foul hands of the Orcs.
    Meanwhile, the armies of the Dark Lord are massing as the One Ring draws ever nearer to the Cracks of Doom.

From the second book!

(no spoiler section so contains some spoilers)
   I finished the Lord of the Rings. YES. I've been wanting to do this for several years now so I feel pretty accomplished right now! Alright, enough of that. To the review! (It will include favorite characters/moments over the series at the end.)
   The conclusion to this epic adventure couldn't have been accomplished any other way. Frodo succeeds in destroying the one Ring to rule them all and more comfortably travels back home to the Shire afterward. In fact there was still 100 pages left after Frodo destroyed the Ring at Mount Doom and I was curious to see why there was so much. In the movie it's Mount Doom---coronation of the king in Gondor---Shire----Grey Havens---end. Boom bam fin. But no, Frodo and his "Company" (the other three hobbits in the Fellowship) accompanied by Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and Gandalf go to Gondor then chill there for a couple months then head to Isengard then to the Shire. And when they get to the Shire, turns out there was Chiefs and "Shirriffs" taking control over the Shire. I loved how the hobbits, particularly Pippin and Merry were like "HELL NO," snapping their fingers and forming a coup to overthrow them. I was dreading this chapter because it was really long and remembering how I dreaded the Shire chapters in The Fellowship, I was genuinely surprised I liked how it turned out to be this epic hobbit battle. While I understand why Tolkien decided to show how the hobbits could return home changed and more mature hobbits, I'm a little glad they took this part out of the movie. It would've made the movie too long as if three hours and twenty minutes isn't enough. Because if they did, I would've just been complaining on why they didn't include Tom Bombadil (I really wish I could've seen an actor play him). The ending wraps up all of the hobbits lives and couldn't have been done any other way without still maintaining an epic title. Well-- it may have still done so, but it wouldn't have been as good.
   Okay, couple things I'd like to talk about. First of which is Eowyn. Three words: What a BADASS! She don't take orders from no man, including the king! Going into the scenes with Theoden and the King of Angmar, I knew Eowyn was the one to save him, but still when it was revealed this Dernhelm turned out to be a woman, but not just any Rohan woman, the LEADER of Rohan while its king was away in battle, my jaw just dropped. Particularly the scene in which the King is about to kill Theoden and says no man can defeat him and she's all "I'm not a man, I'm a woman!" Booyah wasn't expecting that weren't ya! I mean she's never been in a battle, and yet her first foe is the General of the enemy's army and she succeeds in killing him. Way to go girl! I mean, who were the ones to destroy the great evils in this book? King of Angmar? Eowyn. The Lord Sauron? Frodo (a little hobbit from the Shire.) Saruman? Wormtongue. (Betrayal will be evils downfall.) It isn't Aragorn, Gandalf, Tom Bombadil, or even Eomer to be the one to make the final blow. I just see Tolkien sitting in a chair, raising his glass to all the little people, or all the people that don't get enough credit where credit can be due. Tolkien = father of amazing.
   Now, continuing on with Eowyn and Faramir. Before reading this and solely relying on the movie, I always guessed and wished that they got together (since they were standing next to each other. because people standing next to each other = couple apparently...). xD But reading that around the time the armies of Rohan and those of Gondor and those of the Rangers were at the Black Gate, Faramir and Eowyn were making googly eyes at each other made me happy for them. I'm a little glad though that Tolkien didn't include any of the romance stories the movies did over the course of the movies, but revealed them at or near the end of the final book. Does anyone else agree? Tolkien just concentrated on the adventure and the battles and the fantastical creatures (Ents and Eagles woohoo!) and I think it was better overall that way. 
    I don't think I've ever been so close to crying in a book as I did in one scene in this book. And that was, drumroll please, when Denthor told Faramir that he wished that Boromir switched places with him. Seriously, tears were there, they just didn't come out. I remember in the movie Faramir is tearing already when he asks the question, already knowing what his father's answer was going to be, but hoping that he wouldn't say yes-- and then he says yes. Just. Sad. And Gandalf tries to reassure him that Denethor didn't mean it, but I wouldn't have believed him either. Actually, Gandalf wasn't a favorite character, since I didn't really believe him sometimes when he spoke, but this was one of those moments I really admired him.
