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One Ring to rule them all One Ring to find them One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind themIn ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven smiths and Sauron the Dark Lord forged the One Ring filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others But the One Ring was taken from him and though he sought it throughout Middle earth it remained lost to him After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo BagginsFrom Sauron's fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor his power spread far and wide Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominionWhen Bilbo reached his eleventy first birthday he disappeared beueathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous uest to journey across Middle earth deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of DoomThe Lord of the Rings tells of the great uest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry Pippin and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall mysterious stranger called Strider


10 thoughts on “The Lord of the Rings

  1. says:

    not a review and there probably won't be one any time soon i also won't be climbing Mount Everest in the near future but here are some cool illustrations that i found and want to share World of the Ring by Jian Guo


  2. says:

    Twenty five years ago I'd have given The Lord of the Rings my highest possible praise I came to Tolkien's masterpiece on my own and that meant much to me at twelve The only books that had been reached by me alone were books on mythology and horror Everything else I read from DH Lawrence to Hemingway to Dickens to Shakespeare and this also included Dracula and Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde because they were true classics was suggested and sanctioned by my mother for which I will always owe her deeplyBut The Lord of the Rings was mine and mine alone It is easy to forget that The Lord of the Rings was not a pop culture phenomenon in the seventies and early eighties It was a fringe book at least in North America something that was not yet considered a part of the canon something that was not a name on every boy's lips even if they were just getting to know DD let alone every child's lips Sure it was respected and loved by those who knew it but knowing it was not a foregone conclusion as it is today and its audience was almost completely genre oriented In my little community my school and the blocks surrounding my home I was the first kid to read itAnd that first reading was a revelation Sure I'd read The Hobbit but that didn't prepare me for the breadth and depth of The Lord of the Rings Middle Earth in its grandest incarnation To create a fantasy world is one thing but to breathe life into ages of that world to keep all the pieces together with such magnificent detail and rigour to create character after believable character and make us care about most of them even poor SmeagolGollum that is a literary labour of Hercules And by pulling it off Tolkien created the single most important manifestation of Fantasy that has ever and will ever be written The Lord of the Rings has rightly been named a classic It is part of the canon and it deserves its place It is entertaining it is weighty and it is loved by nearly allAyeand there's the rubIts indisputable greatness has made it indisputable It has become dogma among fanboys and fangirls that the bastions of The Lord of the Rings are unassailable Criticize Tolkien's work academically or otherwise and you put yourself in almost as much danger as a chatty atheist trying to engage in a theological discussion in a coliseum full of Jehovah's Witnesses how many of those folks will make it into the afterlife? Isn't there a limit?Feminist critics point out the lack of women in The Lord of the Rings and that those women who are present fulfill only the narrowest stereotypes Éowyn's strength is dependent upon adopting male gender ualities a typical stereotype of powerful women in fantasy and she is alone amongst the Rohirrim as a woman who can and will fight All other women in her culture are present as a reason to fight rather than as integral parts of the struggle Arwen's place in the books at least as a maiden waiting for the hand of her king takes the reason to fight to even greater heights And the only powerful female Galadriel as the terrible beautiful elven ueen is too far removed from mortality and reality to be anything than a mid tale deus ex machina thereby removing her from the realm of women and men and making her a pseudo god whose power is allowed only because it is arcane and mysterious Post Colonial critics have latched onto the racism inherent in The Lord of the Rings pointing out the hierarchies between the races from the superiority of the elves to the chosen role of European Men of the West under the leadership of Aragorn to the lesser races of Dwarves and Hobbits the former are lesser because they are too greedy and the latter are lesser because they are children Post Colonialists look to the orientalization of Sauron's forces and the configuration of evil as an inherent uality of Orcs and the dark folk They point out Tolkien's family's history as a cog in the mechanism of English Imperialism and his own birth in one of the most blatantly racist colonies of all South Africa while he did leave at three years old his family's presence there at all suggests that some of the classic colonial opinions about the colonized dark races helped form the man who wrote these books as possible reasons for this racism These criticisms further suggest at least to me that the archetypal source of all fantasy's entrenched racism even those books being written today is The Lord of the Rings Those fantasy authors who have followed Tolkien consistently and inescapably embrace his configuration of the races yes even those like RA Salvatore who try and fail to derail this configuration and the concepts of good and evil that go along with them which leads to the stagnation and diminishment of their genreThe fact is that these flaws do exist in The Lord of the Rings They are present They are easy to find But few of Tolkien's rabid fans want to hear about them And even when the criticism is not necessarily suggesting a flaw in Tolkien's work but merely the presence of some subtext the dogmatists react with rage and condemnation A fine example of this is when ueer and Gender theorists point to the overwhelming relationships between men and how the relationship between Frodo and Sam is homosocial at least and possibly even homosexual The only true intimacy in the book occurs between the men after all and to ignore that fact is to ignore one of key components of why The Lord of the Rings is so emotionally satisfying especially to young men Even faced with these ideas supported by convincing arguments however many fans either strive for ignorance or attack the messenger This may have much to do with the worry unreasonable though it is that to admit that a flaw or something uncomfortable exists in any of these books which so many people love so deeply is to accept that The Lord of the Rings is neither great nor worthy of loveBut this is not the case I love The Lord of the Rings even though I subscribe completely to the post colonial criticism and see the merits in both the feminine and ueer criticisms not to mention the countless other criticisms and subtexts that are floating aroundThe books are racist; they are sexist They are not perfect And I must criticize the elements of The Lord of the Rings that make me uncomfortable and deserve no praise But my complaints and the complaints of critics make Tolkien's achievement no less great Tolkien created the most magnificent imaginary world ever conceived and for good or ill Fantasy would be nothing today were it not for him The Lord of the Rings is a triumph on countless levels but it is not the word of God nor should it be elevated to such heightsI love The Lord of the Rings but I love it with reservations I love it because of its place in my personal mythology its genuine originality its creativity its power but I love it with my mind open to its flaws and I refuse to make excuses for Tolkien or his workTwenty five years ago I'd have given The Lord of the Rings my highest possible praise Not today But I am still willing to admit my love


