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The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Return of the King (original 1955; edition 1975)

by J.R.R. Tolkien

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29,15016931 (4.46)354
Title:The Return of the King
Authors:J.R.R. Tolkien
Info:Ballantine Books (1975), Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library, Favorites

Work details

The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien (1955)

  1. 23
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (PaperbackPirate)
    PaperbackPirate: contains many Lord of the Rings references

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English (155)  Spanish (5)  French (4)  Swedish (2)  Polish (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (169)
Showing 1-5 of 155 (next | show all)
What a way to end a tedious series... there's much more action, romance, suspence and entertainement than the other two. My favorite from the series... I'm glad I didn't give up on Tolkien. ( )
  Glaucialm | Feb 18, 2016 |
I finally read the entire thing - well, I listened to it via audiobook. This was my third attempt, although the other two were over a decade ago. I never could finish the trilogy. Inevitably, I'd get lost somewhere in the third book (having skimmed most of the second) and quit. Well, due to it being audio, I managed to finished the entire thing. My favorite part was the Ride of the Rohirrim, followed closely the arrival of Aragorn at the Fields of Pelennor, with his banner unfurled! Other than that, the story was good - with the right amount of introspection and adventure. I found the lack of female characters disappointing, but the female characters that are in the story are strong - particularly Eowyn - who is my favorite. There seemed an excessive amount of singing, but in a society and culture were most stories are told via song, that makes sense.
While I recognize and honor the historical and literary value of Tolkien's work, and understand that Tolkien work is monumental in the realm of fantasy literature, I don't think Tolkien will ever be a favorite. It's just not for me. ( )
  empress8411 | Feb 12, 2016 |
Re-read. I first read the book in Spanish, several years ago. Now I read it in English. ( )
  MisaBookworm | Feb 2, 2016 |
The last book of the trilogy was anti-climactic for me. It also drags on way too long, both in the buildups to critical moments, and in their aftermath. I suppose my main beef with Tolkien, with apologies to his legions of devoted fans, is that he spent a lot of effort creating this world, its geography, its history, its language, and described all of it, often tediously, to the nth degree – and not enough effort creating more dimensionality to his characters. The fight between good and evil is too black and white (literally as well, which was unfortunate), the emotions are too simple, and there was not nearly enough behind the life (and death) of Sauron. That and there was way too much walking. :p

On the other hand, the book is quite an adventure story. Tolkien did a clever thing in figuring out how to put the Ring, which was of such singular importance (indeed, destroy-or-fail), in the hands of Frodo, a simple young Hobbit, by giving it the insidious power of seduction. Isn’t that what power does, after all, seduce us? There are mighty wizards and mighty warriors, but in this case innocence is what’s wanted, and the humble must also summon their courage and rise to the occasion. Of course, in the ultimate moments even Frodo succumbs to the ring, but thank goodness for Gollum, who was the novel’s best character.

For me, in one sense this is a parable about growing up, about being brave enough to confront Evil and even more importantly, not being tempted by it. It’s about sticking together, and brotherhood amongst those of differing backgrounds, for there is strength in diversity. It’s about having hope and faith despite what appear to be insurmountable odds. It’s telling to me that the hobbits are stronger and a couple of them are literally taller when they return to the Shire, and at that point they are more than capable of fighting their own battles. What parent could want more for their kids at the end of childhood’s journey?

I do love it for inspiring reading in so many people, including friends, and I’m glad for having finally read it myself, decades after my misspent and obviously deprived youth. Now perhaps the movies will make some sense. :)

Tolkien again creates some creepy adversaries; this one stood out for me:
“The great shadow descended like a falling cloud. And behold! it was a winged creature; if bird, then greater than all other birds, and it was naked, and neither quill nor feather did it bear, and its vast pinions were as webs of hide between horned fingers; and it stank. A creature of an older world maybe it was, whose kind, lingering in forgotten mountains cold beneath the Moon, outstayed their day, and in hideous eeyrie bred this last untimely brood, apt to evil. And the Dark Lord took it, and nursed it with fell meats, until it grew beyond the measure of all other things that fly; and he gave it to his servant to be his steed. Down, down it came, and then, folding its fingered webs, it gave a croaking cry, and settled upon the body of Snowmane, digging in its claws, stooping its long naked neck.”

