5 Reasons to Read Lord of the Rings

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I still find it astounding that some folks haven't read Lord of the Rings. Then again, the book is huge, and I am sort of a fantasy geek (and don't ask about all the classics I've never read). Still, if you're on the edge, maybe I can help push you over.

1. Nazgûl. The undead servants of Mordor. They never sleep, never die, and never stop coming. They're kinda like Dementors, but they aren't scared of a silly glowing stag. And they ride dragons.



2. Gandalf. Every awesome wizard and mentor character you've ever read about was based on this guy. Dumbledore was killed by a silly curse. It took a fricking balrog to take Gandalf down. (And even then...)



3. Frodo and Sam. Bet you didn't know this was a buddy story. Frodo and Sam are hardcore. Think Naruto's tough? These guys walked into hell with the devil's wedding ring (he really wanted his ring back, too).



4. Maps. Harry Potter doesn't have 'em. Nuff said.



5. Epic fantasy poetry.

5. Middle Earth. Beautiful, even if all you've got are Tolkien's words. I'm pretty sure I'd die there, but I want to visit just the same.





So what's your favorite thing about Lord of the Rings?

24 comments:

Matthew MacNish said...

I don't think the Ringwraith's flying steeds are technically considered dragons, because Tolkien actually wrote very few wyrms into Middle Earth, and he always named them.

Anyway, I love this. I've always dreamed of visiting Middle Earth. Rivendell and The Shire especially.

Have you ever seen this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hJhmxc3Arw

Sarah McCabe said...

Number 5 is why I play The Lord of the Rings Online. It's an MMO where I (my character anyway) actually get to walk around in places like the Shire and Rivendell and Lothlorien and Moria. And it's all gorgeous. Middle-earth was my inspiration for creating my own imaginary world as a writer.

Adam Heine said...

True, they aren't technically dragons, but they're close enough for me :-)

Emmet said...

Favorite thing? That it's the greatest work of fiction ever written. Or in the words of Ron Burgundy, "Compelling and rich." On a smaller scale, the characters of Gandalf, Aragorn, Faramir, and Samwise are incredible characters that cling to and embrace virtue, truth, commitment, compassion, and humility in the face of utter desolation, and they do so in assenting order of believability and applicability (Battle a balrog and stand against the Eye of Sauron, unlikely for you or me; stand by your friend in a tough time and help him get to where he needs to be, daily opportunity).

R.S. Bohn said...

*cough*TheMarauder'sMap*cough*

I was all, "Le Gasp!" at your HP references, but you are, technically, correct in most instances.

And there was also Shadowfax, king of horses. WHO GANDALF GOT TO RIDE. Dumbledore had no steed. Unless you read a lot of slash fanfic, but that's another topic altogether... ;)

Great post.

maine character said...

My favorite thing would be the movies, since I've read only The Hobbit.

But people's loyalty to these books definitely shows me there's far more to discover.

Daisy Carter said...

I love EVERYRTHING about LOTR. Seriously, I'm sitting here trying to decide what I love best and can't choose. I was always especially a fan of Merry and Pippin. I love their story line(s). And the ents! I love the ents! Where would we be without Treebeard and the council?

And what was the name of the weed they smoked? I'm drawing a blank. I always wondered what it smelled like.

Lindsay Kitson said...

Honestly, I tried really hard to like The Lord of the Rings, since I'm a geek, and all my geek friends loved it, and I felt like I was supposed to like it to. But I read it, and didn't find it was well constructed or well told at all. Certainly all the things you mention are awesome, but if the trilogy hit the market today, I don't think it would even get published, due to the lack of editing. It's a prototype for a subgenre; worth reading to educate oneself about the birth of epic fantasy, but there are so many better epic fantasy series out there these days. People have taken this prototype and perfected it.

Angela Brown said...

LOTR is the epitome of descriptions that melt reality away and place you in Middle Earth with it's grandoise natural habitats, talking trees, wizards and spells and a villain with the strength of hundreds of thousands, yet he could not stop supportive friends, loyalty, true love and all things dear to the heart.

When good vs evil is stacked head to head, LOTR shows just how good does and can win against all odds.

Victoria Dixon said...

Oops. I meant to do an impromptu blog post on the whole cover thing. I still will! To answer your question, you didn't even mention the elves and Tolkien did them better than anyone. He understood Elves are not Shakespearian teapot pixies. They are creatures of nobility and (potentially) terrifying power. And then there are the Ents! What I wouldn't give to see an Elf and an Ent someday. And Shadowfax. Gahhhhh. Do you think heaven might be populated with fictional characters? ;D

Daisy, it was Longbottom Leaf, if I'm not mistaken. Could be, it's been several decades since I read the books.

Deniz Bevan said...

Ahem.

Deniz Bevan said...

I did a post once called Why Tahereh Mafi should read The Lord of the Rings.
And yes, I used your linking post to remember how to link this!

Adam Heine said...

My friend and I used to call them "Mippin" (or "Perry") on account of we couldn't tell them apart half the time. I love their movie versions though :-)

The weed was Pipe-weed (and I think Longbottom Leaf, which Victoria mentions below, is a particular variety). Wiki page.

Adam Heine said...

I can't blame you. It's not an easy read. I agree it probably wouldn't get published as is today for being too long and slow in some places. On the other hand, I haven't read any epic fantasy that does a better job of what Tolkien did (Emmet and Angela's comments are great examples of things that even George R. R. Martin's series does not do -- much as I love Song of Ice and Fire).

But that's just me. Reading is so dang subjective. What's your favorite epic fantasy then? I'd like to read it, if I haven't.

Adam Heine said...

Agree with you on elves. We had to do elves for an Anthdrawlogy topic. This was my take.

Daisy Carter said...

Longbottom Leaf! That's what I was thinking of! Should have remembered, esp. because when I first read Sorceror's Stone I was all, 'why would she name a character after a weed?'.

Thanks!

Daisy Carter said...

Ah, see I cheated and watched The Fellowship Of The Ring before I read the books (I know, please put the rocks down; I bruise easily), so Merry and Pippin were firmly in my mind as individuals.

Myrna Foster said...

Best fantasy series that's ever been written.

There are so many things to love. Sam is my favorite character, though Aragorn would be a close second. My favorite part is where Eowyn tells the Lord of the Nazgul that she is "no man." Okay, the first time I read it, my favorite part may have been when Gandalf's friends nearly kill him in the forest. I totally cried when he fell.

Oh! And reading the first book always makes me crave mushrooms.

DB Graves said...

Total geek-tastic moment here... LOTR was my reading gateway drug. Some people get hooked on reading through magazines, fluff romance, or Nancy Drew. Me? Not so much. I went straight to hard core epic fantasy. LOTR was the first 'real read' I picked up and I have not been able to put books down since. HAZAH!

kacper said...

when i was small my dad read a book and ot was lord of the rings and i loved it and i still do and i am eleven now i am the biggest fan of lord of the rings i love the books the movies the games every thing and i will always love it lord of the rings rocks ohj i love nazguls and legolas

kacper said...

lord of the rings was the first book i read

kacper said...

its the best book ever

Adam Heine said...

This is my new favorite comment ever. Thanks for reading, kacper!

Matthew MacNish said...

There is also Southern Star, but nothing compares to the Longbottom Leaf.