Lord of the Rings: All kinds of heroes

Cat 243 Doverby Mary Jo

We just finished rewatching DVDs of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and once more the story and characters riveted me.  Warning: I will be giving spoilers, so if you’ve not seen the movies and don’t want to know what happens, stop right here!

I was startled to realize that it’s been a dozen years since the first movie came out, ten years since the last.  But a great story doesn’t age, and Tolkien understood the power of epic tales of danger, destruction, and heroism.  I read the trilogy long ago in college, and while I never became a fanatic or reread the books, the story was powerful enough that I never forgot the plot or the main characters. 

LOTR PosterBecause it’s the movies that have imprinted most forcibly on my mind, I’m going to be musing about the characters as they appear in the movies, not the books, because the depictions aren’t not always the same.  (A friend of mine who is deep into the Tolkien fan community tells me not everyone approves of the changes made in the movies, but I liked them because they work, and also because print and film have different necessities.).

Epic fantasy is about the struggle between good and evil, which is why watching the LOTR trilogy got me to thinking about the many kinds of heroism.  Oxford professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien is considered the father of the modern genre ofTolkien in WWI epic fantasy, and as a WWI officer who served in the Battle of the Somme, he knew something about war firsthand,  That knowledge, and his ability to create heroic characters, informs the Lord of the Rings. 

A common trope in high fantasy is a quest by a disparate group of characters, and the Fellowship of the Ring is an archetype of that.  The Fellowship consists of nine representatives of the free people of Middle Earth, and they take a joint oath to protect and defend the ring bearer on his quest to destroy the great, evil ring of power.

GANDALF the wizard is the guiding genius of the quest.  He is the only one who knows the full history of the ring and understands its disastrous potential. He is both leader and master strategist, who spends decades studying the threat and making friends who Gandalfbecome allies.  He fights the greatest inhuman evils, like the demonic Balrog, and is a mighty warrior in the many battles of the epic.  But for all his strength and wisdom, he dare not carry the ring for fear of succumbing to its evil.  Only Frodo has the potential to succeed.

So the quest belongs to FRODO.  A hobbit, he comes from a race of easygoing small people who live in the Shire, a land that is based on an idealized Merrie Olde England. 

But Frodo inherits the great ring of power that had been found by his Uncle Bilbo, and the Dark Lord Sauron, who created the ring, wants it back so that he can Frodoconquer all of Middle Earth.  The ring is seductive and corrupting and leads to obsession and madness.  ("My precioussss…..") It can only be destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom, which is a long and hideously dangerous trek away. 

One of the ways characters in LOTR are weighed in the balance is whether or not they succumb to the evil, tempting lure of the ring.  The hobbits, who are lovers, not fighters, and tend not to be taken very seriously by the other races of Middle Earth, are not warriors, but they are resilient and more immune to the corrupting effects of the ring than most other beings. 

Hence, Frodo reluctantly accepts the mission to destroy the ring, which will also destroy the Dark Lord Sauron, who has bound much of his power into the ring.  Frodo has the quiet, steely courage of commitment, and he continues on his mission even though the ring is draining his energy and strength and soul.  Even when it seems that he’ll die on his quest and never return to his beloved Shire, he carries on.

Three other hobbits accompany Frodo.  Samwise, Frodo’s gardener, becomes his master’s servant, guardian, and best friend.  He has the heroism of unwavering strength and loyalty, and without him, Frodo could not have succeeded.  When Frodo can go no farther, it is Sam who literally carries him for the last hellish ascent.

The other two hobbits, Merry and Pippin, are Frodo’s cousins and a source of mischief, mistakes, and comic relief.  The Mayhem Consultant thought they were vastly irritating, but over time, they grow in strength and wisdom and fighting skills.  When Frodo is attacked, they unhesitatingly draw their swords and charge into danger.  They may be flighty, but they are willing to sacrifice their lives to defend their friend and his great mission.  (By the end of LOTR, the peace loving hobbits have all become very good with weapons in order to survive.  They use their new skills to drive thugs out of the Shire when they return home.)

AragornARAGORN is the most traditional hero, the true heir to the ancient kingdom of Gondor and a fearless and skilled warrior.  In the film trilogy, he is haunted by the sins of his ancestor, Isildur, whose failure to destroy the ring in the past has caused all the destruction that occurs now.  The arc of his hero’s journey includes accepting his destiny as the king and war leader of the forces of good, and he proves his mettle by refusing the seductive power of the ring.  He's a great tortured hero, my favorite kind.

There are three other members of the Fellowship—Legolas the elf (be still, my heart!), Gimli the dwarf, and Boromir, the human son of the steward of Gondor.  There is no love lost between elves and dwarves, but Legolas and Gimli are both fearless warriors, and they stay loyal to the quest and Aragorn. By the end, they are friends willing to die beside each other.

Boromir is the example of the good man gone wrong.  He succumbs to the lure of the ring, thinking to use it to protect Gondor without realizing that he’s been corrupted by its power.  In the end, he comes to his senses and dies defending the hobbits, but not before his actions shatter the Fellowship. 