On love unrequited:
“Then Eomer was silent, and looked on his sister, as if pondering anew all the days of their past life together. But Aragorn said: ‘I saw also what you saw, Eomer. Few other griefs amid the ill chances of this world have more bitterness and shame for a man’s heart than to behold the love of a lady so fair and brave that cannot be returned. Sorrow and pity have followed me ever since I left her desperate in Dunharrow and rode to the Paths of the Dead; and no fear upon that way was so present as the fear for what might befall her.”

Lastly, on hope, with one of my favorite lines and images ‘there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach’…
“Then at last, to keep himself awake, he crawled from the hiding-place and looked out. The land seemed full of creaking and cracking and sly noises, but there was no sound of voice or of foot. Far above the Ephel Duath in the West the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo’s side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep and untroubled sleep.” ( )
1 vote gbill | Jan 30, 2016 |
Not sure how many times I have read this, but just finished reading it to my two oldest. They enjoyed it thoroughly. My favorite chapter in the entire series is "Scouring of the Shire." What a shame that Jackson choose to omit this important point in his movie. For such a great success and adaptation, this was an epic failure on his part. ( )
  memlhd | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 155 (next | show all)
Nobody seems to have a moderate opinion: either, like myself, people find it a masterpiece of its genre or they cannot abide it . . . The demands made on the writer's powers in an epic as long as 'The Lord of the Rings' are enormous . . . but I can only say that Mr. Tolkien has proved equal to them.

» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tolkien, J. R. R.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andersson, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beagle, Peter S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blok, CorCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Domènech, LuisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaughan, JackCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hildebrandt, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hildebrandt, TimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horne, MatildeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howe, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Inglis, RobNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juva, KerstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, AlanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ohlmarks, ÅkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olsson, LottaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palencar, John JudeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekkanen, PanuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuchart, MaxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the shadows lie.
First words
Pippin looked out from the shelter of Gandalf's cloak. He wondered if he was awake or still sleeping, still in the swift-moving dream in which he had been wrapped so long since the great ride began.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
J.R.R. Tolkien's complete work The Lord of the Rings consists of six Books, frequently bound in three Volumes, as follow:

Volume I: The Fellowship of the Ring, consisting of Book 1, "The Ring Sets Out" and Book 2, "The Ring Goes South";
Volume II: The Two Towers, consisting of Book 3, "The Treason of Isengard," and Book 4, "The Ring Goes East"; and
Volume III: The Return of the King, consisting of Book 5, "The War of the Ring," and Book 6, "The End of the Third Age," with Appendices.

This LT Work consists of Volume III, The Return of the King; please do not combine it with any other part(s) or with Tolkien's complete work, each of which have LT Works pages of their own. Thank you.

Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
While the evil might of the Dark Lord Sauron swarmed out to conquer all Middle-earth, Frodo and Sam struggled deep into Mordor, seat of Sauron’s power. To defeat the Dark Lord, the accursed Ring of Power had to be destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom. But the way was impossibly hard, and Frodo was weakening. Weighed down by the compulsion of the Ring he began finally to despair.
Haiku summary
Frodo destroys Ring/
Sauron gone forever more/
Carry on, dear Sam

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345339738, Mass Market Paperback)

The prequel to The Lord of the Rings—The Hobbit—is now a major motion picture directed by Peter Jackson
While the evil might of the Dark Lord Sauron swarms out to conquer all Middle-earth, Frodo and Sam struggle deep into Mordor, seat of Sauron’s power. To defeat the Dark Lord, the One Ring, ruler of all the accursed Rings of Power, must be destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom. But the way is impossibly hard, and Frodo is weakening. Weighed down by the compulsion of the Ring, he begins finally to despair.
The awesome conclusion of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, beloved by millions of readers around the world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:16 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

While the evil might of the Dark Lord Sauron swarmed out to conquer all Middle-earth, Frodo and Sam struggled deep into Mordor, seat of Sauron's power. To defeat the Dark Lord, the accursed Ring of Power had to be destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom, but the way was impossibly hard and Frodo was weakening. Weighed down by the compulsion of the Ring, he began finally to despair.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 36 descriptions

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