L is for Lord of the Rings

I couldn’t write a month of posts on epic fantasy and not touch on the most famous one, the one thst launched fantasy as a separate genre, now could I?

By now, everyone knows that the story was secondary to the languages in Tolkien’s affections. Many fans learn the runes and script, speak the Elven tongues, play the RPG (what? Others don’t still have falling-apart copies of MERP?), dress up in costumes, and otherwise live in Middle Earth. Most of us can only hope to create such an immersive book in our lives.

Middle Earth has it all — journeys into the heart of evil, ghosts, other races, dragons, history that affects the present, unexplainable magic, undead, nature spirits, and more. Oh, and pretty jewelry, too.

What’s your favorite part of Lord of the Rings? Or if you don’t like it, why not?


This is a post for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. My theme is epic fantasy, and blog posts will cover authors, books, tropes, themes, or anything else I can think of to fill the alphabet. Check out some of the other bloggers participating or follow my blog by e-mail if you like what you’ve read.

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14 Comments

  1. I think perhaps I ought not to admit that I couldn’t bring myself to read any of Tolkien’s books, but I will. I got my hands on a copy of The Hobbit, got two or three pages in, and simply couldn’t follow it, or get interested enough, to keep flipping. I saw the first movie, but not the following ones, and not having seen the first one in so long I couldn’t keep track of what was going on in the second when I finally did catch it in passing on television.

    Maybe I’d like it if I could bring myself to watch/read it now, being older with a bit more patience, but part of me thinks I just don’t have quite enough of an interest in it to ever enjoy. :\

    • Honestly, you’re not the only one who’s ever told me that. I read The Hobbit when I was 9. At that age, I was eager for books that took me longer than an hour to read (most of the ones in the school library), and I had a lot of patience for reading about holes in the ground and the history of hobbits. If you ever feel like trying again, skip ahead to where Bilbo meets Gandalf — or just skip straight to The Fellowship of the Ring. Or if you want to encourage your kids to read more, maybe have your son read it to you . . .

      I guarantee you’d like the Rohirrim. They love their horses. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. I actually enjoyed the Hobbit more than LOTR when I first read them. I think the movies are brilliant, as is Tolkien’s world-building. His attention to detail is one of the things I love best – it just pulls me in in every way! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • He did put a lot of work into the world, it’s true.

      Are you looking forward to the Hobbit movie? (Or are there two?)

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  3. I started reading LotR last year, having never done so, but when I got to Tom Bombadil I gagged and gave up. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I know I’m unusual in liking Tom Bombadil. I think I remember reading that Tolkien regretted putting him in. If you can get past Bombadil and into Bree, you might like it. (The movies skip Bombadil as not important to the storyline, for what it’s worth.)

      On the other hand, we all have different tastes — and I’m sure you’ve got a full TBR pile.

      • Oddly enough, I used to see little point in Tom Bombadil but in more recent rereads (especially after I read the History of Middle-Earth books and Unfinished Tales) I find him rather indispensable for the world. He’s one of the things (along with the otherwise-cryptic bit of dialogue between Galadriel and Treebeard near the end) that shows how Middle-Earth works according to a somewhat different logic, not our world’s.

        • Okay, now I’m going to have to read the History and the Unfinished Tales. Thanks for this, Lay! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Oh, LOTR…

    I’ve made no secret about the fact that I am not fond of the trilogy. The Silmarillion is another, absolutely fascinating matter, but LOTR is, in my opinion, the work of a man who fell too much in love with his basement, table-top, RPG characters, and decided to write three very long, drawn out, overtly complex and flowery books. Not to mention entirely useless sections (see The Council of Elrond in The Fellowship of the Ring…yikes). While they have their merits, as to plot and worldbuilding, in particular, the writing is…less than desirable…let’s go with that.

    Voss

    • You are aware that the books came out in 1954/1955, and the RPG character types are based on his characters, right?

      Although I find portions of the Silmarillion interesting, I’ve never yet made it all the way through because I always fall asleep. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I liked The Hobbit best, but I did also enjoy Lord of the Rings. Ever since they made the LOTR movies, I’ve been waiting for the live action The Hobbit. I think I liked the elves best, if I remember from when I read LOTR.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  6. Thinking back I reckon The Hobbit, LotR, and the Silmarillion was/were the first series I ever read. I loved them all. Still do. I was a bit too young to grasp the complexities of the Silmarillion, but reading it as an adult, I got it.
    … there could’ve been a few more female characters, but that’s something I could say about ninety-eleventy percent of all SF/F … As far as LotR goes, as Spencer Tracey said of Kate Hepburn, “There’s not a lot of meat there, but what there is, is choice.”

    • I can’t decide whether I liked Peter Jackson’s decision to beef up the role of women in the movies or not. It did make them more approachable, though.

      Thanks for commenting!

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