Another notable hero is Faramir, younger brother of Boromir.  More reserved than his older brother, Faramir shows his strength by resisting the evil lure of the ring and sending Frodo and Sam along on their quest.  There is a heartbreaking sequence when Faramir’s father sends his son and members of the guard on a suicidal mission against the orcs.  It’s Pickett’s Charge and the Charge of the Light Brigade—insane courage in the face of death.  It’s what soldiers under orders have done since time immemorial. 

And men are not the only heroes of LOTR.  Arwen Evenstar is the most beautiful elf of her generation and the beloved of Aragorn.  In the film, she shows personal courage in saving the wounded Frodo and fighting off the evil Nazgul.

Her grandmother, Lady Galadriel, is the greatest elven female of her age, and she shows her strength by refusing the ring when an awed Frodo offers it.  She realizes that she would become “great and terrible,” and must resist the temptation. 

Eowyn of the horse people of Rohun is a warrior heroine, a shield maiden trained in arms and with a warrior spirit.  She rides into the great battle against evil dressed as a man, and makes a vital contribution to the victory by slaying the witch-king, who could be killed by no man.  (It’s a great moment in the movie!) Badly wounded, she Faramir and Eowynmeets the wounded Faramir in the Houses of Healing, and they fall in love and marry. 

In one final act of heroism, Aragorn, now fully inhabiting the role of king that he was born for, leads the warriors of the free people of Middle Earth into one last impossible battle in order to distract the Dark Lord Sauron away from Frodo, who is staggering toward the completion of his mission.  Aragorn's battle cry is “For Frodo!,” because completion of the mission to defeat evil is the great cause, and the great triumph, of epic fantasy.

I often think that there is a strong parallel between fantasy and romance.  Heroism is thrilling and inspiring, and it’s vital in romance.  Not for nothing do we call our lovers heroes and heroines.  We expect them to behave like the best part of us.  To be willing to sacrifice, to persevere in the face of danger and despair.  As modern romance readers, we talk about Alpha and Beta and Warrior Poet heroes—and we have our favorites! 

LegolasIn movies as in books, I like my endings to satisfying and preferably happy as well. (One thing I like about the LOTR is that most of the good guys survive. <G>)  I love larger than life characters to root for, and a movie full of great heroes inspires me to make my characters the best they can be.  One reason I’ve done a lot of military heroes is because they’ve already been forged by fire.

So what kinds of heroes and heroines do you love?  What characteristics do you most want to see?  And who are some of the great heroes and heroines you’ve read? 

Mary Jo, who loves Lord of the Rings and its great, heroic characters 

85 thoughts on “Lord of the Rings: All kinds of heroes”

  1. I like the movies as lovely illustrations of the books, but I am one of those Tolkien fans who did NOT like the changes to characters and events that Jackson made. The books are so much richer! I miss Arwen as she was, I miss the pukel-men, I miss Bombadil and the barrow wights, I miss the scouring of the Shire. Jackson had to wrench his plot around to cover these omissions, and it never fails to irritate me. Also the language of the books is so beautiful, and you don’t have that element in a movie. That said, the battle scenes are impressive and the actors chosen to play the various characters were all perfect choices. So the films are to me a mixed blessing.

    Reply
  2. I like the movies as lovely illustrations of the books, but I am one of those Tolkien fans who did NOT like the changes to characters and events that Jackson made. The books are so much richer! I miss Arwen as she was, I miss the pukel-men, I miss Bombadil and the barrow wights, I miss the scouring of the Shire. Jackson had to wrench his plot around to cover these omissions, and it never fails to irritate me. Also the language of the books is so beautiful, and you don’t have that element in a movie. That said, the battle scenes are impressive and the actors chosen to play the various characters were all perfect choices. So the films are to me a mixed blessing.

    Reply
  3. I like the movies as lovely illustrations of the books, but I am one of those Tolkien fans who did NOT like the changes to characters and events that Jackson made. The books are so much richer! I miss Arwen as she was, I miss the pukel-men, I miss Bombadil and the barrow wights, I miss the scouring of the Shire. Jackson had to wrench his plot around to cover these omissions, and it never fails to irritate me. Also the language of the books is so beautiful, and you don’t have that element in a movie. That said, the battle scenes are impressive and the actors chosen to play the various characters were all perfect choices. So the films are to me a mixed blessing.

    Reply
  4. I like the movies as lovely illustrations of the books, but I am one of those Tolkien fans who did NOT like the changes to characters and events that Jackson made. The books are so much richer! I miss Arwen as she was, I miss the pukel-men, I miss Bombadil and the barrow wights, I miss the scouring of the Shire. Jackson had to wrench his plot around to cover these omissions, and it never fails to irritate me. Also the language of the books is so beautiful, and you don’t have that element in a movie. That said, the battle scenes are impressive and the actors chosen to play the various characters were all perfect choices. So the films are to me a mixed blessing.

    Reply
  5. I like the movies as lovely illustrations of the books, but I am one of those Tolkien fans who did NOT like the changes to characters and events that Jackson made. The books are so much richer! I miss Arwen as she was, I miss the pukel-men, I miss Bombadil and the barrow wights, I miss the scouring of the Shire. Jackson had to wrench his plot around to cover these omissions, and it never fails to irritate me. Also the language of the books is so beautiful, and you don’t have that element in a movie. That said, the battle scenes are impressive and the actors chosen to play the various characters were all perfect choices. So the films are to me a mixed blessing.

