#18: The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien

Finally! Well I am certainly behind on my reading now, but my weekends have been jam-packed until today so I have had little time to read. Fortunately, I’ll have some time off from work soon for Thanksgiving to catch up.

While fantasy is not my favorite genre, I am nonetheless very impressed that someone can have the ability and creativity to create a whole world and all the things and creatures that go along with it. It would stress me out to be tasked with simply naming a few creatures, let alone an entire world. I’ll admit, creativity was never my strong suit.

As I may have said in an earlier post, I was never a huge fan of the movies, fight scenes bore me to death and the rest I found slightly confusing (too many characters, too long for my attention span, etc). The books certainly cleared a lot of things up for me. In the movie, when Aragorn brought an army of ghosts to fight in the war, I was beyond confused. Scenes like this were made more clear in the novel. This is of no fault of the film, it is obviously hard to fit hundreds of pages of a book into a few hour movie. I have always felt the same way about HP, if I try to forget what I know from reading the books numerous times, the film glosses over a LOT. But I suppose if you never read the books then you just forget those confusing scenes and assume they are unimportant.

But I digress, I’m glad I read these books, however, it is not a genre that I’m going to force myself upon in the future. At some points I was incredibly interested, but at others I was skimming through trying to get to a more interesting scene. Also, for those of you that have only watched the movies, spoiler, but there is still a good amount of book left after the ring is destroyed. Forgive me if my memory is wrong, but I believe the movie ends shortly after this point. Aragorn is crowned King and then there are a few short scenes of the hobbits drinking, Frodo leaving with the elves, and Sam returning to his family before the credits roll. The book, on the other hand, still has four chapters before those last events occur in the final few pages. Most importantly, when the hobbits return to the shire, they find that Saruman has taken over and the shire is in near ruins. Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin gather all the other hobbits and ultimately defeat Saruman and his followers in the last final battle of the story. This was apparently left out of the film since the main climax had already occurred and viewers would not be interested in seeing any more. I can understand this, and honestly as I was reading the ending I kept thinking “Jesus, will these guys ever catch a break?” but also “How unrealistic that these four hobbits have been in battle after battle with so many casualties and yet they keep making it out alive.” This is why I can’t read fantasy.

On to the next one.

Next up, The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton…

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