  3. says:

    Considering that The Lord of the Rings is one of the most popular books of the last century it's surprising to see how few reviews there are here I get the impression that many people feel guilty about liking it It's a phase you go through and the less said about it the better I think this is unfair to the book which I am prepared to argue is a whole lot better than it's generally made out to be; I don't think its huge success is just evidence that people have no taste It's something that can be read at than one level and before dismissing it let's take a look at what those levels might be On the surface it's a heroic fantasy novel and uite a good one It's a gripping well realized story with an interesting fantasy world as background Under the surface story it's also clear that there's a moral discourse It's not an allegory; as Tolkien points out in the foreword he hated allegory and we certainly don't have an in your face piece of Christian apology by numbers None the less the author has constructed some inspiring and thought provoking symbols The Ring confers great power but the only way to defeat Sauron is to refuse that power and destroy it even at great personal cost Frodo's self sacrifice is uite moving I also think that Gandalf is an unusually interesting Christ figure; sufficiently so that many people refuse even to accept him as one though at least to me the argument on that point seems convincing He comes from Valinor obviously the Heavenly Realm to help the Free Peoples of the West A central part of his message is the importance of mercy as in particular shown by the memorable scene near the beginning when he rebukes Frodo for wishing that Bilbo had killed Sméagol when he had the opportunity As we discover Sméagol is finally the one person who can destroy the Ring And let's not miss the obvious point that Gandalf is killed and then returns reborn in a new shape I find him vastly sympathetic than CS Lewis's bland Aslan and he is the book's most memorable characterBut I don't think the morality play is the real kernel either What makes LOTR a uniue book and one of the most ambitious experiments in literary history is Tolkien's use of names All authors knows how important names are and use them to suggest character; though when you think about what is going on it is rather surprising how much can be conveyed just by a name Proust has a couple of long discussions about this describing in great detail how the narrator's initial mental pictures of Balbec Venice and the Guermantes family come just from the sounds of their names Tolkien goes much further Most of his names are based on a family of invented languages linked by a vast complex of legends and histories the greater part of which are invisible to the reader and only surface occasionally The astonishing thing is that the techniue actually works The interrelations between all the invented names and languages make Middle Earth feel real in a way no other fantasy world ever has When some readers complain that characters and locations are hastily sketched I feel they are missing the point Tolkien was a philologist He loved languages words and names and tracing back what the relationships between them say about their history In LOTR he's able to convey some of that love of language to his readers You have to read the book than once but after a while it all comes together To give just a few obvious examples you see how hobbit is a debased form of the word holbytla hole dweller in the Old Norse like language of Rohan how the mor in Moria is the same as the one in Mordor and morgul and how Arwen Undómiel's name expresses her unearthly beauty partly through the element it shares with her ancestor Lúthien Tinúviel There are literally hundred things like this most of which one perceives on a partly unconscious level The adolescent readers who are typically captivated by LOTR are at a stage of their linguistic development when they are very sensitive to nuances of language and programmed to pick them up; I can't help thinking that they are intuitively seeing things that sophisticated readers may missPerhaps the simplest way to demonstrate the magnitude of Tolkien's achievement is the fact that it's proven impossible to copy it; none of the other fantasy novels I've seen have come anywhere close Tolkein's names lend reality to his world because he put so much energy into the linguistic back story and before that worked for decades as a philologist Basically he was an extremely talented person who spent his whole life training to write The Lord of the Rings In principle I suppose other authors could have done the same thing In practice you have to be a very unusual person to want to live that kind of lifeWriting this down reminds me of one of the Sufi stories in The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mullah Nasrudin The guy is invited to a posh house and sees this incredibly beautiful smooth lawn It's like a billiard table I love your lawn he says What's the secret?Oh his host says It's easy Just seed water mow and roll regularly and anyone can do itAh yes says the visitor And about how long before it looks like that?Hm I don't know says the host Maybe 800 years?