    Reply
  6. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read/bought the books, though I admit to skipping a lot of the poetry and singing the third or fourth time around. I found all three movies , well, moving and recently watched The Hobbit with Martin Freeman, who does the baffled Everyman who finds his strength pretty well. Love him in Sherlock.
    Tortured heroes are my faves as well, though they have to have a sense of humor to pull themselves out of the swamp. And if the hero is not tortured, the heroine had better be, LOL.

    Reply
  7. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read/bought the books, though I admit to skipping a lot of the poetry and singing the third or fourth time around. I found all three movies , well, moving and recently watched The Hobbit with Martin Freeman, who does the baffled Everyman who finds his strength pretty well. Love him in Sherlock.
    Tortured heroes are my faves as well, though they have to have a sense of humor to pull themselves out of the swamp. And if the hero is not tortured, the heroine had better be, LOL.

    Reply
  8. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read/bought the books, though I admit to skipping a lot of the poetry and singing the third or fourth time around. I found all three movies , well, moving and recently watched The Hobbit with Martin Freeman, who does the baffled Everyman who finds his strength pretty well. Love him in Sherlock.
    Tortured heroes are my faves as well, though they have to have a sense of humor to pull themselves out of the swamp. And if the hero is not tortured, the heroine had better be, LOL.

    Reply
  9. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read/bought the books, though I admit to skipping a lot of the poetry and singing the third or fourth time around. I found all three movies , well, moving and recently watched The Hobbit with Martin Freeman, who does the baffled Everyman who finds his strength pretty well. Love him in Sherlock.
    Tortured heroes are my faves as well, though they have to have a sense of humor to pull themselves out of the swamp. And if the hero is not tortured, the heroine had better be, LOL.

    Reply
  10. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read/bought the books, though I admit to skipping a lot of the poetry and singing the third or fourth time around. I found all three movies , well, moving and recently watched The Hobbit with Martin Freeman, who does the baffled Everyman who finds his strength pretty well. Love him in Sherlock.
    Tortured heroes are my faves as well, though they have to have a sense of humor to pull themselves out of the swamp. And if the hero is not tortured, the heroine had better be, LOL.

    Reply
  11. Mary Jo, like you I love the epic scale of the storytelling in Lord of the Rings, the fight to the death between good and evil. I think one of the strengths of the films is that the heroic qualities of the different characters complement each other. So Frodo’s quieter, less flamboyant heroism is a foil for Aragorn’s fearless warrior spirit and so on. I also love the strong roles for Arwen and Eowyn. The scenes where Arwen saves Frodo from the Nasgul (“If you want him, come and get him!”) and Eowyn slays the witch-king are my favourites in the entire trilogy. The other hero I love is Eomer. He’s the loner hero, the outcast who has been exiled but remains loyal and in the end he also regains his patrimony.
    This post has made me want to watch the films all over again! Thank you!

    Reply
  12. Mary Jo, like you I love the epic scale of the storytelling in Lord of the Rings, the fight to the death between good and evil. I think one of the strengths of the films is that the heroic qualities of the different characters complement each other. So Frodo’s quieter, less flamboyant heroism is a foil for Aragorn’s fearless warrior spirit and so on. I also love the strong roles for Arwen and Eowyn. The scenes where Arwen saves Frodo from the Nasgul (“If you want him, come and get him!”) and Eowyn slays the witch-king are my favourites in the entire trilogy. The other hero I love is Eomer. He’s the loner hero, the outcast who has been exiled but remains loyal and in the end he also regains his patrimony.
    This post has made me want to watch the films all over again! Thank you!

    Reply
  13. Mary Jo, like you I love the epic scale of the storytelling in Lord of the Rings, the fight to the death between good and evil. I think one of the strengths of the films is that the heroic qualities of the different characters complement each other. So Frodo’s quieter, less flamboyant heroism is a foil for Aragorn’s fearless warrior spirit and so on. I also love the strong roles for Arwen and Eowyn. The scenes where Arwen saves Frodo from the Nasgul (“If you want him, come and get him!”) and Eowyn slays the witch-king are my favourites in the entire trilogy. The other hero I love is Eomer. He’s the loner hero, the outcast who has been exiled but remains loyal and in the end he also regains his patrimony.
    This post has made me want to watch the films all over again! Thank you!

    Reply
  14. Mary Jo, like you I love the epic scale of the storytelling in Lord of the Rings, the fight to the death between good and evil. I think one of the strengths of the films is that the heroic qualities of the different characters complement each other. So Frodo’s quieter, less flamboyant heroism is a foil for Aragorn’s fearless warrior spirit and so on. I also love the strong roles for Arwen and Eowyn. The scenes where Arwen saves Frodo from the Nasgul (“If you want him, come and get him!”) and Eowyn slays the witch-king are my favourites in the entire trilogy. The other hero I love is Eomer. He’s the loner hero, the outcast who has been exiled but remains loyal and in the end he also regains his patrimony.
    This post has made me want to watch the films all over again! Thank you!

