10 Things You Should Know About The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

10 Things You Should Know About The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

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  1. This Review Contains Some Spoilers- This should be self explanatory!

    The Series has a Predecessor- Before the Lord of the Rings there was The Hobbit. Though a single book with an adventure on a much smaller scale, it is still a great read. It also has a great deal of information that the Lord of the Rings references.

    The Book Series has Far-Ranging Appeal- Whether an individual is pro-materialism or abhors the idea, this series of three books has something to offer everyone. On one hand, there is a beautiful golden ring many covet while others want to destroy it. On the other, the hobbits, small creatures who are the principle protagonists, don’t wear shoes and have never even heard of Giorgio Armani.      

    It Is One of the Best Known Fiction Series Ever Written- This is one of those works of fantasy which captures your attention and will not let go until the last page has been read. This makes it a terrible read for those who have project deadlines around the corner.

    The Plot Is Simple and Elegant- The leader of evil needs his weapon, the ring, back to complete his domination of Middle Earth. A coalition is formed to prevent him, Sauron, from gaining access to his weapon. Eventually, as Sauron grows in power, the decision is made to destroy the ring as this will lead to Sauron’s destruction. A group of nine individuals is tasked with traveling through dangerous lands filled with their enemies in order to bring the ring to Sauron’s own territory. Mordor contains the only method of destroying the golden ornament, throwing it in a volcano.

    The plot which pits good against evil also creates coalitions on both sides. And as it was written in the years immediately before and after the Second World War, had some influence on the book. Of course coalitions of good and evil, as expressed by former president George Bush, still abound.

    Setting- The book takes place in the land of Middle Earth, filled with dwarves, humans, elves, and many other creatures of both good and evil. It also has various mountain ranges, forests, and rivers. This enormous body of land is surrounded by an ocean. Only the elves know of another land, somewhere amongst the waves, where they travel when they are tired of living in Middle Earth.

    Lack of a Higher Power- It is interesting to contrast the Lord of the Rings with another famous series written during the same time period, the Chronicles of Narnia. While Narnia made constant reference to a higher power which had the ability to interfere with the goings on of mortals, the Lord of the Rings makes no real mention of God. Living things are only guided by what they allow themselves to be guided by, whether good or evil. And while there is magic and there are spirits, their existence can only be traced back to the living.

    Reaction to War- War is not a happy thing in the Lord of the Rings, as it is in many other fantasy books. The First World War, wrought before the beginning of Tolkien’s books, served to deaden the view that war was glorious, especially in the author’s United Kingdom. The dying creatures of evil mostly inspire sadness, as their cries and death throes are not described as a triumph of arms, but as a depressing affair.

    The Book is so Much Better Than the Movie- The film trilogy, while filled with loud noise and lots of running around, loses something in the translation. It simply becomes the Viggo Mortensen show, as the camera follows him around as he acts out scenes that are unfortunately far removed from events described in the book.

    Relations between the Sexes- These are described in a very Victorian-era style. The couples may be mentioned embracing but that is about as far as it gets.

    The Series Offers Only the Perspective of the Side of Good- For all of those who rooted for Darth Vader and the Empire in Star Wars, there may be some disappointment in that the chief actors of evil are little investigated. They are just there and their potentially fascinating thought processes are never described.  

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