From the Shire to Mount Doom

Warning: there WILL be spoilers.  If you haven’t read all three books in the LOTR trilogy, you might want to skip this post.

Well, readers, I did it.  I finished the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  It was long and hard going (just like the journey made therein), but I finally pushed through, determined to get to the end by the New Year.

Granted, I still haven’t read the Appendices, but that’s okay.  For me, the main bit of the text is what really counts.

My final thoughts on the series?  It got a bit more endurable by the end, what with the climactic battle scenes and the bit with Gollum and all.  (Gosh, Gollum is creepy.)  I was a bit surprised when the main part of the plot was over with about eighty pages still to go, but then- BAM- a wild subplot appeared!  And I did enjoy that, with the Shire being under attack and Frodo and the gang having to save it.  Although Frodo didn’t really do much, did he?  I suppose he was too worn out from getting rid of the Ring.  You can’t go through something like that and come away unscathed.  He never drew his sword again after that business in Mordor.

The good thing about that was Merry and Pippin and Sam got their fair share of action.  I mean, doubtless they already had some moments in the spotlight, what with the former two becoming knights of Rohan and Gondor and with the latter basically carrying Frodo’s weight through the entire trek into Mordor.  But for Merry, at least, the battle in the Shire was his shining moment.  I loved that.

Indeed, this entire trilogy was vastly different than anything I had expected.  I thought it would be a boring documentary of everything Frodo did, Frodo’s journey, Frodo’s hardships.  But it was not that at all.  It was about Aragorn becoming the King Elessar, about Gandalf’s plans coming together, about the friendship between a Dwarf and an Elf, about the corruption of men once considered the best of their kind.  It was about the passing of one age and the coming of another, about time’s inexorable flow that sweeps away civilizations and erects new ones in their place.  It was about the wounds time can heal, and the ones it cannot.  It was about hope and perseverance and sacrifice.

And I was pleasantly surprised by all of these things.  It wasn’t just the story of Frodo, it was the story of an entire world being shaken apart and put back together again, along with all of the people that made it happen.

Granted, there’s probably some sort of even deeper meaning that sailed over my head.  I’m more inclined to see the story than what it represents, no matter what the book is.  But from what I have seen, this deserves to be called a classic.

I’m not going to say I enjoyed this series.  It took too long to read and the first two books still seem a bit long-winded in my mind.  But I can firmly say that I respect this series.  For all of my griping about how long it was taking to get through, I have to give it credit in the end, and I have to acknowledge that maybe this wasn’t as bad as I’ve been making it out to be.  I realize now why it is so loved by its fans, and I finally know what this is all about.  This was a splendid way to end my year, with a series that I finally got to read after years of putting it off.

My next step is to watch the films and see how they compare.  On the reading front, though, I’m quite looking forward to starting off the year with something new, seeing as how I don’t plan to read The Hobbit or The Silmarillion anytime soon.  Of course, I’m going to finish Omnitopia Dawn as soon as I can so that can get out of my sidebar, but after that, I’m not sure what to read.  There are so many novels to choose from in the To-Be-Read stack.  I suppose we’ll find out.

Readers, do you have any thoughts on the Lord of the Rings?  Is there anything important that I missed?

Happy reading.