    Reply
  15. Mary Jo, like you I love the epic scale of the storytelling in Lord of the Rings, the fight to the death between good and evil. I think one of the strengths of the films is that the heroic qualities of the different characters complement each other. So Frodo’s quieter, less flamboyant heroism is a foil for Aragorn’s fearless warrior spirit and so on. I also love the strong roles for Arwen and Eowyn. The scenes where Arwen saves Frodo from the Nasgul (“If you want him, come and get him!”) and Eowyn slays the witch-king are my favourites in the entire trilogy. The other hero I love is Eomer. He’s the loner hero, the outcast who has been exiled but remains loyal and in the end he also regains his patrimony.
    This post has made me want to watch the films all over again! Thank you!

    Reply
  16. Janice–
    Books are ALWAYS richer than movies made from them. In general, I find myself happier seeing a movie and enjoying it enough to read the book, and liking the book even more. Loving a book, one is invariably disappointed in all that couldn’t be fit into a movie.
    Books and movies are different beasties with different requirements and results. With LOTR, the book was far enough in my past that I could enjoy the movies more. But I missed the scouring of the Shire, too. *G* And as you say, the casting in the movie was great.

    Reply
  17. Janice–
    Books are ALWAYS richer than movies made from them. In general, I find myself happier seeing a movie and enjoying it enough to read the book, and liking the book even more. Loving a book, one is invariably disappointed in all that couldn’t be fit into a movie.
    Books and movies are different beasties with different requirements and results. With LOTR, the book was far enough in my past that I could enjoy the movies more. But I missed the scouring of the Shire, too. *G* And as you say, the casting in the movie was great.

    Reply
  18. Janice–
    Books are ALWAYS richer than movies made from them. In general, I find myself happier seeing a movie and enjoying it enough to read the book, and liking the book even more. Loving a book, one is invariably disappointed in all that couldn’t be fit into a movie.
    Books and movies are different beasties with different requirements and results. With LOTR, the book was far enough in my past that I could enjoy the movies more. But I missed the scouring of the Shire, too. *G* And as you say, the casting in the movie was great.

    Reply
  19. Janice–
    Books are ALWAYS richer than movies made from them. In general, I find myself happier seeing a movie and enjoying it enough to read the book, and liking the book even more. Loving a book, one is invariably disappointed in all that couldn’t be fit into a movie.
    Books and movies are different beasties with different requirements and results. With LOTR, the book was far enough in my past that I could enjoy the movies more. But I missed the scouring of the Shire, too. *G* And as you say, the casting in the movie was great.

    Reply
  20. Janice–
    Books are ALWAYS richer than movies made from them. In general, I find myself happier seeing a movie and enjoying it enough to read the book, and liking the book even more. Loving a book, one is invariably disappointed in all that couldn’t be fit into a movie.
    Books and movies are different beasties with different requirements and results. With LOTR, the book was far enough in my past that I could enjoy the movies more. But I missed the scouring of the Shire, too. *G* And as you say, the casting in the movie was great.

    Reply
  21. Maggie, I agree that Martin Freeman is equally good in the very different roles of Bilbo and Watson.
    Like you, I love my tortured heroes, and a tortured heroine will do, too. Having them both tortured tends to require a higher page count than we’re allowed. *G*

    Reply
  22. Maggie, I agree that Martin Freeman is equally good in the very different roles of Bilbo and Watson.
    Like you, I love my tortured heroes, and a tortured heroine will do, too. Having them both tortured tends to require a higher page count than we’re allowed. *G*

    Reply
  23. Maggie, I agree that Martin Freeman is equally good in the very different roles of Bilbo and Watson.
    Like you, I love my tortured heroes, and a tortured heroine will do, too. Having them both tortured tends to require a higher page count than we’re allowed. *G*

    Reply
  24. Maggie, I agree that Martin Freeman is equally good in the very different roles of Bilbo and Watson.
    Like you, I love my tortured heroes, and a tortured heroine will do, too. Having them both tortured tends to require a higher page count than we’re allowed. *G*

    Reply
  25. Maggie, I agree that Martin Freeman is equally good in the very different roles of Bilbo and Watson.
    Like you, I love my tortured heroes, and a tortured heroine will do, too. Having them both tortured tends to require a higher page count than we’re allowed. *G*

    Reply
  26. Brava, Mary Jo! A wonderful synopsis of LOTR. I love Tolkien’s brilliantly written story of the battle of good vs. evil. I loved the movies too, but as always, the books were better. His was some of the most beautifully poetic writing I’ve ever read.
    One of my very favorite lines (Frodo was a prisoner of the Barrow-wight): “The night was railing against the morning of which it was bereaved, and the cold was cursing the warmth for which it hungered.”

    Reply
  27. Brava, Mary Jo! A wonderful synopsis of LOTR. I love Tolkien’s brilliantly written story of the battle of good vs. evil. I loved the movies too, but as always, the books were better. His was some of the most beautifully poetic writing I’ve ever read.
    One of my very favorite lines (Frodo was a prisoner of the Barrow-wight): “The night was railing against the morning of which it was bereaved, and the cold was cursing the warmth for which it hungered.”

    Reply
  28. Brava, Mary Jo! A wonderful synopsis of LOTR. I love Tolkien’s brilliantly written story of the battle of good vs. evil. I loved the movies too, but as always, the books were better. His was some of the most beautifully poetic writing I’ve ever read.
    One of my very favorite lines (Frodo was a prisoner of the Barrow-wight): “The night was railing against the morning of which it was bereaved, and the cold was cursing the warmth for which it hungered.”