  4. says:

    Writing a review of this masterpiece is impossible I can’t do it There’s too much to talk about and I love it far too much to articulate my thoughts in a normal way So instead I’ve picked one element of each book that I liked the most taken from my list of ten on each review and added them here It’s the best I can do though I know many goodreads users share my difficulty when reviewing this book Anyway here’s my top three1Finding your courage The Fellowship of the RingNot all the party have been fully tested With them travel four young hobbits the most unlikely of companions for such a journey They are the overlooked the forgotten about the race that is casually discarded and considered insignificant in the wider world And perhaps this has been the downfall of society in middle earth previously The forces of darkness exploit everything they can get their hands on from giant spiders to rampaging trolls from dragons to orcs from men of the east to the undead Sauron tries to wield it all This is something the forces of good have not fully considered until recently Within the bosom of the hobbit beats a strong heart of fortitude and resilience “My dear Frodo’ exclaimed Gandalf ‘Hobbits really are amazing creatures as I have said before You can learn all that there is to know about their ways in a month and yet after a hundred years they can still surprise you at a pinch” They carry with them the key to destroying the dark Bilbo showed them how he could resist the ring The hobbits are an almost incorruptible race and because of this they are Sauron’s doom It is something he has overlooked “It would be the death of you to come with me Sam said Frodo and I could not have borne thatNot as certain as being left behind said SamBut I am going to MordorI know that well enough Mr Frodo Of course you are And I'm coming with you” 2 Gandalf the White The Two Towers “Do I not say truly Gandalf' said Aragorn at last 'that you could go whithersoever you wished uicker than I? And this I also say you are our captain and our banner The Dark Lord has Nine But we have One mightier than they the White Rider He has passed through the fire and the abyss and they shall fear him We will go where he leadsGandalf the Grey was charming and uirky; he was everybody’s friend and advisor But he was also a great wonderer and a great uester He was an unearther of dark secrets and mysteries And Middle Earth no longer needs such a figure darkness is now on her doorstep; it is no longer hidden So Middle Earth needs a man or Istari with far sight that can unite the scattered forces of Rohan and manipulate events in order to ensure that the King does indeed return It needs a methodical man of great wisdom and intelligence; it needs a stagiest it needs a new white wizard now that Saruman has changed his colours And he has come 3Girl Power The Return of the King “What do you fear lady? Aragorn askedA cage Éowyn said To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire”There have not been many moments for women to show their strength in this story Arwen’s moment in the films was non existent in the book Frodo was saved on the river by an Elf lord called Glorfindel So when Eowen battled the Witch King it is the first major moment Tolkien gave to a female hero In a vastly male dominated genre it was great to read this scene If I have one criticism of Tolkien it’s that we didn’t see of such things And here's a gif I like


  5. says:

