Category “LOTR Reviews”

LOTR Chapter by Chapter: Scouring of the Shire

Thursday, September 5, 2013 7:53
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The Return of the King, Book 6, Chapter 8: The Scouring of the Shire

Chapter synopsis: The four hobbits come to the Shire, and find that much has changed: the Brandywine Bridge is guarded by several Shirriffs, who deny them the entrance. It seems that Lotho Baggins has taken over in the Shire, calling himself “the Chief” and enforcing a long number of unfair Rules. The Shire is full of ruffians (there’s Bill Ferny at the Bridge), many of them being squint-eyed Isengarders; and there has been much burning and senseless destruction. The travellers break in (against the Rules) and spend a night in the Shirriff-house; next day they start an uprising against the oppressors. First a small group of ruffians attempts to calm down the rebellion, but outnumbered by the hobbits they give themselves up. Pippin brings a large number of Tooks, and together they deal with the next attack of the majority of the ruffians. Then a group of hobbits, led by Frodo and his friends, go to Bag End to find Lotho. Instead they find Saruman, who has been the organiser behind all the trouble; they tell him to leave, and Wormtongue (who seems to have murdered Lotho at Saruman’s command) in wrath and despair stabs his master and is then shot by three hobbit-bowmen. This marks the end of the War of the Ring.

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LOTR Chapter by Chapter: Homeward Bound

Friday, August 30, 2013 9:43
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The Return of the King, Book 6, Chapter 7: Homeward Bound

Chapter synopsis: Gandalf and the hobbits reach Bree. They are warmly accepted by old Butterbur, and talk with him for a long time, telling about their doings and adventures. Barliman mentions that business has been bad, with many strangers and evil creatures lurking about; and he is glad to hear the news that the King has been restored. Bill the pony had also returned to Bree, and is now returned to Sam. The company stays in the inn for two nights, and then leave towards the Shire. Gandalf leaves the hobbits, for he intends to visit Tom Bombadil; and to the hobbits he advises to hurry, hinting that things might be amiss in the Shire.

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LOTR Chapter by Chapter: Many Partings

Friday, August 16, 2013 10:34
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The Return of the King, Book 6, Chapter 6: Many Partings

Chapter synopsis: Arwen gives Frodo permission to go to the Grey Havens instead of her, for by marrying Aragorn she chose to be mortal. At last a great company departs from Minas Tirith, bearing the body of King Théoden to Rohan. After the burial Éomer announces the wedding of Faramir and Éowyn. Then they go to Isengard, and there meet with Treebeard. Gimli and Legolas visit the Glittering Caves of Helm’s Deep and the forest of Fangorn, and part from the company, turning towards their homes in the North. A little later Aragorn leaves them as well, going back towards Minas Tirith. The rest of the company travel on and overtake Saruman (who is now wandering around as a beggar, accompanied by Gríma). The folk of Lórien leave the company in Eregion, near the gates of Moria. Now the travellers turn towards Rivendell, and there the hobbits meet Bilbo and spend many days with him. Finally they decide to return home to the Shire, and to their joy Gandalf also decides to go with them, at least as far as Bree.

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LOTR Chapter by Chapter: Steward and the King

Monday, July 15, 2013 12:43
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The Return of the King, Book 6, Chapter 5: The Steward and the King

Chapter synopsis: At the Houses of Healing, Éowyn and Faramir watch the Men of the West depart to challenge Sauron. Éowyn is unhappy because she must spend her time in idleness, and desires a glorious death (she also desired the love of Aragorn, but received from him nothing but pity and understanding). She meets Faramir (who, despite also being strong and valorous, is patiently waiting to be healed). The Eagles bring news of victory. Faramir and Éowyn spend a lot of time together, and eventually fall in love, and thus Éowyn is healed. The host of the West returns to the City and Aragorn is crowned as the King Elessar. He declares that Faramir will be given Ithilien as a princedom, and he and his heir will remain Stewards. The companions spend many days in Minas Tirith, and it seems that Aragorn is still waiting for some kind of signal. One day he and Gandalf ascend a mountain-path and there, in an old hallow of the kings, find a sapling of the White Tree, which is planted in the court of the king. A few days later, a great company of Elves arrives from the North, including Galadriel, Elrond, and Arwen. Elrond gives to Aragorn the Sceptre of Annúminas, and Aragorn weds Arwen on the day of Midsummer.

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LOTR Chapter by Chapter: Field of Cormallen

Sunday, July 14, 2013 8:14
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The Return of the King, Book 6, Chapter 4: The Field of Cormallen

Chapter synopsis: The battle between the Captains of the West and the hosts of Mordor is joined by the Eagles, led by Gwaihir their lord. In that very moment the Ring falls into the fire of Orodruin: the Black Gate collapses, the spirit of Sauron is destroyed, and the forces of Mordor, bereft of the Power that controlled them, dismay and many run away or beg for mercy. The men of the West defeat all the enemies who continue to fight. Gwaihir, accompanied by two other eagles, bears Gandalf towards Mount Doom, where they rescue Frodo and Sam. The two hobbits awake several days later and are greatly honoured by the host of the West on the field of Cormallen in Ithilien. They stay in Ithilien for many happy days, exchanging tales of their adventures with their friends, until at last the entire host boards ships and sails to Gondor.

