Writer: JRR Tolkien
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, film tie-in edition (2002)
Bought at: Dhita Books (Indonesia Book Fair 2012, IDR75k, bargain!
The Lord of The Rings (TLOTR) is probably one of the most timeless, incredible, and memorable classics that had ever been written. I have watched the three movies when they came out and I loved all of them. I knew TLOTR from the capable hands of Peter Jackson, way before I got interested in reading the original books written by Tolkien. But on the back of my mind, I always knew that I would have to read the book, one fine day.
And when I found the secondhand movie tie-in edition in a very cheap price, I took it. And kept it for a couple of years, until I dug it again for the Lucky No.14 Reading Challenge.
The book is consisted of the three titles (The Fellowship of The Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of The King), compiled in one thick book with more than 1000 pages. It’s intimidating and I even wasn’t sure I would actually finish it. But my motto is always finish whatever food is served on your plate, so…. I tried. And it took me two weeks to actually finished the book. And I loved it, a lot.
The Fellowship of The Ring
The story begun with the life in Hobbiton, a sleepy village in the Shire. Bilbo Baggins celebrated his eleventy-one (111) birthday, and along with that, he entrusted his most valuable possession, The Ring, to Frodo, his favorite cousin.
Meanwhile, a dark power in form of the Dark Lord, Sauron, has gathered to him the Rings of Power to rule the world. He only lacked the Ruling Ring, which has been Bilbo’s possession and now fallen to the hands of Frodo. The only way to prevent Sauron to gain his full power was by destroying the only Ring he still needed. And suddenly Frodo was given a very difficult task, to take the Ring to Mount Doom, the only place where the Ring can be destroyed.
This first book of the trilogy told the beginning of Frodo’s long journey, introducing us to some of the crucial characters that will accompany and help Frodo along the way, including Samwise Gamgee (Frodo’s faithful friend), Gandalf the Grey (the most powerful wizard), and the members of the fellowship (Legolas the Elf, Gimli the Dwarf, Aragorn, Boromir, etc).
This first book also showed how difficult the journey would be, and how The Ring (and also Sauron) had all the powers to create obstacle in their journey, and even destroy their friendship. In the end, Frodo must continue his journey alone, only to be accompanied by the faithful Sam, and asked for help from Gollum (a sad creature who always thought the Ring as his Precious), who also had his own agenda.
The Two Towers
The second installment is more action packed, since Frodo and Sam had been separated from their group. The rest of the members of Fellowship were trying to tackle Sauron’s followers, and one of the most memorable scenes is the battle of Helm’s Deep, with thousands of Orcs waited for them.
Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam had to find a way to go to Mount Doom, and the journey was not easy at all. Gollum was sometimes there to show the way, but they (especially Sam) didn’t trust him at all. Here we were also shown that the main character doesn’t always have to be strong. And sometimes the sidekick is indeed the real hero.
The Return of The King
The Return of The King is the final book in this series and probably the best one. It has the right elements to create the climax of the story: from the defeat and depressing scenes where our heroes met a dead end, to some of the greatest battle scenes in fantasy books, and of course, the long awaited moment where Frodo and Sam finally reached their destination, to be confronted by the Ring itself.
The last chapter of this book is one of the most heartbreaking epilogue I’ve ever read.
But it feels so right, I can’t imagine a better ending.
Books vs Movies
I’m glad to say that I’ve watched the movie first before reading TLOTR books. When I read the books, I can imagine clearly the scenes that were captured perfectly on screen by the great Peter Jackson.
If I read the book first, I think I would be a bit disappointed since there were lots of scenes and details that been omitted in the movies. But now I’ve watched the movies first, I can tell that Peter Jackson had done justice with the famous trilogy. If he made the movies longer (The Hobbit, anyone?), it will be too much. Also, the casts of the movies are so great, I can easily imagine their faces, voices and gestures when I read the books.
Probably TLOTR is one of the rare cases when books and movies complemented each other beautifully.