    One of the greatest trilogies of all time and certainly the measuring stick to which all subseuent fantasy style writing is compared The Lord of the Rings trilogy still stands at the top of the stack Its realism the characters and monsters the storyline the epic battles and the uest motif are all drawn with incredible care by Tolkien in his chef d'oeuvre My favorite was The The Two Towers but all three are stunning This edition despite the awful cover art contains all three books and the original appendices from The Return of the King The one issue I have with this one is that the map of Middle Earth that should open The Two Towers is back in the appendices and relatively hard to find It is also a rather large book and thus unwieldy for public transport commutingI wanted to use this review to address a few overall themes of LOTR symbolism ecology sexuality Symbolism As for symbolism as described in Tolkien Tolkien's politics are not mapped onto the characters of Middle Earth in any obvious way The symbols he uses go back before the Germanic invasions of Britain around 1000 because his goal is precisely to recreate the mythology that existed in England Scotland and Wales before this period of instability and wanton destruction His theory was that there were shards of that previous system of beliefs fears mythologies that survived in story form in the Arthurian tales in Beowolf in Gawain and other Old English remnants Most of the transmission was done orally so when that generation disappeared after Norman invasions of the 11c 1066 Battle of Hastings for the most part collective memory subsumed some of these images Tolkien's idea was to extract these and try to revive the uber myths that they derived from He was a philologue meaning that he studies in depth the origins of the English language and chaired the Philology Department at Oxford for decades Old English and its offspring Middle English owed their origins to various Nordic tongues Old Norse Old Icelandic and eventually the invading Norsemen brought their culture and religion and especially their languate ultimately fusing all of these into what became the Modern English that I am writing in now In fact Tolkien's translation of Beowolf is still a reference for scholars of Old English even today All that to say that in reading the oldest extant myths in the Old languages Tolkien got a sense that there was something important that was hidden just beneath the surface and he spent nearly his entire life as a linguistic speleologue trying to find it sort of a human Dorin mining Moria to find the original stories The Elves represent the very first humanoids to arrive in England whereas the Dwarves represent the various invasions from Norway Finland Sweden Denmark and Iceland before 1000 Men are those who populated the Middle Ages and Hobbits are sort of the archetype of the middle class landed but non aristocratic gentry in the villages of England Perhaps the one place where political events in Tolkien's own life affect the narrative is in the episode at the very end of The Scouring of the Shire Here we see History catch up with the Idyllic and somewhat isolated Shire where violence the sad pathetic revenge of Saruman on Bilbo and Frodo for having thwarted his plans rages across the land nature is destroyed and industrialization arises This represents the Industrial Revolution but also the coming of age for Tolkien himself in WWI and I would argue the bombing of Oxford during the Battle of Britain during WWII that he experienced first hand as well It is interesting that this is included as a coda after the main action of the epic is already concluded as if he had this one other thing to say before sending Gandalf Frodo and Bilbo off to Grey Haven with the Elves thus definitively ending the pre Modern Middle Earth and by extension Medieval and Revolutionary Europe and entering into the ModernIndustrial Age Ecology I wrote uite a lot about Tolkien's sensibility to nature in my previous LOTR reviews see below but I wanted to reiterate that in these books nature itself is a character in the saga When Tolkien talks about flowers or herbs his descriptions are lush in detail and even anthropomorphic as it comes to trees Ents for example Indeed recalling what I said above about his pining for an England before the agricultural and industrial revolutions when the great primitive forests still covered England and all of Europe he bemoans the loss of this environment time and time again Most poignantly I think with Treebeard's sad resignation at the definitive disappearance of Entmaidens which spells certain death for his species Sam is able to bear the destruction of Hobbiton to a degree but when he sees the Party Tree under which Bilbo gave his Farewell Speech destroyed and lying dead on the ground something breaks inside of him Nature in LOTR is a living breathing thing and critical to the success of the mission without the Ents the Battle of Isengard would certainly have not been such a definitive defeat for Sarumon another reason why he attacked not only Hobbits but trees as well in his Scouring of the Shire The loss of communication between Man and Forest is one of the reasons for the breakdown in relationships between Rohan and Gondor as well as that between Elves and Men thus the marriages of Faramir and Eowyn and Aragorn and Arwen are so important for reforging those bonds and replanting the forests that were impacted by the war Once communication has been reestablished and the forests resume their role in connecting communities peace can once again attempt to thriveLastly I would point out that this sense of the importance of ecology has completely disappeared from fantasy and its modern derivation of dystopias literature at least as far as I have read The stories of Harry Potter Hunger Games the Grishaverse and so on have pushed trees and nature into a Hollywood backdrop for the most part This is rather unfortunate because that means that the generations after LOTR did not really have a solid basis of awareness about man's intimate connection to nature making it easier to deny the grim reality of climate change and ecological destruction since it is seen as superficially unrelated to their daily lives Fortunately the tide seems to be turning as evidenced by the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction given to Richard Ford's excellent The Overstory Sexuality The last theme I wanted to touch on briefly was sexuality For the most part the world of Middle Earth is asexual The relationships between the paired characters say Sam and Frodo and Legolas and Gimli are those of deep intimate but strictly non sexual friendships In the case of Sam and Frodo I suppose that it could be argued that Sam sometimes has a man crush on Frodo but it is not truly reciprocated nor acted on other than their relationship involving hugs and handholding than other friendships in the book As for the Elves we have several gorgeous women Elves Arwen and Galadriel but both are asexual at least until Arwen weds Aragorn despite provoking deep reverence in Merry it remains platonic and of a one sided infatuation There is little mention of rape in LOTR even during the war this book having originally being intended as a seuel to the child focused The Hobbit or There and Back Again perhaps that plus the natural British tendency to whitewash unsightly behavior was at playFor the most part women play a secondary or tertiary role in LOTR At one point Galadriel could become a supremely powerful figure but she renounces it in The Two Towers after looking into her Mirror and seeing the conseuences The notable exception to this is of course Eowyn who revendicates her status of independence from her 'cage' and who slays the King of the Nazgûl in revenge of the death of her father and both protecting Merry and saving the outcome of the battle for the good guys with her immortal For no man am I speech That being said she is obliged to give up her love for Aragorn and settle for Faramir who fortunately has a good heart and seems to truly love her at first sight What I am getting at is that Eowyn escapes her fate as a non actor in history with her act in the battlefield but does not escape her destiny becoming a wife to a man at the end Perhaps in that sense Galadriel does remain a heroic figure if passive than Eowyn she retains her total independence and a modicum of power being one of the last two Ring holders with GandalfGandalf's lack of sexuality is interesting Perhaps folks were put off by the adage that one must never delve into the affairs of wizards because they are of short and violent humor In any case he is clearly not homosexual unlike his distant cousin Dumbledore according to Rowling He is an archetype of the Catholic God the Father than the sex hound Jove Suite et fin Well I hope you appreciated these thoughts about LOTR and that it will encourage you to reread this classic and be environmentally aware going forward Long live Middle EarthFino's Tolkien ReviewsThe HobbitThe Fellowship of the Ring LOTR 1The Two Towers LOTR 2The Return of the King LOTR 3Lord of the Rings 1 3 General Comments and ObservationsRaymond Edward's Tolkien biography