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LOTR Chapter by Chapter: Mount Doom

Sunday, July 7, 2013 7:08

Gollum has a Steve Urkel moment.

The Return of the King, Book 6, Chapter 3: Mount Doom

Chapter synopsis: The hobbits follow an orc-road for several days, traveling towards Mount Doom. Thus they can make much faster progress than straight across the barren country, filled with rocks and crevices. But at last they have to leave the road and turn directly towards the Mountain. To ease the journey, they leave behind all gear that they are not likely to need any more. They reach Orodruin in two more days, and they almost run out of food and water. The next day they ascend the Mountain. Near the summit they are attacked by Gollum, yet he is also weakened by hunger and Frodo escapes towards the Sammath Naur, the Chambers of Fire. Gollum begs Sam (who is still armed with Sting) for mercy, and Sam bids him be off. In the Chambers, however, Frodo is finally overcome by the power of the Ring and claims it for his own. Gollum creeps in and attacks him again, and bites off his ring-finger; then, in joy over regaining his Precious, he falls into the the molten pit. Frodo, now delivered of his pain, and Sam come out and see that realm of Sauron is collapsing.

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LOTR Chapter by Chapter: Land of Shadow

Monday, June 24, 2013 12:23

Mordor needs a better tourism tagline.

The Return of the King, Book 6, Chapter 2: The Land of Shadow

Chapter synopsis: Sam and Frodo barely avoid being discovered and travel to the north for a few days. They are troubled by the lack of food and water, and the Ring is becoming an ever greater burden to Frodo. The plain below them is full of Sauron’s armies, and Frodo intends attempting to cross it where it is narrower. Hidden behind a bush, they hear a conversation between two orcs and discover that Gollum is still following them; one night Sam sees him nosing about, as well. While traveling upon the road, they are caught by an army of orcs. The army believes the hobbits to be orc-deserters, and forces them to join the company. Luckily, however, confusion and quarrelling break out among different orc-companies, and the hobbits succeed in slipping away unnoticed.

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LOTR Chapter by Chapter: The Tower of Cirith Ungol

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 18:09
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The Orcs, uncharacteristically, kill each other, allowing Sam to blunder towards success.

The Return of the King, Book 6, Chapter 1: The Tower of Cirith Ungol

Chapter synopsis: Sam must find a way to get into the watch-tower on the pass, where Frodo has been taken. He hears sounds of fighting from the tower; apparently the two orc-companies are fighting over Frodo’s belongings. The main entrance to the Tower is guarded by the Two Watchers, horrible creatures like statues filled with great malice, that do not move yet seem to be aware of things around them. Sam holds up the Phial of Galadriel, and succeeds to run through the gate. Almost all the orcs were killed in the fighting; a small orc meets Sam on a stairway, but runs away in fear. Sam follows him, and listens to a conversation between the orc and Shagrat, who (though wounded) seems to have also survived the fight. The two orcs start to quarrel, and Snaga, the small orc, escapes; Shagrat runs out to get some help. Sam searches for Frodo and starts to sing; he hears a reply to his song, followed by Snaga’s voice. Frodo was kept in the topmost chamber, accessible only by a ladder through a trap-door. Sam goes up and attacks Snaga, who falls down the ladder and breaks his neck. Then Sam and Frodo prepare to depart; Sam brings some orc-gear for Frodo (whom the orcs stripped of everything). Using the Phial, they pass the Watchers again, but the creatures utter a horrible cry, replied by a Nazgul from the darkness above.

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LOTR Chapter by Chapter: The Black Gate Opens

Monday, June 17, 2013 7:47
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Sale now on! All Orcs must go!

The Return of the King, Book 5, Chapter 10: The Black Gate

Chapter synopsis: A host of the West marches to the Black Gate of Mordor and challenges Sauron to make amends for his evil deeds. “The Mouth of Sauron”, a dark and sinister man approaches the company and declares that a halfling-spy was captured (and shows Frodo’s gear) and demands that the Captains of the West yield to Sauron’s demands or the spy will be brutally tortured. Gandalf refuses, but takes Frodo’s items. The gates open and an army pours out, several times outnumbering the host of the West. In this last, desperate defence, Pippin slays a great hill-troll, but then falls unconscious himself.

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LOTR Chapter by Chapter: The Last Debate

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 11:44
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Much better than the Romney/Obama debate.

The Return of the King, Book 5, Chapter 9: The Last Debate

Chapter synopsis: Legolas and Gimli enter the Minas Tirith and visit Merry and Pippin in the Houses of Healing. They talk about the passing of the Paths of the Dead: how they rode for several days, and Aragorn called upon the shades of the Dead to fight for him, how they captured the fleet of Umbar in Pelargir, and how they sailed up the Anduin to join the battle of the Pelennor fields. Meanwhile there is a meeting of the captains: Gandalf, Aragorn, Prince Imrahil, Éomer, and the sons of Elrond. Gandalf presents his plan to ride towards the Black Gate of Mordor, as if to challenge battle with Sauron, such that he would empty Mordor and turn all his attention towards them; this would increase Frodo’s chances to reach Orodruin and destroy the Ring. For so long as the Ring still exists, Sauron’s strength is too great to be conquered in war.

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