    Reply
  29. Brava, Mary Jo! A wonderful synopsis of LOTR. I love Tolkien’s brilliantly written story of the battle of good vs. evil. I loved the movies too, but as always, the books were better. His was some of the most beautifully poetic writing I’ve ever read.
    One of my very favorite lines (Frodo was a prisoner of the Barrow-wight): “The night was railing against the morning of which it was bereaved, and the cold was cursing the warmth for which it hungered.”

    Reply
  30. Brava, Mary Jo! A wonderful synopsis of LOTR. I love Tolkien’s brilliantly written story of the battle of good vs. evil. I loved the movies too, but as always, the books were better. His was some of the most beautifully poetic writing I’ve ever read.
    One of my very favorite lines (Frodo was a prisoner of the Barrow-wight): “The night was railing against the morning of which it was bereaved, and the cold was cursing the warmth for which it hungered.”

    Reply
  31. It’s hard to tell how much of the reason Boromir is my favorite character is due to the fact that he is played by Sean Bean in the film. I do have more substantive reasons, however, including the fact that he is one of the few characters who is truly a mix of noble and flawed. I love Aragorn’s nobility, but how he will respond in a situation is never in question. Boromir, on the other hand, may succumb to the ring’s seduction or he may, as in his final scene, draw upon reserves of strength and goodness to reach true nobility. He is stabbed again and again but each time pulls himself up to try to protect the hobbits until, finally, he can’t pull himself up any more. Got to love that character (and the actor who plays him).

    Reply
  32. It’s hard to tell how much of the reason Boromir is my favorite character is due to the fact that he is played by Sean Bean in the film. I do have more substantive reasons, however, including the fact that he is one of the few characters who is truly a mix of noble and flawed. I love Aragorn’s nobility, but how he will respond in a situation is never in question. Boromir, on the other hand, may succumb to the ring’s seduction or he may, as in his final scene, draw upon reserves of strength and goodness to reach true nobility. He is stabbed again and again but each time pulls himself up to try to protect the hobbits until, finally, he can’t pull himself up any more. Got to love that character (and the actor who plays him).

    Reply
  33. It’s hard to tell how much of the reason Boromir is my favorite character is due to the fact that he is played by Sean Bean in the film. I do have more substantive reasons, however, including the fact that he is one of the few characters who is truly a mix of noble and flawed. I love Aragorn’s nobility, but how he will respond in a situation is never in question. Boromir, on the other hand, may succumb to the ring’s seduction or he may, as in his final scene, draw upon reserves of strength and goodness to reach true nobility. He is stabbed again and again but each time pulls himself up to try to protect the hobbits until, finally, he can’t pull himself up any more. Got to love that character (and the actor who plays him).

    Reply
  34. It’s hard to tell how much of the reason Boromir is my favorite character is due to the fact that he is played by Sean Bean in the film. I do have more substantive reasons, however, including the fact that he is one of the few characters who is truly a mix of noble and flawed. I love Aragorn’s nobility, but how he will respond in a situation is never in question. Boromir, on the other hand, may succumb to the ring’s seduction or he may, as in his final scene, draw upon reserves of strength and goodness to reach true nobility. He is stabbed again and again but each time pulls himself up to try to protect the hobbits until, finally, he can’t pull himself up any more. Got to love that character (and the actor who plays him).

    Reply
  35. It’s hard to tell how much of the reason Boromir is my favorite character is due to the fact that he is played by Sean Bean in the film. I do have more substantive reasons, however, including the fact that he is one of the few characters who is truly a mix of noble and flawed. I love Aragorn’s nobility, but how he will respond in a situation is never in question. Boromir, on the other hand, may succumb to the ring’s seduction or he may, as in his final scene, draw upon reserves of strength and goodness to reach true nobility. He is stabbed again and again but each time pulls himself up to try to protect the hobbits until, finally, he can’t pull himself up any more. Got to love that character (and the actor who plays him).

    Reply
  36. ++ “The night was railing against the morning of which it was bereaved, and the cold was cursing the warmth for which it hungered.”++
    Sigh. They just don’t write ’em like that anymore, Donna. Reading the books is a very different experience. Tolkien really shows his professorly mastery of the great epic tales.

    Reply
  37. ++ “The night was railing against the morning of which it was bereaved, and the cold was cursing the warmth for which it hungered.”++
    Sigh. They just don’t write ’em like that anymore, Donna. Reading the books is a very different experience. Tolkien really shows his professorly mastery of the great epic tales.

    Reply
  38. ++ “The night was railing against the morning of which it was bereaved, and the cold was cursing the warmth for which it hungered.”++
    Sigh. They just don’t write ’em like that anymore, Donna. Reading the books is a very different experience. Tolkien really shows his professorly mastery of the great epic tales.

    Reply
  39. ++ “The night was railing against the morning of which it was bereaved, and the cold was cursing the warmth for which it hungered.”++
    Sigh. They just don’t write ’em like that anymore, Donna. Reading the books is a very different experience. Tolkien really shows his professorly mastery of the great epic tales.

