The Return of the King, by J. R. R. Tolkein

Let’s be honest here – I’ve already recommended the previous two books, so I was always going to recommend this one. You might as well read to the end of the trilogy, after all.

This was, sadly, the book that I got the most bored by. Partly because I think the films correlated the most closely to the first half of the book, so there wasn’t that much that was new, and partly because a lot of the plot is Samwise and Frodo walking.

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And walking.

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Then they get tired. But still they walk.

I do so love their friendship, though.

I do so love their friendship, though.

Eventually (spoilers!) they make it, and throw the Ring of Power into the fires of Mount Doom.

But this is not nearly the end! There is an interesting bit back at the Houses of Healing, where the injured, including Eowyn and Faramir still believe the end is nigh.

And then… the Shire happens. This is just so different to everything in the film, which suggests that the Shire is totally untouched by the wars, and it works as a place of refuge for the weary travellers. No, instead our Hobbit friends return to the Shire to find it being ruled over by Men, who ensure the Hobbits are downtrodden by a list of Rules that favour the Men over the Hobbits. They have a mysterious leader called ‘Sharkey’ and have completely ruined the environment of the Shire, digging up the trees and creating a mill purely for the purposes of pollution.

I think I can only say, once again, that if you enjoyed The Lord of the Rings films it is definitely worth reading the books. While some moments can drag a little, and it might end up getting you addicted to smoking (my word, Tolkein makes pipe weed sound appealing!) there is a different tone to the books, as well as additional storylines and moments of interest, that make the entire trilogy well worth your time.

Seriously, the man loved to smoke.

Seriously, the man loved to smoke.

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