  6. says:

    Look at thisss hobbitses Not bought at flea market for ten francses Catalogue says worth seven hundred dollarses Oh yes Not knows about bookses gollum But can't touch can't read she says too valuable Going to eat fish instead but nice birthday present oh yes precious


  7. says:

    The true source of the fantasy fiction genre Tolkien has spawned so many fantasy writers since The Lord Of The Rings went into print I love all the earlier ones too like Verne and Carrol and CS Lewis but The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings its like an institution🐯👍Who else besides me has the notion that the real hero in the Lord Of The Rings story is Sam? Sam is the typical accidental hero He is the girl or boy next door the ordinary folk Sam is you and me and represents the courage we all have inside of us He shows that when the going gets tough and the shit hits the fan it is the most unlikely of us that step up Hero's are not always musclebound hunks Not always the James Bond type character or the brilliant lawyer bringing justice to the deserving Almost all of the time the hero is the one that does the things that go unnoticed uncelebrated There is a hero in all of us whether we know it or not🐯👍A Hobbit finds himself on a uest that will change his lifeAn adventure full of peril and strifeAn ancient evil is rising to come forth againLike a dark cancer enveloping causing suffering and painA gold ring will help Frodo on his way make him invisible to all near byBut give away his location as Sauron see's him from most highLike the all seeing eye of Lucifer the eye from the skiesAnd Frodo is in extreme danger as a dark army begins to riseStrider and Legolas and Gimley will aid him and Samwise GamgeeAnd Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took and Gandalf to complete the band of brothers a familyGollum the sinister one the gold ring an obsessionGollum wants it back from Fodo's possessionA tale of great adventure fantasy of the highest esteemTolkien was a master to me that's all he has ever been 👍🐯


  8. says:

    Three Rings for the Elven kings under the skySeven for the Dwarf lords in their halls of stoneNine for Mortal Men doomed to dieOne for the Dark Lord on his dark throneIn the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lieOne Ring to rule them all One Ring to find themOne Ring to bring them all And in the darkness bind themIn the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie Three thousand years after the defeat of the Dark Lord Sauron before the slopes of Mount Doom a magic ring falls into the care of Frodo Baggins a young hobbit from the Shire Aided by his gardener Samwise Gamgee and the mysterious wizard Gandalf the Grey he takes the ring on a journey to Rivendell a hidden refuge of the Elves But evil stirs in the fell lands of Mordor and black riders scour the countryside in search of their master’s most prized possessionThus begins the most legendary saga in the history of fantasy It’s a dangerous business Frodo going out your door You step onto the road and if you don’t keep your feet there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to I’ll kick off this review by telling a little story A story starting as the stories often do with 'once upon a time'Once upon a time there was a little boy who have never read a fantasy book Thinking back on it it does seem like an awfully sorry state of affairs He was a devoted reader already as a uite small child but he mostly read children’s books like The Hardy Boys and other juvenile and boyish stories like them The one day he discovered this huge brick called The Lord of the Rings and started reading it It would change his life forever There were other books at the time for instance the immensely popular Harry Potter series which was being published back then but none of them could ever hope to compare to what was now the little boy’s favourite bookThe little boy grew into adolescence He read other books few of them fantasy He discovered a passion for history and started reading that He read classics and sci fi and mysteries and even religious texts He read books considered by some as among the best books ever And none of them could ever hope to compare to what was still the boy’s favourite bookLater that little boy would grow up to become a man though he probably never will grow up completely mind you And he started reading fantasy again A Song of Ice and Fire was one of the first attempts and it uickly turned into a favourite But compared to The Lord of the Rings? Nothing It was followed by tons of other fantasy series among them Narnia The Inheritance Cycle Shannara and so on And he loved them all But every once in a while he had to go back to this huge brick to remember that there existed something even better Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?Where is the helm and the hauberk and the bright hair flowing?Where is the hand on the harpstring and the red fire glowing?Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?They have passed like rain on the mountain like a wind in the meadow;The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow I have been struggling for years to describe The Lord of the Rings How do you actually describe the book you both love than any other and also consider the best book ever written from a or less objective point of view?I recently dumped into the word sublime which I’ve only heard used on a few occasions before I knew what it meant but not the exact definition So I checked Of high spiritual moral or intellectual worth Not to be excelled; supreme Inspiring awe; impressive An ultimate exampleAnd that is pretty much exactly how I would describe it Sublime it is I realised that I would never come closer to an actual description of The Lord of the Rings This is to me not only the main pillar on which the fantasy genre stands but the ultimate masterpiece of literatureI’ll use a far fetched example to make my love for this book sound totally crazy put my love for this book in perspective if I had to choose between reading this book once and having unlimited access to all the other books ever released then I would choose this No contest evenI am so very grateful to have been given the chance to come along on the journey of the Fellowship of the Ring To visit so many wonderful places in a land of myths and magic To meet so many fascinating men elves dwarves and other legendary peoples and creaturesAre there any negative things to mention? No In my mind there are none at all but I’ll say this Tolkien’s characters are not the best I have encountered and the storyline of this book is not perfect That’s the closest you’ll ever come to witness me criticizing this wondrous gem and the only things you’ll ever hear from me about it except for fanatical ravings and unsolicited praise I sit beside the fire and thinkof people long agoand people who will see a worldthat I shall never know But all the while I sit and thinkof times there were beforeI listen for returning feetand voices at the door If perfection exists and is obtainable then Tolkien’s worldbuilding is perfect There is nothing in either fantasy or any other genre to match it It certainly surpassed all the magical worlds that had come before it and none created since that time have been able to surpass it in turn Writers like Robert Jordan and George RR Martin have made their attempts and now we’re talking about of my all time favourite fantasy worlds and series but in my eyes none of them have even come closeI have had tons of delightful experiences while venturing into magnificent worlds of fantasy in Westeros and Narnia and so many others But Middle Earth is like a fictional home I seem to have left behind parts of my heart and soul by the waterfalls of Rivendell the ancient trees of Fangorn forest the plains of Rohan and the marble walls of Minas Tirith And I do not regret that for one secondMost of my standards for comparison also derive from this tome I have yet to encounter a mentor character in fantasy who can compare to Gandalf or a fictional love story that can compare to the tale of Aragorn and Arwen I have yet to encounter a setting as detailed or writing as flawlessly elouent as this And those are only a few examples of aspects in which I consider The Lord of the Rings to be superior to all othersThese musings can only begin to describe how much this book means to me It sparked my passion for reading at a young age It made me love the fantasy genre and all that came with it It made me start creating worlds of my own and in the end find one in particular that I liked so much I started writing stories set in it Why it even made me intrigued by poetry eventually But I have yet to read anything by any famous poet that can match Tolkien’s utterly incredible poemsOn my third and fourth and fifth reads of this book I started looking beyond the immediately visible And I found something to admire the man himself John Ronald Reuel Tolkien went on to become my most important role model and despite having been gone from this world for forty years he’s been heavily influencing my personal opinions and choices for than a decade And not only literarily but historically politically and philosophically as wellThis book is definitely the one single object that’s had the most impact on me and it’s meant a lot to me than one should think any object could be capable of But then again it’s not really an object after all It is so much A legend trapped in words on pieces of paper A magical gateway to the most amazing world you’ll ever seeThis is to me the apex of human creativity and imagination The very best form of art a human mind can produceThere have been many books that I have cherished through the years and I expect there will be many to come But The Lord of the Rings will always be the one I treasure the most of them allIt has changed me forever As it once changed the world forever I amar prestar aen han mathon ne nen han mathon ne chae a han noston ned 'wilith So that's all I have to say for now I'm afraid this was not so much an actual review as simply a story about my experience with and passion for this book If you've been patient enough to read to the very end I thank you for your attention I'll leave you with the most beautiful passage Tolkien ever wrote and my favourite literary uote of all time