    Reply
  40. ++ “The night was railing against the morning of which it was bereaved, and the cold was cursing the warmth for which it hungered.”++
    Sigh. They just don’t write ’em like that anymore, Donna. Reading the books is a very different experience. Tolkien really shows his professorly mastery of the great epic tales.

    Reply
  41. ++ I love Aragorn’s nobility, but how he will respond in a situation is never in question.++
    Susan/DC–there was that moment just before the Fellowship breaks down when Frodo has already been freaked out and Aragorn is looking at him and the ring–and if you don’t know the story, it looks like it could go either way. *G* But Boromir isn’t certainly a more human, flawed character, and more interesting for that reason.

    Reply
  42. ++ I love Aragorn’s nobility, but how he will respond in a situation is never in question.++
    Susan/DC–there was that moment just before the Fellowship breaks down when Frodo has already been freaked out and Aragorn is looking at him and the ring–and if you don’t know the story, it looks like it could go either way. *G* But Boromir isn’t certainly a more human, flawed character, and more interesting for that reason.

    Reply
  43. ++ I love Aragorn’s nobility, but how he will respond in a situation is never in question.++
    Susan/DC–there was that moment just before the Fellowship breaks down when Frodo has already been freaked out and Aragorn is looking at him and the ring–and if you don’t know the story, it looks like it could go either way. *G* But Boromir isn’t certainly a more human, flawed character, and more interesting for that reason.

    Reply
  44. ++ I love Aragorn’s nobility, but how he will respond in a situation is never in question.++
    Susan/DC–there was that moment just before the Fellowship breaks down when Frodo has already been freaked out and Aragorn is looking at him and the ring–and if you don’t know the story, it looks like it could go either way. *G* But Boromir isn’t certainly a more human, flawed character, and more interesting for that reason.

    Reply
  45. ++ I love Aragorn’s nobility, but how he will respond in a situation is never in question.++
    Susan/DC–there was that moment just before the Fellowship breaks down when Frodo has already been freaked out and Aragorn is looking at him and the ring–and if you don’t know the story, it looks like it could go either way. *G* But Boromir isn’t certainly a more human, flawed character, and more interesting for that reason.

    Reply
  46. I have to confess that I’ve never seen any of the movies. I tried several times in my teens to get into the books and never managed. And that was the end of it. Never tried again.
    Might be time I borrowed the dvds, at least.
    Thanks for the impetus.

    Reply
  47. I have to confess that I’ve never seen any of the movies. I tried several times in my teens to get into the books and never managed. And that was the end of it. Never tried again.
    Might be time I borrowed the dvds, at least.
    Thanks for the impetus.

    Reply
  48. I have to confess that I’ve never seen any of the movies. I tried several times in my teens to get into the books and never managed. And that was the end of it. Never tried again.
    Might be time I borrowed the dvds, at least.
    Thanks for the impetus.

    Reply
  49. I have to confess that I’ve never seen any of the movies. I tried several times in my teens to get into the books and never managed. And that was the end of it. Never tried again.
    Might be time I borrowed the dvds, at least.
    Thanks for the impetus.

    Reply
  50. I have to confess that I’ve never seen any of the movies. I tried several times in my teens to get into the books and never managed. And that was the end of it. Never tried again.
    Might be time I borrowed the dvds, at least.
    Thanks for the impetus.

    Reply
  51. Anne–
    the books aren’t for everyone, but the movies are visually gorgeous high adventure with beautiful people, ugly orcs, and lots of excitement. I think there’s a good shot you’ll enjoy them. (But I speak as a lifelong fantasy fan, so I’m biased. Sorry!)

    Reply
  52. Anne–
    the books aren’t for everyone, but the movies are visually gorgeous high adventure with beautiful people, ugly orcs, and lots of excitement. I think there’s a good shot you’ll enjoy them. (But I speak as a lifelong fantasy fan, so I’m biased. Sorry!)

    Reply
  53. Anne–
    the books aren’t for everyone, but the movies are visually gorgeous high adventure with beautiful people, ugly orcs, and lots of excitement. I think there’s a good shot you’ll enjoy them. (But I speak as a lifelong fantasy fan, so I’m biased. Sorry!)

    Reply
  54. Anne–
    the books aren’t for everyone, but the movies are visually gorgeous high adventure with beautiful people, ugly orcs, and lots of excitement. I think there’s a good shot you’ll enjoy them. (But I speak as a lifelong fantasy fan, so I’m biased. Sorry!)

    Reply
  55. Anne–
    the books aren’t for everyone, but the movies are visually gorgeous high adventure with beautiful people, ugly orcs, and lots of excitement. I think there’s a good shot you’ll enjoy them. (But I speak as a lifelong fantasy fan, so I’m biased. Sorry!)

    Reply
  56. I ADORE the Lord of the Rings. But I came to it through the movies first, then the books, so while I agree that the books are far richer, the comparison didn’t bother me. I really love all the characters in the trilogy. I have a soft spot for Faramir, though, and in particular the romance he finds with Eowyn, who is one of my favorites in LOTR.

    Reply
  57. I ADORE the Lord of the Rings. But I came to it through the movies first, then the books, so while I agree that the books are far richer, the comparison didn’t bother me. I really love all the characters in the trilogy. I have a soft spot for Faramir, though, and in particular the romance he finds with Eowyn, who is one of my favorites in LOTR.