   Alright, Sam lost some points from me in the beginning. In the second book he wasn't my favorite like he was in the first book, but I still liked him. But in this book, at least in the beginning I was shaking my head. By the end I just realized that it wasn't foolishness, it was purely loyalty at its finest. Sam can only be guilty of having too big a heart, and over the scan of the series, he is definitely one of my favorite characters. 
  Continuing on favorite characters, I've already said Sam was on that list. But then there's Treebeard, Gollum (he was the reason I loved the second half of the Two Towers), Faramir, Boromir, Eowyn (I wish she had more speaking parts), Tom Bombadil and the Legolas and Gimli duo. I wanted to include Aragorn but I don't like him as much as I do in the movies, like Gandalf, he had too many ambivalent moments-- I couldn't tell what I should've been feeling after reading his dialogue. I'm surprised that I loved Faramir and Boromir so much because in the movies they don't really blow me away. I mean, their acting is good, but they didn't really stand out to me as much as in the book.
  Favorite moments and scenes: The Mines of Moria, the Mines of Moria, the Mines of Moria. Seriously, the movie does not do it justice. It's great, but not to the caliber I wish it could've been. Love that scene so much! Alright, Rivendell, Lothlorien, the meeting of the Ents, the battle at Isengard, the "voice of Saruman" chapter, the entire last half of the Two Towers because Gollum. (Just, Gollum is such a fantastic character to read about.) In the final book: the Denethor/Faramir scene (sad but still an amazing moment), the battle at the Pelennor Fields and when Eowyn kicks serious Nazgul and Ringwraith booty, Faramir/Eowyn chapter, and when the Eagles come (I love Eagles so much from The Hobbit),  and the Grey Havens (though I wish Tolkien wrote more about them.) 
    Overall, these books are just almost as fantastic as their movie counterparts, though they still are amazing! I'd recommend them to any fans of the movies and those who wish to get a better look into the world of the Shire and really get a look into the world of Middle-earth-- because Tolkien didn't hold back in describing this world. A great thing but also a boring thing, it cannot be helped. And these characters are a set of characters that couldn't be duplicated, from the wandering wizard to the uncrowned king to the multiple personality villain to the remarkbleness of hobbits and many, many others. Elves, dwarves, wizards, ents, eagles, orcs, trolls, nazgul, hobbits, uruks, Tom Bombadil's, and other creatures I can't remember. Oh and men! Wow duh, I can't believe I left out my own species. >_<
   This is an adventure you don't want to be left out on! 

I give this book 4/5 stars. The second book was my favorite.
I give this series 5/5 stars because, well, it's Middle-earth. How couldn't I?

Author's Quote:
"I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil."
-Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

"Orcs, and talking trees, and leagues of grass, and galloping riders, and glittering caves, and white towers and golden halls, and battles, and tall ships sailing, all these passed before Sam's mind until he felt bewildered."
-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

"The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began."
-Bilbo, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

My Goodreads:

Next To Read:
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Until Next Time,
Nicole Ciel


  1. I agree with so much here! Loved Sam, loved Eowyn, loved that the Hobbits got to be awesome when they came back to the Shire (but not sure how well that would have worked in the movie...)

    If you haven't, definitely watch the extended versions of Two Towers and Return of the King--there's a good deal more with Faramir and Eowyn (independently, and a bit more for the romance). It's really worth the extra length of the movies!

    1. A relative of mine has the extended version of the trilogy I've always wanted to watch but just never able to because of time and such. But now that I know that they go more into Faramir and Eowyn's relationship and lives, now I want to look into borrowing it. Even though Faramir was different in the movies, I'm really happy they kept Eowyn pretty true to the book. :)