  9. says:

    Authors who inspire a movement are usually misunderstood especially by those they have inspired and Tolkien is no exception but one of the biggest misconceptions about Tolkien is the idea that he is somehow an 'innovator of fantasy' He did add a number of techniues to the repertoire of epic fantasy writers and these have been dutifully followed by his many imitators but for the most part these techniues are little than bad habitsMany have called Tolkien by such epithets as 'The Father of Fantasy' but anyone who makes this claim simply does not know of the depth and history of the fantasy genre For those who are familiar with the great and influential fantastical authors from Ovid and Ariosto to Eddison and Dunsany to RE Howard and Fritz Leiber it is clear that long before Tolkien fantasy was already a complex well established and even a respected literary genreEddison's work contains an invented world a carefully constructed and well researched archaic language a powerful and unearthly ueen and a central character who is conflicted and lost between the forces of nobility and darkness Poul Anderson's The Broken Sword which came out the same year as The Fellowship of the Ring has distant haughty elves deep delving dwarves a broken sword which must be reforged an epic war between the armies of light and darkness another central character trapped between those extremes and an interweaving of Christian and Pagan worldviewsSo if these aspects are not uniue to Tolkien then what does set him apart? Though Dunsany Eddison and Anderson all present worlds where light and dark come into conflict they present these conflicts with a subtle and often ironic touch recognizing that morality is a dangerous thing to present in absolutes Tolkien or CS Lewis on the other hand has no problem in depicting evil as evil good as good and the only place they meet is in the temptation of an honest heart as in Gollum's case and even then he is not like Eddison's Lord Gro or Anderson's Scafloc characters who live under an alternative view of the world but instead fluctuates between the highs and lows of Tolkien's dualistic moralityIt is a dangerous message to make evil an external irrational thing to define it as 'the unknown that opposes us' because it invites the reader to overlay their own morality upon the world which is precisely what most modern fantasy authors tend to do following Tolkien's example Whether it's Goodkind's Libertarianism or John Norman's sex slave fetish its very easy to simply create a magical allegory to make one side 'right' and the other side 'wrong' and you never have to develop a dramatic narrative that actually explores the soundness of those ideas Make the good guys dress in bright robes or silvery maile and the bad guys in black spiky armor and a lot of people will never notice that all the 'good guys' are White upper class men while all the 'bad guys' are 'brutish foreigners' and that both sides are killing each other and trying to rule their little corner of the worldIn Tolkien's case his moral view was a very specific evocation of the ideal of 'Merrie England' which is an attempt by certain stodgy old Tories like Tolkien to rewrite history so that the nobility were all good and righteous leaders the farmers were all happy in their 'proper place' working a simple patch of dirt while both industrialized cultures and the 'primitives' who resided to the South and East were 'the enemy' bent on despoiling the 'natural beauty of England' despite the fact that the isles had been flattened deforested and partitioned a thousand years beforeThough Tom Bombadil remains as a strangely incoherent reminder of the moral and social complexity of the fantasy tradition upon which Tolkien draws he did his best to scrub the rest clean spending years of his life trying to fit Catholic philosophy wholly into his Pagan adventure realm But then that's often how we think of Tolkien bent over his desk spending long hours researching note taking compiling and playing with language Even those who admit that Tolkien demonstrates certain racist sexist and classicist leanings as indeed do many great authors still praise the complexity of his 'world building'And any student of the great Epics like the Norse Eddas the Bible or the Shahnameh can see what Tolkien is trying to achieve with his worldbuilding those books presented grand stories but were also about depicting a vast world of philosophy history myth geography morality and culture They were encyclopedic texts intended to instruct their people on everything important in life and they are extraordinarily valuable to students of anthropology and history because even the smallest detail can reveal something about the world which the book describesSo Tolkien fills his books with troop movements dull songs lines of lineage and references to his own made up history mythology and language He has numerous briefly mentioned side characters and events because organic texts like the epics which were formed slowly over time and compiled from many sources often contained such digressions He creates characters who have similar names which is normally a stupid thing to do as an author because it is so confusing but he’s trying to represent a hereditary tradition of prefixes and suffixes and shared names which many great families of history had So Tolkien certainly had a purpose in what he did but was it a purpose that served the story he was trying to tell?Simply copying the form of reality is not what makes good art Art is meaningful it is directed It is not just a list of details everything within is carefully chosen by the author to make up a good story The addition of detail is not the same as adding depth especially since Tolkien’s world is not based on some outside system it is whatever he says it is It’s all arbitrary which is why the only thing that grants a character scene or detail purpose is the meaning behind it Without that meaning then what Tolkien is doing is just a very elaborate thought exercise Now it’s certainly true that many people have been fascinated with studying it but that’s eually true of many thought exercises such as the rules and background of the Pokemon card game or crossword puzzlesOstensibly Scrabble supposedly is a game for people who love words and yet top Scrabble players sit an memorize lists of words whose meaning they will never learn Likewise many literary fandom games become little than word searches find this reference connect that name to this character but which have no meaning or purpose outside of that The point of literary criticism is always to lead us back to human thought and ideas to looking at how we think and express ourselves If a detail in a work cannot lead us back to ourselves then it is no than an arbitrary piece of chaffThe popularity of Tolkien’s work made it acceptable for other authors to do the same thing to the point that whenever I hear a book lauded for the ‘depth of its world building’ I expect to find a mess of obsessive detailing of piling on so many inconseuential facts and figures that the characters and stories get buried under the scree as if the author secretly hopes that by spending most of the chapter describing the hero’s cuirass we'll forget that he’s a bland archetype who only succeeds through happy coincidence and deus ex machina against an enemy with no internal structure or motivationWhen uiller Couch said authors should ‘murder their darlings’ this is what he meant just because you have hobbies and opinions does not mean you should fill your novel with them Anything which does not materially contribute to the story characters and artistry of a work can safely be left out Tolkien's embarrassment of detail also produced a huge inflation in the acceptable length of fantasy books leading to the meandering unending series that fill bookstore shelves todayNow there are several notable critics who have lamented the unfortunate effect that Tolkien’s work has had on the genre such as in Moorcock’s Epic Pooh and Mieville’s diatribe about every modern fantasy author being forced to come to terms with the old don's influence I agree with their deconstructions but for me Tolkien isn’t some special author some ‘fantasy granddad’ looming over all He’s just a bump in the road one author amongst many in a genre that stretches back thousands of years into our very ideas of myth and identity and not one of the interesting onesHis ideas weren’t uniue and while his approach may have been unusual it was only because he spent a lifetime obsessively trying to make something artificial seem natural despite the fact that the point of fantasy and fiction in general is to explore the artificial the human side of the euation to look at the world through the biased lens of our eye and to represent some odd facet of the human condition Unfortunately Tolkien’s characters structure and morality are all too flat to suggest much no matter how many faux organic details he surrounds them withMy Fantasy Book Suggestions