    Reply
  58. I ADORE the Lord of the Rings. But I came to it through the movies first, then the books, so while I agree that the books are far richer, the comparison didn’t bother me. I really love all the characters in the trilogy. I have a soft spot for Faramir, though, and in particular the romance he finds with Eowyn, who is one of my favorites in LOTR.

    Reply
  59. I ADORE the Lord of the Rings. But I came to it through the movies first, then the books, so while I agree that the books are far richer, the comparison didn’t bother me. I really love all the characters in the trilogy. I have a soft spot for Faramir, though, and in particular the romance he finds with Eowyn, who is one of my favorites in LOTR.

    Reply
  60. I ADORE the Lord of the Rings. But I came to it through the movies first, then the books, so while I agree that the books are far richer, the comparison didn’t bother me. I really love all the characters in the trilogy. I have a soft spot for Faramir, though, and in particular the romance he finds with Eowyn, who is one of my favorites in LOTR.

    Reply
  61. Actually – and I’ll probably be trounced for this – I think Jackson did a great job. He stripped the books of a lot of British “Boys Own” verbiage and cobbled together an Arwen who is an important female lead. There are very few women in the books: Galadriel who is not human, and Eowyn who is very much human. Arwen is only spoken of, and all you learn of her is in the Appendix! LOTR is the only time the movie(s) improve on the books, drawing in a new audience. Yes, they could have put in the Scouring of the Shire, but that would have taken another hour and a half and another quarter of a billion dollars.

    Reply
  62. Actually – and I’ll probably be trounced for this – I think Jackson did a great job. He stripped the books of a lot of British “Boys Own” verbiage and cobbled together an Arwen who is an important female lead. There are very few women in the books: Galadriel who is not human, and Eowyn who is very much human. Arwen is only spoken of, and all you learn of her is in the Appendix! LOTR is the only time the movie(s) improve on the books, drawing in a new audience. Yes, they could have put in the Scouring of the Shire, but that would have taken another hour and a half and another quarter of a billion dollars.

    Reply
  63. Actually – and I’ll probably be trounced for this – I think Jackson did a great job. He stripped the books of a lot of British “Boys Own” verbiage and cobbled together an Arwen who is an important female lead. There are very few women in the books: Galadriel who is not human, and Eowyn who is very much human. Arwen is only spoken of, and all you learn of her is in the Appendix! LOTR is the only time the movie(s) improve on the books, drawing in a new audience. Yes, they could have put in the Scouring of the Shire, but that would have taken another hour and a half and another quarter of a billion dollars.

    Reply
  64. Actually – and I’ll probably be trounced for this – I think Jackson did a great job. He stripped the books of a lot of British “Boys Own” verbiage and cobbled together an Arwen who is an important female lead. There are very few women in the books: Galadriel who is not human, and Eowyn who is very much human. Arwen is only spoken of, and all you learn of her is in the Appendix! LOTR is the only time the movie(s) improve on the books, drawing in a new audience. Yes, they could have put in the Scouring of the Shire, but that would have taken another hour and a half and another quarter of a billion dollars.

    Reply
  65. Actually – and I’ll probably be trounced for this – I think Jackson did a great job. He stripped the books of a lot of British “Boys Own” verbiage and cobbled together an Arwen who is an important female lead. There are very few women in the books: Galadriel who is not human, and Eowyn who is very much human. Arwen is only spoken of, and all you learn of her is in the Appendix! LOTR is the only time the movie(s) improve on the books, drawing in a new audience. Yes, they could have put in the Scouring of the Shire, but that would have taken another hour and a half and another quarter of a billion dollars.

    Reply
  66. Artemisia–
    Actually, I agree with you and I applauded those well deserved Oscars. The books are the books, and movies are the movies, and they book work, with the movies much more broadly accessible.
    I’d’ve settled for 5 minutes of Scouring the Shire, but I do understand about budgets and time. *G*

    Reply
  67. Artemisia–
    Actually, I agree with you and I applauded those well deserved Oscars. The books are the books, and movies are the movies, and they book work, with the movies much more broadly accessible.
    I’d’ve settled for 5 minutes of Scouring the Shire, but I do understand about budgets and time. *G*

    Reply
  68. Artemisia–
    Actually, I agree with you and I applauded those well deserved Oscars. The books are the books, and movies are the movies, and they book work, with the movies much more broadly accessible.
    I’d’ve settled for 5 minutes of Scouring the Shire, but I do understand about budgets and time. *G*

    Reply
  69. Artemisia–
    Actually, I agree with you and I applauded those well deserved Oscars. The books are the books, and movies are the movies, and they book work, with the movies much more broadly accessible.
    I’d’ve settled for 5 minutes of Scouring the Shire, but I do understand about budgets and time. *G*

    Reply
  70. Artemisia–
    Actually, I agree with you and I applauded those well deserved Oscars. The books are the books, and movies are the movies, and they book work, with the movies much more broadly accessible.
    I’d’ve settled for 5 minutes of Scouring the Shire, but I do understand about budgets and time. *G*

    Reply
  71. I’m with you, Artemisia and Mary Jo. I think Jackson did an exquisite job translating the books to film. LOTR was an important series for me, and I was overwhelmed by the scope and detail of the translation. And the minute I saw the casting, I knew that he truly understood the material.
    As for the hero material, what I love is that each hero has his piece of the puzzle. The two most important, Aragorn and Frodo, are almost the opposite sides of the same hero. Aragorn is the wounded hero who knows all along what his destiny is and fights it. But he has all the skills necessary, and the epic character to match. Frodo is the classic everyman, the hero who has no idea what he’s capable of, who stumbles into the quest, and just keeps going, because he has no choice if he wants to respect himself. He is the light in the darkness that reminds us that even one small, easily overlooked person can make all the difference against overwhelming evil.

