Lord of the Rings Read-Along – The Return of the King Mid-Month Check-In

The LOTR Read-Along is half way through the last book, The Return of the King. I finished the book but thought I’d take a few minutes to answer the questions. I tried to stay away from spoilers but, well…don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you’re still reading, skip the last two questions.

Maree at Just Add Books is hosting The Return of the King this month.

1) Where are you in your reading? Are you still with Bilbo and Smaug? Just starting out? Or have you finished already and are tapping your fingernails on the book cover, waiting for me to catch up?

I’m finished with the book but waiting patiently — no tapping of fingernails here.

2) If this is your first time reading LOTR, how are you finding it? Are you falling in love with Middle Earth? and Legolas?

See question 3.

3) If you’re a repeat offender reader, like me, how are you finding the return journey? Are you loving it just as much as ever? What little treasures have you found in ROTK that you never noticed before?

I’m a repeat offender reader. It’s been at least five years since I cracked the spines on these books and it was fun getting to know everyone again.

I didn’t remember as much of ROTK as the other books so it was really nice getting into this one. I’d happily be reading and then all of sudden realize that what I thought happened in this book actually took place in the movie. I’m glad I re-read this one because it brought all of the story back to me. It was like finding a long lost friend. I also reaffirmed just how much I like this book. Now, I love all of them but there was something about this one that was really fitting. After all the fighting and death it was nice to see some of my favorite characters find peace.

4) How do you feel, when you close the end of the last part; after Sam’s words on the last page? Are you sad it’s over, nostalgic? Looking for your next read already?

Nostalgic, definitely. I was happy to finally come to the end and see the hobbits home but sad that it was over.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I love that Sam has the last word — “Well, I’m back.” I don’t know why but it’s just perfect for me. While I have several soft spots for characters in the books — Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli to name a few — Sam is by far my favorite character. He’s a true friend and someone everyone can, and does, count on. He’s strong when needed and gentle when called for.

5) What’s your favourite scene in ROTK?

The Scouring of the Shire. I love how Frodo, Sam, Pippen, and Merry incite a riot and get all the hobbits to take back their homes. It’s so fitting. While it’s a bit sad that they did fight for all the men and none came to help them out, I like that they stand up and take what’s theirs. (OK, really my only complaint about the book. Can’t anyone be bothered to help out the hobbits that saved their butts?! Oh no, it’s the time of men, busy, busy, busy.)


Lord of the Rings Read-Along: The Two-fer Edition

I’m going to combine two Lord of the Rings Read-Along posts this week because I’m way behind on my posts and my reading and I want to catch up and this is the way I’m going to do it. 🙂

First, thanks to Teresa at Shelf Love for hosting The Two Towers discussion in March and to Maree at Just Add Books for hosting The Return of the King this month.

Here are the final questions for The Two Towers:

1)The last half of The Two Towers covers fewer characters than the first half. For some, this makes Book 4 slower than the rest of the book; others love the intense focus on Frodo, Gollum, and Sam. Where do you stand on this question?

I’m in between on this one. I understand why it was done (at least I think I do) but it’s odd when you’re reading. Yes, the fellowship is now on two separate quests and writing it as two stories only heightens that reality but it does sometimes make me wonder why they don’t seem to think about each other and how they’re doing.

2)If you’re a first-time reader (or even a rereader), what surprised you most about this half of the book?

I starting feeling very different about Frodo. I tend to think of him as sappy but I think that’s more a movie impression since Elijah Wood always looks like he’s going to cry in the movie (just my two cents and not meant to be mean-spirited). While reading, I started to remember that Frodo was a bit tougher than I really gave him credit for and I liked that.

3)Are there any specific moments that stand out as favorites or least favorites in this section?

I don’t think I have any least favorite moments but I really enjoyed meeting Faramir again.

4)What are some themes or ideas in this book (or the trilogy as a whole so far) that stand out to you?

Sam’s undying, unwavering friendship always stands out for me. He’s so loyal and true that I always want to hug him for just being who he is, not apologizing for it, and not feeling sorry for anything he does to help Frodo.

5)And the obligatory movie question: Many LOTR readers take the biggest issue with Jackson’s treatment of this part of the trilogy than with any other? Did the changes bother you? Are there any ways in which you think the movie was more effective?

I don’t think of the movies as more or less effective. It’s just a different medium and somethings that work so well in the book just don’t translate on screen. I like to think of them as separate but connected entities. So, no, I don’t think there was anything in the movies that was changed that bothered me intensely enough to mention here. I walk the middle line on this question. I like the books. I like the movies.

Here are the intro question for The Return of the King:

1) We’re coming to the end of the quest. Where are you in your reading?

I’m on chapter 4, The Siege of Gondor. Not all that far yet but I plan to catch up this week.

2) Have you read LOTR before? If so, what are you anticipating most re-reading in ROTK? (er … try to avoid spoilers, although I suppose that question makes that a bit tricky)

I have read the books before and I’m really looking forward to the refresher on ROTK since I don’t remember much from this book. Yep, that was a smooth avoidance wasn’t it. 😉

3) Who’s your favourite character in ROTK?

Aragorn. Just cuz he’s hot. 🙂

4) Favourite scene?

There is a speech that Aragorn gives to the gathered armies that starts, “Today is not the day…” I really am hoping that I’m not remembering something from the movie and not the book here but I have this very Julius Caesar/Marc Antony, Shakespearean like, speech vision in my head and I am starting to wonder where I remember it from…I hope it’s the book.

5) How do you feel about the overall series now that we’re getting near the end?

I’m feeling very nostalgic about the whole thing. I’ve read these books a few times and have very fond and different memories of all of them. Re-reading the books now has brought back some wonderful memories.

6) Have you seen the movies? Have they coloured your reading of ROTK?

Avoidance tactic two — yep, saw the movies. Yep, like the movies. Nope, not hurting my experience.

Man, this movie question just won’t walk on in to the sunset will it?

7) Does reading the books make you want to watch the movies, or run screaming in the other direction?

Uh, see 6. I’m planning to re-watch the movies when I’m done reading to see what was different. I’ve convinced the hubby to go along with me and he said, “What, so we’re planning to do nothing for the whole month of May but watch movies?” We only have the extended versions on DVD. So, if no on hears from me for a while…send popcorn.

Have any thoughts about the Lord of the Rings?