Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings
By: J.R.R. Tolkien
The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2)The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3)

In a sleepy village in the Shire, a young hobbit is entrusted with an immense task. He must make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ruling Ring of Power - the only thing that prevents the Dark Lord's evil dominion.

Okay, I know I haven't added a review in a while, but now that you see what I've been reading, it makes sense. Right? I've wanted to read these for the longest time, but we have the bind-up version of all three and it's HUGE. and INTIMIDATING. and also SCARY. Yeah, so I put it off over and over again.
But for a high-fantasy buff like myself, it was an inevitability. But 2013 was the year, the year I finally did it (and in about 10 days, too). I FREAKING LOVED IT.
I think that this is the kind of book that, if you love it, you REALLY love it. It's like Harry Potter, it's above reproach and reduces you to blabbering on about honor and heroism and sacrificial acts of courage. You know, the beautiful things that seem to exist on a different plane when they are present in fantasy.
I could discuss those sort of obscure topics for ages, but now I'll try to hone the discussion down to just talking about these books.
Basically, I don't know how to even talk about these books. They were beyond anything that I was expecting. This truly is high fantasy at it's best. It sets the standard. I think it's fair to say that in our culture, it IS the standard. And it has earned that title with every page, every word.
If you love fantasy, DO NOT PUT THIS OFF. Read it now. You will not be sorry.
Let me list the reasons:
1. It's organic. It's not forced. J.R.R. Tolkien almost seems to play the role of historian rather than writer, in the best way. Honestly, Middle Earth seems like a world to its own, like it could actually exist in an alternate universe.
2. The sheer scale of the world is off the charts. There is so much history in the world that you know exists, but that is just hinted at. You don't have to know everything, but you feel like there is so much knowledge there to learn about the world.
So many bromances, man. Legolas and Gimli. Sam and Frodo. Pippin and Merry. Gandalf and Aragorn.
I loved them all. They were really sweet and genuine. They made the characters seem real because they had little jokes with each other and everything. They were just beautifully written relationships.
4. The Characters
I loved and hated each as I was meant to. They were strong, unique, interesting, and heroic in turn. It would take an incredibly long time to go through each every character and say what I liked about them, but I'll discuss a few of them.
Pippin: It would be nearly impossible to quantify a favorite character. But Pippin is pretty high up there for me. He's hilarious and downright adorable (not to mention freaking awesome). I just love him, okay?
Frodo: Just what the hero of a tale this grand should be, compassionate, clever, and determined.
Sam: Adorable! He made me sad and he made me laugh in equal measure. His loyalty to Frodo was easily his greatest quality and one that I love in a character as it isn't displayed this honestly all that often..
Gandalf: LOVE. Such a great character, truly understood wisdom is seen displayed in Gandalf quite clearly. He also got around 60% of the epic moments all to himself. He deserved them, too.
Eowyn: YES! Beautifully written and such a touching subplot. I loved every bit of her story. I was crying and cheering at her big scene, you know the one I'm talking about. ("But I am no living man").
Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli: It was so great reading about them, too. I loved all who were in the fellowship.
5. The Epic-ness
As to be expected of a phenomenon fantasy that is 1,000 pages long, it was quite the epic tale. Quests and magic, Royal bloodlines and mythical races. All of it fantastic. All of it glorious.
I know that my pitiful words can't possibly sum up the absolutely brilliant piece of work that is The Lord of the Rings. But I hope I've done a fair job.

And now, with glee in my heart and complete and utter excitement, I am going to watch ALL THE MOVIES (probably extended editions, too). *grabs popcorn* *scurries off to watch eleven hours of footage*


"And he who breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom."

"The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have any power over the present. Health and hope grew strong in them, and they were content with each good day as it came..."

"The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps greater."

"Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?"
"A man may do both,"

"For it is easier to shout stop! that to do it."

"Often hatred does hurt itself!"

"The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that's not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Fold seem to have been just landed in them, usually - their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't. And if they had, we shouldn't know, because they'd have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on - and not all to a good end, mind you' at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, finding things right, though not quite the same...But those aren't the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of tale we've fallen into?"
"I wonder," said Frodo. "But I don't know. And that's the way of a real tale. Take any one that you're fond of. You may know, or guess, what kind of a tale it is, happy-ending or sad-ending, but the people in it don't know. And you don't want them to."

"But it is the way of my people to use light words at such times and say less than they mean. We fear to say too much. It robs us of the right words when a jest is out of place."

"Follow what may, great deeds are not lessened in worth..."

"There is no real going back. Though I may come to the Shire, it will not seem the same; for I shall not be the same. I am wounded with knife, sting, and tooth, and a long burden. Where shall I find rest?"


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