    Reply
  72. I’m with you, Artemisia and Mary Jo. I think Jackson did an exquisite job translating the books to film. LOTR was an important series for me, and I was overwhelmed by the scope and detail of the translation. And the minute I saw the casting, I knew that he truly understood the material.
    As for the hero material, what I love is that each hero has his piece of the puzzle. The two most important, Aragorn and Frodo, are almost the opposite sides of the same hero. Aragorn is the wounded hero who knows all along what his destiny is and fights it. But he has all the skills necessary, and the epic character to match. Frodo is the classic everyman, the hero who has no idea what he’s capable of, who stumbles into the quest, and just keeps going, because he has no choice if he wants to respect himself. He is the light in the darkness that reminds us that even one small, easily overlooked person can make all the difference against overwhelming evil.

    Reply
  73. I’m with you, Artemisia and Mary Jo. I think Jackson did an exquisite job translating the books to film. LOTR was an important series for me, and I was overwhelmed by the scope and detail of the translation. And the minute I saw the casting, I knew that he truly understood the material.
    As for the hero material, what I love is that each hero has his piece of the puzzle. The two most important, Aragorn and Frodo, are almost the opposite sides of the same hero. Aragorn is the wounded hero who knows all along what his destiny is and fights it. But he has all the skills necessary, and the epic character to match. Frodo is the classic everyman, the hero who has no idea what he’s capable of, who stumbles into the quest, and just keeps going, because he has no choice if he wants to respect himself. He is the light in the darkness that reminds us that even one small, easily overlooked person can make all the difference against overwhelming evil.

    Reply
  74. I’m with you, Artemisia and Mary Jo. I think Jackson did an exquisite job translating the books to film. LOTR was an important series for me, and I was overwhelmed by the scope and detail of the translation. And the minute I saw the casting, I knew that he truly understood the material.
    As for the hero material, what I love is that each hero has his piece of the puzzle. The two most important, Aragorn and Frodo, are almost the opposite sides of the same hero. Aragorn is the wounded hero who knows all along what his destiny is and fights it. But he has all the skills necessary, and the epic character to match. Frodo is the classic everyman, the hero who has no idea what he’s capable of, who stumbles into the quest, and just keeps going, because he has no choice if he wants to respect himself. He is the light in the darkness that reminds us that even one small, easily overlooked person can make all the difference against overwhelming evil.

    Reply
  75. I’m with you, Artemisia and Mary Jo. I think Jackson did an exquisite job translating the books to film. LOTR was an important series for me, and I was overwhelmed by the scope and detail of the translation. And the minute I saw the casting, I knew that he truly understood the material.
    As for the hero material, what I love is that each hero has his piece of the puzzle. The two most important, Aragorn and Frodo, are almost the opposite sides of the same hero. Aragorn is the wounded hero who knows all along what his destiny is and fights it. But he has all the skills necessary, and the epic character to match. Frodo is the classic everyman, the hero who has no idea what he’s capable of, who stumbles into the quest, and just keeps going, because he has no choice if he wants to respect himself. He is the light in the darkness that reminds us that even one small, easily overlooked person can make all the difference against overwhelming evil.

    Reply
  76. **The two most important, Aragorn and Frodo, are almost the opposite sides of the same hero. **
    EIleen, I agree completely–Jackson and his cohorts both loved and understood the material down to the DNA level. And as you say, Aragorn and Frodo are the perfect complements. Wonderful characters, wonderful heroes.

    Reply
  77. **The two most important, Aragorn and Frodo, are almost the opposite sides of the same hero. **
    EIleen, I agree completely–Jackson and his cohorts both loved and understood the material down to the DNA level. And as you say, Aragorn and Frodo are the perfect complements. Wonderful characters, wonderful heroes.

    Reply
  78. **The two most important, Aragorn and Frodo, are almost the opposite sides of the same hero. **
    EIleen, I agree completely–Jackson and his cohorts both loved and understood the material down to the DNA level. And as you say, Aragorn and Frodo are the perfect complements. Wonderful characters, wonderful heroes.

    Reply
  79. **The two most important, Aragorn and Frodo, are almost the opposite sides of the same hero. **
    EIleen, I agree completely–Jackson and his cohorts both loved and understood the material down to the DNA level. And as you say, Aragorn and Frodo are the perfect complements. Wonderful characters, wonderful heroes.

    Reply
  80. **The two most important, Aragorn and Frodo, are almost the opposite sides of the same hero. **
    EIleen, I agree completely–Jackson and his cohorts both loved and understood the material down to the DNA level. And as you say, Aragorn and Frodo are the perfect complements. Wonderful characters, wonderful heroes.

    Reply

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