  10. says:

    Lord of the Rings I have read LotR many times over the years in fact it is I think the book I have read the most in this world which i suppose makes it my favourite book albeit closely followed by half a dozen others shout if you want to know or take a gander at my favourites shelfI have always enjoyed it understatement but for some reason this re read is special than ever I had almost forgotten how much was different from the films and despite having read LotR once before since the films I seem to be getting from the book this time than ever beforeThe Fellowship of The Ring 5 stars ⭐️As part of a buddy read I have just completed the first book of the trilogy and have given it 5 ⭐️ As anyone who actually reads my reviews will know I very rarely need to use spoilers as I leave other people to read the book themselves so you will find no or few spoilers in this review The first book weaves an amazing tale with incredible characters in a well constructed world The characters and situations make you smile laugh and even cry as the journey begins the Fellowship is put together and at the close of this book so cruelly broken Having somehow forgotten the differences to the film I thoroughly enjoyed the differences especially Tom Bombardil and the river daughter and surprisingly I enjoyed all the poems some brought tears to my eyes is it the first time I have really read them ??February 2019 bringsThe Two Towers 5 stars ⭐️And so here we are 20th Feb 2019 and I've finished Book 2 I must admit I had wondered if after such a gap from reading LotR and watching the films so many times if I would enjoy the books as much I think I can now 23rds of the way through safely say that somehow the film experience has made me love the book if that is possibleAgain I think the book well outshines the film although the people I see inhabiting the characters are those from the films There are again differences which yes once again I prefer in the book; the way the film is split up so we follow both parts of the journey understandably is not as good if one is reading all of LotR as following the AragornLegolasGimli side first and then the FrodoSam side second; also view spoilerI never believed that Sam would abandon Frodo on the stair nor that Frodo no matter how exhausted would have sent Sam away so it is good to be reacuainted with the fact that that particular episode never happens; also I do not understand why in the film Treebeard has to be tricked to act rather than the Ents deciding to act as they do in the book hide spoiler